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"We call on the Sudanese government to exercise all available legal means to reverse this decision and to re-arrest Abuzeid," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters. Officials met with the Sudanese ambassador to the United States on Thursday and the U.S. ambassador to Sudan, John Godfrey, is engaging Sudanese officials at the highest levels on the issue, Price said. Peter Lord, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Africa, Sudan and South Sudan will also take up the issue and demand action when he travels to Khartoum next week, Price said. Abuzeid's brother said on Monday that his sibling was released by Sudan's high court based on a multimillion dollar 2020 settlement between Sudan and victims of attacks including the one that killed Granville. "In no way did (the settlement) say that that money was going to release any of these men that killed John," Jane Granville said.
WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 22 individuals and entities in multiple countries that it accused of being tied to a global sanctions evasion network supporting Russia's military-industrial complex. The action targeted a sanctions evasion network that the Treasury said is led by Russia and Cyprus-based arms dealer Igor Zimenkov, who, along with his son, Jonatan, were hit with sanctions on Wednesday. The network has engaged in projects connected to Russian defense capabilities, including supplying high-technology devices after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Treasury said. Washington also accused certain members of the network of supporting state-owned Russian defense entities under sanctions. GBD Limited, another company in the network targeted in the sanctions, has attempted to supply weapons systems to an African government, Treasury said.
[1/2] Myanmar's military parade to mark the 72nd Armed Forces Day in the capital Naypyitaw, Myanmar March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File PhotoWASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The United States and its allies imposed further sanctions on Myanmar on Tuesday, marking the two-year anniversary of a military coup with curbs on energy officials and junta members, among others. Washington imposed sanctions on the Union Election Commission, mining enterprises and energy officials, among others, according to a Treasury Department statement. It marks the first time the United States has targeted Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) officials under the current Myanmar sanctions program, a Treasury spokesperson said. Mining Enterprise No 1 and Mining Enterprise No 2, both state-owned enterprises, as well as the Union Election Commission, were also hit with sanctions by Washington.
[1/2] Myanmar's military parade to mark the 72nd Armed Forces Day in the capital Naypyitaw, Myanmar March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File PhotoWASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The United States and its allies imposed further sanctions on Myanmar on Tuesday, marking the two-year anniversary of the coup with curbs on energy officials and members of the junta, among others. Washington imposed sanctions on the Union Election Commission, mining enterprises, energy officials and current and former military officials, according to a Treasury Department statement. It marks the first time the United States has targeted Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) officials under the current Myanmar sanctions program, a Treasury spokesperson said. Washington also targeted former and current Myanmar military officials, the Treasury said, accusing the Air Force of continuing to launch air strikes using Russian-made aircraft against pro-democracy forces that have killed civilians.
[1/2] Delegates from Russia attend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York City, New York, U.S., August 1, 2022. REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado/File PhotoWASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday accused Russia of violating the New START Treaty, the last major pillar of post-Cold War nuclear arms control between the two countries, saying Moscow was refusing to allow inspection activities on its territory. The two countries, which during the Cold War were constrained by a tangle of arms control agreements, still account together for about 90% of the world's nuclear warheads. "The New START Treaty remains in the national security interests of the United States," the spokesperson said. Asked if Moscow could envisage there being no nuclear arms control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the RIA state new agency: "This is quite a possible scenario."
[1/2] The American flag flies over the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2023. But Ankara has pledged that international sanctions will not be circumvented in Turkey. Washington is also concerned about evasion of U.S. sanctions on Iran. While in the United Arab Emirates, Nelson will note the "poor sanctions compliance" in the country, the spokesperson said. In Oman, Nelson will meet with counterparts to discuss cooperation on countering illicit finance, including terrorist financing, the department said.
At the same time, it opposes Western sanctions on Russia and has close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors. But Ankara has pledged that international sanctions will not be circumvented in Turkey. Washington is also concerned about evasion of U.S. sanctions on Iran. While in the United Arab Emirates, Nelson will note the "poor sanctions compliance" in the country, the spokesperson said. Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk Editing by Don Durfee and Leslie AdlerOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
WASHINGTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday stepped up sanctions against the Wagner Group, labeling the Russian mercenary company fighting in Ukraine as a transnational criminal organization responsible for widespread human rights abuses. The U.S. Treasury Department, as part of action targeting dozens of people and entities in an effort to degrade Russia's ability to wage the war, said it designated Wagner Group as a "significant transnational criminal organization" on Thursday. It had previously designated Wagner under its Russia and Ukraine sanctions programs. "These images were gathered in order to enable Wagner combat operations in Ukraine," Treasury said. He said the United States assesses Wagner has about 50,000 personnel deployed to Ukraine, including 40,000 convicts recruited from Russian prisons.
