KUWAIT CITY (AP) — The United States pledged Wednesday to send an additional $380 million in aid this year to help victims of Syria's brutal civil war, but warned that international efforts to ease their suffering will fail if Syrian President Bashar Assad refuses to let humanitarian assistance get to people who need it.
By Anna Louie Sussman WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the powerful U.S. Senate banking committee are set to grill financial regulators Wednesday on their plans to address the risks of Wall Street banks' involvement in physical commodities markets, fuelling pressure for a landmark crackdown. A day ahead of the hearing, the Federal Reserve, for the first time, laid out its heightened concerns that leasing oil tankers or owning power plants could endanger the banking system, and may pose serious conflicts of interest for banks. In a preliminary notice seeking public comment on possible new curbs, the Fed cited real-world risks including the BP Gulf oil spill and last year's Quebec oil train disaster as examples of the multibillion-dollar catastrophes that banks face by being involved in the risky, messy world of commodities. The notice also suggested possible remedies, including limits on assets and revenues as well as curbs on trade of some types of commodities, and posed questions to draw public input.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee to be released on Wednesday was expected to criticize the State Department for inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, when it suffered a deadly attack on September 11, 2012. Sources familiar with the findings said the report, which had bipartisan approval, found that in the previous months U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned about possible attacks in Benghazi, but the State Department paid too little attention. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other U.S. ...
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie, faced with a widening political scandal that threatens to undermine his second term and a possible 2016 presidential run, apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration "let down the people we are entrusted to serve" but the issue doesn't define his team or the state.
Efforts to renew emergency federal jobless benefits for 1.5 million Americans stalled in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday when Democrats and Republicans rejected each other's proposals. Both sides vowed to keep looking for a compromise, but it appeared unlikely they would find one before next week's Senate recess. "It is extremely important that we act, and today we failed to act," said Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island. "It is not over," said Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.
By Edith Honan TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered a fresh apology and vowed to cooperate with an investigation into a traffic scandal rocking his administration, but mostly touted the state's bipartisan cooperation during a key speech on Tuesday. Christie, a charismatic conservative and an early favorite in the Republican bid for the White House in 2016, used his State of the State address to list his conservative policy prescriptions, trying to leave two scandals behind. "The last week has certainly tested this administration. Mistakes were clearly ...
By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. federal court system objects to key proposals by a presidential review panel to reform the secret court that supervises the classified electronic eavesdropping activities of the U.S. National Security Agency, a former chief judge of that court said on Tuesday. Judge John Bates, the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court, sent the objections in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He said he submitted it on behalf of the federal judicial system as a whole, through an entity called the Judicial Conference of the United States, of which he is secretary. Bates, who is director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. courts, said that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts had asked him to represent the federal judiciary on matters concerning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which the secret court operates.