Connect with us

Featured

U.S. Embassy in Ankara alerted to potential threats of terrorism and kidnappings

Published

on

Screen Shot 2020 10 23 at 3.21.48 PM

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Friday issued a warning that there could be potential terrorist attacks against American citizens and other foreign nationals in the capital city of Ankara, telling them to take precautionary measures.

“The U.S. Mission in Turkey has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the U.S. Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” the security alert read.

The security alert told American citizens currently in Turkey to exercise caution by avoiding crowds, monitoring local media for news updates, and staying alert in areas “where Americans or foreigners may gather, including large office buildings or shopping malls.”

A State Department spokesperson told this reporter that the U.S. Mission to Turkey issued this security alert “as a result of our ongoing assessment of security conditions” and that the “statement speaks for itself” when asked about the validity of these reported threats.

U.S. embassies and consulates in foreign nations publish security alerts whenever there is a need to inform U.S. citizens who are abroad of “specific events and changes happening locally, in real time,” the spokesperson emphasized.

Moreover, they said that the information used to devise alerts is assembled from a vast swath of sources. These sources include “crime statistics and other publicly-available information, information gathered from U.S. government sources, as well as assessments by our embassies and consulates.”

As for the Turkish government and how they fit into this situation, the spokesperson expressed gratitude for its assistance with this security matter.

“We are grateful for the support of the Turkish government in ensuring the safety of U.S. citizens living in Turkey,” they said, “as well as Turkish citizens who visit our Embassy and Consulates.”

The security and safety of State Department personnel in foreign countries has been a high priority since the mishandling of the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities and personnel in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The State Department and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were eviscerated for not taking the necessary security precautions when there had been reports of potential threats to the U.S. Mission in Libya prior to the attacks. 10 investigations were conducted into this infamous episode in U.S. foreign policy.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

You may like

Continue Reading

Featured

Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims

Published

on

Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 2.45.28 PM

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”

Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.

RELATED: ‘Let’s play strip poker’: Fmr. Cuomo aide accuses NY governor of sexual harassment

Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.

RELATED: De Blasio ‘sickened’ by Cuomo sexual harassment claims

“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”

“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”

This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”

RELATED: Cuomo responds to sexual harassment claims, saying he ‘may have been insensitive’

During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.

“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”

“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”

Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.

RELATED: ‘Eat the whole sausage: Gov. Cuomo in hot water for resurfaced video

Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.

“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.

“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”

He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.

Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”

“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.

MORE ON CUOMO: NY dem says state legislature is ‘inching toward’ Cuomo impeachment probe

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

You may like

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending Now

Advertisement

Trending