Reconsider travel to the United Arab Emirates due to COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for the United Arab Emirates due to COVID-19.
The United Arab Emirates has resumed most transportation options (including airport operations and re-opening of borders) and business operations (including day cares and schools). Other improved conditions have been reported within the United Arab Emirates. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including the United Arab Emirates, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to the UAE:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
- Strengthening Transatlantic Ties with GeorgiaBy Sam NewsNovember 17, 2020
- Seven North Carolina Tax Preparers Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud the IRSBy Sam NewsJanuary 12, 2021Seven Charlotte, North Carolina tax return preparers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by preparing and filing false tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina, and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).[Read More…]
- Florida Man Sentenced for Evading Taxes on Millions in Secret Offshore Bank AccountsBy Sam NewsMay 14, 2021A resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for not reporting his foreign financial accounts from 2006 through 2015 and for willfully evading the assessment of millions in taxes from 2007 through 2014.[Read More…]
- The 53rd Anniversary of the Founding of the Association of Southeast Asian NationsBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Military Air Support: DOD Has Increased Its Use of Contracts to Meet Training RequirementsBy Sam NewsDecember 21, 2021What GAO Found Department of Defense (DOD) components use air support contracts for certain training activities. Such contracts have supported DOD training at locations in the United States, Europe, and Japan (see figure). DOD Training Locations with Air Support Contracts Since fiscal year 2015, DOD components have increased the availability of air support contract flying hours and expanded the number of training locations to address some training needs (see figure). The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have used air support contracts to replicate adversary air forces to train new fighter pilots and to support training exercises. DOD components have also used the contracts to train air controllers on close air support procedures. DOD Available Flying Hours and Number of Training Locations for Air Support Contracts Note: Figures include data for available flying hours and training locations for the contract award year, and do not reflect the cumulative total of the available flying hours or locations across all contracts in a fiscal year, which would be greater. DOD components have taken steps to gain greater efficiencies in the use of air support contracts. These steps included consolidating contract administration to reduce redundant costs, among others. DOD components have also established processes to monitor the performance of air support contracts to meet established contracted requirements. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have taken steps to determine the effectiveness of these contracts, including evaluating the role of air support contracts among other future options for their adversary air training programs. In particular, the services are determining the appropriate mix of training capabilities, to include contract aircraft, as well as affordability and timeframes to modernize U.S. military adversary air capabilities. These reviews, to be completed in fiscal year 2022, are expected to affect future investments in air support contracts, according to DOD officials. Why GAO Did This Study DOD components awarded almost $8 billion for air support contracts in fiscal years 2015 through 2020. These contracts provide non-military aircraft and personnel to replicate the role of combat aircraft for various training activities. The components used the contracts to meet training needs, address shortages in available military aircraft, and manage costs. House Report 116-442, accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, included a provision for GAO to review the use of air support contracts during military training. This report describes (1) how DOD has used air support contracts for training to replicate adversary air forces and to provide aircraft for close air support since fiscal year 2015, and (2) what steps DOD has taken to gain efficiencies and determine the effectiveness of air support contracts. GAO reviewed documentation on air support contracts for fiscal years 2015 through 2021, including performance work statements, task orders, and invoices; analyzed the increase or decrease in the use of air support contracts, including the number of contracts and operating locations; and interviewed officials to determine factors contributing to any increases or decreases in the use of the contracts. GAO also reviewed documentation on specific initiatives DOD components have taken since 2015 to gain greater efficiencies and to determine the effectiveness of air support contracts in achieving training requirements. For more information, contact Cary Russell at (202) 512-5431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Freshwater Programs: Federal Agencies’ Funding in the United States and AbroadBy Sam NewsAugust 25, 2021As the world's population tripled during the past century, demand for the finite amount of freshwater resources increased six-fold, straining these resources for many countries, including the United States. The United Nations estimates that, worldwide, more than 1 billion people live without access to clean drinking water and over 2.4 billion people lack the basic sanitation needed for human health. Freshwater supply shortages--already evident in the drought-ridden western United States--pose serious challenges and can have economic, social, and environmental consequences. Multiple federal agencies share responsibility for managing freshwater resources, but consolidated information on the federal government's financial support of these activities is not readily accessible. GAO was asked to determine for fiscal years 2000 through 2004 how much financial support federal agencies provided for freshwater programs in the United States and abroad. For the purposes of this report, freshwater programs include desalination, drinking water supply, flood control, irrigation, navigation, wastewater treatment, water conservation, water dispute management, and watershed management.Of the over $52 billion in total financial support provided by federal agencies for freshwater programs during fiscal years 2000 through 2004, about $49 billion was directed to domestic programs and about $3 