The Envoy
  • Tim Gunn mocks Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits

    The Twitterverse was abuzz at the undiplomatic critique leveled this week at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's pantsuits-favoring fashion sense by style expert Tim Gunn.

    "Why must she dress that way?" Gunn lamented, in an appearance on TBS' "Lopez Tonight" Tuesday, after host George Lopez asked for Gunn's judgment on the style of various U.S. female politicians. "I think she's confused about her gender [with] all these big, baggy menswear tailored pantsuits."

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama visits João at Walter Reed Medical Center on Memorial Day 2011. (Arnaldo da Silva/• India falls in love with Pakistan's first female foreign minister. (The Independent)

    • An in-depth report probes whether the 9/11 attacks had state support from Saudi Arabia. (Vanity Fair)

    • Bipartisan working group calls on Egypt military leaders to allow international monitors for elections. (Working Group on Egypt)

    • U.S. law is preventing aid from getting to drought-stricken parts of Somalia under militant al-Shebaab control. (Sarah Margon)

    • Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former chief of U.S. State department policy planning, launches a foreign-policy column for the Atlantic. (Atlantic)

    • Joao Silva, the photojournalist who lost his legs when he triggered a landmine in Afghanistan, publishes photos of that day and his recovery afterward at Walter Reed Hospital, which closed yesterday. (New York Times)

    Read More »from News of the World: new Pakistani Foreign Minister woos India
  • Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense, addresses the Holocaust International Day of Remembrance ceremony, Feb. 10, 2011 at United Nations headquarters. (AP)Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is arriving in Washington for a working visit with American officials Thursday, the Israeli embassy announced today.

    On his one-day trip to Washington, Barak will hold meetings with Vice President Joseph Biden at the White House; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department; and his new counterpart, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, the embassy said. On Friday, Barak will meet in New York with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

    The visit comes amid frustrated efforts by the United States and international community to get agreement for relaunched Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, ahead of Palestinian plans to seek recognition at the UN in late September.

    There are no real expectations that Barak's consultations in the U.S. this week will result in any breakthrough on stalled peace process efforts, a source who consulted with the administration on the visit told the Envoy.

    The Obama White House has similarly told allied nation diplomats in recent days there is not yet meaningful progress to report in its diplomatic efforts to get relaunched talks. A less than promising precedent was set two weeks ago at an uncomfortable meeting of the Middle East Quartet--the U.S., Russia, UN and European Union--in Washington. The veteran foreign ministers and statesmen hosted by Secretary Clinton could not even agree on a statement to issue after the dinner meeting, much less an action plan for bringing the warring parties back to the peace table (see more).

    The "Americans told us they could bring the parties together," one diplomatic official told the Envoy on condition of anonymity to express frustration with Washington's handling of the issue. But the traditional American approach "is to pre-negotiate with the Israelis and then tell [the Quartet members] you should ... endorse [what the U.S. and Israel agreed]. That's a problem dealing with sovereign countries."

    Separately, Israeli ambassador Michael Oren was spotted having lunch today at the Oval Room with National Security Council human rights and multilateral organizations adviser Samantha Power, restaurant-goers told the Envoy.

    No word yet on what was the subject of today's lunch, but one person who spotted them suggested the White House may simply be trying to step up its outreach efforts. Power is also the White House point person on international organizations. That includes the United Nations, which held a tense meeting yesterday on Palestinian statehood aspirations that may be a preview of September's dynamics.

    Read More »from Israeli defense minister arrives in Washington for working visit


(679 Stories)
  • Soccer-Sad Brazil players apologise to fans after another heavy loss

    Hosts Brazil lost 3-0 to the Netherlands in their final World Cup match on Saturday and their players apologised to fans after another hugely disappointing performance in the third-place match. "I don't think we deserved for it to end like this," captain Thiago Silva said in a televised interview. It's very tough." Midfielder Oscar looked totally deflated after the defeat, which came just four days after Brazil were crushed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals. "We are all very sad, the people are very sad, but we tried and we tried till the end." Robin van Persie got the first Dutch goal from the penalty spot in the third minute, Daley Blind added a second just 13 minutes later and Georginio Wijnaldum rounded it off with a third in stoppage time.

  • From New York to China in two hours: how billionaires are revolutionizing flying
    From New York to China in two hours: how billionaires are revolutionizing flying

    Picture this: you wake up in New York, grab a coffee and a bagel and hop on a plane. By the time you finish breakfast you’re in Beijing.

  • Merkel blasts U.S. spying, hopes Washington will change tack
    Merkel blasts U.S. spying, hopes Washington will change tack

    By Alexandra Hudson BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel said on Saturday that new allegations of U.S. spying showed Berlin and Washington were completely at odds over how they viewed the role of intelligence, and she hoped German action would persuade the United States not to spy on partners. Her comments to German broadcaster ZDF come two days after her government told the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country, in a dramatic display of anger after German officials unearthed two suspected spies. On Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters "when differences arise, we're committed to resolving those differences through the established private channels... we don't believe that trying to resolve them through the media is appropriate." The scandal has chilled relations with Washington to levels not seen since Merkel's predecessor opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  • Olympic champion Thorpe to come out: reports

    After years of speculation about his sexuality, five-times Olympic champion Ian Thorpe will reveal he is gay in a tell-all interview on Australian television later on Sunday, local media reported. The 31-year-old will make the admission to British interviewer Michael Parkinson on Australia's Channel 10, the Sunday Telegraph reported. A 25-second teaser clip of interview showed Parkinson asking Thorpe directly if he was gay, though Australia's most decorated swimmer did not answer question in the snippet.

  • Swimming Olympian Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay: reports
    Swimming Olympian Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay: reports

    Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay in an interview set to be broadcast Sunday, according to media reports, after years of denying rumours about his sexuality. The five-time Olympic gold medallist makes the revelation in an interview with British presenter Michael Parkinson due to be aired later Sunday by Australia's Channel Ten, reports said. Fellow Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice tweeted: "Thorpie is and always will be a superstar in my eyes." Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, who revealed he was gay in 2008, said he could "totally understand how difficult this whole process has been for him".

  • Kitten thrown off Georgia bridge, swims to shore

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Animal control officers say a 10-week-old kitten that was thrown off a bridge and survived is recovering at an animal shelter, and police are seeking the person who tossed him.

  • Tracy Morgan released from rehab month after crash
    Tracy Morgan released from rehab month after crash

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Former "Saturday Night Live" star Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation facility as he heals from serious injuries he suffered in a car crash that left a fellow comedian dead, his spokesman said Saturday.

  • LeBron: World Cup final 'bigger' than NBA finals
    LeBron: World Cup final 'bigger' than NBA finals

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Just a few hours after arriving in Brazil, LeBron James sized up the World Cup final and said it trumps the NBA finals.

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