US State Department
US State Department
Stop Sending U.S. Military Dogs to Jordan for them to be Starved and Abused!
The United States keeps sending our military bomb-sniffing dogs to the country of Jordan, where a Federal investigation revealed they are starved and neglected, that many died, and the dogs left are barely surviving. The federal investigation recommendation to the United States Department of Justice was to stop sending dogs until there was a sustainability plan put in place, but the Department of Justice has not taken action on this recommendation. Despite spending "millions of dollars" training and dispatching the dogs, State Department officials failed to ensure their health and welfare, said the report, which was launched after a hotline complaint about the dogs' treatment. According to the report, the State Department's loose regulation and lack of concrete policies were a big factor in the dogs' mistreatment. The State Department couldn't provide investigators detailed information for the dogs in other partner countries besides Jordan, and there often aren't any written agreements with the countries outlining how to care for the dogs. We are asking the United States Department Of Justice to: Stop sending additional dogs to Jordan until policies, a plan and assurances are put into place to properly monitor and ensure the well-being of those military dogs. Investigate and provide investigators detailed information about the dogs and their well-being in the other partner countries besides Jordan. Let's ensure the protection and care of the U.S. military dogs that work hard and risk their lives every day, serving our and our partner countries.### [[[ Guys: here are a couple of credible links to this story on CNN and Washington Post]]] 1. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/09/16/us/jordan-dog-death-intl-hnk-scli/index.html 2. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/09/16/us-officials-knew-bomb-sniffing-dogs-were-dying-neglect-jordan-they-sent-more/%3foutputType=amp
Help Us Free Nasrin Soutoudeh Now
Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced by an Islamic court in Tehran to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. The multiple indictments brought against her included conspiracy, incitement to corruption and prostitution, propaganda against the system, disruption of public order, and espionage. What did Sotoudeh, the 2012 recipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, do? She defended Iranian women who were removing their headscarves to protest the law that required them to wear one. Supreme irony: As Sotoudeh sits in jail, Iran has been appointed to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In the name of all the values we have always defended—equality between men and women, women's emancipation, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience—we, Marie Claire U.S., as well as many of our international editions, call for Nasrin Sotoudeh’s unconditional release.
STOP the Israeli forces assault to Coptic monks & preserve Coptic heritage -Deir El Sultan
#CopticDeir #دير_السلطان_قبطي Current Situation Israeli soldiers and police officers are using unacceptable and excessive use of force on Coptic monks and deacons as they lawfully protested the execution of an order that contravenes a standing Israeli Supreme Court ruling on property in favor of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. "Coptic clergy, accompanying His Eminence Archbishop Antonios, Coptic Orthodox Metropolitan Archbishop of Jerusalem, were peacefully demonstrating at the Sultan Monastery in Jerusalem’s Old City, officially the property of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Urgent restoration work has been needed for some time, and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate had offered on numerous occasions to carry out the required work itself, but was refused. This work is now being carried out by Israeli authorities on their own terms, without the approval of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, and while preventing Archbishop Antonios access throughout. According to the 1971 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, the Coptic Orthodox Church was given sole rights over the Sultan Monastery, but to-date Israeli authorities have failed to implement the ruling, giving rise to unnecessary dissatisfaction, confusion, tension, and violent and forceful behavior against the Coptic community on numerous occasions. This can be alleviated with the execution of the aforementioned standing Supreme Court ruling of 1971 in favor of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem." -Bishop Angelos A Brief History The Coptic Monastery of the Sultan in Jerusalem dates back to the reign of Sultan Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (684-705 AD), who gave it to the Copts and therefore it was named Deir El-Sultan (i.e. Monastery of the Sultan). The Coptic Orthodox Church’s ownership of Deir El-Sultan was confirmed during the reign of Sultan Salah ad-Din in the twelfth century. Deir El-Sultan is part of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria. The Monastery is located