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    International Climate Negotiations

    Representatives of groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the World Resources Institute, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research testified on the upcoming international climate change negotiations in Paris. The panelists presented various differing views about U.S. goals for reducing gas emissions.

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    Diplomatic Nominations

    Thomas Shannon and Laura Holgate testified on their respective nominations for undersecretary of state for political affairs and the U.S. representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Among the issues discussed at the hearing were the implementation process of the Iran nuclear agreement, the State Department’s annual report on worldwide human trafficking, issues of transparency and congressional oversight, and the priorities the nominees seek to bring to positions if confirmed.

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    Federal Communications Commission Nomination

    Jessica Rosenworcel testified at a hearing on her nomination for a second five-year term as a member of the Federal Communications Commission. She responded to questions on a variety of telecommunications policies.

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    Middle East Strategy

    Retired General John Allen and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson testified at a hearing U.S. strategy in the Middle East. They detailed ongoing U.S. and coalition efforts in several countries, specifically counter-ISIS* operations in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. 

    * The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or DAISH/DAESH in Arabic is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State.

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    Washington Ideas Forum, Senators Booker and Lee

    Senators Mike Lee and Cory Booker were interviewed at the seventh annual Washington Ideas Forum. They talked about their efforts to address criminal justice reform, in particular changing mandatory sentencing.

    The Washington Ideas Forum brings together political leaders, administration officials, business entrepreneurs, journalists, and science and technology experts.

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    U.S. Role and Strategy in the Middle East

    The presidents of non-governmental organizations involved in humanitarian aid assistance testified at a hearing on about Middle East policy and the Syrian refugee crisis. The witnesses discussed the impact of refugees on host countries, the potential for a no-fly zone in Syria, the impact of barrel-bombing on civilian populations, and Russia’s military presence in the region.

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    State Department Trafficking Director Confirmation Hearing

    Susan Coppedge testified at a confirmation on her nomination for director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. She was introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Ms. Coppedge discussed her previous work as an attorney in Georgia and her committment to fighting human trafficking.

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    Confirmation Hearing for Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism

    Adam Szubin testified on his nomination to become under secretary of the treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes. Mr. Szubin in his comments discussed how to cut off funds to terrorist groups and the Iran nuclear agreement. He also said that if he is confirmed, one of his top priorities would be ensuring that Iran complies with the nuclear agreement negotiated with the P5+1* nations. 

    * The P5+1 comprises the U.S., the U.K., France, China, Russia, and Germany.

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    Radio: Senator Menendez on Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered a foreign policy address on the Iran nuclear agreement at Seton Hall University. He announced that he would oppose the deal because Iran had violated various U.N. Security Council resolutions while advancing its nuclear program. He said that he was concerned that the agreement would nott require Iran to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure.

    Following his address, Menendez met with School of Diplomacy and International Relations students for a question and answer session.