Lesley's Feed
Jul 19, 2015

U.S. to trace Nigerian stolen assets, boost military help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will offer to help Nigeria’s new leader track down billions of dollars in stolen assets and increase U.S. military assistance to fight Islamic militants, U.S. officials said, as Washington seeks to “reset” ties with Africa’s biggest economy.

Next week’s visit to Washington by President Muhammadu Buhari is viewed by the U.S. administration as a chance to set the seal on improving ties since he won a March election hailed as Nigeria’s first democratic power transition in decades.

Jul 3, 2015

Vietnam Communist Party chief to meet Obama on landmark U.S. trip

HANOI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vietnam’s Communist Party chief will visit the United States next week in a landmark trip that could prove pivotal in Washington’s bid to bolster its Asian alliances in the back yard of an increasingly assertive China.

Nguyen Phu Trong will meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House as the former war enemies mark two decades of calibrated engagement since the normalization of ties that have expanded rapidly in the past year.

Jul 2, 2015

Germany says new reports of U.S. spying harm security ties

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Germany is taking seriously the latest reports about U.S. spying on senior government ministers and they are putting strains on vital security cooperation between the two countries, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said on Thursday.

German media have reported that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) bugged several senior government members, including the economy and finance ministers, as well as Merkel.

Jul 1, 2015

Exclusive: U.S., Venezuela launch quiet diplomacy to ease acrimony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Venezuela have embarked on their most extensive dialogue in years in an attempt to improve their acrimonious relations, according to a senior U.S. administration official.

The quiet diplomacy, the extent of which has not been previously reported, is a sign that U.S. detente with Communist Cuba may be helping to reshape another troubled Latin American relationship. The official, who has direct knowledge of the high-level talks, cautioned that the process is at an early stage.

Jul 1, 2015

U.S., Cuba restoring diplomatic ties after 54 years

HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Cuba are set to announce the restoration of diplomatic relations on Wednesday, the result of a two-year courtship between former Cold War rivals who severed ties in 1961.

The chief of the U.S. interests section in Havana will report to Cuban foreign ministry around 9 a.m. (0900 ET) to deliver a letter from U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuban President Raul Castro.

Jun 30, 2015

U.S.-Cuba deal to restore ties to be unveiled on Wednesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday will announce it has reached an agreement with Cuba to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations severed more than five decades ago, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama, in Washington, and Secretary of State John Kerry, in Vienna for Iran nuclear talks, will both address the issue, a senior administration official said. A similar announcement is likely to be made by Cuba’s Communist government.

Jun 29, 2015

State Department won’t say if Kerry would testify on Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Monday declined to say whether Secretary of State John Kerry would be willing to testify to a Republican-controlled congressional panel that is probing a 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

The panel’s chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy, told CBS television on Sunday he would seek Kerry’s testimony if the panel does not get “satisfaction” on why Kerry has been so “recalcitrant” in handing over State Department documents from the period of the attack.

Jun 26, 2015

State Department calls Clinton’s email records incomplete

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton did not hand over at least 15 emails from her time as secretary of state, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday, undercutting her claim that the 30,000 work emails she provided from her personal server were a complete record.

The department learned the email record was apparently incomplete after Sidney Blumenthal, an old friend and informal adviser to Clinton, provided several previously undisclosed emails to U.S. lawmakers investigating the deadly 2012 attack on diplomatic staff in Benghazi, Libya.

Jun 26, 2015

U.S. State Dept. calls Clinton’s email records incomplete

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton did not hand
over at least 15 emails from her time as secretary of state, the
U.S. State Department said on Thursday, undercutting her claim
that the 30,000 work emails she provided from her personal
server were a complete record.

The department learned the email record was apparently
incomplete after Sidney Blumenthal, an old friend and informal
adviser to Clinton, provided several previously undisclosed
emails to U.S. lawmakers investigating the deadly 2012 attack on
diplomatic staff in Benghazi, Libya.

Jun 25, 2015

U.S. rights report slams Cuba and Iran, despite greater links

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States released its annual human rights report on Thursday, with strong words for countries such as Iran, Cuba, Myanmar and Vietnam, even as it seeks to improve relations with them.

Though the United States and other world powers are attempting to reach a nuclear deal with Iran by June 30, the State Department report criticized Tehran for having the second-highest execution rate in the world and said proceedings often did not comply with constitutional protections.