U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed to the region in an attempt to help resolve the incessant violence.
Clinton left Cambodia late Tuesday for a trip to Israel, Ramallah and Egypt.
"She'll meet with regional leaders, beginning with our Israeli partners, to consult on the situation in Gaza," Deputy National Security Director Ben Rhodes said. Rhodes said Clinton will not be meeting with Hamas leaders but rather the Palestinian authority.
He said the visits will support the "de-escalation of the violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and restores broader calm in the region."
"Our bottom line is to end the rocket fire. We're open to any number of ideas for achieving that goal and discuss any number of ideas for accomplishing that goal but it's going to have to begin with reduction of tensions and, you know, space created for the situation to calm, " Rhodes said. "So, we'll be discussing going forward as we've been over the last several days, what are the various ways that we can accomplish that goal."
"She will emphasize the United States' interest in a peaceful outcome that protects and enhances Israel's security and regional stability; that can lead to improved conditions for the civilian residents of Gaza; and that can reopen the path to fulfill the aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis for
two states living in peace and security," according to a State Department statement. "She will continue to express U.S. concern for the loss of civilian life on both sides."
By Jill Dougherty
For the Obama administration, the watchword is "de-escalate." Stop the fighting, especially rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel, then deal with longer-term issues.
But President Barack Obama, who continues to support Israel's right to defend itself while urging that the fighting cease, cannot do it on his own.
From Southeast Asia, where he is his first international trip since his re-election, Obama has talked several times by telephone with two of the central players: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, traveling with him, has been even busier. She's been talking by phone with Israeli, Egyptian, Turkish, Qatari, and French officials, as well as with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and then briefing the president on those conversations.
By Tim Lister and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy
Just after midnight on October 24, a series of loud explosions shook a neighborhood on the southern outskirts of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Within minutes, flames shooting skyward illuminated the area, and the Yarmouk Industrial Complex was consumed by fire.
Witnesses said they heard planes in the area, and a subsequent analysis of satellite images revealed six large craters "each approximately 16 meters [52 feet] wide ... and consistent with craters created by air-delivered munitions," according to the Satellite Sentinel Project, a non-governmental organization that analyzed DigitalGlobe imagery.
As the smoke cleared the next day, Sudanese officials blamed Israel for the airstrike, which destroyed a large part of the complex, including an ammunition plant and some 40 shipping containers.
The Satellite Sentinel Project said: "Nothing remains of the 60-meter [197-foot] building, which appears to have been pulverized in the blast."
By Danielle Pletka, Special to CNN
EDITOR’S NOTE: Danielle Pletka is Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. The views expressed are her own.
Fewer and fewer voters rate national security as their top priority in considering how to vote, which begs the question of who will be watching this last presidential debate, since the focus is foreign policy and national security.
Not to worry, the wonks will be out in force, and we'll be looking for a few key things from each candidate.
First, from Mitt Romney:
That vision thing: Romney needs to do more than simply be the un-Obama. We'll be looking for a positive vision that puts some meat on the bones of his call for a new era of American leadership and exceptionalism. Both are fine sentiments, but essentially meaningless without policy to go with them. And in straitened economic times, with a public weary of spending and war, he'll need to make clear that his priorities will keep America safe and strong without breaking the bank or putting more lives on the line. FULL POST
By Joe Vaccarello
World leaders flock to the United Nations this week for the 67th annual session of the General Assembly.
The general debate is expected to draw participation from 116 heads of state and government leaders. Foreign ministers and other government representatives will fill out the rest of the attendance roster of the 193-member world body.
While the focus is usually on the leaders' speeches in the General Assembly hall, there will be a lot of activity happening inside and outside the U.N. complex with high-level meetings and bi-lateral country to country talks.
Here's a guide to what to look for:
By Anna Coren, CNN
Protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, attacked police officers in a violent demonstration over an anti-Islam film on Monday, raising the specter of a new round of protests that have rocked U.S. diplomatic missions from Libya to Pakistan.
The violent protest came as tensions remained high in the Muslim world, with American embassies and consulates on alert for further backlash over a privately produced video in the United States that mocked the Prophet Mohammed.FULL STORY
By Suzanne Kelly
Concerned about the reaction to an anti-Muslim film that was gaining attention online, the U.S. intelligence community sent a cable to the embassy in Egypt warning of the concern, a U.S. official told CNN. It was sent 48 hours before the protests in Cairo and Benghazi in Libya, the official said.
The cable did not discuss any specific threat, the official said. It warned instead about the existence of the movie being posted on the internet and the fact that it was gaining attention. A seven minute portion of the movie aired on an Egyptian TV talk show the weekend before the protests started, according to a Department of Homeland Security/Federal Bureau of Intelligence memo obtained by CNN on Thursday.
The cable was not sent to the embassy in Tripoli, Libya or the consulate in Benghazi. US officials have said there was no intelligence ahead of the attack in Benghazi, which intelligence officials still believe was not planned. The White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday there was no "actionable intelligence" indicating an attack was being planned.
There are hundreds if not thousands of cables sent each day, the official said, and there was no specific threat attached to this one, because a specific threat was not known.
By the CNN Wire Staff
Riot police advanced on protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo shortly after dawn on Friday to quell a violent demonstration that raged through the night.
Police armed with shields and batons, backed by an armed personnel carrier, rushed a group of several hundred protesters, a move that came after U.S. President Barack Obama warned that relations with Egypt will be shaped by how the country responds to the violence.
"I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama told Telemundo in an interview that aired Thursday night.FULL STORY
By Jamie Crawford
President Barack Obama offered a more cautious and nuanced take than in recent memory of the United States and Egyptian relationship following an assault on the American embassy in Cairo this week.
"I don't think that we consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama said Wednesday in an interview with the Spanish language network Telemundo. "They are a new government that is trying to find its way," he said. "They were democratically elected."
Obama's comments were taken as a possible change in posture toward a country that has enjoyed billions of dollars in U.S. military and economic assistance since the signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 – the linchpin of security in the volatile region.
"I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident," Obama went on to say in the interview. "I think it's still a work in progress. But certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that they are responsive to our assistance that our embassy is protected, that our personnel are protected."
By Isobel Coleman
Editor's note: Isobel Coleman is the author of "Paradise Beneath Her Feet" and a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
On Tuesday, protests rocked the American embassy compound in Cairo, while heavily armed militias overran the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and several others. The incidents initially seemed related, but they are in fact dramatically different developments.
In Egypt, a 2,000-strong crowd of protesters gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy to protest a film that depicts Islam in crude and offensive ways. The film is apparently being promoted by an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian now living in the United States and Terry Jones, the Florida pastor of "International Burn a Koran Day" infamy.FULL STORY