The Envoy
  • Hillary Clinton promotes American jobs

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted international women's business leaders Jan. 24, 2012. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will kick off the next phase in her recent initiative to mobilize the State Department and U.S. diplomatic corps to promote American jobs. On Tuesday, Clinton will address some 200 U.S. company executives at a two-day global business conference hosted by the State Department.

    "It's clear there's a yearning and appetite to use the State Department even more aggressively than we've used it in the past to help promote American jobs," Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides told journalists in a phone call Friday previewing the Global Business Conference.

    In attendance will be executives from some 200 U.S. companies working in 120 countries.  Boeing CEO James McNerny will be there along with executives from Cargill, Estee Lauder and Qualcomm. Vice President Joe Biden will also make an appearance.

    "Every agency in this government needs to be focused on job creation," Nides said.  "And the State Department is uniquely positioned to do that because of our

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  • Amid a growing chorus of conservative voices urging the arming of the Syrian opposition, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Monday it's trying to broker a ceasefire that would bring at least a temporary halt to violence that has killed over 6,000 people.

    "We are currently discussing several possibilities with all those concerned, and it includes a cessation of fighting in the most affected areas," the ICRC's spokesman Carla Haddad told the Associated Press from Geneva on Monday. "The idea is to be able to facilitate swift access to people in need."

    The ceasefire efforts come as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to travel to Tunisia later this week for an international "Friends of Syria" group meeting on the Syrian crisis.

    Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) called for the arming of the Syrian opposition, to defend itself from Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown. "It is time we gave the (opposition) the wherewithal to fight back and stop the slaughter," McCain said at a Cairo news conference on Monday, Agence-France Press reported.

    But top U.S. officials and analysts dismissed such proposals as hasty and unwise, especially given recent U.S. intelligence assessments that al-Qaida is operating in Syria to conduct attacks against the Assad regime.

    "I think it's premature to take a decision to arm the opposition movement in Syria because I would challenge anyone to clearly identify for me the opposition movement in Syria at this point," Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview broadcast Sunday. "There are indications that al Qaeda is involved and that they're interested in supporting the opposition. ... And until we're a lot clearer about, you know, who they are and what they are, I think it would be premature to talk about arming them."

    In a new Center for New American Security (CNAS) report released Tuesday, author Marc Lynch argues that the U.S. and its international partners should apply pressure against the Assad regime instead of resorting to arming the opposition. "What I think we should be looking for is to accelerate the process of high-level regime defections," Lynch said in an interview with Yahoo News on Monday, noting that there have been very few so far. "Give Assad a make or break ultimatum. Tell him he can make a deal or go to the ICC [International Criminal Court] to face war crimes charges. That will deliver a real message to the next layer down in the [Assad regime] that they don't have forever."

    Among the CNAS report's recommendations: presenting Assad and top Syrian regime officials with the choice of resigning or facing possible war crimes prosecution; increasing international economic sanctions that target top Syrian political and military leaders; stepping up international efforts to help unify the Syrian opposition; and forging a strategic communications campaign to publicize the Syrian regime's atrocities.

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  • The FBI arrested a man suspected of planning to carry out a suicide attack against the U.S. Capitol on Friday. But the would-be suicide bomber, identified as a Moroccan national who resided in Alexandria, Virginia, was the target of a lengthy FBI undercover investigation and the public was never in any danger, FBI and Justice Department officials stressed.

    The man, identified as Amine El Khalifi, 29, was charged Friday by criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. property, according to the Justice Department. If convicted, he could receive a maximum sentence of life in prison.

    According to the criminal complaint affidavit, a confidential source reported to the FBI that El Khalifi met with other people at a home in Arlington, Virginia and expressed sentiments that the group needed to be ready for war. Over the next month, El Khalifi made frequent trips to the U.S. Capitol for surveillance and observation, finding where he would enter the

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(679 Stories)
  • Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage decreases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage decliners on Nasdaq at 1 p.m.: PSB Holdings Inc. fell 8.9 percent to $7.15. Applied Genetic Tech fell 7.4 percent to $17.02. OncoMed Pharma fell 7.0 percent to $20.07. ...

  • New iPhones expected at Sept. 9 Apple event

    Apple Inc invited media to a "special event" in its hometown of Cupertino, California, on Sept. 9, when the iPhone maker is expected to unveil the latest versions of its best-selling smartphones. Apple's typically cryptic invitation read: "Wish we could say more." It came on a simple black-and-white background dominated by the company's familiar corporate logo. Apple was expected to unveil larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens for iPhones, a move thought to be driven in part by the success of larger devices by rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. Tech blog Re/code also reported Apple may introduce its long-awaited smartwatch. Apple uses its September events to showcase its most important products.

  • Britain poorer than all US states except Mississippi

    Having spent a number of years living in Alabama, I’m well acquainted with the phrase, “Thank God for Mississippi.” While we had a lot of problems, we could always point to our western border for a state that was even more backwards. The Spectator's Fraser Nelson did the math and explains “Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi.” His methodology is pretty straightforward: You take the US figures for GDP per state (here), divide it by population (here) to come up with a GDP per capita figure. Then get the equivalent figure for Britain: I used the latest Treasury figures (here) which also chime with the OECD’s (here).

  • U.S. air strikes on Syria would face formidable obstacles
    U.S. air strikes on Syria would face formidable obstacles

    By Matt Spetalnick and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American forces face formidable challenges as President Barack Obama considers an air assault on Islamist fighters in Syria, including intelligence gaps on potential targets, concerns about Syria’s air defenses and fears that the militants may have anti-aircraft weapons, current and former U.S. The Pentagon began preparing options for an assault on Islamic State fighters after the militants last week posted a gruesome video showing the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley. Deliberations by Obama’s national security team on expanding the campaign against Islamic State from Iraq into neighboring Syria gathered pace in recent days, officials say.

  • Boston Marathon bombing victim marries his nurse
    Boston Marathon bombing victim marries his nurse

    A Massachusetts man badly injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing married his nurse in a weekend wedding, according to the hotel where the ceremony was held. James Costello met Krista D’Agostino while he was undergoing treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, according to the statement issued on Wednesday by the Hyatt Regency Boston. Costello suffered serious burns and shrapnel injuries in the blast and underwent multiple surgeries at Massachusetts General Hospital, it said. A resident of Malden, Massachusetts, he was at the 2013 marathon to support a friend in the race.

  • Murphy speaks out as Moscow apparently sends in armored vehicles
    Murphy speaks out as Moscow apparently sends in armored vehicles

    With Russian forces apparently rolling across eastern Ukraine, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy told Yahoo News on Thursday that it is past time to call the escalating conflict a “war” and label Moscow’s actions an “invasion.”

  • Comedian Joan Rivers hospitalized in New York City
    Comedian Joan Rivers hospitalized in New York City

    NEW YORK (AP) — Joan Rivers remained in a New York City hospital Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.

  • Feds jail ginseng poacher as wild plants face risk
    Feds jail ginseng poacher as wild plants face risk

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Broke and down on his luck, Billy Joe Hurley turned to the only way he knew how to make a living: poaching ginseng.

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