(Reuters) – Highlights for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday:
China welcomes an apparently softer tone by the United States on the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis, but stresses its opposition to a U.S. missile defense system being deployed in South Korea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe call on North Korea and other countries to avoid behavior or rhetoric that could increase tensions around Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Trump says he pulled back from the brink of killing the 23-year-old trade pact with Canada and Mexico after requests from their leaders and expressed optimism about winning better U.S. terms in a renegotiated deal.
GOVERNMENT SPENDING BILL
Congress takes steps to extend until May 5 the deadline for reaching a deal on federal spending through September and head off a feared government shutdown at midnight on Friday.
Prospects for U.S. House passage of a healthcare system overhaul before Trump’s 100th day in office dim as Republicans struggle to find the needed votes, lawmakers and aides say.
The Pentagon’s inspector general opened an investigation into whether Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, took money from foreign entities without needed approval, according to a letter released by House Democrats.
A White House spokesman says it was “appropriate” for a Pentagon agency to investigate Flynn for possible wrongdoing in making a trip to Russia in 2016.
WHITE HOUSE ACCESS
Manufacturers and Wall Street have led the quest for business access to Trump in his first 100 days in office, with media companies and Silicon Valley seldom entering the presidential bubble, a Reuters review finds.
FIGHTING MILITANT GROUPS
Ten Democratic U.S. House members say they want Congress to vote on a formal authorization for the use of military force against al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Taliban.
A suspected U.S. drone strike kills several Pakistani Taliban militants in North Waziristan close to the Afghanistan border, a regional government official and an Islamist militant say, in a rare strike on Pakistani soil.
A U.S. appeals court grants a request from the Trump administration to put litigation on hold in which states and industry groups are challenging an Obama administration pollution control rule for mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants.
(Compiled by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)