Despite horror of Islamic State, Hill wary of US military expansion
WASHINGTON — For weeks, Capitol Hill has watched U.S. military engagement in Iraq with quiet unease.
US diplomacy on Gaza strains ties with Israel
WASHINGTON — When the State Department condemned Israel’s strike on a United Nations school in Gaza on Sunday, saying it was “appalled” by this “disgraceful” act, it gave full vent to what has been weeks of mounting American anger toward the Israeli government.
U.S. announces more sanctions against Russia over Ukraine
WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday imposed additional sanctions against Russian government officials and companies deemed close to President Vladimir Putin, accusing Moscow of failing to live up to its agreement to defuse the crisis in Ukraine.
Dual setbacks for Obama on a strategic Asian tour
TOKYO — President Barack Obama encountered setbacks to two of his most cherished foreign-policy projects Thursday, as he failed to advance a trade deal that undergirds his strategic pivot to Asia and the Middle East peace process suffered a potentially irreparable breakdown.
Biden faces delicate two-step in Asia
TOKYO — With Japan locked in a tense standoff with China over disputed airspace, Vice President Joe Biden arrived here late Monday for a weeklong visit to Asia intended to reassure a close ally and demand answers from a potential adversary.
Obama tells lawmakers to give Iran sanctions more time
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, defending his diplomatic efforts in the face of congressional criticism, pleaded with lawmakers Thursday to hold off on imposing new sanctions against Iran while negotiators seek a six-month interim agreement that would freeze Tehran’s nuclear program.
Bill Clinton’s dissent on Syrian action puts White House on the spot
WASHINGTON - A day after former President Bill Clinton endorsed a more robust U.S. intervention in Syria, the White House pushed back Thursday on an issue that has Clinton aligning himself with Sen. John McCain, who has faulted President Barack Obama for his reluctance to get entangled in the bloody civil war there.
US sees North Korea blustering, not acting
WASHINGTON — Despite a drumbeat of increasingly bellicose threats from North Korea, the White House said Monday that there was no evidence that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, was mobilizing troops or other military forces for any imminent attack.
Obama warns Syrians on use of chemical weapons
JERUSALEM — Showing solidarity with Israel’s growing concern about chemical weapons in neighboring Syria, President Barack Obama stated bluntly Wednesday that if an investigation he had ordered found proof that the Syrian military had used such weapons it would be a “game changer” in U.S. involvement in the civil war there.
As Assad holds firm, Obama could revisit arms policy
WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama rebuffed four of his top national security officials who wanted to arm the rebels in Syria last fall, it put an end to a debate of several months over how aggressively Washington should respond to the strife there that has now left nearly 70,000 dead.
In fending off critics, Obama points to Hagel as war hero
WASHINGTON — In his effusive endorsement of Chuck Hagel as his choice for secretary of defense on Monday, President Barack Obama set in motion a White House campaign that officials predict will overcome weeks of accusations that the Republican former senator from Nebraska is anti-Israel, anti-gay and soft on Iran.
Heavier weapons push Syrian crisis toward civil war
WASHINGTON — With evidence that powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters, the bloody uprising in Syria has thrust the Obama administration into an increasingly difficult position as the conflict shows signs of mutating into a full-fledged civil war.
Obama to Congress: ‘Pass this jobs bill’
WASHINGTON — Mixing politically moderate proposals with a punchy tone, President Barack Obama challenged lawmakers Thursday to “pass this jobs bill” — a blunt call on Congress to enact his $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending designed to revive a stalling economy as well as his own political standing.
US relations with Saudi Arabia chilled
WASHINGTON — The brutal crackdown in Bahrain poses the greatest Middle East democracy dilemma yet to the Obama administration, deepening a rift with its most important Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, while potentially strengthening the influence of its biggest nemesis, Iran.
Obama says Col. Moammar Gadhafi ‘must leave’ Libya now
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama demanded Thursday that the embattled Libyan leader, Col. Moammar Gadhafi, “step down and leave” immediately and said he would consider a full range of options to stem the bloodshed there, though he did not commit the United States to any direct military action.
Obama administration lining up allies to pressure China
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, facing a vexing relationship with China on exchange rates, trade and security issues, is stiffening its approach toward Beijing, seeking allies to confront a newly assertive power that officials now say has little intention of working with the United States.
