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25th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) opens in Fiji, will focus on Parliamentary partnerships for Peace and Security

The 25th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) opened in Fiji on monday, with its main focus on parliamentary partnerships for harmony and safety

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Beqa Lagoon In Fiji, Wikimedia
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Suva, Jan 16, 2017: The 25th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) opened on Monday in Fiji, focusing on parliamentary partnerships for peace and security.

The five-day forum, which was being held at Natadola saw the participation of delegations from over 20 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, China, Japan, Peru, Philippines, and Russia, Xinhua news agency reported.

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Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who declared the forum open, called on participants to boost parliamentary partnerships that would be in line with the sustainable development goals of the UN.

“The APPF has shown many other countries and international institutions how elected legislatures can lead the way in deepening regional cooperation to spur economic development,” Bainimarama said.

“Here, we can deepen the trust and security cooperation among our nations and find solutions that can save valuable time in preventing transnational crimes,” he said.

“We can share strategies that have been effective, and explain pitfalls that should be avoided. We can lay the groundwork for the next phase of regional security by strengthening existing frameworks and systems,” he added.

He also called on them to prepare the next generation for the challenges “not yet upon us”.

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The APPF is a mechanism that enables parliamentarians to discuss issues of common concern, and to deepen their understandings of the region and the interests and experiences of different countries.

The 24th APPF was hosted by Canada in 2016. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)