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Democratic rep. to Trump: You're a 'psychopath' for making this about you

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) called President Trump a psychopath on Twitter after Trump suggested there is a link between the FBI missing a tip on the Florida school shooter and the Russia investigation.

Rep. Swalwell to Trump: Do you believe it now?

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell reacts to special counsel Robert Mueller issuing an indictment against 13 Russian nationals for meddling in US elections.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures

S.E.C. Blocks Chinese Takeover of Chicago Stock Exchange

The proposed deal drew sharp criticisms from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, who said it could put the security of United States financial markets at risk.


Congo defends right to explore for oil in national parks

DAKAR (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo's oil minister on Thursday defended the country's right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa's largest tropical rainforest reserve.


Trump-Russia probe muddies House hearing on U.S. threat assessment: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans are resisting requests by Democrats for U.S. intelligence chiefs to present their annual global threat report to a congressional panel so they can avert a likely showdown with the head of the FBI over aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation, two Democratic sources said on Wednesday.

Trump suggests 25 cent gas tax increase, senator says

President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that a one-time, 25 cent increase in gas and diesel taxes would be needed to help pay for the administration's new infrastructure plan, according to Democratic Sen. Tom Carper.


Trump backs 25-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax hike: senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed hiking the federal gasoline tax by 25 cents a gallon in a meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday about funding his infrastructure spending proposal, a Democratic lawmaker said.


Zimbabwe opposition leader Tsvangirai dies in South Africa

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer, casting his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party into the unknown less than three months after the army ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

Elections, House of Representatives

How an Abundance of Democratic Candidates Could Help the G.O.P. Hold the House

In a lesson in unintended consequences, a voting reform put in place in California could end up keeping Democrats off the ballot in two battleground districts.


Democrat hopes to resolve Russia memo issues 'very soon'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday the White House and FBI wanted too much information kept from the public in a still-secret Democratic memo related to probes of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. election.

Schiff: We're working with FBI to redact Democratic memo

The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat said Wednesday he's working with the FBI to try to minimize the number of redactions to the Democratic rebuttal to the GOP's intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.

Analysis: Dems midterm fate probably isn't tied to Pelosi

Republicans are trying to turn the midterms on their head. Instead of the expected referendum on a still relatively unpopular Republican president, Republicans are hoping to bring Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi to the forefront.

Don Lemon and GOP lawmaker spar over Democratic memo

CNN's Don Lemon questions Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) on the fairness of blocking the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.


Pennsylvania court set to redraw voting maps after governor veto

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania's top court was set to lay out new congressional voting districts for the state after Democratic Governor Tom Wolf on Tuesday rejected a version drawn by Republican legislative leaders as unfairly skewed in their party's favor.

The GOP could get their top North Dakota Senate prospect, after all

Rep. Kevin Cramer could run against North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, after all -- potentially reversing one of Republicans' biggest recruiting misses of the 2018 midterm elections.


German SPD leader quits in bid to calm party after coalition deal with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Social Democratic leader (SPD) Martin Schulz resigned on Tuesday, hoping to end turbulence that has rocked the center-left party since it agreed a coalition deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

United States Politics and Government

A Former Pharmaceutical Executive Is Running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey

Bob Hugin announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.


Pennsylvania governor rejects Republican-drawn congressional map

(Reuters) - Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf rejected a Republican-drawn congressional map on Tuesday as unfairly skewed toward protecting Republican candidates, likely putting the state's top court in charge of creating new boundaries.

They donated the max to a senator after their son said he was running against her

Just months after Republican Kevin Nicholson announced his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018, his own parents donated the legal maximum to her primary campaign.

Schiff to meet with FBI over memo

House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff says he plans to meet with the FBI to hear concerns about a Democratic rebuttal to a Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.

Fmr. DHS Sec. Johnson on his friend John Kelly

On State of the Union, Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson discusses the Rob Porter scandal, John Kelly, the Democratic memo and North Korea.

Analysis: Trump's memo block and what it means for the Russia investigation

The immediate result of President Donald Trump's decision to block the release of a Democratic memo on the Russia investigation is to expose him to charges of hypocrisy.


