Secretary of “Deep State Department” Michael R. Pompeo Performs During COVID-19 WH Briefing. Please Clap.

 

 

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Trump Announces Travel Ban For Travelers From Schengen Area (26 European Countries) Over COVID-19

Via WH:
“The World Health Organization has determined that multiple countries within the Schengen Area are experiencing sustained person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2.¬† For purposes of this proclamation, the Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. ¬†The Schengen Area currently has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of the People‚Äôs Republic of China. ¬†As of March 11, 2020, the number of cases in the 26 Schengen Area countries is 17,442, with 711 deaths, and shows high continuous growth in infection rates. ¬†In total, as of March 9, 2020, the Schengen Area has exported 201 COVID-19 cases to 53 countries.¬† Moreover, the free flow of people between the Schengen Area countries makes the task of managing the spread of the virus difficult.”
This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.  This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.
The travel restriction is for “The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited subject to section 2 of this proclamation.”
Click here for the scope of suspension and long list of  limitations of entry.

Ousted WH Official Mick Mulvaney Gets a New Gig as Special Envoy to Northern Ireland

 

On March 11, 2020, the State Department released a statement on the appointment of former White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney as the new Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, a position first created under the Clinton Administration in 1995. Apparently, the formal title is Special Envoy of the President and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.  This is the top U.S. diplomat supporting the Northern Ireland peace process.
Mulvaney’s predecessors¬† include former U.S. Senator and former Majority Leader of the United States Senate George Mitchell, former S/P Richard Haass, former S/P Mitchell Reiss, former ¬†Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs¬† Paula Dobriansky, and businessman Declan Kelly appointed as economic envoy to Northern Ireland by US Secretary of State¬†Hillary Clinton.¬†¬†There were two long stretches where no one was appointed to this job; from 2011-2014 and again from 2017-2020.
The most recent appointee to this position was former Colorado Senator Gary Hart who was appointed during the Obama Administration and served from 2014-2017.  Special envoy positions do not require Senate confirmations.  Some special envoys have offices in Foggy Bottom but we have not been able to find a listing for the Office of the Special Envoy to Northern Ireland in the State Department directory. Any guesses on where they will put his desk?

US Embassy Israel: Enhanced Screening and Quarantine For U.S. Citizens, and Other Foreign Travelers

On March 10, 2020, the US Embassy in Israel issued a Health Alert noting that effective Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 20:00 (Israel time) foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, arriving from any country will be required to remain in home quarantine until 14 days have passed since the date of entry into Israel.  It notes further that travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice:

Location:  Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

Event:‚ÄĮ The Government of Israel¬†has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures for travelers arriving to Israel to reduce the spread of COVID-19.¬† Effective Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 20:00 (Israel time), foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, from locations in the United States and all other countries aside from those listed below will be required to remain in home quarantine until 14 days have passed since the date of‚ÄĮentry; non-Israeli residents will be required to prove they have the means to self-quarantine to be admitted into Israel.¬† This restriction is immediate for Israeli citizens and residents.¬† Hotels may refuse to honor reservations for individuals in quarantine.¬† Transportation options from the airport to any location may be limited.¬† Restrictions are continually being updated by the Government of Israel.

The Israeli Population and Immigration Authority will deny entry to any person who is not an Israeli resident or citizen who has traveled in the last 14 days to:

    • China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon (applies to connecting flights in these locations)
    • Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, San Marino, Andorra, and Egypt‚ÄĮ(does not apply to connecting flights in these locations if you did not leave the airport)
    • Any traveler in the last 14 days who attended any gatherings of more than 100 people or an international conference.

In addition, on March 9, 2020, the Israeli Ministry of Health instructed anyone who has visited the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala or Beit Sahour in the last 14 days to enter home quarantine according to the Israeli Ministry of Health’s instructions.  This does not include those who have transited through those areas without stopping.

Visit the Israeli Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website for updated information and self-quarantine instructions in Israel.  Visit the website of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health (available only in Arabic) for additional information on measures in the West Bank:  http://site.moh.ps/index/ArticleView/ArticleId/4839/Language/ar

Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.¬† Travelers may be subjected to screening at airports or ports of entry.‚ÄĮ Flights into or out of Israel may be cancelled with little or no advance notice.

 

US-Taliban Inks Deal, Afghanistan Bolts Over Prisoners Release, Taliban Attacks Resume #72Hours

 

 

NOTE: Right hand photo below is posted on state.gov’s Flickr account here but Taliban negotiator Stanikzai was not identified. Caption only says “Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo participates in a signing ceremony in Doha, Qatar, on February 29, 2020. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]”.

