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Kerry to Syria: 'Threat of Force Is Real'

Secretary warns of consequences if US-Russia deal isn't carried out

(Newser) - Secretary of State John Kerry today sent a strong warning to Syria, saying "the threat of force is real" if it does not carry out an internationally brokered agreement to hand over its chemical weapons. Kerry issued the warning during a stop in Jerusalem, where he briefed jittery Israeli... More »

Kerry Confirms Sarin; Assad 'Joins List of Hitler, Saddam'

Says 'case is building'

(Newser) - The Syrian regime used sarin gas on its own people, John Kerry confirmed today, saying that blood and hair samples from first responders in Damascus had tested positive for the chemical agent and that the evidence had come to the United States independently, and not via the UN. "Bashar... More »

Kerry: Assad Must Be Punished

He says the US has 'high confidence' Syria used chemical weapons

(Newser) - John Kerry said today the US is sure that Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people in Syria, and that letting him go unpunished would set too dangerous a precedent for the world. The secretary of state said the US has "high confidence" in its intelligence and urged people to... More »

Heinz Kerry Discharged From Hospital

Poised to fully recover after seizure

(Newser) - Teresa Heinz Kerry, who was hospitalized following a seizure early this month, is out of the hospital, and doctors are expecting a full recovery, says a rep for John Kerry in a statement. "It was amazing, a miracle," says Heinz Kerry. She'll take a "a period... More »

Kerry to Visit Slain Diplomat's Parents

Stopping in Chicago during return from Japan

(Newser) - John Kerry will today meet with the parents of Anne Smedinghoff, the young diplomat killed earlier this month in Afghanistan while carrying textbooks from a military base to a school. The secretary of state is making a stop in Chicago as he returns from Japan, the AP reports. Smedinghoff was... More »

Clinton Inks Memoir Deal for Years at State

Book publicity expected to boost speculation about presidential run

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton's memoir of her time as secretary of state is on its way, with Simon & Schuster announcing the deal today and tentatively aiming to publish it in June 2014, reports USA Today . Financial details of the book were not disclosed, but Clinton earned $8 million for her... More »

Kerry: Time for Iran Nuke Talks Is 'Finite'

UN watchdog prevented from entering Iran military site

(Newser) - Talks with Iran on its nuclear program can't simply drag on forever, John Kerry and the Saudi foreign minister are warning. "There is a finite amount of time," Kerry said during a Riyadh press conference on his first overseas trip as secretary of state. Diplomacy, he said,... More »

Kerry: Americans Have 'a Right to Be Stupid'

Freedom of speech applies to wingnuts, too, says secretary of state

(Newser) - Life, liberty, and the pursuit of ... stupidity? These are all-American rights, secretary of state John Kerry explained to a German audience today. Reuters has the full quote:
  • "People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it'
... More »

Kerry Heads Out on 1st Trip

'Listening tour' centers on Syria solution, will hit 9 nations

(Newser) - Secretary of State John Kerry is off and racking up the frequent flier miles, embarking on his first official overseas voyage in a diplomatic mission to bring new ideas to European capitals and the Middle East on how to end nearly two years of brutal violence in Syria. Kerry today... More »

Clinton Slams Benghazi Critics in Exit Interview

Calls politics a 'contact sport,' but doesn't speculate about political future

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is going out swinging. In her last one-on-one interview before stepping down as secretary of state today, Clinton yesterday told the AP that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was the low point of her tenure—and slammed Republicans who subsequently "politicized" the killings of Chris... More »

Senate Confirms Kerry, 94-3

He will replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state

(Newser) - Maybe the only surprising thing about John Kerry getting confirmed to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state is that it wasn't a unanimous vote in the Senate. Instead, Kerry had to settle for a 94-3 mark, with Republicans Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, and James Inhofe voting against him.... More »

Senate Committee Approves Kerry for State Gig

He'll go before the full Senate later today

(Newser) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee surprised exactly no one today by putting its seal of approval on John Kerry's nomination for secretary of State nomination. It would have been quite the upset if Kerry hadn't gotten the committee's approval, given that he has sat on it for... More »

Clinton's Grade at State: Just 'Solid'

Popular leader hasn't left enduring legacy: analysts

(Newser) - As Hillary Clinton leaves the State Department a fawning public is eating out of her hand, but policy wonks are less impressed, complaining that she hasn't left an indelible mark. "She has never dominated issues of war and peace in the manner of predecessors Dean Acheson or Henry... More »

Clinton, Obama All Smiles on 60 Minutes

But no hints about 2016 plans

(Newser) - In a scene that would have been hard to imagine during the bruising 2008 primary campaign, President Obama and Hillary Clinton acted like old friends during their joint interview on 60 Minutes last night, the Washington Post reports. Obama thanked his departing secretary of state for her service , but the... More »

Obama, Hillary Give Interview—but Why?

President thanks Clinton for her years of service

(Newser) - Did President Obama just pass Hillary Clinton the presidential baton? The once-bitter political foes are set to appear on 60 Minutes tonight, just before Clinton's departure from the State Department—but the question is why, CNN reports. "The main thing is I just wanted to have a chance... More »

Kerry Set for Cakewalk of a Hearing

Secretary of State nominee to testify before his own committee

(Newser) - Seeking confirmation as the next secretary of state, John Kerry will testify today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Shouldn't be a tough crowd: Kerry himself has been on the committee for 28 years, and he's led it for the past four, the AP notes. He'll be... More »

Senator Says Clinton Used 'Theatrics' to Dodge Question

Ron Johnson says her outburst was calculated

(Newser) - The big highlight from Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony today remains her showdown with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. He pressed her on how she handled the terrorists-vs-spontaneous-protest matter, and she shot back, "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. What difference, at... More »

GOP Fires Up the Grill for Clinton, Kerry

McCain jokes that he'll waterboard Kerry

(Newser) - Both Hillary Clinton and her would-be successor John Kerry are headed to Capitol Hill: Clinton is testifying today about the Benghazi attack, while Kerry is getting ready for confirmation hearings tomorrow. A look around the landscape:
  • Republicans are hoping Clinton's hearing will finally answer some tough questions about the
... More »

Clinton Returns to Work, Gets Gag Gift

She's greeting with applause, and a helmet

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is back at work, and while her blood clot is gone, her sense of humor is hopefully not. The State Department greeted Clinton with a standing ovation and a gag gift: a football helmet adorned with her department's seal, reports the AP . She was also given a... More »

Clinton Plans Return to Work Next Week

As John Kerry ramps up preparation for his confirmation hearings

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton continues to recuperate at home but will be back at work in her Washington office at some point next week, reports Politico . Clinton is "sounding terrific, upbeat, and raring to go," says spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The secretary of state was discharged from the hospital yesterday following... More »

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