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May 14, 2013

Kerry sees Syria peace negotiations taking place in early June

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he expected a proposed Syria peace conference backed by Washington and Moscow to be held in early June, and he denied reports that the Damascus government did not plan to attend.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said earlier in the day that Damascus, fighting an insurgency that threatens to draw in Syria’s neighbors, wanted specifics on such a conference before it decides whether to be part of it.

May 10, 2013

Republicans look for cover-up as Benghazi debate revived

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican in Congress demanded on Thursday that the Obama administration release emails about its handling of last year’s deadly attack in Libya, after a dramatic congressional hearing breathed life into the party’s accusations of negligence and cover-up.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner called on the White House to order the State Department to make public more internal emails sent after the killings in Benghazi of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

May 9, 2013

House speaker demands more information on Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican leader of the House of Representatives on Thursday added to the push for more information about last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, demanding the White House order the State Department to release emails about the attack.

Keeping up pressure on the Obama administration a day after a high-profile congressional hearing on the September 11, 2012, attack, House Speaker John Boehner said the public should have access to emails about who the State Department believed was behind it and the administration’s early public comments that it stemmed from spontaneous demonstrations.

May 9, 2013

U.S. diplomat recounts frustration at lack of help during Benghazi attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former U.S. diplomat in Libya gave a dramatic account on Wednesday of the attack on the mission in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador, and told lawmakers that more could have been done to stop the assault by suspected Islamist militants.

Gregory Hicks, the second in command at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time, expressed his frustration in an emotionally charged congressional hearing that a U.S. military jet and special forces were not sent to help in Benghazi.

May 8, 2013

U.S. diplomat recounts lack of response to deadly Benghazi attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former U.S. diplomat in Libya told lawmakers on Wednesday more could have been done to prevent last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador was killed.

In a congressional hearing marked by emotional testimony and angry charges of political partisanship, Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya at the time of last year’s attack, became the first U.S. official on the ground in Libya during the attacks to testify publicly.

May 8, 2013

U.S. diplomatic security back in focus at Benghazi hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former U.S. diplomat in Libya who says more could have been done to protect Americans at the U.S. mission in Benghazi when it was attacked last September will be a featured witness on Wednesday during a congressional hearing.

Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya at the time of the attack, will be one of three witnesses at the hearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

May 7, 2013

Golfing with Obama, Republican senator scores hole-in-one

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama took his second-term “schmooze offensive” to the golf course on Monday, bonding in a bipartisan foursome as Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss hit a hole-in-one.

Obama, an avid golfer with a respectable 17 handicap, rarely takes politics to the greens, preferring instead to golf with friends and staffers far out of the sight of the reporters who travel with him.

May 6, 2013

Senator seeks to arm Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the chairman of the influential Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a bill on Monday that would provide weapons to some vetted groups of Syrian rebels.

Menendez, a Democrat, was one of a few senators pushing the White House to provide for lethal aid to some of the rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad even before reports that chemical weapons had been used on a small scale in the conflict.

May 2, 2013

Amid new security threats, some in Congress look to update 9/11 law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A few dozen words rushed into law days after the September 11, 2001, attacks have been used to justify U.S. counterterrorism efforts from the war in Afghanistan to warrantless wiretapping and drone strikes, all on orders of the White House – and with little congressional oversight.

Now, as criticism grows that the law has been stretched well beyond its original intent to go after militant groups that did not even exist on 9/11, some Democrats and Republicans have begun writing legislation to update the nearly 12-year-old resolution.

Apr 25, 2013

Boston bombs were detonated by remote used for toy cars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264, were detonated with the kind of remote device used to control a toy car, U.S. investigators told a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday.

“It was a remote control for toy cars,” U.S. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters after officials from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and National Center for Counterterrorism briefed the committee.

    • 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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