 

Certificate of Demonstrated Competence: Henry T. Wooster (Nominee For Jordan)

 

Via state.gov

Wooster, Henry R. – Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – January 2020

SUBJECT: ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ambassadorial Nomination:¬† Certificate of¬†Demonstrated Competence ‚ÄĒ Foreign Service¬†Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST:                  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

CANDIDATE:     Henry T. Wooster

Henry Wooster is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, who is currently serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Maghreb and Egypt in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  Previously, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, Paris, France, and the Deputy Chief of Mission, and then Charge d’Affaires, at the U.S. Embassy, Amman, Jordan.  He also served as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy, Islamabad Pakistan, Director for Central Asia, at the National Security Council, Washington D.C.  Earlier, and as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commanding General, U.S. Joint Special Operations Command.   His demonstrated record of leadership, his keen understanding of Jordan, and his broad grasp of our national security interests in the region makes him an excellent candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Jordan.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Wooster was the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iran in the State Department‚Äôs Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; and as the Director of the Office of Iranian Affairs in the State Department. ¬†¬†His other assignments include service as Deputy Director of the Office of Provincial Affairs, Embassy Baghdad, as a political officer in Russia, and as executive officer and then as political officer at the U.S. Mission to NATO.¬† In the State Department headquarters in Washington he served first as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and then to the Deputy Secretary of State.¬† He also worked in the Office of Iranian Affairs and the Office of Russian Affairs.¬† Mr. Wooster served as an Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1985 ‚Äď 2009,

Mr. Wooster earned a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from Yale University.  He is the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, numerous State Department awards and  awards for his military service.  He speaks French and Russian and has a working knowledge of Arabic, Farsi, and Syriac/Aramaic.

Trump Installs U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence #triplehatted

 

Certificate of Demonstrated Competence: William Ellison Grayson, Nominee For Republic of Estonia

 

Via state.gov

Grayson, William Ellison – Republic of Estonia – February 2020

SUBJECT: ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ambassadorial Nomination:¬† Certificate of Demonstrated Competence ‚ÄĒ Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST:                   Republic of Estonia

CANDIDATE:     William Ellison Grayson

William E. ‚ÄúBill‚ÄĚ Grayson is a senior financial services executive, lawyer, and public servant.¬† He is currently the National Director ‚Äď Family Offices of Bernstein Private Wealth Management in San Francisco, California.¬† He has more than two decades of experience in investment, marketing and management positions in large global investment firms and as president of a SEC registered investment adviser.¬† Mr. Grayson also has a long record of public service.¬† He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to be the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Army where he oversaw the Army‚Äôs 2,700 lawyers.¬† President George W. Bush appointed him as a Commissioner on the President‚Äôs Commission on White House Fellowships and then nominated him to the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board.¬† During the Obama Administration he served as a Regional Panelist for the White House Fellows Commission.¬† He was appointed by President Donald Trump to the Presidio Trust Board of Directors in San Francisco, and was elected Board Chair by his fellow directors.¬†¬† Mr. Grayson‚Äôs considerable leadership experience, and familiarity with public policy, finance, defense, and the e-government and technology initiatives so important in Estonia, make him an excellent candidate to serve as Ambassador to that nation.

Mr. Grayson has served on numerous boards of trustees and investment committees, including UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.

Mr. Grayson received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his J.D. degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  He is the recipient of the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the Secretary of the Army.

The Philippines Sends USG Notice of Military-Pact Termination #VFA #180days

 

Via Rappler (Philippines):

On Monday night, February 10, Duterte launched a fresh round of verbal tirades against the US saying while top officials, including President Donald Trump, were trying to salvage the VFA, he was bent on having it terminated. (EXPLAINER: Visiting Forces Agreement)

Duterte¬†first broached his plan¬†to terminate the VFA on January 23, after the¬†US canceled the visa of Senator Ronald dela Rosa. Dela Rosa is¬†Duterte’s first Philippine National Police chief known as the architect behind the government’s bloody anti-drug campaign.

The President later said he was serious about his decision, adding his choice to do so was anchored on US lawmakers’ moves to impose travel and financial restrictions on Philippine officials linked to the detention of opposition Senator Leila de Lima and alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) under the Duterte administration. (READ:¬†Why the Global Magnitsky Act matters to the Philippines)