Tag: State Department

Trump’s Ominous Attempt to Redefine Human Rights

For the Trump administration to establish a “Commission on Unalienable Rights” to examine the meaning of human rights, as it did this month, is a little like Saudi Arabia forming a commission on multiparty democracy or North Korea a commission on how to end famine. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so ominous. Announcing […]

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‘It Could Have Been Any of Us’: Disdain for Trump Runs Among Ambassadors

WASHINGTON — Ask members of the Washington diplomatic corps about the cables that Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador who resigned Wednesday, wrote to London describing the dysfunction and chaos of the Trump administration, and their response is uniform: We wrote the same stuff. “Yes, yes, everyone does,” Gérard Araud, who retired this spring as […]

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U.S. Missiles Found in Libyan Rebel Camp Were First Sold to France

WASHINGTON — A cache of powerful American missiles was sold to France before ending up in the hands of rebel fighters loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who is seeking to overthrow the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli. The four Javelin anti-tank missiles, which cost more than $170,000 each and are usually sold only to close […]

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State Department Creates Advisory Panel on Human Rights

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday the creation of a commission to review “the role of human rights in American foreign policy,” and consider questions about the intended meaning of the concept that was memorialized in a 1948 United Nations declaration. “What does it mean to say or claim that something […]

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Split Emerges in Administration Over Approach to North Korea Talks

WASHINGTON — As President Trump reveled in his historic weekend stroll into North Korea, administration officials were sharply at odds on Monday over what demands to make of Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, as they prepared to restart negotiations on a nuclear deal. Pushing an internal debate into the open, John R. Bolton, the […]

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Bombing Kills Dozens in Kabul as Taliban Talks Continue

KABUL, Afghanistan — A complex attack including a car-bombing and militant assault killed at least 40 people in Kabul on Monday, badly damaging a private war museum and adjoining television station, officials said. The attack came as American and Taliban negotiators were meeting in Qatar amid hopes for a deal on an American troop withdrawal. […]

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American Missiles Found in Libyan Rebel Compound

Libyan government fighters discovered a cache of powerful American missiles, usually sold only to close American allies, at a captured rebel base in the mountains south of Tripoli this week. The four Javelin anti-tank missiles, which cost more than $170,000 each, had ended up bolstering the arsenal of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, whose forces are waging […]

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Trump Fast-Forwards American Decline

So Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has told The Financial Times, “The liberal idea has become obsolete.” It has, he says, “outlived its purpose.” President Trump finds him amusing. In Japan, at the G-20 summit meeting, he wags his finger at Putin and says, with a grin: “Don’t meddle in the election, President.” It’s a […]

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Pompeo, a Steadfast Hawk, Coaxes a Hesitant Trump on Iran

WASHINGTON — In the days leading up to President Trump’s decision on whether to launch a missile strike against Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commanded the stage. After warning that Mr. Trump was prepared to use force because of Iran’s suspected role in oil tanker attacks, Mr. Pompeo flew to Florida on Monday to […]

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Facing Intensifying Confrontation With Iran, Trump Has Few Appealing Options

President Trump’s last-minute decision to pull back from a retaliatory strike on Iran underscored the absence of appealing options available to him as Tehran races toward its next big challenge to the United States: building up and further enriching its stockpile of nuclear fuel. Two weeks of flare-ups over the attacks on oil tankers and […]

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They Each Backed Off Strikes: Trump in ’19, Obama in ’13, Clinton in ’98

WASHINGTON — The president calls off a missile strike on a Middle Eastern country at the last minute, overruling his national security advisers, confusing allies and adversaries, and provoking criticism from hawks in his own party, who warn that his vacillation could erode America’s credibility in a dangerous world. That was President Barack Obama facing […]

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9 American Tourists Have Died in the Dominican Republic

Earlier this month, Amir Allen traveled to the Dominican Republic to meet his father for Father’s Day. But when he got off the plane, he learned that Joseph Allen, 55, from New Jersey, had died of cardiac arrest, said Amir’s uncle, Jason Allen. Joseph Allen had arrived on the island on June 9 to celebrate […]

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Patricia de Stacy Harrison, of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, on YouTube and Trump

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting distributes about $450 million annually to public radio and television stations, funding everything from “Frontline” to “Radiolab.” Patricia de Stacy Harrison, the group’s chief executive, is the one holding the purse strings. In the role for well over a decade, Ms. Harrison brings a diverse skill set to the job. […]

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Richard Holbrooke and a Certain Idea of America

On July 6, 1939, a couple of months before the outbreak of World War II, a young Polish Jewish immigrant named Abraham Dan Golbraich went before a judge and changed his name to Dan A. Holbrooke. He was to be the father of Richard Holbrooke, a diplomat whose fierce talent ended a European war and […]

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What We Know About the Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths

More than two million Americans visit the Dominican Republic every year, making up about a third of the country’s tourists. Six have died in the last year during their visits. Because of the seeming similarities among their deaths, their family members have suggested that they are connected and have raised suspicions about the resorts where […]

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Democrats to Scrutinize Ex-Lobbyist’s Role in Trump’s Arms Sales to Gulf Nations

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats are examining whether a former arms-industry lobbyist serving as a midlevel State Department official played a role in the Trump administration’s decision last month to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without seeking legislative approval, lawmakers and current and former government officials said. A House committee plans […]

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Pride Flags and Foreign Policy: U.S. Diplomats See Shift on Gay Rights

RIO DE JANEIRO — American diplomats in Brazil recently sought State Department permission to fly rainbow flags this month at the United States Embassy and a consulate, citing an increasingly hostile environment for gay Brazilians since the election of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro last fall. Washington rejected the request in what some see as […]

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White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. WASHINGTON — The White House tried to stop a State Department senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in congressional testimony this week, internal emails and documents show. The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research declined to make changes […]

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Trump Calls Off Plan to Impose Tariffs on Mexico

WASHINGTON — President Trump called off his plan to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods on Friday night and announced on Twitter that the United States had reached an agreement with Mexico to reduce the flow of migrants to the southwestern border. Mr. Trump made the announcement only hours after returning from Europe and following […]

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Democrats Urge Pompeo to End Policy Used to Deny Citizenship to Children of Gay Couples

Nearly 20 Democratic senators and 80 members of the House of Representatives signed sharply worded letters that were sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, calling on his department to reverse a policy that has been used to deny citizenship to children of Americans born abroad through assisted reproductive technology. The two letters, […]

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