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U.S. pulls diplomatic staff from Lahore, Pakistan consulate over ‘threats’

The United States has evacuated all non-emergency staff from its consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore, citing “specific threats” amid a worldwide alert over Al-Qaeda intercepts. The US State Department also reiterated a longstanding warning to US citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Pakistan, in a statement issued…

Clinton in Saudi push to end crackdown in Syria

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was holding talks in Riyadh Friday with Saudi leaders as she kicked off a two-country tour aimed at raising pressure on the Syrian regime, the US embassy here said. “Mrs Clinton has arrived in Riyadh for talks with senior Saudi officials,” an embassy spokesman said. The US…

U.S. sees Vatican as potential money laundering hub

WASHINGTON — The US State Department for the first time listed the Vatican as potentially vulnerable to money laundering, along with 67 other countries. The department’s annual International Narcotics Control Strategy report listed the Vatican as a “jurisdiction of concern” along with countries like Albania, the Czech Republic, Egypt, South…

State Department to hold first Twitter briefing in Spanish

WASHINGTON — The US State Department said Tuesday it will hold its first Twitter briefing in Spanish, as part of its policy of using new social media to reach out to the international community. Hosting the briefing at 2 pm Thursday in Washington, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public…

State Department explains foreign policy to Twitter followers

The US State Department on Friday launched a new high-tech form of outreach to the international community when it took questions on foreign policy from Twitter followers in different languages. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland answered a number of tweets from followers in English as well as those arriving in…

U.S. urges ‘responsible’ handover of Afghan prison

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday the transfer of a US military prison to Afghan control should be handled in a “responsible” way, after Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered that the handover take place in a month. “We have been working… for some time with the Afghan government on…

Next Israel-Palestinian talks on Monday

WASHINGTON — The next direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians will take place in Jordan on Monday, the US State Department said. “The next meeting is now on Monday the 9th,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Thursday, confirming they will take place in the Jordanian capital Amman,…

Congress frees up $40 million for Palestinians

WASHINGTON — The US State Department said Congress has released $40 million in aid to the Palestinians, part of the nearly $200 million that was frozen over their bid for full UN recognition. “We have been working with Congress for some time, because we don’t think it’s in US national…

Three Americans arrested amid Egypt protests

WASHINGTON — Three Americans have been arrested in Egypt in connection with the anti-military rallies that have rocked the country in recent days, the US State Department said Tuesday. When asked if the three US nationals were believed to be safe, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the government had “no…

U.S. worried sources at risk after WikiLeaks dump

WASHINGTON — The United States on Tuesday voiced renewed concern over the risks to individuals after the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks made public more US diplomatic cables, many of which contained the names of sensitive sources. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland would not confirm the authenticity of the latest documents, but…

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