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Aug 7, 2014

U.S. weighing airstrikes to stem Iraqi Islamist offensive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is considering airstrikes in northern Iraq in response to advances by Islamic State militants and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, a U.S. military official said on Thursday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was commenting on a report in The New York Times that Obama was weighing either air strikes or humanitarian airdrops to help 40,000 religious minorities trapped on an Iraqi mountaintop under threat from the militants.

Aug 6, 2014

U.S. allows use of Ebola test overseas as crisis deepens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health regulators on Wednesday authorized the use of an Ebola diagnostic test developed by the Pentagon to help contain the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly virus.

The move was one of a number of steps taken by the U.S. government this week to address the highly contagious disease that has killed more than 930 people in Africa and sickened hundreds more, including two Americans being treated in Atlanta.

Aug 3, 2014

U.S. senator: CIA interrogation tactics helped get bin Laden

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee will soon release a report asserting the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques helped bring down Osama bin Laden and disrupt terrorist plots, the panel’s top Republican said on Sunday.

“Information gleaned from these interrogations was in fact used to interrupt and disrupt terrorist plots, including some information that took down bin Laden,” Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Jul 30, 2014

U.S. restricts travel by Venezuelan officials

WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) – The United States imposed travel restrictions on Wednesday on some Venezuelan government officials it accuses of rights abuses in a crackdown on protests against President Nicolas Maduro this year.

Three months of demonstrations led by hard-line opposition and student leaders earlier this year led to violence that killed 43 people in the South American OPEC member nation’s worst unrest for a decade.

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. lawmakers worry about border security without extra funds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Border security will probably suffer if Congress fails to act on President Barack Obama’s request for extra money to cope with the explosion of child migrants into the U.S. Southwest, lawmakers and congressional aides warned on Tuesday.

Those concerns came as Republicans in the House of Representatives considered a severely scaled-back version of the $3.7 billion in emergency funding Obama has requested to deal with the border crisis.

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. Senate bill proposes sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Patrick Leahy will introduce legislation on Tuesday to ban the U.S. government’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records and Internet data and narrow how much information it can seek in any particular search.

The bill, which has White House backing, goes further than a version passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in reducing bulk collection and may be more acceptable to critics who have dismissed other versions as too weak.

Jul 20, 2014

Kerry makes most explicit U.S. case against Russia over Malaysia jet downing

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) – Secretary of State John
Kerry on Sunday laid out what he said was overwhelming evidence
of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner in
eastern Ukraine as he made the U.S. case against Moscow in the
most emphatic and explicit terms yet.

In a blitz of U.S. morning news shows, Kerry demanded that
Russia take responsibility for actions of allied separatists
suspected of shooting down the passenger plane and he expressed
disgust over the rebels’ “grotesque” mishandling of victims’
bodies at the crash site.

Jun 29, 2014

Libyan suspect pleads not guilty in Benghazi attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Libyan militia leader pleaded not guilty in a U.S. federal court on Saturday to a terrorism charge in the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah was transferred to the U.S. District Court in Washington on Saturday morning from a Navy warship where he had been held since his June 15 capture by U.S. special operations forces in Libya.

Jun 28, 2014

Libyan suspected in Benghazi attack now in U.S. federal custody

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Libyan militia leader suspected in the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi that killed four Americans was in federal custody on Saturday morning, the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington said.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah was taken to a federal court in Washington from a Navy warship where he had been held since his June 15 capture, U.S. media said.

Jun 26, 2014

China cyber crime cooperation stalls after U.S. hacking charges

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) – Fledging cooperation between
the United States and China on fighting cyber crime has ground
to a halt since the recent U.S. indictment of Chinese military
officials on hacking charges, a senior U.S. security official
said on Thursday.

At the same time, there has been no decline in Chinese
hackers’ efforts to break into U.S. networks, the official said.