Highlights: The Trump presidency on April 24 at 3:00 p.m. EDT/1900 GMT

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 24, 2017 3:03 PM

(Reuters) - Highlights for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Monday:

NORTH KOREA

Trump says the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea, amid tensions over its missile and nuclear programs, saying people had acted as if "blindfolded" for decades on a big problem that finally must be solved.

Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discuss the "urgent security challenge" posed by North Korea in a phone call, the White House says.

Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare White House briefing on Wednesday for the entire Senate on the North Korean situation, senior Senate aides say.

CONGRESS RETURNS

Negotiations continue between the White House and congressional leaders on a spending measure to keep the U.S. government running beyond this week, and Trump is still seeking border wall and military funding, the White House says.

Vice President Mike Pence cuts short the final leg of his Asia trip to hurry back to Washington, where the administration faces a critical week on tax reform and a funding plan to keep the government running, an aide says.

SYRIA

The United States blacklists 271 employees of a Syrian government agency it says was responsible for developing chemical weapons, weeks after a poison gas attack killed scores of people in a rebel-held province in Syria.

HEALTHCARE

A congressional vote on a Republican healthcare plan may not come for weeks as leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate continue negotiations over possible proposals, the White House says.

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan's defense minister and army chief of staff resign after the deadliest Taliban attack ever on a military base, and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says he is "under no illusions" about the problems facing the country.

TRADE

Twenty-nine Chinese steel companies' licenses have been revoked as Beijing keeps up its campaign to tackle overcapacity in the sector and days after Trump said he would open a probe into cheap exports of the metal from China and elsewhere.

Trump's administration has adopted a "constructive" approach to NAFTA behind the scenes, despite headlines to the contrary, the head of the biggest U.S. business lobby says in a speech in Mexico City.

ANTI-SEMITISM

Anti-Semitic incidents, from bomb threats and cemetery desecration to assaults and bullying, have surged in the United States since Trump's election, and a "heightened political atmosphere" played a role in the rise, the Anti-Defamation League says.

(Compiled by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Grant McCool)