Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
We congratulate the people of Canada following their federal elections, and we look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Trudeau across the range of shared challenges and opportunities. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Canada as our neighbor, close friend, democratic partner, and trusted ally.
The United States and Canada enjoy one of the most comprehensive partnerships in the world. Our collaboration extends beyond our robust economic ties, border security, and defense cooperation to include engagement on global issues of mutual concern, such as human rights, democracy, global health, and climate change.
Our shared history, values, and the ties of family, friends, and communities across our border are the foundation of our unique relationship. We look forward to continued engagement with our Canadian partners to strengthen the security and prosperity of North America and the world.
- Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Announces Investigation of the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Police DepartmentBy Sam NewsApril 21, 2021Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced today the Justice Department has opened a pattern or practice investigation into the City of Minneapolis (the City) and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). The investigation will assess all types of force used by MPD officers, including uses of force involving individuals with behavioral health disabilities and uses of force against individuals engaged in activities protected by the First Amendment. The investigation will also assess whether MPD engages in discriminatory policing. As part of the investigation the Justice Department will conduct a comprehensive review of MPD policies, training and supervision. The department will also examine MPD’s systems of accountability, including complaint intake, investigation, review, disposition and discipline. The Department of Justice will also reach out to community groups and members of the public to learn about their experiences with MPD. “The investigation I am announcing today will assess whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of using excessive force, including during protests,” said Attorney General Garland. “Building trust between community and law enforcement will take time and effort by all of us, but we undertake this task with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait.” This morning, Department of Justice officials informed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo, City Attorney Jim Rowader, City Coordinator Mark Ruff, and City Council President Lisa Bender of the investigation. The department will continue to work closely with both the City and MPD as the investigation progresses. “One of the Civil Rights Division’s highest priorities is to ensure that every person in this country benefits from public safety systems that are lawful, responsive, transparent and nondiscriminatory,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. “It is essential that police departments across the country use their law enforcement authority, including the authority to use force, in a manner that respects civil rights and the sanctity of human life.” “People throughout the city of Minneapolis want a public safety system that protects and serves all members of our community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk for the District of Minnesota. “This investigation by the Department of Justice provides a vital step to restore and build trust in the Minneapolis Police Department and its officers.” The investigation is being conducted pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which prohibits state and local governments from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives individuals of rights protected by the Constitution or federal law. The Act allows the Department of Justice to remedy such misconduct through civil litigation. The department will be assessing law enforcement practices under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as under the Safe Streets Act of 1968, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, are jointly conducting this investigation. Individuals with relevant information are encouraged to contact the Department of Justice via email at Community.Minneapolis@usdoj.gov or by phone at 866-432-0268. Individuals can also report civil rights violations regarding this or other matters using the Civil Rights Division’s new reporting portal, available at civilrights.justice.gov. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt. Additional information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota is available on its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-mn.[Read More…]
- Jordan Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsIn TravelSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- This Week in Iran PolicyBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Affirming the Conviction of Former Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladic for Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and War CrimesBy Sam NewsJune 8, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Swiss President ParmelinBy Sam NewsFebruary 2, 2021
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Ambassador Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President for An Economy that Works for People And Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age After the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council MinisterialBy Sam NewsSeptember 29, 2021
- Chinese Energy Company, U.S. Oil & Gas Affiliate and Chinese National Indicted for Theft of Trade SecretsBy Sam NewsOctober 29, 2020A federal grand jury has returned an indictment alleging corporate entities conspired to steal technology from a Houston-area oil & gas manufacturer, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division. Jason Energy Technologies Co. (JET) in Yantai, People’s Republic of China; Jason Oil and Gas Equipment LLC (JOG) USA and Chinese national Lei Gao aka Jason Gao, 45, are charged with conspiracy, theft of trade secrets and attempted theft of trade secrets.[Read More…]
- Observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against WomenBy Sam NewsNovember 25, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Meeting on ISIS Threats in West AfricaBy Sam NewsNovember 9, 2020
- Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale Addresses the International Coalition for the Sahel MinisterialBy Sam NewsMarch 19, 2021
- Opening Remarks at the Virtual Leaders Summit on ClimateBy Sam NewsApril 22, 2021
- Justice Department Settles with Florida Towing Company it Alleges Illegally Sold or Scrapped Servicemembers’ VehiclesBy Sam NewsSeptember 10, 2020The Justice Department today reached an agreement with ASAP Towing & Storage Company (“ASAP”) in Jacksonville, Florida, to resolve allegations that ASAP violated a federal law, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), by auctioning off or otherwise disposing of cars owned by protected servicemembers without first obtaining court orders.[Read More…]
- Puerto Rico: Efforts to Improve Competition for Medicaid ProcurementBy Sam NewsIn U.S GAO NewsMarch 17, 2021What GAO Found Like other U.S. territories and states, Puerto Rico implements major functions of its Medicaid program by procuring services from contractors, such as the delivery of managed care services to Medicaid beneficiaries. In 2018, procurement costs represented $2.4 billion of Puerto Rico's $2.5 billion in total Medicaid expenditures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—the federal agency that oversees Medicaid—requires states and territories to use the same process for Medicaid procurements as they do for their non-federal procurements. However, in February 2021, GAO found that CMS has not taken steps to ensure Puerto Rico has met this requirement. Instead, CMS has relied on Puerto Rico to oversee the territory’s procurement process and to attest to its compliance. CMS officials told GAO that states and territories are in the best position to ensure compliance with their respective procurement laws. A 2019 federal indictment alleging Puerto Rico officials unlawfully steered Medicaid contracts to certain individuals has also raised questions about Puerto Rico's Medicaid procurement process, including whether this process helps ensure appropriate competition. The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, directed Puerto Rico to publish a Medicaid procurement reform plan to combat fraud, waste, and abuse, which the territory provided to Congress in December 2020. In its procurement reform plan, Puerto Rico acknowledges the need to improve competition and outlines future initiatives and general timeframes to do so. For example, Puerto Rico notes that by August 2021, it will identify the circumstances under which the use of noncompetitive contracts is justified, as well as the factors it might consider in making this determination. By April 2021, Puerto Rico intends to identify procurement information it will make public as part of its competitive procurement process and will make such information public by the end of 2021. Such changes—if implemented as planned—could address some of the issues GAO identified in its review of eight selected Puerto Rico procurements. In its review, GAO found that Puerto Rico did not include important steps to promote competition and mitigate the risk for fraud, waste, and abuse, underscoring the need for federal oversight. GAO and others have found that competition is a cornerstone of procurement. Using competition can reduce costs, improve contractor performance, curb fraud, and promote accountability. As Puerto Rico continues to develop and carry out its planned reforms, implementing GAO’s recommendation for ongoing, risk-based oversight of Puerto Rico’s Medicaid procurement process could enable CMS to promote competition and efficiency while preventing fraud, waste, and abuse in the program. Why GAO Did This Study This testimony summarizes the information contained in GAO's February 2021 report, entitled Medicaid: CMS Needs to Implement Risk-Based Oversight of Puerto Rico’s Procurement Process (GAO-21-229). Specifically, the testimony discusses findings from the report as they relate to Puerto Rico’s Medicaid procurement reform plan.[Read More…]
- Jury convicts man for smuggling 105 in trailerBy Sam NewsIn Justice NewsAugust 13, 2021A Laredo federal jury [Read More…]
- The Detective Aboard NASA’s Perseverance RoverBy Sam NewsIn SpaceSeptember 26, 2020An instrument called [Read More…]
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Naturalization Ceremony with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration ServicesBy Sam NewsOctober 22, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Al-ThaniBy Sam NewsSeptember 10, 2021
- Priority Open Recommendations: Nuclear Regulatory CommissionBy Sam NewsIn U.S GAO NewsApril 28, 2021What GAO Found In April 2020, GAO identified seven priority recommendations for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Since then, NRC implemented one of these recommendations by issuing a risk management strategy that addresses key elements foundational to effectively managing cybersecurity risks. The remaining six priority recommendations involve the following areas: addressing the security of radiological sources. improving the reliability of cost estimates. improving strategic human capital management. NRC's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations. Why GAO Did This Study Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations. For more information, contact Mark Gaffigan at (202) 512-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Salvadoran President BukeleBy Sam NewsMay 2, 2021
- Joint Statement on Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2021By Sam NewsSeptember 16, 2021