billion supported programs abroad. Domestic program activities involved 27 federal agencies, but 3 agencies--the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Agriculture's (Agriculture) Rural Utilities Service--accounted for over 70 percent of the financial support. Eighteen agencies supported domestic drinking water supply programs and 16 supported domestic wastewater treatment and watershed management programs. Grant programs of over $22 billion and direct federal spending of about $22 billion accounted for most of the domestic financial support. In addition to the about $49 billion that directly support freshwater activities in the United States, some agencies also have programs that may indirectly support such activities, but it is difficult to determine the dollar value of this indirect support. For example, Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program supports multiple activities, including irrigation, but information on each activity supported by the program is not readily available. Also included in the domestic program is about $175 million that the United States provided to three commissions that conduct freshwater activities along U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada. Of the estimated $3 billion in total financial support directed toward freshwater programs abroad between fiscal years 2000 through 2004, about $1 billion was recently provided for freshwater projects in Afghanistan and Iraq. Most of the financial support for international freshwater programs was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Foreign wastewater treatment and watershed management programs were the ones that most of the agencies supported. The vast majority of the U.S. support for international programs was provided through grants. Not included in the $3 billion for international support are the contributions that the United States made to the general budgets of numerous international organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank. The international organizations used some portion of the U.S. contributions to support freshwater activities around the globe.[Read More…]
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- Secretary Blinkens Call with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al SaudBy Sam NewsFebruary 11, 2021
- United States and Kenya Hold Dialogue on Cyber IssuesBy Sam NewsDecember 3, 2021
- Co-Owner of Puerto Rican Online Aquarium Business Pleads Guilty to Two Lacey Act Felonies and Export Smuggling for Illicit Trafficking of Protected Reef CreaturesBy Sam NewsNovember 9, 2020A resident of San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty today to export smuggling and two felony violations of the Lacey Act for collecting, purchasing, falsely labeling, and shipping protected marine invertebrate species as part of an effort to subvert Puerto Rican law designed to protect corals and other reef species, the Department of Justice announced.[Read More…]
- Federal Rulemaking: Deregulatory Executive Orders Did Not Substantially Change Selected Agencies’ Processes or ProceduresBy Sam NewsNovember 1, 2021What GAO Found GAO found that the five selected agencies—the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security (DHS), the Interior, and Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—implemented deregulatory executive order (EO) requirements, most with limited changes to their existing regulatory processes and procedures. Generally, these EOs required agencies to reduce the total number of regulations and overall regulatory costs. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reported that collectively the federal government met the two primary goals of the EOs by (1) implementing two deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action, and (2) achieving net cost savings (see table). Four of the five selected agencies reported having regulatory cost savings. DHS received a regulatory budget allowance from OIRA for this requirement due to DHS's need to implement priority immigration regulations. However, GAO's analysis of OIRA's data showed the reporting of agencies' deregulatory actions could be overstated partly because OIRA's overall reporting compared all agency deregulatory actions to only significant regulatory actions. A significant regulatory action is one that results in a $100 million or greater effect on the economy in any given year, or meets certain other criteria. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' (OIRA) Reported Actions, Projected Costs, and Projected Cost-Savings by Selected Agencies, Fiscal Years 2017-2020 Dollars are net present value in millions Selected agencies Non-significant deregulatory actions Significant deregulatory actions Significant regulatory actions Projected Costs and (cost savings) Commerce 65 4 4 ($1,144) Homeland Security 26 8 8 $37,153 Interior 41 10 0 ($6,254) Transportation 47 16 6 ($100,484) Environmental Protection Agency 47 22 14 ($89,196) Selected agencies' total 226 60 32 ($159,925) Source: GAO analysis of OIRA and reginfo.gov data. | GAO-21-104305 Note: OIRA allocated an increase in DHS's regulatory budget to implement priority immigration regulations. The Office of Management and Budget's guidance implementing EO 13771 allowed agencies to include alternative actions as a means of achieving deregulatory goals. Alternative actions are those that were not promulgated through the notice-and-comment rulemaking process, such as guidance documents, information collection requests, and other directives. GAO found that of the 286 deregulatory actions reported by the five selected agencies, at least 28 (or about 10 percent) were alternative actions. GAO also found that the five selected agencies did not identify or implement changes to their regulatory enforcement activities in response to EO 13771. For example, officials from some agencies told GAO that any changes in regulatory enforcement activities that occurred while the EO was in effect were not in response to, nor a consequence of, the EO. Why GAO Did This Study From January 2017, until they were revoked in 2021, three EOs required agencies to reduce the total number of federal regulations and regulatory costs and burden. (1) EO 13771 required agencies to eliminate two deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action; (2) EO 13777 established regulatory reform task forces within the agencies, and (3) EO 13924 directed agencies to identify regulatory actions that may inhibit economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. GAO was asked to review these deregulatory EOs to better understand the processes and procedures agencies used to implement them. This report examines (1) selected agencies' processes and procedures to implement the EOs and