Russian President Vladimir Putin and NBC News' Megyn Kelly.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and NBC News' Megyn Kelly.

Russia: President Vladimir Putin says he doesn't care about alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election because the actions weren't connected to his Government. In an interview with American broadcaster NBC News, Putin also suggested that some of the 13 Russian nationals indicted by the US may not be ethnically Russian. "Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked," he said. Putin responded brusquely when interviewer Megyn Kelly asked if he condoned the interference that was alleged in last month's US indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "It's all the same to me. To me it absolutely makes no difference because they do not represent the Government," Putin answered. Putin said Russia has neither the tools nor the will to meddle in elections. He repeatedly complained during the interview that Washington has brushed off Russian initiatives to work together on cybersecurity issues.

France: Former White House senior staffer Stephen Bannon addressed France's far-right National Front, heralding the global populist tide and attacking the "opposition party media." Bannon's surprise visit to the party's conference in Lille was his most recent stop on a European tour that has included Switzerland along with Italy, where last week, voters abandoned establishment parties and opted for a hung Parliament dominated by right-wing anti-immigrant populists. "I came to Europe as an observer and to learn," Bannon said, wearing his typical rugged attire before a cadre of the party elite dressed in suits. "What I've learned is that you're part of a worldwide movement, that is bigger than France, bigger than Italy, bigger than Hungary — bigger than all of it. And history is on our side," he said. "The tide of history is with us, and it will compel us to victory after victory after victory." He also encouraged the party to stick to its nationalistic roots. "Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists," he said.

Britain: Police have identified more than 200 witnesses and are looking at more than 240 pieces of evidence in their investigation into a nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter. Former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, have been in hospital in a critical condition for nearly a week, when they were found unconscious on a bench in the southern English cathedral city of Salisbury. "The two victims remain in hospital and they're critical but stable," Home Secretary Amber Rudd told reporters after chairing a meeting of the government's Cobra security committee.

Tariffs: The European Union and Japan pressed US President Donald Trump's trade envoy to exempt them, as longtime US allies, from upcoming steel tariffs that have sparked fears of a new trade war. But they appeared to win no quick concessions. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said after meetings in Brussels that she got "no immediate clarity on the exact US procedure for exemption," and that new talks are planned next week. The tariffs come into force in two weeks. Malmstroem said she had a "frank" discussion with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The two also met Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko.


United States: Three women, including one who was pregnant, who devoted their lives to helping traumatised US veterans have been killed by a patient who had been kicked out of their Northern California treatment programme. A day-long siege at The Pathway Home endedwith the discovery of four bodies, including the gunman. Officials named the gunman as Albert Wong, 36, and said he had served with the US Army on active duty from May 2010 to August 2013 and spent a year in Afghanistan. He had received four medals. The victims were identified as The Pathway Home Executive Director Christine Loeber, 48; Clinical Director Jennifer Golick, 42; and Jennifer Gonzales, 29, a clinical psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System who was seven months pregnant.

Ireland: At least 10,000 people have rallied in Dublin against Irish Government plans to ease some of the world's most restrictive abortion laws, with some activists saying opinion polls were failing to fully reflect anti-abortion sentiment. Voters will be asked as soon as May if they wish to repeal the eighth amendment to Ireland's constitution, inserted in 1983 to enshrine the equal right to life of the mother and her unborn child, and instead enable parliament to set the laws. The Government has said it will begin drafting legislation in line with the recommendations made by an all-party parliamentary committee for terminations with no restrictions to be allowed up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy. In the largest protest of the campaign so far, a march over a kilometre long snaked across the capital, with protesters chanting "pro-life" and "Repeal kills" and a few holding up pictures of aborted foetuses. Irish state broadcaster RTE estimated that tens of thousands took part.

United States: The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit in federal district court over Florida lawmakers' approval of a broad package of gun-control and school security measures, as the gun rights group contended the bill violates the Second Amendment of the Constitution with a provision raising the minimum age to purchase rifles from 18 to 21. Florida lawmakers passed the new regulations in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and educators dead. The provisions include a ban on bump stocks, a three-day waiting period for gun purchases and a new age limit of 21 for all rifle purchases.

