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embassies

Suspicious packages sent to foreign consulates, embassies in Australia

MELBOURNE: Police in Australia are investigating suspicious packages sent to a wide range of embassies and consulates on Wednesday, which officials said included the U.S. and British missions in Melbourne, but there were no reports of harm to staff. Domestic media reported more than a dozen foreign offices received the packages and that some staff said they contained asbestos, a material used in building that can cause cancers and other health problems. There were no details of any possible motive and some of the…

US embassies ordered to identify population groups for tougher visa screening

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has directed US diplomatic missions to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny" and toughen screening for visa applicants in those groups, according to diplomatic cables seen by Reuters. He has also ordered a "mandatory social media check" for all applicants who have ever been present in territory controlled by the Islamic State, in what two former U.S. officials said would be a broad, labor-intensive expansion of such screening. Social media…