The free Embassy newsletter, the Eagle Express, is published weekly.
December 21, 2018
The U.S. Embassy wishes you all a happy festive season and a good new year!
In anticipation of Christmas, First Lady Melania Trump decorated the White House with “American treasures” showcasing America’s heritage.
Last week, National Security Advisor John Bolton unveiled the United States’ new Africa strategy in a speech in Washington, D.C. The new approach will strengthen “independence, self-reliance and growth” and allow African nations to “remain independent in fact and not just in theory,” Bolton said.
The United States is also standing with our UK ally to ramp up pressure on Iran. Recently, American officials underscored the escalating threat of Iranian ballistic missiles, which are evidence of “state-sponsored, revolutionary terrorism.” Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, urged Iran to cease testing and proliferating missiles, a message echoed by Secretary of State Mike R. Pompeo at the United Nations Security Council.
December 14, 2018
In the United Nations Security Council in New York, Secretary of State Mike R. Pompeo underscored the United States’ determination to address Iran’s threat to international peace and security through their continued development and proliferation of ballistic missiles. Secretary Pompeo thanked the United Kingdom, France, and Germany for joining the U.S. in raising concerns about the Iranian regime’s activities.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue celebrated the opening of Morocco’s market for U.S. beef and beef products under the terms of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA). “American beef is the best in the world, and once Moroccans get a taste of it, they’ll surely want more,” Secretary Perdue said.
Finally, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned three North Korean officials for their regime’s ongoing and serious human rights abuses and censorship. “These sanctions demonstrate the United States’ ongoing support for freedom of expression, and opposition to endemic censorship and human rights abuses,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
December 07, 2018
George Herbert Walker Bush, who served as the 41st president of the United States, died on November 30 at the age of 94 after a long and distinguished career in the service of his country. The nation paid its respects to President Bush on December 5 in a memorial service in Washington, D.C.
Secretary of State Mike R. Pompeo set out the United States’ vision to remake the international order to serve the interests of the citizens of the U.S. and its allies, at a major speech at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo declared that “America intends to lead.”
President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires. The trade deal, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), “changes the trade landscape forever,” President Trump said.
November 30, 2018
America is ready to get straight to work on an ambitious trade deal between the United States and the United Kingdom. That was Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson’s message to the British people in an Op-Ed this week in The Times of London. Ambassador Johnson confirmed that the Trump Administration has notified the U.S. Congress of its intention to start negotiating as soon as possible. “If we seem enthusiastic, it’s because we are,” the Ambassador said.
Meanwhile, the United States will commemorate 15 years of saving lives through the U.S. global AIDS relief initiative on World AIDS Day on December 1. Initially created to provide lifesaving services in countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, the initiative is now active in 60 countries worldwide.
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis concluded that “Russia cannot be counted on to keep its word” after it seized three Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov and blocking the Kerch Strait off the Crimean Peninsula in contravention of signed treaties and the Law of the Sea.
In Washington, Secretary of State Mike R. Pompeo said “degrading U.S.-Saudi ties would be a grave mistake for the national security of the U.S. and its allies.” Secretary Pompeo highlighted the kingdom as a powerful force for stability in the Middle East.
Finally, Ambassador Johnson and Embassy staff enjoyed a delicious local treat – Eccles cakes from Lancashire in honor of Lancashire Day! Check out our video in our Post of the Week.
Edition of November 23, 2018
Treasury Designates Illicit Russia-Iran Oil Network Supporting the Assad Regime, Hizballah, and HAMAS | Fifth Meeting of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group | NASA Plans to Go to the Moon and Beyond | Boosting Harvests
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced sanctions against nine targets in an international network through which the Iranian regime, together with Russian companies, provides millions of barrels of oil to the Syrian government. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States is “committed to imposing a financial toll on Iran, Russia, and others for their efforts to solidify Assad’s authoritarian rule, as well as disrupt the Iranian regime’s funding of terrorist organizations.”
Earlier this month, the fifth meeting of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group and the third meeting of the U.S.-UK Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Dialogue took place.
NASA released an inspiring video setting out its goal to return to the Moon “to stay” and prepare “to go beyond.” NASA made clear that “after 60 years, we’re just getting started.”
Finally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture welcomed participants to a two-week horticulture training course at Ohio State University as part of its Cochran Fellowship Program. The program, names after former Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, shares U.S. agricultural expertise with farmers around the world and has trained more than 18,000 agricultural professionals in over 126 countries.
