NEWS ABOUT: John Kerry

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Diplomats Talk Nice, as Putin Talks Tough

Pact reached to ease Ukraine tensions, but Putin says use of force still an option

(Newser) - Top diplomats from the US, Russia, Ukraine, and the EU promised today to "de-escalate" tensions and avoid "provocative actions," reports the New York Times . But on Russian TV earlier, Vladimir Putin didn't seem interested in making nice, notes the Wall Street Journal . He pointedly kept open... More »

Ukraine to Separatists: This Is Over in 48 Hours

Protesters in east erect barricades, build bombs

(Newser) - Pro-Russia protesters are bolstering their defenses in eastern Ukraine as Kiev threatens to use force to settle the situation. "A resolution to this crisis will be found within the next 48 hours," Ukraine's interior minister says, per Reuters . "For those who want dialogue, we propose talks... More »

How Abbas' Signature Could Derail Peace Talks

He moved to join 15 international organizations last night

(Newser) - The words appearing in a slew of leads about Israel and Palestine today: surprise and collapse. The former is a reference to a move by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who late yesterday signed a slew of applications to join 15 international treaties and conventions; as the New York Times puts... More »

US Dangles Notorious Israel Spy's Freedom to Save Talks

Jonathan Pollard swiped Navy secrets in 1980s

(Newser) - With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on the brink of collapse, the US has pulled out a major bargaining chip: jailed spy Jonathan Pollard. The former civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel, and the Obama administration is considering releasing him early to... More »

Kerry: Russia Agrees to Seek Diplomatic Solution

Russian troops on Ukraine's border aren't helping, Kerry adds

(Newser) - John Kerry said today the United States and Russia agree on the need for a diplomatic solution for Ukraine, which would have to be at the table for negotiations. He also said the Russian troop buildup along the border is creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine, even... More »

US, Russia Talks on Crimea Flop

'We have no common vision,' says Russia's foreign minister

(Newser) - John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have wrapped up a last-minute bid to try to defuse tensions ahead of this weekend's big vote in Crimea, and the results are ... not good. In the quote getting picked up everywhere, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared afterward that "we don’... More »

Kerry Warns 'Serious Steps' if Crimea Votes to Join Russia

'Very serious steps' will be taken if referendum goes forward

(Newser) - John Kerry is meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow regarding the crisis in Crimea, and in advance of that meeting, Kerry offered a sternly-worded statement today, NBC News reports. If Crimea's planned referendum on whether to join Russia goes forward on Sunday and, based on Russia's... More »

Russia: We Have No Control Over Crimea Troops

Says troops are Crimean ahead of first face to face negotiations with West

(Newser) - Today will be a day of high-stakes diplomacy in Paris, as John Kerry meets with his Russian counterpart for the first time since Russia's invasion of Crimea—an invasion Russia is denying has even happened. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today repeated Russia's assertion that those aren't Russian... More »

Kerry: We Stand by Ukraine

White House pledges in $1B in aid for Kiev

(Newser) - The White House today promised to back up its support of the new Ukraine government with $1 billion in loan guarantees and aid, reports the Los Angeles Times . It would be part of a bigger package from the IMF, assuming Congress signs off. John Kerry was delivering the specifics in... More »

Russia Has 'Control of the Crimean Peninsula'

Secretary of state will meet with officials in Kiev, source says

(Newser) - A senior administration official says Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev Tuesday to meet with government officials. Kerry's trip comes as the US and other Western nations weigh a response to Russia's military advance into Ukraine. Kerry has raised the possibility... More »

Ukraine Navy's New Leader Switches Sides

Denys Berezovksy makes stunning announcement to TV reporters

(Newser) - Newly appointed to lead Ukraine's navy, Rear Admiral Denys Berezovksy made his first move 24 hours later: defecting to the Russian side. Berezovksy today told reporters that he supported the Crimea region's new and unofficial pro-Russian leader, the BBC reports. Standing alongside that leader—Prime Minister Sergiy Aksyonov—... More »

Kerry: Putin Will Suffer for 'Stunning' Move Against Ukraine

Outlines possible consequences, looks to pull out of G-8 meeting in Sochi

(Newser) - Even as Russian troops were moving in Ukraine today, John Kerry was busily blasting Vladimir Putin's "stunning, willful" invasion in Crimea as "an incredible act of aggression." Speaking this morning on Meet the Press, the secretary of state says that he's spoken to his G-8... More »

Kerry Rips Climate Change Deniers as 'Flat Earthers'

Says the science is undeniable, warming is 'most fearsome' WMD

(Newser) - John Kerry delivered an urgent call to action on global warming today, calling it the "most fearsome" WMD we face, and sternly backhanding those who don't believe climate change is happening as "flat Earthers." "The science is unequivocal," Kerry said, "and those who... More »

Kerry Admits US Syria Policy Is a Mess, McCain Says

Off-record meeting doesn't stay off-record

(Newser) - John Kerry thinks that the administration's policy in Syria is failing and that it's time to arm the rebels … at least according to noted hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The Senate pals were among 15 lawmakers in attendance at a closed-door meeting with the secretary of... More »

US Knew of Syria Torture Photos for Months

As UN looks to salvage peace talks

(Newser) - The Obama administration wasn't exactly shocked this week when war crimes prosecutors released 55,000 photos of people systematically killed by Bashar al-Assad's regime—because the State Department has known about them since November, the New York Times reports. The administration didn't act on the photos because... More »

Syria Peace Talks Open—Unpleasantly

Sides take firm stances in opening speeches

(Newser) - With more than 100,000 dead in a divided Syria, government and opposition leaders are in Switzerland today for year-in-the-making international peace talks. Direct talks haven't even begun yet (that comes Friday), but so far, the tone at the "Geneva II" talks has been far from friendly, the... More »

Kerry: Syria Opposition Must Join Peace Talks

Both sides must accept future leader, he says

(Newser) - John Kerry has urged the Syrian opposition to attend next week's peace conference in Switzerland, saying any individual chosen to lead a political transition in the war-torn country must be acceptable to both the government and opposing forces.The opposition groups, which will vote today whether to attend the... More »

US, Russia Discuss Syria Ceasefires; Assad Rolls Eyes

And Syrian opposition questions whether to attend peace talks

(Newser) - The US and Russia are discussing the notion of "localized ceasefires" in Syria as peace talks loom next week in Switzerland—offering the first chance for opposing sides to sit down face-to-face, the AP reports. John Kerry, meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Paris, said ceasefires in... More »

As Sharon Lies in State, Israel Bids a Tricky Farewell

Public, political rivals pay respects ahead of funeral tomorrow

(Newser) - Israelis are filing through the Knesset Plaza today to pay their respects to Ariel Sharon, who died yesterday after being in a coma since 2005, as the former prime minister's coffin lies in state today ahead of a military funeral tomorrow. "My heart is broken. Israel lost the... More »

US: Strip-Searched Diplomat Got Special Treatment

Kerry tries to smooth things over as India demands case be dropped

(Newser) - The Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip-search has sparked a major international ruckus actually received treatment better than most American citizens could expect, US Attorney Preet Baharara says. He says that contrary to some reports, Devyani Khobragade wasn't busted in front of her children, but was arrested in the... More »

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