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Jan 17, 2014

White House releases summary of six-month Iran nuclear plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday released a summary of the deal reached between six major world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program, responding to calls from the U.S. Congress and other groups for more transparency about what the agreement entails.

Iran has denied it wants to use the program to eventually build nuclear weapons but agreed to scale it back after the international community applied strict financial and oil sanctions.

Jan 16, 2014

U.S. lawmakers seek to broaden scope of human rights act from Russia to world

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two senior U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday that would expand to all countries the “Magnitsky” act passed in late 2012 to penalize Russia for alleged human rights abuses.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who championed the original law, and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said their “Global Human Rights Accountability Act” would ensure human rights abusers from anywhere in the world are denied entry to the United States and barred from using U.S. financial institutions.

Jan 15, 2014

U.S. lawmakers, frustrated by South Sudan violence, question aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers expressed deep frustration on Wednesday over the wave of violence in South Sudan, questioning whether it made sense for Washington to continue sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the fledgling democracy.

Four weeks of fighting, often along ethnic lines, has been ringing alarm bells in Washington over the prospect that the conflict could spiral into full-blown civil war, spawning atrocities or making South Sudan the world’s next failed state.

Jan 14, 2014

No sign yet Iran sanctions bill will come to U.S. Senate vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear on Tuesday he has no immediate plan to allow a vote on a bill that would slap new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, even as backers promised to keep up their efforts to win more support.

Fifty-nine of the 100 senators – including 16 of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats – support the bill, despite Obama’s warning that its passage could jeopardize delicate international negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Jan 14, 2014

U.S. spending bill restores aid to Egypt, includes $1.5 billion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress’ new spending bill would restore more than $1.5 billion in military and economic aid to Egypt, which had been largely cut off after Egypt’s military ousted President Mohamed Mursi last summer.

The bill includes up to $1.3 billion in military assistance, and $250 million in economic support for Cairo, but ties the funding to the Egyptian government taking steps toward restoring democracy.

Jan 14, 2014

Iran deal progress dampens push for new U.S. sanctions bill

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is
more likely to win his battle with the U.S. Congress to keep new
sanctions on Iran at bay now that world powers and Tehran have
made a new advance in talks to curb the Islamic Republic’s
nuclear program.

Despite strong support for the bill in the Senate, analysts,
lawmakers and congressional aides said on Monday that the
agreement to begin implementing a nuclear deal on Jan. 20 makes
it harder for sanctions hawks to attract more backers.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. sanctions bill Iran nuclear talks ‘insurance policy’: Senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic U.S. senator leading the charge to pass new sanctions on Iran despite objections from the Obama administration said on Friday the measure is a “diplomatic insurance policy” to push Tehran to comply with agreements to curtail its nuclear program.

Fifty-nine senators – 16 of them Democrats – of the 100 in the chamber were co-sponsoring the bill, despite the White House’s insistence that it could imperil delicate international negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. officials call for end to South Sudan violence, may cut aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – South Sudan risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid if its government and rebel leaders do not end a wave of violence in the fledgling democracy formed with Washington’s strong support, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Three weeks of fighting, often along ethnic lines, is ringing alarm bells in Washington over the prospect that the conflict could spiral into full-blown civil war, spawning atrocities or making South Sudan the world’s next failed state.

Jan 9, 2014

U.S. officials worry over South Sudan violence, may cut aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – South Sudan risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid if its government and rebel leaders do not end a wave of violence in the fledgling democracy formed with Washington’s strong support, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Three weeks of fighting, often along ethnic lines, is ringing alarm bells in Washington over the prospect that the conflict could spiral into full-blown civil war, spawning atrocities or making South Sudan the world’s next failed state.

Jan 9, 2014

Senate majority support Iran sanctions bill opposed by Obama

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – More than a majority of U.S.
senators support a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran should
the Islamic Republic break an agreement to curb its nuclear
program, aides said on Thursday, but there was no plan yet to
debate the measure.

The White House has threatened to veto the legislation,
and Iran says last November’s nuclear deal struck in Geneva
would be dead if the U.S. Congress imposes new sanctions.

    • 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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