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May 21, 2013

As U.S. struggles with Syria policy, Senate panel backs arming rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to send weapons to rebels fighting Syria’s government, but it was not clear who would get the arms even if the bill succeeds, as Washington struggles to deal with its response to the conflict.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 for legislation that would send arms to “vetted” moderate members of the Syrian opposition, the first time U.S. lawmakers have approved such military action in the two-year-old civil war.

May 17, 2013

House panel demands deposition from Benghazi investigator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican chairman of a congressional oversight committee on Friday ordered the leader of the investigation into the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks to sit for a private interview next week.

As Republicans and Democrats wage a political battle over the attacks in which four Americans were killed, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa issued a subpoena ordering retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering to appear for a taped deposition on Thursday to answer questions about the Accountability Review Board report he prepared on the incident.

May 17, 2013

Top U.S. general warns of sexual assault ‘crisis,’ meets Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top general in the U.S. Armed Forces warned of a crisis of confidence in the growing ranks of women soldiers due to a rash of sexual assault cases that has prompted lawmakers to act.

The warning by Army General Martin Dempsey came hours before President Barack Obama asked military leaders at a White House meeting to get the problem of sexual assaults under control.

May 16, 2013

U.S. military warns of sexual assault ‘crisis,’ to meet Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and U.S. lawmakers went on the offensive against sexual assault in the armed forces on Thursday after a rash of scandals that prompted the nation’s top military officer to warn of a crisis in the ranks.

“We’re losing the confidence of the women who serve that we can solve this problem,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said as he returned from NATO meetings in Brussels. “That’s a crisis.”

May 16, 2013

Obama, lawmakers take offensive against sexual assault in military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and U.S. lawmakers went on the offensive against sexual assault in the armed forces on Thursday after a rash of scandals discrediting the military’s efforts to stamp it out.

Lawmakers announced legislation that would take responsibility for prosecution of sexual assault cases away from the chain of command, and President Barack Obama called a meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other military leaders to discuss the issue.

May 15, 2013

China, India granted observer seat on Arctic governing council

KIRUNA, Sweden (Reuters) – The Arctic Council agreed on Wednesday to admit emerging powers China and India as observers, reflecting growing global interest in the trade and energy potential of the planet’s Far North.

The organisation, which coordinates Arctic policy, is gaining clout as sea ice thaws to open up new trade routes and intensify competition for oil and gas – estimated at 15 percent and 30 percent respectively of undiscovered reserves.

May 15, 2013

China granted observer seat on Arctic governing council

KIRUNA, Sweden, May 15 (Reuters) – The Arctic Council agreed
on Wednesday to admit emerging powers China and India as
observers, reflecting growing global interest in the trade and
energy potential of the planet’s far north.

The organisation, which coordinates Arctic policy, is
gaining clout as sea ice thaws to open up new trade routes and
intensify competition for oil and gas – estimated at 15 percent
and 30 percent respectively of undiscovered reserves.

May 15, 2013

China granted observer seat on Arctic Council

KIRUNA, Sweden, May 15 (Reuters) – The Arctic Council agreed
on Wednesday to admit China and other Asian nations as
observers, reflecting growing global interest in the trade and
energy potential of the planet’s far north.

The organisation, which coordinates Arctic policy, is
gaining clout as sea ice thaws to open up new trade routes and
intensify competition for oil and gas – estimated at 15 percent
and 30 percent respectively of undiscovered reserves.

May 15, 2013

Kerry, Lavrov confident on Syria peace talks plan

KIRUNA, Sweden (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday they believed they could pull off peace talks on Syria, where their nations back opposing sides in a war that may have cost 120,000 lives.

Differences between Russia, a main ally of President Bashar al-Assad, and the United States, which supports those trying to topple him, have long obstructed United Nations action on the turmoil convulsing Syria for more than two years.

May 15, 2013

Kerry, Russian foreign minister meet on Syria

KIRUNA, Sweden (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met late on Tuesday for a discussion focused on the war in Syria and plans for an international peace conference, a senior State Department official said.

Kerry updated his Russian counterpart on his discussions with the Syrian rebels and officials from countries involved in the talks and his plans to participate in a meeting in Jordan next week ahead of the international conference, a senior State Department official said.

    • 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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