World watches federal shutdown
October 3rd, 2013
05:26 PM ET

World watches federal shutdown

By Jill Dougherty

The federal government shutdown, and Washington itself, are under the media microscope around the world.

The political meltdown is being watched with confusion, concern, disgust and even some gloating.

At Thursday’s State Department briefing, spokeswoman Marie Harf gave one example.

Citing local press commentary from Sri Lanka, she said: “The United States, and particularly many in Congress, have urged the government in Sri Lanka to more aggressively pursue reconciliation and a credible government, something we care a lot about.”
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American charged in Russia Greenpeace protest
A handout photo taken by Greenpeace on September 18, 2013, shows a camouflage clad mask wearing officer of Russian Coast Guard pointing a gun at a Greenpeace International activist during an environmentalists' attempt to climb Gazproms Prirazlomnaya Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea.
October 2nd, 2013
08:19 PM ET

American charged in Russia Greenpeace protest

By Jill Dougherty

When Greenpeace activists tried to scale an oil platform in the Barents Sea owned by the Russian energy giant Gazprom on September 19, the group called it a peaceful protest against the "slow but unrelenting destruction of the Arctic."

Russian prosecutors, however, did not agree and Wednesday they began charging the protesters with piracy, which could mean up to 15 years in prison.

The State Department confirms that one of the activists charged is an American, Dmitry Litvinov. Greenpeace says he has dual U.S. and Swedish citizenship.

One other American, according to the State Department, has not been charged. Greenpeace said his name is Peter Willcox, the captain of the Greenpeace boat.
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Need a passport during shutdown? No problem, State Department says
October 1st, 2013
09:15 AM ET

Need a passport during shutdown? No problem, State Department says

By Jill Dougherty

For Americans applying for a passport, or citizens of other countries trying to get a visa to the United States, the current government shutdown won't have any effect, the State Department says.

The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are "national security agencies," which means they have national security responsibilities such as representing the United States overseas and representing to Americans what the country's foreign interests are.

Therefore, State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki told reporters, they will continue working despite the shutdown.

"Regardless of the challenges a shutdown would create, we will continue to operate to advance national interests and protect the health and safety of American citizens and those living abroad," she said at a press briefing Monday.
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Russia declines Kerry's calls, says foreign minister is busy
February 16th, 2013
06:47 PM ET

Russia declines Kerry's calls, says foreign minister is busy

By CNN's Jill Dougherty, Jamie Crawford and Gregory Wallace

Secretary of State John Kerry's Tuesday call to his Russian counterpart has gone unanswered for nearly a week after North Korea tested a nuclear device.

Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and top diplomats with the three other countries – South Korea, China and Japan - that had been in negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear program.  But Kerry was not connected to Lavrov, who was in Africa for a conference and had "a very overloaded work schedule," according to Russian government spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. He said that the United States did not make additional attempts to call Lavrov.

Russia is an ally of North Korea and a member of the six nations that have held talks over the North Korean nuclear program. The U.S. and North Korea also find themselves on opposite sides of the situation in Syria and have sparred over Russian restrictions on adoptions between the two countries.

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