Michele Kelemen http://wgcu.org en Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy http://wgcu.org/post/taunt-or-miscalculation-irans-provocative-pick-un-envoy Iran's reported decision to name Hamid Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the United Nations has ignited anger in the U.S. That's because the diplomat was part of the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979. Now, dozens of lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to deny him a visa.<p>It's the latest sign of just how difficult it will be for Washington and Tehran to overcome decades of mistrust.<p>By most accounts, Aboutalebi wasn't directly involved in the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:45:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 9003 at http://wgcu.org Taunt Or Miscalculation? Iran's Provocative Pick For U.N. Envoy Russia Votes To Annex Crimea, As The West Looks On http://wgcu.org/post/russia-votes-annex-crimea-west-looks Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Russia's President Vladimir Putin moved today to overturn recent history by reclaiming Crimea for Russia. Putin signed a treaty to annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and gave a rousing speech to parliament laying out his case. He is also blasted the West for trying to frighten him with sanctions.<p>The United States calls Putin's actions illegal. But as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the U.S. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 8396 at http://wgcu.org Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air http://wgcu.org/post/pending-russian-response-kerrys-travel-plans-are-air Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>I'm Robert Siegel.<p>And we begin this hour with the latest on the standoff over Ukraine. Today, Russian forces seized the Ukrainian naval post, military hospital and a missile unit in Crimea. At the same time, Moscow accused Kiev of encouraging right-wing groups and creating lawlessness in eastern Ukraine. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 8100 at http://wgcu.org Kerry And Russian Diplomat Talk Crimea In Paris http://wgcu.org/post/kerry-and-russian-diplomat-talk-crimea-paris Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Yesterday, he was in Ukraine. Today, it's Paris. Secretary of State John Kerry is logging a lot of miles these days, trying to find a diplomatic solution to the unfolding crisis in Crimea. In Paris, he met with Russia's foreign minister. Kerry said the discussions were substantive. Diplomatic sources tell NPR the results were inconclusive. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7962 at http://wgcu.org Kerry's In Kiev And He Comes Bearing Gifts — One Billion Of Them http://wgcu.org/post/kerrys-kiev-and-he-comes-bearing-gifts-one-billion-them Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kiev Tuesday, offering $1 billion in American loan guarantees and promises of technical assistance to the new Ukrainian government. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7926 at http://wgcu.org Syria On Track To Become World's Largest Source Of Refugees http://wgcu.org/post/syria-track-become-worlds-largest-source-refugees A photo from Syria is grabbing the world's attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of a Palestinian refugee camp inside Syria.<p>Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia was so moved by the image, he took to the Senate floor, saying "a country of 23 million people, a proud country, is being transformed before our eyes to a land of rubble, skeletons, refugees and ghosts."<p>Syria was once a destination country for refugees. Now, it is fast becoming the world's biggest source of them. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:27:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7837 at http://wgcu.org Syria On Track To Become World's Largest Source Of Refugees Secretary Of State Kerry Says Ukraine Is Not A 'Cold War Story' http://wgcu.org/post/secretary-state-kerry-says-ukraine-not-cold-war-story Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/28/283878194/ousted-president-is-ready-to-fight-for-the-future-of-ukraine">emerged Friday</a> to give a news conference on Russian soil, not far from the Ukraine border. Russia is not only giving Yanukovych shelter — it's also <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/26/282872811/putin-flexes-moscows-military-muscles-puts-army-on-alert">carrying out military exercises</a> that have raised alarms in Washington.<p>The U.S. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:25:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7806 at http://wgcu.org Secretary Of State Kerry Says Ukraine Is Not A 'Cold War Story' U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela http://wgcu.org/post/us-has-little-leverage-stop-political-violence-venezuela The escalating political crisis in Venezuela has set off alarms in Washington. But there's little the U.S. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:49:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7765 at http://wgcu.org U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela Will Ukraine Do What It Takes To Unlock International Aid? http://wgcu.org/post/west-eyes-new-leaders-same-money-issues-ukraine The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday.<p>"The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.<p>After three months of street protests and the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, the U.S. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:34:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7689 at http://wgcu.org Will Ukraine Do What It Takes To Unlock International Aid? U.S., Allies Urge All Sides In Ukraine To Pull Back From Brink http://wgcu.org/post/us-allies-urge-all-sides-ukraine-pull-back-brink Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Poland are traveling to Ukraine in hopes of persuading all sides in the country's recent violence to pull back from the brink and restart a political dialogue. The U.S. is also urging the country's president to calm the situation and restart a dialogue with the opposition. But the U.S. and Europe seem to have few levers of influence, as the crisis spins out of control.<p>U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before reporters in Paris Wednesday to restate his hope for a negotiated settlement to the political crisis in Ukraine. