Tag: State Department

U.S. Says Syria’s President May Be Using Chemical Weapons Again

WASHINGTON — The State Department said on Tuesday that the Syrian government might be renewing its use of chemical weapons, citing a suspected chlorine attack in northwest Syria, and maintaining that any use of such weapons would lead the United States and its allies to “respond quickly and appropriately.” The Trump administration said the suspected […]

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Both Parents Are American. The U.S. Says Their Baby Isn’t.

James Derek Mize is an American citizen, born and raised in the United States. His husband, who was born in Britain to an American mother, is a United States citizen, too. But the couple’s infant daughter isn’t, according to the State Department. She was born abroad to a surrogate, using a donor egg and sperm […]

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News Analysis: To Contain Iran, Trump’s Newest Line in the Sand Looks a Lot Like Obama’s

WASHINGTON — Pressed this week to define President Trump’s goals in escalating military and economic pressure on Iran, one of his top foreign policy aides ticked through a familiar list: End the country’s support for terrorism, stop its missile launches and then, most importantly, keep Iran more than a year away from the capability to […]

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Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea

WASHINGTON — The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said. Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary […]

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Images of Missiles at Sea Set Off Debate Over Iran Threat

WASHINGTON — The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said. Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary […]

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Editorial Observer: The Nuclear Weapons Sisterhood

In the mid-1990s, Laura Holgate, then a senior Defense Department official, was in Moscow leading a delegation to discuss ways the United States could help the Russians secure plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons. After a male Russian official gave a confusing explanation about the Kremlin’s storage plans, she sought clarification. The Russian, his voice dripping […]

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U.S. Orders Partial Evacuation of Embassy in Baghdad

WASHINGTON — The State Department ordered a partial evacuation of the United States Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, responding to what the Trump administration said was a threat linked to Iran, one that has led to an accelerated movement of American ships and bombers into the Persian Gulf. The department ordered “nonemergency U.S. government employees,” […]

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Skeptical U.S. Allies Resist Trump’s New Claims of Threats From Iran

WASHINGTON — As the Trump administration draws up war plans against Iran over what it says are threats to American troops and interests, a senior British military official told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that he saw no increased risk from Iran or allied militias in Iraq or Syria. A few hours later, the […]

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How the Courts Should Handle Trump’s Oversight Defiance

The Treasury Department, with its Monday announcement that it would not comply with a demand from House Democrats to release President Trump’s tax returns to Congress, has set up a battle that will now go to the courts to be settled. President Trump has already filed a novel lawsuit to block his own accounting firm […]

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Pompeo Abruptly Cancels Berlin Trip Over ‘Pressing’ Issues

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly canceled his first official trip to Berlin, where he was scheduled to meet on Tuesday with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her foreign minister, for what were described as “pressing” but undefined reasons. “Unfortunately, we must reschedule the Berlin meetings,” Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement. […]

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News Analysis: With Maduro Still in Power, Questions About the U.S. Role in Venezuela

WASHINGTON — Nobody said regime change was going to be easy. President Trump’s top advisers woke up Tuesday believing that a rebellion in the Venezuelan military that day would galvanize a popular uprising and topple a leader they have described as a reviled despot who must be replaced. But at day’s end, President Nicolás Maduro […]

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North Korea Demanded $2 Million Before Releasing Comatose U.S. Student

WASHINGTON — North Korea billed the Trump administration $2 million for the medical care of Otto F. Warmbier, an imprisoned American student who had fallen into a coma, before agreeing to release him in 2017. A senior American diplomat negotiating for Mr. Warmbier’s freedom accepted the bill, and Mr. Warmbier was released. He died six […]

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The Surprising Place Mueller Found Resistance to Trump

Nearly everyone interprets the exhaustive, nearly 450-page report from Robert Mueller as a story of presidential overreach. Convinced that Mr. Mueller’s investigation would embarrass his administration by revealing the extent of Russian influence on the 2016 election, President Trump attempted to undermine the special counsel’s probe. But the report is actually a story of presidential […]

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U.S. to Clamp Down on Iranian Oil Sales, Risking Rise in Gasoline Prices

NEW ORLEANS — The Trump administration is poised to end a program that has allowed five large nations, including China and India, to buy Iranian oil despite American sanctions, two senior American officials said on Sunday, a decision that is intended to squeeze Tehran’s government but could lead to higher oil and gasoline prices. The […]

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Pompeo Bars 16 Saudis From U.S. in Response to Khashoggi Killing

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, facing criticism that the Trump administration has sought to sweep away the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal killing, announced on Monday that 16 Saudis, including one of the closest aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were being barred from entry to the United States. The list included the close […]

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News Analysis: The Rapture and the Real World: Mike Pompeo Blends Beliefs and Policy

JERUSALEM — When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down for an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network in a hotel in Jerusalem earlier this month, he made a remark that was perhaps the most revelatory of any in his nearly one year in office. An evangelical Christian, Mr. Pompeo had just returned from tours […]

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Pompeo Denounces Hezbollah in Lebanon, With an Israeli Audience in Mind

BEIRUT, Lebanon — In tense meetings on Friday, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed leaders of Lebanon to curb the growing power of Hezbollah, the political and military group supported by Iran that holds government posts and runs the health ministry. “Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: bravely move forward as […]

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U.S. Pressures Iraq Over Embrace of Militias Linked to Iran

ABOARD THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE’S AIRPLANE TO KUWAIT — The United States’ attempts to isolate Iran, including by punishing Iraqi militias and politicians who are supported by Iranian officials, has deepened tensions not only between Washington and Baghdad but also within the Trump administration. American military and intelligence officials said the increasing pressure […]

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One Dept. Limited Their Protections. Another Singled Out Their Countries for Rights Violations.

WASHINGTON — In announcing the United States’ annual list of the world’s worst human rights violations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this past week singled out South Sudan and Nicaragua for government-sanctioned atrocities against their own people. Over the past year in South Sudan, Mr. Pompeo said, “military forces waged sexual violence against civilians based […]

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Afghan Leaders Focus Anger Over U.S.-Taliban Peace Talks on a Diplomat

WASHINGTON — Afghanistan’s leaders are angered on many levels by the Trump administration’s peace negotiations with the Taliban. But they have concentrated their fury on a single figure: Zalmay Khalilzad. They accuse Mr. Khalilzad, an Afghan-born American diplomat who is leading the talks, of cutting them out of planning for their future. They say he […]

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