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Nov 24, 2014

Iran extension prompts calls for more sanctions in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several U.S. Republican lawmakers insisted on Monday that the extension of nuclear talks with Iran be accompanied by increased sanctions, setting the stage for a battle with the Obama administration after their party takes full control of Congress next year.

Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, three of the party’s leading foreign policy voices, said they view Iran’s insistence on having any enrichment capability at all as problematic and warned that a “bad deal” would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Nov 21, 2014

Powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby holds fire as Iran deadline looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the United States and other powers negotiate down to the wire on a nuclear deal with Iran, one voice has been unusually quiet – the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

Israel deeply distrusts the attempt to reach a deal at talks in Vienna that would lift harsh international sanctions on Iran in return for limits to its nuclear program, aimed at preventing it from developing an atomic bomb.

Nov 21, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to increase non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine, including deliveries of the first Humvee vehicles, having decided for now not to provide weapons, U.S. officials said.

The increase in non-lethal aid to Ukraine, which is grappling with a Russian-backed separatist movement in its east, is expected to be announced on Thursday during a visit to Kiev by Vice President Joe Biden.

Nov 20, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine, U.S. officials say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to increase non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine, including deliveries of the first Humvee vehicles, having decided for now not to provide weapons, U.S. officials said.

The increase in non-lethal aid to Ukraine, which is grappling with a Russian-backed separatist movement in its east, is expected to be announced on Thursday during a visit to Kiev by Vice President Joe Biden.

Nov 20, 2014

NSA chief warns Chinese cyber attacks could shut U.S. infrastructure

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China and “probably one or two” other countries have the ability to invade and possibly shut down computer systems of U.S. power utilities, aviation networks and financial companies, Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, said on Thursday.

Testifying to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on cyber threats, Rogers said digital attackers have been able to penetrate such systems and perform “reconnaissance” missions to determine how the networks are put together.

Nov 19, 2014

Republicans block overhaul of NSA surveillance reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill to end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone records failed on a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday after senior Republicans said it would benefit enemies of the United States, including Islamic State militants.

The “USA Freedom Act” was supported by an unusual coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans concerned about Americans’ privacy, but failed 58 to 42, falling short of the 60 votes needed to move ahead.

Nov 18, 2014

U.S. surveillance bill faces tough fight in Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill to end the bulk collection of telephone records by the National Security Agency appeared to be in jeopardy on Tuesday after senior Republican senators said the measure would benefit Islamic State militants and other enemies of the United States.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell came out strongly against the “USA Freedom Act,” which needs several votes from his party to reach the 60 needed to clear a procedural hurdle in a vote in the chamber later on Tuesday.

Nov 14, 2014

U.S. seeks to ease influx of Central American child migrants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington will allow some children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to apply for refugee status from their home countries, Vice President Joe Biden announced on Friday, in a bid to stem an exodus of undocumented migrants to the U.S. border through Mexico.

The program only applies to children whose parents are legal residents of the United States. But Biden said it should provide an alternative for children making the “harrowing” journey alone from Central America in order to join their parents.

Nov 13, 2014

Lawmakers try, but fail, to force vote on Iran sanctions bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers tried to force a vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday on a bill to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if negotiators do not reach what they see as an acceptable nuclear deal, but the measure failed to move ahead.

U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker asked for unanimous consent to allow a vote, but Democratic Senator Chris Murphy objected. “It would send a message that Congress does not stand with the president as the negotiations continue,” Murphy said.

Nov 13, 2014

U.S. lawmakers try, but fail, to force vote on Iran sanctions bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers tried to force a vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday on a bill to impose tough new sanctions on Iran if negotiators do not reach what they see as an acceptable nuclear deal, but the measure failed to move ahead.

U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker asked for unanimous consent to allow a vote, but Democratic Senator Chris Murphy objected. “It would send a message that Congress does not stand with the president as the negotiations continue,” Murphy said.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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