NEWS ABOUT: State Department

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US Says Russia Sent Tanks Into Ukraine

Rocket launchers, too

(Newser) - Russia keeps talking a good game about de-escalating the violence in Ukraine, but the US today says it has three hulking pieces of evidence that the talk isn't translating into reality. The State Department has concluded that three T-64 tanks spotted yesterday crossing over the Ukraine border were indeed... More »

US to Citizens: Get Out of Libya

State Department warns of 'unpredictable and unstable' situation

(Newser) - Any Americans still in Libya should get out immediately because of the "unpredictable and unstable" security situation, the State Department warns. After an attack on the country's parliament earlier this month and continued conflict between a renegade general and Islamist militias, the US is poised to evacuate its... More »

Environmentalists Happy as White House Delays Keystone Decision

It will likely wait until after the midterm elections

(Newser) - The White House was supposed to wrap up its review of the proposed Keystone oil pipeline in another two weeks. But in a surprise move today, the administration announced that the review would be extended indefinitely—and probably until after the November elections, reports the Wall Street Journal . The White... More »

US Ambassadors to Syria, Russia Both Leaving

Robert Ford, Michael McFaul will be gone by the end of the month

(Newser) - By the end of the month, the Obama administration will have lost its top diplomats in two of its most important posts. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul both announced their impending resignations today, the AP reports . Here's what you should know about each: More »

Keystone Alternative Will Kill 6 People a Year: Report

Oil trains would cause fatalities, says State Department analysis

(Newser) - An alternative to the Keystone XL pipeline could pose a danger of its own, according to a State Department analysis. If, instead of the pipeline, trains were used to transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day, the vehicles could cause six new railroad fatalities and 49 additional injuries per... More »

Keystone Oil Pipeline Clears Major US Hurdle

It passes State Department's environmental review

(Newser) - Environmentalists are going to hate this one: A State Department review of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline raises no major environmental objections, reports the New York Times . The report concludes that the proposed pipeline from Canada to Texas would not affect global greenhouse gas emissions in a significant way, reports... More »

15 of US' Benghazi Sources Have Been Killed

Senate report also concludes that consulate attack was 'preventable'

(Newser) - The US government didn't do enough to prevent the attack on the Benghazi consulate, a long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report concludes. The bipartisan report chastises the CIA for operating out of a different building than the State Department—a facility the military didn't even know about, the Washington ... More »

Americans Flee War-Torn South Sudan

But the UN doubles down as violence spreads

(Newser) - The State Department flew 15 Americans out of South Sudan today amid rising violence that killed hundreds of people and wounded four US troops there this week, CNN reports. The Americans showed up at the UN camp in Bor, South Sudan, and evacuated in coordination with the UN and the... More »

US Warns Americans: Get Out of South Sudan

Violence heating up following failed coup

(Newser) - The State Department today issued a travel warning for South Sudan, recommending that all Americans "depart immediately," as violence rises in the wake of an attempted coup . That includes non-emergency US personnel, who have already been ordered to depart, forcing the US to suspend normal operations at its... More »

Senate OKs New Homeland Security Chief

Jeh C. Johnson confirmed with help from new filibuster rules

(Newser) - Democrats used their newly initiated lower threshold for defeating filibusters yesterday to win Senate confirmation of President Obama's nomination of former top Pentagon lawyer Jeh C. Johnson to be secretary of Homeland Security. On a 57-37 vote, Democrats broke a GOP blockade against Johnson before the Senate minutes later... More »

State Dept. Stocked Up on Booze Before Shutdown

And very expensive art, too

(Newser) - The State Department certainly had its priorities straight in the weeks leading up to the government shutdown: In September, the last month of the fiscal year, it spent $180,000 ... on booze. That includes $11,550 on "gratuity whiskey" and "gratuity wine" at the embassy in Rio, $22,... More »

How Obama Outwits Spies: With a Tent

Top officials use anti-spy shields overseas

(Newser) - Moammar Gadhafi wasn't the only world leader who brought a tent everywhere. At the urging of security officials, President Obama and other senior American lawmakers and military officials take "security tents" with them when they travel overseas, the New York Times finds. The tents, which can be erected... More »

Afghan Interpreters Who Helped US Troops Denied Visas

Gov't says they're not facing 'serious threat'

(Newser) - An increasing number of Afghan interpreters who worked with US troops for years during the war are being denied US visas, because the government doesn't think their lives are in serious danger. Think again, the interpreters tell the Washington Post . "There are tons of [Taliban members] in my... More »

US to Hand Out Biggest Immigration Fine Ever

Infosys used visitor visas instead of work visas

(Newser) - The federal government is expected to slap a record $35 million immigration fine on Infosys tomorrow, after Homeland Security and State Department investigators found that the Indian outsourcing company had been sneaking workers into the country on cheap visitor visas (B-1), instead of more expensive and harder to get temporary... More »

'Damning' Report: Benghazi Outpost Was a Sitting Duck

Gov't finds many US embassies at similar risk

(Newser) - The newly launched Al Jazeera America has its hands on an internal government report (you can read the full PDF here ) on the 2012 Benghazi attack, and the assessment is "damning." The report, written by an independent panel of intelligence and security experts, paints a picture of... More »

Coming Soon to US: Syrian Refugees

State Department agrees to allow 2K in 'major policy shift'

(Newser) - By most accounts, more than 2 million people have fled Syria in the last two years amid its civil war. In that time, the US has allowed maybe 90 of them to relocate to the US. Now, in what Foreign Policy describes as a "major policy shift," the... More »

US: Diplomats in Pakistan Must Leave Lahore

Move follows threat to consulate

(Newser) - The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Pakistan and evacuated nonessential government personnel from the country's second largest city because of a specific threat to the consulate there, a US official said today. The move was not related to the threat of an al-Qaeda attack that... More »

Travel Warnings Stem From Unusually Specific Threat

Affiliate of al-Qaeda reportedly in 'final stages' of planning attack on US interests

(Newser) - The State Department's unusually strong warnings this week about a possible terror threat—it announced that 21 US embassies would be closed tomorrow and followed that up with a global travel alert for Americans—came after authorities intercepted communications among what the New York Times calls "senior operatives"... More »

US to Global Travelers: Beware

State Department urges caution throughout August

(Newser) - If you were planning to travel this month, the Obama administration thinks you should be nervous. The State Department today issued a global travel alert , warning US citizens that "al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations" may be planning to strike "in the period between now and the end of August.... More »

Threat Closes US Embassies Everywhere on Sunday

State Department says it's out of an 'abundance of caution'

(Newser) - The State Department has ordered many embassies in the Middle East and elsewhere to close on Sunday in response to a terror threat. A State Department spokeswoman said the closings come out of an "abundance of caution," but warned that they could stretch on for days "depending... More »

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