Last year saw the largest displacement of religious communities from their homes in recent memory, according to a new U.S. government report assessing countries’ religious freedoms in 2013. Continue reading
When Alisa Weinstein and her family heard about the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by Taliban militants in Pakistan for five years, like many others they were relieved and thrilled for his family. Continue reading
Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to relay the U.S. position, which will almost certainly draw criticism from Israel and its supporters in Congress and elsewhere. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced the call but could offer no further details. Netanyahu says the new government should be shunned because it leans on support from Hamas.
WASHINGTON — The State Department confirmed Friday that a U.S. citizen launched a suicide bombing against Syrian government troops earlier this week in what is believed to be the first time an American has been involved in such attacks since the start of the Syrian civil war.
Opposition forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad had earlier claimed that Abu Hurayra al-Amriki was, in fact, an American fighter who carried out a May 25 truck bombing outside a restaurant in the government-held northwestern city of Idlib. Al-Amriki’s nom de guerre is translated from Arabic as “Father of Hurayra the American.” Continue reading
Hillary Rodham Clinton is defending her handling of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, writing in her new book that she will “not be part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans.” The former secretary of state devotes a chapter of her upcoming book, “Hard Choices,” to the Benghazi attack, responding to Republicans who have accused the Obama administration of stonewalling congressional investigators and misleading the public about the nature of the attack in the weeks before the presidential election. Four Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Continue reading
In our news wrap Wednesday, the VA inspector general concluded that veterans awaiting care in Phoenix waited an average of 115 days for a first appointment, and that 1,700 veterans weren’t on a waiting list at all. President Obama called the findings “extremely troubling.” Also, Libyan military jets bombed Islamist militia bases and the State Department urged Americans to leave the country. Continue reading
Secretary of State John Kerry said he is willing to testify before the House Oversight committee on the attacks on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Continue reading
Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine have declared they are ready to join Russia after Sunday’s secession referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk. The State Department declared the referendum “illegitimate” and the acting Ukrainian president called it a “farce,” but the Russian government welcomed the vote and called for talks. Alex Thomson of Independent Television News reports from Donetsk. Continue reading
Secretary of State John Kerry is bringing his two main tools of diplomacy — peace talks and threatened sanctions — to Africa this week to help find a way to end months of killing that is threatening to rip apart the world’s newest nation, South Sudan. Continue reading
In 2013, Maurice Shohet, an Iraqi Jew who now lives in Washington, D.C., received a surprising email from the National Archives. A librarian had recovered his elementary school record that was left behind nearly 40 years ago when he and his family fled Iraq. The record is part of a cache of thousands of personal documents and religious texts that were found at the start of the Iraq War, drowning in the cellar of a building run by one of the world’s most wanted men. Continue reading