In 2016 and '17, 25 Americans, including CIA agents, who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba suffered serious brain injuries causing impaired vision and memory loss among other persistent symptoms. Now, we've learned that at least 15 American officials in China suffered unexplained brain trauma soon after. The FBI is now investigating whether these Americans were attacked by a mysterious weapon that leaves no trace. Over many months we have been collecting evidence of what appears to be a hostile foreign government's plan to target americans serving abroad and their families. 60 Minutes Overtime: Is an invisible weapon targeting U.S. diplomats? Mark Lenzi: For me it was November of 2017, when I started to feel lightheaded a lot. I was getting more headaches, my wife was getting headaches too. Mark Lenzi is a State Department security officer who worked in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. He says that he and his wife began to suffer after hearing strange sounds in their … [Read more...] about Brain trauma suffered by U.S. diplomats abroad could be work of hostile foreign government
Foreign service benefit plan
The day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, White House national security adviser Susan Rice gathered her staff for a pep talk. About a third of the room was crying. Everyone was in shock. Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton, an upset of historic proportions that promised, at a minimum, a period of uncertainty in U.S. foreign policy. Most who joined Rice that day worked for the National Security Council, the White House’s elite group of foreign policy experts. Some were political appointees of President Barack Obama, and there was little question they’d be out of jobs by Inauguration Day. But most were career government staffers, typically detailed to the NSC from other agencies and sworn to serve under any presidential administration in a nonpartisan way. They didn’t know what to expect, but many were uneasy about Trump’s heated rhetoric on the campaign trail — his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin, his skepticism of … [Read more...] about Inside the chaotic early days of Trump’s foreign policy
The future of the Erasmus student exchange program in the United Kingdom has been thrown into doubt by the possibility that Britain will leave the European Union – a process popularly known as “Brexit” – without a deal. The Erasmus program was created more than 30 years ago by the European Union as a way to bring the continent together through university research and education. The EU sets aside €16.38 billion of its budget to fund the program but there is concern Spanish students who want to study in the UK will not receive financial support if there is a so-called hard Brexit, whereby the UK crashes out of the 28-country bloc without a deal. There is a lot of uncertainty because of Brexit. My advice is look for other countries Norwegian Education Minister Iselin Nybø University students currently enrolled will not be affected but those studying in the 2019-2020 period could lose their scholarships if the British parliament does not ratify a … [Read more...] about Brexit uncertainty sparks unease among Erasmus students planning to study in UK
THE voluntary transfer of resources from rich to poorer countries rarely escapes controversy. But what is the UK's foreign aid budget and how much does Britain actually spend compared to other countries? Here's what we know. What is the UK's foreign aid budget? The UK currently fulfils its target of donating 0.7 per cent of its Gross National Income (GNI) on foreign aid each year. Gross National Income describes the country's annual output of goods and services. This effectively means that for every hundred pounds made in this country 70p goes towards foreign aid. The amount is the UN's target for all developed countries and was first promoted in the 1970s. But it wasn't until 2013 that the UK achieved this target for the first time, before it was enshrined into British law in 2015. According to Full Fact, the UK's independent fact-checking charity, the UK spent £13.4billion on oversea aid in 2017, in line with its target. The amount spent in the future directly corresponds to how … [Read more...] about What is the UK’s foreign aid budget and how much does the UK spend compared to other countries around the world?
Sweden released a handbook of its "feminist foreign policy" Thursday for rights groups and foreign governments, showcasing lessons from the Scandinavian nation's flagship approach to promoting women's rights globally. The manual, published on the government's website in English weeks before a September 9 general election, is derived from four years of work to place gender equality at the heart of the country's international agenda. Sweden began its feminist foreign policy "in response to the discrimination and systematic subordination that still mark the daily lives of countless women and girls around the world", the handbook said. It added that while gender equality was "an object in itself", it was "essential" in achieving more general government objectives, like peace, security and sustainable development. Led since its inception in 2014 by Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, its goals include the promotion of economic emancipation, fighting sexual violence and improving women's … [Read more...] about Sweden launches ‘feminist foreign policy’ manual