Edition of November 16, 2018
Last week’s midterm elections saw history-making firsts across the United States: a record-setting number of women elected to Congress, including its first female Native Americans and Muslims.
As President Trump has made clear, Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and the international community must exert maximum pressure on the regime to change its malign behavior. This week, Nathan Sales, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism, announced new measures that the U.S. Government is taking to counter Iran’s global terrorism.
Time to invest in the U.S.! Thanks to its vibrant entrepreneurial culture and capacity for innovation, the United States was named the world’s most competitive economy for the first time in a decade by the World Economic Forum.
Americans love Thanksgiving and all of the food that goes along with it. U.S. farmers and ranchers provide the building blocks we need to make all of those pumpkin spice lattes and traditional foods. Our deepest thanks and gratitude to the over 3.2 million American farm and ranch families, who work hard to bring us safe and delicious food every day.
Edition of November 09, 2018
The United States enacted the “toughest sanctions ever” on Iran on November 5. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that this will “stop Iran from having the wealth and money that they need to continue to foment terror around the world.”
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a joint effort by the United States and 12 other nations at the World Trade Organization to support policies enabling agricultural innovation. Secretary Perdue made it clear that “such technologies too often face regulatory roadblocks that are based on misinformation and political posturing” instead of a science-based approach.
Trident Juncture, the largest military exercise of its kind since the end of the Cold War, ended on November 7. The United States lead NATO allies and partners in a test of operational readiness that involved 65 ships, 250 aircraft, 10,000 vehicles, and 50,000 military personnel from 31 countries.
Edition of November 02, 2018
Secretary Pompeo: Ending the Conflict in Yemen | Department of Justice Charges Chinese Hackers for Conspiracy to Steal Commercial Secrets | Secretary Mattis Shares Threat Pictures Behind New National Defense Strategy
The United States calls on all parties to support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen based on the agreed references.
The time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.
Substantive consultations under the UN Special Envoy must commence this November in a third country to implement confidence-building measures to address the underlying issues of the conflict, the demilitarization of borders, and the concentration of all large weapons under international observation.
A cessation of hostilities and vigorous resumption of a political track will help ease the humanitarian crisis as well.
It is time to end this conflict, replace conflict with compromise, and allow the Yemeni people to heal through peace and reconstruction.
In May 2018, President Donald J. Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran for its malign conduct. The administration gave businesses around the world time to wind down their business in the country. As of midnight November 4, business must stop buying Iranian oil or be barred from doing business in the United States. The clock is ticking!
To help the victims left homeless by the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia on September 28, the United States is sending an additional $3 million in aid. That raises U.S. contributions to nearly $11 million, including $6.7 through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which has also dispatched disaster assistance teams to the region.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the signing of the Winning on Reducing Food Waste initiative. The initiative aims at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies attempting to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.
Edition of October 19, 2018
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress this week that the United States intends to start official trade negotiations with Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Lighthizer said that the United States will continue to expand U.S. trade and investment and deliver “substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted the Counter Violent Extremist Organizations Chiefs of Defense Conference at Joint Base Andrews. Representatives from 83 countries, as well as the U.S. combatant commanders and commanders of counterterrorism operations around the world, attended the conference.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed that the “U.S.-Israel relationship is stronger today than it has ever been” and declared the country a model for the entire region. Secretary Pompeo made clear that the United States is “making a truly historic push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Edition of October 12, 2018
U.S. Navy Admiral James Foggo, the commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command based in Italy, will command NATO’s upcoming Exercise Trident Juncture in Norway. Adm. Foggo said in a briefing at the Pentagon that the alliance will demonstrate its capabilities in its largest exercise since 2002. 45,000 personnel from 29 NATO countries will participate.
The United States Department of Agriculture announced a $181 million investment in 88 projects to build community infrastructure and facilities in 27 states. Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett said that infrastructure “is a foundation for quality of life and economic opportunity in small towns across.”
Finally, the State Department is supporting efforts to restore cultural sites in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Sri Lanka. Knox Thames, State Department Special Adviser for Religious Minorities, said the United States appreciates “the contributions of other cultures and other civilizations to world history.”
Edition of October 05, 2018
The United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed on a landmark trade deal that will benefit American farmers and workers and make trade between the three nations fairer. President Donald J. Trump hailed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) “historic news for our nation and indeed for the world.”
