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Oct 29, 2013

U.S. lawmakers criticize Egypt aid cuts, consider changing law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some U.S. lawmakers said on Tuesday they were unhappy about cuts in Washington’s aid to Egypt announced earlier this month after authorities in Cairo used violence to put down protests.

They also said they were considering changes to a U.S. law that bars sending assistance to governments that have been deemed to have seized power through a coup.

Oct 28, 2013

White House sees need for ‘constraints’ on NSA spying

WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – The White House moved to
reassure U.S. allies and Americans concerned about the sweeping
nature of U.S. surveillance practices on Monday by acknowledging
that more constraints are needed to assure that privacy rights
are protected.

Amid a growing uproar in Europe and protest from a key U.S.
lawmaker, officials said they would review intelligence
collection programs with an eye to narrowing their scope.

Oct 28, 2013

White House official sees need for ‘constraints’ on NSA spying

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday that some constraints are needed in U.S. surveillance practices in the wake of embarrassing revelations about the sweeping nature of U.S. spying.

The comment came a week after President Barack Obama drew heavy criticism over accusations that the National Security Agency had tapped the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and conducted widespread electronic snooping in France and Italy.

Oct 25, 2013

Kerry, Lew to brief U.S. senators on Iran nuclear talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will hold a briefing on Thursday on the status of nuclear talks with Iran for members of a U.S. Senate committee considering tough new sanctions on Tehran, Senate aides said on Friday.

President Barack Obama’s administration has been pushing the Senate Banking Committee to hold off on the new sanctions in order to give negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program a chance.

Oct 24, 2013

White House to push Senate to delay new Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will host a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Senate aide said.

The White House will press for another delay on a sanctions bill that had been expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month, but was held back after appeals from President Barack Obama’s administration to let negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program get under way.

Oct 19, 2013

Rep. Bill Young, longest serving Republican in U.S. Congress, dead at 82

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Bill Young of Florida, the longest-serving Republican member of Congress, died on Friday more than a week after announcing his plans to retire, his family said in a statement. He was 82.

Young, a 22-term congressman and the former chairman of the powerful U.S. House Appropriations Committee, died at 6:50 p.m. ET (2250 GMT), his chief of staff, Harry Glenn, said in an email.

Oct 17, 2013

Bill to spare U.S. economy from debt crisis also delivers favors

WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – The last-minute bill to avert
a potentially catastrophic U.S. default and reopen the
government came in at a relatively skimpy 35 pages, but
lawmakers still managed to pack in some special favors.

Such stop-gap funding measures often include so-called
“anomalies” to address special needs that would otherwise be
handled in normal spending bills.

Oct 16, 2013

Any U.S. sanctions relief on Iran likely to start slowly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any easing by Washington of sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran taking steps to scale back its nuclear program is likely to be fleeting and symbolic, with any moves for bigger concessions likely to be blocked by Congress.

At talks in Geneva on the nuclear program with six world powers on Tuesday, Iran’s negotiators presented a proposal on defusing a decade-old standoff. But both sides said it was too early to talk of a breakthrough.

Oct 15, 2013

Secret U.S. court says does not rubber stamp surveillance requests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The secret U.S. court that reviews electronic surveillance and searches approves nearly every request it receives, but demands substantial changes to nearly one in four applications before giving the go-ahead, the court’s top judge said in a letter released on Tuesday.

Amid ongoing controversy about U.S. spy agencies’ collection of telephone and Internet data, Judge Reggie Walton of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court told members of Congress that 24.4 percent of requests submitted from July to September had been overhauled.

Oct 15, 2013

U.S. Congress calls for hard line on Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to keep to a hard line on sanctions imposed on Iran on Monday, a day before the resumption of talks on its nuclear program between world powers and Tehran.

Congress has generally been tougher on Iran than the Obama administration, pushing for ever-stricter economic measures over Tehran’s nuclear program. On Monday, both Democrats and Republicans called for Obama to stand firm, even as an administration official held out the possibility of quick sanctions relief if Tehran moves quickly.

    • 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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