US Ambassador Kelly Craft Resumes Campaign Donations with a Big Gift to Trump

Kelly Craft has taken a big step toward helping to ensure her political future, lavishing a campaign contribution of $360,600 on the re-election of her boss, President Donald Trump. The gift is the first that Craft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has dished out since joining the diplomatic corps as ambassador to … Read more

Will Trump’s ‘Vision’ Shake Up the Middle East?

President Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House

When is a peace plan not a peace plan? Look no further than Donald Trump’s cynically timed initiative to end the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. If a breakthrough does result, it will be in spite of itself. Released in late January after three years lurking in the shadows, it would jettison decades of … Read more

Trump vs. Iran: What’s the UN for, Anyway?

President Trump, Vice President Pence and advisors

Donald Trump may have dodged the big one in the Middle East for now. But recent events make clear that the president and his tragic idea of leadership may yet drag the United States into a major war with Iran — and there’s good reason to believe it wouldn’t be pretty. He may still dazzle … Read more

BOOKS

Nikki Haley Makes Her Choice: She’s a Forever Trumper

“With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,” is framed as a look back at Nikki Haley’s two years as United States ambassador to the United Nations. It’s also not unreasonable to assume she’s just ticking off one more box before an eventual run for high office: Quit your government job, start tweeting … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Wait Until Trump Starts Talking to the Paintings?

President Donald Trump

In early 1974, fresh out of journalism school, I walked into the offices of the newly created Federal Energy Office in Washington and asked for a job. Within days I was back — a freshly minted writer-editor in the public affairs office of an agency launched in response to an oil embargo imposed on the … Read more

Where’s Kelly Knight Craft? She Is Neither in Ottawa Nor at the UN

Donald Trump must have known just what he was getting into when he named Kelly Knight Craft to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations. But does Knight Craft understand the humiliating position the president is putting her into? Knight Craft, the soft-spoken wife of a billionaire coal executive from Kentucky, demonstrates scant … Read more

Kelly Knight Craft: A ‘Very Impressive Individual’ or ‘Unfit to Serve’?

Kelly Knight Craft

The Senate has confirmed Kelly Knight Craft to be Washington’s top ambassador to the United Nations, even as a key Democrat pronounced her “unfit to serve.” The move ends a seven-month vacancy in one of the country’s most senior diplomatic posts. The July 31 vote on Craft’s nomination was 56 to 34, with 5 Democrats … Read more

UN EATS

The UN Headquarters’ Incredibly Shrinking Dining Choices

Six years ago, hungry staff members at the United Nations’ New York headquarters thought big changes were afoot in the cafeteria, and not a moment too soon. Toward the end, the provider, Aramark, a publicly traded firm best known for its catering at prisons and baseball stadiums, replaced silverware with plastic and got rid of all trays, … Read more

Trump’s UN Pick Softens on Climate Change, but Not on Paris Accord

Kelly Knight Craft

Kelly Knight Craft, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next United States ambassador to the United Nations, raised eyebrows in her June 19 Senate confirmation hearing by putting some space between her views on global climate change and those of the president. But Trump needn’t worry that she might end up threatening her boss’s ostrichlike … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Where Will Trump’s Love for Israel Take Us?

President Trump with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, May 2017.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s not really “America First.” It’s “Donald Trump First.” Life would no doubt be safer for the rest of us if his administration based its foreign policy on something larger than one person’s personal fortune(s). But Trump policies have never been famous for their altruism and typically … Read more

UN EATS

At The Pho 5, Vietnamese-Style Tacos and Slurpy Noodles

Sure, you could check out The Pho 5 for its oversized bowls of beefy pho, its slurpable vermicelli and its tempting summer and spring rolls. But don’t snub the tacos. As slick nouvelle-Vietnamese cooking is trending, The Pho 5 offers simpler, more straightforward fare, in a sliver storefront on Third Avenue near 39th Street. The … Read more

Kelly Knight Craft, Trump’s Pick for UN Envoy, Is Knee-Deep in Coal, So Is That a Problem?

It’s easy to figure out why Donald Trump picked Kelly Knight Craft to be his ambassador to the United Nations. She and her husband, Joseph Craft III, a billionaire coal baron, showered the president and his Republican Party with millions in campaign contributions in 2016. (A business consultant before she became a diplomat, she’s his … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley Revs Up: ‘We’re in the Money’

Nikki Haley at Boeing Plant in South Carolina, May 2013

Two months after leaving the United Nations, Nikki Haley has assembled a political network that is laying the groundwork for a possible presidential run in 2024, or even in 2020 — should her mentor Donald Trump not run. The best thing about it from her point of view? The scheme will enable her to raise … Read more

UN Reminds Pompeo That It’s Sometimes Hard to ‘Pick a Side’

When Secretary of State Michael Pompeo talks about global challenges, he insists that Donald Trump is doing a bang-up job steering the international community down the right path. He sees Trump’s America First mantra not as a retreat from the international stage or a slur on other nations’ ideas of leadership but as a frank … Read more

UN EATS

Little Tong Noodle Shop, Packing the Heat and the Crowds

Little Tong Noodle Shop

Little Tong wants you to fall in love with its rice noodles, known as mixian in Yunnan province, their place of origin. But don’t ignore the big draw at this diminutive Turtle Bay restaurant — as if you could: incendiary spice blends that make your mouth sting and eyes tear up the moment you plant … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Off the Merry-Go-Round but Still Reaching for the Brass Ring?

Nikki Haley is wasting no time revealing what her new act will look like now that she has ended her two-year gig toiling on behalf of Donald Trump at the United Nations. Hint: It looks about the same — only more so. Haley appears intent on continuing to build up her image as a potential … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

‘Welcome to Turtle Bay’: Nikki Haley’s (Imagined) Letter to Heather Nauert

Dear Heather, I was moved to learn of that sweet letter that George H.W. Bush left for Bill Clinton in an Oval Office desk drawer as he left the White House in January 1993. Poppy wished him “great happiness” in the new job and advised him not to “let the critics discourage you or push … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Lessons in Making a Difference for Girls in Burkina Faso

Fred Eckhard charity Burkina Faso

So many nonprofits seem to be after your money these days. Even if you are eager to give it away, you want to be convinced that a given group is the most deserving. But how can you tell when a charitable group is effective, making the best use of your donation without wasting it on … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Ambassador Haley Revises History With a Racist, Anti-Semitic Slant

Nikki Haley has raised a surprise question as she heads for the door: How low can she go? Haley appeared to be trying hard to take the high road when she announced on Oct. 9 that she would be stepping down by the end of the year as the American ambassador to the United Nations. … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Ambassador Haley Goes Out With a Hug

So it’s happened again. Big deal. A top Trump administration official has jumped ship, one of dozens to do so less than two years into the president’s term. But this time was definitely different. When Nikki Haley announced she was stepping down, she did so from the Oval Office in a joint appearance with Trump, … Read more

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