By Roberta Rampton and Jeff Mason HAMBURG (Reuters) – In a meeting that ran longer than either side had planned, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin discussed alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election on Friday but agreed to focus on better ties rather than litigating the past. Trump, a Republican who called it an “honor” to meet with the Russian president, drew swift criticism from Democrats at home, who accused him of dismissing U.S. intelligence and giving Putin’s denial, reiterated on Friday, of Russian interference too much weight. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 major economies in Hamburg that Trump had “positive chemistry” with Putin during the meeting, which lasted some two hours and 15 minutes.
The US Missile Defense Agency said Friday it would soon test an anti-ballistic missile system, days after North Korea demonstrated its arsenal was capable of striking parts of Alaska. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to be tested is designed to intercept and destroy short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight. The MDA said the test against a ballistic missile target would be conducted at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska.
In its brief order, the Supreme Court did not give any reasons for lifting an injunction against the so-called “cocaine mom” law imposed last April by a federal judge in Madison, Wisconsin, who said it was unconstitutionally vague. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have kept the injunction in place.
Vice President Mike Pence has let his inner child-at-a-museum out during a tour of Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre. In a photo that has gone viral online, Mr Pence is seen palming a giant metal object with a sign that says, unequivocally, not to do what the Vice President was doing. “Critical Space Flight Hardware,” the sign taped to the giant metal object read.
There seemed little indication that Trump had held Putin’s feet to the fire. In what one US-based critic called a “first Tinder date”, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked for two and a quarter hours on Friday instead of their scheduled 30 minutes. “I think there was just such a level of engagement and exchange, and neither one of them wanted to stop,” US secretary of State Rex Tillerson said afterwards.