international relations

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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 »

Russia Fumes Over 'Merchant of Death' Trial

Viktor Bout is an innocent man, says Moscow

(Newser) - Moscow isn't happy about the arrest and conviction of Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, MSNBC reports. This will “one of our top priorities in Russian-American relations," said a Russian official, a day after the so-called "Merchant of Death" was sentenced by a New York judge to... More »

Poll: World Likes US Again

'Obama effect' is real, say pollsters

(Newser) - How soon they forget. America has become a lot more popular around the world since President Obama took office, according to a BBC poll. The poll of 30,000 people in 28 countries found that positive views of the US now average 40%, up from a low of 28% in... More »

Kyrgyzstan Unrest Bears Putin's Fingerprints

How about a stop to the meddling, pleads Simon Tisdall

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin’s “sardonic” acknowledgment of the interim regime in Kyrgyzstan yesterday is just another clue that the Russian government was involved in ousting president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Simon Tisdall writes. It’s obvious: Putin essentially paid off Bakiyev to boot the US from a Kyrgyz air base, which ended... More »

US-German Rift Grows Over Afghan Bombing

(Newser) - An airstrike by US fighter jets that appears to have killed Afghan civilians could turn into a major dispute for NATO allies Germany and the United States, with tensions rising over Germany's role in ordering the attack. Afghan and NATO investigations are just beginning, but both German and US officials... More »

Obama's 5-Step Foreign Policy Plan

(Newser) - President Obama is several months into a second campaign: a bid to win the world’s approval. But what shapes his foreign policy? Michael Scherer outlines five key parts for Time:
  • Pull from personal history: Obama has been pushing stories of his Indonesian childhood and Kenyan grandfather while overseas, and
... More »

With US Help, India-Pakistan Tension Eases

(Newser) - Revamped leadership in India and Pakistan and some behind-the-scenes encouragement from the US could lead to negotiations over the disputed Kashmir region, the New York Times reports. But while there are shimmers of hope, the relationship is still strained. “I am happy to meet you,” India’s PM... More »

In Beirut, Clinton Reassures About US Overtures to Syria

Election could see pro-US gov't ousted from Lebanon

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton reassured the Lebanese people today that Washington supports "voices of moderation" and will never make a deal with Syria that undermines the country's interests. Clinton spoke on a surprise visit to Beirut ahead of a critical June 7 election that could see the pro-US Lebanese government ousted... More »

Cuba Poisons US Diplomats' Pets: Report

State Department unveils '07 findings as relations with Cuba warm

(Newser) - President Obama better hide the family dog when he reaches out to Cuba, The Hill reports. As Obama and Congressional Democrats seek warmer relations with the island nation, the State Department released a 2007 report saying Havana has been poisoning the pets of US diplomats in Cuba. "The apparent... More »

Chavez Looks to Smooth Tensions with US

Venezuelan president ready to 'press the reset button'

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez indicated yesterday that he hopes to ease tensions between his leftist government and the US, reports Reuters. The Cuba ally has long been a vocal critic of American policies, famously calling former President Bush "the devil" and dismissing Barack Obama as an "ignoramus.... More »

Bill and Vlad Pal Around Davos

Sec. of State's hubby wastes no time slipping into global role

(Newser) - With the ink barely dry on Hillary Clinton’s confirmation as secretary of state, her husband is already glad-handing on the world stage, holding meetings with foreign leaders at Davos that culminated with a 90-minute sit-down with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. At a private party, Putin toasted Clinton as... More »

N. Korea Clamps Down on Border

Major setback to years of economic, tourist ties between Koreas

(Newser) - North Korea today made good on its threat to restrict border crossings from South Korea, severely hampering trade and ending tourism with its neighbor. The move, blocking large numbers of South Koreans and reducing border-crossing hours, is a protest against South Korea's new hardline president that negates years of hard-fought... More »

Obama Vows to 'Engage Vigorously' in Climate Fight

President-elect surprises conference with video message

(Newser) - In an unexpected video appearance today at a conference on climate change, President-elect Barack Obama promised to fight global warming, saying the stakes are too high to continue delaying action and denying global warming. He vowed to usher in a “new era of global cooperation” come January and says... More »

Medvedev Hopeful That Obama Will Thaw Relations

Russian prez cites 'great aspirations'

(Newser) - Russia’s president believes Barack Obama’s presidency “will act to overcome problems which have accumulated” between his country and the US, he said in Washington. “We have great aspirations” for Obama’s White House, Dmitry Medvedev added. Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who moderated the meeting,... More »

World Reacts With Open Arms, Eye on Reconciliation

Global pundits weigh in on a historic victory

(Newser) - The election of Barack Obama has been watched around the world, and pundits from all over are weighing in.
  • In Germany's Der Spiegel, Gabor Steingart says the president-elect's genius is his "tone of political romanticism." Americans warmed to his message of sympathy and reflection—and made the
... More »

Russia Claims US Citizen Provoked War

Cites teacher's found passport as proof of meddling in Georgia

(Newser) - To support its claims that US intelligence agents played a role in the Georgian conflict, the Kremlin has produced a US passport belonging to an Army veteran from Texas, the Wall Street Journal reports. They say the passport was found in an outpost used by Georgian special forces. The alleged... More »

Russia Will Absorb South Ossetia 'in Several Years'

'Separatist regimes ... cut off from reality,' Georgian official fires back

(Newser) - Russia intends to absorb Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia “in several years” or perhaps sooner, the speaker of the region’s parliament tells AP. In meetings this week in Moscow between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and South Ossetian leader, Eduard Kokoity, the intent was “firmly stated... More »

Russia Returns Favor, Cuts Off NATO Council

Alliance earlier stopped 'business as usual' over Georgia invasion

(Newser) - Russia formally suspended military cooperation with NATO today over Georgia, the Guardian reports, a move affecting operations in Afghanistan and the Mediterranean. “Cooperation had really already been ended with the Russians,” a US official said, per an alliance declaration earlier in the week. If NATO supports “the... More »

How Osama Rejected His Family's Values

Author examines bin Laden's roots, Saudi clan's ties to US

(Newser) - Osama is the most famous of the bin Ladens, but he’s also the clan's black sheep. In his new book, The bin Ladens, Steve Coll explores the sprawling family, which is so different from its most famous scion that Osama’s war takes on a Freudian dimension. The book... More »

Brown: World Needs US to Lead

PM will exhort global leadership to presidential candidates

(Newser) - British PM Gordon Brown plans a landmark speech in Boston next month, calling on the US to once again provide inspiration to a world in need of American "values and leadership." The address will be aimed at John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama—not President Bush, the... More »

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