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January 9, 2014 | By Tina Susman, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
NEW YORK -- Prosecutors charged an Indian diplomat with visa fraud Thursday for lying to cover up her housekeeper's wretched working conditions, but it was not clear if the woman whose arrest sparked an international uproar would face U.S. justice. The U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in court documents that he understood the defendant, Devyani Khobragade,  had been granted diplomatic immunity and had “departed the United States today.” “Therefore the charges shall remain pending until such time as she can be brought to court,” he said.  Later, a spokesman for Bharara said Khobragade had not left the country after all. [Updated, 8:29 p.m. PST Jan. 9: Late Thursday, however, the Associated Press reported that she had left the U.S. after a court hearing attended only by attorneys in the case.
January 8, 2014 | By Shashank Bengali
MUMBAI, India - In the latest salvo of a surprisingly bitter diplomatic feud, the Indian government on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to cease commercial activities at a popular club for Americans on its premises. The demand comes as U.S. officials weigh whether to prosecute an Indian diplomat in New York on charges that she obtained fraudulent visa documents for her housekeeper and violated labor laws by paying her far below minimum wage. The case involving Devyani Khobragade, the Indian deputy consul general in New York, has touched off a furor here and prompted officials in New Delhi to take a number of retaliatory steps against Americans in the Indian capital.
January 8, 2014 | By Carla Hall
It's difficult to imagine a more ludicrous attempt at diplomacy than former basketball star Dennis Rodman's current sojourn to North Korea. On his past trips (this is his fourth in less than a year) Rodman has referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as his “friend for life” and spent time with Kim's family, calling him a “good dad” - as if the young dictator were just another misunderstood world leader and not the tyrannical ruler of an impoverished country who is capable of ordering his uncle's execution.
December 18, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Wednesday “expressed his regret” to a senior Indian official about the treatment of an Indian diplomat who was arrested last week in New York, although he didn't concede that U.S. authorities had broken any rules during her detention, the State Department said. Kerry's telephone call sought to calm a diplomatic furor over the treatment of Devyani Khobragade, a deputy consul general who was arrested and charged with visa fraud Thursday.
December 17, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - Seeking to defuse a growing dispute, the State Department on Tuesday promised an internal investigation into the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York and urged New Delhi not to retaliate in ways that threatened the safety of U.S. diplomats. The arrest Thursday of Indian deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade on federal charges of visa fraud has set off a storm of angry protests in New Delhi, and a stripping of privileges of U.S. diplomats there. Khobragade was accused of filing false documents to obtain a visa for her housekeeper, and of paying her $3.13 an hour, about one-third the federal minimum wage.
December 17, 2013 | By Mark Magnier
NEW DELHI -- India reacted Tuesday to the arrest of one of its diplomats in New York last week by snubbing a U.S. Congressional delegation, removing security from outside the U.S. Embassy and threatening to treat U.S. diplomats the same way it says its envoys were treated by America. The issue has become a major story, with India's often-breathless media calling the situation a “full blown diplomatic war,” while National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon was quoted describing the U.S. action as “barbaric” and “despicable.” The incident was sparked off when Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general, was arrested last week by New York police on charges of visa fraud.
December 14, 2013 | By Meg James
The gig: Carisa Bianchi is president of TBWAChiatDay, Los Angeles' largest advertising agency, which has about 520 employees and creates ads for Pepsi, Gatorade, Southwest Airlines, Adidas, Nissan, Jimmy Dean and Crate & Barrel. "Black sheep": Bianchi grew up in West Covina and graduated from West Covina High School. Her parents were educators, and her sister is a teacher. The "black sheep" of the family, Bianchi wanted to become a diplomat or a spy. "I thought I would go join the State Department, FBI or the CIA. I love political science and international relations," Bianchi said.
December 10, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Even in death, Nelson Mandela is bringing together unlikely bedfellows. For President Obama, the trip to South Africa for the international icon's memorial service has been a steady series of encounters that can test diplomatic protocol. The memorial drew dozens of dignitaries and heads of state, including three former U.S. presidents, a bipartisan congressional delegation, and leaders from around the world. Each brought a tangle of tricky relationships and subtext that had to be, at least publicly, set aside to honor a man who championed the art of reconciliation.
December 10, 2013 | By Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard
An Austrian consulate official was improperly arrested and searched by L.A. County sheriff's deputies at the Men's Central Jail, according to four indictments filed against 18 department officials. The incident occurred in 2011 when the official and her husband were visiting an inmate who was an Austrian national.   The four grand jury indictments unsealed Monday and one criminal complaint allege that deputies beat jail inmates and visitors without justification, unjustly detained people and conspired to obstruct a federal investigation into misconduct at the Men's Central Jail.
December 10, 2013 | By Jon Healey
What does it take to provoke a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy to slap handcuffs on you? For a female Austrian diplomat, all it took was asking to see a supervisor at the Men's Central Jail. That's according to one of the federal indictments unsealed Monday in Los Angeles. Granted, the indictments tell only one side of the story. But it's still astounding that a diplomat (and a female one at that) making a routine visit to the jail would end up in restraints. I mean, who hasn't heard of diplomatic immunity?
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