Tag: United States International Relations

Bounties Uproar Casts a Shadow Over a Rare Trump Foreign Policy Achievement

For a president with few tangible foreign policy accomplishments under his belt, Afghanistan had come to look something like a bright spot. His nuclear talks with North Korea have proved fruitless; his “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has produced no concessions from Tehran; Palestinians declared his Middle East peace plan dead on arrival; and a […]

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Senate Sends Trump a Bill to Punish Chinese Officials Over Hong Kong

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed legislation to impose sanctions on Chinese officials trying to stamp out political dissent in Hong Kong, sending the measure to President Trump’s desk for his signature. The passage of the bill, spearheaded by Senators Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, […]

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Slotkin, Former Intelligence Briefer, Presses White House on Russia Reports

WASHINGTON — From the moment President Trump publicly denied knowledge of intelligence that suggested that Russia had offered bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan, something seemed off to Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan. Ms. Slotkin, a former White House national security aide and intelligence briefer whose tasks included ensuring that previous presidents were […]

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Late Action on Virus Prompts Fears Over Safety of U.S. Diplomats in Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON — Inside the sprawling American Embassy compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a coronavirus outbreak was spreading. Dozens of embassy employees became sick last month, and more than 20 others were quarantined after a birthday barbecue became a potential vector for the spread of the disease. A Sudanese driver for the top diplomats died. A […]

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Late Action on Virus Prompts Fears Over Safety of U.S. Diplomats in Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON — Inside the sprawling American Embassy compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a coronavirus outbreak was spreading. Dozens of embassy employees became sick last month, and more than 20 others were quarantined after a birthday barbecue became a potential vector for the spread of the disease. A Sudanese driver for the top diplomats died. A […]

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White House Dismisses Reports of Bounties, but Is Silent on Russia

First President Trump denied knowing about it. Then he called it a possible “hoax.” Next, the White House attacked the news media. And now an unnamed intelligence official is to blame. The one thing Mr. Trump and his top officials have not done is to address the substance of intelligence reports that Russia paid bounties […]

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As U.S.M.C.A. Takes Effect, Much Remains Undone

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s promised rewrite of trade terms between the United States, Canada and Mexico officially goes into effect on Wednesday. But while the president claims victory in reworking the North American Free Trade Agreement, putting its provisions into practice is far from done. Company executives, government officials and union leaders around the continent […]

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Trump’s New Russia Problem: Unread Intelligence and Missing Strategy

The intelligence finding that Russia was most likely paying a bounty for the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan has evoked a strange silence from President Trump and his top national security officials. He insists he never saw the intelligence, though it was part of the President’s Daily Brief just days before a peace deal […]

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Why Does Trump Put Russia First?

Since at least February, and possibly as early as March 2019, the United States has had compelling intelligence that a committed adversary, Russia, paid bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill American troops in Afghanistan. American service members were reportedly killed as a result. To this day, the president of the United States has done nothing […]

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U.N. Security Council Rebuffs Pompeo on Iran Arms Ban

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tuesday for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended indefinitely, but his appeal fell flat at the United Nations Security Council, where Russia and China rejected it outright and close allies of the United States were ambivalent. The embargo, which is set to expire on Oct. 18, […]

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Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties

American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, which was among the evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence. Though the […]

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E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S.

BRUSSELS — The European Union will open its borders to visitors from 15 countries as of Wednesday, but not to travelers from the United States, Brazil or Russia, putting into effect a complex policy that has sought to balance health concerns with politics, diplomacy and the desperate need for tourism revenue. The list of nations […]

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A New Superpower Competition Between Beijing and Washington: China’s Nuclear Buildup

When negotiators from the United States and Russia met in Vienna last week to discuss renewing the last major nuclear arms control treaty that still exists between the two countries, American officials surprised their counterparts with a classified briefing on new and threatening nuclear capabilities — not Russia’s, but China’s. The intelligence had not yet […]

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NASA Scientist, Detained in Turkey for Years, Returns to U.S.

