Washington, DC - The United States strongly condemns al-Shabaab’s terrorist attack on the Central Hotel in Mogadishu today. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed in the attack, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

Washington, DC - The United States condemns the detention of Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma by Venezuelan security forces, as well as the systematic intimidation of other leading opposition figures. These actions appear to be a clear attempt by the Venezuelan government to divert attention from the country’s economic and political challenges. Rather than imprisoning and intimidating its critics, the Venezuelan government should focus on finding real solutions through democratic dialogue.

Washington, DC - U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Arun Majumdar will travel to Poland February 21-28 in support of President Obama’s initiative to strengthen the United States’ science and education relationships overseas. Dr. Majumdar will meet with representatives from the scientific, academic, and business communities to discuss innovation, advanced technology research and development, and look for ways to advance U.S.-Poland energy research collaboration.

Washington, DC - Senior officials from the U.S. Department of State and the European Commission gathered on February 18to review progress, discuss new opportunities, and take steps to re-energize joint collaboration under the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which brings together officials from external trade, regulatory, commercial and scientific agencies in the EU and the United States Government to support innovation and growth.

Darfur, Sudan - A new wave of violence in Darfur has forced more than 50,000 people to flee their homes since the start of the year. Thousands of families are facing limited access to food, adequate water supply and shelter. Oxfam has launched an immediate response, aiming to reach more than 20,000 people with clean water, emergency latrines and hygiene supplies.

Washington, DC - The White House is hosting a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism this week to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence – efforts made even more imperative in light of recent, tragic attacks throughout the world.