Developments over the weekend concerning President Donald Trump include his discussions with the Group of Seven over climate change, trade and North Korea, as well as his return to turmoil in Washington; while fallout from G-7 meeting leaves Merkel saying Europe can’t count on U.S. or Britain; and North Korea tests another missile:
Europe Left Uneasy by Trump’s Message — White House press spokesman Sean Spicer declared Saturday night Donald Trump’s first overseas trip as U.S. president had been a success in a tweet posted as the American leader was flying back to Washington “after very productive 9 days.” Just hours earlier President Trump told American troops stationed in Sicily he had strengthened bonds with allies. That isn’t how Europe leaders and most of the continent’s media see it.
Merkel: Europe Must Stay United in Face of Ally Uncertainty — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging European Union nations to stick together in the face of new uncertainty over the United States and other challenges. Merkel said Sunday at a campaign event in Bavaria that “the times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days.”
Back Home, Trump Assails News Reports of White House Turmoil — President Donald Trump returned to the life he is accustomed to in Washington Sunday, assailing news media reports on the White House turmoil linked to investigation of his aides and their ties to Russia. On his first morning back from a 9-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, Trump declared on Twitter that his “trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” Then, he quickly turned to long-standing grievances against the media.
WATCH: Top agenda items at Group of Seven meeting in Italy
Climate Change Among Most Contentious Issues at G-7 Summit — Climate change was among the most contentious agenda items Friday at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Sicily, but both American and British government officials are publicly denying any major discord. The leaders had a “very good discussion” about climate issues, British Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters, adding there was “no doubt around the table” — which included U.S. President Donald Trump — about how important the issue is.
US Splits With G-7 Counterparts on Climate Change — In an unprecedented move, a Group of Seven summit communique has carved out a unique place for the United States to break with its counterparts on a major issue. In a pared-down final communique, all G-7 nations, except the United States, pledged action to mitigate climate change.
Scuffles Break Out, Tear Gas Fired at End of G-7 Protest — A group of protesters sought to break through a police cordon at the end of a protest march against world leaders meeting on the island of Sicily on Saturday, scuffling with security forces, who fired tear gas to disperse them.
Report: Trump Tells ‘Confidants’ US Will Leave Paris Climate Deal — U.S. President Donald Trump has told “confidants,” including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change, the Axios news website reported Saturday, citing three sources with direct knowledge.
National Security Adviser: ‘Not Concerned’ About Kushner Back-channel Reports — Asked about reports that U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law had tried to set up a clandestine communication channel with Russia before the president took office, U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday that so-called “back-channeling” was normal.
Iran’s Supreme Leader: Saudi Arabia is ‘Cow Milked’ by US — Iran’s Supreme Leader has said that Saudi Arabia is a “cow being milked” by the United States. A Saturday report by the semi-official Fars news agency quotes Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying that Saudi Arabia trades its wealth with “pagans and enemies.”
N. Korea Unwilling to Act on Seoul’s Conciliatory Moves, Experts Say — North Korea appears determined to make headway in its nuclear and missile programs, despite South Korea’s diplomatic overture aimed at restoring peace on the divided peninsula, U.S. experts say.
North Korea Test-fires Another Ballistic Missile — North Korea test-fired another short-range ballistic missile early Monday, just days after the G-7 demanded that Pyongyang give up its nuclear ambitions. The Trump administration, while serving up strong words against the North and its leader Kim Jong Un, has yet to come out with a firm policy on how to react to Pyongyang.
Sources: 3rd US Naval Strike Force Deployed to Deter North Korea — The United States is sending a third aircraft carrier strike force to the western Pacific region in an apparent warning to North Korea to deter its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, two sources have told VOA. The USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, will join two other supercarriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, in the western Pacific, the sources told VOA’s Steve Herman.
US Considering Laptop Ban on All International Flights — The U.S. Homeland Security chief says he’s considering banning laptop computers from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. John Kelly says there are signs of a “real threat” against civilian aviation from carry-on electronic devices.
Tillerson Declines to Host Ramadan Event at State Department — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined a request to host an event to mark Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, two U.S. officials said, apparently breaking with a bipartisan tradition in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.