White House Loosens Travel, Other Rules on Cuba
White House Loosens Travel, Other Rules on Cuba
2022-05-18 00:15:10
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON  — The White House plans to increase authorized travel to Cuba, encouraging commercial opportunities for consumers to buy goods from “independent Cuban entrepreneurs,” and reverse the restrictions on remittances — a Trump-era policy — that kept Cuban immigrants from... Read More

AP Sources: Biden to Issue Executive Order on Cryptocurrency

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on cryptocurrency this week that will mark the first step toward regulating how digital currency is traded. The move comes as administration officials have raised concerns in... Read More

Biden Administration Pulls Support for Coal Plants, Carbon-Intensive Projects Overseas
2021-12-29 16:16:33
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has ordered an end to federal support for the construction of coal plants and other carbon-intensive projects overseas. The policy, which was communicated to U.S. embassies earlier this month, is expected to be fully in... Read More

State Department Reminds Travelers of Passport Fee Hike
2021-12-27 16:53:10
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — The fee to apply for or renew a passport got a bit steeper Monday, rising $20 for all customers, the State Department said. In a tweet on its Travel-State Dept. Twitter feed, the department said the increase is... Read More

Hoyer Urges Congress to Commit $9 Billion to Fight Worldwide Deforestation
2021-11-04 21:44:59
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — Less than 24 hours after President Joe Biden joined more than 100 world leaders in a promise to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer moved to turn words and handshakes into concrete government... Read More

State Dept. Unveils Partnership to Combat Infrastructure Investment Corruption
2021-10-05 19:38:57
by Victoria Turner

The U.S. Department of State has partnered with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with the goal of reducing the risk of corruption in infrastructure investment by bolstering the ability of stakeholders to implement anti-corruption systems across economies.  The... Read More

Here’s How Much the Afghanistan War Cost Taxpayers
2021-08-18 20:42:25
by Reece Nations

Costs associated with the United States' “Global War on Terror” have mounted significantly in the nearly 20 years following the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks. The underlying mission of the Global War on Terror in 2001 was to fortify... Read More

Biden Officials Give Assurances U.S. Has Strong Mideast Influence
2021-08-10 20:15:07
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Taliban continued retaking control of Afghanistan Tuesday as U.S. forces withdrew, but Biden administration officials told the Senate the American political position in the Middle East remains strong. However, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon are creating challenges as... Read More

$10 Million Rewards Bolster White House Anti-Ransomware Bid

BOSTON (AP) — The State Department will offer rewards up to $10 million for information leading to the identification of anyone engaged in foreign state-sanctioned malicious cyber activity against critical U.S. infrastructure — including ransomware attacks — and the White... Read More

US Warns Against All Travel to Japan as Olympics Approach
2021-05-24 21:12:00
by TWN Staff

U.S. health officials and the State Department warned Americans this week against travel to Japan because of a surge in coronavirus cases in the country, which is preparing to host the Olympics in just two months. The alerts don’t ban... Read More

Biden Creates Climate Change Support Office
2021-05-07 20:00:38
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday afternoon establishing a temporary  “Climate Change Support Office” within the Department of States. The order directs Secretary of State Antony Blinken to name a director of the office and to... Read More

Foreign Affairs
Fearing Famine in South Sudan, US Commits $95 Million in Aid
2021-04-20 19:22:44
by Daniel Mollenkamp

The U.S. pledged $95 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan last week in an attempt to avoid mass starvation in the coming summer months for those affected by the country's conflict.  South Sudan, which was admitted to the UN... Read More

Murphy Sets Sights On China’s Influence Campaign in Latin America, Caribbean
2021-04-13 18:08:33
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., is pressing for a comprehensive assessment of China’s efforts to expand its presence and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean and how these efforts could undermine American interests. Under the auspices of a... Read More

The US Funds First-Ever West African Counterterrorism Joint Ops
2021-04-01 13:28:20
by Daniel Mollenkamp

This week the first-ever west African joint ops brought together counterterrorism investigators and their judicial counterparts across Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The training took place across all three countries with cross-country coordination "where appropriate," according to a written statement... Read More

Foreign Affairs
America Pledges $80 Million in Aid for Sahel Crisis
2021-03-24 13:13:58
by Daniel Mollenkamp

