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Apr 17, 2013

Letter sent to U.S. senator tested positive for ricin

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – U.S. officials said they
intercepted a letter sent to Republican Senator Roger Wicker on
Tuesday that tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, and
that the U.S. Capitol police, FBI and other agencies had
launched an investigation.

The letter was postmarked from Memphis, Tennessee, and had
no return address, Terrance Gaines, the Senate sergeant at arms,
said in a warning to members of the Senate.

Apr 16, 2013

Top general says U.S. to assess Afghan troops level after summer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. commander of international forces in Afghanistan said on Tuesday he will make a recommendation of how many American troops should remain in Afghanistan after he sees how well Afghan security handles the summer fighting season.

“We need to see how the Afghans do in their first summer in the lead, and make an assessment in November 2013,” Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Apr 12, 2013

Congressman who made North Korea nuclear comment opposes missile defense cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The congressman at the center of an international furor over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities is one of the leading voices in the House of Representatives against cutting the budget for missile systems.

Republican Representative Doug Lamborn, whose Colorado district is a center for U.S. missile defense, made headlines around the world on Thursday after he quoted the Defense Intelligence Agency as saying North Korea likely had a nuclear bomb that could be launched from a missile.

Apr 12, 2013

U.S. congressman who made North Korea nuclear comment opposes missile defence cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. congressman at the centre of an international furore over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities is one of the leading voices in the House of Representatives against cutting the budget for missile systems.

Republican Representative Doug Lamborn, whose Colorado district is a centre for U.S. missile defence, made headlines around the world on Thursday after he quoted the Defence Intelligence Agency as saying North Korea likely had a nuclear bomb that could be launched from a missile.

Apr 12, 2013

U.S. congressman who made N.Korea nuclear comment opposes missile defense cuts

WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. congressman at the
center of an international furor over North Korea’s nuclear
capabilities is one of the leading voices in the House of
Representatives against cutting the budget for missile systems.

Republican Representative Doug Lamborn, whose Colorado
district is a center for U.S. missile defense, made headlines
around the world on Thursday after he quoted the Defense
Intelligence Agency as saying North Korea likely had a nuclear
bomb that could be launched from a missile.

Apr 11, 2013

Senators push for military aid for Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators, including some of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats, pushed the White House on Thursday to shift its policy and provide lethal military assistance to rebels waging a civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It is time for Washington to do more to oust Assad and end a two-year conflict in which more than 70,000 people have been killed and millions displaced, they said at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Apr 11, 2013

U.S. spy chiefs see domestic motive in North Korean rhetoric

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. spy agencies believe the recent bellicose rhetoric from North Korea is mainly an effort by leader Kim Jong-un to demonstrate he is firmly in command, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said on Thursday.

U.S. intelligence also believes China, North Korea’s neighbor and traditional protector, is becoming increasingly frustrated with Kim’s behavior, Clapper said.

Apr 10, 2013

In emotional meeting, Newtown families comfort senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Joe Manchin became so emotional on Wednesday about the Newtown massacre and his push for background checks for gun buyers that parents whose children were killed at the Connecticut school in December were moved to comfort him.

“I’m a parent. … I’m a grandparent,” the West Virginia Democrat told reporters during a meeting in his office with eight Newtown family members on Wednesday, when asked what he thought it meant to have them visiting the U.S. Capitol.

Apr 10, 2013

Obama budget boosts embassy security spending, changes food aid

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
included $4 billion to improve security at hundreds of overseas
diplomatic posts in his budget proposal on Wednesday, in the
wake of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. mission
in Benghazi, Libya.

The money would secure overseas personnel and facilities,
including enough money to increase embassy security construction
to $2.2 billion, as recommended after an independent review of
the Benghazi attacks.

Apr 10, 2013

Background checks deal boosts odds for gun-control bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two key senators announced a breakthrough deal on Wednesday to expand background checks for gun buyers, boosting prospects that the Senate will approve at least some of President Barack Obama’s proposed gun restrictions.

The agreement by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania sets the stage for a Senate debate on a gun-control package starting on Thursday, when the Democrat-led chamber is expected to defeat conservative Republican efforts to block the bill from even reaching a vote.

    • 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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