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McCain: Iran “on the march”

- The Washington Times

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that Iran is “on the march” and that President Obama lacks a strategy to deal with the Islamic republic, ratcheting up a tense standoff between congressional Republicans and the White House.

A Houthi Shiite fighter wearing an army uniform chants slogans during a demonstration to show support for his comrades in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. Thousands of protesters demonstrated Friday across Yemen, some supporting the Shiite rebels who seized the capital and others demanding the country's south secede after the nation's president and Cabinet resigned. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Yemen’s Shiite rebels growing in power amid Obama uncertainty on Iran, experts fear

- The Washington Times

The surge in Yemen this week by Shiite Muslim militants represents what some national security insiders are calling a “huge victory” for Iran, just as the Obama administration faces criticism for being too lenient in nuclear talks with the Islamic republic and appears — at least tacitly — to be coordinating with Tehran against Sunni terrorists in Iraq.

**FILE** The seal affixed to the front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington is seen here on June 21, 2013. (Associated Press)

VA popularity plummets: poll

- The Washington Times

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ popularity among the public dropped sharply over the past year, making it the third-least popular government agency, a poll released Thursday found.

Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican. (Screen grab from

Congress to Obama: Update Russian defense policy

- The Washington Times

Two of Washington’s most influential lawmakers are asking the defense chief and secretary of state to update their plans for keeping troops in Europe in the wake of a “dangerous escalation” in Russian aggression.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Chuck Hagel exposes rift between U.S. and Iraq

- The Washington Times

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday exposed a growing rift between the United States and Iraq when he blasted its new prime minister for publicly complaining that the international community has left his country in a lurch.

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Protesters hold posters against Houthi Shiite rebels who hold the capital, Sanna, amid a power vacuum as they hold a demonstration in Sanaa on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. Some 20,000 marched Saturday across the capital, where demonstrators converged on the house of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who resigned Thursday along with his Cabinet. Arabic writing on the banner at right reads, "Militias do not build a country." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

- Associated Press

President Barack Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, saying efforts to root out a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate there would not be affected by the political vacuum in the country.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, center, from the  All Progressives Congress (APC) party rides atop a bus as he arrives for a party rally in Kano, Nigeria. A Dutch lawyer at the ICC and Nigerian rights activists say they have evidence showing Nigeria's 2015 presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari instigated violence that led to the killings of some 800 people after he lost 2011 elections. (AP Photo/Sani Maikatanga)

Kerry in Nigeria to warn against postelection violence

- Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is encouraging the main candidates in Nigeria's upcoming presidential vote to accept the results and tamp down potential postelection violence in a country reeling from an al-Qaida linked insurgency.

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, JAN. 25 - In this photo taken on Dec. 9, 2014, a soldier undergoes training in the explosive ordnance disposal course at Fort Lee, Va. The students do not handle real explosive devices, but they are equipped with the basic knowledge of explosives in the introductory course at Fort Lee that prepares them for advanced training. After students successfully complete phase one, they are then transferred to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida for additional training. (AP Photo/The Progress-Index, Shelby Mertens)

Fort Lee course teaches service members to handle explosives

- Associated Press

Ever wondered how explosive devices are handled and destroyed? The students in Fort Lee's Explosive Ordnance Disposal course, part of the post's Ordnance School, learn how to safely identify and dispose of explosive devices in a highly challenging course.

U.S. President Barack Obama folds his hands in a traditional Indian greeting gesture, as Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, center, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi laugh during a ceremonial reception at the Indian presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. Obama is the first American leader to be invited to attend India's Republic Day festivities, which commence Monday and mark the anniversary of the enactment of the country's democratic constitution. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Obama, Modi declare era of 'new trust' in US-India relations

- Associated Press

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared an era of "new trust" in the often fraught relationship between their nations as the U.S. leader opened a three-day visit to New Delhi.

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi standing beside him during a ceremonial reception at the Indian Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. Obama is the first American leader to be invited to attend India's Republic Day festivities, which commence Monday and mark the anniversary of the enactment of the country's democratic constitution. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Obama: U.S. can't play 'whack-a-mole' by sending troops to Yemen

- The Washington Times

President Obama held out hope Sunday for a political solution to the burgeoning crisis in Yemen, where Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels have overrun the capital of Sanaa and upset U.S. operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a particularly dangerous wing of the Sunni terrorist group.

30 Filipino police commandos killed in clash with rebels

- Associated Press

More than 30 police commandos were killed in a clash with Muslim insurgents Sunday in the southern Philippines in the biggest single-day combat loss for Filipino forces in many years, officials said.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, speak to troops during a visit to Maiduguri, Nigeria, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. President Goodluck Jonathan, who is running for re-election next month, visited Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on Thursday in his first trip to the northeast since a state of emergency was imposed in May 2014. His office said in a statement that he met with troops involved in fighting the extremists as part of his "surprise visit." He also visited hundreds of civilians who were staying in a camp in Maiduguri after fleeing Baga.(AP Photo/Jossy Ola)

Kerry breaks protocol, flies to Nigeria to discourage election violence

- The Washington Times

Amidst rising civil unrest in Nigeria, Secretary of State John F. Kerry flew there this weekend to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan and his challenger in the upcoming Nigerian presidential election to discuss the vote and discourage violence from each party's supporters, and also to enhance cooperation in the fight against Islamist terrorism.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pose for the media prior to a meeting on the sideline of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. The world's financial and political elite will head this week to the Swiss Alps for a gathering of the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)

Kerry to visit Nigeria ahead of election

- Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's plan to stop in Nigeria for meetings with the two leading candidates in the upcoming presidential election signals deep U.S. concerns about postelection violence in a country already devastated by an al-Qaida-linked insurgency.