President Obama on Friday suggested that his country “pause” to examine factors behind its deteriorating ties with Russia, but high-level leaders from each side vowed to press ahead in countering the spread of nuclear arms and stopping bloodshed in Syria, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In talks the same day with their Russian counterparts, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed plans to convene a Syria peace meeting, as well as to take additional steps against controversial atomic efforts in North Korea and Iran.
The officials “agreed to look for ways to work together” on missile defense, a high-level State Department official said on Friday. They also resolved “to explore the possibilities of further nuclear reductions,” the insider said in a telephone background briefing with reporters.
Moscow and Washington are likely to move forward with a plan to share more data pertaining to the spread of nuclear arms, according to the Kommersant newspaper. The Russian National Nuclear Threat Reduction Center would facilitate the exchange, according to the article quoted by RIA Novosti.
Another deal would permit cooperation between U.S. scientific facilities and Rosatom, an atomic firm operated by the Russian government, Kommersant reported.
Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin were slated to ink the deals in a bilateral meeting called off by Washington last week. The White House cited lingering missile defense and arms control disputes in explaining the cancelation.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, Obama said Moscow’s granting of temporary asylum to former U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden is “just one more in a number of emerging differences that we’ve seen over the last several months … where, you know, it is probably appropriate for us to take a pause, reassess where it is that Russia’s going, what our core interests are.”
Putin sometimes resembles a “bored kid in the back of the classroom,” the Journal quoted Obama as saying.
Also during Friday’s talks, Hagel accepted a Russian invitation for his country’s best tank operators to compete in an international target-shooting match in 2014, RIA Novosti reported.
The news service billed the planned “biathlon” as a first-of-its-kind match involving a fuzzy line between sports and military prowess. In a preliminary event held outside Moscow last week, four tanks painted in sunny colors did timed laps over harsh terrain and shot at notional targets.
What We're Following See More »
Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.