Tag: State Department

Watchdog Says State Dept. Failed to Limit Civilian Deaths From Saudi Arms Sales

WASHINGTON — The State Department inspector general issued a report on Tuesday criticizing the agency as failing to take proper measures to reduce civilian deaths from American-made bombs used by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the catastrophic Yemen war. The report, released 14 months after Congress asked the inspector general to start […]

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Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says

WASHINGTON — Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump. At the same time, the officials said China prefers that Mr. Trump be defeated in […]

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The US Government Is Spamming Random Iranians and Russians With Text Messages

On Thursday night, people in Russia and Iran started getting weird text messages. The texts offered people $10 million for information about cyber threats related to the upcoming U.S. election. It had a handy link where respondents could report tips. The U.S. State Department has admitted responsibility for the text messages, according to Reuters. The […]

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Pompeo Warned Russia Against Bounties on U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned Russia’s foreign minister against Moscow paying bounties to Taliban-linked militants and other Afghan fighters for killing American service members, U.S. officials said. Mr. Pompeo’s warning is the first known rebuke from a senior American official to Russia over the bounties program, and it runs counter to […]

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The Latest U.S. Tool to Fight Election Meddling: Text Messages

WASHINGTON — The United States government on Thursday became, for a brief moment, one of the biggest and perhaps most annoying telemarketers in Russia. Seeking to publicize new rewards of up to $10 million for information about people trying to attack American voting systems, the State Department sent text messages to cellphones in Russia as […]

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Iran Envoy Brian Hook, a ‘Survivor’ on Trump’s Team, to Quit

Brian Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran and one of the few national security officials to survive the turmoil in the foreign policy team through most of President Trump’s term, plans to announce Thursday that he is resigning his post. The departure of Mr. Hook, 52, appears to bury any remaining chance of […]

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U.S. Examines Whether Saudi Nuclear Program Could Lead to Bomb Effort

American intelligence agencies are scrutinizing efforts by Saudi Arabia to build up its ability to produce nuclear fuel that could put the kingdom on a path to developing nuclear weapons. Spy agencies in recent weeks circulated a classified analysis about the efforts underway inside Saudi Arabia, working with China, to build industrial capacity to produce […]

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Another Inspector General Resigns, Raising Questions About Pompeo

WASHINGTON — The State Department’s acting watchdog has resigned his post less than three months after replacing the previous inspector general, whom President Trump fired in May, the department said Wednesday. The departure of Stephen J. Akard came as Congress continued to look into the firing of his predecessor, Steve A. Linick, who was pursuing investigations […]

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Trump’s Syria Sanctions ‘Cannot Solve the Problem,’ Critics Say

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has embarked on its toughest round of economic sanctions against Syria, intending to break President Bashar al-Assad’s reign over the country and stop a civil war that has claimed over half a million lives. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the administration will not end the pressure campaign on Mr. […]

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American Accused of Blasphemy Is Killed in Pakistan Courtroom

The United States urged Pakistan on Thursday to overhaul the country’s harsh blasphemy laws a day after an American citizen accused of violating them was fatally shot in a courtroom. The brazen killing has brought into sharp focus Pakistan’s much-maligned blasphemy laws, which critics say are often used to persecute and intimidate members of religious […]

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Madeleine Albright on Covid-19, Fascism and Her Dream Superhero Team

“The virus knows no borders and cooperation is absolutely essential” — Secretary Madeleine Albright [In Her Words is available as a newsletter. Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox.] In 2009, Madeleine Albright’s 7-year-old granddaughter turned to her mother and observed: “Only girls are secretary of state.” That 7-year-old was, of course, […]

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Democrats Investigating Why White House Ended Ban on Some Gun Silencer Sales

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats said on Tuesday that they were investigating the Trump administration’s decision to lift a ban on firearm silencer sales to foreign private buyers that had been enacted to prevent the devices from being used against American troops. Democrats are focusing in part on the involvement of Michael B. Williams, a White […]

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As N.F.L. Fights Racism and Sexism, Team Owners Undercut the Message

The N.F.L. has taken strides to repair its image as being insensitive to issues facing women and people of color. But the league continues to be confronted by an uncomfortable reality: Its efforts can be undercut by reports of toxic behavior at the tops of its franchises. Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets and […]

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The Great Au Pair Rush

When the au pair decided to change families, she feared she was taking a major risk. Since the fall, the Colombian woman in her mid-20s had been working in New York as an au pair, one of about 20,000 young people — mostly women — who come to the United States each year to live […]

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Compensation for Embassy Bombing Victims Could Imperil Thaw With Sudan

WASHINGTON — Riz Khaliq and Doreen Oport were both working at the American Embassy in Nairobi on Aug. 7, 1998, when a truck bomb tore through the compound. Both were bloodied. Mr. Khaliq was knocked unconscious and Ms. Oport trapped beneath fallen rubble. Decades later, both periodically pick shreds of glass and metal from their […]

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Woody Johnson Was a Loyal Trump Supporter in 2016. As an Ambassador, He May Be Too Loyal.

LONDON — Playing host at a small dinner on Tuesday night in honor of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the American ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, told his guests that the wine was from President Trump’s vineyard in Virginia. He was serving it, he joked, even though it might be ethically improper. The […]

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Trump Administration Plans to Bypass Arms Control Pact to Sell Large Armed Drones

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration plans to announce on Friday that it will allow the sale of armed drones to other nations and bypass part of an international weapons export control agreement that the United States helped forge more than three decades ago, congressional aides said. Administration officials have been debating for years over how […]

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China Orders U.S. to Shut Consulate in Chengdu, Retaliating for Houston

BEIJING — Retaliating for the Trump administration’s order to close China’s consulate in Houston, China announced on Friday that it had ordered the United States to shut its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The tit-for-tat consulate closures were yet another twist in deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing, perhaps the gravest one yet. […]

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How the Cold War Between China and U.S. Is Intensifying

Tensions between China and the United States have reached the most acute levels since the countries normalized diplomatic relations more than four decades ago, with the American government’s ordering that China close its Houston consulate being just the latest example. In defense, trade, technology, human rights and other categories, actions and reprisals by one side […]

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China-U. S. Confrontation Intensifies on All Fronts

Tensions between China and the United States have reached the most acute levels since the countries normalized diplomatic relations more than four decades ago, with the American government’s ordering that China close its Houston consulate being just the latest example. In defense, trade, technology, human rights and other categories, actions and reprisals by one side […]

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Top State Dept. Officials Enabled Misconduct by Pompeo, Whistle-Blower Said

WASHINGTON — A State Department employee who reported witnessing misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as hearing “numerous firsthand accounts” of such behavior was blocked from further addressing the issue by top department officials who were protecting Mr. Pompeo, according to a newly public copy of the employee’s whistle-blower complaint. The heavily […]

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U.S. Weighs Sweeping Travel Ban on Chinese Communist Party Members

The Trump administration is considering a sweeping ban on travel to the United States by members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families, according to people familiar with the proposal, a move that would almost certainly prompt retaliation against Americans seeking to enter or remain in China and exacerbate tensions between the two nations. […]

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U.S. Says Most of China’s Claims in South China Sea Are Illegal

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that China’s expansive maritime claims across most of the South China Sea were “completely unlawful,” setting up potential military confrontations with Beijing and sanctions against companies as the United States seeks to push back Chinese activity in the region. Mr. Pompeo said China’s yearslong “campaign […]

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