Tag: State Department

U.S. Fears Russia Might Put a Nuclear Weapon in Space

When Russia conducted a series of secret military satellite launches around the time of its invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, American intelligence officials began delving into the mystery of what, exactly, the Russians were doing. Later, spy agencies discovered Russia was working on a new kind of space-based weapon that could threaten the thousands […]

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Hamas Gives ‘Positive’ Reply to Hostage and Cease-Fire Plan in Gaza

Hamas has answered a proposal that could halt fighting in the Gaza Strip, release the remaining hostages there and allow more aid to reach desperate Palestinians, U.S. and Qatari leaders said on Tuesday, offering a hint of wary optimism after four brutal months of war. But no deal has been struck, and it is not […]

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Frozen U.S. Funding for UNRWA in Gaza Is Minimal, State Dept. Says

The State Department downplayed the significance on Tuesday of its decision to pause funding for the main U.N. aid agency in Gaza, explaining that it had already provided virtually all the money allocated by Congress for that purpose and that the Biden administration hoped the matter could be resolved quickly. More than 99 percent of […]

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U.S. Issues Raised Travel Advisory for Bahamas. Here’s What to Know.

Drawn by clear turquoise waters and miles of white-sand beaches, around seven million travelers visit the Bahamas each year, but a new warning about increased violence on the island nation has raised alarm over the safety of visiting there. On Jan. 24, the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, issued a security […]

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State Dept. Tells Congress It Has Approved Sale of F-16 Jets to Turkey

The State Department notified Congress on Friday that it had approved a $23 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets and related equipment to Turkey after the country’s leader signed documents to allow Sweden’s long-delayed entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, department officials and the Pentagon said. Although Congress could move to formally block the […]

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Blinken Touts U.S. Investments in Angola

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken wrapped up a four-nation tour through Africa on Thursday with a visit to Angola, an oil-rich former Cold War battleground that has become the site of a struggle for 21st-century economic influence. During his visit to the coastal capital, Luanda, Mr. Blinken spotlighted major American investments in Angola, including […]

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Biden Urges Congress to Quickly Approve F-16 Sale to Turkey

President Biden sent a letter to four senior members of Congress on Wednesday urging them to quickly approve a $20 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, following the vote one day earlier by Turkey’s Parliament to allow Sweden to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, according to three U.S. officials. The White House […]

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Blinken, in Cape Verde, Signals U.S. Attention to Africa

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken touched down on a remote African island chain on Monday, kicking off a four-nation swing through the continent intended to show the Biden administration’s continued interest in Africa amid major conflicts in the Middle East and Europe. A cool Atlantic breeze blew across the dusty port in Praia, Cape […]

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Saudi-Israel Ties Depend on Steps Toward a Palestinian State, Blinken Says

Before Oct. 7, the main discussions about a long-shot normalization deal had taken place between Riyadh and Washington, with the Saudis asking for important security commitments from Washington. But Mr. Blinken’s statements reveal the terms have shifted, marking the first time since talks began in earnest last year that a top American official has explicitly […]

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After Niger Coup, U.S. Scrambles to Keep a Vital Air Base

On a barren swath of land in the Sahara, U.S. Air Base 201 stands far from public sight, on the outskirts of a remote city in one of the world’s poorest countries, its role more elusive than ever since its completion nearly six years ago. Most of the drones that once monitored jihadist activities in […]

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Hezbollah Fires Rockets at Israel in Response to Assassination in Beirut

The Lebanese militia Hezbollah fired a volley of rockets toward a small military base in northern Israel on Saturday morning, in what the group said was an initial response to the assassination of a senior Hamas commander in Lebanon five days ago that has raised fears of a wider conflagration. Hezbollah said in a statement […]

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Asian American Officials Cite Unfair Scrutiny and Lost Jobs in China Spy Tensions

When Thomas Wong set foot in the United States Embassy in Beijing this summer for a new diplomatic posting, it was vindication after years of battling the State Department over a perceived intelligence threat — himself. Diplomatic Security officers had informed him when he joined the foreign service more than a decade ago that they […]

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The U.S. and Israel: An Embrace Shows Signs of Strain After Oct. 7

President Biden was getting ready to leave the White House for an audacious flight to Israel to demonstrate solidarity after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack when suddenly the trip seemed to be falling apart before it even began. An explosion at a Gaza hospital had reportedly killed or wounded hundreds, the Palestinians were blaming Israel, […]

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Senators Hold Up 43 Biden Diplomatic Nominees as Crises Roil World

The Biden administration has 43 presidential nominees still awaiting confirmation in the Senate as Congress prepares to break for the holidays, a delay that is putting American national security and foreign policy interests in jeopardy around the world, the State Department said on Friday. Any nominee not confirmed before the Senate ends its session, which […]

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State Department Bypasses Congress to Approve Israel’s Order for Tank Ammunition

The State Department is pushing through a government sale to Israel of 13,000 rounds of tank ammunition, bypassing a congressional review process that is generally required for arms sales to foreign nations, according to a State Department official and an online post by the Defense Department on Saturday. The State Department notified congressional committees at […]

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U.S. Imposes Visa Bans Tied to West Bank Violence

