Ukraine shocks West with EU decision
November 21st, 2013
08:42 PM ET

Ukraine shocks West with EU decision

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

For the past year, Ukraine insisted it was intent on signing an historic political and trade agreement with the European Union, but on Thursday, the government in Kiev made the surprising last-minute decision to suspend talks with the EU, drawing dismayed reaction from Europe and the United States.

Commenting on the news just minutes after it broke, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki that if reports were true "and if the decision is the Ukrainian government's final decision," the Obama administration was "disappointed."

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Another Navy officer caught up in 'Fat Leonard' bribery scandal
November 21st, 2013
07:19 PM ET

Another Navy officer caught up in 'Fat Leonard' bribery scandal

By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy

The Navy has reassigned the second in command of a unit that protects ships and harbors as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged bribery by a defense contractor.

Capt. David Haas has been suspended as deputy commander of Coastal Riverine Group One while the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) probes activities of Glenn Defense Marine Co., and its chairman, Leonard Glenn Francis, according to a Navy statement released Thursday. Francis is known by the nickname “Fat Leonard."

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Meet the American 'badass' leading negotiations with Iran
November 21st, 2013
06:58 PM ET

Meet the American 'badass' leading negotiations with Iran

By CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott

Social work and community organizing may seem unlikely career experiences for a lead negotiator to draw on in high-stakes nuclear talks with Iran.

But in an interview before she headed to Geneva this week for the negotiations, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman joked that while her caseload may be more global now, the work is similar.

“Understanding who the person is across the table from you, watching the group dynamics and knowing when to intervene, scoping out situations and seeing where the points of leverage are and how you can reach your objective, are a set of skills I was trained with earlier in my life and have used in any setting I have been in,” Sherman said. “You have to understand what you’ve come to achieve but be very cognizant of all of the other pieces. You need a 360-degree view.”

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U.S. officials reject 'abhorrent' comments by Iranian leader
A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, shows him delivering a speech during a gathering of Basij in Tehran on November 20, 2013.
November 21st, 2013
04:17 PM ET

U.S. officials reject 'abhorrent' comments by Iranian leader

By Jamie Crawford

They may have been directed to a domestic audience, but some offensive remarks from Iran's supreme leader drew heated responses from senior officials in the Obama administration.

At issue were remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to a gathering of senior military officials in Tehran earlier this week in which he said Israeli officials "cannot be even called humans," and referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "the rabid dog of the region."

"Well, obviously we disagree with it profoundly," Secretary of State John Kerry said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

"It's inflammatory and it's unnecessary, and I think at this moment, when we are trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we need are names back and forth," Kerry said.
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Filed under: Iran • Khamenei • Sec. State John Kerry
CNN Poll: More than half back Iranian nuclear deal
November 21st, 2013
04:13 PM ET

CNN Poll: More than half back Iranian nuclear deal

By Paul Steinhauser

A majority of Americans support an interim deal with Iran that would ease some economic sanctions on that country in exchange for concessions on Iran's nuclear program, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday indicates that 56% of the public would favor an international agreement that would impose major restrictions on Iran's nuclear program but not end it completely, with 39% opposed to such an agreement.

"Predictably, there is a partisan divide on that issue, with two-thirds of Democrats favoring a deal along those lines but only 45% of Republicans agreeing with that view," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

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