The United States and China reached a tentative deal for a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution on more sanctions for North Korea after its latest nuclear test, a senior Obama administration official told CNN.
The full council is expected to deal with the issue on Tuesday.FULL STORY
The Syrian government did not use chemical weapons against residents of Homs in a December attack, a U.S. State Department investigation shows, but did apparently misuse a riot-control gas in the incident, according to senior U.S. officials.
The investigation stemmed from allegations inside Syria about the use of chemical weapons during an attack on the city of Homs on December 23. The officials said the State Department launched a probe from its consulate in Istanbul after doctors and activists reported dozens of victims suffering from nervous system, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments after inhaling the gas.
You can read more about this investigation here.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting, a State Department official said.
Clinton had been suffering from a stomach virus at the time, according to a statement on Saturday from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state.
She is being monitored by doctors and is recovering at home. She was never hospitalized, Reines said.FULL STORY
The Libyan government has notified the United States that an employee at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was killed Tuesday, a State Department official told CNN.
The State Department does not have independent confirmation of the death, the official said. The nationality of the worker was not immediately clear.
Earlier Tuesday, a group of militants attacked the consulate, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
"We are working with the Libyans now to secure the compound," Nuland said. "We condemn in strongest terms this attack on our diplomatic mission."
Members of a radical Islamist group had been protesting at the consulate, a freelance journalist working for CNN in Benghazi said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 9:22 a.m. ET] Manaf Tlas, a Sunni general in Syria's elite Republican Guards, has defected, a Western diplomat said Friday, a stunning blow to the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Tlas, the son of a former Syrian defense minister and cousin of a first lieutenant in al-Assad's army, is possibly the most senior Sunni in a power structure dominated by the Alawite minority.
"He's an inside confidant of Assad. So it counts that even an insider thinks it's time to go," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to speak to the media.
Syria has been engulfed in nearly 16 months of unrest. Thousands have died as Syrian government assaults against protesters led to a nationwide uprising.FULL STORY
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is offering to resume talks over its nuclear program as soon as possible, according to a copy of a letter he sent to the European Union and obtained by CNN.
Iran flaunted a new generation of centrifuges and mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle on Wednesday as Ahmadinejad, clad in a white lab coat, was on hand to load domestically made fuel rods into the core of a Tehran reactor.
Also announced was an intent to start production of yellowcake, a chemically treated form of uranium ore used for making enriched uranium.
United Nations sanctions ban Iran from importing yellowcake. Domestic production would further Iran's nuclear self-sufficiency.
In a speech outlining the latest developments, Ahmadinejad said Iran was willing to share its nuclear knowledge with other nations that subscribe to the watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Tuesday for a "full investigation" of irregularities in Sunday's parliamentary elections in Russia, citing "serious concern" about the vote.
Shortly after she spoke, the Central Election Commission announced that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party suffered a large loss of seats in the election.
United Russia will have 238 seats, down from more than 300 in the outgoing parliament, or Duma, Central Election Commission head Vladimir Churov announced with 99.99% of ballots counted.
United Russia polled just under 50%, preliminary results showed earlier.
The Communist party will have 92 seats, A Just Russia will have 64, and the Liberal Democrats will have 56, Churov said.
Moscow braced for opposing rallies as the results were announced, and Russian security forces were on high alert.
The opposition Other Russia party announced plans to demonstrate against the election results, while Putin's United Russia will hold a separate rally, the Interfax news agency reported.
Security forces will remain on alert until results are declared, the Interior Ministry said earlier Tuesday. Officials did not say how many extra security forces were deployed or what units they were from.
Clinton was speaking as ministers met at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, whose election monitors also criticized the election.FULL STORY
In a report to be released early this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency will make the most detailed charges to date that Iran's nuclear program is geared toward weapons development and military use, several Western diplomats briefed on the report told CNN.
The diplomats said that the report will include more data than the organization has previously released on clandestine efforts by Iran to develop technologies to build a nuclear weapon, including computer models of a nuclear warhead. They argue the IAEA studies offer no other explanation for those efforts beyond Iran seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.
Although previous IAEA reports have cited concerns by the organization that Iran has been seeking to develop nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles to deliver them, the diplomats said the upcoming report is expected to make the charges more explicitly.FULL STORY
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's mother, Dorothy Rodham, died Tuesday at the age of 92, the Clinton Foundation announced.
