US Embassy Baghdad Says No Evacuation as Sadrist Protesters Breach Green Zone Walls

Posted: 11:46 am PT
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Media reports about the evacuation of the American Embassy staff are incorrect

Media reports of Iraqi Government officials or anyone else to the American Embassy groundless:

 

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S.1635: Title VI – Management and Accountability (FY2016)

Posted: 5:50 pm PT
Updated: May 3, 10:14 pm PT
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S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016).  Below is Part 6 of 6 extracted from thomas.gov congress.gov for easier reading (oh, joy, the links timeout!). See below on what’s included but read the bill via congressional record in PDF or as TEXT here as alternative sources.


Sec. 601. Short title.

Sec. 602. Competitive hiring status for former employees of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

Sec. 603. Assurance of independence of IT systems.

Sec. 604. Protecting the integrity of internal investigations.

Sec. 605. Report on Inspector General inspection and auditing of Foreign Service posts and bureaus and operating units Department of State.

 

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Related sections:

Part 1: S.1635: Title I – @StateDept Authorities and Activities (FY2016)
Part 2: S.1635: TITLE II–Organization and Personnel of the Department of State (FY2016)
Part 3: S.1635: TITLE III – International Organizations (FY2016)
Part 4: S.1635: Title IV – Consular Authorities (FY2016)
Part 5: S.1635: Title V – Embassy Security (FY2016)

Related posts:

 

S.1635: Title V – Embassy Security (FY2016)

Posted: 5:47 pm PT
Updated: May 3, 10:12 pm PT
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S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016). Below is Part 5 of 6 extracted from thomas.gov congress.gov for easier reading (oh, joy, the links timeout!). See below on what’s included but read the bill via congressional record in PDF or as TEXT here as alternative sources.


Sec. 501. Worldwide security protection.

Sec. 502. Embassy security, construction and maintenance.


Sec. 511. Local guard contracts abroad under diplomatic security program.

Sec. 512. Disciplinary action resulting from unsatisfactory leadership in relation to a security incident.

Sec. 513. Management and staff accountability.

Sec. 514. Security enhancements for soft targets.


Sec. 521. Additional reports on expansion and enhancement of Marine Corps Security Guard Program.


Sec. 531. Designation and reporting for high threat, high risk posts.

Sec. 532. Designation and reporting for high-risk counterintelligence threat posts.

Sec. 533. Enhanced qualifications for Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for high threat, high risk posts.

Sec. 534. Security environment threat list briefings.

Sec. 535. Comptroller General of the United States report on implementation of Benghazi Accountability Review Board recommendations.

Sec. 536. Foreign Affairs Security Training Center.

Sec. 537. Language training.


Sec. 541. Provision of copies of accountability review board reports to Congress.

Sec. 542. Staffing.

 

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Related sections:

Part 1: S.1635: Title I – @StateDept Authorities and Activities (FY2016)
Part 2: S.1635: TITLE II–Organization and Personnel of the Department of State (FY2016)
Part 3: S.1635: TITLE III – International Organizations (FY2016)
Part IV: S.1635: Title IV – Consular Authorities (FY2016)

Related posts:

S.1635: Title IV – Consular Authorities (FY2016)

Posted: 5:41 pm PT
Updated: May 3, 10:07 pm PT
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S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016).  Below is Part 4 of 6 extracted from thomas.gov congress.gov for easier reading (oh, joy, the links timeout!). See below on what’s included but read the bill via congressional record in PDF or as TEXT here as alternative sources.


Sec. 401. Visa ineligibility for international child abductors.

Sec. 402. Presumption of immigrant intent for H and L visa classifications.

Sec. 403. Visa information sharing.

 

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Related sections:

Part 1: S.1635: Title I – @StateDept Authorities and Activities (FY2016)
Part 2: S.1635: TITLE II–Organization and Personnel of the Department of State (FY2016)
Part 3: S.1635: TITLE III – International Organizations (FY2016)

Related posts:

S.1635: TITLE III – International Organizations (FY2016)

Posted: 5:37 pm PT
Updated: May 3, 9:57 pm PT
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S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016).  Below is Part 3 of 6 extracted from thomas.gov for easier reading (oh, joy, the links timeout!). See below on what’s included but read the bill via congressional record in PDF or as TEXT here as alternative sources.


Sec. 301. Reports concerning the United Nations.

Sec. 302. Annual report on financial contributions to international organizations.

Sec. 303. Report on peacekeeping arrears, credits, and contributions.

Sec. 304. Assessment rate transparency.


Sec. 311. Preventing abuse in peacekeeping.

Sec. 312. Inclusion of peacekeeping abuses in country report on human rights practices.

Sec. 313. Evaluation of United Nations peacekeeping missions.


Sec. 321. Encouraging employment of United States citizens at the United Nations.

