By Ted Barrett and Elise Labott
Secretary of State John Kerry will head to Capitol Hill this week to testify on negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions as some members of Congress push harder for new sanctions with the latest round of talks failing to produce an agreement.
Kerry will meet with members of the Senate Banking Committee, a committee aide said. The session on Wednesday will be closed, a senior State Department official said.
Western sanctions have hit Iran's economy, slashing crude oil exports and triggering inflation. Some of the restrictions originated in the Banking Committee.
Senators from both parties have pushed for tougher sanctions to increase pressure on Iran even as the Geneva talks showed promise at last week. They broke up on Sunday with no deal, but negotiators plan to resume talks later this month.
"We were very, very close, actually, extremely close. I think we were separated by four or five different formulations of a particular concept. But none so terribly that I don't think it's possible to reach be able to reach agreement," Kerry told the BBC in an interview, according to a State Department transcript on Monday.
By Bill Mears
The tiny courtroom tucked away in a downtown office building had almost no spectators on a recent Thursday.
And the cases being argued before a panel of judges were not blockbusters or precedent-setting in any way.
But to current and former military men and women seeking judicial relief, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a legal lifeline. Perhaps it is their last chance to get the full disability compensation they believe they're owed.
The nation's newest federal court is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, giving those who served in the military a chance to challenge individual decisions made by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The court's work is little noticed, but legal experts and veterans advocates say it provides an invaluable service.
"That we have a specialized veteran's court is a credit to our national commitment to do justice by 'him who shall have borne the battle' in President Lincoln's words,'" said Justice Antonin Scalia in April.FULL STORY