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:43:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7520 at http://wgcu.org U.S., Allies Urge All Sides In Ukraine To Pull Back From Brink Leaked Ukraine Phone Call Puts U.S. Credibility On The Line http://wgcu.org/post/leaked-ukraine-phone-call-puts-us-credibility-line Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>An embarrassing moment today for the U.S. State Department. A recording surfaced on YouTube, purportedly of two senior U.S. diplomats talking about Ukraine. The timing was inconvenient. The assistant secretary of State for Europe is in Kiev to talk about how to resolve the political crisis there. And the contents of the recording were also embarrassing. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:51:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 7100 at http://wgcu.org U.N. Ambassador Laments Misery In Central African Republic http://wgcu.org/post/power-laments-tyranny-mob-central-african-republic You don't have to venture far to see the misery caused by the latest crisis in the Central African Republic.<p>On the edge of the airport in the capital Bangui, tens of thousands of people are sleeping out in the open with no basic services. It's here that Samantha Power, the U.S. Fri, 20 Dec 2013 08:33:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 5652 at http://wgcu.org U.N. Ambassador Laments Misery In Central African Republic U.S. Envoy: Time For Intervention In Central African Republic http://wgcu.org/post/us-envoy-time-intervention-central-african-republic The Obama administration's ambassador to the U.N. says this is a pivotal moment for the Central African Republic and time for the international community to take steps to prevent further atrocities there.<p>Samantha Power, a former journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is well-known as an advocate for humanitarian intervention. Wed, 18 Dec 2013 21:16:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 5607 at http://wgcu.org U.S. Envoy: Time For Intervention In Central African Republic Will Progress On Nuke Talks Mean More Engagement From Iran? http://wgcu.org/post/will-progress-irans-nuclear-program-translate-more The U.S. and other major powers have been holding historic negotiations with Iran to try to curb that country's nuclear program. But Washington still has many other concerns about Iranian behavior. And while some diplomats may hope to build on the nuclear talks to push Iran to play a more constructive role in the region, experts remain skeptical.<p>Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says there are a couple of ways to look at the negotiations with Iran.<p>"Greater nuclear cooperation with Tehran could bring about greater regional cooperation with Iran," he says. Tue, 03 Dec 2013 22:11:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 5115 at http://wgcu.org Will Progress On Nuke Talks Mean More Engagement From Iran? Syria's Moderate Rebels Fight A Battle On Two Fronts http://wgcu.org/post/syrias-moderate-rebels-fight-battle-two-fronts Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:17:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 4163 at http://wgcu.org Syria's Moderate Rebels Fight A Battle On Two Fronts Saudi Act Of Protest Stuns U.N., And Some Observers http://wgcu.org/post/saudi-act-protest-stuns-un-and-some-observers Known for quiet diplomacy, Saudi Arabia is taking an unusual and very public step to protest the international community's failure to resolve the crisis in Syria and other issues that interest Riyadh.<p>On Thursday, Saudi Arabia was elected to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which the Saudi ambassador to the U.N. Sun, 20 Oct 2013 10:12:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 3653 at http://wgcu.org Saudi Act Of Protest Stuns U.N., And Some Observers Will The U.S. Grant A Visa To Sudan's Indicted Leader? http://wgcu.org/post/will-us-grant-visa-sudans-indicted-leader As the host of the United Nations, the U.S. is supposed to let everyone come to the annual U.N. General Assembly, not just the people it likes.<p>But this year, the proposition is being put to the test. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted three years ago by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges stemming from the mass killings in Sudan's western Darfur region.<p>Bashir has also applied for a visa to the U.N. meetings next week.<p>"Such a trip would be deplorable, cynical and hugely inappropriate," says Samantha Power, the U.S. Fri, 20 Sep 2013 18:25:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 2723 at http://wgcu.org Will The U.S. Grant A Visa To Sudan's Indicted Leader? U.S.-Russia Deal: Syria Has A Week To Detail Chemical Arsenal http://wgcu.org/post/us-russia-deal-syria-has-week-detail-chemical-arsenal Transcript <p>JACKI LYDEN, HOST: <p>It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.<p>The U.S. and Russia have agreed on a plan to get rid of Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of next year. Secretary of State John Kerry calls it an ambitious timetable but says he's confident the international community can keep the pressure on Syria to comply. President Obama welcomed the agreement but says the U.S. remains prepared to act should the diplomatic route fail.<p>Coming up, we'll hear how Syria acquired its chemical weapons in the first place. Sat, 14 Sep 2013 21:47:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 2518 at http://wgcu.org Obama Struggles To Find Effective Egypt Policy http://wgcu.org/post/obama-struggles-find-effective-egypt-policy The Obama administration is in a difficult situation with its Egypt policy.<p>President Obama, who often talks about free speech and human rights, has cancelled joint military exercises with Egypt but has stopped short of cutting off aid to the Egyptian military. As the violence continues in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, all sides seem unhappy with the U.S. Sun, 18 Aug 2013 09:29:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 1588 at http://wgcu.org Obama Struggles To Find Effective Egypt Policy Kerry, Hagel Aim To Ease U.S.-Russian Tensions http://wgcu.org/post/kerry-hagel-aim-ease-us-russian-tensions Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with their Russian counterparts for talks in Washington on Friday, aiming to repair strained relations with Moscow.<p>President Obama snubbed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday when he called off plans to go to Moscow next month for a one-on-one summit. Sat, 10 Aug 2013 09:09:00 +0000 Michele Kelemen 1348 at http://wgcu.org Kerry, Hagel Aim To Ease U.S.-Russian Tensions