By CNN National Security Producer Mike Mount
TheUnited Statesmust secure its rights for rare minerals and oil under the ocean before countries such asChinabegin to infringe on the country’s territorial rights, according to the nation’s top diplomat andU.S.military leaders.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey urged a Senate panel Wednesday to sign onto a long-opposed international sea treaty that they say will also strengthen the nation’s ability to apply military sea power.
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations committee in a rare appearance together, the three leaders called on the Senate panel to pass the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas because it was a, “matter of utmost security and economic urgency.”
The treaty would give the U.S.a 200-mile exclusive economic zone off of its coastlines as well as access to mineral and other natural resource rights within that area but allows other signatories the right of transit within the economic zone.
The panel, led by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), led a mostly bipartisan supported group of senators in favor of signing onto the treaty which has been relatively ignored by theUnited Statessince 1994. More than 160 nations are signed onto the treaty; theU.S.is the only major nation that has not signed it.
By the CNN Wire Staff
The latest foiled bomb plot targeting an airliner is an indication that, while the device did not ultimately pose a threat, terrorists remain determined, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Tuesday.
"These terrorists keep trying ... to devise more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people, and it's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant at home and abroad in protecting our nation and in protecting friendly nations," she told reporters at a news conference in New Delhi.
The plot was thwarted two weeks, a source familiar with the operation said Tuesday. Saudi intelligence assets provided the tip, the source said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wouldn't label Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a war criminal in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday. (Click play above to watch the discussion Wolf Blitzer had with Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta)
"We really don't want to be labeling what we see which are clearly disproportionate use of force, human rights abuses, absolutely merciless shelling with heavy weaponry into unarmed civilian areas, even shelling across borders now in Turkey and Lebanon," Clinton said in the exclusive interview that aired on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
The Obama administration has been reluctant so far to make the accusation.
The Secretary did say that evidence should be collected so that in the future there could be accountability for the actions.
More of the exclusive interview will air Thursday on Situation Room at 4pET.
By Jill Dougherty
No one in the Obama administration seems ready to say out loud that the Syria peace plan has failed, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came close.
Asked whether the six-point plan on which U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan supposedly won agreement from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is failing, Clinton told reporters the plan has not achieved a main goal of stopping the attacks.
"In fact, the violence has only got worse over this last week" she told reporters at the State Department.
By Jill Dougherty
Moscow warned that the Obama administration's support for democracy-building organizations in Russia is complicating relations between the two countries.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in an interview with Interfax News Agency, said "This activity is reaching a scale that is turning into a problem in our relations."
"We really are concerned that Washington is funding certain groups and movements in Russia," Ryabkov said in the interview published Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will use waiver authority to allow for a restarting of military aid to Egypt's military without having to affirm that the military is committed to a transition to civilian rule, according to a statement issued by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
In a statement issued on Thursday, Leahy said he was "disappointed" by the decision: FULL POST
By Elise Labott
Senior U.S. officials are trying to figure out where to go after North Korea's announcement that it would undertake a satellite launch using ballistic missile technology, senior White House officials said.
The announcement took the Obama administration, as well as the other countries involved in the six-party talks, by surprise and raised serious questions about whether the new Korean leader is any different from his father. FULL POST
By Adam Levine
The U.S. Secretary of State said that she believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's actions fit the definition of war crimes but does not think such a path should be pursued at the moment. (Click here for the latest CNN reporting on Syria)
“I think that based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category,” Secretary Clinton told a Senate committee on Tuesday.
Asked by South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham if charges should be pursued, Clinton said now is not the time.
By Elise Labott
The United States and Pakistan sought to repair damaged ties ahead of a review by Pakistan's parliament on how the relationship between the two countries should go forward.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar for more than an hour Thursday on the sidelines of a conference in London on Somalia. FULL POST
By Elise Labott
Senior U.S. officials traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that Syria is not providing access for humanitarian aid.
Countries plan to forge a comprehensive plan to deliver aid to Syria and press Syria to provide access within days, the officials said.
Clinton has had many discussions with other diplomats about how to help people stuck in "horrific conditions," such as the besieged city of Homs, a senior State Department official said. FULL POST