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Sep 4, 2014

Obama administration sets briefings for Congress on Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is dispatching senior intelligence officials and Secretary of State John Kerry to brief members of Congress and staff about the Islamic State militant group in the coming weeks, congressional aides said on Thursday.

Kerry will testify to members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee during the week of Sept. 15, an aide said.

Aug 29, 2014

Obama faces a tough sell in Congress for Islamic State strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to consult Congress about any expanded military action against Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, but support from the divided legislature is unlikely to come quickly – if at all.

Republicans are generally reluctant to vote for Obama’s policy initiatives. And many of the president’s fellow Democrats are deeply wary of any more foreign military involvement after over a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aug 29, 2014

Obama says does not yet have military strategy for Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States has not yet developed a strategy for confronting Islamic State in Syria, an acknowledgement that a decision had not been made on whether to launch air strikes against the militant group.

Obama’s comment during a White House news conference before a meeting of national security advisers about how to proceed against Islamic State drew criticism from Republicans and a clarification from White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Aug 28, 2014

Obama says does not yet have broad strategy for Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he has not yet developed a broad strategy for confronting Islamic State in an acknowledgement that he has not decided whether to launch air strikes against the militant group in Syria.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama told a White House news conference ahead of meeting top national security advisers in the Situation Room about how to proceed against Islamic State.

Aug 26, 2014

Americans oppose paying ransom for hostages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly two out of three Americans say governments should not pay ransom to terrorists in exchange for hostages, despite the posting of an Islamic State video last week depicting the beheading of a U.S. journalist, a Reuters-IPSOS Poll showed on Tuesday.

Sixty-two percent of adults surveyed said they agreed with U.S. and British policy of refusing to pay ransom, in response to a question about the killing of American journalist James Foley and the multimillion dollar ransom demanded by Islamic State militants for his release.

Aug 26, 2014

Americans oppose paying ransom for hostages: Reuters-IPSOS Poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly two out of three Americans say governments should not pay ransom to terrorists in exchange for hostages, despite the posting of an Islamic State video last week depicting the beheading of a U.S. journalist, a Reuters-IPSOS Poll showed on Tuesday.

Sixty-two percent of adults surveyed said they agreed with U.S. and British policy of refusing to pay ransom, in response to a question about the killing of American journalist James Foley and the multimillion dollar ransom demanded by Islamic State militants for his release.

Aug 9, 2014

Obama says ending Iraq crisis could be ‘long-term project’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday U.S. airstrikes have destroyed arms and equipment that Islamic State insurgents could have used to attack Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, but warned Americans it could take some time to end the crisis.

“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks. This is going to take some time,” Obama said during a brief news conference before leaving Washington for a two-week vacation in Massachusetts.

Aug 7, 2014

U.S. ratchets up Ebola response, officials on high alert

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The director of the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told lawmakers
on Thursday he has activated the agency’s emergency operation
center at the highest response level to fight the worst Ebola
outbreak in history.

Dr Thomas Frieden testified at an emergency hearing that the
CDC has more than 200 staff members in Atlanta working on the
outbreak, and will soon have more than 50 disease experts in
West Africa.

Aug 5, 2014

Insight – E-coyotes: The Central American people smugglers who ‘Like’ Facebook

SAN PEDRO SULA Honduras/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Alan Villeda began smuggling people from Honduras to the United States in 1998, he could only communicate with customers via patchy phone calls. These days, he is a word-of-mouth success and new clients seek him out on Facebook.

Social media like Facebook and Skype are changing, and in some cases accelerating, the decades-old northward migration of Central Americans, U.S. and Honduran officials said, by providing crowd-sourced information on the risks and rewards of making the journey.

Aug 5, 2014

coyotes: The Central American people smugglers who ‘Like’ Facebook

SAN PEDRO SULA Honduras/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Alan Villeda began smuggling people from Honduras to the United States in 1998, he could only communicate with customers via patchy phone calls. These days, he is a word-of-mouth success and new clients seek him out on Facebook.

Social media like Facebook and Skype are changing, and in some cases accelerating, the decades-old northward migration of Central Americans, U.S. and Honduran officials said, by providing crowd-sourced information on the risks and rewards of making the journey.

    • 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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