The U.S. Senate will vote next week on the ratification of Montenegro as the newest member of the NATO alliance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday, after the Trump administration urged lawmakers to take up the long-delayed matter. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had written to the leaders of the Senate to say Montenegro’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was “strongly in the interests of the United States.” All 28 of NATO’s members must ratify Montenegro’s accession before it can formally join the alliance. The vote in the U.S. Senate was held up for months when at least two Republican senators, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, blocked a quick vote.
Rasmeah Odeh, convicted in Israel of murdering two students, accepts plea bargain after lying to get American citizenship.
A white US army veteran accused of fatally stabbing a 66-year-old homeless black man in New York was charged Thursday with second-degree murder as a hate crime, after telling police he was planning a race-based killing spree. James Jackson, 28, is also facing a charge of criminal possession of a weapon in connection with Monday night’s incident near the city’s main Port Authority bus terminal. The attack comes as several major US cities including New York are grappling with an increase in hate crimes.
When questioned about a litany of controversial statements — from unrest in Sweden, to Brexit, to dues owed by NATO states — Trump told Time magazine in an interview published Thursday that he often foresaw things that later were revealed to be true. Trump defended his most audacious claim — rejected by Republicans and Democrats alike — that his predecessor Barack Obama ordered the tapping of his phone. On March 4, Trump implied his predecessor had broken the law in targeting him.
40-year-old Israeli shot dead in Costa Rica. Local police investigating.