05-28-2017  1:28 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum Hosts Upstanders Festival May 27

Event includes spoken word, workshops and poster making in support of social justice ...

North Portland Library Announces June Computer Classes

Upcoming courses include Introduction to Spreadsheets, What is the Cloud? and Learn Programming with Games ...

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

Photos: Fundraiser for Sunshine Division's Assistance Programs

Under the Stars fundraiser took place on May 18 at the Melody Grand Ballroom ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ensuring the Promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT



The State Department has evacuated most of its diplomats from Lahore, Pakistan in response to a terrorist threat against the U.S. consulate, senior State Department and other senior U.S. officials told CNN.

"We have picked up what we regard as a threat worthy of taking this action," one senior U.S. official told CNN.

The State Department issued an "ordered departure" for all of its diplomats in Lahore Thursday, except for a handful of emergency personnel. The diplomats were moved to Islamabad, the nation's capital, officials said.

A travel warning issued by the State Department said the department "ordered this drawdown due to specific threats concerning the U.S. Consulate in Lahore" and warned U.S. citizens against travel to Pakistan.

"The presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan," the travel warning said.

Pakistan was not aware of any security threat against the Lahore consulate prior to the U.S. decision to transfer the diplomats to Islamabad, said Omar Hameed Khan, spokesman for Pakistan's interior ministry.

It was unclear whether the latest threat to the consulate was related to a current threat against U.S. facilities and personnel that prompted the United States to close diplomatic posts throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

While one U.S. official said it was not related, a second U.S. official said the connection wasn't clear.

"We are still digging and trying to trace whether it is related," the senior U.S. official said about the possible link between the heightened threat against the U.S. in the region and the threat against the consulate in Lahore. "I'm not willing to say it's related, but can't say it is unrelated. We just don't have that level of granularity yet."

No U.S. diplomatic posts in Pakistan were closed as a result of the earlier warning.

Most of al Qaeda's core leadership is believed to reside in Pakistan, and the city of Lahore is home to other extremists sympathetic to the group. Lahore is well-known as a base for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

This week, the local government in the province of Punjab, where Lahore is located, tightened security measures, including police checkpoints at the city's entrance and exit points. Minister for Environment Protection Shuja Khanzada said the measures were taken after the government received intelligence reports of possible terror threats around the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

Over the last decade, the United States has waged a persistent campaign against the terror threat in Pakistan, using drones and working with the Pakistani military and intelligence. While the country remains a hotbed of terrorism, President Barack Obama has touted the U.S. gains in fighting al Qaeda, which has been based there.

During an address to Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, Wednesday, Obama said that al Qaeda has been "decimated," making a distinction between the terror network's leadership and affiliates that are spread throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa.

"Because of you, Osama bin Laden is no more," Obama said. "Because of you, al Qaeda's top ranks have been hammered. The core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan are on the way to defeat."

Journalist Annabel Symington in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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