U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday after four hours of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Russia had reaffirmed its commitment to finding a diplomatic solution in Ukraine but had not agreed to move Russian troops from the Ukraine border.
"We both made suggestions as to how that will be achieved ... and I will return to Washington to consult with President Obama on his choices," Kerry said at a news conference in Paris. "We are trying to find a way to defuse this."
Kerry said Lavrov indicated Russia "wants to support" Ukraine in its move toward independence but said the massing of Russian troops has created "a climate of fear and intimidation."
"Is it smart at this moment in time to have that number of troops amassed on a border when you are sending a message that you want to de-escalate and move in the other direction?" Kerry said.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Some U.S. lawmakers are ready to say that it's futile to try to persuade Russia to give up control of Crimea.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on Sunday that the debate over the Crimean Peninsula is "done" and the region is now under Moscow's control.FULL STORY
By Barbara Starr
A new classified intelligence assessment concludes it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter eastern Ukraine, CNN has learned.
Two administration officials described the assessment but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.
The officials emphasized that nothing is certain, but there have been several worrying signs in the past three to four days.
“This has shifted our thinking that the likelihood of a further Russian incursion is more probable than it was previously thought to be,” one official said.
President Barack Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia this week comes amid accusations the State Department has hidden the results of a study that concludes textbooks in the Kingdom remain rife with Islamic extremism.
Since the September 11, 2001, attacks, successive U.S. administrations have attempted to curb Saudi indoctrination of students through hateful extremist material in its textbooks.
In addition to teaching the material to its own students, Saudi Arabia runs academies in about 20 countries, which use some of the same texts.
The Kingdom has repeatedly claimed that it has revised its textbooks.
By Evan Pérez
Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a lawyer in his office to lead the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides advice to the President on constitutional issues and in recent years has been at the center of political fights over presidential power and national security.
Holder on Monday elevated Karl Thompson to acting assistant attorney general post. He also will serve as principal deputy assistant attorney general, which is a senior legal post in the Justice Department hierarchy.
By Laura Koran
Amid ongoing high-level diplomatic talks between the United States and Iran, it's a symbol of underlying mistrust.
Commercial satellite images obtained by CNN reveal that Iran is constructing a large-scale replica of a U.S. military aircraft carrier, complete with fake U.S-style airplanes, near the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.
By Paul Cruickshank and Nic Robertson
It is very unlikely there is any link between the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 and an aborted hijack plot involving Malaysia militants in late 2001, current and former U.S. intelligence officials tell CNN.
A former British al Qaeda operative, Saajid Badat, outlined details of the Malaysian plot in federal court in New York last week, fueling media speculation about a possible link.
He testified that he spent time with a small group of Malaysians in Afghanistan and Pakistan in late 2001 tasked with hijacking aircraft in Southeast Asia.
In the weeks after 9/11, Badat was one of two British recruits directed by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to detonate shoe bombs simultaneously on separate passenger aircraft over the United States.
By Evan Pérez and Shimon Prokupecz
The admitted mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks has issued a rambling defense of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, on trial in New York for allegedly being al Qaeda's propagandist in the wake of the attacks.
In a rare statement made public, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said Sulaiman abu Ghaith - an Islamic preacher whom the United States has charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and providing material support to terrorists - is falsely accused of being involved in al Qaeda's military activities. Mohammed said abu Ahaith was more of a visiting celebrity who preached the Quran to al Qaeda recruits.
Mohammed's 14-page statement was in response to questions from abu Ghaith's attorney and was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Sunday night.FULL STORY
By Elise Labott
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have practically been joined at the hip in the past week or so.
The two met four times last week in Europe and have been in daily phone contact since. But they have failed to reach common ground on how to solve the crisis in Ukraine over Crimea.FULL STORY