In Europe, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met French President Emmanuel Macron and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly to reaffirm the long-standing defense relationship of both countries. Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said Secretary Mattis thanked France for their leadership and contributions in the fight against terrorism in the Levant and Sahel and reaffirmed that “both nations agreed NATO remains the cornerstone of European military security.”
Finally, the United States indicted seven officers of Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU for international hacking and related influence and disinformation operations. The charges were announced at a press conference by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John D. Demers, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W. Brady, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Cyber Division, Eric Welling, and Director General Mark Flynn for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Edition of September 28, 2018
In New York, President Donald J. Trump addressed the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He told delegates that the United States will seek “peace without fear, hope without despair, and security without apology.”
In his speech, President Trump highlighted that he believes “strongly in energy security for ourselves and for our allies.” The United States have become the largest energy producer in the world, with American crude oil production surpassing Russia in the first time for two decades. The United States therefore “stands ready to export our abundant, affordable supply of oil, clean coal, and natural gas,” the President said in New York.
In other news, NASA is turning its eyes again to the age-old question whether humanity is alone in the universe. Beyond simply for biosignatures, NASA is exploring ways to locate “technosignatures,”which would allow scientists to infer whether life advanced enough to create technology exists beyond our solar system.
President Trump Strengthens National Biodefense | Protecting Elections Against Foreign Interference | USAID Helps Build Stronger Democratic Societies in Eastern Europe
President Donald J. Trump announced a new direction for the defense against biological threats. The newly released National Biodefense Strategy, together with a National Security Presidential Memorandum, will provide the new basis for protecting Americans effectively and efficiently.
President Trump has also made clear that the United States will not tolerate interference in its elections. Executive order 13848 imposes mandatory sanctions on foreign governments and individuals who interfere in U.S. elections and provide disinformation in the media and online.
At the same time, supporting a strong and vibrant civil society has been at the heart of USAID’s work in Eastern Europe and Eurasia for more than 25 years. Erin McCarthy takes a look at USAID’s transformative efforts in Ukraine, Georgia, and Serbia.
Edition of September 14, 2018
On Tuesday, the world commemorated the 17th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In New York City, rural Pennsylvania, and in Virginia, three memorials are especially poignant reminders of the lives lost that day.
Stephen Biegun, the newly appointed U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, travels to South Korea, China, and Japan fromSeptember 10 to September 15 to meet his counterparts and advance diplomatic efforts to achieve the “final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.”
NASA is pressing ahead on Gateway, the agency’s lunar outpost that will support human an robotic exploration operations in deep space, including Mars. NASA is seeking a partnership with private partners to develop components for Gateway.
Edition of September 07, 2018
U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Canada Issue Joint Statement in Response to Salisbury Attack | Ambassador Haley Outlines U.S. Priorities for Security Council Presidency | U.S. and India Strengthen Relationship
The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada issued a joint statement condemning the Salisbury attack. UK investigators concluded that members of the Russian military intelligence service carried out the attack using a chemical nerve agent.
In a press conference in New York City, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made it clear that the United States will focus on UN Security Council reform during its presidency in September.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi to discuss the strategic partnership between the United States and India.
USAID’s Megan Hill had the opportunity to review the effectiveness of conservation enterprises, which provide income for the local population and protect the environment at the same time.
Edition of August 31, 2018
The Embassy’s flag is flying at half-staff this week to honor the life of Senator John S. McCain, who passed away August 25 after battling brain cancer. In the words of U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, “we have lost a man who steadfastly represented the best ideals of our country.” Senator McCain will be honored at a memorial service at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, September 1.
On the first Monday in September, the United States honors the contributions of the American workforce to the prosperity of the nation. Find out here how typical Americans celebrate this day.
In India, USAID and the Department of State have helped to bring solar power to the country’s biggest railway station in New Delhi.
Finally, NASA’s Earth-observing research satellites have assisted humanitarian workers in Yemen by identifying potential outbreaks of life-threatening cholera and directing their efforts.
Edition of August 17, 2018
As we approach the U.S. midterm elections on November 6, we encourage all American citizens in the UK to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot – find out more details here!
Four trillion dollars. That’s how much foreign businesses invested in the United States in 2017 – a new record. And the UK is the top investor in the U.S., which means more jobs and prosperity for both our countries.
