Susan's Feed
Apr 17, 2012

Women brought to Colombia hotel by U.S. agents, military: senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twenty or 21 women were brought back to a hotel in Colombia by U.S. Secret Service and military personnel in an incident last week involving alleged misconduct with prostitutes, U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Tuesday.

Collins was briefed by the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, on Monday evening. “There are 11 agents involved. Twenty or 21 women foreign nationals were brought to the hotel, but allegedly Marines were involved with the rest,” the Republican senator said in comments emailed to Reuters.

Apr 13, 2012

U.S. watches for North Korea’s next move after rocket crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States was keeping a wary eye on North Korea after the reclusive state’s unsuccessful launch of a long-range rocket, and President Barack Obama said on Friday that Pyongyang faced further isolation if it kept defying the international community.

The White House suspended a deal to provide significant food aid to North Korea following the rocket launch, which it had warned Pyongyang against. U.S. officials also consulted with other major powers, including North Korean ally China, on a possible response.

Apr 12, 2012

US Senator Lugar touts conservative votes in primary debate

WASHINGTON, April 11 (Reuters) – One of the last members of
the U.S. Senate’s “old guard,” Republican Richard Lugar,
stressed his conservative credentials on Wednesday in a debate
with a primary opponent who suggested he was out of touch with
Indiana voters.

L ugar, 80, who has faced token opposition in his five
previous re-election campaigns, is in an unexpectedly tight race
with Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is backed by
the conservative, populist Tea Party movement.

Mar 29, 2012

US lawmakers offended by spike in Afghan guards’ cost

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers were
disturbed on Thursday by a government auditor’s prediction that
security costs will spike for U.S. development projects in
Afghanistan as they are forced to switch from private
contractors to Afghan government-provided security.

Representative John Tierney suggested the United States
might want to just walk away from aid projects in Afghanistan
rather than pay the additional costs, including a 20-percent
“profit” charge, under the new policy mandated by Afghan
President Hamid Karzai. Tierney said there were already too many
questions about “where the money is going” in Afghanistan.

Mar 28, 2012

US Senate panel may vote on Russian rights bill

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – Human rights legislation
named after an anti-graft lawyer who died in a Russian jail is
likely to be considered by a U.S. Senate committee this spring,
the panel’s chairman Senator John Kerry said on Tuesday.

The Sergei Magnitsky bill would require the United States to
deny visas and freeze the assets of Russians or others with
links to his detention and death, as well as those who commit
human rights violations against other whistle-blowers like him.

Mar 27, 2012

US Senate panel may vote on Russian human rights bill

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – Human rights legislation
named after an anti-graft lawyer who died in a Russian jail is
likely to be considered by a U.S. Senate committee this spring,
the panel’s chairman Senator John Kerry said on Tuesday.

The Sergei Magnitsky bill would require the United States to
deny visas and freeze the assets of Russians or others with
links to his detention and death, as well as those who commit
human rights violations against other whistle-blowers like him.

Mar 27, 2012

US presses Syrian opposition to unite, shun abuses

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – The United States on
Tuesday urged the Syrian opposition to unite and pledge to
respect minority rights in a future Syria should President
Bashar al-Assad be driven from power, and warned armed rebels
and government forces against committing human rights abuses.

Disunity among the Syrian opposition to Assad has fed fears
that Syria could slide into sectarian and ethnic conflict, much
as Iraq did after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam
Hussein.

Mar 27, 2012

U.S. ambassador got reports on Syrian opposition abuses

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to
Syria, Robert Ford, said on Tuesday he had received reports that
armed Syrian opposition groups had engaged in human rights
abuses as well as Syrian government forces, and had warned both
sides against committing such acts.

Ford also expressed skepticism about reports that Syria had
accepted the peace plan of U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan,
saying it would be best to look for action, not words from
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Mar 23, 2012

US lawmakers release $88.6 mln in aid to Palestinians

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on
Friday released $88.6 million in development aid for the
Palestinians that they had held up since last summer, a move
that should help ease a fiscal crisis in the aid-dependent
Palestinian economy.

Representative Kay Granger announced she was ready for the
entire $147 million in U.S. assistance that had been frozen
since August to go to the Palestinians.

Mar 23, 2012

U.S. lawmaker releases hold on aid to Palestinians

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – An influential U.S.
Republican lawmaker, Representative Kay Granger, said o n F riday
she was releasing $147 million in U.S. development aid for the
Palestinians that she had blocked since last August.

But it was unclear whether the money could be spent, because
another senior Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has also had a
“hold” on the funds for months. A spokesman for Ros-Lehtinen
could not be reached for comment.