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Oct 10, 2013

‘Captain Phillips’ torn from the headlines, but tells an old story

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Paul Greengrass’ new thriller, “Captain Phillips,” is torn from the headlines, but the British director sees the story of an American ship captain’s ordeal with Somali pirates as a timeless tale of poverty-stricken criminals and a run-in with the law.

“These young men get involved for the same reason that young men got involved in organized crime in the major cities of America in the ’20s and ’30s … or Britain’s highwaymen in the 18th century,” Greengrass said in an interview.

Oct 9, 2013

U.S. withholds military, economic aid for Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as cash assistance from Egypt’s military-backed government pending progress on democracy and human rights.

The decision, described by senior U.S. officials and a congressional source, is a signal of U.S. unhappiness with the course that Egypt has taken since its army on July 3 ousted the country’s first democratically elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi.

Oct 8, 2013

Obama says U.S. to keep ‘going after’ al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Tuesday staunchly defended his decision to order commando raids
in Libya and Somalia last weekend, saying the United States
would keep targeting al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa but had no
intention of going to war there.

Speaking at a news conference, Obama said the United States
was justified in seizing a senior al Qaeda figure in Tripoli and
whisking him out of the country, and he made clear that it
likely would not be the last operation of its kind.

Oct 8, 2013

Republicans want Libya suspect brought to Guantanamo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three Republican U.S. senators said on Tuesday that an al Qaeda suspect seized in Libya should be brought to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so he can be subjected to long-term interrogation.

Senators Lindsey Graham, Kelly Ayotte and Saxby Chambliss said they hoped to urge President Barack Obama, via a congressional resolution or an amendment to an upcoming defense authorization bill, to adopt a policy for long-term detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects.

Oct 3, 2013

Despite shutdown, U.S. Congress saves Iraqi interpreter visa program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers took a break from bitter debate over government spending to save a program granting special visas to civilian interpreters who risked their lives to work for the American military in Iraq, sending it to the White House on Thursday for President Barack Obama’s signature.

The House of Representatives and the Senate passed by unanimous voice votes a measure that extended the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa program for three months. Lawmakers said they expected Obama would sign the extension into law shortly.

Oct 2, 2013

U.S. spy agency tested tracking cell phone locations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has tested its ability to collect Americans’ cellular telephone location data but does not have a program to collect that information, the NSA’s director, General Keith Alexander, said on Wednesday.

Alexander told a Senate Judiciary committee hearing on the government’s electronic eavesdropping that the NSA received data samples in 2010 and 2011 to test its ability to handle such information, but the data were never used for any other purposes.

Oct 2, 2013

Fearing blind spots, U.S. spy agencies to recall some laid-off by shutdown

WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Fearing they could miss
important intelligence, U.S. spy agencies are planning to call
back to work some of the thousands of civilian workers who have
been temporarily laid off as a result of this week’s federal
government shutdown.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has already
authorized chiefs of the 16 U.S. spy agencies he supervises to
make revisions in their furlough arrangements, Clapper’s
spokesman Shawn Turner said.

Oct 2, 2013

Intelligence chiefs deem shutdown ‘insidious’ danger to U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence community leaders warned on Wednesday that the government shutdown, now in its second day, is an “insidious” threat to national security that will increase the longer thousands of workers are off the job.

“I’ve been in the intelligence business for about 50 years. I’ve never seen anything like this,” James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the eavesdropping programs.

Oct 1, 2013

Iran sanctions in U.S. Senate delayed before Geneva talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under pressure not to squeeze Iran too hard, the U.S. Senate is unlikely to impose a fresh round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic until after Tehran holds nuclear talks with world powers later this month, lawmakers and congressional aides said.

The Senate Banking Committee had been due in September to look at a new package of sanctions passed in July by the House of Representatives, but now it will not do so for at least a few more weeks, an aide said.

Oct 1, 2013

In U.S. government shutdown fight, concern for congressional aides

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – In the waning hours before a
potential U.S. government shutdown, lawmakers expressed anxiety
that some of the people hit hardest will be those who are
closest to them – the army of often low-paid aides who work long
hours to keep Capitol Hill going.

Many congressional staffers have been declared “essential,”
meaning they would come to work even if the government is
closed. But under the rules of a shutdown, they would not be
paid until the impasse is over.

    • 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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