Not only is business booming in America, entrepreneurs like Palestinian-American Ahmad Ashkar are making a global impact by helping refugees at the same time. We are inspired by Ahmed’s falafel business in Washington, DC, that donates meals for refugees for every meal sold. Creative solutions like this embody the American spirit!
Looking for a delicious meal this weekend? The New York Times’ Robert Draper recently experienced the restaurant revolution in London and provides a glowing review of the UK’s foodie scene.
Edition of August 10, 2018
This week President Donald J. Trump announced the reimposition of sanctions on Iran and said the United States is “fully committed to enforcing all our sanctions.” The administration is working with all parties to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon.
In Bogota, a presidential delegation witnessed the inauguration of Colombia’s new president, Iván Duque Márquez, which “seals the emergence of Colombia as a strong democratic partner for the United States.”
In Washington, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta presented the Department of Labor’s July 2018 Employment Situation report. Since the President’s election, 3.9 million jobs have been created.
Edition of August 05, 2018
This week in Honolulu, Vice President Mike Pence welcomed home the flag-draped remains of 55 U.S. servicemen who served in the Korean War.
In Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined his vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Finally, NASA and its commercial partners Boeing and SpaceX are making significant progress to launch astronauts into space from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011.
Edition of July 27, 2018
In Washington, President Donald J. Trump declared America “open for business” and said American-made products are a “global status of unrivaled excellence.” The President also made a “Pledge to America’s Workers” to create a national strategy to provide affordable and relevant training.
Meanwhile in California, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a gathering of Iranian Americans at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that he shared their hope to “one day see Iranians in Iran enjoying the same quality of life that Iranians in America enjoy.”
Finally, President Trump has delivered a big win on trade, reaching a deal with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to open a new phase in U.S.-EU trade relations in which both sides win and work together for global prosperity.
Edition of July 20, 2018
Happy Friday! President Donald J Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made their way to the United Kingdom last week to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and Her Majesty the Queen after President Trump convinced European allies in Brussels to increase their commitment to NATO.
In a stunning example of public-private partnership, a team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and American companies IBM and Nvidia Corporation built Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, at a federal laboratory in Tennessee.
And, on this day 49 years ago, NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon after President Kennedy announced that the United States would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
Edition of June 28, 2018
President Donald J Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are gearing up to host the Fourth of July Celebration at the White House.
In other news, the White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and Special Reprsentative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and regional tour demonstrates US commitment to peace in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, USAID attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) as a Special Award Organization to recognize students with innovative projects that could advance USAID’s ability to meet current and future development challenges. Over the last five years, USAID has provided honorable mention and monetary awards to 61 students.
Edition of June 21, 2018
Embassy Documentary – Iran Sanctions – Far East
The Embassy’s exclusive, behind-the-scenes documentary series “Inside the American Embassy” will air on Channel 4 starting Monday, June 25, at 10:00 p.m. – don’t miss it!
President Trump’s re-imposed sanctions on Iran are having an immediate impact as foreign companies are pulling back from doing business there.
In other news, the Pentagon said Operation Ulchi Freedom Guardian would not take place, while Washington and Pyongyang continue to discuss denuclearization following President Trump’s historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, ten years ago the United States led the international community in recognizing via the UN Security Council that wartime rape is not just a human rights issue but a public health and security issue we cannot afford to ignore. The United States reaffirmed its committment towards this cause during the fourth International Day to Eliminate Sexual Violence.
Edition of June 07, 2018
President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe met yesterday to discuss topics ranging from trade to North Korea ahead of the G7 summit in Canada.
The 240th Composite Supply Company is keeping it “so fresh and so clean clean” in Poland that ‘Outkast’ (Atlanta-based Hip Hop group) would be proud.
Did you know that carbon dioxide emissions can serve a useful purpose? The process of carbon capture is reducing dangerous pollution and increasing global oil production.
Edition of May 31, 2018
Memorial Day – Winfield House website – International Religious Freedom Report
President Trump honors fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day.
After two years in the making we are proud to announce the launch of the Winfield House website that provides 3 D views of representational rooms and highlights the collection inside as well as shares the history of the house.
Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts religious freedom at the heart of U.S. human rights agenda
Edition of May 25, 2018
Manchester One Year On – Job availability – China cuts car tariffs
In a recent Gallup poll 67% of Americans are feeling positive about job prospects under President Trump which is the highest percentage 17 years of Gallup polling.
