Warren's Feed
Jan 14, 2014

U.S. was slow to lose patience as South Sudan unraveled

WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – It was a bad start for the U.S. president and the leader of the world’s newest country.

At their first meeting, less than three months after South Sudan’s independence, Barack Obama challenged President Salva Kiir with what he said was U.S. evidence that Kiir’s government was arming rebels fighting the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

Jan 13, 2014

U.S. and Russia say Syria aid access and local ceasefire possible

PARIS (Reuters) – Syria’s government and some rebels may be willing to permit humanitarian aid to flow, enforce local ceasefires and take other confidence-building measures in the nearly three-year-old civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Kerry said that he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire. Maybe a localized ceasefire, beginning with Aleppo,” Syria’s largest city. “And both of us have agreed to try to work to see if that could be achieved.”

Jan 12, 2014

Friends of Syria group urges opposition to attend Geneva talks

PARIS (Reuters) – The “Friends of Syria”, an alliance of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, urged opposition groups on Sunday to attend this month’s peace talks, saying there was no other route to a political solution.

With 10 days to go until the first direct talks between the opposition and President Bashar al-Assad’s government – set for January 22 in Switzerland and dubbed “Geneva 2″ – Western backers have struggled to unify rebel groups.

Jan 10, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. weighs targeted sanctions against South Sudan – sources

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is weighing targeted sanctions against South Sudan due to the failure of leaders in the world’s youngest nation to take steps to end a crisis that has brought the country to the brink of civil war, sources briefed on U.S. discussions told Reuters.

“It’s a tool that has been discussed,” a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity about the possibility of U.S. sanctions against those blocking peace efforts or fuelling violence in South Sudan. Another source confirmed the remarks, though both declined to provide details on the precise measures under consideration.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. weighs targeted sanctions against South Sudan -sources

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is weighing targeted sanctions against South Sudan due to the failure of leaders in the world’s youngest nation to take steps to end a crisis that has brought the country to the brink of civil war, sources briefed on U.S. discussions told Reuters.

“It’s a tool that has been discussed,” a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity about the possibility of U.S. sanctions against those blocking peace efforts or fueling violence in South Sudan. Another source confirmed the remarks, though both declined to provide details on the precise measures under consideration.

Dec 20, 2013

With cash, Ukraine’s political foes bring fight to Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rival political factions facing each other on the streets of Ukraine have also enlisted heavyweight lobbyists in Washington, some with connections at the highest levels of U.S. government, to promote their causes to American policymakers, media and members of Congress.

Among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s government are prominent Democratic lobbyist Anthony Podesta and former Republican congressional leaders Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin.

Dec 18, 2013

White House review panel proposes curbs on some NSA programs

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – A White House-appointed panel
on Wednesday proposed curbs on some key National Security Agency
surveillance operations, recommending limits on a program to
collect records of billions of telephone calls and new tests
before Washington spies on foreign leaders.

Among the panel’s proposals, made in the wake of revelations
by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the most contentious
may be its recommendation that the eavesdropping agency halt
collection of the phone call records, known as “metadata.”

Dec 13, 2013

After ‘cataclysmic’ Snowden affair, NSA faces winds of change

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has made dozens of changes in its operations and computer networks to prevent the emergence of another Edward Snowden, including potential disciplinary action, a top NSA official said on Friday, as a White House review panel recommended restraints on NSA spying.

Former NSA contractor Snowden’s disclosures have been “cataclysmic” for the eavesdropping agency, Richard Ledgett, who leads a task force responding to the leaks, said in a rare interview at NSA’s heavily guarded Fort Meade headquarters.

Dec 13, 2013

Exclusive – After ‘cataclysmic’ Snowden affair, NSA faces winds of change

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has made dozens of changes in its operations and computer networks to prevent the emergence of another Edward Snowden, including potential disciplinary action, a top NSA official said on Friday, as a White House review panel recommended restraints on NSA spying.

Former NSA contractor Snowden’s disclosures have been “cataclysmic” for the eavesdropping agency, Richard Ledgett, who leads a task force responding to the leaks, said in a rare interview at NSA’s heavily guarded Fort Meade headquarters.

Dec 13, 2013

White House says plans no split of NSA, Cyber Command

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Friday said it will keep one person in charge of both the
National Security Agency spy agency and the military’s Cyber
Command, despite growing calls for splitting the roles in the
wake of revelations about the vast U.S. electronic surveillance
operations.

The White House had considered splitting up the two
agencies, possibly giving the NSA a civilian leader for the
first time in its 61-year history to dampen controversy over its
programs revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.