Ryan Crocker was a major force in helping to turn around Iraq, Presidents Bush and Obama say.
Wednesday's firefight was the bloodiest battle involving the Abu Sayyaf in at least two years. It also raises questions about the effectiveness of US support to Filipino troops.
Authorities blocked an Afghan plane from landing Sunday in Xinjiang, a predominantly Uighur region. They cited a bomb threat, but none was found.
Despite human rights concerns, President Obama affirmed support of President Felipe Calderón's aggressive war on drug trafficking during Monday's North America Summit in Guadalajara.
Human rights lawyers say the US should intervene to safeguard the Iranians at Camp Ashraf, which was raided by Iraqi security forces July 28.
Cuba will allow Russia to look for oil and gas in its territorial waters. Environmentalists cringe, but the industry says its time for the US to look for more oil in the Gulf of Mexico, too.
One aim: to bolster relations with resource-rich countries where China has been aggressively extending its presence.
As one of the few parties to speak to both Israel and Hamas, Cairo sees itself as a natural mediator. But now Turkey has called into question its effectiveness.
President Obama's special envoy to Sudan told senators Thursday that the designation is no longer applicable. But others in the administration disagree.