October 14th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

On eve of Iran talks, U.S. hopeful but 'clear-eyed'

By Elise Labott and Andrew Carey

Optimism is a term seldom used when describing the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Indeed nobody expects dramatic breakthroughs when Iran sits down on Tuesday in Geneva with six world powers for talks aimed at curbing its nuclear ambitions.

But a new feel-good tone from Tehran toward the United States and its western allies since the election of President Hassan Rouhani has diplomats hoping that an agreement might be possible after a decade-long standoff.

"The stakes are higher because the expectations are so much higher," one senior U.S. official said. "We aren't naive about the challenges but there is a new openness that is encouraging."

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Alleged al Qaeda operative Al Libi taken to New York week after capture in Libya
October 14th, 2013
04:27 PM ET

Alleged al Qaeda operative Al Libi taken to New York week after capture in Libya

By Evan Perez and Susan Candiotti

The United States has brought Abu Anas al Libi - an alleged al Qaeda operative whom U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers captured in Libya this month - to New York, a U.S. attorney's office said Monday.

He was transferred to law enforcement custody over the weekend, the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Al Libi is expected to appear before a judicial officer on Tuesday, the office said.

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John Kerry: Iron Man
October 14th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

John Kerry: Iron Man

By Bryan Koenig

Secretary of State John Kerry logged nearly enough miles on his most recent two-week trip to circumnavigate the globe.

A State Department official estimated that Kerry traveled approximately 23,000 miles on his 12-segment stint that began at the beginning of the month. During that time, Kerry traveled from the U.S. to Tokyo, then Bali and on to Brunei, Malaysia, Afghanistan and finally London before returning to the United States. The circumference of planet Earth is about 24,000 miles.

Kerry’s travel and marathon deal-making is becoming well-known as the former Senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee fills in for President Barack Obama’s head of state duties, with Obama canceling an international trip due to the partial federal government shutdown. On Kerry's to do list: working on a military-presence deal in Afghanistan, briefing allies on efforts to rid Syria of chemical weapons and negotiating over Iran’s nuclear program, and attempting to negotiate a trade deal in the Pacific.

The State Department's website counts 32 countries visited so far by Kerry since he became secretary early this year, with 93 days of travel, 190,000 miles covered and 17 days spent in the air.