Trump says Democratic memo on Russia is 'very political,' needs redactions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A classified memo by congressional Democrats related to investigations of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is "very political and long" and must be "heavily redacted" before it could be released, President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday.

Trump will not declassify Dem memo

White House counsel notified the House Intelligence Committee that President Trump will not approve the release of the Democratic rebuttal to the GOP memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.


Republican Pennsylvania leaders submit plan for redrawing congressional map

(Reuters) - Republican leaders in Pennsylvania's legislature submitted a plan for redrawing the state's congressional districts just hours before Friday's court-ordered deadline, but Democratic Governor Tom Wolf questioned whether the proposal will pass legal muster.

Trump holds up Schiff memo that seeks to undercut GOP claims of FBI misconduct because it contains 'numerous' classified passages, White House says

President Donald Trump won't release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority at this time, and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.

United States Politics and Government

Trump Blocks Release of Memo Rebutting Republican Claims

President Trump blocked the release of a classified Democratic memo, setting up a potential showdown with Congress over the fate of its contents.

Read the White House letter denying release of Democratic memo

President Donald Trump on Friday denied the request to release the Democratic memo that seeks to undercut Republican claims of FBI surveillance abuses and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.


SDF to study any request to hand over British IS militants captured in Syria

AMUDA, Syria/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has not received a request from any foreign government to hand over two British Islamic State militants in its custody but will study any such request if made, a senior SDF official told Reuters on Friday.


Trump says White House to issue letter on Democratic Russia memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday the White House would soon release a letter regarding the possible release of a classified memo written by Democrats to rebut a Republican document claiming FBI and Justice Department bias against him in the federal probe of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election.


Rain on Trump's parade: Democratic mayors sniff at military pageant

(Reuters) - The mayors of big American cities, a largely Democratic bunch, love parades, but few are lining up to host the Bastille Day-style military display that Republican President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to prepare.


Turkey orders arrest of pro-Kurdish party leader: agency

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey has ordered the arrest of 17 people including pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Serpil Kemalbay over their opposition to Turkey's military operation in Syria, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

United States Politics and Government

Pelosi Held House Floor in Advocacy of ‘Dreamers’ for More Than 8 Hours

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, broke records on Wednesday with an extended speech opposing the budget deal because it ignored the “Dreamers.”

Opinion: Why FDR had a military parade

Except that, unlike Trump's call for one to best France, FDR's was accompanied by a profound speech that expressed "the democratic aspiration," and reflected understanding of America's vital military, moral and humanitarian role in the rest of the world, writes Susan Dunn.


Puerto Rico in line for nearly $5 billion in federal aid for Medicaid

(Reuters) - A $90 billion disaster aid package agreed on by U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday would include nearly $7 billion in aid to storm-battered Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to two Senate Democratic aides and Puerto Rico's governor.

Strong fundraising shifts several House races in Dems' favor

An energized Democratic base is translating into a clear fundraising advantage for the party's House candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Politics and Government

Angela Merkel Reaches Deal to Form Coalition Government in Germany

The agreement is contingent on the approval of nearly half a million registered members of the Social Democratic Party, who will vote by mail.

Opinion: Trump is bringing everyone down to his level

In the space of just two days, the President called his political opponents "treasonous;" The White House chief of staff implied that immigrants who didn't sign up for the DACA program were "too afraid" or "too lazy;" and a prominent Democratic senator referred to President Trump as "Cadet Bone Spurs," a reference to his Vietnam-era draft deferments.

United States Politics and Government

Senate Letter Echoes House Republicans’ Accusations of Bias

President Trump is expected to release a classified Democratic memo but is likely to redact parts of it.

Midterm Elections (2018)

Democratic Group Targets All-G.O.P. States to Attack Gerrymandering

A group backed by former President Barack Obama plans to compete in a dozen states in an effort to block Republicans from unilaterally drawing congressional maps.

Kelly says he expects memo recommendations by Thursday

Chief of staff John Kelly said the White House is reviewing a Democratic memo on the investigation into a Trump campaign associate and he has ordered authorities to give their recommendations on how to handle it by Thursday, after which the President will make his final decision on whether to release the memo and whether to redact it.