China supports sanctions against Iran’s nuclear activity at summit
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama secured a promise from President Hu Jintao of China on Monday to join negotiations on a new package of sanctions against Iran, administration officials said, but Hu made no specific commitment to backing measures that the United States considers severe enough to force a change in direction in Iran’s nuclear program.
Strains easing, Chinese leader plans visit to United States
WASHINGTON — Tensions between China and the United States have ebbed significantly in recent days, with the countries now working together to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions and with the Obama administration backing off a politically charged clash over China’s currency.
Despite pressure, China still resists Iran sanctions
WASHINGTON — Despite intense public and private pressure by the Obama administration, China has not yet shown any sign that it will support tougher sanctions against Iran, leaving a stubborn barrier before President Barack Obama’s efforts to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Clinton Challenges Pakistanis On Al-Qaida
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a visit meant to improve relations with Pakistan, strongly suggested Thursday that some Pakistani officials bore responsibility for allowing al-Qaida terrorists to operate from safe havens along this country’s frontier.
Iran Agrees to Key Concessions On Nuclear Fuel
Iran agreed on Thursday in talks with the United States and other major powers to open its newly revealed uranium enrichment plant near Qum to international inspection in the next two weeks and to send most of its openly declared enriched uranium to Russia to be turned into fuel for a small reactor that produces medical isotopes, senior U.S. and other Western officials said.
Clinton Proposes Including Iran In Talks on Afghanistan
Setting up the prospect of its first face-to-face encounter with Iran, the Obama administration has proposed a major conference on Afghanistan later this month that would include Iran among the invited countries, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday.
As Clinton Lands in Asia, North Korea Threatens Missile Test
As Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Japan on Monday, her first foreign visit as secretary of state, North Korea threatened to test what its neighbors believe is a ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States.
Clinton Sees Possible Progress On Iran and North Korea
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Tuesday that Iran had a “clear opportunity” to engage with the international community, amplifying the conciliatory tone struck a day earlier by President Barack Obama toward Iran and the rest of the Muslim world.
Nations Weigh Options as Financial Chaos Spreads
The United States and Britain appear to be converging on a common solution for the financial chaos sweeping the world, one day before a crucial meeting of financial leaders begins in Washington that the White House hopes will result in a more unified response.
As Crisis Spreads, Investors Fear Worldwide Recession
When the White House rolled out its $700 billion rescue plan two weeks ago, its sheer size was meant to soothe the global financial system, restoring trust and confidence. Three days after the plan was approved, it looks like a pebble tossed into a churning sea.
Geithner, Rescue Veteran, Has Jump in Seizing Reins
For the last year, Timothy F. Geithner has been at the very heart of dealing with the financial crisis, the junior partner with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve. Together, they scrambled to save Bear Stearns, American International Group and Citigroup, while letting Lehman Brothers fail.
U.S. Investing Quarter Billion to Bolster Banks
Buoyed by the biggest intervention in the America’s banking system since the Depression, and similar dramatic moves in Europe, stock markets around the world staged one of the most powerful one-day rallies in history on Monday.
IMF Mulls Credit to Stem Crisis in Developing World
With the financial crisis engulfing developing countries from Latin America to Central Europe, raising the specter of market panic and even social unrest, Western officials are weighing coordinated action to try to stabilize these economies.
With Bill Stalled, Fed and Treasury Have Other Options
For the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, it is crunch time.
Austrians Recoil at Case of Incest in Cellar Dungeon
With his Mercedes-Benz and the rings on his fingers, Josef Fritzl looked every inch a property owner, neighbors in this tidy Austrian town said Monday. Even when running errands, they said, he wore a natty jacket, crisp shirt and tie.
Britain Cuts Interest Rate Because of Inflation; ECB Keeps Rate Constant
The European Central Bank, caught between fears of rising inflation and subsiding economic growth, walked a middle ground on Thursday, leaving interest rates unchanged.
Protestors Foil Some Security Measures at Summit Meeting
They lurked in the woods, 50 strong, wearing black hoods and bandannas, and wielding tree limbs. At a signal given by one of their number, they sprang forward and threw their debris across a road here, creating a barricade that brought traffic to a screeching halt.
Putin Suspends Arms Treaty To Contest U.S. Defense Plans
President Vladimir V. Putin said Thursday that Russia would suspend its compliance with a treaty on conventional arms in Europe that was forged at the end of the Cold War, opening a fresh and intense dispute in the souring relations between NATO and the Kremlin.