FROM Karen DeYoung
Egypt postpones UN resolution on settlements The United Nations Security Council was set to vote today on a resolution condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory on the West Bank. A controversial measure sponsored by Egypt. But after a flurry of diplomatic activity -- including nearly identical tweets from Donald Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister -- the vote was postponed. Karen DeYoung is senior national security correspondent for the Washington Post .
US and Russia's relationship at low point over Syria Yesterday, the US cut off negotiations with Russia on ending the chaos in Syria. Today, Russia pulled out of a landmark deal involving the fuel for nuclear weapons. Karen DeYoung, associate editor and national security correspondent for the Washington Post , looks at the implications of these changes.
US Diplomats Break with Obama After meeting with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince today, President Obama had no public comment. Meantime, the White House has received a critical memo from 51 mid-level employees of the State Department asking increased military action against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Karen DeYoung, senior national security correspondent for the Washington Post , has the details.
US Eases More Cuba Travel Restrictions President Obama is scheduled to visit Cuba next week, and today the Treasury Department eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for other Americans. Karen DeYoung is associate editor and senior national security correspondent for the Washington Post .
Obama Makes Formal War Authorization Request against ISIS For the first time in his presidency, Barack Obama is asking Congress for authorization to use force. He says ISIL, the so-called Islamic State, is "a grave threat" to the US, its allies and partners. Congress is divided on the issue. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina objects to limiting ground forces …invoking Kayla Mueller, the American who died while she was an ISIS hostage. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut called combat troops "bulletin material for terrorists to bring even more forces to the fight in the Middle East and across the globe." Karen DeYoung is reporting the story for the Washington Post .
A Historic U.S.-Cuba Agreement President Obama announced a historic agreement with Cuba today, thawing the longstanding diplomatic iceberg between the two countries. Under the deal the U.S. will open an embassy in Havana; ease travel, business and banking restrictions; and lift the cap on money sent back to the island from the U.S. And American contractor Alan Gross is coming home after spending five years in a Cuban prison. We go over the details.
The US Imposes New Sanctions on Russia The United States and the European Union imposed more sanctions today on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, targeting President Vladimir Putin's very wealthy inner circle and specific Russian companies. Meanwhile, there's more violence in Eastern Ukraine. Today the mayor of the region's largest city was shot in the back by unidentified gunmen presumably in an assassination attempt. Karen DeYoung is senior diplomatic correspondent at the Washington Post .
KONY 2014 “Kony 2012,” the mini-documentary about the central African warlord Joseph Kony, became the most viral video of all time. Now the U.S. is stepping up its efforts to capture Ugandan war lord Joseph Kony. How much credit can the small San Diego nonprofit behind “Kony 2012” take? And what’s the status of the group now?
The US Targets Russian Officials with Sanctions Reacting this morning to yesterday's vote in Crimea, President Obama announced an new executive order expanding the scope of US sanctions against Russia . Freezing assets is just one part of US reaction. Karen DeYoung is Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the Washington Post .
Dispute over Indian Diplomat Continues The US Embassy in New Delhi is under siege by protesters over the handcuffing and strip-search of Indian consular official Devyani Khobragade when she was arrested in New York City on charges of underpaying her housekeeper and lying about it on a visa application. US officials are divided about the case, and it's turned into an international incident. Secretary of State John Kerry has conceded that "certain courtesies were not extended." But the US Attorney in New York, Preet Bharara, says he's sworn to uphold the law even against what he called the "powerful, rich or connected." The Indian government says the real dispute is between the consular official and the housekeeper.
Obama Still Cautious on Syria Response Horrific reports including grisly video show that chemical weapons have killed hundreds in Syria, including children. Has President Obama's "red line" been crossed? Rebel forces blame the Assad regime, while Assad claims the rebels did it to trigger support from international forces. UN inspectors have arrived in the country, but have not been allowed to visit the scene. If they were, could they prove the case one way or the other? We hear what President Obama said today about a host of bad options and what it would take for the US to intervene.
Obama Administration One Step Closer to Arming Syrian Rebels The Pentagon has provided the Senate a list of options for US action to stem Syria’s increasingly bloody civil war. Committees of both houses have approved weapons shipments by the CIA, as we hear from Karen DeYoung, senior diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post .
Israeli Strike on Syria Puts Pressure on US Twice during the past few days, Israel reportedly struck military installations near Damascus, the capital of Syria. The ostensible reason was evidence that Syria was transferring weapons to Hezbollah, Israel's enemy located in Lebanon. Israel has not confirmed or denied the airstrikes. Last week, President Obama promised continued humanitarian and non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition "get Assad out of power" and "move to a peaceful transition." Will the ease with which Israel penetrated Syrian defenses put more pressure on Obama to intervene?
Should the US Arm Syrian Rebels? After just three weeks as Secretary of State, John Kerry is trying to prevent Syria's "bloody stalemate" from disrupting the world's most volatile region. Russia, Hezbollah — and especially Iran — are aiding the Assad regime while America's refusal to arm opponents is seen as betrayal. Saudi Arabia is reportedly sending Croatian weapons to anti-government forces, who saved Kerry embarrassment by agreeing to show up at a meeting later this week. With 70,000 Syrians already dead and 850,000 turned into refugees, is there any hope of stopping the carnage any time soon?
Drone Strike in Somalia Signals Strategy Shift Last week, US drone aircraft fired on two leaders of al-Shabab. That's an Islamist group in Somalia affiliated with al Qaeda. The attack reflects President Obama's evolving counterterrorism strategy, focused on threats to the US homeland. That's according to Karen DeYoung, senior diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post .
Pressure on Pakistani Army Chief amid Fraying US Relations The next victim in Pakistan's deteriorating relationship with the US may be the most powerful man in that country. Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani reportedly is trying to make amends with his own military leadership after a meeting in which he was jeered by fellow officers. Karen DeYoung is senior diplomatic correspondent at the Washington Post .
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.