Rodham's death came a day after the State Department said Clinton had canceled a scheduled trip to Britain and Turkey because her mother was ill.
Rodham died in Washington surrounded by family, the Clinton Foundation said in a news release. Her illness was not disclosed.
The foundation called Rodham "a warm, generous and strong woman; an intellectual; a woman who told a great joke and always got the joke; an extraordinary friend and, most of all, a loving wife, mother and grandmother."
Rodham made occasional campaign appearances with her daughter during Clinton's unsuccessful Democratic presidential bid in 2008, and she helped the former first lady raise money to retire her campaign debt. She also made trips with the Clintons during their years in the White House, including a 2000 visit to India and a 1998 trip to China.
Hillary Clinton had been scheduled to attend a conference on Afghanistan on Wednesday in Istanbul, with a stop in London for talks with her British counterpart, Foreign Secretary William Hague, on the way.FULL STORY
American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were released from an Iranian prison Wednesday and made their way to Oman.
The two Americans were released on bail of $500,000 each and their sentences were commuted, Iran's judiciary said, according to government-run Press TV.
Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were convicted last month of entering Iran illegally and spying for the United States, and each was sentenced to eight years in prison.
[Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET] Released U.S. hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer made brief statements to assembled media after arriving in Oman.
"We are so happy we are free, and so relieved we are free," Fattal said. "Our deepest gratitude goes towards his majesty, Sultan Qaboos of Oman, for obtaining our release. We are sincerely grateful (to) the government of Oman for hosting us an our families."
Bauer said: "Two years in prison is too long, and we sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in American and Iran."
They departed after making the statements and took no questions.
[Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the following statement regarding the hikers' release:
"I join President Obama in welcoming the decision made by Iranian authorities to release Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal from detention. After more than two years, they will finally be reunited with their friends and families.
"I am grateful for the efforts of all those who have worked for their release, in particular the Swiss Protecting Power in Tehran, the Omani government, the Iraqi government, and the many other world leaders who have raised their voices in support, as well as those inside Iran who pushed for justice."
The United States is moving toward an explicit call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, multiple U.S. government sources have told CNN.
The move is expected in the coming days, after the United States consults with the United Nations Security Council. The United States has opposed Assad's security crackdown on protests across Syria.
Administration officials have been talking among themselves about when would be the most effective time to call on al-Assad (pictured) to step down, several sources over the past week have told CNN. Officials described the White House as being more eager, while the State Department was more cautious about the ramifications should al-Assad not heed the call.
A Security Council meeting is expected Wednesday, multiple U.S. government sources told CNN.FULL STORY
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a top military general are discussing a deal for a peaceful transition of power that would allow Saleh to stay in place for the rest of the year, a Yemeni official and senior U.S. official said Monday.
The general, Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, declared his support Monday for ongoing anti-government protests in Yemen and said he will order his troops to protect civilians demonstrating against Saleh.
Saleh, a key United States ally as al Qaeda turns his country into a base, has been under increasing pressure after a government crackdown on protesters that left 52 people dead on Friday. Saleh, who expressed his "deep regret" over the casualties, dismissed his Cabinet on Sunday.
U.S. State Department officials expect Secretary of State HillaryÂ Clinton to announce there are "recent indications" that a missing American is being held in southwestern Asia.
Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent,Â who has been missing since March 8, 2007, is believed to be in Iran, officials have said.
The FBI obtained information that Levinson arrived on Iranâ€™s Kish Island, had several meetings at the Maryam Hotel and then checked out the next day. Levinson did not fly to Dubai on a previously scheduled flight.
There is no record of Levinson leaving Kish Island. Nor is there any record of him using his passport or credit cards after March 8, 2007.
Levinson has a wife, four daughters and three sons, according to an FBI release.
China must assume the responsibilities of being a 21st-century world power, rather than basing policies on its own self-interest, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.
In a firm but optimistic speech at the State Department, Clinton praised improved ties with China, stressing the Obama administration wanted a "positive, cooperative and comprehensive" relationship.
She acknowledged the relationship is at a "critical juncture," noting many tensions remain on economic and security issues, which are certain to feature prominently when President Barack Obama hosts Chinese President Hu Jintao for a state visit in Washington next week.
"You cannot build a relationship on aspirations alone," she said, "It is up to both of us to more consistently translate positive words into effective cooperation."FULL STORY