achieve and report on their goals; (2) their alternatives to rulemaking used in response to the EOs; and (3) how enforcement activities changed in response to EO 13771. GAO selected five agencies that collectively implemented more than half of all actions under the deregulatory EOs—Commerce, DHS, Interior, DOT, and EPA—and reviewed their regulatory policies and procedures, and interviewed relevant agency officials. GAO reviewed OIRA's reports and interviewed agency officials. GAO also identified 20 nonfederal entities and interviewed a nongeneralizable selection of representatives from six that reflected a mix of industry groups, environmental policy advocates, and trade organizations. For more information, contact Yvonne D. Jones at (202) 512-6806 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Reaches Agreement with the State of New Jersey under the National Voter Registration ActBy Sam NewsAugust 5, 2021The Justice Department announced today that it has entered into a proposed consent decree to settle a voting rights lawsuit with the State of New Jersey and state officials.[Read More…]
- Condolences on the Passing of Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini of the Kingdom of Eswatini By Sam NewsDecember 15, 2020
- Ensuring Our Safety and Security through a 90-Day Suspension of the Direct Access Program for U.S.-Affiliated IraqisBy Sam NewsJanuary 22, 2021Daniel B. Smith, Acting [Read More…]
- North Carolina Man Sentenced to 78 Months for Money Laundering and Filing False Tax Return in Tobacco Smuggling SchemeBy Sam NewsMay 20, 2021A North Carolina man was sentenced today to 78 months in prison for conspiring to commit money laundering and filing a false tax return.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Awards More Than $17.5 Million to Support Project Safe NeighborhoodsBy Sam NewsDecember 9, 2021The Department of Justice announced today that it has awarded more than $17.5 million in grants to support the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. Funding will support efforts across the country to address violent crime, including the gun violence that is often at its core.[Read More…]
- Department of Homeland Security: Progress Made Strengthening Management Functions, but Work RemainsBy Sam NewsSeptember 30, 2021What GAO Found Shortly after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed, GAO designated implementing and transforming DHS as a high-risk area to the federal government because it had to transform 22 agencies—several with major management challenges—into one department. Progress made. In 2013, GAO reported that challenges remained for DHS across its range of missions, but that the department had made considerable progress transforming its original component agencies into a single cabinet-level department. As a result, GAO narrowed the scope of the high-risk area to focus on strengthening DHS management functions—specifically acquisition, information technology, financial, and human capital management. DHS's efforts to strengthen and integrate its management functions have resulted in the department meeting 3 of 5 criteria for removal from GAO's High-Risk List—demonstrating leadership commitment, having an action plan, and monitoring the effectiveness of its actions. DHS has partially met the remaining two criteria for removal—having sufficient capacity and demonstrating progress. Several factors contributed to DHS's success in narrowing the scope of the high-risk area. These include: DHS's top leaders demonstrated leadership commitment and support for addressing the department's challenges, which helped ensure sustained, consistent progress in this high-risk area. DHS consistently communicated its efforts and regularly sought constructive and specific feedback from GAO on its strategy and approach to addressing the high-risk area. Work remaining. Continued progress for this high-risk area depends on DHS addressing its remaining management challenges. For example, DHS needs to make additional progress identifying and allocating resources in acquisition and financial management. For instance: DHS lacks acquisition support staffing plans and has not clearly defined which acquisition positions are critical for oversight responsibilities, limiting DHS's insight into whether it has appropriate staff to carry out its duties. DHS's financial statement auditor identified several capacity-related issues, including resource limitations and inadequate staff training, resulting in material weaknesses in its 2020 financial statements. DHS also has work remaining to demonstrate progress implementing corrective measures. Specifically, of the 30 outcome measures GAO uses to gauge the department's progress, DHS has not yet fully addressed 12 of 30 measures. For example, DHS needs to effectively implement its long-term financial systems modernization efforts and use department-wide training data to inform its human capital programs. In the coming years, DHS needs to continue implementing its remaining work and sustaining its progress to-date. Why GAO Did This Study The events of September 11, 2001, led to profound changes in government agendas, policies, and structures to confront homeland security threats. In 2003, DHS began operations, with missions to prevent terrorist attacks and reduce the country's vulnerability to future terrorism. GAO's High-Risk List identifies programs and operations (such as DHS's management functions) that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement, or in need of transformation. GAO's five criteria for removing areas from the High-Risk List guide the assessment of DHS's progress. This statement addresses DHS's progress and actions needed to strengthen its management functions. It is based on reports in GAO's high-risk series, including its most recent March 2021 update, as well as selected updates on DHS's efforts as of September 2021. For this work, GAO analyzed DHS documents and data and interviewed DHS officials. DHS Progress against High-Risk List Removal Criteria For more information, contact at (404) 679-1875 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca Before Their MeetingBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2021Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
- New Hampshire Man Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of a Minor and Other CrimesBy Sam NewsJune 25, 2021A New Hampshire man was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for sex trafficking of a minor, operation of a prostitution enterprise and maintaining a drug-involved premises. The court also ordered $20,800 in restitution to the victims.[Read More…]
- Department Press Briefing – October 4, 2021By Sam NewsOctober 4, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]