By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government's targeted killing of people linked to terrorism, including Americans. In a case pitting executive power against the public's right to know what its government does, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling preserving the secrecy of the legal rationale for the killings, such as the death of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen. Ruling for the New York Times, a unanimous three-judge panel said the government waived its right to secrecy by making repeated public statements justifying targeted killings. These included a Justice Department "white paper," as well as speeches or statements by officials like Attorney General Eric Holder and former Obama administration counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, endorsing the practice.
By Jeff Mason KIEV (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will announce a package of technical assistance focused on energy and economic aid distribution during a two-day visit to Ukraine that began on Monday, a senior administration official said. Biden is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the country since the crisis with Russia erupted months ago. A U.S. team was also in Ukraine to help deal with the issue of securing gas flows from EU countries such as Slovakia and Hungary in the event that Russia cuts off Ukraine's supply, the official said. Kiev gets about half of its gas from Moscow and a large proportion of Europe's gas is pumped from Russia via Ukraine.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria announced Monday that presidential elections will be held June 3, setting the stage for President Bashar Assad to win a new, seven-year term in the midst of a civil war that has torn apart the country and makes it impossible for millions to vote. The opposition dismissed the election as a farce.