Czech Republic 'Ready To Participate' In New Missile Defense Plan
Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer met with Vice President Biden today in Prague, and announced that his country is "ready to participate" in the Obama administration's revised missile defense plan. Obama had announced plans weeks ago to scale back a missile defense plan that the Bush administration had negotiated in Eastern Europe, as part of an outreach to Russia for greater cooperation.
Senate Passes Defense Authorization Bill, With Hate-Crimes Law, Over GOP Opposition
The Senate passed a $680 billion defense authorization bill yesterday by a 68-29 margin. A majority of Republicans voted against it, due to the attachment of a hate-crimes bill extending federal protections to gays.
Kerry Has Growing Prominence In Foreign Policy
The Washington Post reports that Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), in his new role as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has emerged as an active voice on foreign policy, including his recent work to mediate the Afghan election conflict -- and that the former Democratic presidential nominee is even winning praise from Republicans. "It's something that he's invested years and years into," said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). "I'd much rather have a chairman that wants to be fully engaged in the issues the committee is dealing with. . . . I think he's doing a fine job."
Poll: Americans Think Recession Still Not Over
A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds that most Americans still do not think the recession is over. Despite many economists saying that the recession is technically past, 82% of Americans say it is still going on, with only 16% agreeing with the economists.
Japanese Foreign Minister: U.S. Base Should Stay In Okinawa
Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said today that moving an American military base out of Okinawa "is not an option," though it should be in a less populated area. "Starting from scratch on other ideas would not serve the best interests of the people of Okinawa," said Okada, who is working to resolve differences with Washington over a base realignment plan that was negotiated between the Bush administration and the conservative predecessors of the new Japanese government.