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U.S. extends comment period on Keystone XL through the end of May

By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department announced on Friday it is extending the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, a move that likely postpones a final decision on the controversial project until after the November 4 mid-term elections. President Barack Obama has said he…

Government shutdown delaying Keystone XL pipeline review

A dragging review into proposals to build a pipeline from Canada’s oil sands to the US Gulf Coast may be further delayed due to the US government shutdown, an official said Friday. The proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km) Keystone XL pipeline — to carry oil extracted from Alberta’s tar sands south…

Pakistani drone victims’ lawyer says U.S. blocked his visit to Congress

The US government is being accused of derailing a congressional hearing that would be the first to hear testimony from survivors of an alleged CIA drone strike by failing to grant the family’s lawyer’s a visa. Shahzad Akbar, a legal fellow with the British human rights group Reprieve and the…

Interior Department says Keystone XL pipeline impact report is inaccurate

The US Department of the Interior has criticised as “inaccurate” the State Department’s draft conclusions that the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline on wildlife would be temporary, and has warned instead that it could have long-term, adversarial effects. It is the second major government body to publicly criticise State’s…

State Department ends ban on visas for same sex spouses of American citizens

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials paved the way on Friday for same-sex spouses to visit or live in the United States, announcing the State Department will give equal treatment to visa applications of gays and lesbians who want to travel with their partner. Secretary of State John Kerry, announcing the…

State Department issues worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens due to al-Qaeda threat

The Associated Press reported on Friday that the State Department issued a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens due to an unspecified al-Qaeda threat. NBC News confirmed the report. The AP said officials are concerned about a possible attack coming from the Arabian peninsula and possibly occurring in the Middle…

State Department: U.S. ‘very concerned’ about unrest in Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is ‘very concerned’ about the situation in Egypt, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday of the sweeping protests surrounding a stand-off between Egypt’s armed forces and Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. The situation in Egypt remains fluid, and the United States cannot confirm whether…

Canadian Minister promoting the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline: ‘Our objective is to have zero serious spills’

Though the State Department officially closed the final comment period for the final stretch of the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this week, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver continued to make the rounds to press for approval and public acceptance of the controversial project in New York City this…

Watch live: Kerry delivers remarks during first day at State

Newly minted Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the State Department in Washington, D.C., for his first official day on the job and delivers remarks to his colleagues. Watch live, broadcast on Feb. 4. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy…

U.S. hopes North Korea pressure comes to bear

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday voiced hope that North Korea would heed international calls to call off a missile launch after even Pyongyang’s main ally China expressed concern. The State Department highlighted the unity in position among the five nations that were involved in moribund denuclearization talks with…

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