WH: Trump has seen Democratic memo

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Trump has seen the Democratic intelligence memo, and he met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to discuss.


Republicans join Democrats' stand against Trump's 'treasonous' claims

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some U.S. Republican lawmakers joined their Democratic colleagues on Tuesday in criticizing President Donald Trump for labeling them as "treasonous" and "un-American" in response to the cold reception they gave him during his State of the Union address last week.


U.S. senators concerned Trump's Afghanistan strategy will not succeed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday questioned whether President Donald Trump's strategy in Afghanistan will bring an end to the nation's longest war, which U.S. officials estimated will cost taxpayers more than $45 billion this year.


Republicans pledged immigration debate next week: top Senate Democrat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that Senate Republicans have promised to hold an open debate on immigration legislation on the Senate floor next week.


FEMA contractor did not deliver millions of Puerto Rico meals: lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. agency responsible for disaster response hired a contractor that failed to deliver millions of emergency meals in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico last year, U.S. Democratic lawmakers said on Tuesday.

United States Politics and Government

House to Approve Stopgap Bill as Shutdown Deadline Nears

The House’s plan would fund the government through March 23, but it appeared to have no chance of passing the Senate because of Democratic opposition.

Manchin seeks pledge from senators: Don't campaign against each other

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who's facing a tough re-election bid in West Virginia, will take to the Senate floor Tuesday and urge his colleagues to sign a pledge vowing not to campaign against other sitting senators.

Congressman: Schiff can be 'full of Schiff'

Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, discusses the Democratic counterpart to the Nunes memo with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

House will vote on a bill to keep government open past Thursday (yes, that again)

House GOP leaders are moving ahead with a plan to keep the government funded into mid-March, but there's a catch that Democratic leaders aren't going to like.


House committee seen voting to release Democrats Russia memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. House of Representatives committee was expected to approve on Monday the release of the Democratic response to a contentious Republican memo alleging FBI bias against President Donald Trump, clearing the way for the White House to decide on the document's release.

Schiff: Kelly should give Trump a time out

Hours off of receiving a second Twitter attack from President Donald Trump, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said White House chief of staff John Kelly should put the President in "time out."


Senators urge Trump administration to resume Equifax probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic senators and consumer advocates on Monday urged the Trump administration to resume an investigation into how Equifax failed to protect the personal data of millions of consumers after Reuters reported that the head of the U.S. consumer watchdog has pulled back on the existing probe.


U.S. lists four individuals under Democratic Republic of Congo sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States sanctioned a senior general in the Democratic Republic of Congo armed forces and three rebel leaders on Monday, days after the U.N. Security Council blacklisted them for being a threat to the peace and stability of the country.

GOP expected to agree to send Democratic memo to Trump

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are likely to vote Monday evening to make public the Democratic memo rebutting GOP allegations that the FBI abused surveillance laws, a move that will put the issue back on President Donald Trump's desk this week.


U.S. Supreme Court allows revamp of Pennsylvania electoral map

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to block a lower court ruling requiring Republican-drawn congressional districts in Pennsylvania to be reworked immediately, boosting Democratic hopes of winning control this year of the U.S. House of Representatives.


House intelligence panel to take up Democratic memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House Intelligence Committee prepared on Monday to take up a Democratic response to a recently released Republican memo that alleges FBI bias against President Donald Trump, who accused the panel's top Democrat of leaking confidential information.

Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates

Trump Mocks ‘Little Adam Schiff’ as House Democrats Push to Release a Rival Memo

Mr. Trump’s insult comes as Adam Schiff is expected to call for a vote on Monday afternoon for the House Intelligence Committee to release a Democratic rebuttal to the once-secret Republican memo.

Congress eyes sweeteners to avoid shutdown, but no DACA deal

Democratic and Republican congressional staffers say there is little to no chance of a government shutdown this week.

We'll evaluate Democratic memo, WH official says

GOP and Democrats send dueling protest messages

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders offered dueling messages during Super Bowl LII on protesting racial injustice.


