Sterling, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — For President Donald Trump, it was just like any other Saturday.
As political dignitaries gathered in Washington to memorialize Sen. John McCain, the president tweeted familiar grievances and headed to the golf course.
McCain's family had made clear the president was not welcome at the funeral for the six-term senator and decorated war veteran at the Washington National Cathedral. Seated in the pews were three former presidents, a host of lawmakers, and top officials from around the world. Speakers at the service did not mention Trump by name but repeatedly drew contrasts between McCain's record of service and the divisive politics of the day.
The White House did not answer questions about whether Trump played golf or if he watched the service from afar.
Dressed in a white polo shirt and baseball hat, Trump left the White House in the morning as the late senator's daughter, Meghan McCain, delivered an emotional address that served as a direct rebuke of Trump and his policies. The tributes still underway, the presidential motorcade whisked him to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
Throughout the day, Trump tweeted gripes about trade talks with Canada and the Justice Department. By midafternoon he had not named McCain, who had been an infuriating foil in a long-running feud that did not end with the senator's illness and death. Earlier in the week, Trump drew sharp rebukes for offering a terse statement about McCain's death under pressure following two days of near-silence.
The feelings of many at the memorial were quite clear. Meghan McCain drew applause when she said, "The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great."
As the memorial service unfolded, some Trump allies jumped to his defense.
"@realDonaldTrump ran for @POTUS ONE time and WON! Some people will never recover from that," tweeted Katrina Pierson, an adviser to Trump's re-election campaign.
Trump has frequented his golf courses in Virginia, New Jersey and Florida throughout his presidency, though the White House often will not say if he plays. Trump repeatedly blistered President Barack Obama during the 2016 campaign for golfing, telling cheering supporters that as president he'd be far too busy working for them.
"I'm not gonna have time to go play golf," he would shout.
Trump's visit to the course drew some direct commentary. When the president left his club in the midafternoon a small group of protesters greeted him. Their signs read "Lock Him Up" and "RIP John McCain, a hero."
Cairo, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — Egypt's presidency has ratified a controversial legislation imposing regulations on social media that is says aims to crack down on fake news.
The law, published in the country's official gazette on Saturday, places social media accounts with over 5,000 followers under the supervision of the top media authority, which can block them if found to be disseminating false news.
In August, the president ratified an anti-cybercrime law empowering authorities to order the blocking of websites that publish content considered a threat to national security.
Amnesty International criticized both legislations in a July statement saying they "give the state near-total control over print, online and broadcast media."
Egypt has regularly jailed journalists as part of a crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president.
Washington, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Saturday with two Iraqi leaders to express support for Iraq's efforts to form a "moderate, nationalist" government that would serve all Iraqis, his spokeswoman said.
The results of Iraq's parliamentary elections were ratified two weeks ago, paving the way for a new parliament to convene and elect a president and a prime minister, who would form a new government. The process is complicated by political wrangling. A coalition led by maverick Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won the largest number of seats, 54, followed by an alliance of government-sanctioned militias known as Hashed, with 47.
In his call with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Pompeo "emphasized the importance of safeguarding Iraq's sovereignty during this critical time," spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
He also spoke with Vice President Ayad Allawi, expressing U.S. hopes that the new Iraqi government "includes all communities and serves all of the Iraqi people."
Pompeo also tweeted his concern with the political situation in Iraq, saying he had just spoken with Brett McGurk, the special U.S. presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat the Islamic State, who was in Baghdad.
"Doing a great job. Forming a strong Iraqi government on national basis is essential to the enduring defeat of #ISIS," Pompeo tweeted.
Amsterdam, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — The Netherlands' counter-terror chief says the country's threat level will remain at four on a scale that tops out at five following a double stabbing at the city's main railway station that officials say had a "terrorist motive."
Dick Schoof says on Twitter that: "Sadly, this reprehensible act fits into the current threat assessment."
A 19-year-old Afghan citizen has been arrested in Friday's attack at Central Station. Two U.S. citizens were stabbed and authorities say they are hospitalized with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Authorities in Amsterdam say a 19-year-old Afghan citizen who was shot and detained after a double stabbing at the city's main railway station had a "terrorist motive."
The Dutch capital's government said in a statement issued Saturday that investigators reached that conclusion based on the suspect's first statements to police.
The suspect allegedly stabbed two American tourists on Friday before police shot and wounded him. He holds a German residency permit and was identified as Jawed S. in line with Dutch privacy rules.
The Americans are recovering in a hospital. Their identities have not been released. The suspect also is hospitalized.
Amsterdam City Hall says German authorities searched the suspect's home and seized data storage devices that would be analyzed as part of the investigation.
The suspect is to be arraigned Monday at a closed-door hearing. The exact charges he could face have not been released.
The U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands says that two people stabbed in an attack at the Dutch capital's main railway station on Friday are both American citizens.
Police shot and wounded a 19-year-old Afghani man immediately after the attack and are questioning him as a suspect.
Ambassador Pete Hoekstra issued a written statement Saturday saying embassy officials had been in touch with the victims or their families. Police say they have serious but not life threatening injuries.
Hoekstra says, "We wish them a speedy recovery and are working closely with the City of Amsterdam to provide assistance to them and their families."
Police say they are still trying to establish a motive for the attack and say it was possibly motivated by extremism.
Kabul, Sep 2 (AP/UNB) — An Afghan official says a foreign pilot and two Afghan soldiers were killed when a helicopter contracted by NATO crashed inside an army base.
Maj. Hanif Rezaie, an army spokesman, says three others, including another foreign pilot, were wounded when the MI-14 helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff from the base near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Rezaie says the crash was caused by a technical problem and the helicopter caught fire after it hit the ground. He says there was no enemy fire.
Seven other security forces on board the helicopter were rescued.
Rezaie was unable to confirm the nationality of the two foreign pilots.