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Oct 8, 2014

U.S. to toughen Ebola screening at airports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health officials said on Tuesday they would unveil within days new screening procedures for the deadly Ebola virus at the country’s airports to address public concern over the possibility of an outbreak.

“We’re working very intensively on the screening process both in the places of origin and upon arrival,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters. “We will absolutely look at every step that could tighten that process.”

Oct 2, 2014

U.S. House members press Kerry on nuclear talks with Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of U.S. lawmakers pressed Secretary of State John Kerry to lean harder on Iran in talks over its nuclear program in a letter released on Thursday after Israel warned Washington not to go easy on Tehran.

Three hundred and fifty-four members – four-fifths – of the U.S. House of Representatives signed the letter sent to Kerry on Wednesday night, expressing concerns that an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program might not require sufficiently strict inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Oct 1, 2014

Mother of former U.S. Marine says son suffers in Mexico jail

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The mother of a U.S. Marine held for six months in a Mexican prison appealed on Wednesday for the U.S. government to do more to free her son, who told her his guards threatened him with rape, torture and execution.

Andrew Tahmooressi, 26, was arrested on March 31 by Mexican customs agents who found three guns in his pick-up truck at a border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. He was charged with weapons offenses and has been imprisoned in Mexico ever since.

Sep 29, 2014

U.S. Congress vote on campaign against Islamic State could lag to 2015

WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress might not
vote until next year on an authorization for President Barack
Obama’s air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and
Syria, congressional aides said on Monday, despite some
lawmakers’ insistence that approval is already overdue.

The U.S. military began a campaign in Iraq weeks ago to halt
advances by the Sunni group known as Islamic State, which has
killed thousands of people while seizing swaths of territory in
Iraq and Syria. The United States and five Arab nations began
air strikes against targets in Syria last week.

Sep 19, 2014

U.S. won’t stand in way of Venezuela’s U.N. Security Council bid

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will not stand in the way of Venezuela securing a temporary seat on the U.N. Security Council in 2015-16 after Latin American and Caribbean states unanimously endorsed its bid, U.N. diplomats and U.S. sources say.

The U.S. stance is in sharp contrast to its position in 2006, when Washington successfully campaigned against Venezuela’s drive to join the 15-nation council, the only United Nations body that can authorize sanctions or military force. At that time, Venezuela failed to secure the requisite two-thirds majority of votes in the General Assembly for its bid after dozens of rounds of secret-ballot voting.

Sep 18, 2014

U.S. Congress approves arming Syrian rebels, funding government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate approved President Barack Obama’s plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants on Thursday, a major part of his military campaign to “degrade and destroy” the radical group.

The Senate voted 78-22, in a rare bipartisan show of support for one of Obama’s high-profile initiatives.

Sep 18, 2014

Ukraine president secures U.S. military aid but not weapons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko secured $53 million (32 million pounds) in assistance from the United States on Thursday but President Barack Obama for now turned down his appeals for weapons to fight Russian-backed separatists.

Images of Poroshenko sitting side by side with Obama in the Oval Office and of the warm reception he received in a speech to Congress projected a symbolic show of solidarity with the Ukraine leader as he faces down Russia’s incursion.

Sep 18, 2014

Ukraine president asks U.S. Congress for more aid

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro
Poroshenko appealed for more U.S. assistance, including arms, in
a warmly received appearance before the U.S. Congress on
Thursday, but the latest offer of American help did not include
the weaponry he is seeking.

“Please understand me correctly. Blankets, night-vision
goggles are also important. But one cannot win the war with
blankets.” He added: “Even more, we cannot keep the peace with a

Sep 18, 2014

Ukrainian president asks U.S. Congress for more support

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appealed to the U.S. Congress for lethal and non-lethal military aid, more sanctions and a special security status on Thursday during a visit to Washington to bolster U.S. support for his strategy in handling Russian-backed separatists.

“I strongly encourage the United States to give Ukraine a special security and defense status which reflects the highest level of interaction with non-NATO allies,” Poroshenko said in an emotional speech to the House of Representatives and Senate. He was interrupted frequently by applause and standing ovations.

Sep 18, 2014

House votes to arm Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Barack Obama’s plan on Wednesday to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but questions remain over whether it will give them the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants.

The House voted 273-to-156 to authorize the plan, a test of support for Obama’s stepped-up campaign to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State fighters who have seized a third of both Iraq and Syria, declared war on the West and seek to establish a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

    • 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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