on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and has an entrance leading into the Church. It covers an area of 1,800 square meters. In the middle of the outer courtyard it contains the dome of the Church of Saint Helen. It also contains two ancient churches on the southeast side of the monastery, the first is the Church of Archangel Michael and the second is the Church of the Four Living Creatures. On the eastern side of the courtyard there are rooms where the Copts host some of the Ethiopian monks alongside the Abbot’s room where a Coptic monk resides. In the latter half of the seventeenth century, the Ethiopians turned to the Coptic Church to find a temporary shelter because the ownership of their Churches was transferred to the Roman and Armenian churches in 1654. This occurred because the Ethiopian Church was unable to pay their taxes. The Coptic Church in Jerusalem hosted the Ethiopian monks temporarily as guests in Deir Al Sultan. On October 17th, 1820, the Coptic Church renovated Deir Al Sultan, and this required all residents, both Copts and Ethiopians to temporarily vacate the Monastery. The Ethiopian monks were allowed to return to stay as guests in the monastery in 1840 as members of the Coptic Church. Some persons representing foreign governments spread seeds of discord between the Copts and the Ethiopians and they urged the Ethiopian monks to repeatedly attempt to seize the monastery. This occurred on: - November 1850, the Ethiopians tried to seize the key of Deir El-Sultan, but it was returned to the Copts according to an official document by the Ottoman Empire on February 3rd, 1851. - In 1862, they once again attempted to seize the key, but the key of the monastery was returned according to an official document by the Ottoman Empire on March 9th, 1863. - In 1888, the Copts made renovations to one of the churches of Deir Al-Sultan with the official permission of the Jerusalem Municipality. The Ethiopian monks tried to prevent the Copts from completing the renovations. The Copts filed a lawsuit to the Ottoman Ministry of Justice in Istanbul on December 2nd, 1891. The Ottoman Sultan decided on January 18th, 1894 that the Copts had the right of ownership of Deir El-Sultan, obliging the Ethiopians to stay away. - In 1906, the Ethiopian monks requested to renovate the monastery as an initial step in the attempt to seize it. Therefore, the Coptic Church hastened to file a request for renovation, which was approved by the concerned official authorities in 1910, confirming the Copts’ right to manage Deir El-Sultan. - In 1945, during the British mandate, the Ethiopians painted one of the rooms in which they lived. The governor of Jerusalem sent a letter to them confirming that this work may not be considered in the future as a presumption supporting any of their rights in Deir El-Sultan. He sent a copy of this letter to Coptic Bishop in Jerusalem. - In February of 1959, the Ethiopians misled the Jordanian administrator of Jerusalem, convincing him of their right to Deir El-Sultan. The Jordanian government handed Deir El-Sultan over to the Ethiopians by force on February 22nd, 1961. The Patriarch, Pope Cyril VI, sent a delegation of Archbishops to meet with His Majesty, the King of Jordan. They provided the King with documents proving the Coptic Church’s ownership of the monastery. His Majesty issued a decision on April 1st, 1961 to cancel the previous decision and to form a ministerial committee to study the documents submitted. Accordingly, the committee issued a decision annulling the previous decision issued on February 22nd, 1961, and confirmed the right of the Copts in the ownership of Deir El-Sultan and the need to return the keys to the Coptic Church. - On April 25th, 1970, during the Holy Resurrection Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Israeli government sent military forces who enabled the Ethiopians monks to seize Deir El-Sultan and change the locks. They gave the new keys to the Ethiopians. When the Coptic monks knew this, they rushed to Deir El-Sultan to recover their property, but the Israeli forces forcibly prevented the Bishop of the Copts and all those with him from entering Deir El-Sultan. The Bishop of the Copts immediately filed a lawsuit in the Israeli Supreme Court, which unanimously decided, on March 16th, 1971, to return the keys of the Monastery to the Copts. However, the Israeli government has refused to implement the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court since 1971 to the present day. - On September 22nd, 2017, as a result of renovations on the roof of the Greek Orthodox Church adjacent to Deir El Sultan, a small stone fell from the roof of the Church of Archangel Michael, one of the two churches in Deir El Sultan. This led to the closure of the church by the Dangerous Buildings Department of the Jerusalem Municipality until the completion of renovations and the repair of the damage to the roof of the church. For some strange reason, all the preliminary consultations and inspections of the damage were done without notifying the Coptic Church, the owner of the property. We therefore contacted the concerned departments and authorities to express our dissatisfaction at this complete disregard