At the Coalition for the Sahel Ministerial on Friday, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale announced American commitments of more than $80 million for relief to the crisis in the central Sahel. Of the $80 million in... Read More

State Department Continues to Advise Against International Travel
2021-03-15 13:28:27
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — COVID-19 has caused colossal damage to the U.S. travel industry, grounding airlines, emptying hotels, and stopping almost all business and leisure travel for months. The State Department isn’t suggesting this will change any time soon. In a discussion... Read More

George Shultz Wasn't 'Afraid to Struggle Against the Odds'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time was running out when Secretary of State George P. Shultz returned home in April 1988 after flying 16,000 miles in a failed mission to persuade Arabs and Israelis to negotiate their differences. Shultz said he would... Read More

Biden to Visit State Dept. as US Reengages with its Allies

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is sending a message to his messengers. Two weeks into the presidency, Biden on Thursday is visiting the State Department, the most senior of the Cabinet agencies, to underscore his promise to restore a... Read More

Blinken, Now Secretary of State, Faces Challenges at Home and Abroad
2021-01-26 21:15:17
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Antony Blinken, confirmed as America's top diplomat by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, now faces a myriad of problems both within the agency he will now lead and abroad. Confirmed by a 78-22 vote Tuesday afternoon, Blinken is... Read More

US Diplomats in Extraordinary Protest Against Trump for Riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a highly unusual move, American diplomats have drafted two cables condemning President Donald Trump’s incitement of the deadly assault on the Capitol and calling for administration officials to possibly support invoking the 25th Amendment to remove... Read More

Biden Looks to Rehire Diplomats, Others Fired by Trump to Rebuild State Department

WASHINGTON — Five days after President Donald Trump took office, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, assistant secretary of State for African Affairs, was summarily fired — the start of what was to become a purge of senior State Department officials and career professionals over nearly four years. Now Thomas-Greenfield... Read More

Analysis: How Bad Could US-China Relations Get?

BEIJING — Fears are rising on both sides of the Pacific that the U.S. and China could be headed for a total breakdown of relations and even outright conflict within the next few months. As the two powers ordered the... Read More

Foreign Students Falling Into ‘Black Hole’ of US Visa Delays

A University of Illinois graduate student from China applied in May for a visa renewal, a process that typically concludes within weeks. But the application went into “administrative processing,” and was still in limbo when fall classes started, forcing the... Read More

A Weakened State Department Could Mean Diminishing US Influence
2020-02-13 16:15:13
by HJ Mai

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is forging the next chapter of his presidency following the conclusion of the Senate impeachment trial which resulted, according to the White House press secretary, in his acquittal and his “full vindication and exoneration.”  But... Read More

With Coronavirus Spreading, US Evacuating Personnel to San Francisco from Wuhan, China

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. State Department announced Sunday that it planned to evacuate personnel stationed in Wuhan, China, to San Francisco because of the coronavirus outbreak. Officials are “making arrangements to relocate its personnel stationed at the U.S. Consulate... Read More

Foreign Affairs
State Department Says Giuliani Was Freelancing in Venezuela

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer went rogue when he attempted back-channel diplomacy with embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, according to Elliott Abrams, the senior State Department official in charge of Venezuela policy. In an interview with McClatchy and the... Read More

US Bans Government Funding of Cultural Exchanges with Cuba, Other Nations

The White House has banned government agencies from funding educational and cultural exchanges with Cuban, Syrian, Russian and North Korean government entities and officials as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to halt people trafficking in those countries, according to... Read More

Foreign Affairs
Pompeo Offers Sweeping View of US Foreign Policy at Economic Club Forum
2019-07-30 14:53:47
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that President Donald Trump has ordered him to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by the 2020 election and begin the closing chapter of the nearly two-decade-old conflict. "That's... Read More

In The News
Former Representative Ellen Tauscher, Giant in the House, Dies at 67
2019-05-01 02:56:48
by Dan McCue

Former congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, who later distinguished herself as a senior arms-control advisor to President Barack Obama, has died. Tauscher died late Monday night at the age of 67. Her family announced her passing in a Facebook post, stating she... Read More

Straight From The Well