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In this June 6, 2013, file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Senate reauthorizes key spy law

- The Washington Times

Senators voted Thursday to approve a six-year renewal of the government’s chief foreign spying program, delivering a win to security hawks who got most of what they wanted in the deal.

Vice President Mike Pence upcoming visit to the Mideast comes at a time of friction between the Trump administration and the Palestinian leadership, posing a dilemma for Arab hosts Egypt and Jordan on how to safeguard their vital ties with Washington. (Associated Press)

Jerusalem embassy move complicates Pence trip to Middle East

Vice President Mike Pence lands in Cairo for the first leg of his Mideast tour on Saturday with a scaled-back itinerary that reflects a changed Middle East diplomatic landscape in the wake of President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

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Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney speaks with reporters outside the White House about a possible government shutdown, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Blame game, but no agreement after Trump, Schumer meet

- Associated Press

President Donald Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer met Friday afternoon in an eleventh-hour effort to avert a government shutdown, with a bitterly divided Washington locked in partisan stare-down over politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported.

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2018, file photo, in this photo provided by South Korea Unification Ministry, the head of North Korean delegation Kwon Hyok Bong, center, and Hyon Song Wol, the head of the Moranbong Band, left, sit during the meeting with South Korea at the North side of Panmunjom in North Korea. The head of North Korea's most popular girl band is visiting South Korea this weekend to check preparations for a trip by another Northern art troupe led by her as part of Pyongyang's Olympic delegation, officials said Friday.(South Korea Unification Ministry via AP, File)

N.Korea cancels S.Korea visit by advance team for art troupe

- Associated Press

North Korea on Friday abruptly canceled plans to send a delegation led by the head of a hugely popular girl band to South Korea over the weekend to check preparations for a trip by a North Korean art troupe she also leads during next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

President Donald Trump, joined by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, Vice President Mike Pence, second from left, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, speaks to the media as he arrives at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mattis says US competitive warfighting edge has eroded

- Associated Press

Countering China's rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are now the U.S. military's top national security priorities, outpacing the threat of terrorism, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday. He said competition with those adversaries has threatened America's military advantage around the world.

Border wall tests find heights should keep out crossers

- Associated Press

Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump's proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that's likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.

Larry Nassar sits in court during a sentencing hearing Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, waiting for the third day of victim impact statements to begin, in Lansing, Mich. Nassar, 54, faces a minimum sentence of 25 to 40 years in prison for molesting girls at Michigan State University and his home. He also was a team doctor at USA Gymnastics, based in Indianapolis, which trains Olympians. He's already been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.   (Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal via AP)

Olympic gymnast abused by ex-doctor wants him to suffer

- Associated Press

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman on Friday confronted her former doctor who has pleaded guilty to multiple sexual assaults, warning him that the testimony of the "powerful army" of 140 survivors at his sentencing will haunt him in prison.

This photo released by the press office of the Kurdish militia, People's Protection Units or YPG, shows protesters waving giant flags of the YPG and other parties and militias, during a demonstration against Turkish threats, in Afrin, Aleppo province, north Syria, Thursday, Jan 18, 2018. Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad said the country's air force will shoot down any Turkish fighter jets that attack Syria. The warning comes as tensions are skyrocketing over apparent Turkish preparations to attack a Kurdish enclave in the north of the country. (YPG Press Office via AP)

Turkey says no turning back from offensive in Syria

- Associated Press

Turkey's defense minister said Friday there is no turning back from his country's decision to launch a ground assault on a Syrian Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwest Syria, saying the offensive had "de facto" started with the sporadic Turkish military shelling of the area.

French President Emmanuel Macron reviews an honor guard upon his arrival on board the the Dixmude, an amphibious assault ship, docked in the French Navy base of Toulon, southern France, before delivering a speech to present his New Year's wishes to the French Army, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, Pool)

France's Macron pledges big increase in defense budget

- Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron will boost defense spending in the coming years to guarantee his country's domestic security and maintain French military engagement abroad, as he repeated his wishes for an increased European military cooperation on Friday.

US-backed Somalia commandos kill 4 al-Shabab extremists

- Associated Press

Somali and U.S. commandos stormed a camp for al-Shabab extremist fighters in an overnight raid, killing at least four of the fighters and rescuing dozens of child conscripts, a Somali intelligence official said Friday.

Relatives of Indian boy Sahil kumar who was killed in Pakistani firing and shelling, wail near his body at a hospital in  Ranbir Singh Pura district of Jammu and Kashmir, India, Friday, Jan.19,2018. Tensions soared along the volatile frontier between India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir as soldiers of the rivals continued shelling villages and border posts for third day Friday. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

Tensions soar along Indian, Pakistan frontier in Kashmir

- Associated Press

Tensions have soared along the volatile frontier between India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, as rival troops shelled villages and border posts for a third day Friday.

President Donald Trump speaks at H&K Equipment Company on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 in Coraopolis, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AP FACT CHECK: Shutdown wouldn't halt military

- Associated Press

It's a stretch, at best, to think the military would bear the brunt of a partial government shutdown, as President Donald Trump asserted Thursday at the Pentagon.

Judge delays sentencing of Ohio man who plotted US attacks

- Associated Press

A federal judge on Friday delayed by a few days the sentencing of an Ohio man who plotted to kill military members in the U.S. following a delay in the case when a previous judge withdrew.

Damaged Navy ship arrives in Mississippi for repairs

- Associated Press

Greeted by sailors and flag-waving residents, a U.S. Navy destroyer damaged in a June collision that killed seven sailors arrived Friday for two years of repairs at a Mississippi shipyard.

Stansfield Turner, who led major CIA reforms, dies

Associated Press

Stansfield A. Turner, who served as CIA director under President Jimmy Carter and oversaw reforms at the agency after the Senate uncovered CIA surveillance aimed at American citizens, has died. He was 94.