WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the new U.S. ambassador to Russia could be on his way to Moscow in days, after U.S. senators put aside partisan differences to hold a quick vote backing his appointment on Tuesday.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held an unscheduled evening meeting to unanimously approve the nomination of John Tefft, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia and Lithuania, to be the new envoy to Moscow.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States accused Venezuela on Tuesday of using economic pressure, including a reported threat to close an oil refinery, to apply pressure on the Netherlands not to extradite an official whom Washington wants on drugs charges.
Instead of being extradited to the United States, retired Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal flew home on Sunday from the Netherlands’ Caribbean island Aruba after the Dutch government ruled he had diplomatic immunity. He was arrested on Aruba on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The lead U.S. nuclear negotiator declined to give a final deadline on Tuesday for negotiating a final nuclear agreement with Iran, but said participants mean to finish the international talks at the end of the current four-month extension.
“Our intent is absolutely to end this on Nov. 24 in one direction or another. But what I can say to you is we will consult Congress along the way,” Wendy Sherman, the under secretary of State for political affairs, said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is “deeply disappointed” the Netherlands released a former Venezuelan military intelligence chief detained over U.S. drug trafficking allegations, and is “disturbed” at reports indicating Caracas used threats to obtain his freedom, the State Department said on Monday.
Instead of being extradited to the United States, retired Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal flew home on Sunday from the Netherlands’ Caribbean island of Aruba after the Dutch government ruled he had diplomatic immunity. He had been arrested on Aruba on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – Jade and rubies from Myanmar
will remain banned from the United States unless the Asian
nation moves to end a provision in its constitution that bars
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running for president, a
senior U.S. senator said on Thursday.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican party’s
leader in the Senate, said there is little appetite in the U.S.
Congress to reinstate stiff trade sanctions that were imposed on
Myanmar during its decades of tough military rule.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would force President Barack Obama to submit quickly to Congress any comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran and give lawmakers the chance to reject the deal and reimpose sanctions.
The five senators introduced their bill just five days after Iran and six world powers announced they had failed to meet a deadline to end a decade-old dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and agreed to extend an interim agreement for four months, including some further sanctions relief for Tehran.
WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) – The United States has
boosted the number of surveillance flights over Iraq to nearly
50 a day from one a month as it faces Sunni Islamist militants
who control swaths of Iraqi territory, a top State Department
official said on Wednesday.
However, Washington has not yet authorized unmanned drone
strikes, as requested by Baghdad, on the forces now known as
Islamic State, Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary for Iraq
and Iran, testified at a House of Representatives hearing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee voted on Tuesday to advance a U.N. treaty to protect people with disabilities from discrimination, but the agreement faces a tough fight winning the two-thirds majority needed for ratification by the full Senate.
Although 146 nations and the European Union have ratified the United Nations convention, it has failed to win approval in the deeply divided Senate, where many conservatives are wary of subjecting American social policies to global laws.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic lawmakers’ deep resistance to changing a 2008 law that combats human trafficking threatened on Wednesday to slow the government’s response to a surge of 57,000 undocumented Central American children across the southern border.
President Barack Obama sent senior members of his administration – including two Cabinet secretaries – to convince senators to back his request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the crisis. (Graphic: U.S. border crisis reut.rs/1tNznQn)
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that Washington would work with Central American nations to address the root causes of an immigration crisis, but he kept up the Obama administration’s tough message that undocumented children would be deported.
“We obviously understand people who want to do better, and who look for a better life,” he said at a meeting with leaders from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the countries from which tens of thousands of children have fled to the United States in recent months.