ISTANBUL — An American NASA scientist returned with his family to the United States early Tuesday morning after nearly four years of imprisonment and house arrest in Turkey, and more than seven months after President Trump said he had secured an agreement for his release. The scientist, Serkan Golge, arrived in Washington on a commercial […]

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U.S. Halts High-Tech Exports to Hong Kong Over Security Concerns

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration placed new restrictions on U.S. exports of defense equipment and certain high-technology products to Hong Kong on Monday, in response to a new Chinese law aimed at tightening Beijing’s control over the territory. The administration determined in late May that Hong Kong no longer had significant autonomy under Chinese rule, […]

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5 BRs, Pool/Hot Tub, Mediterranean Vu; Too Far to Commute to Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Oligarchs, let the bidding begin. Having formally moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the United States is now selling off the seacoast estate that has been home to its ambassadors to Israel since 1962, a posh five-bedroom home on a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean just north of Tel Aviv. The asking […]

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Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON — United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter. The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on […]

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Biden Criticizes Trump Over Intelligence on Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. assailed President Trump on Saturday for failing to punish Russia for offering bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, while the White House denied that Mr. Trump had been briefed on the months-old classified intelligence assessment about Russia’s activities. Citing officials briefed on […]

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Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter. The United States concluded months ago that […]

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Why Did Kim Jong-un’s Sister Become the Face of North Korea?

Kim Yo-jong, the only sister of North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, is now setting the tone of the country’s foreign policy. And if he is young and belligerent, she is younger and more belligerent still. Early this month, after human rights activists in South Korea used balloons to send anti-North propaganda leaflets across the […]

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Why Did Kim Jong-un’s Sister Become the Face of North Korea?

Kim Yo-jong, the only sister of North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, is now setting the tone of the country’s foreign policy. And if he is young and belligerent, she is younger and more belligerent still. Early this month, after human rights activists in South Korea used balloons to send anti-North propaganda leaflets across the […]

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For North Korea, Blowing Hot and Cold Is Part of the Strategy

SEOUL, South Korea — One of North Korea’s favorite geopolitical strategies has long been compared to dipping alternately in pools of scathingly hot and icy cold water in a public bathhouse. ​Just a week ago, Kim Yo-jong, the only sister and key aide of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, threatened to ​kill the country’s agreement​s​ […]

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China Students Trapped Abroad by the Coronavirus Are Criticized at Home

James Liu has always considered himself a patriot. With a lump in his throat, he watched a military parade on National Day, China’s birthday, that showed a once backward nation that had become strong and powerful. He got goose bumps watching “Wolf Warrior 2,” a “Rambo”-like Chinese blockbuster featuring a superhero veteran who single-handedly rescues […]

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China and America Are Heading Toward Divorce

My favorite story in John Bolton’s book about the Trump Fun House — sorry, White House — was that President Trump appealed to China’s leader to buy more U.S. agricultural products to boost Trump’s farm vote and his re-election. Donald: Stop begging. Both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have decided to vote for you. Don’t […]

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EU May Ban Travel from US as it Reopens Borders, Citing Coronavirus Failures

BRUSSELS — European Union countries rushing to revive their economies and reopen their borders after months of coronavirus restrictions are prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the scourge, according to draft lists of acceptable travelers seen by The New York Times. That prospect, which would lump American […]

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Pompeo’s Human Rights Panel Could Hurt L.G.B.T. and Women’s Rights, Critics Say

WASHINGTON — Inside the State Department, the definition of human rights is up for debate. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, created a commission last July to provide a new vision for human rights policy that would more closely align with the “nation’s founding principles” and uphold religious freedom as America’s most fundamental […]

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Bolton Assaults Trump From the Right, and Takes Fire From All Directions

He knew what he was getting into. He knew he would be showered with brickbats from the left for not speaking out sooner and denounced by the right for speaking out at all. He knew he would be thrashed by thunderous presidential tweets, and he knew he might even be dragged into court. And yet […]

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The U.S. State Department of Racial Discrimination

Since the protests over the killing of George Floyd, the State Department has been rocked by internal debates, Zoom calls and discussions on how to tackle its lack of diversity. It is no secret that the American foreign service has long been dominated by white males. Most diplomats dismiss this as a regrettable consequence of […]

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Trump Defends China Trade Deal After Adviser Says It’s ‘Over’

WASHINGTON — The White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, said on Monday night that the trade deal between the United States and China was “over,” briefly causing stock markets to dive before he and President Trump quickly walked back the remarks. “The China Trade Deal is fully intact,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter after Mr. […]

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Mixed Signals on Israeli Annexation Reflect Split Among Officials

JERUSALEM — When President Trump’s Middle East team meets this week to hash out what to do about Israel’s planned annexation of territory in the West Bank, a fundamental question will hover overhead: Is the prospect of annexation a pressure tactic to get the Palestinians to engage with the administration’s peace plan, or is the […]

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