Latest U.S. Department of State News

US, Australian hostages freed by Taliban in prisoner swap

Nov. 19, 2019 3:06 PM EST

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Taliban on Tuesday freed an American and an Australian held hostage since 2016 in exchange for three top Taliban figures — a move that the insurgent group asserted could help rekindle talks to end Afghanistan’s 18-year war. The hostages — American Kevin King and...

The Latest: Pompeo calls prisoner exchange a ‘hopeful sign”

Nov. 19, 2019 12:39 PM EST

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the Afghanistan prisoner swap with the Taliban for American and Australian hostage held by insurgents since 2016 (all times local): 10:05 p.m. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the prisoner exchange that freed an American and an Australian as well as a promise by...

Georgia at ‘turning point’? Debate signals Democratic hopes

Nov. 19, 2019 9:21 AM EST

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. (AP) — Beth Moore would typically fit the mold of a Georgia Republican. She attended private school in the affluent, mostly white northern Atlanta suburbs, attended the University of Georgia, practices law and married a Republican. But the 37-year-old is part of a class of 17...

US angers Palestinians with reversal on Israeli settlements

Nov. 19, 2019 2:58 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Monday said it no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of international law, reversing four decades of American policy and further undermining the Palestinians’ effort to gain statehood. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo...

AP Exclusive: US officials knew of Ukraine’s Trump anxiety

Nov. 18, 2019 5:31 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. State Department officials were informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden even before the July phone call that has led to impeachment hearings in Washington, two people with...

Lebanese banks to reopen as withdrawal limits made official

Nov. 18, 2019 1:43 PM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s bank staff union announced Monday it’s ending a week-long strike after increased security and new regulations that officially limited withdrawal and dollar transfers. The union said banks will reopen Tuesday. Banks have been at the center of anti-government protests,...

The Latest: Ousted Ukraine ambassador has her say in hearing

Nov. 16, 2019 2:02 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and House impeachment hearings (all times local): 7:10 p.m. Attorney General William Barr says congressional Democrats are drowning government agencies with an “avalanche of subpoenas” in order to “incapacitate” the...

Diplomat says he overheard Trump call about ‘investigations’

Nov. 15, 2019 10:12 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — A State Department official told impeachment investigators Friday that he overheard President Donald Trump talking with a U.S. ambassador about “investigations” in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the testimony. David Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S....

Fired Ukraine ambassador calls out ‘crisis’ in US diplomacy

Nov. 15, 2019 2:00 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The fired U.S. ambassador to Ukraine sounded an alarm Friday about the denigration of American diplomacy and the hollowing out of the State Department under President Donald Trump as she recounted how she became an early casualty of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to the...

Diplomat built reputation as solid pro, but saw it sullied

Nov. 15, 2019 7:44 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine watched in disbelief as her reputation was publicly sullied in a slow-burning campaign to discredit her. She was unceremoniously ousted from her job even as her boss assured her she had done nothing wrong. On Friday, diplomat Marie Yovanovitch gets...