US and China moves towards détente with China’s cuts to car tariffs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompep communicated his commitment to fight Russian meddling in 2018 congressional midterm US elections.
The United States provides the biggest international donation in the fight against Ebola in Congo.
Lastly, as an American child Mister Rogers taught us so much about friendship, honesty, and love but he also engaged kids about gun violence.
China has urged its ally North Korea to proceed with an historic summit between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump.
In recognition of the historic transition of the U.S. Embassy in Israel’s official move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we take a look back at the 70 year friendship in photos.
President Trump delivered a heartfelt message to American Muslims to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan which is determined by the sighting of the new moon which began May 15, 2018.
Lastly, in honor of U.S. Armed Services Day this Saturday, we want to wish America’s oldest man and WWII veteran Richard Overton a happy birthday who turned 112 and shared some advice for life.
Edition of May 11, 2018
Ambassador Johnson Lays A Wreath on Islay for WW1 – President Trump Ends Flawed Iran Nuclear Deal – First Lady Melania Trump’s Initiative for Children
We kicked off the week with First Lady Melania Trump announcing her initiative BE BEST focused on three pillars: promoting well-being, managing social media use, and tackling opioid abuse to build a brighter future for our children and the nation.
President Trump ended U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
The President also proudly welcomed home three Americans released after capitivity by North Korea ahead of the June 12 summit between him and the North Korean Presdent Kim Jong Un.
Finally, check out this analysis of the sucesses and challenges of the Administration’s by, with, and through model to partner with local forces to achieve our national security objectives.
Happy Friday! The Eagle Express is back – every Friday morning, we’ll be bringing you the latest updates on U.S. foreign policy, interesting articles on global events by key thinkers and commentators, and news on what’s happening at the U.S. Embassy.
We hope you enjoy the content – please keep in touch and let us know what kind of articles and information you’d like to see.
This week, President Trump made his first visit to the State Department to officiate the swearing-in ceremony for the 70th Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who wants the State Department to get its “swagger back.”
After next week’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, career CIA officer Gina Haspel could make history by becoming the first female CIA director.
Courtesy of the Smithsonian, Old Glory has proudly returned home to the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland in celebration of the honor, respect and fortitude its inhabitants displayed toward American servicemen 100 years ago during World War I.
The White House honors everyday Americans who acted in extraordinary ways. Although we are 125 days away from action on the gridiron, it doesn’t mean we can’t be excited and inspired by one-handed American football linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson challenged the international community to go further and faster to defeat some of the world’s deadliest diseases at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting. Check out his remarks below.
Vice President Pence celebrated World Space Week by announcingthat the United States would return to the moon – and beyond.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Security Forces achieved a major defeat against ISIS by regaining the critical city of Hawijah. As President Trump committed on day one, the United States and its partners are committed to defeating and destroying ISIS, and this week’s victory is another important step.
And we’re excited about this electric bike startup born at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that is expanding to the UK soon. What do you think – will it catch on here?
Finally, our VIDEO Post of the Week highlights our new Embassy building in Nine Elms, south of the Thames – we can’t wait to settle into our new neighborhood in a few months! Check out the new design in Ambassador Johnson’s video message below.
The horrific images of Rohingya refugee women, children and men fleeing the brutal violence of the Burmese military underscore that the time for well-meaning, diplomatic words has passed, as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told the Security Council yesterday. She called on all nations to take action, including by halting arms sales to the Burmese authorities.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reiterated the United States’ and NATO’s commitment to Afghanistan’s future during his visit to Kabul this week. He said, “we will not abandon Afghanistan to a merciless enemy trying to kill its way to power” – a commitment we share with our UK partners.
Meanwhile, the city of Manchester has found healing and comfortthrough a local production of an all-American play: Thornton Wilder’s 1938 classic Our Town.
And the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, has hired a legend from the British cultural scene to run the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art – another great U.S.-UK connection!
This week as the weather turned cooler and kids headed back to school, Ambassador Johnson hit the ground running, meeting with Chancellor Philip Hammond at No. 11, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon at the Ministry of Defence, and members of the UK press at an off-the-record gathering at the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
Did you know that Winfield House, the official U.S. Ambassador’s residence in London located in Regent’s Park, was used as an RAF reception center during World War II? The history of the residence may surprise you – read more here!
