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Oct 12, 2014

Kerry pushes for Middle East peace, pledges $212 million aid for Gaza

CAIRO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Sunday for a renewed commitment to achieving Middle East peace, saying a lasting deal between Israel, the Palestinians and all their neighbors could be achieved.

But prospects for a renewed peace process appeared dim as Kerry offered no specifics on how to restart negotiations in his speech to a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo.

Oct 12, 2014

Egypt’s Sisi urges Israel to consider Arab peace initiative

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt, which brokered a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza after a 50-day war, used a reconstruction conference in Cairo on Sunday to call for a wider peace deal based on a 2002 Arab initiative.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi opened the meeting by calling for peace and putting the biggest Arab nation’s weight behind the plan, put forward by Saudi Arabia at an Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002.

Oct 11, 2014

Gaza aid conference may fall short of $4 billion sought by Palestinians: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. officials voiced doubts on Friday that an international donors conference to be held in Cairo this weekend will meet the Palestinians’ full request for $4 billion in aid pledges to rebuild the Gaza Strip after it was devastated by a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas.

Secretary of State John Kerry will join with his counterparts from dozens of countries on Sunday at a meeting where the Palestinian Authority is hoping that moves by a new unity government toward assuming control in Hamas-dominated Gaza could make wealthy donor governments less wary of providing reconstruction funds.

Oct 3, 2014

Islamic State beheads British hostage Henning in new video

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Friday that purported to show the beheading of a man it identified as British citizen Alan Henning.

The footage on YouTube, which was linked to on pro-Islamic State Twitter feeds, showed a man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in a landscape who was identified as Henning.

Oct 3, 2014

Secret Service in disarray, fueling questions over Obama’s safety

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Secret Service officer Timothy McCarthy took a bullet to protect Ronald Reagan in a 1981 assassination attempt and agent Jerry Parr shoved the president into a limousine, their quick reflexes projected a Hollywood-style image of invincibility around the agency.

Fast-forward to today: the 149-year-old Secret Service is struggling to emerge from a succession of scandals that have tarnished that iconic reputation, forced the abrupt resignation of its director and raised questions about its ability to fulfill its most critical duty: protecting President Barack Obama and his family.

Oct 1, 2014

Israel’s Netanyahu to Obama: Don’t allow Iran deal that leaves it at nuclear threshold

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly told U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday that he must make sure that any final nuclear deal with Iran does not leave it at the “threshold” of being able to develop nuclear weapons.

Even as Netanyahu pressed Obama over Iran in White House talks, the president urged the Israeli leader to help find ways to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties like those inflicted in the recent Gaza war between Israel and Hamas militants.

Oct 1, 2014

Amid differences, Israel’s Netanyahu to seek reassurances from Obama on Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu meet for a new round in their often-tense relationship on Wednesday, facing differences over Iran diplomacy and Middle East peace efforts as well as complications from the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State militants.

Hosting the Israeli prime minister in a brief visit to Washington, Obama is expected to try to find common ground with Israel, a traditionally close ally, on the most pressing issues but may have a difficult time narrowing the gap.

Sep 30, 2014

U.S. takes cautious line in response to Hong Kong protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is carefully calibrating its response to pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, showing support for peaceful protests while signaling it has little interest in seeing the situation escalate and risk a harsher crackdown by Chinese authorities.

Saying it was closely monitoring the political unrest unfolding on the streets of Hong Kong, the White House on Monday urged security forces there to “exercise restraint” and also called on protesters to “express their views peacefully.”

Sep 28, 2014

Insight – Russian suspicions of U.S. motives in Syria make cooperation unlikely

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely, say U.S. officials.

Differences between the former Cold War foes are stark, say the officials. Moscow suspects Washington’s ulterior motive is removal of its ally, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Washington refuses to consider working together as long as Moscow insists that U.S. strikes need Syrian and U.N. approval.

Sep 28, 2014

Russian suspicions of U.S. motives in Syria make cooperation unlikely

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely, say U.S. officials.

Differences between the former Cold War foes are stark, say the officials. Moscow suspects Washington’s ulterior motive is removal of its ally, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Washington refuses to consider working together as long as Moscow insists that U.S. strikes need Syrian and U.N. approval.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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