Sec. 322. Ensuring appropriate United Nations personnel salaries.

 

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Related sections:

Part 1: S.1635: Title I – @StateDept Authorities and Activities (FY2016)
Part 2: S.1635: TITLE II–Organization and Personnel of the Department of State (FY2016)

 

Related posts:

 

 

S.1635: TITLE II–Organization and Personnel of the Department of State (FY2016)

Posted: 5:31 pm PT
Updated: May 3, 9:57 pm PT
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S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016).  Below is Part 2 of 6 extracted from thomas.gov for easier reading (oh, joy, the links timeout!). See below on what’s included but read the bill via congressional record in PDF or as TEXT here as alternative sources.

 


Sec. 201. Rightsizing accountability.

Sec. 202. Integration of foreign economic policy.

Sec. 203. Review of Bureau of African Affairs and Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs jurisdictions.

Sec. 204. Special envoys, representatives, advisors, and coordinators.

Sec. 205. Conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution, and the inclusion and participation of women.

Sec. 206. Information technology system security.

Sec. 207. Analysis of embassy cost sharing.

Sec. 208. Parent advisory committee to the Interagency Working Group to Prevent International Parental Child Abduction.

Sec. 209. Improving research and evaluation of public diplomacy.

Sec. 210. Enhanced institutional capacity of the Bureau of African Affairs.


Sec. 211. Review of Foreign Service Officer compensation.

Sec. 212. Repeal of recertification requirement for senior Foreign Service.

Sec. 213. Compensatory time off for travel.

Sec. 214. Certificates of demonstrated competence.

Sec. 215. Foreign Service assignment restrictions.

Sec. 216. Security clearance suspensions.

Sec. 217. Economic statecraft education and training.

Sec. 218. Report on diversity recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion.

Sec. 219. Expansion of the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program, and the Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program.

Sec. 220. Retention of mid- and senior-level professionals from underrepresented groups.

Sec. 221. Review of jurisdictional responsibilities of the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

Sec. 222. Congressional notification of countries compliance with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Sec. 223. International religious freedom training program.
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Related sections:

Part 1: S.1635: Title I – @StateDept Authorities and Activities (FY2016)

 

Related posts:

 

 

 

S.1635: Title I – @StateDept Authorities and Activities (FY2016)

Posted: 5:27 pm PT
Updated: May 3, 9:57 pm PT
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S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016).  Below is Part 1 of 6 extracted from thomas.gov for easier reading (oh, joy, the links timeout!). See below on what’s included but read the bill via congressional record in PDF or as TEXT here as alternative sources.


Sec. 101. American spaces review.

Sec. 102. Identifying bilateral investment treaty opportunities.

Sec. 103. Reinstatement of Hong Kong report.

Sec. 104. Interagency hostage recovery coordinator.

Sec. 105. United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue review.

Sec. 106. Report on human rights violations in Burma.

Sec. 107. Combating anti-semitism.

Sec. 108. Biotechnology grants.

Sec. 109. Definition of “use” in passport and visa offenses.

Sec. 110. Science and technology fellowships.

Sec. 111. Name changes.

Sec. 112. Anti-piracy information sharing.

Sec. 113. Report reform.

Sec. 114. Sense of Congress on the United States alliance with Japan.

Sec. 115. Sense of Congress on the defense relationship between the United States and the Republic of India.

Sec. 116. Sense of Congress on the United States alliance with the Republic of Korea.

Sec. 117. Sense of Congress on the relationship between the United States and Taiwan.

Sec. 118. Report on political freedom in Venezuela.

Sec. 119. Strategy for the Middle East in the event of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.

Sec. 120. Department of State international cyberspace policy strategy.

Sec. 121. Waiver of fees for renewal of immigrant visa for adopted child in certain situations.

Sec. 122. Sense of Congress on anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement within the Palestinian Authority.

Sec. 123. Support for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and inviolability of post-Soviet countries in light of Russian aggression and interference.

Sec. 124. Russian propaganda report.

Sec. 125. Approval of export licences and letters of request to assist the Government of Ukraine.


Sec. 131. Atrocities prevention board.

Sec. 132. United States engagement in the Indo-Pacific.

Sec. 133. Joint action plan to combat prejudice and discrimination and to foster inclusion.

Sec. 134. Report on developing country debt sustainability.

Sec. 135. United States strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally.

Sec. 136. International corruption and accountability.

Sec. 137. Quadrennial diplomacy and development review.

Sec. 138. Disappeared persons in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

Sec. 139. Report on implementation by the Government of Bahrain of recommendations from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

Sec. 140. Report on United States humanitarian assistance to Haiti and whether recent elections in Haiti meet international election standards.

