1. White House spokesman Josh Earnest walks into briefing room
2. Mid of Earnest
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Josh Earnest, White House spokesman:
"Jim, there's no question that the President and his administration support efforts to help Cuban citizens communicate more easily with one another and with the outside world. Our involvement would have been the same in this instance as with any other development programme of this type. USAID kept the White House apprised of its efforts consistent with the way that they have other programmes of this kind elsewhere in the world."
4. Cutaway of reporters in briefing room
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Josh Earnest, White House spokesman:
"The thoughts and prayers of the First Lady and the President go out to the family of Anja Niedringhaus who was killed in Afghanistan overnight. The President and First Lady also send their best wishes and their prayers to Kathy Gannon, who was an AP reporter who was wounded in that incident."
6. Cutaway of Earnest
7. Earnest walks out of briefing room
8. Wide of US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf arriving
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Marie Harf, US State Department spokeswoman:
"Today the Associated Press lost one of its own. Anja Niedringhaus, an internationally acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning German photographer. She was shot in Afghanistan's Khost province. A second Canadian journalist who worked for the AP kathy Gannon was also wounded."
10. Cutaway of reporter
11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Marie Harf, US State Department spokeswoman:
"That's there's still, you know, tens of thousands on the border with Ukraine. We cannot, last I heard, last I checked with our folks, independently confirm that there had been some troops moved off of it. Obviously we hope they will. But, no update on that."
A US official said on Friday that efforts by US government agency, USAID, to create a "twitter-like" network in Cuba was not a covert action.
Revelations of a secret US government programme to set up a cellphone-based social network in Cuba are being trumpeted in the island's official media as proof of Havana's repeated allegations that Washington is waging a "cyber-war" to try to stir up unrest.
"USAID kept the White House apprised of its efforts consistent with the way that they have other programmes of this kind elsewhere in the world," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
He also noted that the President and First Lady offered their condolences to the family of AP prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus who was killed on Friday after an Afghan police commander opened fire on her and veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon, who was wounded in the attack.
At the State Department daily briefing, deputy spokesperson Marie Harf also mentioned the two AP journalists.
When asked about Russian troops in Ukraine, Harf said there had been no independent confirmation of any withdrawal of Russian forces from Crimea and the border region.