Washington (CNN) - A gathering of Washington's most important military leaders doesn't seem like the obvious place to champion the cause of increasing women's power around the world. Nor does Hillary Clinton seem like the obvious choice for an award from the National Defense University.
But in accepting the American Patriot Award - presented annually to honor leaders who have "strengthened America's strategic interests and advanced global security" - the former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady used the stage Thursday to argue for more women in positions of power.
(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.
United Nations (CNN) - The drama over whether President Barack Obama would shake hands with his Iranian counterpart detracted from what diplomats at the U.N. General Assembly described as an acute disappointment with his handling of Mideast turmoil.
A perceived lack of leadership in Syria during its civil war coupled with U.S. handling of the political crisis in Egypt has forced the Obama administration to confront a growing lack of confidence among Middle East allies.
Washington (CNN) – On Thursday night last week, John Kerry got a call from the White House. He had already spoken out Monday about what he said was "undeniable" evidence Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassed his people. Now he was being asked to make a speech Friday afternoon laying out the case the United States had against the Assad regime and the importance of taking action to prevent him from doing it again.
In forceful and emotional remarks, drafted overnight by his staff and President Obama's White House aides, Kerry laid out the U.S. intelligence against Assad and made the case for urgent U.S. action.
Jerusalem (CNN) - Obama administration officials confirm there will be White House meetings this week on Syria, where discussion of possibly sending lethal weapons to Syrian rebels will be on the agenda.
The officials stressed no final decisions have been made, although they said President Barack Obama was inching closer to signing off on arming moderate rebel units that had been vetted.
(CNN) – A review board responsible for investigating the September attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya is now getting its own review.
The office of the State Department's inspector general is doing a special review of the "effectiveness and accountability" of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) process, according to Doug Welty, a spokesman for the IG's office.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, proposed the U.S. provide ammunition to the Syrian opposition Wednesday, warning that the rebels feel "abandoned" by the West.
"I think it behooves us to do everything we can to ensure that the strongest elements in Syria post-Assad are those that are listening to us, can be influenced by us and have a desire not just to keep the Syrian nation together but to respect the rights of the diverse country that Syria is," he said, told an audience at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he had some ideas on how to change Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's thinking about remaining in power, which he hopes will persuade the embattled leader to negotiate with the opposition on an end to the violence.
"We need to address the question of President Assad's calculation currently. I believe there are additional things that can be done to change his current perception," Kerry told reporters after meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, adding: "I've got a good sense of what I think we might propose."
Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday took on Republican congressional critics of her department's handling of the deadly September terrorist attack in Libya.
Conservative GOP members challenged Clinton on the lack of security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi as well as the erroneous account that the attack grew spontaneously from a protest over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.
(CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sprinting to the finish as America's top diplomat, preparing for a high-profile hearing on the deadly Benghazi attack and two signature opportunities to have the last word on her tenure.
Clinton, who returned to work last week after battling a virus and a blood clot, is aggressively tackling her work load, even as official Washington gets ready to pause for President Barack Obama's second inaugural on Monday.