China's president to meet Trump in Florida

A White House official said 59 "precision munitions" had been blasted at the base, while a United States defense official said "dozens" of Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched. The news that the US economy only generated 98,000 jobs last month stoked some concerns about the state of the world's largest economy following some recent bumper gains. No presidents have taken care of that the way they should have.

About 60 U.S. Tomahawk missiles hit the Shayrat air base, southeast of Homs, a small installation with two runways, where aircraft often take off to bomb targets in northern and central Syria. The Chinese delegation left before 9 p.m.

The Kremlin said just 23 of 59 missiles reached the air base, destroying six Syrian jets but leaving the runway intact. The only other foreign leader to be hosted at Mar-a-Lago during Trump's presidency so far is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a close US ally.

Quinn had become the subject of a battle between two camps in the White House: economic nationalists, who wanted him out, and more mainstream backers of free trade, who defended him. PHOTOS: Civil war ravages SyriaSyrian state TV reported a USA missile attack on a number of military targets and called the attack an "aggression". "Obama spent eight years trying to show that he was no George [W.] Bush, and now Trump wants to show that he's no Barack Obama". But the president appeared moved by the photos of children killed in the chemical attack, calling it a "disgrace to humanity" that crossed "a lot of lines".

PRECIOUS METAL: Gold, considered a haven from uncertainty, also jumped as investors sought safety following the US military action. Staffan de Mistura said Russian Federation requested the meeting, which was "agreed upon" by the United States. "Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of the agreement", Tillerson said. "What's in it for us?" would guide the new "America First" approach. The president did not announce the attacks in advance, though he and other national security officials ratcheted up their warnings to the Syrian government throughout the day Thursday.

Doanld Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

In a telephone conversation in February, the two heads of state, who have maintained contact through phone calls and letters, agreed to build a constructive China-U.S. relationship and step up cooperation.

Russia's military intervention in Syria has turned the balance of power in Assad's favor, and Moscow has used its veto power at the Security Council on several occasions to prevent sanctions against Damascus. Their first-night summit dinner wrapped up shortly before the US announced the missile barrage on an air base in Syria in retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country's long civil war.

Earlier, Trump and members of his administration made it clear they hope to pressure Beijing into doing more to rein in North Korea's nuclear weapons development. Still, the assault risks plunging America into the middle of Syria's conflict, complicating the safety of the hundreds of US forces fighting a separate campaign against the Islamic State group in the north of the country.

A Syrian opposition group, the Syrian Coalition, said the US attack puts an end to an age of "impunity" and should herald the start of a larger campaign against Damascus.

"The process by which Assad would leave is something that will require an global community effort", Tillerson said, adding that there needs to be a balance between defeating the Islamic State group and stabilizing Syria to prevent the civil war from escalating further.

Alaa Alyousef, who lost 25 relatives in the chemical attack, said the USA missile strike "alleviates a small part of our suffering", but he worries it will be an "anesthetic" that merely numbs the pain while allowing the worldwide community to save face. ORIGINAL REPORT: U.S. launches missile strike against SyriaThe U.S. also notified its partner countries in the region prior to launching the strikes.

As of Thursday night, Trump is reported to be considering, among other things, a similar kind of more limited military action that President Obama considered and ended up rejecting in 2013.

"The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent, and Assad's brazen gassing of men, women and children can not be tolerated", Royce said.

A White House official said Thursday that the administration is watching the potential sale closely but declined to comment on options the U.S. government might have to block the sale to Chinese interests.

  • Leroy Wright