US Embassies instructed to do stricter screening of visa applicants

25 March, 2017, 00:48 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • NATO is setting up a new meeting to accommodate Rex Tillerson's schedule

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables directing embassies worldwide to identify certain groups that should get extra scrutiny when they apply for visas, including screening of applicants' social media, according to U.S. officials.

The tightened vetting is the result of a memo President Donald Trump signed the same day he signed his revised travel ban. But the practice was "rarely" performed by consular officials as it led to significant delays in processing visa applications, one former official who wished to remain anonymous, told Reuters.

The cable calls for consular chiefs at each post to immediately convene working groups to "develop a list of criteria identifying sets of post applicant populations warranting increased scrutiny" and "attempt to identify individual applicants that fall within the population set during the course of a consular visa interview".

Under a new visa screening process, the Trump administration is requiring "a mandatory social media check" on some applicants.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will attend a rescheduled meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance's 28 foreign ministers after coming under fire for saying he would miss the event because it conflicted with his schedule.

"The travel community has been deferential to this new administration, whose charge it is to keep us safe", said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow in a written release. The second order was also blocked by the courts this month as well.

Candidates Georgetown could target for head coach
Georgetown just finished up a second straight losing season too, which did not help build a case for a return for Thompson III. Recruiting would obviously be a major question mark but Ewing has the playing and coaching pedigree to be a wild card in this.

Iraqi forces close on Mosul mosque as strike kills foreign militants
Jawdat added that his forces, advancing towards the mosque, killed tens of militants and destroyed 23 booby-trapped vehicles. The last week has seen the highest level of displacement yet, with 32,000 displaced between March 12 and 15.

Syrian truck driver on road to Damascus reportedly killed by Israeli drone
On Friday, the Arrow 2 was deployed for the first time, shooting down a surface-to-air missile shot from Syria, says Brig. Russia's foreign ministry on Monday said it had summoned Israel's ambassador over the strikes and "expressed concern".

Some of the language in the cables, including the line that "all visa decisions are national security decisions", is similar to statements made by USA officials in the past.

Trump issued his revised travel ban on March 6th and also penned a presidential memorandum ordering the attorney general, secretary of homeland security and secretary of state instructing them to "implement protocols and procedures" for enhancing visa screening.

The March 15 cable suggests questions should include an applicant's travel history, addresses, and work history for 15 years, and all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles used in the past five years, the Times reported.

For example, the Islamic State took control of official passport offices as it swept across parts of Iraq, Syria, and Libya - and so would have had at its fingertips the means of issuing official-looking documents.

"It's highly unlikely they could obtain information that demonstrates whether someone is a national security threat in such a brief interview process", he said.

Recommended:

  • Pharmacist blamed for meningitis outbreak guilty of racketeering, cleared of murder

    Pharmacist blamed for meningitis outbreak guilty of racketeering, cleared of murder

    But on Wednesday, jurors did not find Cadden directly responsible for those 25 deaths, only the racketeering and fraud charges. In December, NECC's national sales director, Robert Ronzio, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the U.S.
    Jermain Defoe has World Cup berth in his sights

    Jermain Defoe has World Cup berth in his sights

    In Rooney's absence, Southgate has indicated he intends to allocate the captain's armband on a match-by-match basis. The Three Lions were put through their paces by boss Gareth Southgate at St.

    Samsung Launches Tough Galaxy Xcover 4

    However, there are many unknown factors, both for the company and for us, and it remains to be seen how will they handle them. However, Samsung is getting ready to officially launch its much-awaited handsets at its upcoming event on March 29, 2017.
  • Vikings sign Datone Jones

    Vikings sign Datone Jones

    With tight end Jared Cook nearly certain to leave, as well, that would increase the total to seven key players who have left this offseason.
    Vigilant EU to suspend imports involved in Brazil meat scandal

    Vigilant EU to suspend imports involved in Brazil meat scandal

    Investigators also found evidence that some companies manipulated certificates on meat for export to Spain and Italy. Some of the meat ended up in lunches at public schools, police said at a press conference in Curitiba, Brazil.
    1500 gunmen, their families leave al-Waer neighborhood in Homs

    1500 gunmen, their families leave al-Waer neighborhood in Homs

    The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, along with Russian and Syrian officials are supervising the Al-Waer evacuation. Waer district has been under a siege by regime forces for four years.
  • Christine Michael re-signs with Green Bay

