Washington (CNN) - A new State Department report on the Keystone XL pipeline released Wednesday cheered advocates, who called for immediate approval, and dismayed environmentalists, who questioned it.
The Office of the Inspector General’s report essentially boosted a critical document in the debate - the State Department’s environmental review, which forecast that the project would have minimal environmental impact. The inspector general dismissed complaints that the review was biased, finding it was handled properly, with standards sometimes “more rigorous” than required.
Environmental groups complained that some contractors who worked on the environmental study had also done work for TransCanada, the company which hopes to build the pipeline.
Washington (CNN) - A debate of more than five years could stretch even longer with Wednesday's call for a health study on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
Two Democratic senators - Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island - urged Secretary of State John Kerry to examine higher rates of cancer and other illness reported in places impacted by the "tar sands" oil from northern Alberta.
Their letter to Kerry sought to further delay the project that has support from Republicans, some Democrats, the oil industry and labor unions. A Pew Research Center poll in September showed 65% of respondents favored building it.
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Washington (CNN) – An update on a story "CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper" first reported in August, regarding the sex scandal that brought down former CIA director David Petraeus.
Jill and Scott Kelley, suing the Obama administration for alleged defamation of character during the aftermath of the Petraeus sex scandal, have added new defendants to their lawsuit, including the Department of State, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and outgoing FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - America's top diplomat dismissed concerns Sunday that the Obama administration was not being skeptical enough while the U.S. negotiates with Iran over its continued enrichment of uranium, activity widely assumed to be supporting a nuclear weapons program.
Secretary of State John Kerry emphatically told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that "we are not blind, and I don't think we're stupid" when it comes to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's past claims that he could game the Western world in brokered talks while his nation continued to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Lindsey Graham vowed on Sunday that he would continue to block President Barack Obama's nominations until Congress hears from Benghazi survivors.
The South Carolina lawmaker told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that he will place holds on any nomination put forth by the administration unless it makes available five survivors of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, who have been interviewed by State Department investigators but remain out of Congress' reach.
Washington (CNN) – There was no presidential contender at Saturday night’s Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson dinner in Iowa, but that doesn't mean 2016 news wasn’t made.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, used his keynote address in Des Moines to urge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to enter the race, offering his full endorsement for her candidacy, proclaiming "2016 is Hillary’s time."
(CNN) - Compared to other U.S. government agencies, the State Department has been relatively lucky.
Because many of its accounts are appropriated more than a year at a time, there is money in most to keep almost all employees at work and all offices and overseas posts open for the near future.
But it isn't business as usual.FULL STORY
(CNN) - For Americans applying for a passport, or citizens of other countries trying to get a visa to the United States, the current government shutdown won't have any effect, the State Department says.
The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are "national security agencies," which means they have national security responsibilities such as representing the United States overseas and representing to Americans what the country's foreign interests are.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Syrian officials made preparations for chemical weapons use for three days prior to the August 21 attack, and that rockets were launched from areas controlled by the Syrian regime and landed in areas controlled by the opposition or contested.
Kerry said the American intelligence community has "high confidence" in what he called evidence and facts that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, adding that "the questions is what are we ... in the world going to do about it."
He spoke as the government released an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community of the alleged August 21 attack.
"We assess with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in the Damascus suburbs," the report said.
Washington (CNN) – Four State Department employees who were put on administrative leave after last year's attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, will be reassigned inside the department, a senior State Department official told CNN on Tuesday.
The four were placed on leave last December by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the September 11 attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.FULL STORY