Do not travel to Qatar due to COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Qatar due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 and related restrictions and conditions in Qatar.
Read the country information page.
Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Qatar, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
If you decide to travel to Qatar:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
- Higher Education: IRS And Education Could Better Address Risks Associated with For-Profit College Conversions
In U.S GAO NewsApril 20, 2021What GAO Found In its December 2020 report, GAO identified 59 for-profit college conversions that occurred from January 2011 through August 2020. A for-profit college may convert to nonprofit status for different reasons. In about one-third of the conversions, GAO found that former owners or other officials were insiders to the conversion—for example, by creating the tax-exempt organization that purchased the college or retaining the presidency of the college after its sale (see figure). While leadership continuity can benefit a college, insider involvement in a conversion poses a risk that insiders may improperly benefit—for example, by influencing the tax-exempt purchaser to pay more for the college than it is worth. Once a conversion has ended a college’s for-profit ownership and transferred ownership to an organization the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes as tax-exempt, the college must seek Department of Education approval to participate in federal student aid programs as a nonprofit college. GAO also found in its December 2020 report that Education had approved 35 colleges as nonprofit colleges since January 2011 and denied two; nine were under review and 13 closed prior to Education reaching a decision. Figure: Example of a For-Profit College Conversion with Officials in Insider Roles IRS guidance directs staff to closely scrutinize whether significant transactions with insiders reported by an applicant for tax-exempt status will exceed fair-market value and improperly benefit insiders. If an application contains insufficient information to make that assessment, guidance says that staff may need to request additional information. In its December 2020 report, GAO found that for two of 11 planned or final conversions involving insiders that were disclosed in an application, IRS approved the application without certain information, such as the college’s planned purchase price or an appraisal report estimating the college’s value. Without such information, IRS staff could not assess whether the price was inflated to improperly benefit insiders, which would be grounds to deny the application. If IRS staff do not consistently apply guidance, they may miss indications of improper benefit. Education has strengthened its reviews of for-profit college applications for nonprofit status, but it does not monitor newly converted colleges to assess ongoing risk of improper benefit. In two of three cases GAO reviewed in depth for its December 2020 report, college financial statements disclosed transactions with insiders that could indicate the risk of improper benefit. Education officials agreed that they could develop procedures to assess this risk through its audited financial statement reviews. Until Education develops and implements such procedures for new conversions, potential improper benefit may go undetected. Why GAO Did This Study A for-profit college may convert to nonprofit status for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to align its status and mission. However, in some cases, former owners or other insiders could improperly benefit from the conversion, which is impermissible under the Internal Revenue Code and Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. This statement—based on GAO’s December 2020 report (GAO-21-89)—discusses what is known about insider involvement in conversions and the extent to which IRS and Education identify and respond to the risk of improper benefit. We also requested updates from IRS and Education officials on any agency actions taken to implement the December 2020 report recommendations.
- Texan convicted of attempting to export firearms, magazines and ammunition
July 3, 2021A Laredo federal jury [Read More…]
- Chemical Security: Overlapping Programs Could Better Collaborate to Share Information and Identify Potential Security Gaps
In U.S GAO NewsJanuary 21, 2021Eight federal programs addressing chemical safety or security from four departments or agencies that GAO reviewed contain requirements or guidance that generally align with at least half of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 18 Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program standards. At least 550 of 3,300 (16 percent) facilities subject to the CFATS program are also subject to other federal programs. Analyses of CFATS and these eight programs indicate that some overlap, duplication, and fragmentation exists, depending on the program or programs to which a facility is subject. For example, six federal programs’ requirements or guidance indicate some duplication with CFATS. CFATS program officials acknowledge similarities among these programs’ requirements or guidance, some of which are duplicative, and said that the CFATS program allows facilities to meet CFATS program standards by providing information they prepared for other programs. more than 1,600 public water systems or wastewater treatment facilities are excluded under the CFATS statute, leading to fragmentation. While such facilities are subject to other programs, those programs collectively do not contain requirements or guidance that align with four CFATS standards. According to DHS, public water systems and wastewater treatment facilities are frequently subject to safety regulations that may have some security value, but in most cases, these facilities are not required to implement security measures commensurate to their level of security risk, which may lead to potential security gaps. The departments and agencies responsible for all nine of these chemical safety and security programs—four of which are managed by DHS, three by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and one each managed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Transportation (DOT)—have previously worked together to enhance information collection and sharing in response to Executive Order 13650, issued in 2013. This Executive Order directed these programs to take actions related to improving federal agency coordination and information sharing. However, these programs have not identified which facilities are subject to multiple programs, such that