December 10th, 2013
07:56 AM ET
8 months ago

A brief but important handshake between Obama, Castro

Updated 2:51 p.m. ET, 12/10/13

(CNN) – Arriving on stage at FNB stadium in Johannesburg to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama shook hands with dozens of other world leaders, pausing briefly to grasp the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro.

The greeting quickly sparked a strong debate on Twitter between those who praised and disagreed with the handshake, given that the United States does not share diplomatic relations with Cuba.
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Filed under: Cuba • Nelson Mandela • President Obama • South Africa
Caroline Kennedy sworn in as ambassador to Japan
November 12th, 2013
06:07 PM ET
8 months ago

Caroline Kennedy sworn in as ambassador to Japan

Updated 8:33 p.m. ET, 11/12/2013

(CNN) – In a private ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the State Department, Caroline Kennedy was sworn in by Secretary of State John Kerry as U.S. ambassador to Japan.

The event was closed to media, but the State Department released a photo showing a smiling Kennedy dressed in a simple black dress, her right hand raised, her left resting on what looked like a Bible held by her husband, Edwin Schlossberg. Nearby, their son John "Jack" Schlossberg looked on, wearing a dark suit, hands in pockets, his shock of dark hair an uncanny reminder of his deceased uncle, John Kennedy Jr., Caroline's brother.
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Filed under: Caroline Kennedy • Japan • John Kerry
Need a passport? Don't worry during shutdown, State Department says
October 1st, 2013
10:03 AM ET
10 months ago

Need a passport? Don't worry during shutdown, State Department says

(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

Filed under: State Department
August 20th, 2013
07:16 AM ET
11 months ago

4 U.S. State employees face reassignment

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

Filed under: Libya • State Department
John Kerry's wife hospitalized in Massachusetts
July 7th, 2013
08:27 PM ET
1 year ago

John Kerry's wife hospitalized in Massachusetts

(CNN) - Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, became ill Sunday and was taken by ambulance to a Massachusetts hospital, said a source close to the family.

Heinz Kerry, 74, was in Nantucket, where the family has a home.

FULL STORY

Filed under: John Kerry
Obama to name D.C. lawyer to lead Guantanamo Bay closure
June 17th, 2013
09:26 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama to name D.C. lawyer to lead Guantanamo Bay closure

(CNN) – President Barack Obama will appoint Washington, D.C. lawyer Clifford Sloan to re-open the State Department's Office of Guantanamo Closure, according to a senior administration official.

The administration’s efforts to shut down the detention facility have been stalled since January, when the State Department shuttered the office tasked with handling the closure, and reassigned its special envoy.
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Filed under: Guantanamo Bay • President Obama
Kerry speaks about first trip as secretary of state
March 5th, 2013
08:05 AM ET
1 year ago

Kerry speaks about first trip as secretary of state

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about Syria, Iran and North Korea in an interview Tuesday with CNN as he wraps up his first international trip as the nation's top diplomat.

On Syria, Kerry declined to say that the United States would never arm the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's government, but said President Barack Obama believes the current strategy of leaving it to other countries to arm the rebels is currently the right choice.


Filed under: John Kerry • Syria
Kerry's first trip: trying to sidestep the pitfalls
February 24th, 2013
09:35 AM ET
1 year ago

Kerry's first trip: trying to sidestep the pitfalls

(CNN) - John Kerry's first international trip as secretary of state is right out of diplomatic "central casting" - at least the first half, designed to avoid diplomatic pitfalls. But that may end up being impossible.

The 11-day, nine-country sojourn - to England, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - begins with a warm embrace for America's traditional European allies.

FULL STORY

Filed under: John Kerry • State Department
Kerry's message: Diplomacy equals jobs
February 15th, 2013
07:18 PM ET
1 year ago

Kerry's message: Diplomacy equals jobs

Washington (CNN) - John Kerry, the new secretary of state, jokingly calls himself a "recovering politician."

After 28 years in the Senate, he now finds himself "sort of walking a new line," as he says, not allowed to mix politics with international policy.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Economy • John Kerry • State Department
Kerry picks Democratic message-meister as State Department spokeswoman
February 13th, 2013
03:17 PM ET
1 year ago

Kerry picks Democratic message-meister as State Department spokeswoman

Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry has asked his "old communicator and colleague," Jen Psaki, to be his chief spokeswoman, a senior agency official confirmed Wednesday.

Psaki is only in her 30s but she is an old hand at Democratic message-shaping. She worked with then-Senator Kerry on his 2004 presidential election bid and was President Barack Obama's deputy communications director.
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Filed under: State Department
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