In New York, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called on members of the Security Council to stand up to North Korea’s aggressive use of missiles.
As we prepare to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, a new hit musical on Broadway tells the story of the outpouring of empathy and support shown to the American people in the attack’s aftermath.
Millions have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama are teaming up to raise funds for the victims. Their powerful video message will help draw global attention to the appeal.
For generations, U.S. southern culture has grappled with reconciling its history of slavery and racial division with its vibrant, multicultural identity that continues to evolve today. The New York Times profiles several Southern magazines that are tackling these issues in very different ways.
Ambassador Johnson has arrived at the Embassy and is already hard at work. He’s had a busy first week, including meetings with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Minister of State Sir Alan Duncan MP, Permanent Under Secretary Sir Simon McDonald, and, of course, Palmerston (the Foreign Office’s resident feline) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They’ve extended a warm welcome – watch it here!
Hurricane Harvey has caused unprecedented flooding and damage in southeastern Texas. Texans and Americans from across the country have come together to assist those affected and abate the storm’s devastating effects. Read Secretary Tillerson’s statement and find out how you can help here.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison makes it clear that the United States is committed to revitalizing NATO, and understands its importance in meeting our 21st century security needs. Read the full column here!
President Trump announced his new policy on U.S. involvement in South Asia, which will rely on diplomatic engagement of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India to promote regional stability by countering terrorism and securing safety for the Afghan people. Read the President’s statement on the announcement here.
The Iraqi Security Forces’ battle against ISIS in Tal Afar could mean the end of ISIS’ presence in northern Iraq.
The debate over whether or not to remove statues of Confederate leaders is causing tension in the United States. They’ve garnered quite a bit of attention in the media, but aren’t necessarily the most visited statues. The New York Times details the five most iconic statues in the states here!
Finally, the Embassy staff is eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new ambassador. Our Post of the Week features Robert Wood Johnson being sworn in by Vice President Pence as the next U.S. Ambassador to the UK in a special ceremony in the Oval Office.
Secretary Tillerson addressed the President’s “America first” message and its implications for U.S. foreign policy, stating that “America first does not mean America alone.”
The UN Security Council voted in favor of toughening sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (Resolution 2371). Amidst the growing tensions in the wake of these sanctions, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis stated on August 9 that the U.S. and its allies possess the capabilities and the commitments to defend themselves from an attack.
As global leaders and U.S. allies strategize on how to slow or deter North Korea’s nuclear proliferation, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, outlines 10 lessons to be learned from the DPRK’s advancements – check out his analysis here.
Looking beyond the North Korean tensions, the elections in Kenya are a continuing focus on the international stage.
Are you a fan of Huddersfield or Burnley? This New York Times article highlights the phenomenon of social and economic changes that can occur in a city when their team makes it to the Premier League.
Finally, we are excited to welcome Ambassador-designate Johnson to the United Kingdom in the coming weeks, now that his nomination has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
This week, the Pentagon announced that Iraqi security forces remain in control of Mosul after a fierce, months-long battle against ISIS, while U.S.-backed forces are moving on ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.
July 26 marked the 27th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects 56.3 million Americans from discrimination in all areas of life, including work, school and transportation.
21st century diplomacy is as important as ever, according to former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and current President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace William J. Burns.
And speaking of the importance of our Embassies and diplomats, one of our very own Vice Consuls penned this great op-ed for her hometown newspaper, the East Bay Times, describing how American diplomats are vigilantly protecting and offering consular services to American citizens around the world, 365 days a year.
Finally, don’t miss this week’s Post of the Week, featuring the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, which is visiting the UK for joint military exercises with our UK partner forces. Our team visited the ship yesterday and captured some incredible footage.
Edition of 21 July 2017
This week the State Department released its annual Country Reports of Terrorism. The results show that ISIS remained the top terrorist threat in 2016, but overall terrorist attacks last year decreased by nine percent. You can check out the reports here.
Meanwhile, we honored the legacy of the great Nelson Mandela on International Nelson Mandela Day on July 18. The Mandela Rules aim to improve the human rights conditions for prisoners around the world, an initiative the State Department is proud to support.
Also, be sure to take a look at these amazing photos of the Underground Railroad, by which anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman led countless slaves to freedom in the north.
In other news, the London Zoo is welcoming some prehistoric creatures into the fold – robotic dinosaurs!
