The Obama administration's weekend decision to close diplomatic posts from Central Asia through the Middle East and into North Africa has led to applause from "rattled lawmakers in both parties," The Washington Post writes.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:
In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."
The State Department said Friday it would begin processing visas for same-sex spouses the same as applications from married heterosexuals.
"Effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it considers the application of opposite-sex spouses," Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:28 pm
Credit Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images
The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert because of an al-Qaida threat that is particularly significant in the Middle East and North Africa.
"Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," State said in a statement. "This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2013."