On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO. This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

On Friday, President Donald J. Trump hosted an event to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic American leaders on the State Floor of the White House. More than 200 Hispanic business, community, and faith leaders from across the country gathered at the White House to hear remarks from President Trump, Secretary Alex Acosta of the Department of Labor, and Treasurer Jovita Carranza from the Department of Treasury.

Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual observance held from September 15th through October 15th. The month begins on September 15th, commemorating the independence days of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica followed by Mexico on September 16th. Hispanic Heritage Month invites all Americans to honor the contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to the United States and the Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enhanced our Nation.

On October 3, the Department of State informed the Government of Cuba that it was ordering the departure of 15 of its officials from its embassy in Washington, D.C. The decision was made due to Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention. This order will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations.

Nathan A. Sales
Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Bipartisan Policy Center Conference
Washington, DC

As Prepared

I’d like to thank Governor Kean and Congressman Hamilton for inviting me to speak—and, more importantly, for their leadership of the 9/11 Commission. The 9/11 Commission drove the nation’s debate about how to respond to that dark day in our history, and it also served as a voice for the families of the victims. Governor, Congressman: Thank you for your vital work, which continues to play a central role in how we understand the terrorist threat and how we respond to it.

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Sept. 06, 2017) Sailors assigned to the air department aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) prepare to refuel an AH-1Z Viper (USMC), assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (reinforced) on the ship’s flight deck during Alligator Dagger exercise. San Diego is part of the America Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is in to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners, and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin A. Schoenberger/Released)

By Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Arnold, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade TF 51/5

DJIBOUTI — “An ARG/MEU brings an incredible amount of flexibility to the fight,” said Cmdr. Tom Sandoval, deputy operations director for Naval Amphibious Forces, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5). “Whether it be at sea or ashore, our ‘jack-of-all-trades’ team is capable of conducting missions ranging from airborne mine countermeasures, counter-piracy and maritime security operations to humanitarian aid/disaster relief missions in the world’s most volatile regions.”

Coast Guard aircrews conduct flyovers to assess the ports of Houston, Texas City, Freeport and Galveston, Aug. 31, 2017. These port assessments are conducted in order to identify any damaged Coast Guard regulated port facility, potential oil spills or chemical release and any navigational obstruction along the ports. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Kelley/Released)   more...
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