Latest U.S. Department of State News

In this photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Groups steam in formation, in the South China Sea, Monday, July 6, 2020. China on Monday, July 6, accused the U.S. of flexing its military muscles in the South China Sea by conducting joint exercises with two U.S. aircraft carrier groups in the strategic waterway.(Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy via AP)

US rejects nearly all Chinese claims in South China Sea

Jul. 14, 2020 12:04 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration escalated its actions against China on Monday by stepping squarely into one of the most sensitive regional issues dividing them and rejecting outright nearly all of Beijing’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea. The administration presented...

4 Azerbaijani troops die in clashes with Armenia

Jul. 13, 2020 8:19 PM EDT

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia and Azerbaijan blamed each other Monday for skirmishes on their volatile border that has left four Azerbaijani soldiers dead and several troops wounded on both sides. The two neighbors in the South Caucasus have been locked in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of...

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, talk before a Democratic presidential primary debate in Charleston, S.C. Political task forces Biden formed with Sanders to solidify support among the Democratic Party's progressive wing recommended Wednesday, July 8, that the former vice president embrace proposals to combat climate change and institutional racism while expanding health care coverage and rebuilding a coronavirus-ravaged economy. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Biden-Sanders task forces unveil joint goals for party unity

Jul. 8, 2020 6:12 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Political task forces Joe Biden formed with onetime rival Bernie Sanders to solidify support among the Democratic Party's progressive wing recommended Wednesday that the former vice president embrace major proposals to combat climate change and institutional racism while expanding health...

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, pedestrians walk through the gates of Harvard Yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, July 8, 2020, challenging the Trump administration's decision to bar international students from staying in the U.S. if they take classes entirely online this fall. Some institutions, including Harvard, have announced that all instruction will be offered remotely in the fall during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Harvard, MIT sue to block ICE rule on international students

Jul. 8, 2020 5:39 PM EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Colleges and universities pushed back Wednesday against the Trump administration’s decision to make international students leave the country if they plan on taking classes entirely online this fall, with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filing a lawsuit...

Germany's Minister of Health Jens Spahn attends a press conference, at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, June 25, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

Criticism of US pullout from WHO from allies, China alike

Jul. 8, 2020 3:59 PM EDT

GENEVA (AP) — Top U.S. allies on Wednesday denounced the planned pullout of the United States from the World Health Organization, with the Italian health minister calling it “wrong” and a political ally of Germany's chancellor warning that the withdrawal could make more room on the world...

Hezbollah supporters scuffle with Lebanese army soldiers while protesting the visit by Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, outside ​​the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Lebanese man who financed Hezbollah in US returns home

Jul. 8, 2020 2:11 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese businessman serving a five-year sentence in the United States for providing millions of dollars to the militant Hezbollah group arrived Wednesday in Beirut after his early release, local media reported. Kassim Tajideen was sentenced last year in a federal court in Washington for...

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks during a news conference at the State Department, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Pool)

US notifies UN of withdrawal from World Health Organization

Jul. 7, 2020 5:32 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, although the pullout won’t take effect until next year, meaning it could be rescinded under a new administration or if circumstances change. Former Vice President...

In this image provided by the Freedom Initiative Mohamed Amashah is greeted by family members upon arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., on Monday, July 6, 2020. The American medical student detained without trial in an Egyptian prison for nearly 500 days has been freed and returned to the United States, the U.S. State Department said on Monday. (Bushra Soltan/Freedom Initiative via AP)

American student released after 486 days in Egyptian prison

Jul. 6, 2020 7:30 PM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — An American medical student detained without trial in an Egyptian prison for nearly 500 days has been freed and returned to the United States, the U.S. State Department said on Monday. The release of Mohamed Amashah, a dual Egyptian-American citizen from Jersey City, New Jersey, followed...

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2020 file photo, people wearing masks line up for departure at Hong Kong airport in Hong Kong. An analysis of U.S. Commerce Department travel entry records and private aviation data obtained by The Associated Press shows that nearly 8,000 Chinese nationals and foreign residents of Hong Kong and Macao entered the U.S. on more than 600 commercial and private flights in the first three months after a ban was imposed on Feb. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Trump's `strong wall' to block COVID-19 from China had holes

Jul. 4, 2020 10:01 AM EDT

President Donald Trump has repeatedly credited his February ban on travelers from mainland China as his signature move against the advance of the coronavirus pandemic -- a “strong wall” that allowed only U.S. citizens inside, he boasted in May. But Trump’s wall was more like a sieve. ...

This photo released Thursday, July 2, 2020, by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, shows a building after it was damaged by a fire, at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. A fire burned the building above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, though officials say it did not affect its centrifuge operation or cause any release of radiation. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran sought to downplay the fire Thursday, calling it an

Analysts: Fire at Iran nuclear site hit centrifuge facility

Jul. 2, 2020 4:29 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A fire and an explosion struck a centrifuge production plant above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early Thursday, analysts said, one of the most-tightly guarded sites in all of the Islamic Republic after earlier acts of sabotage there. The Atomic...