If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald said he would take a series of actions over his first 90 days “to deliver the needed reforms our veterans deserve.” He said he plans to lay out a veteran-centered vision for the department and improve communication within the vast agency, which includes more than 300,000 employees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. His plan includes frequent video conferences with employees and extensive travel to field offices around the country, he said. No opposition surfaced during the 2 -hour hearing, and senators from both parties said McDonald appeared headed to easy confirmation. “I believe, based on what I heard, you are going to be confirmed, and I hope that is the case,” browse Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the chairman of the Senate veterans panel, told McDonald as the hearing ended. The Senate panel will vote Wednesday on McDonald’s nomination, Sanders said, with a vote by the full Senate likely before the August recess.
Obama congratulates Indonesia’s Widodo on election – Yahoo News
The espionage dispute reached a new low earlier this month when Germany demanded that the CIA station chief in Berlin leave the country, a response provoked by published accounts alleging that U.S. intelligence recruited two German government employees to spy for Washington. The allegations follow last year’s revelations that the National Security Agency was conducting mass surveillance of Germans and eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. The fresh strains in the U.S.-German relationship come as the United States is seeking to project a united front with Europe in pressing Russia to stop fomenting unrest in Ukraine. The reluctance of Germany and other nations to impose tougher sanctions that could ricochet on their own economies has created a diplomatic split. The U.S.
Malaysia Airlines: Kerry lashes out at Russia – CNN.com
International officials lament the lack of a secured perimeter. A man looks through the debris at the crash site on July 19. A group of coal miners takes a break on July 19 after searching fields looking for victims and debris. Coal miners walk through fields at the crash site on July 19 in an effort to locate debris and the remains of victims. A memorial of flowers and stuffed toys has grown at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 19 in eastern Ukraine. A rebel soldier guards debris at the crash site.
Obama sends top aides to Germany amid spying flap – Yahoo News
A link has been sent. Done Obama congratulates Indonesia’s Widodo on election 43 minutes ago . View photo Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo (C) prepares to address supporters at a rally in Jakarta on July 23, 2014 (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad) Washington (AFP) – US President Barack Obama has called Joko Widodo to congratulate him on his victory in Indonesia’s “free and fair” presidential elections, the White House said Wednesday. During the conversation on Tuesday night, “President Obama told President-elect Widodo that he looks forward to meeting him at the earliest opportunity and to working with him to deepen the US-Indonesia partnership, expand ties between our two peoples, and promote our shared objectives in Asia and around the world,” the White House said. After a lengthy vote count, Widodo — the reform-minded governor of Jakarta — was on Tuesday declared the winner of the July 9 election by more than six percentage points. Rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general, has decided to challenge the results in the courts, his campaign team said Wednesday.