Andrew's Feed
Dec 6, 2012

With focus on opposition, U.S. races against time on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is racing to finalize elements of its Syria strategy, planning new steps to shape and strengthen the still-fragmented opposition as signs build that the country is nearing a tipping point in the 20-month rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad.

Blocked at the United Nations by Russia and China, and wary of the growing influence of radical Islamists in the Syrian revolt, the Obama administration has forced a reorganization of the Syrian opposition into a new, broad coalition. It hopes the new coalition can secure stability after what U.S. officials regard as the inevitable collapse of the Assad government.

Dec 3, 2012

U.S. intensifies criticism of Israel on settlement plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday ratcheted up criticism of Israel over plans to expand Jewish settlement building on occupied land, urging it to reconsider despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to back down.

The Obama administration’s tougher-than-usual words for close ally Israel came after five European governments summoned Israeli ambassadors in their capitals to express concern over the new settlement projects. But Washington stopped short of threatening any concrete measures against the Jewish state.

Nov 30, 2012

Global diamond scheme completes Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation

WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) – The global Kimberley Process
(KP) initiative set up to stem the flow of so-called conflict
diamonds on Friday confirmed that Zimbabwe had fully met its
standards for exporting the gems, following a meeting that
exposed deep continued divisions in the group.

Non-governmental organizations, which have frequently
criticized the KP process, said its inability to agree on
expanding the definition of what constitutes a “conflict”
diamond highlighted a broader unwillingness to take a firm line
on the global diamond trade.

Nov 30, 2012

U.S. disturbed by sentencing of blind Chinese dissident’s nephew

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is deeply disturbed that the nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was sentenced to more than three years in jail and views his trial as “deeply flawed,” the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the trial and sentencing of Chen Kegui lacked basic due process and was a violation of China’s own commitments to respect human rights.

Nov 29, 2012

U.S. lays out plan for achieving worldwide AIDS-free generation

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton on Thursday unveiled a game plan for achieving a global
“AIDS-free generation,” committing the United States to rapidly
scaling up medical interventions that are beating back what once
was seen as an unconquerable disease.

Clinton, announcing the next stage of the decade-long U.S.
fight against AIDS around the world, said advances in drug
treatment and prevention strategies had brought the end of the
epidemic within reach.

Nov 7, 2012

Obama win prompts guessing on Clinton’s State Dept successor

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – With President Barack Obama
locked in for another four years at the White House, a political
guessing game turned on Wednesday to another big Washington
question: who will succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of
state?

Clinton, one of the most popular members of Obama’s Cabinet,
has said she will step down when the current presidential term
concludes at the end of January.

Oct 31, 2012

Clinton calls for overhaul of Syria opposition

ZAGREB (Reuters) – The United States called on Wednesday for a major overhaul of Syria’s beleaguered opposition, saying it was time to move beyond the Syrian National Council (SNC) and bring in those who are “in the frontlines fighting and dying today”.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, signaling a more active stance by Washington in attempts to form a credible political opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said a meeting next week in Qatar would be an opportunity to bring more people to the table and broaden the coalition against him.

Oct 30, 2012

Bosnia risks being left behind on EU/NATO path – Clinton

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Bosnia on Tuesday to overcome ethnic infighting and pursue constitutional reforms needed for any chance of joining NATO and the European Union.

“If you do not make progress you will be left behind,” Clinton said at the start of a trip with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to three Balkan nations still coming to terms with the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Oct 30, 2012

Clinton: Bosnia risks being left behind on EU/NATO path

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Bosnia on Tuesday to overcome ethnic infighting and pursue constitutional reforms needed for any chance of joining NATO and the European Union.

“If you do not make progress you will be left behind,” Clinton said at the start of a trip with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to three Balkan nations still coming to terms with the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Oct 30, 2012

Clinton, Ashton push Balkans on reforms

SARAJEVO, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The United States and the
European Union combined on Tuesday to push Balkan states to
resolve festering political and economic disputes obstructing
more integration with the rest of Europe.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign
policy chief Catherine Ashton began a three-nation Balkan trip
in Bosnia, where a power struggle between ethnic Serb, Muslim
and Croat parties has stymied progress since their 1992-95 war.