Tag Archives: State Department

US Issues “Do Not Travel” Advisory For Spain, Portugal

Reuters reports: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State Department on Monday both warned against travel to Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Kyrgyzstan because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in those countries. The CDC raised its travel advisory to “Level Four: Very High” for those countries telling Americans they should avoid travel there, while the …

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“Havana Syndrome” Strikes US Diplomats In Vienna

The BBC reports: The US government is investigating a series of health incidents in the Austrian capital Vienna involving its diplomats and other administration staff. More than 20 officials have reported symptoms similar to Havana Syndrome – a mystery brain illness – since President Joe Biden took office in January. The syndrome is unexplained, but US scientists say it is …

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US Warns Companies Of New Risks In Hong Kong

Via press release from the State Department: On July 16, the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued a business advisory to caution U.S. businesses about emerging risks to their operations and activities in Hong Kong. Many of these risks stem from …

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US Calls For Prosecutions In Fatal Attack On Tbilisi Pride

Reuters reports: The State Department on Tuesday called for calm in the republic of Georgia after the death of a cameraman beaten up during violence against LGBT activists and said those who attacked peaceful protesters and journalists should be prosecuted. State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular news briefing that Washington was following the situation in Georgia and was …

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Biden Taps Ex-Sen. Jeff Flake As Ambassador To Turkey

CNBC reports: President Joe Biden is nominating former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona as his ambassador to Turkey, whose alliance with the U.S. has in recent years been marked by major disagreements on key foreign policy issues. “I am honored and humbled by the trust President Biden has placed in me with this ambassadorial nomination,” Flake wrote in a …

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Graham Flips Out Over Gender Option On Passports

Posted to Franklin Graham’s Facebook page: It is so disappointing that our government would fall for this kind of absurdity. They are now going to add a third possible gender option for people applying for a passport who don’t want to identify as a man or a woman. This administration seems to have declared war on common sense, and they …

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Russian Hackers Hit State Department Email System

The New York Times reports: Hackers linked to Russia’s main intelligence agency surreptitiously seized an email system used by the State Department’s international aid agency to burrow into the computer networks of human rights groups and other organizations of the sort that have been critical of President Vladimir V. Putin, Microsoft Corporation disclosed on Thursday. Discovery of the breach comes …

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US Issues Highest-Level Travel Warning On Japan

CNN reports: The Tokyo Olympics, postponed in 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing increasing hurdles in putting on a 2021 show. The latest troubling sign for the Summer Games came Monday when the State Department advised US citizens against traveling to Japan because of a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. The “Level 4: Do Not …

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Blinken Confirms US Doesn’t Want To Buy Greenland

Reuters reports: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday confirmed that the United States does not seek to buy Greenland, after then-President Donald Trump had proposed buying the island, sparking diplomatic fallout. Sitting beside Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Greenland’s premier, Mute Egede, and Foreign Minister Pele Broberg during a news conference, Blinken confirmed to a reporter it was …

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State Department Reverses Trump Policy Of Denying Citizenship To Children Born Abroad To Gay Parents

Axios reports: The State Department will now grant U.S. citizenship to children born abroad through in vitro fertilization, surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technologies, the agency said Tuesday. The Trump administration had denied citizenship to children born abroad to same-sex parents in several cases. The State Department under Trump defended a long-standing policy that categorized children born abroad via surrogate …

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Russian Spies Suspected In Directed-Energy Attacks

Politico reports: U.S. officials suspect that a notorious Russian spy agency may be behind alleged attacks that are causing mysterious health issues among U.S. government personnel across the world, according to three current and former officials with direct knowledge of the discussions. The intelligence community has not reached a consensus or made a formal determination. However, officials have told lawmakers …

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State Dept: Americans Should Leave India At Once

Fortune reports: The U.S. government told its citizens to leave India as soon as possible because of the country’s escalating COVID-19 crisis. In a Level 4 travel advisory — the highest issued by the Department of State — U.S. citizens were told “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.” There …

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Blinken Ends Trump Ban On Pride Flags At Embassies

Foreign Policy reports: Secretary of State Antony Blinken has issued a blanket authorization for U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world to fly the Pride flag on the same flagpole as the U.S. flag at their embassy or consulate showcasing support for LGBTQ rights. The directive marks a departure from how the Trump administration handled the matter while the State Department …

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Senate Narrowly Confirms Vanita Gupta For DOJ Post

Axios reports: The Senate voted 51-49 on Wednesday to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, the third-highest ranking official at the Justice Department. Why it matters: Most Republicans strongly opposed her nomination, which faced procedural hurdles after the Senate Judiciary Committee split 11-11 along party lines on whether to approve her. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was the lone Republican …

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State Department: Do Not Travel To Most Of Planet

The Daily Beast reports: That big vacation still seems a long way away. The State Department announced Monday that it will massively extend its “Do Not Travel” guidance to cover about 80 percent of countries around the globe. That will mean adding around 130 countries to the list of of 34, which already includes places such as Brazil, Argentina, and …

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Biden To Nominate Cindy McCain For Ambassadorship

Politico reports: President Joe Biden is preparing to name Republican Cindy McCain to a coveted ambassador post in Western Europe in what would be his administration’s first Republican appointee to a Senate-confirmed position. McCain is undergoing vetting to be nominated for U.S. ambassador to the U.N. World Food Programme, a mission based in Rome, according to two sources with knowledge …

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Blinken Axes Pompeo’s Anti-LGBTQ Foreign Policy

The Associated Press reports: In a sharp rebuke to Trump-era policies, Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday formally scrapped a blueprint championed by his predecessor to limit U.S. promotion of human rights abroad to causes favored by conservatives like religious freedom and property matters while dismissing reproductive and LGBTQ rights. Blinken said a report prepared for former Secretary of …

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US Says Saudi Prince Approved Hit On WaPo Journalist

Vice News reports: Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman approved the operation that led to the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a declassified US intelligence report says. “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report, from …

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Biden’s UN Ambassador Confirmed In 78-20 Vote

The New York Times reports: Ms. Thomas-Greenfield’s confirmation, by a vote of 78 to 20, comes as Mr. Biden’s administration seeks to become a more active force in the United Nations after American retreat during the Trump administration. Her new position is the latest chapter in a rise that started in her birthplace of Louisiana, where she attended segregated schools …

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“Intense Jockeying” Underway For Ambassadorships

The Washington Post reports: It is a sweepstakes that comes along every four or eight years — intense jockeying in public and private as the well-heeled and well-connected seek coveted positions that come with lavish housing, a staff of chefs and an expectation that the U.S. envoy will put the digs to use for parties. With its mix of famous …

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