of our ownership of the property. We asked in writing to have the necessary repairs done at our own expense. The request was refused, and the government offered to do the repairs as a neutral party. We gave them some conditions in order for us to accept this and we also sent a letter stating the conditions. As we did not receive any reply, we sent several other letters to confirm our readiness to complete the repairs at our expense. We sent the engineering report, the blueprints, and the Contract Agreement to the engineering office assigned with the renovations of the archaeological sites in order to start the necessary repairs, but we have yet to receive any written response. On the evening of Thursday, October 19th, 2017, the government-appointed engineer tried to admit the equipment to begin repairs without notifying us in writing. All of us, as monks, deacons, sub-deacons, led by our Archbishop, rushed to perform a peaceful protest in front of Deir Al Sultan’s gate to prevent the entry of any equipment for repair. Some officers from various parties tried to convince us to allow the equipment to enter the site, but we refused this without prior coordination in order to preserve our rights. The Egyptian Embassy intervened in this matter, and this led to the delay of the work until coordination in writing is made with us. It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry firmly supports the Coptic Church in its legitimate demand for its right to restore a Coptic Egyptian monument, on the basis that Deir El-Sultan is a matter that concerns Egypt and not only the Church. We call upon all parties concerned to support the Coptic Church in preserving its property in the Holy Land.
Save Aysha and Her Family from Being Executed by the Taliban
Aysha and her family are in critical danger because Aysha's father, Muhammad, is a heroic Afghan interpreter who worked for the US mission in Afghanistan for more than 10 years and was threatened with death by the Taliban. As NBC News recently reported, the Department of Homeland Security has been stonewalling several members of Congress for nearly a year on why Muhammad and his family were denied visas. The family’s case was recently re-opened, but they remain in critical danger as they wait. As a US military interpreter, Muhammad directly saved American soldiers' lives, including one time he dashed into an ambushed vehicle under Taliban fire. His military supervisors praised his work ethic, dedication, and trustworthiness, and his incredible skill of fluently speaking six languages made him indispensable on Special Forces night raids on Taliban insurgents. But the Taliban considers him a criminal and is working hard to find and kill Muhammad, his wife, and his young daughters. The whole family has been living in hiding for nearly five years. They are living in daily fear of being discovered and killed by the Taliban. Even the children are unable to leave their apartment. Leaks in the roof have made the young girls sick on several occasions from getting infections from bacteria in the water or getting cold in the winter. Since the family is in hiding, Muhammad is unable to work. If you are able to contribute to supporting the Kamran family while we work to get them visas, please visit our Go Fund Me page. Meet Aysha, Muhammad, and the rest of their family in our 2-min YouTube video and help us by sharing the video (especially with your representatives in Congress). As I wrote about in USA Today, my family and I tried to sponsor Aysha and her family for humanitarian parole to save their lives, but the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied the cases despite the strong support of a former Navy Lieutenant who personally worked with Muhammad in Afghanistan. Aysha's aunt and uncle in the United States offered to care for her and her sisters, but USCIS refused to even save the kids, making the ridiculous claim that Aysha and her sisters are “security concerns.” On May 22nd, Representatives Jamie Raskin, Tom Reed, Pramila Jayapal, and John Garamendi sent a letter to USCIS reiterating their request for a briefing on the family’s case. Previously, in July 2018, 38 bipartisan members of Congress, sent a letter to former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen asking to review the reason that the family's refugee case was denied. USCIS took several months to respond to the letter, and they are still refusing to answer Congress’s questions about why the case was denied then Secretary Nielsen promising a briefing to Rep. Raskin in December 2018. USCIS has also ignored Senate offices that have contacted them about the case. Four bipartisan members of Congress then sent a letter on February 14th, 2019 demanding to know why the family's case was denied. In response, USCIS re-opened the case but is still ignoring Congress’s request to review the reason for the denial. Tell USCIS that ignoring Congress is unacceptable. USCIS must approve Muhammad and his family's case to save them from the Taliban before it is too late. USCIS doesn't question that leaving this family behind is a death sentence. They just don't care enough about refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Muhammad