Lesley's Feed
Sep 18, 2014

USAID chief Shah urges more focus on poor countries as Ebola spreads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa has exposed a need to help countries by applying public-private partnerships that will foster economic growth rather leave them dependent on aid, the U.S. Agency for International Development chief said on Thursday.

Rajiv Shah, the administrator of USAID, said initiatives that bring together government and the private sector will also help achieve United Nations development goals of ending extreme poverty worldwide by 2030.

Sep 17, 2014

Reese Witherspoon finds lessons in ‘The Good Lie’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon chose a subdued role in her latest film “The Good Lie,” a drama about Sudanese refugee children who end up in America, but there is nothing small in what she hopes to convey.

“There is a beautiful message throughout: We are all the same,” said Witherspoon, whose plays employment counselor Carrie Davis in the movie that made its Washington premiere on Wednesday.

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.