Edition of 14 July 2017
Last week, President Trump visited Poland and underscored U.S. commitment to defending individual freedoms and sovereignty – check out this video recap of his trip here.
Meanwhile, this week the Iraqi Security Forces announced their victory over ISIS in Mosul – an historic victory for the people of Iraq as well as the Global Coalition united against the terrorist group.
And as the U.S. Congress moves forward on legislation to combat the scourge of human trafficking, don’t miss this article highlighting six incredible heroes doing amazing work to protect the victims.
On a lighter note, this Buzzfeed story about the transatlantic Twitter debate over the use of egg cups is pretty hilarious. Despite the heated views, we’re confident the Special Relationship will endure!
This week, the United States urged the formation of a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland – check out our statement below. Last week, Secretary of Defense Mattis met with NATO Allies in Brussels and commended NATO’s progress in deterring Russian aggression and combating terror. And this video provides some useful tips for protecting yourself from cybercrime – a critically important issue in the digital age!
As we celebrated American Independence Day this week, Major League Baseball stars joined some of Britain’s favorite cricketers for a home run derby in Hyde Park to honor America’s pastime. Meanwhile, a newly discovered photo in the National Archives provides fresh evidence that pioneering female pilot Amelia Earhart may have survived a presumed crash landing in the Marshall Islands 80 years ago.
Finally, our Post of the Week is an amazing video from our friends at NASA showcasing the spectacular aurora lights visible from the International Space Station.
Edition of 30 June 2017
We are delighted to share that President Trump has nominated Mr. Robert Wood Johnson IV to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. Mr. Johnson’s nomination has been delivered to the U.S. Senate, which will hold a confirmation hearing and vote on the nomination in the coming weeks.
This week, Secretary of Defense Mattis was in Germany to honor the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan, which played a pivotal role in rebuilding Europe after World War II. Secretary Mattis underscored the United States’ ironclad support of the NATO Alliance and our commitment to our NATO partners.
Also this week, Secretary of State Tillerson and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump released the annual Trafficking in Persons report, which assesses trafficking in 187 countries including the United States.
Meanwhile, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Bond, the author of the beloved Paddington Bear series. We’ve shared an article on his remarkable life below.
And don’t miss our post of the week showcasing the amazing fireworks display at our 2017 Independence Day party held last night at Winfield House!
Edition of 23 June 2017
This week, we were horrified by the terrorist attack against a group of Muslim worshippers outside London’s Finsbury Park mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. The United States condemns this act of evil and stands in solidarity with the UK in fighting the scourges of terrorism and hate.
June 20 was World Refugee Day, which sadly marked a record high number of 22 million refugees displaced from their homes around the world. The United States provided more than $7 billion in humanitarian aid last year, and is committed to helping those facing the painful choice of fleeing their homes to seek safety and peace.
Jo Cox was a champion of tolerance, equality, and human rights. In her honor, we are delighted to announce the inaugural Jo Cox Memorial Exchange program, for which we are seeking young leaders between the ages of 16 and 24 who are courageously standing up to hate and extremism and promoting hope and inclusion to participate in a two-week exchange program in the United States this summer. You can find all the application details below!
Meanwhile, we were encouraged to see that the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has made significant progress, and the U.S. ground forces commander stated this week that ISIS’ defeat is inevitable.
We were also inspired by Ariana Grande’s brave and touching tribute to the victims of the Manchester bombing during her June 4 One Love charity concert.
Finally, our Acting Ambassador Lew Lukens traveled to RAF Fairford this week to mark the deployment of B-52s in support of Exercise Saber Strike,
Edition of 02 June 2017
The heinous attack on innocent children and adults enjoying a concert in Manchester on May 22 broke our hearts. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to London last Friday to express the deepest condolences of the American people to our friends in the United Kingdom, and to pledge our unwavering support to Her Majesty’s Government in combating terrorism and extremism.
This week, the United States deployed B-52 bombers to RAF Fairford to support our NATO partners in exercises across Europe.
Meanwhile, we were moved by Pam Constable’s tribute in the Washington Post to her beloved city of Kabul in the aftermath of this week’s horrific bombing. And we enjoyed reading the New York Times’ profile of Darren Hayman’s adventures across Britain capturing songs of the Thankful Villages after World War I.
And don’t miss the video of our Acting Ambassador’s Memorial Day tribute to those who have served in the Armed Forces.