    Christine Michael re-signs with Green Bay

    Montgomery is the projected starter for Green Bay at the position. 6 regular season games and all three playoff matchups. Due to his unknown role in the backfield next season, Michael's 2017 fantasy value is a question mark.
    Google releases developer preview of Android O

    Google releases developer preview of Android O

    The search giant has released the latest beta version of Android 7.1.2, pushing some big changes into the software on the Pixel C. The next major improvement in Android O noted by sources is the revamped app icon badge that will display active notifications.
    S'pore named world's most expensive city for expats again

    S'pore named world's most expensive city for expats again

    It also means London is cheaper than NY for the first time in 15 years and it is now 17 per cent less expensive than Paris. The only city in North America to enter the list was NY which fell to the ninth rank this year from seventh last year.
  • Local 'Meals on Wheels' program fears for future under proposed federal budget

    Local 'Meals on Wheels' program fears for future under proposed federal budget

    Calzadilla said the local Meals on Wheels chapter has operated in Palm Beach County for six years. Clients receive two meals a day, Monday through Friday.
    Gerard Deulofeu Admits He's 'Really' Happy At AC Milan

    Gerard Deulofeu Admits He's 'Really' Happy At AC Milan

    The club's sporting director, Robert Fernandez also hinted on a possible move by revealing that they have a buy-back clause. Barcelona , on the other hand, have a buy-back clause which would allow them to take the player back to the Nou Camp.
    Tests find drugs, alcohol in blood of Paris airport attacker

    Tests find drugs, alcohol in blood of Paris airport attacker

    Belgacem later showed up at the bar and hijacked another vehicle at gunpoint before showing up at the airport, Molins said. His father has insisted this was not an act of terrorism, and the cause was down to the substances Begacem had consumed.


Popular

NCAA Tournament: 5 Players To Watch In South Carolina vs Baylor
You get those guys by keeping them here in the South, but they see us as football schools and we lose guys right under our nose. And I didn't even know him back then. "He's just a great player". "It's important to me that these players know that".

ABC News says Twitter accounts were hacked, sent out profanity-filled messages
Two hours prior to the resolution, ABC News PR announced the hacking and assured followers that the issue was being resolved. They were deleted within minutes, but not before a few ABC News affiliate journalists captured the tweets in screen grabs.

Families React To Prosecutor's Decision Not To Seek Death Penalty
But several groups, including Amnesty International USA and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, rose to her defense. Clayton was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, but the mother of one, succumbed to her injuries at 7:40 a.m.

Syrian Army Repels Ex-Nusra Front Attacks in Eastern Damascus
Under such agreements, the government agrees to end bombardments and stop besieging towns in exchange for a rebel withdrawal. Rebel fighters have been granted safe passage to insurgent-held areas of northern Syria under such agreements.

Joe Girardi: Didi Gregorius could miss all of April
NY manager Joe Girardi didn't put on a timetable on a return, saying only, "He's going to be sidelined for a bit". The New York Yankees received some bad news regarding their young shortstop Didi Gregorius.

Johnson faces a major group in Match Play
Jordan Spieth at least won't have to worry about playing a close friend like he did a year ago against Justin Thomas. Past year at Austin Country Club, he posted a 7-0 record, including a 5-and-4 rout of Oosthuizen in the final.

Google Announces Android O and Developer Preview is Now Available
If you're a normal user, you may want to hold off on installing this release, at least when it comes to your daily driver. Google says that these tweaks should make it so that apps "have minimal impact on a user's device and battery".

Trump signs bill pushing for crewed NASA mission to Mars
I look forward to working with the new administration to implement these policies and to restore American leadership in space. The new law also authorizes $19.5 billion in space agency funding for the 2017 budget year, which began October 1.

Justin Kuijer: Man Wanted In Niagara For Murdering Stepson
Kuijer was last seen wearing an orange hoodie under a brown leather coat, dark trousers , a black toque, and boots, police said. Catharines site of the Niagara Health System, the woman was transported to a trauma centre outside of the Niagara region.

'Beauty and the Beast' sets March box office weekend record
The film, directed by Oscar victor Bill Condon and based on the 1991 animated film, cost 160 million US dollars to make. The film, which stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles, scored another $180 million internationally.