Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for North America

Newsline: 3-Month-Old Questioned By US Embassy in London Over ‘Terror Ties’

A 3-month-old was ‘questioned’ by officials at the American embassy in London after his grandfather accidentally described him as a terrorist in a US visa form. Harvey Kenyon-Cairns was all set to fly to Florida for his first holiday with his family when he was summoned to the United States embassy. According to The Guardian, the baby’s grandfather, Paul Kenyon, quickly realised he had made a mistake while filling out a visa form on his behalf that led to the bizarre situation. The Daily Mail reports that when filling out the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) immigration forms needed to enter the US, Mr Kenyon accidentally ticked ‘Yes’ instead of ‘No’ in response to the following question: “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” The family was forced to make a 10-hour round-trip journey from their home in Poynton, Cheshire, to the US embassy in London so officials could interview young Harvey. “I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a three-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” his grandfather told The Guardian. “I went down with him and his mum and took him in for the interview, but he can’t even speak as he’s so young,” the Daily Mail quoted Mr Kenyon saying. “Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,” said Mr Kenyon. “They didn’t appear to have a sense of humour over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side. The mix-up led to baby Harvey, his mother and her partner missing their flights to the US. Mr Kenyon said they paid an additional 3,000 pounds to re-book the airline tickets. The 62-year-old described the incident as a “very expensive mistake.” The US embassy in London is yet to comment on the incident.

http://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/us-embassy-questions-british-baby-over-terrorism-ties-1682201

Newsline: US diplomat says no Syria peace with Assad

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in an interview that she sees regime change in Syria as one of the Trump administration’s priorities in the country wrecked by civil war. “Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency, Russian Federation has stood beside him”, Haley told the council. Moscow has sought to deflect blame from its long-time ally Assad over the incident and says Syrian jets struck a rebel arms depot where “toxic substances” were being put inside bombs.

http://pppfocus.com/2017/04/15/top-us-diplomat-nikki-haley-says-no-syria-peace-with-assad/

Newsline: British and US embassies targeted in Nigeria’s terror plot

Terror group Boko Haram had aimed to attack the UK ans US embassies in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja. Nigerian security forces revealed the prevented the ISIS-linked militants from carrying out deadly assaults on the foreign offices. The Department of State Services said five suspects have now been arrested over the plot. DSS official Tony Opuiyo said the alleged Boko Haram members were based in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory between March 25 and 26. He said in a statement: “The group had perfected plans to attack the UK and American Embassies and other western interests in Abuja.”

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/604973/british-us-embassy-abuja-nigeria-terror-attack-boko-haram-prevented-lagos

Newsline: US Ambassador to UN says United States prepared to do more in Syria

The United States warned on Friday it is ready to hit Syria again after a missile strike that infuriated Moscow and fueled calls for a push to end the six-year war. US Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered the warning at an emergency session of the UN Security Council called after the US strikes, which were launched to punish an alleged chemical weapons attack by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Assad’s ally Russia, meanwhile, declared President Donald Trump’s first strike against the Damascus regime a violation of international law and an “act of aggression.” “The United States took a very measured step last night,” Haley told the council. “We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary.” Rights monitors warned, however, that Syrian jets were already flying sorties from the base again as night fell Friday.

http://www.timesnow.tv/international/article/united-states-prepared-to-do-more-in-syria-says-us-ambassador-to-un/58951

Newsline: US Embassy In Afghanistan Fires 6 Over Drug Infractions

Six people working at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, have been fired for using or possessing illegal drugs. A State Department official says the firings followed an investigation into allegations of misconduct. The official says those who were embassy employees have been fired and others who were contractors for the embassy have been removed from the contract. The official is declining to provide details about what led to the investigation. But the infractions are particularly troubling given the yearslong effort by the U.S. to address the narcotics trade in Afghanistan. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss personnel situations publicly and requested anonymity.

http://www.dailyjournal.net/2017/03/29/us-united-states-afghanistan-drugs/

Newsline: US ambassador to UN calls Congo government ‘corrupt’

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday said the U.N. is partnering with a “corrupt” government in Congo, and she supports a large cut in the world’s largest peacekeeping mission there. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.N. mission in Congo “is aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people.” Her comments came a day after Congo said the bodies of an American and a Swedish investigator for the U.N. and a Congolese colleague were found Monday in a shallow grave in a region that has seen months of deadly violence between government troops and local militias. Congo says it will investigate.

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ap_news/international/us-ambassador-to-un-calls-congo-government-corrupt/article_51d65389-3330-5b78-9b2f-46e8e6aa62d6.html

Newsline: US Ambassador leads boycott of UN talks to ban nuclear weapons

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced Monday that the United States and almost 40 other nations would not participate in the first-ever talks on an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Flanked by ambassadors from about 20 nations, including nuclear powers United Kingdom and France, Haley couched the decision not to attend the talks, which began Monday, in personal terms. As a mom and daughter, “there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons,” the former South Carolina governor said. “But we have to be realistic.” “Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?” Haley asked. President Barack Obama’s administration also opposed the talks, which the General Assembly voted to approve in December, and nuclear powers Russia and China also are not taking part. United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said his country also would not attend the talks because “we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/27/politics/un-nuclear-ban-boycott/