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Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said his country will have plenty of economic opportunity in coming years that could be at risk from violence in neighboring Afghanistan. (Associated Press/File)

Afghanistan terror threatens to nip Pakistan’s budding economy; ambassador waits for Trump strategy

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Pakistan’s military has swept terrorist groups from the nation’s once-lawless tribal areas, but the gains could be put at risk if the security situation across the border in Afghanistan is not brought under control, Islamabad’s diplomat in Washington said, stressing that his nation is waiting for the Trump administration to clarify its strategy for the Afghanistan conflict.

Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui (left) met with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson on Monday and has meetings scheduled with other top officials this week. (Associated Press)

Tunisian diplomat seeks outreach with Trump administration

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Tunisia’s top diplomat says the Trump administration should “reach out more” to the tiny North African nation for collaboration against the evolving threat posed by the Islamic State — and to bolster the fragile island of democracy Tunisians are struggling to uphold in the Arab world.

"Irrespective of who controls the House and Congress, we want to work very closely with the U.S. on every level of government and intend to do so with President Trump," said Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, who emphasizes the importance of NATO. (Associated Press)

Estonia sees crucial roles for U.S., NATO despite Trump doubts

Like much of Europe — like much of the world — many Estonians acknowledge being bemused and sometimes confused by President Trump’s first weeks in the White House. But the tiny Baltic country’s top diplomat knows that when you are a stone’s throw from Russia, you cannot afford to argue with the leader of the free world.

Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari advises critics of President Trump to give his foreign policy a chance. (Associated Press)

Pakistan’s former president urges Trump to send envoy to region

- The Washington Times

President Trump should quickly appoint a high-level envoy to South Asia to underscore U.S. leadership in the region and seize an opportunity missed by the Obama administration to coordinate a top-level response to the regional terrorist threat, said former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliye after making statements before their meeting at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Azerbaijan envoy defends country’s rights record after presidential visit

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The Obama administration’s decision to meet with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of last month’s nuclear summit has sparked a debate over the country human rights record and the decision to welcome an authoritarian leader who has drawn heat from critics — including the U.S. State Department — for his record back home.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made clear that he plans to distinguish himself in a crowded field of 15 to 17 candidates by embracing conservative policy prescriptions, regardless of their perceived popularity in the media and polls. (Associated Press)

Scott Walker promises to turn back the clock on taxes to Reagan era

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Jumping into a crowded 2016 presidential field, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker vowed Monday to return federal tax rates to their levels under Ronald Reagan, eliminate the sequester cuts restraining Pentagon spending and tackle federal budget deficits by reforming entitlement programs and returning money and power to the states.

President Obama waves in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

FOIA backlog soars despite Obama transparency pledge

Associated Press

Federal agencies are struggling to keep up with the growing number of requests for public information, raising questions in Congress about the Obama administration's dedication to transparency.

Pakistani Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani says his country's relationship with the U.S. is on a positive trajectory and is stronger than it has been than at any other point since the Osama bin Laden raid in May 2011. (Associated Press)

Pakistani diplomat Jalil Abbas Jilani seeks increased U.S. pressure on India

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The top Pakistani diplomat in Washington says he is optimistic about prospects for peace in Afghanistan after the U.S. troop pullout, but asserts that the Obama administration could and should be doing more to foster peace in South Asia by pressuring India to embrace economic and counterterrorism overtures from Islamabad.

"My father's approach to the most brutal and unambiguous social injustices during the civil rights struggle was rooted in nonviolence as a morally and tactically correct response," Martin Luther King III said in an interview with The Washington Times. "In no way do I, nor would my father, condone any 'ends justify the means' behavior." (Associated Press)

Martin Luther King III sees Ferguson riots, violence against police as setbacks

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: On the holiday commemorating his father's epic civil rights legacy, Martin Luther King III says he is dismayed by recent violence against police, the destructive protests in Ferguson and the trashing of a U.Va. fraternity falsely accused of sexual assault because they don't reflect his father's own approach to advocate for change peacefully.

Breitling Energy CEO Chris Faulkner downplays the dangers of fracking brought forth by environmentalists. (Lloyd Villas/The Washington Times)

U.S. oil surplus eases prices in global crises

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Increased U.S. production is helping to create an oil surplus on world markets, driving down prices despite a myriad of threats to oil supplies, and doing more to crush Russia's economy than the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European Union, said Chris Faulkner, chief executive of Breitling Energy.

Ozdil Nami, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Lloyd Villas/The Washington Times

Minister sees breakthrough 'in months' for long-split Cyprus

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: The top diplomat from the Turkish-controlled side of Cyprus says the core differences between the divided island's Turkish and Greek communities could be resolved in a "matter of months," putting Cyprus' reunification in reach for the first time in four decades.

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl says the Catholic Church, under Pope Francis, is focusing on how to "Live the Gospel," especially in a world of extreme inequality. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Cardinal Wuerl hits U.N. report on Catholic sex abuse scandal

- The Washington Times

NEWSMAKER INTERVIEW: Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, a longtime advocate for victims of pedophile priests, took aim this week at a recent U.N. commission report on the Catholic Church's child sex abuse scandal, saying it failed to recognize the progress the church has made in the past decade.