facilities may be unnecessarily developing duplicative information to comply with multiple programs. Although CFATS allows facilities to use information they prepared for other programs, CFATS program guidance does not specify what information facilities can reuse. Finally, DHS and EPA leaders acknowledged that there are differences between CFATS requirements and the security requirements for public water systems and wastewater treatment facilities, but they have not assessed the extent to which potential security gaps may exist. By leveraging collaboration established through the existing Executive Order working group, the CFATS program and chemical safety and security partners would be better positioned to minimize unnecessary duplication between CFATS and other programs and better ensure the security of facilities currently subject to fragmented requirements. Facilities with hazardous chemicals could be targeted by terrorists to inflict mass casualties or damage. Federal regulations applicable to chemical safety and security have evolved over time as authorizing statutes and regulations established programs for different purposes, such as safety versus security, and with different enforcement authorities. GAO has reported that such programs may be able to achieve greater efficiency where overlap exists by reducing duplication and better managing fragmentation. GAO was asked to review issues related to the effects that overlap, duplication, and fragmentation among the multiple federal programs may have on the security of the chemical sector. This report addresses the extent to which (1) such issues may exist between CFATS and other federal programs, and (2) the CFATS program collaborates with other federal programs. GAO analyzed the most recent available data on facilities subject to nine programs from DHS, EPA, ATF, and DOT; reviewed and analyzed statutes, regulations, and program guidance; and interviewed agency officials. GAO is making seven recommendations, including that DHS, EPA, ATF, and DOT identify facilities subject to multiple programs; DHS clarify guidance; and DHS and EPA assess security gaps. Agencies generally agreed with six; EPA did not agree with the recommendation on gaps. GAO continues to believe it is valid, as discussed in the report. For more information, contact Nathan Anderson at (206) 287-4804 or AndersonN@gao.gov.
- Departments of Justice and State Launch International Program to Support Women in Leadership Roles in Counterterrorism
March 18, 2022The Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the U.S. Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau (DOS/CT) recently launched a new program to support women in leadership roles in counterterrorism.
- Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act Senior Nutrition Program
March 22, 2022March 22, 2022 By: [Read More…]
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo and Bahraini Foreign Minister Al Zayani at the U.S.-Bahrain Strategic Dialogue
December 1, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud
January 21, 2022
- Kingdom of Bahrain Signs the Artemis Accords
March 7, 2022
- Pharr man pleads guilty to smuggling multiple drugs in cardboard box
May 4, 2021A 46-year-old Pharr man [Read More…]
- Malawi Travel Advisory
March 24, 2022Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- Justice Department Announces Investigation into Conditions at Five Juvenile Facilities in Texas
October 13, 2021The Justice Department announced today that it has opened a statewide investigation into the conditions in the five secure juvenile correctional facilities run by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
- Special Briefing with Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian P. McKeon, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Principal Advisor to the Administrator Mark Feierstein, and Experts On the Administration’s Budget Proposal for the Department of State and USAID for Fiscal Year 2022
May 30, 2021Brian P. McKeon, Deputy [Read More…]
- Mississippi Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to More than $180-Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
July 20, 2021A Mississippi pharmacist pleaded guilty today for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud TRICARE and private insurance companies by paying kickbacks to distributors for the referral of medically unnecessary compounded prescription medications that were ultimately dispensed by his pharmacies. The conduct allegedly resulted in more than $180 million in fraudulent billings, including more than $50 million paid by federal healthcare programs.
- The Justice Department Unveils Proposed Section 230 Legislation
September 23, 2020Today, on behalf of the [Read More…]
- Minnesota Man Charged with COVID-Relief Fraud and Money Laundering
August 21, 2020A Minnesota man was charged in an indictment unsealed today for allegedly fraudulently obtaining approximately $841,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Justice Department Sues to Block Verzatec’s Proposed Acquisition of Crane
March 17, 2022The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit today to stop Grupo Verzatec S.A. de C.V. (Verzatec) from acquiring its biggest competitor, Crane Composites (Crane), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crane Co. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that the proposed $360 million transaction would harm competition in production and sale of pebbled fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) wall panels, whose product and performance characteristics make it the wall covering of choice for many restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and convenience stores across the United States.
- NASA’s Cold Atom Lab Takes One Giant Leap for Quantum Science
September 26, 2020A new study describes [Read More…]
- Driver convicted of transporting kilos of drugs
March 2, 2022A 44-year-old [Read More…]
- Justice Department Participates in the 20th Annual International Competition Network Conference
October 15, 2021The Department of Justice Antitrust Division participated in the International Competition Network’s (ICN) 20th annual conference, virtually hosted by the Hungarian Competition Authority, on Oct. 13-15. Delegates from the ICN’s member jurisdictions, included agency leadership and staff, competition experts from international organizations and the legal, business, academic and consumer communities. Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Antitrust Division led the Department of Justice’s delegation.
- Strengthening Democracy in Central America and Addressing Root Causes of Migration at Central American Integration System Meeting
June 1, 2021