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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump has canceled his scheduled trip to South America, the White House says, citing growing tensions in Syria as the reason.Press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Tuesday that “The President will remain in the United States to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world.”Trump was scheduled to attend the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru this Friday and Saturday. Vice President Mike Pence will travel in his place.The president isn’t the only official canceling travel this weekend. Defense Secretary James Mattis was scheduled to travel to Nevada and San Francisco this weekend but has since canceled his trip, the Pentagon says.Mattis will still travel to New York Thursday evening as previously scheduled.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump has vowed a "forceful" response to an alleged chemical attack on Syrian civilians in a rebel-held neighborhood outside the capital Damascus on Saturday.As western leaders mull a response, Trump discussed possible military action that could be taken during a Cabinet meeting with military leaders on Monday.Options on the table include limited military strikes, such as the Tomahawk missiles launched from a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Mediterranean targeting a Syrian airstrip almost exactly one year ago after an alleged chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib that killed more than 100 people.“We have a lot of options, militarily,” the president said after the Cabinet meeting. “And we’ll be letting you know pretty soon -- probably after the fact.”When asked by reporters after the meeting if Russian President Vladimir Putin, who supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, bore responsibility for the attack, Trump said, "Yeah he may, and if he does, it's going to be very tough. Everybody is going to pay a price."Trump's third national security adviser, John Bolton, was in the room during the Cabinet meetings on his first day in office.It's thought that any U.S. military response is unlikely to include significant numbers of ground forces. In March, Trump signaled he wanted a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria, taking observers by surprise.Western representatives at the United Nations issued strong words Monday condemning the suspected attack in Douma, thought to have killed dozens of people and around 500 were treated with symptoms consistent with exposure to nerve agent.U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Russia has the "blood of Syrian children" on its hands."History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria," she said. "Either way, the United States will respond."However the Russian Ambassador to the U.N., Vassily Nebenzia, said the chemical attack was staged and warned that any American military response in Syria would have "grave repercussions."Nebenzia said Russian experts had entered Douma on Monday and did not find any traces of chemical substances used against civilians.And the Syrian envoy, Bashar Jaafari, said that Syria had no chemical weapons stockpiles."We condemn their use, at any time and under any circumstances," he said.Trump also discussed the situation in Syria with French President Emmanuel Macron later on Monday, with both leaders expressing a desire for a "firm response."France already vowed a response in line with the United States in a previous call on Sunday.According to the Syrian American Medical Society, there have been 10 chemical attacks recorded by activists and doctors in Syria this year, including the incident in Douma on Saturday.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Fox News host Laura Ingraham returned to her show Monday night following a week vacation in the middle of a mass exodus of the program's advertisers over controversial remarks she made about a Parkland shooting survivor. Ingraham focused on freedom of speech in her first show back, and attacked the left's alleged stifling of conservative voices.Ingraham was returning to her show after announcing on March 30 she would be out the following week for an Easter break to spend time with her children. The announcement came at the end of a week in which more than a dozen sponsors of her show pulled advertising over her criticism of Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg.The Fox News host had taken to Twitter in late March to mock the 17-year-old for getting turned down for admission by multiple colleges. Hogg responded on Twitter by urging his followers to petition advertisers to pull ads from her show.Ingraham did not mention Hogg by name in Monday's show. She apologized to Hogg on March 29, saying it was "in the spirit of Holy Week," but the student said he did not accept her apology.Instead, Ingraham focused on the left as a whole on Monday and announced a new segment called "Defending the First," a recurring feature which she said will "expose the enemies of the First Amendment, of free expression, and every thought, while showcasing those brave voices making a difference.""If you have been subjected to threats or intimidation because of your speech, I want to know about it," Ingraham said. "Tweet me, because without free speech and a free conscience, we are not truly a free people."Ingraham opened the show by discussing the book "Illiberal Education," published in 1991 by Dinesh D'Souza, the former boyfriend of Ingraham according to a Vanity Fair profile, and how it described liberal colleges going from "championing free speech to stifling it.""I have been the victim of a boycott," Ingraham said. "It is wrong. You shouldn't do this by team. It is the modern way of cutting off free speech."And the goal posts by the way are forever moving. Every day more issues are taken off the table all together and may no longer be debated at all," she continued. "So, in other words, if you are against affirmative action. You are a racist. And if you wear a 'Make America Great Again' hat to a gun control rally and get beaten up, well, don't expect a lot of sympathy from the attendees. And if you praise the military skill of Robert E. Lee, you are liable to be branded a defender of slavery in The New York Times."Hogg did not respond on social media to Ingraham's return.Ingraham, 54, has hosted "The Ingraham Angle" on Fox News since October 2017. She's written six books and hosted a radio talk show for over a decade.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump Monday condemned the alleged chemical attack in Syria saying, “It was atrocious, it was horrible.”During a meeting with his Cabinet on Monday, the president said intelligence assessments are underway and his administration will be making "some major decisions" on Syria over the next 24-48 hours. He later said a decision could be made "later today [Monday]."When asked about possible U.S. military action, Trump said: "Nothing's off the table."“This is about humanity and it can’t be allowed to happen,” he said. “If it’s the Russians, if it’s Syria, if it's Iran, if it’s all of them together, we’ll figure it out.Over the weekend, Trump took to Twitter to call the situation in Syria a “mindless chemical attack” while also pointing the finger at “President Putin, Russia, and Iran” for “backing Animal Assad.” Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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