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Then and Now - This is a story of two special agents—living two worlds apart in terms of the times and their experiences. Hired in the early 1960s as the first black special agent in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Security, forerunner to the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), William DeFossett faced many challenges in a segregated world. Today, DSS special agents like Alston Richardson enter their careers in a much more inclusive environment. But, as Richardson observes, there is still room for improvement to create and sustain career and leadership opportunities through a diverse workplace: http://go.usa.gov/x9hZ2.

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At a time when our nation is facing a true drug crisis, with heroin and dangerous synthetics like fentanyl ravaging our communities, the U.S. government is working on multiple fronts -- and with our North American neighbors -- to forge effective and transnational solutions.

Illicit narcotrafficking and drug use present an inherently transnational problem -- drug traffickers clearly don’t respect national borders. To succeed in combatting drug trafficking, then, the good guys must also be able to work across borders. International cooperation is a must.

The State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau, or INL, works all over the globe to advance this very type of international collaboration. This week INL is in Thailand for the global ‘Bangkok III’ Conference, where the United States is highlighting cross-border anti-drug cooperation within our own home continent: http://go.usa.gov/x9h5D.

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ICYMI - Here is a recap of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip to Mexico: http://go.usa.gov/x9hZn. 

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On February 27, cultural heritage professionals from Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mozambique, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and South Africa will gather in Charleston, South Carolina for a Department of State sponsored workshop on the protection of sites and antiquities associated with the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Organized by the U.S. National Park Service, the workshop will focus on legal, national, community, and other strategies to protect this heritage from damage and loss due to vandalism, theft, and other threats.

The workshop is the first of two organized to support cultural heritage professionals from partner countries in their efforts to apply cultural preservation policies and best practices at slave trade sites, improve protection of sites associated with the slave trade, foster community engagement as a means of site protection, and support terrestrial and submerged resource survey and stewardship.




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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly met with Mexican officials today in Mexico to discuss bilateral issues: http://go.usa.gov/x9SFt. 
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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in #Mexico yesterday and was greeted by a representative of the Mexican government and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson.

Secretary Tillerson is in Mexico to meet with President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto and the Mexican ministers of Interior, Foreign Relations, Finance, National Defense, and Navy. The group will discuss border security, law enforcement cooperation, and trade, among other issues.

Secretary Tillerson will also meet with personnel at U.S. Embassy Mexico: http://go.usa.gov/x9Jwy.
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2/23/17
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ICYMI: On February 19, Vice President Mike Pence met with the North Atlantic Treary Organization's (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Belgium.

In remarks to the press following their meeting, the Vice President noted, “The United States has been a proud and faithful member of NATO since its founding in 1949. This alliance plays a crucial role in promoting peace and prosperity in the North Atlantic and, frankly, in the entire world.”

The Vice President underscored United States’ commitment to NATO as well as our common defense. “We're about the process of strengthening our military and restoring the arsenal of democracy. Working with members of Congress, we intend to increase military funding to make it possible for us to provide for the common defense for the people of the United States, but also meet the obligations that we have with our treaty allies, including in this historic treaty,”

Looking to the future with optimism, the Vice President declared, “By building on tactics from the last century with these new century opportunities and challenges, NATO will be better prepared to confront and overcome the new adversaries of the 21st century.”

Read more: http://go.usa.gov/x9SaU. 
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The United States is gravely concerned by the February 20 declaration of famine in parts of South Sudan and by the significant scale of humanitarian need throughout the country. This crisis is man-made, the direct consequence of a conflict prolonged by South Sudanese leaders who are unwilling to put aside political ambitions for the good of their people.


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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Mexico City, February 22–23, 2017. He will be joined in Mexico by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

During their visit, the two Secretaries will meet with President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto and the Mexican ministers of Interior, Foreign Relations, Finance, National Defense, and Navy. The group will discuss border security, law enforcement cooperation, and trade, among other issues.

Secretary Tillerson will also meet with personnel at U.S. Embassy Mexico: http://go.usa.gov/x9Jwy. 
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At the February 21-24 ‘Bangkok III’ conference, the United States will seek to make progress in stopping the illegal trafficking of synthetic drugs, including fentanyl, that are harming U.S. communities. At this international meeting, convened by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the United States will partner with international organizations and other nations to restrict the illicit production and transnational trafficking of drugs.

The U.S. will seek enhanced control of the precursor chemicals used to make illicit fentanyl, a substance that is driving opioid-related overdoses in the United States. Harmful drugs classified as new psychoactive substances (NPS), which include fentanyl-like substances known as “fentanyl analogues”, will also be a focus area.

Read more: http://go.usa.gov/x9JQF
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