The Biden administration is preparing to impose visa bans on dozens of Israel settlers and Palestinians who have committed acts of violence in the West Bank. In a statement on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced a new policy “targeting individuals believed to have been involved in undermining peace, security, or stability in […]

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Retired U.S. Diplomat Accused of Working as a Secret Agent for Cuba

U.S. authorities accused a retired American diplomat on Monday of having worked for decades as a secret agent for the Cuban government, saying there was evidence that he had secretly supported the foreign nation while he rose up the ranks of the U.S. State Department. In a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Miami, […]

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Israel Resumes Offensive in Gaza Strip After Truce With Hamas Ends

A weeklong cease-fire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Friday morning, with Israel and Hamas blaming each other for the breakdown of a truce that had allowed for the exchange of hundreds of hostages and prisoners, and that had briefly raised hopes for a more lasting halt to the fighting. The Israeli military said it […]

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Kissinger’s Dirty Work Abroad Hurt America at Home, Too

Kissinger’s dirty work went far beyond Southeast Asia and South America. Along with Nixon, he backed the brutal effort of the military government of the former West Pakistan to suppress Bengali nationalists in the former East Pakistan, in what is now Bangladesh. A recent study estimated the death toll in that conflict at 269,000 people, […]

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Kissinger Kept Busy as a Diplomat Long After Leaving State Department

When Henry Kissinger turned 100 this year, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken toasted him at one birthday celebration in New York, and the C.I.A. director, William J. Burns, did so at another in Washington. There was a reason: Kissinger managed to retain his role as adviser to Washington’s key policymakers a half century after […]

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U.S. Seeks to Use Pause in Fighting to Get More Aid to Gaza

President Biden and his aides are using the agreement for a brief halt to hostilities in Gaza to push the Israeli government to take broad measures aimed at lessening the harm to Palestinian civilians, including setting up safe areas, allowing in much more aid and fuel, and restoring basic services such as water and electricity, […]

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An American Family’s Escape from Gaza

Lena Beseiso pulled her blanket closer as she lay on the cold tile floor, and waited for the bombs to fall. Her husband, two of their daughters, their 10-year-old grandson and Lena’s 87-year-old mother-in-law were stretched out in the same room, silently willing themselves into uneasy sleep. Nights were the worst, and on this night, […]

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More Than 400 U.S. Officials Sign Letter Protesting Biden’s Israel Policy

More than 400 political appointees and staff members representing some 40 government agencies sent a letter to President Biden on Tuesday protesting his support of Israel in its war in Gaza. The letter, part of growing internal dissent over the administration’s support of the war, calls on the president to seek an immediate cease-fire in […]

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State Dept. Workers Sign Memos Urging Biden to Call for Gaza Cease-Fire

Dozens of State Department employees have signed internal memos to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken expressing serious disagreement with the Biden administration’s approach to Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, according to U.S. officials, part of a surging tide of internal disagreement within the Biden administration over the Middle East crisis. At least three internal […]

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Tens of Thousands Evacuate Northern Gaza as Israel’s Invasion Advances

On Sunday, Anas Al Kourd, a paramedic at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, drove south with a group that included his cousin, whose legs had been amputated after she was wounded in the war, and four children. Theirs was the only car in sight. Around them, people held their hands up in a gesture […]

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Under Scrutiny Over Gaza, Israel Points to Civilian Toll of U.S. Wars

Israeli officials say they have no choice: Hamas fighters, numbering perhaps 30,000 by Israeli estimates, embed within Gaza’s population of 2.2 million and store weapons in or under civilian sites, daring Israel to launch strikes that fuel outrage. The officials also say Hamas is clearly guilty of intentionally murdering Israeli civilians. President Biden and his […]

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Former State Department Official Sentenced to Nearly Six Years in Jan. 6 Attack

A former U.S. Marine who served in the Trump administration as a low-level State Department aide was sentenced on Friday to nearly six years in prison for his role in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The former aide, Federico G. Klein, of Falls Church, Va., was a State Department employee when […]

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Is a 2-State Solution Between Israel and Palestinians Still Feasible?

Despite its fealty to the dream of two states, the Biden administration largely adopted the Trump blueprint. It had been trying to broker a deal that would normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, an even greater prize for Israel than the Gulf emirates, given Saudi Arabia’s status as the vanguard of the Arab world. […]

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U.S. Tries New Tack on Russian Disinformation: Pre-Empting It

An article that appeared in August on an international news outlet, Pressenza, recycled a false Russian claim that the West was looting religious relics and art from a monastery in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, one of the holiest sites in Russian Orthodoxy. The article stands out, U.S. officials said, not because of what it claimed — […]

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Inside Biden’s Reversal on Sending Long-Range Missiles to Ukraine

From the opening days of the war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky told President Biden there was one weapon he needed above all others: Long-range missiles, known as ATACMS, that could reach air bases and Russian troops more than 100 miles behind the lines. For the better part of 18 months, Mr. Biden had one […]

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U.S. Turns to Qatar for Hamas Hostages, Facing Risky Options in Gaza

In the dense warrens of Gaza, Hamas is believed to hold at least 199 people hostage, guarded by gunmen and booby traps, likely scattered and hidden from any would-be rescuers as Israel readies a ground invasion. Israeli and U.S. commandos have pulled off extraordinary hostage rescues before. But the chaotic environment of Gaza, which is […]

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