Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for July 26, 2013

Newsline: U.S., British embassies say citizens amongst injured in Spanish train disaster

U.S. and British citizens are amongst the people injured in the derailment of a train in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, the U.S. and British embassies in Madrid said. “We are currently gathering information about the accident and are in touch with families of some injured American Citizens,” said U.S. Charge d’Affaires a.i. Luis G. Moreno in a written statement posted on the U.S. embassy website. A spokesman for the British embassy said he was aware of one British national being injured. He declined to give further details on the injured Briton’s condition.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/25/spain-train-us-idUSL6N0FV32K20130725

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Commentaries: Security at U.S. Embassy in Kabul in disarray, diplomats at risk

U.S. diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan have serious security lapses that pose “unnecessary risk to staff,” including poor emergency preparedness and inadequate protections that might allow classified materials to fall into the hands of attacking enemies, according to an internal report that raises fresh questions about the State Department’s commitment to safety in the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedy. The confidential State Department inspector general’s report, obtained by The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act, directly criticizes the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security for failing to perform a physical inspection before approving the security plan for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, which was the target of a brash attack by Taliban insurgents two years ago. When IG investigators inspected the embassy in Kabul, they found inadequate emergency shelters, food, water rations, medical supplies and backup communication equipment that would be essential to repel or survive an attack, according to the report, which was released to The Times partly redacted for security reasons. Similar inspections elsewhere found the U.S. diplomatic post in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat lacked an emergency action plan instructing employees on how to respond to an attack and that a Provincial Reconstruction Team outpost in Qala-e-Naw lacked an agreement with allied forces to provide a military response in case of attack.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/25/crisis-in-kabul-security-at-us-embassy-in-disarray/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

Newsline: Kazakhstan’s embassy refuse visas for opposing nation side’s star players

There appeared to be something extremely fishy about the Europa League qualification tie between Norwegian club IL Hodd and Kazakhstan’s FC Aktobe. Hodd, taking a 1-0 first-leg advantage into the return fixture, arrived in Kazakhstan without two of their best players after their visa applications were rejected. The absence of Akeem Latifu and Sivert Heltne Nilsen from Thursday’s second-leg was as telling as it was convenient: Aktobe turned the tie around with a 2-0 home win to advance 2-1 on aggregate. Making the whole thing even barmier are reports which suggest the visa refusals – which came with no explanation whatsoever from the Kazakh embassy – are perhaps retaliation for a similar instance in the first leg, when two key Aktobe players were denied access to Norway.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/pitchside-europe/embassy-refuse-visas-opposing-nation-side-star-players-195514435.html