Washington, DC - The United States is appalled by the Assad regime’s decision to reject the UN request to deliver a convoy of urgently needed humanitarian aid from Damascus to the Rukban encampment. We remain deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Rukban, especially as the Holy Month of Ramadan is about to begin. We urge the Assad regime and Russia to permit deliveries of international humanitarian assistance from Damascus and stop blocking commercial routes to the encampment immediately in order avert further suffering.

Washington, DC - The Department of State has updated the Cuba Restricted List with five additional sub-entities owned by the Cuban military. The changes take effect today. The Department will continue to update the list as needed to ensure U.S. funds do not directly support Cuba’s security apparatus. Cuba’s military, security, and intelligence services suppress the human rights of the Cuban people and are deeply entrenched in Venezuela, providing security services to the former regime of Nicolas Maduro and contributing to its oppression of the Venezuelan people.

Mediterranean Sea - The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG) joined the Abraham Lincoln CSG in the Mediterranean, providing a unique opportunity for two strike groups to work together alongside key allies and partners in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.

West Lafayette, Indiana - The Paris Agreement calls for reducing greenhouse gases enough to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels. This could be done by reducing emissions or capturing and storing atmospheric carbon.

Washington, DC - The United States is not granting any Significant Reduction Exceptions to existing importers of Iranian oil. Maximum pressure means maximum pressure.

Gaithersburg, Maryland - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) held a ribbon-cutting today on its newest and largest solar energy array. The nearly 15,000 panels cover the equivalent of 11 football fields and are expected to produce more than 8 million kilowatt-hours of energy in the first year, accounting for about 4 percent of the campus’s energy consumption.