diplomacy

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Steven Seagal Named as Russian Diplomat to US

The action star was made a "special representative" on humanitarian issues

(Newser) - Actor Steven Seagal has taken on a new role, though it's not likely the kind you'd expect. Per the AP , the Under Siege star has been appointed as a special envoy to the United States on humanitarian issues. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the news on... More »

Trump Wanted to Invade Venezuela: Official

AP reports top advisers had to talk president out of military action after he brought it up repeatedly

(Newser) - As an August meeting in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can't the US just invade? The suggestion stunned those at the meeting, including... More »

A Trump Salute Shows Up in North Korea Video

White House defends the salute as 'common courtesy'

(Newser) - North Korean state media has released video of President Trump returning the salute of a North Korean general at the Singapore summit. The footage set off a debate about whether the benefits of showing mutual respect to the general outweighed the fact that North Koreans could use the film as... More »

US and Russia Having a Strange Street-Name Spat

American embassy might soon have 'North American Dead End' address

(Newser) - The US embassy in Moscow currently has the ho-hum address of Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane, 8. But if a Russian lawmaker gets his way, the address will soon be North American Dead End, 1. The reason is a bizarre spat going on over street names. As RT reports, it began when... More »

'Most Significant Encounter in Years' for North, South Korea

Via his little sister, Kim Jong Un sends invite to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to come visit

(Newser) - A rare invitation to Pyongyang for the South Korean president marked the second day of the North Korean Kim dynasty's southern road tour Saturday, part of an accelerated diplomatic warming that included more handshakes, some Korean liquor over lunch, and the potential shared joy of watching a "unified"... More »

North Korea: Nuclear War May Break Out 'Any Moment'

Official says diplomacy not an option until missile perfected

(Newser) - North Korea had hoped for a nuclear-free world, the country's deputy United Nations ambassador claimed Monday—but because of the "extreme" threat from the US, the country has been forced to become a "full-fledged" nuclear power. Kim In Ryong, speaking to the UN's disarmament committee, warned... More »

Russia Takes US Diplomatic Parking Spots in Ongoing Spat

Russia says it's seeking 'full parity' with US diplomats

(Newser) - It appears US diplomats in Russia will be spending less time trying to smooth relations with that country and more time circling the block after Moscow revoked diplomatic parking privileges in two cities, the AP reports. According to a report from Russian state-owned TV, officials painted over parking spots outside... More »

Thorn in the Side of 9 US Presidents: the Assads

Marathon negotiations with Bashar al-Assad's father were nicknamed 'bladder diplomacy'

(Newser) - The Assad family has been in power in Syria since a successful coup in 1970, the last of dozens that occurred after the country, which is wedged between Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq, had declared sovereignty from France in 1946. Since then, each of nine American presidents has tried... More »

Tillerson Takes Bold Stance on Countering North Korea

Says pre-emptive military action is definitely 'option on the table'

(Newser) - Looks like North Korea and the US finally agree on something—though unfortunately, that something is the possibility of war. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in South Korea, where he said Friday that the era of "strategic patience" is over and pre-emptive military action is definitely an "... More »

Trump Steps Up Criticism of China

Insiders say Taiwan call was part of the plan

(Newser) - The Donald Trump phone conversation that led to an official complaint from Beijing was a calculated move, not an innocent congratulatory call or a blunder made by a man with no knowledge of foreign policy, insiders tell the Washington Post . Instead, the provocative conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was... More »

Aides, Officials Fight on Tarmac as Obama Arrives in China

They also forgot the stairs to get Obama off Air Force One

(Newser) - If President Barack Obama was hoping for a graceful start to his final trip to Asia as commander in chief, this wasn't it. The AP reports a confrontation between a White House aide and a Chinese official, and other diplomatic dust-ups were out in the open from the moment... More »

How a Secret Pregnancy Nearly Jeopardized US-Cuba Talks

White House worried Adriana Pérez's belly would raise suspicion

(Newser) - The American flag will be raised above a reopened embassy in Havana today for the first time in more than 50 years. It's just the latest sign that US-Cuba relations have been transformed in the last 18 months, but a secret pregnancy could have derailed it all. The New ... More »

What New US-Cuba Relations Look Like

US to cut travel restrictions after release of Alan Gross

(Newser) - With the release of American Alan Gross , the beleaguered relationship between the US and Cuba is poised to undergo major changes. The two countries are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations, which were severed in January 1961, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the US plans to re-establish its embassy... More »

US' Latest Diplomatic Brouhaha: Hungary

US cites suspicion of officials' corruption in denying 6 visas

(Newser) - Tensions between US and Hungary have surged after the US denied visas to six Hungarian officials amid suspicion of corruption. A pro-government Hungarian news site says the denials were retribution for a Hungarian investigation into American companies, but the US embassy says that's not the case, the New York ... More »

What Obama's Phone Calls Reveal

He's been talking a lot, but mostly to allies

(Newser) - As international crises pile up, President Obama has been spending a lot of time on the phone: White House records show that the president has made more calls to world leaders this month than in any other month except November 2012, when he was returning calls of congratulations on his... More »

Obama: No One Wants 'Actual War With Russia'

Meanwhile, Ukrainian commander released after ultimatum

(Newser) - The US won't be sending troops to Crimea anytime soon. President Obama effectively ruled out a military response to Russia's land grab yesterday, USA Today reports. "We do not need to trigger an actual war with Russia," he told KSDK-TV , in an interview ostensibly about raising... More »

Kissinger: To Fix Ukraine, Make It More Like Finland

It's independent, but cooperates with both West and Russia

(Newser) - Henry Kissinger weighs in on Ukraine in the Washington Post , delivering up heaps of criticism for all the major players. Russia, the US, Europe, and Ukraine itself are all "posturing" and turning this into a dangerous all-or-nothing showdown. By their misguided thinking, Ukraine must end up either with the... More »

Air Force Nuke Chief Fired for Being Drunken 'Boor'

Michael Carey insulted hosts, cozied up to 'suspicious women' in Russia

(Newser) - When the Air Force fired Maj. Gen. Michael Carey in October, it said only that it was for "personal misbehavior." Now we know what that means. Carey essentially appears to have made a drunken spectacle of himself during a three-day official trip to Moscow in July, insulting his... More »

Iran Talks, More Calculated Than Advertised, Begin

Report indicates Obama worked hard for that Rouhani phone call

(Newser) - Talks kick off today between Iran and the other P5+1 nations, and both sides were brimming with cautious optimism. Iranian negotiator Mohammad Javed Zarif touted the possibility of a breakthrough, while a senior Obama administration official said that they see "the outlines of a first step," the New ... More »

Rodman 'Vacationing' With Kim Jong Un This Summer

Oh, and the Worm is jetting to Rome in hopes of meeting new pope, too

(Newser) - Just when you thought the Dennis Rodman-Kim Jong Un relationship couldn't possibly get any weirder ... now they're planning a vacation together, AFP reports. "I don't condone what he does, but he's my friend," Rodman said in a bizarre, rambling interview with KXJB yesterday. So... More »

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