and his family's story is summarized below and has been covered by NBC News, The Christian Post, USA Today, McClatchy DC, The Sacramento Bee, RedState, The Ithaca Voice (here, here, and here), No One Left Behind, and the Evangelical Immigration Table. You can also hear Muhammad's story in his own words in our 4-min YouTube video or in a recent interview on The Michael Calderin Show. Please contact your representatives in Congress ask them to help with the case. You can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. If you want to contribute to supporting the Kamran family while we work to get them visas, please visit our Go Fund Me page. When the US military mostly pulled out of Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban gained strength in Afghanistan and killed many interpreters or their family members in revenge. One of Muhammad's brothers and a nephew, Sahil, who was also an interpreter, were shot and left for dead in an assassination attempt on Muhammad and his family. After the Taliban ambush, Muhammad fled his home district, just in time to escape a second Taliban attack that destroyed their family home. Consequently, Muhammad lost all contact with US military personnel who could have helped him apply for an SIV visa. When I learned about Muhammad and his family's plight over a year ago, I was determined to do everything possible to save their lives. Muhammad had tried to apply to the US as a refugee on his own, but he was denied for “discretionary security reasons,” a very common problem for former military interpreters and their families. When Muhammad's refugee case was denied, he was devastated and lost all hope for saving his life and his family's lives. He said the only option left for him was to surrender to the Taliban, thinking that after the Taliban tortured and killed him, they would stop looking for his children. I told him not to give up and promised him to find a way to save their lives. Please help me keep my promise to Muhammad to save his life and his family's lives. They do not deserve to suffer and die because of Muhammad's service to the US military. My family hired a lawyer and filed a humanitarian parole case to sponsor Muhammad and his family to come live in the US while he works to get permanent, legal status in the US. Our humanitarian parole case for them may be our last chance to save their lives. In what our lawyer says is the most egregious case she has ever seen, USCIS denied Muhammad and his family's humanitarian parole cases because his refugee case had been denied and without even bothering to figure out why the refugee case had been denied. Thus, they denied Muhammad's humanitarian parole case for “discretionary reasons” without even knowing what those discretionary reasons were. This is effectively a death sentence for the entire family. When our lawyer pleaded with USCIS to at least let Muhammad's young daughters come live with their aunt and uncle in the US, the director of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch of USCIS, John Bird, refused to approve any of the family's cases and made the absurd claim that granting a one-year visa to anyone in the family, including Muhammad's 2- and 4-year-old daughters, was a security concern. Because of USCIS's policy and Muhammad's service to the US military, Muhammad's children were literally born with a death sentence. Mr. Bird acknowledges that Muhammad and his family meet all the criteria for humanitarian parole, and he does not question that they will be killed if left in their current situation. He just does not care enough about Muslim refugees to even save a toddler from the Taliban. Worse yet, in October 2017 USCIS granted humanitarian parole to family members of Las Zetas drug cartel members who murdered US ICE agents in Mexico, so that the family members of the murderers could attend a trial in Washington, D.C. Thus, USCIS is literally treating Muhammad and his family worse than criminals. Sign the petition to tell USCIS to approve Muhammad's and his family's cases quickly. Muhammad is a hero who faithfully served the US military for over 9 years and is now in grave danger because the Taliban is determined to get revenge. He has already lost everything except his and his family's lives because of his service to America, but he is still proud of his choice to work for the US military. All he wants in return is the chance to bring his daughters to safety and to give them a future. If USCIS does not re-open and approve his case, he will be left behind to be killed by the same terrorists that he risked his life to fight for so many years. Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to support our effort asking DHS for information on why they denied Muhammad's case. If you need contact information on your Congressional representatives, use this link to look them up: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ Email me (Kristy Perano) at save.aysha (at) gmail.com to find out how you can help or for more information on Muhammad's case. Please also email me if you know Muhammad personally or if you know any government officials or reporters who may be able to help raise public awareness of Muhammad's case.