U.S. says Finland, Sweden are ready to join NATO alliance
  + stars: | 2023-01-23 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: 1 min
WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Monday said Finland and Sweden are ready to join the NATO alliance, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Sweden should not expect Turkey's support for its membership after a protest near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm at the weekend including the burning of a copy of the Koran. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act, adding that "something can be lawful but awful." Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Kanishka Singh and Daphne PsaledakisOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File PhotoWASHINGTON/BRUSSELS, Jan 23 (Reuters) - The West on Monday stepped up pressure on Iran over its crackdown on protests as the United States, European Union and United Kingdom imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran. 'BRUTAL REPRESSION'The European Union imposed sanctions on more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations, including units of the Revolutionary Guards, blaming them for a "brutal" crackdown on protesters and other human rights abuses. Those sanctions targeted units and senior officials of the IRGC across Iran, including in Sunni-populated areas where the state crackdown has been intense, a list published in the EU's Official Journal showed. Britain also imposed sanctions on more Iranian individuals and entities on Monday over the country's "brutal repression" of its people. Britain has now imposed 50 new sanctions against Iran since Amini's death, the foreign office said.
The fellowship was subject to approval by Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf. Kathryn Sikkink, a human rights academic at the Kennedy School, told The Nation magazine earlier this month that Elmendorf told her he rejected the appointment because of what he called HRW's "anti-Israel bias." In an email to the community on Thursday, shared by a Harvard Kennedy School spokesperson, Elmendorf said he believed he had made an error. I hope that our community will be able to benefit from his deep experience in a wide range of human rights issues," Elmendorf said. Elmendorf in the email said his earlier decision not to award the fellowship had not been influenced by donors or "made to limit debate at the Kennedy School about human rights in any country."
WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities said on Wednesday they have arrested the majority shareholder and cofounder of Hong Kong-registered virtual currency exchange Bitzlato Ltd for allegedly processing $700 million in illicit funds. It also broke rules requiring significant vetting of customers and failed to meet requirements aimed at preventing money laundering, authorities said. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration 1 2Prosecutors said Bitzlato knowingly serviced U.S. customers and conducted transactions with U.S.-based exchanges using U.S. online infrastructure. "Identifying Bitzlato as a primary money laundering concern effectively renders the exchange an international pariah," Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said at the news conference. "None of the mainstream financial institutions will deal with an entity identified as a primary money laundering concern," she said.
U.S. to announce international cryptocurrency action -statement
  + stars: | 2023-01-18 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department will "announce a major, international cryptocurrency enforcement action" on Wednesday, it said in a statement, adding the U.S. Treasury Department will also make an announcement. "The U.S. Department of the Treasury will also announce an action in this space," the statement said. U.S. officials, including Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, will deliver remarks at 12 p.m. (1700 GMT) in Washington, according to the statement. Other officials will include the associate deputy director of the FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Susan Heavey, editing by Paul Grant and Chizu NomiyamaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationWASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities said on Wednesday they have arrested the majority shareholder and cofounder of Hong Kong-registered virtual currency exchange Bitzlato Ltd for allegedly processing hundreds of million of dollars in illicit funds. The action, done in conjunction with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and foreign authorities, marked the first major action by the Justice Department's National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Network. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said it has prohibited certain transmittals of funds involving Bitzlato by any covered financial institution after labeling Bitzlato Ltd a "money laundering concern" related to Russian illicit finance. By midday Wednesday, Bitzlato's website was replaced by a notice saying that the service had been seized by French authorities "as part of a coordinated international law enforcement action." Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Raphael Satter, Kanishka Singh, Chris Prentice Writing by Chris Prentice; Editing by David GregorioOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Biden condemns 'assault on democracy' in Brazil
  + stars: | 2023-01-08 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday condemned "the assault on democracy" in Brazil after supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro invaded the country's Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court. "I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined," Biden said on Twitter. Earlier on Sunday, Biden said the situation in Brazil was "outrageous." "I condemn this outrageous assault on #Brazil’s govt buildings incited by demagogue Bolsonaro’s reckless disregard for democratic principles," U.S.
WASHINGTON, Jan 1 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with incoming Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang over the phone on Sunday, Blinken said on Twitter, after China last week appointed its ambassador to the United States to be its new foreign minister. Blinken said he discussed the U.S.-China relationship and maintaining open lines of communication in his phone call with Qin. Qin, 56, replaces Wang Yi, who had been foreign minister for the past decade. Wang, 69, was promoted to the politburo of the Chinese Communist Party in October and is expected to play a bigger role in Chinese foreign policy. Wang's stint as foreign minister saw a sharp rise in tensions between Beijing and Washington on a wide range of issues ranging from trade to Taiwan.
