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Sep 27, 2013

U.S. fiscal gridlock may leave Iraqi translators stranded

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.

Sep 26, 2013

U.S. intelligence chiefs open to new surveillance controls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers and intelligence chiefs, facing an outcry over the government’s collection of personal communications data, said on Thursday they were open to measures tightening oversight of the government’s sweeping electronic eavesdropping programs.

At a hearing on how to change the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to balance security and privacy concerns, the Senate Intelligence Committee unveiled provisions of proposed legislation to set new controls on government surveillance.

Sep 26, 2013

U.S. Senate intelligence panel pushes to tighten surveillance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, meeting amid outcry over the government’s collection of personal communications data, said on Thursday they were working on legislation that would tighten oversight of federal electronic eavesdropping programs.

Among other things, the measure would set tighter standards on which telephone and Internet records the National Security Agency can collect and limit the time that records can be held, said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s chairwoman, at a hearing on changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Sep 25, 2013

US lawmakers seek to end bulk NSA telephone records collection

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican
U.S. senators introduced legislation on Wednesday to end the
National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’
communication records and set other new controls on the
government’s electronic eavesdropping programs.

The measure introduced by Democrats Ron Wyden, Mark Udall
and Richard Blumenthal, and Republican Rand Paul, is one of
several efforts making their way through Congress to rein in
sweeping surveillance programs.

Sep 25, 2013

U.S. Congress moves toward extending worldwide anti-AIDS program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced legislation on Wednesday to extend for another decade a successful and popular program to combat AIDS worldwide launched 10 years ago by former President George W. Bush.

Senators Robert Menendez, the committee’s chairman, and Bob Corker, its senior Republican, said their measure features several provisions to increase oversight of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, due to expire on September 30.

Sep 25, 2013

After Syria, U.S. Congress wary of Obama’s Iran thaw

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – After balking at President
Barack Obama’s plan to attack Syria, the U.S. Congress is also
stirring in opposition to his latest foreign policy goal: an
effort to improve relations with Iran.

Congress imposed sanctions that are damaging the Iranian
economy and, according to U.S. officials, are responsible for a
moderate tone from Iran’s new leadership, which will restart
talks this week over its nuclear program.

Sep 23, 2013

Senators urge Obama to take tough line on Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two senior senators on Monday urged President Barack Obama to take a tough line against Iran in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly this week.

Democrat Robert Menendez and Republican Lindsey Graham sent a letter to Obama urging him to restate the U.S. goal of not permitting Iran to achieve nuclear weapons capability and demanding verifiable action from Tehran in order to permit the possibility of a diplomatic accord.

Sep 20, 2013

U.S. lawmaker critical of Obama on Benghazi sets trip to Libya

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa, a leader of the congressional charge to investigate the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, is scheduled to travel to Libya next week as part of the probe, according to documents made public on Friday.

An itinerary for the trip said Issa was leaving on Sunday for a trip to Libya that may include a visit to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and a working lunch.

Sep 20, 2013

Lawmaker proposes privacy advocate for secret court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An outside lawyer could act as a public advocate on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that oversees the U.S. government’s electronic eavesdropping programs under a bill introduced Friday in the House of Representatives.

The court makes its decisions on government surveillance requests without hearing from anyone but Justice Department lawyers, raising deep concerns about whether enough is done to protect Americans’ privacy.

Sep 20, 2013

U.S. lawmaker proposes privacy advocate for secret court

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – An outside lawyer could act
as a public advocate on the secret Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court that oversees the U.S. government’s
electronic eavesdropping programs under a bill introduced Friday
in the House of Representatives.

The court makes its decisions on government surveillance
requests without hearing from anyone but Justice Department
lawyers, raising deep concerns about whether enough is done to
protect Americans’ privacy.

    • 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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