Edition of 19 May 2017
Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gathered with his counterparts in Alaska to pledge further cooperation for sustainable development and protection of the Arctic environment. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch, which poses an unacceptable threat to the region and the world. Next week, Acting Assistant Secretary of State John Heffern will host a webchat on the history and future of the transatlantic bond in advance of the May 25 NATO Leaders Meeting in Brussels – we hope you will tune in!
Meanwhile, we read about UNHCR’s partnership with the IKEA Foundation to install clean energy solar panels at Azraq refugee camp in Jordan – an initiative that will improve the lives of refugees and save millions of dollars. And in the fashion world, a friendly rivalry has developed between two U.S. cities for the title of fashion capital of the U.S. (outside LA and New York) – can you guess which two cities?
And don’t miss the video of our Acting Ambassador’s flight in an F-15 (photos are on Flickr):
Edition of 12 May 2017
This week, world leaders gathered in London to raise international support for Somalia, where newly-elected President Farmajo is working to bring stability and peace to his country.
John Sullivan, the nominee for U.S. Deputy Secretary of State testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that America will continue to promote its values and stand for universal human rights throughout the world.
And a dynamic a cappella group from New York called the Maccabeats recounts the history of the Jewish people through its harmonies.
Edition of 05 May 2017
This week, we celebrated World Freedom Day and learned about an organization helping women around the world report untold stories.
The United States welcomed efforts by Russia to de-escalate the horrific violence in Syria, but called on President Putin to hold the Assad regime to account.
Finally the F-35A fighter jets deployed for training missions to the UK took a spin through the Mach Loop in Wales.
Edition of 28 April 2017
This week, we celebrated U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson’s record-breaking 534th day in spaceflight, one of many records she has broken throughout her career.
Secretary of State Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Coats delivered a joint briefing to all 100 U.S. Senators on the threat posed by North Korea. Meanwhile, a rare original copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence was discovered in the UK, sparking new questions about the origins of the U.S. democratic experiment.
Also, be sure to check out some fun facts and photos of our new Embassy in Nine Elms – an environmentally-friendly building that will help revitalize the neighborhood.
Edition of 21 April 2017
This week, Chargé d’Affaires (“Acting Ambassador”) Lew Lukens celebrated the arrival of eight F-35A Lightning II jets to RAF Lakenheath, a strong symbol of NATO’s commitment to deter further Russian aggression in the region.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan visited London, meeting with HMG officials and affirming U.S. commitment to the Special Relationship and to NATO.
Meanwhile, we enjoyed watching President Trump’s grandchildren celebrate Chinese culture with a special song in honor of President Xi’s visit last week to the United States.
And major props to Prince Harry for his brave revelations about his own mental health challenges
Edition of 14 April 2017
This week, the world remained focused on how to forge a political solution to the Syria conflict after the Assad regime’s latest brutal chemical weapons attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun.
U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson traveled to Moscow to confront President Putin about his continued support for a regime committing such atrocities. Secretary of Defense Mattis confirmed the intelligence community’s assessment that there is overwhelming evidence of the Assad regime’s culpability.
And the United States and United Kingdom stood side by side at the UN Security Council in New York to support a resolution calling for a thorough investigation into the attack, which the Russian government vetoed.
Edition of 07 April 2017
Yesterday we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the Great War.
Secretary of Defense Mattis was in London last week to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-UK security relationship.
And on Wednesday in New York, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley condemned the Asad regime’s brutal chemical attack on innocent women, men, and children in Idlib, Syria.
Edition of 31 March 2017
In this edition we cover:
- Taking on the ‘Digital Caliphate’ in our Fight Against ISIS
- President Trump Signs the NASA Transition Authorization Act
- Trump Initiative to Bring Business Ideas to Government.
- Post of the Week: British Soldiers on #NATO #eFP Road March in Poland
Edition of 21 March 2017
In this edition we cover:
President Trump on the Westminster Attack: We Stand with the UK.
Secretary of State Tillerson’s remarks at the Global Coalition Against ISIS Ministerial held in Washington, DC.
U.S. Ambassador Bill Burns on U.S. Policy and Strategy in Europe
Edition of 17 March 2017
Secretary of State Tillerson’s Visit to Asia.
March Madness Explained.
Quote of the Week: The 6th Anniversary of the Syrian Civil War.
Post of the Week: Acting Ambassador Lukens Exploring the #AmericanDream.