Posts by Olivier Knox, Yahoo News
- Yahoo News3 days ago
President Obama has called Vladimir Putin “the bored kid in the back of the classroom,” putting on an unsmiling, tough-guy “shtick.” Hillary Clinton just compared the Russian president to Hitler. The State Department says Putin’s reasoning on Ukraine amounts to “two plus two equals five.” Republican House Speaker Boehner branded him a “thug.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said he is “in another world.” And George W. Bush complained that debating policy with him was “like arguing with an eighth grader with his facts wrong” and called him “cold-blooded” to his face.
- Yahoo News5 days ago
Help. They broke my arm. Egypt police
Anti-war activist Medea Benjamin charged Tuesday that she suffered a dislocated left arm and severe trauma after being detained on arrival in Egypt and then forced by security officials from a jail cell at the Cairo airport onto a Turkey-bound flight.
“They dragged me and they threw me on the floor. They pulled my arm out of its socket, then dragged me across the tarmac,” the Code Pink co-founder told Yahoo News in a telephone interview from an airport clinic in Istanbul. “My arm is traumatized and swollen and torn, and I am in excruciating pain from the nape of my neck down to my waist.”
Benjamin tweeted her ordeal, including photos of the airport prison cell she said she shared with four other women, one of whom lent her a power cord for her telephone when the battery ran down.
This is my cell in Cairo airport pic.twitter.com/ogIaXTvJvh
- Yahoo News9 days ago
President Barack Obama bluntly warned Russia on Friday that it will face international condemnation as well as unspecified "costs" for any military intervention in neighboring Ukraine. A senior U.S. official said Washington could boycott a major international summit to be hosted by Russia in June and reject Moscow's efforts to promote trade with the United States.
"We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine," Obama said in a hastily arranged public statement from the White House briefing room.
"J ust days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," the president warned.
- Yahoo News12 days ago
After giving him the silent treatment for eight months, President Barack Obama on Tuesday called Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The message? A blunt warning that all U.S. troops will leave his war-torn country by 2015 unless Karzai or his successor sign a bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States.
The president had not spoken to Karzai since a June 25, 2013, video conference, and the two had had no contact since a Nov. 21, 2013, letter from Washington to Kabul.
Obama has said repeatedly that he hopes to leave a residual force of some 8,000-12,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan to train local security forces and target extremists after most combat forces depart in 2014. But U.S. officials had warned that Obama would pull all American troops absent a BSA that gives American and allied forces immunity from local prosecution.
Karzai refused, saying his successor should be the one to make that commitment. He continued to say no even after Afghanistan’s “loya jirga” assembly of elders approved the agreement.
- Yahoo News12 days ago
Please, presidents, stop picking big campaign donors to be ambassadors whether or not they know anything about the country where they’d be posted and are clueless about foreign affairs in general.
That’s the basic message to President Barack Obama and future administrations from a group that represents some 31,000 current and former career diplomats.
The American Foreign Service Association put it quite a bit more diplomatically (of course) on Tuesday in a set of new guidelines to help presidents select the best candidates for the job sometimes known as “chief of mission.”
A good nominee ideally “has experience in or with the host country or other suitable international experience, and has knowledge of the host country culture and language or of other foreign cultures or languages,” AFSA said in its six-page report.
- Yahoo News18 days ago
Americans unquestionably oppose any U.S. military intervention in Syria of the “boots on the ground” variety. They’re not fans of the idea of air strikes there, either. But how would they respond to narrowly tailored attacks targeting Islamist fighters who may be looking to use that country’s lawless war zones as a staging ground for potential attacks on U.S. allies, U.S. interests and possibly the United States itself? Would such a limited approach really help increasingly desperate moderate fighters squeezed between those extremists and strongman Bashar Assad’s troops? And what risk would it pose in terms of sucking the United States into an escalating role in the Syrian conflict?
Those are central, pressing questions as President Barack Obama assesses his handling of arguably the worst foreign policy disaster of his administration and gives fresh thought to a limited military role, according to current and former administration officials and congressional aides.
- Yahoo News18 days ago
President Barack Obama denied late Wednesday that Russian-U.S. tensions over Syria and Ukraine were playing out on “some Cold-War chessboard” even as he acknowledged deep divisions between Moscow and Washington.
Obama, speaking at a joint press conference after a North American leaders’ summit, also flatly denied that the United States had played a role in stirring up the people against their government, saying that the uprisings “arose organically from within those countries.”
“I do think it is worth noting that you have, in this situation, one country that has clearly been a client state of Russia, another whose government is currently being supported by Russia,” he said.
But “our approach in the United States is not to see these as some Cold-War chessboard in which we're in competition with Russia,” the president continued.
“Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future, that the people of Syria are able to make the decisions without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved because a despot wants to cling to power,” he said.
- Yahoo News19 days ago
Forget the mom jeans. Forget the mom-knows-best TV ad campaign to boost Obamacare enrollment. And for heaven’s sake, forget Pajama Guy. How about a mom-hosted house party with an unannounced guest star — Dr. Jill Biden, aka Vice President Joe Biden’s wife?
George Clooney, Matt Damon, original ‘Monuments Man’ to attend ‘Monuments Men’ screening at White HouseYahoo News19 days ago
Harry Ettlinger was a 19-year-old Army private when he was recruited to be one of the original “Monuments Men.” Now, Ettlinger will join President Barack Obama and Hollywood stars like Matt Damon and George Clooney at a White House screening of the movie based on that unusual unit’s mission at the end of World War II: Recover the priceless art and cultural artifacts looted by Nazi Germany and hidden away.
Here, as provided by the White House, is the list of guests at the 5:45 p.m. screening.
Nick and Nina Clooney
Robert Edsel, writer of the book The Monuments Men
Harry Ettlinger, a surviving member of the original Monuments Men group
Bill Burns, Deputy Secretary of State
Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State
David Wade, State Department Chief of Staff
Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs
Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
Bill McHugh, Secretary of the Army
- Yahoo News23 days ago
The Republican National Committee’s contribution this year are these e-cards that you can send to share a chuckle with a fellow Republican, or use to troll your political frenemies. A totally unscientific Yahoo News poll judged the Vladimir Putin one the best, with “If you like this Valentine, you can keep it” a close second.
But wait — there’s more. Or at least, there could have been. Here, courtesy of two Republican officials, are some of the committee’s jokes that didn’t make the cut “for various reasons.”Those reasons should be as obvious as some of the would-be quips themselves.