John Kerry

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White House: We Did Not Threaten Foleys or Sotloffs

'We made clear what the law is,' when families weighed paying ransom

(Newser) - The White House hit back at allegations from the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff that they were threatened with prosecution as they weighed whether to pay Islamic State militants ransom for their sons. "In terms of what was communicated to the families, in the midst of many,... More »

Are We at 'War' With ISIS? Yes, Says White House; No, Says Kerry

Spokesman Josh Earnest seems to trump secretary of state today

(Newser) - The White House seems a little off on its talking points about the military strategy against ISIS. President Obama consistently says the goal is to "degrade" and "destroy" the group. But does that mean we're at war? White House spokesman Josh Earnest thinks so, reports the Hill ... More »

N. Korea Picks on Kerry's ... Jaw

So nanny nanny boo boo, dumb Americans and your military drills

(Newser) - North Korea is upset with America for staging an "invasion rehearsal" (read: military drills) with South Korea, so naturally it gracefully and diplomatically ... No. It diplomatically did nothing. Instead, Pyongyang opted for playground antics, blasting Secretary of State John Kerry as a "wolf donning the mask of sheep"... More »

Report: Germans Spied on Kerry, Clinton

German intelligence eavesdropped on their calls 'by mistake'

(Newser) - Germany's foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German magazine Der Spiegel reported today. The respected news weekly reported that the agency, known by its German acronym BND, tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry made in 2013... More »

Trade in Focus as African Leaders Meet in Washington

Coca-Cola leads way in agricultural initiative

(Newser) - This week, Washington is hosting most of Africa's leaders for the White House's US-Africa Leaders Summit, which aims to forge stronger ties between the US and the continent, CNN reports. The event will address issues ranging from trade to security, the Wall Street Journal notes. A business forum... More »

Israel Tapped John Kerry's Phone

Somewhere, Angela Merkel is smiling

(Newser) - It seems that people who live in glass houses shouldn't spy on cell phones : During the frenetic and doomed Mideast peace talks last year, John Kerry was furiously working the phones to both Israel and the Palestinians—and as der Spiegel reports in an exclusive that cites "reliable... More »

John Kerry Has Made Things Worse in Gaza

David Ignatius: He caved to Hamas, ensuring it will be around for awhile

(Newser) - John Kerry is taking so much flak from Israelis for his latest peace-making efforts in Gaza that the White House made a point yesterday to declare that "Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender" than Kerry, reports the Hill . But at the Washington Post , columnist David Ignatius thinks... More »

Israel, Hamas OK 12-Hour Ceasefire

Israel had just rejected truce proposal from John Kerry

(Newser) - Hours after Israel rejected John Kerry's proposed ceasefire, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian truce starting at 7am Israeli time, a US official told the Jerusalem Post . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Kerry about the new arrangement, CNN reports. In rebuffing his earlier proposal, officials said... More »

FAA Lifts Israel Flight Ban

Astronaut tweets 'saddest photo' from space

(Newser) - Amid heavy lobbying from Israel, the FAA lifted its ban on flights to Tel Aviv's airport just before midnight, saying it had reviewed "significant new information and measures the government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation." Israeli officials had urged the US... More »

Amid Flight Ban, Kerry Lands in Israel

White House rejects request to drop FAA ban

(Newser) - As Israel continued to pound Gaza, John Kerry arrived for cease-fire talks today, landing in Tel Aviv despite the FAA's 24-hour ban on US flights to Israel . The secretary of state, whose Air Force flight was not affected by the commercial ban brought in after a rocket hit a... More »

Kerry Heads to Mideast in Bid for Ceasefire

US will urge Hamas to accept agreement

(Newser) - Secretary of State John Kerry is heading back to the Middle East as the Obama administration attempts to bolster regional efforts to reach a ceasefire and sharpens its criticism of Hamas in its conflict with Israel. The State Department said Kerry would leave early tomorrow for Egypt where he will... More »

Putin Gets 'One Last Chance' Amid World Anger

Dutch PM Mark Rutte says he pressured Russian leader

(Newser) - Leaders around the world are exerting pressure on Vladimir Putin—especially Dutch PM Mark Rutte, who says he gave Russia's leader a mouthful over the handling of remains from Malaysia Airlines MH17, the Guardian reports. In a "very intense" conversation, Rutte said he gave Putin "one last... More »

Kerry: Plane Crash Probe 'Grotesque,' 'Compromised'

Also, Fox busts secretary of State with hot mic moment

(Newser) - John Kerry is off and running on the media blitz known as appearing on all five Sunday talk shows, and—with developments breaking this morning from Israel to the Malaysia Airlines plane crash—he has no shortage of things to discuss. Highlights, as per Politico :
  • On the crash site : "
... More »

Apparent Loser of Afghan Election Claims Victory

Crisis could break country apart

(Newser) - Preliminary vote tallies show Abdullah Abdullah losing Afghanistan's presidential election to Ashraf Ghani by a pretty wide margin of 56.4% to 43.5%. But Abdullah declared victory anyway yesterday, and said he would decide in the next few days whether to form a "parallel government" competing with... More »

Kerry to Russia: Disarm Ukraine Rebels in 'Hours'

EU leaders could talk sanctions beginning today if needed

(Newser) - Russia needs to diffuse the situation in Ukraine—immediately, John Kerry urged today. "It is critical for Russia to show in the next hours, literally, that they're moving to help disarm the separatists, to encourage them to disarm, to call on them to lay down their weapons and... More »

ISIS Takes Hold of Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery

Kerry promises 'intense, sustained' US support

(Newser) - After more than a week of fighting, ISIS militants say they are now fully in control of Iraq's main oil refinery. The facility at Baiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad, supplies around a third of the country's refined fuel and the BBC notes that its capture is... More »

Iraq Loses Control of Western Border

ISIS miltants seize key border crossings

(Newser) - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters have taken another step toward making their name a reality with the weekend seizure of two key border crossings in western Iraq. Though the news that they took four key towns (Qaim, Rutba, Rawa, and Anah) in two days was reported yesterday, the... More »

John Kerry: Freed Taliban Could Fight, Also 'Get Killed'

(Newser) - John Kerry has a word for critics who charge that American troops are in greater danger in the wake of the prisoner swap that freed five Taliban leaders, and that word is "baloney ." Of the Taliban, he says, "I am not telling you that they don’t... More »

Cameras Catch Kerry Taking a Public Nap

... at a news conference in Poland

(Newser) - It's not that weird that a 70-year-old man traveling overseas and working long hours to boot would nod off at an inappropriate time. But when it happens to be Secretary of State John Kerry while attending a news conference with President Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, the cameras... More »

Snowden: If I Could, I Would Go Home

Snowden says he'd love to return to US—but not to jail cell

(Newser) - Edward Snowden, speaking in his first interview with an American news organization last night, described himself as a "patriot" for trying to stop the violations of the Constitution he saw. "Whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say," he said. "... More »

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