Que le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Monica a los niños pobres de Panamá.
En Panamá hay medio millón de niños pobres, 200,000 niños viven en extrema pobreza. Muchos de estos niños solo tienen una madre que sirve como Madre y Padre a la vez. Estas guerreras Panameñas se levantan todos los días a las 4am con una sonrisa en cara para tomar un pésimo sistema de transporte y llegar a un trabajo donde les pagan mal. Ese es el Panamá que vivimos, el Panamá de dos países, el Panamá de los que tienen dinero y el Panamá de los que no tienen. Se acabo la clase media. Se acabo la justicia, y se acabo la solidaridad. Vivimos en un país donde las leyes se aplican para los pobres y no para los ricos. Pero de vez en cuando llega a Panamá un hombre rico, con un corazón grande. Esa es la historia del Sr. Charles Lucom, un hombre Norte Americano que hizo su plata con mucho esfuerzo y sudor en Panamá. Y cuando murió, decidió dejarle en su testamento a los Niños Pobres de Panamá un regalo. Les regaló la Hacienda Santa Mónica. La Hacienda Santa Mónica queda en Antón y colinda con Buenaventura y Juan Hombrón. La Hacienda tiene alrededor de 700 hectáreas de terreno (que valen más de $800 millones) y se le fue regalada a los niños pobres de Panamá por el Sr Lucom como dice su testamento. Como los niños pobres de Panamá no cuentan con un representante legal, el Sr Alberto Vallarino y su pandilla de abogados deciden asaltar a los 500,000 niños pobres de Panamá y robarles la Hacienda Santa Mónica. El Sr Vallarino con sus secuaces utilizaron el corrupto sistema Judicial Panameño y cambiaron el Testamento del Sr. Lucom y se quedaron con Hacienda Santa Mónica. Queremos que se haga justicia y le devuelvan la Hacienda Santa Mónica a los niños pobres de Panamá como lo quiso el Sr. Lucom en su testamento. Gracias, Los niños pobres de Panamá.
US Visa for Marwa’s medical treatment!
This is the story of Marwa, a beautiful 16-year-old Syrian girl, who suffered extensive third-degree burns and was left severely disfigured when a kerosene heater exploded in her home during a bombing nearby. Marwa has had multiple emergency operations to her face, arms and chest. The picture above helps to understand the extent of Marwa's injuries and how devastating this experience has been for Marwa and her entire family, including her twin sister Safa, pictured alongside Marwa above. Marwa was encouraged by doctors in Germany, where her family has resettled since leaving Syria, to seek further, essential treatment in the U.S. This life-changing medical treatment is being offered by the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Boston, a world-renowned centre for children with acute burn injuries. Shriner’s has offered to treat Marwa at no cost and free accommodation has been found for her father, who would accompany her. But in December 2018, Marwa was refused a visa to enter the US. Despite the fact that Marwa's entire family, including her twin sister, other siblings, parents, grandparents and uncle are now happily settled in Germany, the US Consulate in Munich stated "there was not enough evidence to prove she would return to Germany." (See Guardian article). Marwa escaped the humanitarian crisis in Syria to find refuge in Germany! Free state-of-the-art medical treatment has been offered in the USA! Doctors, charities, and politicians have wholeheartedly supported her! I am starting this petition because Marwa represents an opportunity for us to show compassion and to support a young woman as she embarks on her journey of recovery. The House of Peace, kindly offering free accommodation for her and her father, said the following: Marwa has taken on a great burden in this hour of destiny that would deprive a child of her internationally recognized human rights. Her wounds become her strength. Her unspeakable injuries become a resounding voice for justice. The House of Peace waits with open arms to welcome her when that voice is finally heard. Let's share her story, spread the word and draw attention to her cause - whether through social media, twitter, your friends, your family, your neighbours or the person next in line as you wait at the checkout. SHARE Marwa's story as widely as you can and PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION! If she is to have any hope of being granted a U.S. visa to access the medical treatment she so desperately needs, this petition might be the answer.