[1/2] A woman chats during a protest against gender-based violence in Iran, in front of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) office in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 30, 2022. REUTERS/Amy OsborneWASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on Iranian officials on Wednesday, including the prosecutor general and key military officials, stepping up pressure on Tehran over its crackdown on protests. The move is the latest Washington response to the Iranian crackdown on unrest after the death of young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody in September. The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it imposed sanctions on Mohammad Montazeri, Iran’s prosecutor general, accusing him of directing courts in September to issue harsh sentences to many arrested during protests. Washington also imposed sanctions on two senior officials of Iran’s Basij Resistance Forces, a militia affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards that has been widely deployed during the crackdown, and two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials.
Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has requested a review of U.S. security assistance and cooperation programs in Nigeria following Reuters reporting on an illegal abortion program and killing of children carried out by the Nigerian military. Nigerian military leaders denied the program has ever existed and said Reuters reporting was part of a foreign effort to undermine the country's fight against the insurgents. Nigerian military leaders told Reuters the army has never targeted children for killing. The deal, approved in April, had been put on hold over concerns about possible human rights abuses by the Nigerian government. The United States has also obligated about $6 million between 2016 and 2020 for the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program.
[1/7] U.S. President Joe Biden delivers keynote remarks at a U.S.-Africa Business forum at the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2022. "The United States is 'all in' on Africa's future," Biden told African leaders attending a three-day summit in Washington. Beijing has held its own high-level meetings with African leaders every three years for more than two decades. For their part, many African leaders reject the idea that they need to choose between the United States and China. "The fact that both countries have different levels of relations with African countries makes them equally important for Africa's development," Ethiopia's U.N. ambassador, Taye Atske Selassie Amde, told Reuters.
Kagame criticizes U.S. over 'Hotel Rwanda' figure's detention
  + stars: | 2022-12-14 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +3 min
WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Wednesday criticized the United States over the concerns it has raised in the case of Paul Rusesabagina, a U.S. permanent resident jailed in Rwanda who was portrayed as a hero in the film "Hotel Rwanda." Kagame, who was in Washington for a U.S.-Africa summit, questioned why Rwanda should release Rusesabagina because he is famous and a permanent resident of the United States. When asked if he would meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, Kagame said he was not sure yet. The United States in May determined that Rusesabagina had been "wrongfully detained," citing a lack of fair trial guarantees during Rusesabagina's trial. Rusesabagina, who was feted around the world after being portrayed by actor Don Cheadle in the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda," is a vocal critic of Kagame.
WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department is "deeply troubled" by a Reuters report that the Nigerian army killed children in its fight against insurgents and had raised the allegations with the Nigerian government, a spokesperson said on Monday. Nigerian military leaders told Reuters the army has never targeted children for killing. "We are pursuing further information, including from the Government of Nigeria and stakeholders working in this space," a State Department spokesperson said by email. Our Embassy in Abuja is seeking additional information, including by speaking to Nigerian authorities." The Reuters report said intentional killings of children have occurred across northeast Nigeria, where the military have been battling Islamist extremists for 13 years.
WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The United States plans to impose new sanctions against Russia and China on Friday that include punishing Moscow for its use of Iranian drones in its war against Ukraine, two U.S. officials said on Thursday. The sanctions will also target about 170 Chinese entities for what Washington considers illegal fishing in the Pacific, the officials said, amid concerns that China is over-fishing and using its fishing fleet to expand Beijing's maritime influence. The United States has condemned Iran's export of military drones to Russia for their use against Ukraine. John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told reporters on Wednesday the United States has seen the continued provision of Iranian drones to Russia. The sanctions are expected to target a number of Russian defense industry entities involved in the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia, the officials said.
WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden next week will announce U.S. support for the African Union's admission to the G20 group of the world's largest economies as a permanent member, a White House official said on Friday. Biden will make the announcement during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington next week, White House adviser Judd Devermont said, when Biden will meet presidents of African countries. Devermont said the move, first reported by the Washington Post, comes after requests from African Union Chair and Senegalese President Macky Sall and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. South Africa is the only G20 member from Africa. But Biden has struck a different tone from former President Donald Trump, who disparaged some African nations and barred travel from six of them.
It could also negatively impact African nations that produce battery materials. The United States has a Free Trade Agreement in place with only one African country, Morocco. Battery materials and trade are set to be a focus at next week's U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit in Washington where President Joe Biden will meet presidents of African countries including Congo. Under IRA, U.S. carmakers will get tax credits if they source at least 40% of battery materials domestically or from American free-trade partners. His is one of many projects across sub-Saharan Africa aiming to produce battery materials like lithium, nickel and graphite.
WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on people and companies, including Nasdaq-listed Pingtan Marine Enterprises, Ltd., over what Washington says are human rights abuses linked to China-based illegal distant water fishing. The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Li Zhenyu and Xinrong Zhuo, both Chinese nationals, and 10 entities they control, including Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. and Pingtan Marine Enterprise, Ltd. (PME), the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement. It also targeted 157 China-flagged fishing vessels linked to those entities, it said. The designation of PME marks the first time the U.S. has imposed sanctions on an entity listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Michael Martina; Editing by Andrew HeavensOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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