WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as cash assistance from Egypt’s military-backed government pending progress on democracy and human rights.
The decision, described by senior U.S. officials and a congressional source, is a signal of U.S. unhappiness with the course that Egypt has taken since its army on July 3 ousted the country’s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi.
WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Tuesday staunchly defended his decision to order commando raids
in Libya and Somalia last weekend, saying the United States
would keep targeting al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa but had no
intention of going to war there.
Speaking at a news conference, Obama said the United States
was justified in seizing a senior al Qaeda figure in Tripoli and
whisking him out of the country, and he made clear that it
likely would not be the last operation of its kind.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three Republican U.S. senators said on Tuesday that an al Qaeda suspect seized in Libya should be brought to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so he can be subjected to long-term interrogation.
Senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte and Saxby Chambliss said they hoped to urge President Barack Obama, via a congressional resolution or an amendment to an upcoming defense authorization bill, to adopt a policy for long-term detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers took a break from bitter debate over government spending to save a program granting special visas to civilian interpreters who risked their lives to work for the American military in Iraq, sending it to the White House on Thursday for President Barack Obama’s signature.
The House of Representatives and the Senate passed by unanimous voice votes a measure that extended the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa program for three months. Lawmakers said they expected Obama would sign the extension into law shortly.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has tested its ability to collect Americans’ cellular telephone location data but does not have a program to collect that information, the NSA’s director, General Keith Alexander, said on Wednesday.
Alexander told a Senate Judiciary committee hearing on the government’s electronic eavesdropping that the NSA received data samples in 2010 and 2011 to test its ability to handle such information, but the data were never used for any other purposes.
WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Fearing they could miss
important intelligence, U.S. spy agencies are planning to call
back to work some of the thousands of civilian workers who have
been temporarily laid off as a result of this week’s federal
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has already
authorized chiefs of the 16 U.S. spy agencies he supervises to
make revisions in their furlough arrangements, Clapper’s
spokesman Shawn Turner said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence community leaders warned on Wednesday that the government shutdown, now in its second day, is an “insidious” threat to national security that will increase the longer thousands of workers are off the job.
“I’ve been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. I’ve never seen anything like this,” James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the eavesdropping programs.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under pressure not to squeeze Iran too hard, the U.S. Senate is unlikely to impose a fresh round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic until after Tehran holds nuclear talks with world powers later this month, lawmakers and congressional aides said.
The Senate Banking Committee had been due in September to look at a new package of sanctions passed in July by the House of Representatives, but now it will not do so for at least a few more weeks, an aide said.
WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – In the waning hours before a
potential U.S. government shutdown, lawmakers expressed anxiety
that some of the people hit hardest will be those who are
closest to them – the army of often low-paid aides who work long
hours to keep Capitol Hill going.
Many congressional staffers have been declared “essential,”
meaning they would come to work even if the government is
closed. But under the rules of a shutdown, they would not be
paid until the impasse is over.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Thousands of Iraqis who risked their lives working for the American military and are waiting for special visas to move to the United States could remain in limbo for months because of Congress’ inability to reach a budget agreement.
A program granting visas to the Iraqis and their immediate families expires on September 30, the end of the fiscal year.