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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (right), Vermont Democrat, and the committee's ranking Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, arrive on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2013, as the panel questioned top Obama administration officials about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs for the first time since the House narrowly rejected a proposal last week to effectively shut down the NSA's secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records. (Associated Press)

Senate to hold hearings on NSA privacy violations

The Senate's most senior lawmaker said Friday that the intelligence community is still not being truthful about its snooping activities and how they may be picking up communications from Americans, and vowed to hold hearings when Congress returns from its summer vacation. Published August 16, 2013

**FILE** Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (Associated Press)

Investigators ask former EPA chief to turn over private emails

Top congressional Republicans sent a letter Thursday to Lisa P. Jackson asking her to justify an email she sent during her time as chief of the EPA in which she told a lobbyist to contact her using a private, personal email account rather than her government email — a move that appears to contravene open-records laws. Published August 15, 2013

Egyptians mourn over the bodies of their relatives in the El-Iman mosque in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Egypt faced a new phase of uncertainty on Thursday after the bloodiest day since its Arab Spring began, with hundreds of people reported killed and thousands injured as police smashed two protest camps of supporters of the deposed Islamist president. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

U.S.-Egypt military ties strained; Obama cancels joint maneuvers

President Obama on Thursday canceled joint military maneuvers between U.S. and Egyptian troops scheduled for next month as he seeks to find levers the U.S. can use to quell deadly clashes in the North African nation and force both sides back into negotiations. Published August 15, 2013

President Obama speaks at a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington on Aug. 9, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama's immigration test run raises cheers, alarm

President Obama's non-deportation policy for children turns a year old Thursday, and both sides agree it's a test run for a broader legalization — one that has thrilled immigrant rights groups who say it has broken stereotypes and changed the political calculus, but that has worried enforcement advocates who say illegal immigrants are being given blanket approval without enough attention to fraud. Published August 14, 2013

Congress still has questions for Lisa P. Jackson, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who is under investigation for suspected violations of federal sunshine laws after she apparently used private email accounts to conduct government business. (Associated Press)

Sunshine law gets cloudy when federal officials take email home

Documents show that Lisa P. Jackson, as EPA chief, told a lobbyist to shift their conversations to her "home email" account rather than using official government accounts, in a move that appears to contravene the intent of federal sunshine laws. Published August 13, 2013

**FILE** A statue of former Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin stands outside the Treasury Building in Washington on Aug. 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

Budget battle ends up with slashed deficit, no recession

The federal deficit is down 37.6 percent so far this fiscal year, according to Treasury Department statistics released Monday, showing the government has made progress in stanching the spread of red ink while managing to avoid a double-dip recession. Published August 12, 2013

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in June in Northern Ireland. Mr. Obama has put off a scheduled meeting in Moscow following Mr. Putin's granting of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
(Associated Press)

Obama: U.S. will not boycott Olympics in Russia

President Obama said Friday that the U.S. shouldn't boycott the Russian Winter Olympics next year, but said the U.S. relationship has gone from "reset" to "pause." Published August 9, 2013

President Obama rubs his eye as he listens to a question from a reporter during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Aug. 9, 2013. The president said the U.S. will pause and reassess relations with Russia because of Putin's 'backward' thinking. (Associated Press)

Obama vows tighter oversight of NSA surveillance

Seeking to shore up foundering support for government snooping, President Obama said Friday he is willing to change the Patriot Act and to make modifications to the secret court that oversees programs such as the National Security Agency's phone-records collection program. Published August 9, 2013

**FILE** House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

House GOP: State Dept. must say who ordered Benghazi changes

House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa sent a letter Thursday asking Victoria Nuland, who at the time was the State Department's spokeswoman, who she meant when she said her "building leadership" wanted to see changes to the administration's talking points following the Benghazi terrorist attack last year. Published August 8, 2013

**FILE** Spanish language election campaign signs promoting President Obama hang on the windows at Lechonera El Barrio Restaurant in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 26, 2012. The sign reads "We are united. Hispanics for Obama." (Associated Press)

Hispanics favor Democrats more than 2-to-1: Gallup

Hispanics are more than twice as likely to be Democrats as they are to be Republicans, according to polling by Gallup released Thursday, a survey that calls into question how much room there is for Republicans to compete for Hispanic voters. Published August 8, 2013

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, discusses a plan July 24, 2013, on Capitol Hill to move mail to cluster box and curbside delivery in a move to cut costs at the cash-strapped Postal Service by up to $4.5 billion a year. With the Postal Service facing billions of dollars in annual losses, the tradition of mail delivery to the door could be virtually phased out by 2022 under a proposal in Congress. At left is the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. (Associated Press)

House investigating FEC and IRS communications over tax exempt groups

House investigators this week said they want to see communications between the Federal Election Commission and the IRS that could shed light on whether the two agencies colluded to target conservative organizations, as questions about the IRS targeting scandal expanded. Published August 8, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican (The Washington Times)

Wolf at the door: Immigrant rights issue follows lawmakers home

Five dozen immigration rights activists picketed outside Rep. Frank R. Wolf's Herndon office Wednesday, demanding he vote for a bill that would extend citizenship rights to 11 million illegal immigrants — a scene that is being repeated outside countless Republican congressional district offices this summer. Published August 7, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on April 17, 2013. (Associated Press)

Federal deficit hits lowest point of Obama administration

The federal deficit continues to drop, powered by a better economy, higher tax rates and the spending cuts that have left the government's bottom line in much better shape than at any time under President Obama, according to the Congressional Budget Office's latest numbers released Wednesday. Published August 7, 2013