June 7, 2011 |
President Obama will publicly honor the German chancellor during an elaborate official visit to the White House on Tuesday, but behind closed doors he is expected to press her to step up Germany’s involvement in the international response to unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Obama will present Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for civilians, while First Lady Michelle Obama plans an event highlighting the importance of women in diplomacy.
May 25, 2011 |
The pomp is the same, but the circumstance is different. President Obama's state visit to Britain, which kicked into high gear Tuesday, is only the second by an American leader during the 59-year reign of his host, Queen Elizabeth II. The first took place in 2003, when she received President George W. Bush at Buckingham Palace. Back then, thousands of angry protesters greeted Bush and jeered at his close relationship with Prime Minister Tony Blair, because of their united stand over the invasion of Iraq.
November 28, 2010 |
Lebanon's prime minister kicked off a three-day visit to Iran on Saturday meant to strengthen economic and political bonds between the United States' chief regional adversary and a nation Washington once upheld as a model for Western-leaning Arab democracy. The first official visit to Iran by Prime Minister Saad Hariri comes as sectarian tensions within Lebanon simmer. An international tribunal is expected to indict members of the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a Sunni Muslim.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2010 |
The regional director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ventured into the dusty farming town of Kettleman City, Calif., on Wednesday for a three-hour tour that included a trip to a nearby toxic waste dump and emotional private meetings with mothers whose babies had birth defects. The rare diplomatic foray by Jared Blumenfeld came less than a week after he ordered an internal investigation of his agency's oversight of the waste dump and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the state Department of Public Health to conduct a comprehensive study of the community's environmental and health issues.
November 24, 2009 |
Today's summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and President Obama is laden with symbols. It will be the first official visit that Obama hosts. There will be much language on the importance of the relationship and the links between the two major democracies. Beneath the surface, however, simmers some insecurity. India enjoyed excellent relations with the U.S. under the Bush administration and it still isn't quite sure where it stands with the new team. It feels a little taken for granted.
November 15, 2009 |
President Obama told Chinese students today that the U.S. does not wish to contain China's rise, but also offered a gentle critique of their country's approach to human rights. "We welcome China as a strong and prosperous and successful member of the community of nations," Obama said at the start of a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai as he began the China leg of his tour of Asia. Obama acknowledged that the United States has struggled with race relations over the course of its history, but he said America would "always speak out" in favor of free expression, worship, political participation and access to information -- which he termed "universal rights."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2009 |
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is stopping in Jerusalem to participate in a moderated conversation at a Middle East policy conference Sunday before heading to Iraq next week, an aide said Friday. Schwarzenegger will speak at a forum sponsored by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, which former President Clinton, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are scheduled to attend. The policy group, which is affiliated with the Brookings Institution, was endowed with the help of entertainment mogul Haim Saban, who is close to Schwarzenegger and has donated to his political causes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2009 |
Los Angeles' top education official went door to door Monday to urge teens to return to school, netting about a dozen students with the effort and drawing attention to a growing problem. Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines was among 150 staffers and school board members who joined campus employees in the first-time, broad-based initiative, which targeted 10 truancy-plagued middle and high schools. This school year, about 20,000 of the district's 680,000 students have failed to show up as expected, officials said.
August 27, 2009 |
President Jacob Zuma will be "more vocal" than his predecessor about bringing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's party to task for harassing rival politicians, a South African official said Wednesday. Attacks by Mugabe's followers on activists of a rival party, which is now in a strained coalition in Zimbabwe, "are a hindrance to progress" in the impoverished country, said Gwede Mantashe, secretary- general of South Africa's ruling African National Congress. Zuma is going to Zimbabwe today, his first visit to the neighboring country as president.
August 14, 2009 |
A 44-year-old South Korean worker held in North Korea since March was released today after a visit by Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun, authorities said. The release came several days after former President Bill Clinton traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea, to secure the pardon of two American television reporters who had been sentenced to 12 years' hard labor for illegally entering the country. Analysts said the freeing of the Americans and the South Korean worker might lead to more open communication with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. But they stressed that officials in Seoul felt immense pressure to secure the release of the South Korean after Clinton's successful trip.