State Department

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US Tells Non-Essential Embassy Staff to Leave Iraq

Iranian leader issues veiled threat

(Newser) - The US Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran. The security alert , published on the embassy's website on Wednesday, comes after Washington last week said it had detected new and urgent... More »

US Orders Personnel Out of Sudan

Protesters defy military-imposed curfew

(Newser) - The US State Department has ordered all non-essential US government workers to leave Sudan, following the Sudanese military's ouster of President Omar al-Bashir after months of escalating public protests against his repressive 30-year rule. The announcement also recommended that US citizens not travel to the troubled African nation, citing... More »

The US Sets Its Sights on a 30-Year-Old bin Laden

State Department will pay up to $1M for info on Osama's son, Hamza bin Laden

(Newser) - "Submit a tip, get paid," reads the tweet from the State Department's Counter-Terrorism Rewards Program. In this case, the US is looking for a big tip—and offering a handsome reward: The US announced it will pay up to $1 million for information leading to Hamza bin... More »

US Advises Americans to Leave Venezuela

Military backs embattled president, defying wishes of US

(Newser) - All Americans should "strongly consider departing" Venezuela, the US State Department said late Thursday as it ordered all non-emergency government staff to leave the country torn by a power struggle. "We are prepared to do the things we need to do to make sure we keep our people... More »

Top US Diplomat for Europe Resigns After 16 Months on Job

Wess Mitchell's departure is 'a blow': AP

(Newser) - The top US diplomat for Europe is resigning after only 16 months on the job in a blow to efforts to maintain trans-Atlantic unity amid questions about the Trump administration's commitment to historic alliances. The State Department said Tuesday that Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs... More »

Report: Former Fox Anchor Will Be Next UN Ambassador

Heather Nauert joined State Department last year

(Newser) - State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is in line for a big promotion: She'll soon be announced as President Trump's nominee to be America's next ambassador to the United Nations, insiders say. Sources tell Reuters that Nauert—a former ABC journalist and Fox & Friends presenter whose State... More »

After 28 Years, American Diplomacy Returns to Somalia

Embassy in Mogadishu was evacuated during civil war

(Newser) - In a sign of how much the security situation in Somalia's capital has improved, the US has established a permanent diplomatic presence there for the first time in almost 28 years. In a sign of how dangerous Mogadishu remains, many staffers will remain at the US diplomatic mission to... More »

State Dept. Pulls Clinton's Security Clearance

And she requested that it be revoked

(Newser) - The State Department has pulled Hillary Clinton's security clearance, and she wanted it that way. A Sept. 21 letter from the State Dept. to Sen. Chuck Grassley says the clearance was revoked on Aug. 30, Politico reports. The letter doesn't say why Clinton opted out, but she made... More »

US Embassy Seeks Buyer for 1.2K Toilet Paper Rolls

Used car, broken vacuums also available at auction

(Newser) - Anyone in need of a lifetime supply of toilet paper should get in touch with the State Department. The US Embassy in London, which recently moved to a new building from the one it kept for more than 200 years, is cleaning house of the usual office gear: tables, chairs,... More »

US to Seek Social Media Details From All Visa Applicants

Plus email addresses and phone numbers

(Newser) - The State Department wants to require all US visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses, and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration's enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors, the AP reports. Previously, social media, email, and phone number histories were only sought from... More »

State Dept. Has Spent $0 of $120M on Russian Meddling

Rex Tillerson hasn't used money set aside to fight interference by Russia

(Newser) - The New York Times is out with an attention-grabbing statistic related to the government's effort to fight Russian interference in US elections: The State Department has been allocated $120 million to counter foreign meddling but has not spent a single dollar of that sum. The story chalks it up... More »

In Blow to State Department, Longtime Diplomat Steps Down

Tom Shannon announces his retirement

(Newser) - The top career US diplomat announced Thursday he will step down, dealing a blow to the State Department as the Trump administration confronts numerous international challenges, reports the AP . The State Department's third-ranking official, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, informed agency staffers that he will retire... More »

One Twin Is a US Citizen. The Other Faces Deportation

2 cases allege LBGT discrimination by State Department

(Newser) - Sixteen-month-old Aiden Dvash-Banks is a US citizen living with his family in Los Angeles. His twin brother, Ethan, is undocumented and thus at risk of being deported. It's an unusual situation that highlights discrimination against LGBT families by the US government, according to the boys' married male parents, who... More »

Going to North Korea? Plan Your Funeral First, Say Feds

State Department issued new travel advisory on Jan. 10

(Newser) - Lest you think North Korea's plans to compete on a joint Olympic team with South Korea represent a softening, the State Department's harsh words will jolt you back to reality. Inverse reports that a new system of travel advisories launched Jan. 10, and Fox News noted the Level... More »

US Gov. Gets Serious About Tainted Alcohol in Mexico

Investigation revealed over 120 incidents of tourists blacking out, getting hurt, and worse

(Newser) - Following a months-long investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and criticism from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers, the US State Department is stepping up on reports of American tourists being injured and worse after drinking possibly tainted alcohol in Mexico. Since launching its investigation in July, the Journal Sentinel has... More »

Trump on State Dept. Vacancies: 'I'm the Only One That Matters'

President also talked North Korea, Tillerson, and Putin during interview with Laura Ingraham

(Newser) - President Trump sat down with Laura Ingraham Thursday night, and when the Fox News host pressed him on why there are still so many vacancies for top posts in the State Department, he seemed nonplussed. "Let me tell you, the one that matters is me," Trump said, per... More »

Convicted Pedophiles to Be Identified on New US Passports

New document will identify them as sex offenders

(Newser) - America's registered child sex offenders will now have to use passports identifying them for their past crimes when traveling overseas. The State Department said Wednesday it would begin revoking passports of registered child sex offenders and will require them to apply for a new one that carries a "... More »

Envoy Scott Brown Is Warned After Remarks to Guests

Ambassador to New Zealand says he'll be more 'culturally aware' in future

(Newser) - The US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa is blaming the "blood sport" of politics for the kerfuffle he's in over comments he made while visiting the latter islands. Per the New York Times , witnesses told local media that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown acted "obnoxiously" at... More »

Officials: US Wants Cuba's DC Embassy Staff Cut 60%

Move will match reduction at Havana embassy

(Newser) - US officials say the Trump administration is preparing to ask Cuba to reduce the staff at its embassy in Washington by 60%, the AP reports. The move follows last week's US decision to reduce American personnel at the embassy in Havana by a similar amount. That move was in... More »

Tillerson Is Letting $79M Collect Dust

The Global Engagement Center could get the money, but hasn't

(Newser) - It garnered a small two-paragraph mention in a hefty Foreign Policy piece on Monday: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has $79 million at his disposal for fighting ISIS propaganda—he just has to sign two memos to get it. And he hasn't. Politico reports the funding all relates to... More »

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