House intelligence panel to take up Democratic memo Monday: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House Intelligence Committee will consider on Monday whether to release the Democratic rebuttal to a Republican memo that alleged bias at the FBI and Justice Department against President Donald Trump, two sources told Reuters.


House intelligence panel takes up Democrats' memo on Monday: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House Intelligence Committee plans on Monday to consider the Democratic rebuttal to a Republican memo alleging bias at the FBI and Justice Department against President Donald Trump, two sources told Reuters on Sunday.

House Republican on memo intel: 'Open it up'

Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup says he would back the release of more classified information related to a recently released GOP memo, including a Democratic rebuttal memo, relevant testimony and other material.

Democrats call memo release 'dangerous'

With the approval of President Donald Trump, House Republicans have released a disputed GOP intelligence memo that alleges FBI abuses of its surveillance authority -- and Democratic members of Congress are fuming.


Blockchain to track Congo's cobalt from mine to mobile

LONDON (Reuters) - Blockchain is to be used for the first time to try to track cobalt's journey from artisanal mines in Democratic Republic of Congo through to products used in smartphones and electric cars.


Op-Ed Columnist: The Abortion Memo

The Democratic Party is suffering unnecessarily.

Human Rights and Human Rights Violations

As Strongmen Steamroll Their Opponents, U.S. is Silent

Across the world, autocratic leaders are engaging in increasingly brazen behavior as they dispense with even a fig leaf of democratic practice.

Clinton, Hillary Rodham

Op-Ed Columnist: What if Clinton Had Done All This?

Conservatives would be howling for impeachment if a Democratic president had behaved like Trump.


Two U.S. lawmakers voice concerns over Philip Morris tobacco trials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Democratic U.S. senators said they have fresh concerns over clinical trials conducted by Philip Morris International Inc as it seeks U.S. clearance to market its iQOS electronic tobacco product as less risky than cigarettes, according to statements both senators provided to Reuters.


Democrats press Facebook, Twitter again to probe Russia links to Republican memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two senior U.S. Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday asked Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc to answer questions about potential Russian involvement in social media campaigns that urged release of a Republican memorandum alleging surveillance abuses at the FBI, saying the companies had provided insufficient responses so far.


UPDATE 1-Democrats press Facebook, Twitter again to probe Russia links to Republican memo

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Two senior U.S. Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday asked Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc to answer questions about potential Russian involvement in social media campaigns that urged release of a Republican memorandum alleging surveillance abuses at the FBI, saying the companies had provided insufficient responses so far.


U.S. prosecutors drop corruption case against Sen. Menendez

(Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has dropped corruption charges against Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, according to a court filing on Wednesday, days after the trial judge threw out several counts.

Lawmakers say speech proves Trump doesn't care about Puerto Rico crisis

Democratic lawmakers say President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech glossed over the grim reality that at least 3 million of Puerto Ricans are facing.


Trump orders Guantanamo detention center to stay open

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order on Tuesday to keep open the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay after his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, tried unsuccessfully to close the prison that has drawn international condemnation.

Kennedy responds to Trump: We feel the fault lines of a fractured country

Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy sharply criticized President Donald Trump and his administration, giving his party's response to the State of the Union with a speech that became a rallying cry around key causes that make up his party's coalition.

State of the Union Message (US)

Joseph P. Kennedy III Gives Democratic Response to State of the Union

Mr. Kennedy, a scion of the political dynasty, said the Trump administration was “a rebuke of our highest American ideal — that we are all worthy.”

What Democratic senators want to hear

Senate Democrats say they hope President Donald Trump uses his first State of the Union address on Tuesday to bring Americans together rather than divide them further, despite their contentious relationship with him over the past year.

Global Warming

New Jersey Embraces an Idea it Once Rejected: Make Utilities Pay to Emit Carbon

Democratic governors nationwide are taking steps to tax or price emissions within their own borders, even as Trump dismantles federal climate policy.


FBI's No. 2 official McCabe, blasted by Trump, steps down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, criticized by President Donald Trump and other Republicans for alleged bias against him and in favor of his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, has stepped down, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.


Trump says to address trade, immigration in State of the Union speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Monday he will address his proposed immigration overhaul in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday and will seek Democratic support for it.


