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Democrats threaten to block Trump’s pick for FBI

President Donald Trump stepped up the search Monday for a new FBI director after his abrupt firing of James Comey, but Democrats are threatening to throw up roadblocks unless a special prosecutor is named to probe team Trump’s ties to Russia.

Trump has said he wants to move swiftly on replacing Comey, whose shock dismissal triggered accusations that the president is trying to obstruct an FBI probe into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to tilt the November election his way.

© AFP JIM WATSON

© AFP JIM WATSON

Macron, Merkel say ready to change EU treaties if needed

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s new President Emmanuel Macron vowed Monday to give a new impetus to Europe, saying they were ready to even change EU treaties if necessary.

“There is a common understanding that we can’t just focus on Britain leaving the EU but that, first and foremost, we have to think about how we can deepen and crisis-proof the European Union, and especially the eurozone,” Merkel said at a joint press conference, after talks with Macron.

© AFP John MACDOUGALL

© AFP John MACDOUGALL

Trump under fire over report he revealed classified info to Russians

The White House threw cold water Monday on a report that US President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials last week, saying no specific intelligence “sources or methods” were discussed.

The Washington Post said Trump had given Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Moscow’s envoy to the US Sergey Kislyak details about a specific terror threat posed by the Islamic State group during Oval Office talks last week.

© RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

© RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

US says Syria using ‘crematorium’ to hide mass killing

The United States on Monday accused the Syrian regime of installing a prison crematorium to destroy the remains of thousands of murdered detainees, piling pressure on Russia to rein in its ally.

Warning Moscow it should not turn a blind eye to Bashar al-Assad’s crimes, the State Department released satellite images that it said backed up reports of mass killings at a Syrian jail.

© AFP John SAEKI

© AFP John SAEKI

Whiz kid who foiled cyberattack

They are called white hats — the good guys in the Wild West of the internet — and they ride to the rescue as in the case of the 22-year-old British expert who helped stop the WannaCry cyberattack.

The young cyber security researcher, known only by his Twitter handle @MalwareTechBlog, says he found a weakness by chance that allowed slowing the spread of WannaCry, a type of malware called ransomware that encrypts files on an infected computer and demands money to unlock them.

© AFP DAMIEN MEYER

© AFP DAMIEN MEYER