The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

June 21, 2013

Kerry trip starts with tough Syrian, Afghan issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of State John Kerry begins an overseas trip plunging into two thorny foreign policy problems facing the Obama administration: unrelenting bloodshed in Syria and efforts to talk to the Taliban and find a political resolution to the war in Afghanistan.

Midway through his two-week trip to at least seven countries, Kerry also will try to make progress on an elusive peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians and will visit India, the world's biggest democracy and a rising power often viewed as a counterweight to China. He ends his trip attending a Southeast Asia security conference in Brunei.

Kerry lands Saturday in Doha, Qatar, where representatives of 11 nations in the so-called Friends of Syria group will discuss how to coordinate military and other aid to rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad and "change the balance" on the ground, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced that in addition to nonlethal aid, the United States would begin sending arms and ammunition to the rebels, who are engaged in a tough fight against Assad's better-equipped air and ground forces. That announcement came after Assad's military dealt the rebels serious setbacks and a U.S. intelligence assessment claimed the regime had used chemical weapons — a "red line" for the Obama administration.

On Thursday, Kerry went to Capitol Hill to brief members of Congress on the two-year civil war that has claimed an estimated 93,000 lives. The meeting in Doha also aims to gain momentum for starting peace talks in Geneva to end the crisis.

Obama's deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said that as long as there's a conflict, there remains a need to find a framework for a dialogue because ultimately the Syrian opposition and some parts of the government are going to have to find a political solution. Geneva is the only framework that exists right now.

"We are trying to find a way for the Russians to play some type of constructive role and to stay engaged in the process," Rhodes said, referring to Moscow's continued support of Assad's government.

Kerry arrives in Qatar ahead of planned U.S. talks with representatives of the Taliban at a new political office they opened this week in Doha. The secretary himself was not expected to meet with the Taliban, but other U.S. officials are to sit down with members of the militant group in coming days. The discussions would be the first U.S.-Taliban talks in nearly 1 1/2 years.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Medication drop boxes available

    Although no formal event is planned in Clinton County for Saturday’s nationwide Medication Take Back Day, area officials are reminding residents this week about permanent drop boxes aT area law enforcement agencies.
    Unused or expired medications can be disposed of during normal business hours in the lobbies of four police departments in Clinton County — Camanche Police Department, 819 South Washington Blvd.; Clinton County Sheriff’s office, 241 Seventh Ave. North; Clinton Police Department, 116 Sixth Ave. South; DeWitt Police Department, 606 Ninth St.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Clinton Middle School Forum Photo 2 Leadership Team field concerns from parents CLINTON -- Progress on the new Clinton Middle School continues to move forward and as the deadline for completion draws nearer, school district officials and staff members are interested to know how the community is feeling about the project. What th

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Iowa State says data breach could affect thousands

    The Social Security numbers of nearly 30,000 people who enrolled at Iowa State University over a 17-year period were exposed in a data breach, school officials announced Tuesday.

    Five information technology servers on the Ames campus were hacked, and those servers contained the Social Security numbers of people who took certain classes at the school between 1995 and 2012, ISU officials said in a news release. There is no evidence that any of the personal files were accessed, the school said, and the records didn't contain student financial information.

    April 22, 2014

  • Iowa woman arrested after child falls from window

    A Manchester woman has been arrested after her toddler fell from a second-story apartment window.

    The Manchester Police Department says 27-year-old Stacy Neuhaus was arrested Monday in Iowa City. She faces charges of child endangerment. Court records do not list an attorney.

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video