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US Hostages' Savior in Iran in 1980 Has Died

Heroic actions of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor were documented in 'Argo'

(Newser) - Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran who helped smuggle six American hostages home from the country in 1980, died Thursday of colon cancer at the age of 81, his wife tells the AP . For three months, Taylor and his deputy, John Sheardown, hid at their Tehran homes the six... More »

Ambassadors, Wives Killed in Pakistan Helicopter Crash

Taliban claims it shot down aircraft full of envoys

(Newser) - The ambassadors to Pakistan from the Philippines and Norway and the wives of the ambassadors from Malaysia and Indonesia were killed today when an army helicopter carrying foreign dignitaries made a crash landing in the country's north, the military says. An army spokesman says the Mi-17 helicopter made the... More »

US Ambassador Worked in Bathroom to Flout State Dept.

Scott Gration refused to use Nairobi embassy's IT, set up office in the can

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is under the microscope for conducting official State Department business from a personal email account . But she probably wasn't working out of her bathroom—unlike an ex-US ambassador to Kenya who did just that. Ars Technica resurfaces the 2012 story of Scott Gration, who balked at using... More »

China Slams Departing US Envoy With Slur

State news service essay calls him 'banana' with yellow skin and white heart

(Newser) - Today was Gary Locke's last day as US ambassador to China, and Beijing is apparently happy to see the last of him. The official China News Service ran an essay that included this line:
  • “Gary Locke is a US-born, third-generation Chinese-American, and his being a banana—‘yellow
... More »

I'm No 'Expert on China,' Says Our Next Ambassador

Max Baucus makes odd statement during confirmation hearing

(Newser) - Retiring Sen. Max Baucus said all things you'd expect him to say during his Senate confirmation hearing to be the next ambassador to China—he talked of trade, computer breaches, human rights, and "important bilateral relationships," reports Bloomberg . But he also said one thing you most definitely... More »

Mystery Deepens Around Diplomat's Explosive Death

Palestinians release conflicting statements about the safe

(Newser) - The plot thickened today around the mysterious explosion that killed Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Jamal in Prague. Initially, reports had indicated that Jamal had opened a booby-trapped embassy safe—one that the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said hadn't been opened in more than 20 years. But an embassy spokesperson has since... More »

Palestinian Ambassador in Prague Killed in Blast

Jamel al-Jamal killed while moving safe in his apartment

(Newser) - Police say an explosion in Prague has killed the Palestinian ambassador in the Czech Republic. Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal was in his apartment with his family at the time of the explosion today, according to Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel. Al-Jamal was seriously injured and rushed to a hospital, where he... More »

Greece Gunmen Fire at German Envoy's Home

No one hurt in attack

(Newser) - A hail of gunfire hit the residence of the German ambassador in Greece early this morning, but no one was hurt, police say. Six people have been detained for questioning and released, the AP reports; no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the New York Times notes. Some 60... More »

New Ambassador Kennedy Heads to JFK-Friendly Japan

Sworn in by John Kerry; leaves US tomorrow

(Newser) - Caroline Kennedy is the US ambassador to Japan following a swearing-in ceremony at the State department yesterday. After John Kerry administered the oath, the new ambassador, the secretary of state, and others headed to the Japanese ambassador's residence for a reception, the Washington Post reports. "My husband and... More »

Obama Nominates Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Japan

She would be the first woman in the job

(Newser) - Caroline Kennedy is finally getting a high-profile thank-you for all the help she has given President Obama over the years: He nominated her to be the next ambassador to Japan today, reports CNN . Assuming the Senate goes along, JFK's 55-year-old daughter will become the first woman to hold the... More »

Supermarket Tussle Turns Into Diplomatic Incident in Peru

Ecuador's ambassador removed after fight with women

(Newser) - A brief dust-up at a Peruvian supermarket has become an international incident. Ecuador's ambassador to the country squabbled with women in line, resulting in an exchange of blows. It all began when the women skipped in front of Rodrigo Riofrio in line, say a mother and daughter, per Peruvian... More »

New Ambassador to Japan: Caroline Kennedy

She was big Obama backer in 2008

(Newser) - Japan is getting another big-name ambassador from the US. Caroline Kennedy's name had been floated for the post; now she's got the job, the Washington Post reports. She follows in a line of famous ambassadors to the island nation, including former VP Walter Mondale and former Senate majority... More »

Obama Picks Chris Stevens' Replacement in Libya

Career diplomat Deborah K. Jones will be ambassador to Libya

(Newser) - President Obama has nominated a longtime diplomat to the Mideast as the US' next ambassador to Libya, filling the sensitive post that has been vacant since Chris Stevens was killed in an attack on the American consulate in September and signaling the United States' commitment to the North African country... More »

Why I'm Out of the Running for Secretary

No room for partisan fights amid national security matters: Susan Rice

(Newser) - Susan Rice has pulled herself out of the running for secretary of state , and she explains the move in a Washington Post op-ed. "As it became clear that my potential nomination would spark an enduring partisan battle," she writes, "I concluded that it would be wrong to... More »

Susan Rice Withdraws Name From Consideration

Controversial ambassador out of running for secretary of state

(Newser) - Paging John Kerry: Susan Rice is withdrawing her name from consideration to be the next secretary of state, reports NBC News . The move makes Senator Kerry the leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton. Rice, the current US ambassador to the UN, has been on the defensive over her initial comments... More »

Chris Stevens Mourned as 'Right Man in Right Place'

Diplomat's death 'one of the saddest days of my life,' says Libya counterpart

(Newser) - In the wake of the Libya attack that killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens , colleagues and officials are remembering those who died:
  • "This is one of the saddest days in my life," says Stevens' Libyan counterpart, ambassador to the US Ali Suleiman Aujali. "He was the man who
... More »

Syria's Ambassador to Iraq: I'm Joining the Revolution

Diplomat urges his countrymen to abandon Assad

(Newser) - The Syrian ambassador to Iraq has defected, becoming the most senior diplomat to abandon the regime during its bloody 16-month uprising. "I'm announcing from this moment on that I'm siding with the revolution in Syria," Nawaf Fares said in a statement broadcast on al-Jazeera yesterday, denouncing... More »

Syria Kicks Out Diplomats

As Putin heads to China to discuss their partnership with Assad

(Newser) - Syria kicked out diplomats from 11 countries today, in response to those same 11 countries booting Syrian ambassadors in the wake of the Houla massacre. The ousted countries include the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Canada, CNN reports, though the US ambassador had already... More »

US Ambassador to Afghanistan Stepping Down

Ryan Crocker expected to leave as early as this month

(Newser) - America's special envoy to Afghanistan is preparing to step down after nearly a year in one of diplomacy's most taxing jobs, sources tell Reuters . Ryan Crocker—who came out of retirement last summer to become the US ambassador in Kabul—is expected to leave the post as early... More »

Iran Willing to Attack US: Report

Director of National Intelligence thinks Iran is 'plotting against US interests'

(Newser) - Iran no longer appears to have any reservations about launching attacks on US soil, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in Senate testimony today. The new assessment is based in part on Iran's alleged attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US. The incident "shows that some... More »

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