Andrew's Feed
Mar 29, 2012

US ambassador to Russia tripped up by Twitter again

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to
Russia tangled with Twitter again on Thursday, with tweeted
questions about how Russian media gets hold of his schedule,
raising broader concerns about surveillance during a time of
tension between Washington and Moscow.

Michael McFaul, who has already tripped off some Twitter
controversy since taking up his post in Moscow in January, told
his 21,350 followers he was frequently dogged by representatives
of NTV, a Kremlin-friendly television station.

Mar 28, 2012

‘Blood diamond’ monitoring needs broader scope

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – A global monitoring of the trade in rough diamonds should expand its definition of banned “conflict” gems to cover a wider range of violent circumstances, its chairwoman said, but must guard against attempts to broaden its mandate too far.

Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, the U.S. diplomat who in January took over as chairwoman of the Kimberley Process, told Reuters the group needed to update such definitions first elaborated when it was set up in 2003.

Mar 23, 2012

U.S. says Mali coup puts aid at risk, but moves carefully

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States warned Mali’s coup plotters on Friday that they were risking U.S. economic aid but stopped short of joining the European Union and immediately suspending assistance to a key African partner in the fight against Islamic extremism.

President Barack Obama’s administration has denounced this week’s attempted coup by mutinous Mali soldiers, and called for the immediate return to civilian rule.

Mar 23, 2012

U.S. approves Egypt military aid despite rights fears

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday formally released $1.3 billion in military aid for Egypt despite Cairo’s failure to meet pro-democracy goals, saying U.S. national security required continued military assistance.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waived congressional conditions imposed late last year that tied U.S. aid to progress in Egypt’s transition to democracy following the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

Mar 22, 2012

U.S. intelligence sees global water conflict risks rising

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) – Fresh water supplies are
unlikely to keep up with global demand by 2040, increasing
political instability, hobbling economic growth and endangering
world food markets, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment
released on Thursday.

The report by the office of the Director of National
Intelligence said that areas including South Asia, the Middle
East and North Africa will face major challenges in coping with
water problems that could hinder the ability to produce food and
generate energy.

Mar 21, 2012

U.S. exempts 11 states from Iran sanctions; China, India exposed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday exempted Japan and 10 EU nations from financial sanctions because they have significantly cut purchases of Iranian crude oil, but left Iran’s top customers China and India exposed to the possibility of such steps.

The decision is a victory for the 11 countries, whose banks have been given a six-month reprieve from the threat of being cut off from the U.S. financial system under new sanctions designed to pressure Iran over its nuclear program.

Mar 20, 2012

US exempts Japan, 10 EU nations from Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – The United States will
spare Japan and 10 European Union nations from U.S. financial
sanctions because they have significantly reduced purchases of
Iranian crude oil, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The decision is a victory for the 11 countries, whose banks
need not fear being possibly cut off from the U.S. financial
system under new U.S. sanctions designed to pressure Iran over
its nuclear program.

Mar 20, 2012

Researchers mount new mission to solve Amelia Earhart mystery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Scientists on Tuesday announced a new phase in the search to resolve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, saying fresh evidence from a remote Pacific island may hold clues to the fate of the renowned U.S. pilot who vanished in 1937 while attempting to circle the globe.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined scientists and aviation archaeologists to unveil the expedition, which will set out from Honolulu in July to probe underwater areas around the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati where they believe Earhart may have crashed 75 years ago.

Mar 16, 2012

N.Korean rocket launch plan draws international condemnation

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea said on Friday it will launch a long-range rocket carrying a “working” satellite to mark the centenary of founder Kim Il-sung’s birth next month in a move that drew international condemnation and could scuttle U.S. plans to resume food aid.

The United States warned North Korea that such a launch could violate Pyongyang’s February agreement to stop nuclear tests, uranium enrichment and long-range missile launches and to allow checks by nuclear inspectors.

Mar 16, 2012

U.S. warns N.Korea satellite launch could scrap nuclear, food deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States warned North Korea on Friday its plan to launch a satellite with a long-range rocket could violate its February agreement on a nuclear moratorium and scuttle U.S. plans to resume food aid.

The State Department swiftly condemned Pyongyang’s announcement of plans for the satellite launch next month, which it said could torpedo nascent efforts to restart broader nuclear negotiations with the secretive state.