Libya: International charity ships and Libya's coastguard have picked up several hundred migrants as smugglers trying to take advantage of calm seas launched a flurry of boats towards Italy. Libyan coastguard vessels intercepted two of the migrant boats, the first an inflatable dinghy that had broken down with 125 people on board off Zawiya, just west of the capital, Tripoli, said Ayoub Qassem, a coastguard spokesman. The second boat was turned back off Garabulli, east of Tripoli, and had 112 people on board.

United States: An elderly nun involved in a lawsuit with pop star Katy Perry over the sale of a convent in Los Angeles has died after collapsing during a court appearance. Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, had served the church "with dedication and love for many years," Archbishop Jose Gomez said. Holzman was a member of an order of elderly nuns involved in a dispute over the sale of their convent in the Los Feliz neighbourhood. Hours before her death, Holzman spoke to television station KTTV , decrying a judge's ruling that cleared the way for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to sell the convent to Perry. "To Katy Perry, please stop," she said. "It's not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people." The singer sought to buy the 3ha property and its Roman-villa style buildings for US$14.5 million. Her efforts to buy the hilltop home were stymied when the nuns tried to sell the convent to a local entrepreneur to turn it into a boutique hotel, but a judge ruled in 2016 that the sale was invalid. The Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary have owned the property for more than four decades but have not lived in the convent for several years.

Bolivia: A narrow strip of blue has stretched for more than 196km across the nation of Bolivia as part of a demonstration of the country's demand for an outlet to the sea. Bolivian officials say the Bolivian Navy ensign held by participants along a highway on Saturday is the world's biggest — or at least longest flag. The navy ensign is mostly blue, but includes the country's red, yellow and green flag. Thousands of people heeded President Evo Morales' summons to take part in the demonstration. Bolivia lost its only seacoast to Chile in a war from 1879 to 1883. It's been demanding some sort of sea outlet for generations and has asked the World Court to order Chile to negotiate a settlement in good faith.

Australia: A toddler has suffered life threatening injuries after being run over by a car in a driveway north of Sydney. A 22-year-old woman was allegedly driving the car when it hit the 2-year-old boy outside the Maitland home about 6.30pm on Saturday. He suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital for surgery where he remains in a critical condition. The woman has been charged with a string of offences, including driving with drugs in her system and negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm.

Environment: Federal scientists say a four-year study involving nearly 120 guard dogs imported from Europe and Asia found the animals do well protecting sheep from wolves and better than traditional guard dogs in deterring coyotes. The US Department of Agriculture supplied Cao de Gado Transmontanos, Karakachans and Kangals to guard sheep in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon. Scientists say they're still analysing information from fieldwork. The dogs were gathered as puppies in Portugal, Bulgaria and Turkey and sent to the American West, where they spent four years guarding sheep.


Austria: A Leica camera from 1923 has sold for a record €2.4 million at auction in the Austrian capital Vienna, according to the Westlicht museum. The museum attributed the "remarkable" sum to the "fantastic" original condition of the Leica 0-series No. 122. "It is the highest price ever paid for a camera at an auction," said a statement on the website of the museum, where the piece was auctioned. The camera was made two years before the first Leica was put on the market, and is one of three test cameras known to be in their original condition, according to the Westlicht. Ernest Leitz produced 25 test cameras during that time. The camera to hold the previous record was a Leica 0-series No. 116, which the museum sold for €2.16 million in 2012.

Australia: A million-dollar reward will be offered for information on the execution-style murder of gangster Willie Thompson in Melbourne more than 14 years ago. Thompson was murdered while alone in his vehicle on Waverley Road in Malvern East about 9.30pm on July 21, 2003. The 39-year-old had just left a nearby martial arts gym when he was shot several times by two men who pulled up beside his car. He died at the scene. At the time of his murder, Thompson was known to police and had a number of connections to a range of gangland figures including Nick Radev and Carl Williams. He was also known to be involved in drug trafficking with particular links to Western Australia. In announcing the reward, officer in charge of the Purana Taskforce, Detective Inspector Tracie McDonald, said in many ways Thompson was the "forgotten gangster".