Sec. 141. Sense of Congress with respect to the imposition of additional sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016

Posted: 5:06 pm PT
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Our source on the Hill says a lot of folks missed in the excitement of Roberta Jacobson’s confirmation that the Senate also voted on the FY2016 State Department authorization bill.  We were told that a lot of folks were surprised to see the FY16 bill revived this late (yours truly included) in the fiscal year but that it was wrapped up in the deal that resulted in Rubio lifting his hold on Jacobson.

We actually did look up the FY2016 bill last night on congress.gov but it did not show the latest action when we blogged about the authorization bills. In any case, yes, S.1635 – Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 also passed the Senate with amendments by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016.  The topics under the related posts below remain in the FY2016 authorization bill. The FY2017 authorization bill that the SFRC passed yesterday is currently pending in the Senate.

Read below (please scroll) or click here from the Congressional Record.

Related posts:

 

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Missing From the AFSA Memorial Plaque: John Brown Williams, First American Consul to Fiji (1810-1860)

Posted: 2:07 am ET
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On January 28, Judith Cefkin, our Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu tweeted this:

We were curious and a quick look online indicates that John Brown Williams died of dysentery on 19 June 1860. But there’s more.

Below is from The Life of John Brown Williams’, ‘The New Zealand journal, 1842-1844 of John B. Williams of Salem, Massachussetts’ an interesting read from the Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum via the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection:

John B. Williams’s combination of commercial and consular activity dates from his appointment on 10 March 1842 by President Tyler to be United States consul at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Less than a month later he wrote Daniel Webster, the Secretary of State, posting a bond and declaring his intention to sail on the brig Gambia of Salem from that city about 20 July 1842. His departure apparently was somewhat delayed for he wrote to his brother Henry L. Williams of his arrival at the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on 25 December 1842 after 137 days at sea.

Even then, there were staffing issues!

Williams returned to Auckland in late June 1846 to prepare his semiannual report, only to find that he had been wrongly accused of aiding the Maoris in their attack upon the settlers at the Bay of Islands in 1844. A letter from the State Department of 12 December 1845 requested information on a query from the Foreign Office in London which, in turn, quoted a report from the Governor of New Zealand that the United States consul at the Bay of Islands had encouraged the natives to attack the colonists and during the uprising had sold them powder and bullets. The State Department indicated that, if the charge were true, Williams was in serious trouble. This letter, addressed to Williams, was acknowledged by Joel Polack who had been appointed by Williams to succeed Breed as vice consul at Auckland. Polack indicated that the consul was daily expected from Fiji and that a reply would be forthcoming. On 23 June, Williams not having appeared, Polack wrote a long and circumstantial report to Secretary Buchanan completely clearing Williams. The report showed that Williams was not in New Zealand during the Maori uprising, having left for the United States on 12 February 1844; his return was easily proved by his presence on Falco wrecked in Hawkes Bay on 27 July 1845. Polack pointed out that since the consulate had been moved to Auckland Williams had had difficulty in obtaining satisfactory vice consuls for the Bay of Islands.

Fijian history also notes the burning of Mr. Williams house in 1849:

Fijian society was highly stratified. Allegiances to clans and chiefs were complicated, and warfare, including cannibalism, was common as leaders competed for control of the islands.  […] Cakobau, a Fijian chief from the small island of Bau off Viti Levu, gained control of most of western Fiji. In 1849 the home of John Brown Williams, the American consul at Levuka, was burned and looted during a celebration. Williams held Cakobau responsible and ordered payment for damages. Other incidents followed and to pay the debts, Cakobau sold Suva to an Australian company in 1868. More Europeans arrived and many purchased land from the Fijians to begin plantations. Local disorder prompted the Europeans at Levuka to organize a national government in 1871. They named Cakobau king of Fiji. The disorder continued, however, and in 1874 Cakobau and other chiefs requested British annexation. The colony’s first capital was Levuka. It was moved to Suva in the 1870s. Suva became a main port of call between the west coast of the United States and Australia and New Zealand. It also became the headquarters of the British empire in the Pacific Islands.

Mr. Williams does not appear on the AFSA Memorial Plaque. Perhaps one of you can help get his name up on that plaque?

 

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US Embassy Burma: Amb Marciel Presents Credentials, Monks Protest Use of Word #Rohingya

Posted:1:52 am ET
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Meanwhile — local monks protested at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon for its use of the word “Rohingya” in its statement (PDF) about the events in Rakhine State:

The U.S. Embassy is deeply concerned about recent events in Rakhine State. We were saddened by the news about those who tragically lost their lives after a boat capsized near Thae Chaung in Sittwe Township on April 19 and we extend our condolences to the families of the victims, who local reports state were from the Rohingya community. Restrictions on access to markets, livelihoods, and other basic services in Rakhine State can lead to communities unnecessarily risking their lives in an attempt to improve their quality of life.

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