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Jul 16, 2013

Senate push on U.S. military sexual assault rules gains support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Senate Republicans on Tuesday backed a sweeping change to how the military handles cases of sexual assault, boosting a plan that faces strong opposition at the Pentagon and in Congress.

Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul said they supported Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposal to take the decision about whether to pursue sexual assault cases away from a victim’s commander and place it with independent military prosecutors.

Jul 11, 2013

U.S. lawmakers may ease ‘coup’ ban on aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers will begin to vote as soon as next week on legislation that could continue aid to Egypt even if the Obama administration determines that the ouster of elected President Mohamed Mursi was a military coup, lawmakers and aides said on Thursday.

The United States currently sends $1.3 billion in military aid and $250 million in economic aid to Egypt each year, but the military coup label would cut off the flow under a U.S. law dating to the 1980s.

Jul 10, 2013

Senior lawmakers push Obama over Guantanamo force-feeding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two senior Senate Democrats pushed President Barack Obama to cut back on force-feeding of prisoners at the Guantanamo naval base on Wednesday, two days after a judge ruled that only the president had the power to stop the procedure.

Senators Richard Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, and Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence committee, also urged Obama to outline a formal process for closing the detention center as quickly as possible.

Jul 9, 2013

Senior senator questions White House secrecy on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday said the White House was harming U.S. national security interests by being too secretive about its plans to arm Syrian rebels.

Responding to a Reuters story, Senator Bob Corker said President Barack Obama’s administration has fully briefed only members of the Senate and House of Representatives Intelligence committees on details of its plans to aid to rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Jul 8, 2013

U.S. will not cut off aid to Egypt immediately

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House refused to label the military ouster of Egypt’s president a coup on Monday and said there would be no immediate cut-off in U.S. aid to Egypt in a move that distances Washington from the country’s toppled Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, peppered with questions about Egypt at a daily briefing, struggled to explain how Washington could avoid calling the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi a coup.

Jul 8, 2013

Key U.S. senator presses for suspension of aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator John McCain pressed on Monday for the United States to suspend its $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt, saying the removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi from office appeared to be a coup led by the military.

McCain said he understood that Mursi’s removal was undertaken with broad public support and could eventually lead to a more representative civilian government.

Jul 4, 2013

When is a coup not a coup? Obama faces tricky call in Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Egyptian military’s overthrow of elected President Mohamed Mursi left President Barack Obama grappling with a difficult question of diplomacy and language in dealing with the Arab world’s most populous nation: was it a coup?

At stake as Obama and his aides wrestle with that question in the coming days is the $1.5 billion in aid the United States sends to Cairo each year – almost all of it for the military – as well as the president’s views on how best to promote Arab democracy.

Jul 3, 2013

Obama expresses deep concern, doesn’t condemn Egyptian military intervention

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama expressed deep concern about the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday but stopped short of condemning a move that could lead to a cut-off in U.S. aid.

Obama issued a written statement responding to dramatic events in Cairo after huddling with his top national security advisers at the White House. The session took place shortly after the Egyptian military made its move.

Jul 3, 2013

U.S. declines to criticize Egypt’s military as Mursi is ousted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States declined on Wednesday to criticize Egypt’s military, even as it was ousting Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi from power.

Minutes before Egypt’s army commander announced that Mursi, the country’s first democratically elected president, had been deposed and the constitution suspended, the U.S. State Department criticized Mursi, but gave no public signal it was opposed to the army’s action.

Jul 3, 2013

U.S. declines to criticize Egypt’s military as it ousts Mursi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States declined on Wednesday to criticize Egypt’s military, even as it was ousting Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi from power.

Minutes before Egypt’s army commander announced that Mursi, the country’s first democratically elected president, had been deposed and the constitution suspended, the U.S. State Department criticized Mursi, but gave no public signal it was opposed to the army’s action.

    • 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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