US Ambassador to Malta in California Car Crash

President of The Catholic University of Americ...Image via WikipediaThe Daily News Wire Services citing the California Highway Patrol reported on August 26 that a car driven by Douglas Kmiec, the U.S. ambassador to Malta, went off a road near Calabasas, in California killing a nun who was a passenger in the vehicle, and injuring Kmiec and another passenger.

The Malta Independent Online had a follow up report on August 28 that Ambassador Kmiec is recovering in a California hospital and information reportedly from the US embassy indicates that he is recovering well without complications. Excerpt: 

The ambassador, aged 58, was involved in a one-car traffic accident in California last Wednesday.

It was also confirmed that the Kmiec family contacted the embassy but they were not given any additional information.

The Malibu Times reported that Prof. Kmiec was taken to the UCLA Medical Trauma Centre for treatment and is reported to be in a good condition.

Sister Mary Campbell, 75, from Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church was killed in the collision at Las Virgenes Canyon Road and Mulholland Drive on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, 95-year-old Mons. John Sheridan from OLM was also injured but survived the crash alongside Ambassador Kmiec. Ambassador Kmiec himself was driving the car. Police investigations are underway.
The main political parties and the General Workers’ Union have wished Prof. Kmiec a speedy recovery. Various American-based Catholic websites were inundated with well wishes for the ambassador throughout yesterday.

The US ambassador to Malta is a well-known scholar and popular law commentator. He is also a former professor of law at Pepperdine University. Ambassador Kmiec also served as dean and St Thomas More Professor of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. He also served for nearly two decades on the law faculty at the University of Notre Dame.

Active links added above. Read the whole thing here.

Heartbreaking News: Nicole Grace John , Foreign Service Daughter

As you may have seen in the news by now, Nicole John, the daughter of US ambassador to Thailand, Eric John and Sophia John died from a fall in  New York on August 27.

Until it was deleted soon after her death, Nicole John had a blog in Tumblr.

We can remember what it was like when we were 17.  We are glad the blog is no longer available for everyone to read.

Some news dailies seemed to have mined part of her blog posts (before it was deleted) and also Ambassador John’s official blog to string their stories together. Some of the comments online are sympathetic. A lot are unkind, and extremely judgmental both to the deceased and the parents suffering unimaginable grief and loss at this time. Best to look away, it’ll only break your heart to read some more.

The US Embassy in Bangkok released the following brief statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the John family during this very difficult time. We ask that you respect their privacy as they mourn the tragic loss of their daughter Nicole.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends:   

For all the joys this child will bring the risk of grief we’ll run.
We will shelter him with tenderness, we’ll love him while we may
And for all the happiness we’ve ever known, we’ll ever grateful stay.
But should the angels call him much sooner than we’d planned
We will brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.”

–from God’s Lent Child, Author Unknown





New Mexico Travel Warning: "Authorized Departure" remains in place for Mexico’s northern border cities, Monterrey to go partially unaccompanied with no minor dependents

As the Warden Message on Monterrey was released August 27, a new Travel Warning for Mexico was also issued reflecting the new security conditions in Monterrey.  Excerpt below:

The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico about the security situation in Mexico.  The authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. Consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros remains in place.  However, based upon a security review in Monterrey following the August 20, 2010 shooting in front of the American Foundation School in Monterrey and the high incidence of kidnappings in the Monterrey area, U.S. government personnel from the Consulate General in Monterrey have been advised that the immediate, practical and reliable way to reduce the security risks for children of U.S. Government personnel is to remove them from the city.  Beginning September 10, 2010, the Consulate General in Monterrey will become a partially unaccompanied post with no minor dependents of U.S. government employees. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated July 16, 2010 to note the changing security situation in Monterrey.

Read the whole thing here.