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Feb 19, 2014

Exclusive: Moldovan, Georgian leaders to visit U.S. – congressional aides

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of Georgia and Moldova are due to visit Washington in the next two weeks, congressional aides said on Wednesday, in what appears to be an effort to show U.S. support for Russia’s neighbors amid the violent political crisis in Ukraine.

Congressional aides said that Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili will be in Washington next week, and Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca will visit during the first week of March.

Feb 12, 2014

U.S. senator sues Obama administration over NSA data collection

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul and a conservative political group sued President Barack Obama and top U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday over the National Security Agency’s collection of the telephone records of millions of Americans.

The lawsuit asks for a federal judge to halt the collection of the records and destruction of any now held by the government, arguing that the program violates privacy rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Feb 11, 2014

U.S. spy chief calls Syria ‘apocalyptic disaster’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. intelligence chief said on Tuesday the war in Syria had created an “apocalyptic disaster” and said he was convinced that documents alleging torture and murder in the conflict were authentic.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper Was asked by Senator John McCain during a Senate hearing whether he had seen the documents, published by an array of media outlets including CNN, as potential proof of atrocities by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Feb 11, 2014

U.S. intelligence chief says Karzai unlikely to sign security pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. director of national intelligence said on Tuesday he does not believe Afghan President Hamid Karzai will sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States.

The Obama administration has been pressing Karzai to sign a pact that would authorize U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai has refused to sign so far, although Washington insists a deal must be approved before it will agree to leave a contingent of troops in Afghanistan.

Feb 11, 2014

U.S. spy chief: Russia “certainly” a suspect in diplomat comment flap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American intelligence agencies “certainly” consider Russia a possible suspect behind the release of a telephone call recording that surfaced last week in which a U.S. diplomat was heard crudely disparaging the European Union, the U.S. intelligence chief said on Tuesday.

“Well, we don’t know,” National Intelligence Director James Clapper said when asked during a Senate hearing if Moscow intercepted the call between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State and top U.S. diplomat for Europe.

Feb 11, 2014

U.S. intelligence director does not believe Karzai will sign security pact

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. director of national intelligence said on Tuesday he does not expect Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States.

The Obama administration has been pressing Karzai to sign a security pact that would authorize U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai has refused so far to sign, although Washington insists a deal must be approved before it will agree to leave a troop contingent in Afghanistan.

Feb 6, 2014

U.S. Senate approves Baucus as ambassador to China

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted
unanimously on Thursday to approve President Barack Obama’s
nomination of Senator Max Baucus, who has helped steer trade
policy with China, as ambassador to Beijing.

The Senate voted 96-0, with Baucus voting present, to
confirm the 72-year-old Montana Democrat to the high-profile
appointment.

Feb 6, 2014

U.S. Senate approves nomination of Baucus as ambassador to China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to approve President Barack Obama’s nomination of Senator Max Baucus, who has helped steer trade policy with China, as ambassador to Beijing.

The Senate voted 96-0, with Baucus voting present, to confirm the 72-year-old Montana Democrat to the high-profile appointment.

Feb 6, 2014

Senate plan to change U.S. military sex assault rules still short on votes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The senator leading a push to overhaul how the U.S. military handles sexual assault complaints made an urgent appeal on Thursday for more support as the measure stood seven votes short of passage before a vote expected as soon as next week.

Fifty-three U.S. senators now back the reform effort led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, still short of the 60 the bill likely will need to get through the Senate.

Feb 5, 2014

U.S. eases rules to admit more Syrian refugees, after 31 last year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration announced on Wednesday that it had eased some immigration rules to allow more of the millions of Syrians forced from their homes during the country’s three-year civil war to come to the United States.

Only 31 Syrian refugees – out of an estimated 2.3 million – were admitted in the fiscal year that ended in October, prompting demands for change from rights advocates and many lawmakers.

    • 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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