Hillary Clinton surprises with Grammy 'Fire and Fury' spoof

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bruno Mars beat Jay-Z for the top Grammy Awards on Sunday, but the surprise star of the night was former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reading from Michael Wolff's controversial book "Fire and Fury."


Fearing Democratic wave, Koch network to spend big on U.S. midterm elections

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Reuters) - The conservative Koch network spent its annual donor conference celebrating policy victories under President Donald Trump such as the tax overhaul, but the elation was tinged with anxiety over November’s congressional elections that could pose a risk to its agenda.

Defense and Military Forces

Female Kurdish Fighter Kills Turkish Troops in Likely Suicide Bombing in Syria

The Kurdish bomber, 20, fought for a part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an important ally of the United States military in the battle against the Islamic State.


Democratic senator criticizes Pelosi's immigration comment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, said on Sunday he thought a new White House immigration plan was a good starting point, and he criticized House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for dismissing it as a way to "make America white again."


Italy's Renzi packs PD lists with close allies, faces party backlash

ROME (Reuters) - Former prime minister Matteo Renzi triggered uproar in his center-left Democratic Party (PD) at the weekend by packing the group's electoral list with close allies and shutting the door on internal rivals.

Lawmakers want answers after State Dept. employees claim retribution

Key Democratic lawmakers are calling on the State Department's watchdog to conduct an "immediate review" of personnel practices after a number of employees told CNN they were unlawfully targeted for political reasons due to their work under the last administration.

Republicans are urged to return their own scandal-engulfed major donor's money

When Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexually assaulting women nearly four months ago, Republicans called on Democratic lawmakers and committees to return contributions from the Hollywood mogul and major donor.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Cecile Richards on Her Life After Planned Parenthood

The president of the organization since 2006, she will now be promoting a memoir and campaigning for Democratic women in the midterm elections.


In step to national stage, a young Kennedy to rebut Trump address

BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy III, a politician with a very well-known name but relatively little prominence outside of his home state of Massachusetts, will deliver next week's Democratic rebuttal to President Donald Trump's state of the union address.


Kennedy to give Democratic response to Trump's State of the Union address

(Reuters) - Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy III is to give the Democratic Party's response to U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday, The Boston Globe reported, illustrating his rising profile in the party ranks.


Dutch intelligence agency spied on Russian hacking group: media

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch intelligence agency AIVD spied on the Russian group believed to be behind the hack of the Democratic Party ahead of U.S. elections, local media reported on Thursday.


U.S. rejects new Venezuela election plan: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The move to hold new presidential elections in Venezuela will completely undermine the country's democratic constitutional order and the results will not be accepted as legitimate, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.


Alabama bill would end special elections for U.S. Senate

(Reuters) - The Republican-led Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill to end special elections for the U.S. Senate, just more than a month after such a vote resulted in the state electing its first Democratic senator in a quarter-century.


Judge narrows bribery case against New Jersey Democratic Senator Menendez

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday threw out several bribery charges against Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, five days after U.S. prosecutors announced they would seek to retry him after his first trial ended with a hung jury.

Democratic mayors turn down WH invite after Feds turn up heat on 'sanctuary cities'

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other mayors who had been invited to the White House on Wednesday declined the invitation because of a Justice Department crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities.


Scores convicted in Congo's Beni massacre trial

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A military tribunal investigating a wave of massacres in eastern Congo blamed on Ugandan rebels has convicted 134 people, a senior army prosecutor and a human rights group said on Wednesday.


What’s Right About The Wrong Biennale?

Bringing together 1,500 artists across the internet, the global digital art festival known as The Wrong is a democratic alternative to the often elitist system of fairs. Here’s a quick tour through its treasures.

Trump to Schumer: No wall, no DACA deal

President Donald Trump blasted Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer's decision to pull a border wall from negotiations over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying a wall is required as part of any potential deal.


U.S.-backed Syria force denies Islamic State in area targeted by Turkey

ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) - The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rejected a Turkish army statement that Islamic State was present in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria, where Ankara launched an offensive four days ago which has raised international concern.