Lesley's Feed
Sep 13, 2014

Islamic State’s Twitter silence raises questions

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Islamic State’s Twitter users, which have trumpeted the group’s violent acts and world view on the social media service, have gone abruptly quiet in past days.

Several accounts affiliated with the militant group appear to have gone dormant, according to U.S. government sources, raising questions about whether the government has pressured Twitter to clamp down more aggressively or whether the group has moved to other social media channels.

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. seeks coalition against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, including recruiting partners for potential joint military action, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday.

Britain and Australia are potential candidates, U.S. officials said. Germany said on Wednesday it was in talks with the United States and other international partners about possible military action against Islamic State but made clear it would not participate.

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. seeks coalition against Islamic State, but military partners no sure bet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, including recruiting partners for potential joint military action, Obama administration officials said on Wednesday.

Britain and Australia are potential candidates, U.S. officials said. Germany said on Wednesday it was in talks with the United States and other international partners about possible military action against Islamic State but made clear it would not participate.

Aug 14, 2014

Kerry says constructive relations with China needed for regional stability

HONOLULU (Reuters) – A constructive relationship between Washington and Beijing is necessary to maintaining regional stability despite China’s behavior in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday at the end of an eight-day trip to Asia.

In a speech in Hawaii, Kerry focused on the Obama administration’s so-called pivot to Asia instead of crises engulfing Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and Ukraine.

Aug 13, 2014

Kerry raises climate change in brief Solomons stop

HONIARA Solomon Islands (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flagged cooperation on tackling climate change during a brief stop in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, where he emphasised ties dating back to World War Two.

Kerry is the first secretary of state to visit the Solomon Islands. His trip is viewed as an important part of President Barack Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, something that has irked China and been questioned by allies who wonder about the extent of U.S. commitment there.

Aug 12, 2014

U.S., Australia push for global response to Middle East foreign fighters

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The United States and Australia plan to push the United Nations to adopt international standards to deal with growing numbers of foreign fighters in Middle East conflicts and the threat they could pose when they return to their home countries.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he would take the issue to the United Nations later this year, calling for the adoption of a “best practice” that all countries can follow to reduce the threat.

Aug 11, 2014

U.S. to monitor South China Sea for de-escalation after China rebuff

SYDNEY, Aug 11 (Reuters) – The United States will monitor
the South China Sea to see whether “de-escalatory steps” are
being taken, a U.S. State Department official said on Monday, a
day after China resisted pressure to rein in actions in the
disputed waters.

The official spoke as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
arrived in Sydney for talks on regional security with Australian
officials, that will also involve Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Aug 11, 2014

Kerry says formation of Iraqi government critical for stability

SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday the formation of an Iraqi government was critical for stability and urged Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki not to stoke political tensions further.

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Iraqi political leaders to bury their sectarian differences and form a more inclusive government that can unite Iraqis against Islamic State militants.

Aug 11, 2014

US to monitor South China Sea, talks with Australia on regional defense

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The United States will monitor actions in the South China Sea to see whether “deescalate steps” are being taken, a senior State Department official said on Monday, a day after Beijing repelled U.S. pressure to rein in its actions in the disputed waters.

The official spoke as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Sydney for a meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagen and Australian officials to discuss increased defense and cyber security cooperation.

Aug 10, 2014

China rebuffs U.S. efforts on South China Sea tensions

NAYPYITAW, Aug 10 (Reuters) – China appeared to rebuff
pressure from the United States to rein in its assertive actions
in the South China Sea on Sunday as Southeast Asian nations
declined to overtly back Washington’s proposal for a freeze on
provocative acts.

The lack of progress in resolving the maritime tensions at
Asia’s highest-profile diplomatic meeting so far this year shows
the tough task Washington faces in persuading smaller Asian
nations to risk antagonising the region’s rising power.