By Jill Dougherty reporting from Kolkata
The girls step forward, chanting rhythmically, their breath coming in explosive waves.
At first they look delicate, vulnerable. Their feet are bare. They wear brightly colored tops held with a sash of traditional fabric, and cream pantaloons secured with a saffron belt.
But their vulnerability is suddenly transformed, their arms moving in karate-chop gestures, their voices slashing the air.
By Adam Levine
Eleven countries, including Japan and European nations, have significantly reduced their Iran oil purchases and should not be subject to new U.S. sanctions, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress Tuesday.
The countries are Japan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, according to a State Department statement. FULL POST
By Tim Lister
The video, shot by a bystander, is horrific. A man lies on a Bangkok street, his legs severed below the knee. He is Saeid Moradi, a 28-year old Iranian, injured on February 14 as he tried to throw a device at police.
Minutes earlier, an explosion had rocked the house rented by Moradi and two other Iranians in the Sukhumvit Road area of the Thai capital. (Watch one of the suspects take Thai police to the scene of the explosion)
They left the house before being confronted by police. All three are now under arrest - one detained in neighboring Malaysia as he tried to board a plane for Tehran. FULL POST
With many U.S. allies in Europe and Asia looking elsewhere for oil in the face of mounting sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, India actually increased its import of Iranian crude last month.
“We are working with countries around the world, including India, that maintain strong oil relationships with Iran, encouraging all of them to reduce their dependence on Iranian crude,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday of efforts to keep up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.
But India imports seventy percent of the oil it uses – fourteen percent of it from Iran. CNN's Jill Dougherty reports on the complex set of issues that could see the key U.S. ally increasing its Iranian imports going forward.
The disputed region of Kashmir is a hot-button issue and when an map showing portions of it as belonging to Pakistan went up on the State Department website, it raised a furor in India.
The State Department Monday announced it had taken down the map after the Indian government complained. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir is within their boundaries and have fought two wars over the territory since the two countries were partioned in 1947.
Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters: "It did contain some inaccuracies which were associated with the boundaries and geographic features."
"This was unintentional," Nuland insisted. "We're going to get the map fixed ...we will put up a new map when we acquire one that we are confident is accurate."
Asked whether the person or persons responsible will be punished, Nuland refused to comment.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an even greater investment in Asia, as the United States pivots from Iraq and Afghanistan,
"One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment - diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise - in the Asia-Pacific region," Clinton writes in an essay just published by Foreign Policy.
The essay, called "America's Pacific Century, published ahead of this week's State visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, comes at a time when many in Congress are calling for a pullback on U.S. efforts and spending abroad. Clinton, bluntly, says such calls are "misguided". South Korea alone is stuck in U.S. political quagmire with a hold on the nomination for U.S. ambassador to Seoul (more on that soon on Security Clearance) and a final vote still needed for the trade deal with the Koreans.
"With Iraq and Afghanistan still in transition and serious economic challenges in our own country, there are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition, but to come home. They seek a downsizing of our foreign engagement in favor of our pressing domestic priorities. These impulses are understandable, but they are misguided. Those who say that we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward - we cannot afford not to," Clinton writes.