IOC boss turns crisis into win with LA 2028 deal

There is a maxim in politics that says you should never let a crisis go to waste: International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach seems to have taken that to heart.By cleverly engineering a pact for Paris to host the 2024 Games with Los Ang...

‘Game of Thrones’ script leaked after HBO hack

HBO said Monday its network was victimized by a cyberattack, and media reports said the hack resulted in the leak of a script of the popular series "Games of Thrones" and content from other productions.A statement by the Time Warner-owned TV group said...

Venezuela attorney general says won’t recognize new assembly

Venezuela's attorney general, a vocal dissenter in President Nicolas Maduro's government, said Monday she will not recognize a new assembly voted in on the weekend, calling it an expression of "dictatorial ambition."Luisa Ortega told reporters that the...

IAAF upholds Russia ban

Russia remains banned from international track and field competition after the IAAF ruled Monday that it had not made sufficient progress in its anti-doping fight to merit reinstatement.Russia was accused in a World Anti-Doping Agency report last year ...

Trump’s comms director Scaramucci out as new chief of staff takes reins

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was forced out Monday after barely 10 days in his post, as Donald Trump's new chief of staff asserted his authority on his first day in office.

John Kelly, who had served as Trump's secretary of homeland security for six months, has been brought in as chief of staff to bring order and discipline to a White House beset by scandal, infighting, low approval ratings and legislative defeats.

After an Oval Office swearing-in ceremony, Trump confidently predicted the 67-year-old combat veteran -- one of a group Trump has dubbed "my generals" -- will do a "spectacular job."

And Kelly got straight to work, as reports emerged that Trump dismissed Scaramucci -- the fast-talking New York financier -- at Kelly's request.

"Mr Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best," the White House said in a terse statement.

Scaramucci had courted controversy with an expletive-laden attack on his colleagues -- then chief of staff Reince Priebus, who was forced out last week, and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon.

- 'Record-shattering' -

Kelly inherits the day-to-day running of a White House staff that -- far from marching in lockstep -- look like a regiment pinned down by heavy fire, getting conflicting orders from their commander and squabbling over the way forward.

"I predict that General Kelly will go down as, in terms of the position of chief of staff, one of the great(est) ever," Trump said.

"What he has done in terms of homeland security is record-shattering, if you look at the border, if you look at the tremendous results we've had."

Kelly replaces Priebus, a Republican Party operative who was ousted last week after the spectacular failure of Trump's bid to repeal Obamacare and as his ugly feud with Scaramucci spilled into the open.

The chief of staff is the highest ranking White House employee -- a chief operating officer who organizes staff, manages the president's schedule and decides who gets access to him and when.

That is no small mission in Trump's White House, where a rotating cast of family and staff with unclear roles and opaque job titles walk into the Oval Office seemingly at will.

Many question whether anyone can rein in the mercurial, Twitter-happy Trump, who has appeared to encourage the infighting among various factions vying for influence in his administration.

- No chaos -

Trump -- ever determined to project success -- insisted Monday that there was no "chaos" at the White House, which was instead running as a finely tuned machine.

"I think we?re doing incredibly well. The economy is doing incredibly well, and many other things. So we're starting from a really good base," he told a cabinet meeting.

"We have the highest stock market in history," Trump said, adding that US economic growth in the last quarter stood at 2.6 percent and was approaching the three percent target he once set.

"Unemployment is the lowest it's been in 17 years. Business enthusiasm is about as high as they've ever seen it."

But aside from the economy, there has been little reason for Trump to cheer.

Under pressure from a widening probe into his campaign's contacts with Russia last year, Trump last week attacked his own attorney general Jeff Sessions for disloyalty, alarming his conservative base, before turning on Priebus.

In another tweet Monday, Trump hinted that Congress's own health insurance plan should be replaced for its failure to repeal Obamacare, his predecessor's signature reform of the US health care system.

"If Obamacare is hurting people & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies and why should Congress not be paying what public pays?"

Since taking office six months ago, Trump's tumultuous administration has seen a succession of negative headlines and brewing scandals.

Fueling the fire, the billionaire Republican has parted with a number of top officials including his national security advisor, deputy national security advisor and FBI director, among others -- an unparalleled turnover for such a young presidency.

On the global stage, Trump faces the stark challenge of a North Korea that could be on the verge of marrying nuclear and ballistic missile technology.

"We'll handle North Korea. We're going to be able to handle them. It will be handled. We handle everything. Thank you very much," Trump said.

Kelly's arrival is likely to signal a renewed focus on border security and immigration.

"As the coils of the Russia investigation grow tighter, as his failures in Congress mount, Trump reaches for what he knows -?demagoguery of the rawest sort," predicted Eliot Cohen, a former State Department official once tipped to join the Trump White House.

"Trump will remain Trump, and the various denizens of the White House are unlikely to treat Kelly with much more deference than they treat one another," he wrote in the Atlantic magazine.

MSF refuses to sign on to new migrant rescue rules

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) refused Monday to sign a code of conduct on migrant-saving operations in the Mediterranean, while others including Save the Children approved the new rules."There were two sticking points that prevented us ...

Sagan back in yellow, Teuns wins stage in Tour of Poland

BMC's Dylan Teuns won Monday's mountainous stage three of the Tour of Poland ahead of Peter Sagan and his teammate, local rider Rafal Majka.The result puts Sagan back in the overall lead six seconds ahead of Teuns and 12 seconds ahead of Majka as overn...

US actor, playwright Sam Shepard dead at 73

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor celebrated for depicting a darkness behind contemporary American life, has died, a family spokesman said Monday. He was 73.The actor, director and writer passed away at home i...

Pentagon alarm over Turkey plan to buy Russian missiles

The Pentagon on Monday criticized Turkey's plans to purchase a Russian air-defense system instead of investing in NATO technology. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in talks to get Russia to supply Ankara with its latest S-400 surface-to-air mi...

Small odds of reaching 2 C climate goal: researchers

There is a five-percent chance of limiting average global warming to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the target set in the 2015 climate-rescue Paris Agreement, researchers said on Monday.And chances of meeting the lower, aspirationa...

Pole vaulter sues after pothole injury at Olympic stadium

Greek pole vaulter Kostas Filippidis is suing the owners of the Athens Olympic Stadium for 530,000 euros ($625,000) after a pothole left him injured during a practice session, his lawyer reported Monday.The 30-year-old gold medal winner in the 2014 Wor...