U.S. Policy Update for Monday, 09 May 2016

World map, political view

Today’s topics:     UK School visits / Stonewall uprising & LGBT rights / New EUCOM commander / U.S. and Europe / Kerry’s Upcoming London trip / Obama on the economy

 

UK School Visits

Deb MacLean speaking to students in an auditorium
Deb MacLean from the U.S. Embassy London, speaking to Year 9 at Cavendish School (Embassy photo)

09 May 2016 School Talks on the U.S.    Deb MacLean, a Press Officer of the U.S. Embassy in London, visited several UK schools over the past weeks to talk about about the United States of America. She visited Cavendish School in Eastbourne, BHASVIC a sixth form school in Brighton and Thomas Alleyne High School in Stevenage.

Pupils were keen to find out more about the life of a U.S. diplomat and the places she had served around the world. After her talks the students were able to quiz her about her job, what an Ambassador does and on other topics.

Deb had a great time visiting the schools, learning about the English education system and was impressed with the knowledge and willingness of the students to learn more about the States.

If you think your school may be interested in a diplomat from the Embassy coming to your school or general information on the U.S.then email the Information Resource Center at weblond@state.gov

 

 

 

White House News

06 May 2016 President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to Attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Invictus Games  President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to Attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.  First Lady Michelle Obama will lead the delegation as part of the 5th Anniversary of Joining Forces.

06 May 2016 Remarks by the President on the Economy  “In recent months, we’ve seen just how big a problem corruption and tax evasion have become around the globe.  We saw what happened with the release of the Panama Papers, and we’ve seen the degree to which both legal practices of tax avoidance that are still unfair and bad for the economy, as well as illegal practices that, in some cases, involve nefarious activities continue to exist and to spread.  So combating this kind of tax evasion and strengthening the global financial system have been priorities of mine since I took office.  And they’re part of our broader, ongoing efforts to make sure the rules aren’t rigged and our economy works for everybody. ”

06 May 2016 Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 5/6/16

 

LGBTI Rights

 A couple hugs outside the Stonewall Inn, considered the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement for the LGBTI community. (© AP Images)
A couple hugs outside the Stonewall Inn, considered the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement for the LGBTI community. (© AP Images)

09 May 2016 Will the U.S. get a monument to gay rights? The U.S. could have its first national monument dedicated to the gay rights movement just in time for next month’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Pride Month.

On May 9, state and federal officials and the U.S. public will consider whether to dedicate a national park to the history of the Stonewall Uprising, which inspired the modern LGBTI civil rights movement in the U.S.

Demonstrations protesting a police raid on the Stonewall Inn bar began in the early morning of June 28, 1969, on Christopher Street in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. Stonewall Inn was then one of the few establishments in the country that welcomed homosexuals. Within weeks of the raid, Village residents had organized into activist groups to establish places where gays and lesbians could be open about their sexual orientation.
In the mid-1990s, the movement for equal rights expanded to include bisexuals and transgender people. Today, it also advocates for the rights of intersex individuals.

 

 

Department of Defense – EUCOM

Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti speaks after assuming command of NATO's Allied Command Operations from Air Force General Philip M. Breedlove in Mons, Belgium, 4th May 2016 (DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen)
Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti speaks after assuming command of NATO’s Allied Command Operations from Air Force General Philip M. Breedlove in Mons, Belgium, 4th May 2016 (DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen)

05 May 2016 Eucom ‘Ready to Fight’ if Deterrence Fails, Commander Says Army General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, a career infantry officer, assumed command of U.S. European Command and became NATO’s supreme allied commander this week. Scaparrotti most recently served as the commander in South Korea of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

Eucom prepares ready forces, ensures strategic access, deters conflict, enables the NATO alliance, strengthens partnerships, and counters transnational threats to protect and defend the United States, according to the command.  There are currently about 62,000 active U.S. military personnel authorized in Europe, including 52,500 who directly support Eucom.

An aggressive Russia, mass migration and extremism are among the threats to Europe, Scaparrotti told the ceremony at Eucom headquarters in Stuttgart.

“We face a resurgent Russia and its aggressive behavior that challenges international norms in Crimea, the Donbas and South Ossetia,” he said.

As Eucom commander, Scaparrotti is dual-hatted as NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe. In Mons, Belgium, at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Scaparrotti assumed that duty from Breedlove 04 May 2016.

 

The U.S. and Europe

05 May 2016 State’s Blinken on the U.S. and Europe  Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke at the Warsaw Public Library, Warsaw, Poland:

“The continued strength of NATO, the most effective alliance the world has ever known, is not inevitable. It is not simply a given—to be counted on when it is needed and neglected when it is not. It requires constant upkeep, significant reinvestment in the basis of its enduring power: our unity, our capabilities, and our values.

Against all headwinds, our greatest asset is our unity—our equal footing, shoulder-to-shoulder, on democratic ground in defense of our common principles and all those who share them.

There are no second-class citizens in NATO.

From the first day a country is accepted into the alliance, the United States and our allies undertake an ironclad military commitment to collective defense.
“We stand together,” President Obama said two years ago in Castle Square, “now and forever, for your freedom is ours.”

 

Secretary Kerry’s Upcoming London Trip

05 May 2016 Department of State Press briefing  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the UK  10-12 May to attend an anti-corruption summit. He will also visit Oxford University Union and meet with his UK counterpart, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond:

“Also, just an update on the Secretary’s travel to France and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Secretary of State will travel to Paris, France and the United Kingdom on May 8th through 12th. While in Paris, on May 9th and 10th, Secretary Kerry will meet with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault for bilateral discussions on a range of issues, including Syria and Ukraine. Secretary Kerry will then travel to the United Kingdom, May 10th through 12th, where he will head the U.S. delegation to the Anti-Corruption Summit in London and visit Oxford University. He’ll also hold bilateral talks with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.”

Related:  Visits of Secretaries of State to the UK