Susan's Feed
Jun 11, 2012

U.S. to exempt India, not China, from Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States extended exemptions from its tough, new sanctions on Iran’s oil trade to seven more economies on Monday, leaving China the last remaining major importer exposed to possible penalties at the end of the month.

In the latest sign Washington is working with other countries to pressure Iran’s nuclear program, India, South Korea, Turkey and four more economies will receive waivers from financial sanctions in return for significantly cutting purchases of Iranian oil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Jun 8, 2012

Obama says he’s offended by charges of purposeful leaking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday he was offended by allegations that his White House had leaked classified national security information to embellish his record as he seeks re-election in November.

At a news conference, Obama said he had zero tolerance for such leaks and would root out those responsible for the recent revelations, because “in some cases it’s criminal – these are criminal acts when they release information like this.”

Jun 7, 2012

Calls grow for outside probe of U.S. national security leaks

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – Congressional intelligence
committee leaders turned up the heat on the White House over
alleged national security leaks on Thursday, with the head of
the Senate Intelligence Committee suggesting she might be
willing to join Republican demands for an investigation by a
special counsel.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s Democratic
chairwoman, told reporters she needed more time to consider
Republican demands – voiced earlier this week by Senator John
McCain and committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss – for a special
counsel to probe how highly sensitive secrets were disclosed to
news media.

Jun 7, 2012

House panel backs “Magnitsky” sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional committee unanimously approved on Thursday a measure to penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses, adding to tensions with Moscow and complicating White House efforts to pass Russian trade legislation in the coming months.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved on a voice vote the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act,” named for a 37-year-old anti-corruption lawyer who worked for the equity fund Hermitage Capital. His 2009 death after a year in Russian jails spooked investors and blackened Russia’s image abroad.

Jun 7, 2012

Despite outrage, security leaks may go unplugged

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican intelligence experts in Congress are joining forces to condemn a series of jaw-dropping intelligence leaks which some Republicans charge are timed to boost President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

But castigating leakers and questioning their motives may be a lot easier than coming up with remedies that might make leaking more difficult and risky.

Jun 7, 2012

Analysis: Despite outrage, security leaks may go unplugged

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic and Republican intelligence experts in Congress are joining forces to condemn a series of jaw-dropping intelligence leaks which some Republicans charge are timed to boost President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

But castigating leakers and questioning their motives may be a lot easier than coming up with remedies that might make leaking more difficult and risky.

Jun 6, 2012

White House, McCain trade accusations over security leaks

WASHINGTON, June 6 (Reuters) – The White House and a leading
Republican senator accused each other of being “grossly
irresponsible” on Wednesday in connection with a recent series
of leaks of national security data.

White House spokesman Jay Carney denied allegations made by
Senator John McCain a day earlier that the apparent leaks by
administration officials must have been politically motivated to
boost President Barack Obama’s stature ahead of his attempted
re-election this fall.

Jun 5, 2012

U.S. Republican senators want special counsel to probe leaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the FBI opened a probe into alleged leaks about U.S. cyber attacks on Iran, two prominent Republican senators on Tuesday called for a special counsel to investigate what they called a “pattern” of disclosures of classified information by the Obama administration.

The FBI probe, according to a U.S. government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, will investigate who allegedly leaked classified details to the New York Times of a secret U.S.-Israeli cyber warfare program aimed at crippling Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Jun 1, 2012

Key U.S. lawmaker doubts Russia will help ease out Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee expressed doubt on Friday that Russia could be convinced to help ease Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad out of power.

Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said she hoped the Obama administration would be able to use diplomacy to “get Russia to do the right thing” – at least by stopping arms sales to Assad’s government, which is using deadly force against an uprising in Syria.

May 24, 2012

U.S. lawmakers probe food contract for troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers are investigating a billing dispute of at least $750 million between the main supplier of food to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the Pentagon.

The Pentagon says Supreme Foodservice GmbH overcharged it, but the Netherlands-headquartered company said the rates were properly based on the complexities and dangers of supplying food in war-ravaged Afghanistan.