Russia

White House defends contacts with FBI over Russia reports

President Donald Trump's spokesman, Sean Spicer, argued chief of staff Reince Priebus had little choice but to seek FBI Director James Comey's assistance in rebutting what Spicer said were inaccurate reports about contacts during last year's presidential campaign.

WATCH: Swans attack swimmer in Russian pond

In the clip, which was filmed a couple of years ago, a man plunges into the pond for a swim and is immediately set upon by the birds.

The swimmer is forced to duck under the water to avoid their pecks and tries to fend them off when he resurfaces.

Neither the simmer nor the swans were hurt in the attack.

According to ornithologists, swans can be very aggressive when defending a nest.

In Europe, Pence says US will hold Russia accountable

Pence, in an address to the Munich Security Conference, also offered assurances to European allies that the U.S. "strongly supports" NATO. He said the U.S. would be "unwavering" in its commitment to trans-Atlantic institutions like NATO.

Trump defends start of administration, bashes media

Nearly a month into his presidency, Trump said his new administration had made "significant progress" and took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market.

He pushed back against widespread reports of a chaotic start to his administration marked by a contentious executive order — now tied up in a legal fight — to place a ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

Trump slams intel officials, media over Flynn and Russia

He also slammed them for "illegally leaked" information about reported contacts between his campaign advisers and Russian officials.

Trump's comments come amid a new swirl of controversy over his ties to Russia. The White House said Flynn was forced to resign this week after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other Trump aides about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. before the inauguration.

Trump knew Flynn misled WH weeks before ouster: officials

Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said Tuesday.

Flynn was interviewed by the FBI about his telephone conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., a sign his ties to Russia had caught the attention of law enforcement officials.

Putin hails Slovenia's offer to host his meeting with Trump

Speaking after the Kremlin talks Friday with his Slovenian counterpart, Putin said that Russia welcomes Trump's statements about the need to restore the strained Russia-U.S. ties.

He said Moscow is waiting for the Trump administration to prepare for dialogue. He added that Moscow and Washington could jointly tackle the terror threat and deal with other global challenges.

Putin thanked the Slovenian president for his readiness to organize his meeting with Trump. He added it will depend on the U.S. on whether to hold such a meeting.

Russian tattoo artist helps women hide the scars of domestic violence

Yevgeniya Zakhar posted an ad on her social media page last year offering to ink abused women for free after she heard about a Brazil tattoo artist already offering the service.

Soon, she was flooded with requests.

Hearing her clients' stories of beatings and burnings, though, was so stressful that she had to limit the number of women she sees to one day a week.

"I didn't expect to be inundated with visits," said Ms Zakhar, who works in Ufa, a city about 1,200 kilometres east of Moscow.

Political scandal overshadows South Korea 2018 Olympic prep

One year before the Olympics, however, the country is in political disarray, and winter sports are the last thing on many people's minds. To say that South Koreans are distracted from what had been billed as a crowning sports achievement is an understatement.

Republicans seek distance from Trump's comments on Putin, US

However his latest comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and the U.S. are leading some fellow Republicans to take a step back from the president - on this issue at least.

Told by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly during an interview that the Russian leader is "a killer," Trump said the U.S. has killers, too.

"What do you think? Our country's so innocent?" Trump said during the taped interview broadcast during Sunday's Super Bowl pregame show.