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U.S. Embassy in France cautions Americans abroad

October 3rd, 2011 1 comment

The U.S. State Department, via the U.S. Embassy Paris in France, has just issued this travel warning below. There are several warnings per year, but it’s always better to be cautious. You don’t have to cancel your trip, just be aware of your surroundings. Safe travels!

U.S. Embassy
Paris, France

Travel Alert
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Worldwide Travel Alert
October 1, 2011

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for retaliation against U.S. citizens and interests following the deaths of key figures in the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on September 30. This Travel Alert expires on November 30, 2011.

On 30 September, U.S. and Yemeni government officials confirmed that dual U.S.-Yemeni citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, the external operations leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed in Yemen. Open source information also indicates that U.S. citizen and AQAP propagandist Samir Khan was killed along with him. Awlaki played a key role in advancing AQAP plots targeting the United States.

The death of Awlaki, in the near term, could provide motivation for anti-American attacks worldwide from individuals or groups seeking to retaliate against U.S. citizens or interests because of this action. In the past Awlaki and other members of AQAP have called for attacks against the United States, U.S. citizens and U.S. interests. Awlaki’s standing as a preeminent English-language advocate of violence could potentially trigger anti-American acts worldwide to avenge his death.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency.

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis link at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html

How to vote abroad? Absentee Voting for U.S. 2010 General Election

The U.S. Embassy in Paris sent out this message recently to American residents abroad.

Absentee Voting for 2010 General Election
August 4, 2010
Eligibility to Vote

Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by the various U.S. states, and are available on-line in the Voting Assistance Guide at http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/2010vag.pdf. Your “legal state of residence” for voting purposes is the state where you last resided immediately prior to departure from the United States. Voting rights extend to overseas citizens even though they may no longer own property or have other ties to their last state of residence, and even if their intent to return to that state may be uncertain. For those who have never resided in the United States, sixteen states allow certain U.S. citizens to register where a parent or spouse would be eligible to vote.

Voter Registration and Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Voters who have not yet registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot should do so by August 15, 2010 using the following steps to ensure that they receive their voting ballot on time:

1. Complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) using the instructions for your state in the Voting Assistance Guide. You may use a hard copy of the FPCA from any U.S. Embassy or Consulate in France, or use the online version.

2. Sign, date and mail the completed FPCA to the address listed in the Voting Assistance Guide. If you are sending the FPCA through international mail, please affix appropriate airmail postage. Alternatively, you can print out a postage-paid address label and ask any U.S. Embassy or Consulate to send your FPCA postage-paid through diplomatic pouch or the military postal service. Some states allow voters to send in the FPCA by fax, but they also require you to send in the hard copy by mail. Follow your state’s regulations precisely.

3. Send in a new FPCA if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you voted.
Voting

Beginning with the November 2010 general election, and for all subsequent general, special, and primary elections, state officials will be required to mail out ballots at least 45 days prior to an election for a federal office. Return your voted ballot as early as possible either through international mail or any U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Be aware of your state’s ballot receipt deadline, as well as any postmarking requirements.

Emergency Ballots
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) serves as an emergency ballot for voters who registered in time but fail to receive an official ballot from local election officials. Please note: You must register to vote and request an absentee ballot by your state’s deadline to be eligible to use the FWAB. We strongly recommend that voters who have not received their ballot by October 2, 2010 complete and return the FWAB to ensure your vote is received in time to be counted.

Questions?

The official U.S. government website for overseas voters is the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at www.fvap.gov.

The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy Paris is also always available to answer questions about absentee voting.

To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, call or send an e-mail to VoteParis@state.gov.
United States Embassy
American Citizen Services Unit
4, avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08
France
Telephone in France: 01 43 12 22 22
Telephone from U.S.: (011 33) 1 43 12 22 22
Website: http://france.usembassy.gov
E‐mail: citizeninfo@state.gov

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