WASHINGTON—In an effort to limit the fallout from any unintended collateral damage, the Pentagon has dispatched a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles to the Middle East specially designed to express condolences for the civilian casualties of U.S. drone airstrikes, sources confirmed Wednesday.
CUBA, HAVANA : Cubans watch US President Barack Obama talking on TV
about the reestablishment of full diplomatic ties with Cuba, in Havana
on July 1, 2015. President Barack Obama announced that the United States
and Cuba will re-establish full diplomatic relations, severed 54 years
ago in the angry heat of the Cold War. The US president and Cuban state
television simultaneously announced the landmark agreement, aimed at
easing decades of enmity across the narrow Straits of Florida. Under the
deal, embassies in Washington and Havana will be reopened as soon as
July 20, in what Obama described as a “historic step forward,” and a
“new chapter” in US relations with Latin America. AFP PHOTO / YAMIL
On June 26, 1945, in San Francisco, the United Nations Charter was established. It was created at the end of World War II in an attempt to maintain international peace and security and to achieve cooperation among nations on economic, social and humanitarian problem. The required number of nations ratified the charter on October 24, 1945, which is now celebrated as United Nations Day.
The Department of State has 58 nominees pending before the U.S. Senate, which has left us without permanent ambassadors in over 40 countries. That means we’re going without our strongest voice on the ground in more than 25 percent of the world.
Imagine you were en route to Europe one hundred years ago aboard the Lusitania. The majestic ship, one of the larger passenger vessels in the world at the time, neared the Irish coastline several days after its May 1 departure from New York. What was it like to experience the tragedy first-hand?
R.M.S. Lusitania, Hit by Torpedos Off Kinsale Head, Ireland Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Consul at Cork Wesley
Frost’s May 9, 1915, telegram provides two intimate snapshots of Lusitania survivors’ harrowing ordeal. Passenger
Robert Rankin testified that throughout the morning of May 7, “Lusitania going slow,” and “had been
blowing foghorn till about 10a.m.” Rankin noted that around noontime, the ship
started “to zigzag course.” Yet, this was not cause for too much alarm. After a quick
lunch, Rankin and three companions walked about on deck. At 2:10pm, one of his
party spotted what looked like a submarine, a “low black ridge” just off the
ship’s starboard bow. “Torpedo left submarine almost instantly,” Rankin stated, and
“traveled rapidly toward boat, leaving white trail.”
Below deck, first class passenger Mrs. Jessie Taft
Smith heard and felt the torpedo’s impact. In the reading room after lunch, she
stated, she “heard noise and ship seemed to lift.” Smith left for her stateroom,
though “was told not to hurry as there was no danger.” Thankfully, she was
prepared. “Had beforehand got life belt ready in cabin,” she testified. “Now
put it on and went upper deck. Steward helped me into boat hanging in davits.
Between 40 and 50 people got in, boat was lowered and we pushed off.”
from U.S. Consul at Cork (Frost) to the Secretary of State, May 9, 1915” Credit:Foreign Relations of the United States 1915.
Supplement, The World War,
Read further details of their accounts: “Telegram
from U.S. Consul at Cork (Frost) to the Secretary of State, May 9, 1915,” in
the Foreign Relations of the United States
1915. Supplement, The World War, (p 386-387)
– and check back this fall for release of the volume online at http://history.state.gov.
It has been 54 years since the U.S. Embassy in Havana closed its doors. Upon ending diplomatic relations with our neighboring island nation, President Eisenhower announced, “It is my hope and my conviction that it is in the not too distant future that it will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again to find its reflection in normal relations of every sort.” Although it has taken more than half a century, President Obama recently announced that the United States would re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Later this month, the U.S. State Department will appoint a gay career diplomat to serve as the country’s first-ever envoy for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, a move that comes at a crucial moment for LGBT rights globally.
Like the rest of the country, Cuban baseball has been in crisis. But as the U.S. and Cuba have moved to normalize diplomatic relations, hope is bubbling that the rapprochement could bring new opportunities, stop Cuba’s top talent from fleeing and perhaps lead to reconciliation between those who’ve left and those who’ve stayed.
Back in December, President Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba gave simultaneous speeches on live television.
The leaders announced that after more than 50 years, the two countries would re-establish ties and that sometime soon the American flag would fly over an embassy in Havana and a Cuban one would fly over an embassy in Washington.
It wasn’t long before headlines about the potential for baseball diplomacy began appearing.
The U.S. is missing opportunities because too many U.S. ambassadors have not arrived to fill vacant posts. A Senate backlog in confirming ambassadorial candidates has left the U.S. without permanent ambassadors in 40 countries and a total of 58 State Department nominees still awaiting confirmation.
This logjam in the Senate is hampering America’s role in the world. Read more here.
MYANMAR, YANGON : US President Barack Obama (L) and Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi make their way from a press conference at her residence in Yangon on November 14, 2014. Obama began talks with Suu Kyi, in a show of support for the opposition leader as the nation turns towards elections next year with uncertainty over the direction of reforms. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN