US State Department adds kidnapping advice to its travel advisories
The U.S. State Department has added advice on the risk of being kidnapped or taken hostage while abroad to its country by country travel advisories. The department says the move is aimed at providing Americans more comprehensive information about travel safety. The new “K” indicator for the potential to be kidnapped has been issued for 35 countries at this point.
Other risk codes include:
C – Crime: Widespread violent or organized crime is present and/or local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.
T – Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.
U – Civil Unrest: Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions, and/or safety risks.
H – Health: Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present. The issuance of a Centers for Disease Control Travel Notice may be a factor.
N – Natural Disaster: A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger.
E – Time-limited Event: A short-term event, such as an election, sporting event, or other incident that may pose a safety risk.
O – Other
Users will find a list of advice codes including the new “K” as applicable at the top right side of the travel advisory page for each specific country.
EU agrees to another extension for Brexit
At yesterday’s summit meeting in Brussels, the 27 member nations making up the European Union agreed to grant another extension for the United Kingdom to stay in the union while the UK continues to work on ratification of a withdrawal agreement that would help ensure an orderly Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May will now have until October 31 to deliver a Brexit plan. However, since the extension is flexible, the UK could leave the EU ahead of the new deadline if the UK can achieve a ratified withdrawal agreement sooner rather than later. Theresa May said until a deal is approved, the UK “will continue to hold full membership rights and obligations” but the UK still aims to leave the EU as soon as possible. Until such a deal is achieved, aspects regarding travel between the EU and the UK will continue under current EU policies and procedures.