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Telephonic Press Briefing with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Strayer

Moderator: Thank you, and greetings to everyone from the London Hub for International Media Engagement. I’d like to welcome our participants dialing in from around the world and thank all of you for joining the discussion today.

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Ambassador Nathan A. Sales Travels to Israel to Participate in International Institute for Counterterrorism’s World Summit

Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, will be in Israel on September 12 to deliver a keynote address at the closing session of the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s annual World Summit.

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The United States Joins the Interim Government of Venezuela and Other Countries in Invoking the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance

The United States joins the Interim Government of Venezuela and ten other countries in invoking the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR). This Venezuelan-led request is proof of the region’s support for the Venezuelan people and recognition of the increasingly destabilizing influence that the former regime of Nicolas Maduro is having on the region.

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Religious Freedom in Cuba

This past weekend, many in Cuba, and many Cuban Americans, joyfully celebrated the Feast of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre (La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre), the patron saint of Cuba. On this occasion, we again call on the Cuban regime to end its repression of the Cuban people, including its suppression of religious freedom.

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Public Designation Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights of Vladimir Yermolayev and Stepan Tkach, Officials of the Investigative Committee in the Russian Federation

The Department is publicly designating Vladimir Petrovich Yermolayev, the Head of the Investigative Committee in the city of Surgut, Russia, and Stepan Vladimirovich Tkach, Senior Investigator at the Investigative Committee of Surgut, Russia, under Section 7031(c) of the FY2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to their involvement in gross violations of human rights.  Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

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Terrorist Designations under Amended Executive Order to Modernize Sanctions to Combat Terrorism

Today, the President signed an Executive Order modernizing and strengthening sanctions authorities to combat terrorism. Today’s Executive Order is the most significant update of terrorist designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and will enable the United States to more effectively sanction the leaders of terrorist organizations and those who train to commit acts of terrorism.

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Modernization of Executive Order 13224

Today, the President signed an Executive Order modernizing and expanding sanctions to combat terrorism. This Executive Order – the most significant update of terrorism designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks – enhances the United States’ ability to target and deprive terrorists and their enablers of financial, material, and logistical support worldwide.

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Former Government Official In The Dominican Republic Charged With Conspiring To Import Cocaine Into The United States And Money Laundering Offenses

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced today that the Dominican Republic’s former Consul General to Jamaica, JEREMIAS JIMENEZ CRUZ, and a co-conspirator have been charged in Manhattan federal court with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and conspiring to launder money. JIMENEZ CRUZ was arrested on September 6 and presented on September 7 before United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. The second defendant has not yet been arrested. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Kimba M. Wood.

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Deputy Secretary Sullivan’s Participation in Second U.S.-Russia High-Level Counterterrorism Dialogue with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Syromolotov

Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan led a U.S. interagency delegation to participate in the second high-level U.S.-Russia Counterterrorism Dialogue in Vienna, Austria with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for counterterrorism Oleg Vladimirovich Syromolotov.

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Secretary Azar to Lead U.S. Delegation to DRC, Rwanda and Uganda Regarding Ebola Outbreak

In the coming days, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will lead a delegation on behalf of the Trump administration to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda regarding one of the most serious global health challenges facing the world right now: the Ebola outbreak in the eastern DRC.

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