The Envoy
  • saudiwomenSecretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke up today in support of a campaign by Saudi women to get the right to drive in the conservative, oil-rich Persian Gulf kingdom.

    "What these women are doing is brave and what they are seeking is right," Clinton said at a news conference today, Bloomberg News' Flavia Krause-Jackson reported.

    "The effort belongs to them," Clinton said of the campaign by dozens of Saudi women last week to drive. "I am moved by it and I support them."

    Read More »from Hillary Clinton voices support for Saudi women drivers
  • Bickering in Washington as war in Libya drags on

    As the conflict in Libya drags into its fourth month, Washington faces the latest in  a series of tests of its political will in the effort to depict American involvement in the struggle as a limited humanitarian action.

    The dispute in Washington revolves chiefly around Congress's role in sanctioning an extended U.S. commitment in Libya, which began as a NATO-led effort to prevent the country's authoritarian leader Muammr Gadhafi from massacring Libyan citizens. The Obama White House says it has the authority to pursue what it calls limited military action in Libya without any formal consultation with Congress--while lawmakers on both sides of the partisan aisle argue that Obama needs formal congressional approval to pursue hostilities beyond 90 days.

    Administration lawyers themselves have offered different legal opinions on the matter, the New York Times' Charlie Savage reports: Pentagon and Justice Department attorneys have advised the White House that it needs congressional approval, while White House and State Department attorneys say that any such consultation is unnecessary because the Libya action does not reflect formal "hostilities" between the United States and Libya.

    Read More »from Bickering in Washington as war in Libya drags on
  • afghanarmyPresident Barack Obama will announce in a speech on Wednesday evening his plans for drawing down the additional 30,000 U.S. troops "surged" to Afghanistan last year, U.S. officials said.

    The president has kept his decision on the matter under close advisement. Some members of his cabinet, including Vice President Joe Biden, have urged a swifter drawdown of surged forces in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden last month. Lawmakers from both parties have voiced growing frustration over the $2 billion a week the United States now spends on the war in Afghanistan.

    However, defense officials, including outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, have argued for a modest initial U.S. drawdown in order to maintain a robust U.S. fighting presence over the next two fighting seasons. Gates and other advocates of maintaining a larger troop presence say that it can keep delivering blows to the Taliban as the U.S. and Afghan governments open up negotiations to try to persuade insurgents to switch sides.

    That policy debate has led to reports suggesting that Obama is weighing two possible options in framing future U.S. commitments.

    Read More »from Obama to announce Afghan surge drawdown timetable Wednesday

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  • Awesome Federer floors Djokovic in straight sets
    Awesome Federer floors Djokovic in straight sets

    By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Roger Federer's enduring class shone through again as the Swiss maestro beat world number one Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-5 to win the Dubai Championships for a seventh time on Saturday. The 33-year-old's serve is the least praised of his repertoire but it was his awesome delivery that blunted Djokovic's baseline game, taking his career ace haul past the 9,000 barrier with 12 more, several at vital moments. The match, the 37th in their rivalry which Federer now leads 20-17, proved to be a tale of chances taken and chances missed -- Federer converting his two break points with clinical efficiency, while Djokovic failed on all seven of his. I definitely won the big points tonight." Djokovic had two set points to level the match in the second set but both times Federer was rescued by his serve.

  • Stolen race car found on rural US roadside
    Stolen race car found on rural US roadside

    Police recovered a stolen race car on a rural roadside north of Atlanta on Saturday morning, a day after it was swiped from a stock car team's hotel parking lot. Team Xtreme Racing confirmed the recovery of its number 44 entry in the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), the closed-cockpit series that is America's most popular form of motor racing. Also missing was a spare race engine and other car equipment that had been in the trailer along with the car. "So Happy to have 'old faithful' back," Team Xtreme posted on Twitter.

  • Keshi says Nigeria offered him 'slave contract'
    Keshi says Nigeria offered him 'slave contract'

    Coach Stephen Keshi has said a new deal offered to him by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)amounts to a "slave contract". A debate has raged whether 52-year-old Keshi should be given a new contract after he failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. His initial contract of three years ran out after last year's World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the last 16 knockout stages. After a long wait, Keshi, who triumphed with Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, said he had received his new contract from the NFF but had been far from impressed with what was on offer.

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