A CALL FOR JUSTICE TO SAUDI ARABIAN WOMEN!
IMPORTANT! A 25 year old Saudi Arabian woman in Riyadh is trapped in a household which promotes a rape culture and abuse through various beatings, threats, violence, as well as depriving her from basic needs such as food, water and medical care. I write this on behalf of her as this is a serious matter that needs immediate attention. I and many private individuals have contacted organisations such as UN women, Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch, Un Refugee etc only for them to ignore our cry for help or they would tell us that they do not deal with "individual cases". The young lady contacted local authorities and shelters for help but they would blame her instead for the abuse or they would turn a blind eye towards her case. This was proven from a variety of emails and proofs of which she provided us with in the hopes that it will spark attention. We call upon each and every individual to be a voice, in order for her to be placed in a safe environment after her endured trauma! She is also willing to testify on behalf of many other women who are trapped in her predicament in the hopes that Officials need to start taking lives seriously! I am desperate for this petition to reach as many people as possible because the young lady is looking through other means such as suicide. Who can blame her? It is obvious that she is mentally incapable and hence I redeem this matter as being serious. I have not provided her full name so that I can protect her identity from any further dangers especially from governmental entities and/or her oppressors. It is seen as a "shame" for a victim of the Saudi state to seek international help from outside their borders. That to me is absurd considering the fact that the victim and those who are oppressed wouldnt need to seek international help in the first place if their OWN state authorities and organisations didnt turn them away! To the humanitarian organisational entities, we call upon you to act according to the promises that you preach on a daily basis! We cannot as a society allow you to weaken the voices of the vulnerable when they CALL OUT FOR YOU! Furthermore, the whole purpose as to why your entites exist in the first place is to deal with violations that are a threat to human life! If you, yourselves do not follow your own mission and vision statements that you are willingly proud to boast about in public view, you are as bad as the individuals who find the need to cause unrest in society! The abuse of Saudi Arabian Women has been an ongoing issue that never ends. It is an atrocity that shouldn't even be considered a norm. Convenants and policies do nothing for these women as they are still being abused and mistreated in the most horrendous ways. A Saudi Arabian woman must not be killed or placed in a dention centre just because she knows her worth! The Saudi Arabian state must be held accountable for upholding a culture of abuse in its society! Death should not be, by any means a way of escape for a woman who is oppressed! Stop turning a blind eye to a human rights violation that is killing many. One Womans death equates to a fallen generation! Women are more than their beauty and their strength, They hold the world in the palm of their hands, therefore we need to rise to the occassion. Saudi Arabian women deserve their freedom. We talk about their freedom, we fantasize about it, we write articles about it and we even create mediocre policies for it but we never ACT on the freedom we so actively preach about it! ACT! ACT! ACT! GOALS 1. The Saudi Arabian Victim must be set free without any arrests. Furthermore, her oppressors must be dealt with legally for the crimes committed. She must be given the necessary treatment for the trauma and she must be able to have a say when it comes to her personal concerns. 2. Provide Saudi Arabian women of ALL ages places of safety ENSURING that they will not get turned back by organisational entities, ensuring that medical provisions are being made, ensuring that their perpetrators deal with the law immediately and effectively and ensuring that places of safety are checked on a constant bases for safety precautions. Any organisation that fails to account for the above, must face legal precautions. 3. Police Enforcement must be held accountable for not taking matters of abused women seriously. Women must NOT be forced back to their oppressors neither should they be arrested for reporting a crime that is considered urgent and pertaining a crisis that has the potential cause death. We ask that the Police enforcement must be held accountable for their actions if found to do so and this can only be achieved if investigations are conducted by the state and international organisations who have ties with such entities. #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen For more info please contact me on the following: Email: Ask for it. Social Media: Instagram and Skype. (Email me for such details)
