Enter John Forbes Kerry as 68th Secretary of State

On January 29, 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed John Forbes Kerry, of Massachusetts, to be Secretary of State.

The vote was a landslide for the five-term veteran of the Senate with 94 of his former colleagues voting YEAs.

There were three senators who voted NAYs:

  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Cruz (R-TX)
  • Inhofe (R-OK)

And two senators did not vote:

  • Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Murray (D-WA)

The remaining 1 vote counted as “present” was Senator Kerry’s.

kerry bio-collage

The following day, Senator Kerry delivered his Senate farewell floor address.

In related news, word from The Building is that Secretary Clinton’s last day at work will be today, February 1.  Apparently, Secretary-Designate Kerry will also be sworn this afternoon in a private, small swearing-in ceremony with Justice Kagan.  We don’t know if there will be a public swearing in ceremony.  We heard that  his first day “in the mother ship” or Main State will be Monday, February 4.
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US Embassy Turkey: Suicide Bomber Kills Local Guard Mustafa Akarsu, Wounds One

The US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey confirmed that at approximately 13:15 on February 1, there was an explosion at the embassy.  It also says that “Appropriate measures have been taken by the Turkish National Police who are now investigating the incident.” And that  “the U.S. Embassy would like to thank the Turkish Government, the media, and members of the public for their expressions of solidarity and outrage over the incident.”

In a separate message to U.S. citizens in Turkey, the embassy  advised them “to not visit the Consulates in Istanbul, Adana or the Embassy in Ankara until further notice.”

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Media reports indicate that a suicide bomber detonated an explosive at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the capital city, killing himself and Turkish guard, Mustafa Akarsu from the embassy’s local guard force. The blast reportedly wounded a still unidentified journalist with life-threatening conditions.

Below is an excerpt from Turkey’s Today’s Zaman:

The suicide bomber who detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the US Embassy in Ankara on Friday, killing at least two people, including himself, was a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), according to initial findings of the police shortly after the explosion.
The DHKP/C, considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, has carried out nearly a dozen terrorist attacks over the past seven months in Turkey, including Friday’s embassy attack. Intelligence reports suggest that the DHKP/C uses militants who suffer from a terminal illness in suicide attacks.

A separate report quotes Turkey’s Interior Minister Muammer Güler identifying the assailant as Ecevit Şanlı, a member of the far-left terrorist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) who had been implicated in a terrorist attack in 1997.