By Dmitry Solovyov and Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin dismissed allegations that Russia had run a sophisticated doping programme at the last winter Olympics as treacherous slander on Friday, calling the ex-head of the country's doping laboratory "a turncoat." Two Russian winter sportsmen named as cheats by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former lab chief who has since fled to the United States, also denied wrongdoing, saying the charges were part of a campaign to besmirch the name of Russian sport. Russia, already battling to overturn a ban on its athletes taking part in this year's Rio summer Olympics, has been thrown on the defensive after a New York Times report cited Rodchenkov, the ex-head of Russia's anti-doping laboratory, as saying he ran a doping programme at the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics which included at least 15 medal winners.
The Obama administration will tell every U.S. public school district on Friday to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. The letter, signed by officials from the Education and Justice departments, does not have the force of law but contains an implicit threat that schools which do not abide by the Obama administration's interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid. "There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
The U.S. Navy said on Thursday that it had fired the commander of the 10 American sailors who wandered into Iranian territorial waters in the Gulf in January and were briefly held by Iran in an incident that risked becoming an international crisis. The Navy said in a statement that it had lost confidence in Commander Eric Rasch, who was the executive officer of the coastal riverine squadron that included the 10 sailors. Rasch became the first person to be publicly singled out after a preliminary investigation into the incident that occurred near Farsi Island in the Gulf.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With the primary season's biggest prize in play, Hillary Clinton has fashioned a strategy to reprise her 2008 victory in California when she defeated Barack Obama by running up big margins with Hispanics and women. Bernie Sanders is hoping for an upset to sustain his argument to stay in the race.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's foreign policy proposals would make the world a less stable place, former Secretary of State James Baker told a U.S. Senate hearing on Thursday as the Republican presidential candidate met elsewhere with party congressional leaders. Under questioning from Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a former Trump rival in the presidential race, Baker said the world "would be far less stable" with a weaker NATO or if more countries had nuclear weapons as Trump has proposed.
Donald Trump may have offended plenty of people with his presidential campaign rhetoric, but even the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s foulest language is no match for the harsh words spouted by one of Trump’s oldest and most loyal servants. One of several facebook posts by Donald Trump’s former butler Anthony Senecal calling for President Obama to be killed.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump expressed hope on Thursday that their fractured party could come together before the general election. The two GOP leaders released a joint statement after a highly anticipated meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. “That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall,” Ryan and Trump said in the joint statement.
Brasília (AFP) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended Thursday to face impeachment, ceding power to her vice-president-turned-enemy Michel Temer in a political earthquake ending 13 years of leftist rule over Latin America's biggest nation. A nearly 22-hour debate in the Senate closed with an overwhelming 55-22 vote against Brazil's first female president. Only a simple majority of the 81-member Senate had been required to suspend Rousseff for six months pending judgement on charges that she broke budget accounting laws.
You can imagine what goes through Donald Trump’s mind whenever he finds himself dragged to Washington. Chances are Trump views the most powerful figures in Washington much the same way the elite of Silicon Valley and Wall Street do. But here Trump is, arriving today for a Reykjavik-like sit-down with Republican leaders — most notably the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.
About a month before Paul Ryan became the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in the summer of 2012, then Sen. Tom Coburn mentioned Ryan’s name unprompted in the course of a wide-ranging conversation in his Capitol Hill office. “I had this conversation with Paul Ryan last night,” the Oklahoma senator, who retired in 2014, told me.
The pistol former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman used in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin is going up for auction online. In an interview with Orlando, Florida, TV station WOFL, Zimmerman said he had just gotten the pistol back from the U.S. Justice Department, which took it after he was acquitted in Martin’s 2012 shooting death. “And I thought it’s time to move past the firearm,” Zimmerman told the station.
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will travel to Washington, D.C., Thursday for a series of meetings with top Republican leaders in an effort to bring the party together after a messy and divisive primary race. Trump has at least three meetings planned with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who largely spurned his presidential campaign during the GOP primary. He'll first meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the RNC at 9 a.m. Trump will then meet with Ryan and the other members on his leadership team: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Washington, and Deputy Majority Whip Patrick McHenry, R-North Carolina.