RIYADH - Dogged by controversy at home, Donald Trump won a warm reception in Saudi Arabia on Saturday but struggled to shift attention from the political firestorm over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump told Russian officials at the White House that firing FBI Director James Comey relieved "great pressure" the president was facing from an ongoing probe into Russia and the U.S. presidential election, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing a document summarizing the meeting. "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job," Trump said, according to the Times, which cited a document read to it by a U.S. official. "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off."
WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives will send its healthcare overhaul plan passed earlier this month to the Senate in a couple of weeks after it receives a final analysis by congressional reviewers, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Friday. Ryan said during a radio interview that the delay was "out of an abundance of caution" until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases its findings on how much the legislation will cost and its impact on health insurance coverage.
NEW YORK - The U.S. Navy recruit who drove his car along a crowded Times Square sidewalk, killing a young woman and injuring many others, is due to appear in court in Manhattan on Friday to face charges of murder, attempted murder and vehicular homicide. Richard Rojas, 26, knocked pedestrians into the air as he sped for three blocks in his burgundy Honda sedan through one of the city's busiest areas on Thursday before crashing into a metal stanchion, the New York Police Department said.
Deere's quarterly sales of farm and construction equipment rose for the first time in more than three years, and the company's rising profit and sales beat forecasts. It also bumped up its 2017 profit outlook. The strong results sent Deere stock sharply higher in early trading.
NEW YORK - Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was expected to plead guilty in federal court in New York on Friday, months after U.S. prosecutors opened an investigation into his alleged "sexting" with a 15-year-old girl that eventually played a role in the U.S. presidential election. A spokesman for the law firm representing Weiner, Covington & Burling, said he would plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska on Friday morning but offered no further details. The charges were not immediately known.
TOCKHOLM - Swedish prosecutors said on Friday they had dropped an investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape allegation, but British police said he would still be arrested if he left the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up. Assange, 45, took refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over the rape allegation, which he denies.
WASHINGTON/BEIRUT - The U.S. military carried out an air strike on Thursday against militia supported by the Syrian government that posed a threat to U.S.-backed fighters in the country's south, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday. One of the U.S. officials said the strikes near the town of At Tanf destroyed at least one tank and a bulldozer, and another said it followed warning shots by U.S. aircraft meant to dissuade the fighters from advancing further.
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc has struck a deal with Major League Baseball to show 20 of the league's games live this season in an agreement that expands the social media network further into the world of live programming. Facebook said in a statement on Thursday that it would stream one game a week beginning on Friday, and the broadcasts would be available to everyone on Facebook in the United States. Reuters reported in February that Facebook and MLB were in talks to stream one game per week as part of an aggressive push to become a destination for live sports.
NEW YORK - Roger Ailes, founder and former chief executive of Fox News, the cable news channel popular with conservatives that helped reshape the U.S. political landscape, has died at age 77. Ailes' widow, Elizabeth Ailes, announced his death in a statement posted on the Fox News website on Thursday. The cause of death was not immediately known. He resigned from Fox News last July following allegations of sexual harassment, marking an abrupt end to his 20-year reign at the most-watched cable channel in the United States.