Save the J-1 Au Pair Program
The Wall Street Journal reported on August 28th that the Trump Administration might eliminate several J-1 cultural exchange programs, including the au pair program, as it implements the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order. The au pair program is not a work program, it is a cultural exchange program that allows young students to travel to the United States each year to live as part of an American host family, attend classes and become a part of the local community. The diplomacy-oriented goals of the program are focused on creating meaningful cultural exchange opportunities and strong ties between citizens of this country and young people from around the world. The lasting international relationships that have been created over more than 30 years are a testament to the program’s continued success. The childcare component of the au pair program supports and empowers American families by allowing them to balance work while raising their families. The loss of this program would be devastating to the cultural exchange community and would result in American jobs being lost rather than created. Please join us in showing your support for this invaluable program. The au pair program supports thousands of working American families, connects people forming lasting diplomatic and familial bonds, and promotes American values around the world. It would be undemocratic to eliminate this program without hearing from the participants and constituents who actually benefit from this life-changing cultural exchange experience.
Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon and return to safe zones in Syria
Lebanon has a population of 4.5 million Lebanese people, 2 million Syrian refugees and half a million Palestinian refugees.It is a small country that, due to a 15 year war and the huge debt that accumulated after that for reconstruction, was already suffering economically before the March 2011 Syrian war and the spillover from the Syrian conflict including the influx of Syrian refugees that increased internal tension and slowed economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-15, and less than that in 2016, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Syrian refugees have pushed more and more Lebanese into unemployment. Yet we remain to this day the largest host (on a per capita basis) for displaced Syrians.Lebanese are known for their hospitality, however in this instance we regrettably announce that it is not within our capacity to have refugees in Lebanon, how can we invite a beloved guest to our house when we don't even have enough to feed our own children?!Besides the economical challenge, we are suffering demographic and social challenges that we worry might lead to serious altercations between both parties. Based on the facts of the country, with respect to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, Lebanon is neither a State Party nor has it signed its protocol. We ask you, the international community, our big family, please help us survive in our land, we need your assistance in relocating the displaced Syrians we have in Lebanon to safe zones in Syria designated and agreed upon by yourselves. We as the Lebanese people are willing to work hand in hand with the Lebanese government and international organizations in Lebanon, who have the data relating to the Syrian refugees, to relocate them in an organized, civilized manner. We hope for the best, God bless all the countries and we will continue to pray for world peace
US-Außenministerium: Lassen Sie die Regenbogenflagge in der U.S. Botschaft Berlin hissen!
Jede US-Botschaft, jedes Konsulat und jeder im Ausland gelegene Außenposten muss von dem US-Außenministerium eine schriftliche Erlaubnis erhalten, um eine andere Flagge als das sternenbesetzte Banner, die Nationalflagge der USA, hissen zu dürfen. Leider wurde der US-Botschaft in Berlin in diesem Jahr die Erlaubnis verweigert, die Regenbogenflagge (pride flag) für den Monat Juni zu hissen. Auf der ganzen Welt ist dieser Monat als „Pride-Monat” bekannt. Viele Amerikaner*innen, lesbisch, schwul, hetero oder divers, weltweit unterstützen die LGBTQI-Community. Allerdings wird uns jetzt im Ausland gezeigt, dass unser Land nicht hinter uns steht und uns nicht aktiv unterstützt. Bitte unterschreiben Sie diese Petition, und helfen Sie uns dabei, doch noch die Meinung des US-Außenministeriums zu ändern. Gemeinsam könnten wir es schaffen ihre Herzen und Köpfe in eine andere Richtung zu lenken und stolz unsere Regenbogenflagge fliegen zu lassen, um unseren Patriotismus und unsere wahren Farben zu zeigen.