By Chloe Sommers
In her first Sunday talk show appearance since her use of Benghazi “talking points” set off a political firestorm in 2012, National Security Adviser Susan Rice was asked point-blank whether she has any regrets about her involvement in informing the public of developments regarding the violence before, during and after the attacks on a U.S. post in Libya.
"No," Rice bluntly told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet The Press.”
He noted that many believe the controversy over the accuracy of Rice's talking points cost her a chance at becoming secretary of state.
“This information I provided, which I explained to you, which was what we had at the moment, it could change,” Rice said. “I commented this was based on what we knew on that morning was provided to me and my colleagues and Congress, by the intelligence community, and that's been well validated in many ways since.FULL STORY
By Greg Clary
Gay rights, Edward Snowden, Syria and now Ukraine: They're all recent issues in which the United States and Russia have had disagreements.
Tension has always seemed to exist between the two countries, and that's certainly been the case for President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some days, it almost seems like the Cold War never went away.
In the latest example, Ukraine, it appears the Russian-backed government of President Viktor Yanukovych has been removed from office after deadly protests, setting up a power vacuum in a country known for Russian meddling.
The U.S. stands with Ukrainian opposition forces hoping to increase democratic reforms and decrease influence from Moscow, while Russia slams the opposition, saying they failed to honor international agreements made last week aimed at ending the crisis.FULL STORY
By Adam Aigner-Treworgy
President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin "exchanged views" on the need to quickly implement the political agreement reached on Friday in Ukraine and for all sides to "refrain from further violence."
A White House statement said the two leaders spoke by phone and also discussed Syria, including the "importance of efforts to advance a political solution" to the civil war.
By Barbara Starr
Intelligence increasingly shows al Qaeda is encouraging American and other western fighters in Syria to undertake special training to prepare them for possibly returning to their home countries to carry out attacks, U.S. officials told CNN.
National security officials are concerned that amid the mayhem of Syria's civil war, the global terror group has found a safe haven and a place where it again can recruit, plot and train operatives to carry out attacks on the U.S. homeland.
By Barbara Starr
Ukrainian military forces have moved into defensive positions around bases and weapons depots in the past few hours, according to a U.S. defense official familiar with the latest intelligence.
The move is seen by the United States as an effort to ensure the military's facilities remain secure.
So far, the move appears to mainly involve Ukraine military personnel, with no widespread movement of armored vehicles.
All of that is leading to the preliminary U.S. assessment that the move is defensive.
By Elise Labott and Tom Cohen
President Barack Obama condemned the violence in the Ukraine, saying Wednesday the United States expected the government to show restraint against protesters and warning there would be consequences for excessive action.
Later, the United States said it would won't issue visas for 20 senior members of the Ukrainian government and others responsible for the violent crackdown this week in the capital of Kiev, a senior State Department official told reporters on a conference call.
That development came as the Ukrainian government and the opposition announced a truce to allow for negotiations to restart with the aim at stabilizing the situation, the official said.
In Mexico for a summit with the leaders of Canada and the host country, Obama said that "we're going to be watching closely and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protestors."FULL STORY
By Evan Perez and Jim Sciutto
The U.S. government has warned airlines to pay particular attention to the possibility of terrorists attempting to hide explosives in shoes, a result of new intelligence, according to two people familiar with the situation.
The officials stressed there is no specific threat or known plot.
Intelligence collected by the United States and other countries has indicated terror groups have been working on new shoe-bomb designs, the sources said Wednesday.
That knowledge prompted the Department of Homeland Security to warn airlines to be on the lookout for possible explosives hidden in shoes on flights from overseas to the United States, they said.FULL STORY
By Elise Labott
As the United States puts the finishing touches on possible sanctions against Ukraine, senior Obama administration officials tell CNN they are bracing for the government to intensify its crackdown against anti-government protestors under pressure from Russia.
The officials describe an escalating situation on the ground with both Ukraine and Russia branding the protestors as terrorists. That would suggest the Ukrainian government is planning to impose a state of emergency, giving the military extraordinary powers to further the crackdown.
"Things have gotten very bad," one official said. "The government is speaking in very nasty, aggressive and confrontational terms. It signals they are prepared to do something."
The officials said there was progress over the past week for a political solution, but things soured in recent days since President Viktor Yanukovych met with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
A senior administration official told CNN that Secretary of State John Kerry will raise the specter of sanctions on the Ukrainian government in remarks in Paris within the next couple hours.
The official said Kerry will reiterate Vice President Joe Biden's message to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych that his government must protect its people and that Kiev can either choose dialogue and compromise or violence and mayhem.
The official said the U.S. is closely coordinating its response with allies and friends, including the very real potential of sanctions.
By Barbara Starr
The U.S. government is engaged in a new effort to negotiate the release of the lone American soldier held in captivity - Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The push is fueled by concern over his health and the pending departure of most, if not all, U.S. troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.FULL STORY