The Treasury Department "fully licensed" Beyonce and Jay Z's trip to Cuba, according to Reuters.
"American pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay Z visited Havana last week on a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the United States Treasury Department, according to a source familiar with the trip," Reuters reports.
"Beyonce and Jay Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in the Cuban capital, where big crowds greeted them as they strolled hand in hand through the city and posed for pictures with admiring Cubans.
"The longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling to the island without a license granted by the U.S. government, though President Barack Obama's administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for academic, religious or cultural programs."
The Treasury Department is led by Secretary Jack Lew, President Obama's former chief of staff.
At today's White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney said it was a Treasury Dept. decision:
Jack Lew, who has been nominated as the next treasury secretary, oversaw up as many as a hundred Cayman Island investments when he worked at Citi Bank as chief operating officer of the alternative investment services unit, SEC disclosures reveal. It has previously been reported that Lew himself had been invested in a fund that was based in the Cayman Islands.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama called Cayman Island investments "the biggest tax scam on record." Now, in 2013, President Obama has nominated Jack Lew, who had $56,000 in Cayman Island investments, to be the next secretary of Treasury.
By choosing White House chief of staff Jacob Lew as his new treasury secretary, President Obama is bracing himself to battle congressional Republicans in 2013, not seeking bipartisan compromises with them. If confirmed, Lew would succeed Tim Geithner in the treasury job.
The Treasury Department is telling its staff not to worry about the "fiscal cliff," an internal memorandum sent to all employees reveals. The memo, which is signed by the deputy secretary of the treasury, Neal S. Wolin, states that "there is no reason why both sides should not be able to come together" to reach a deal.
Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, is releasing a statement this evening that claims President Barack Obama's "secret" plan "increases spending by more than $1 trillion above the current baseline."
"In other words," Sessions adds, "spending will increase $1 trillion above the already projected growth after enactment of the Budget Control Act as part of the last debt deal. It achieves not one dollar in net spending reduction or debt reduction, and it continues the country on a dangerously unsustainable debt path."
Always looking "forward," President Obama has asked Bill Clinton—who was elected to the presidency 20 years ago—to speak tonight and suggest to the American people (whether explicitly or implicitly) that this is really a choice between Clinton and George W. Bush, rather than between Obama and Mitt Romney. If you're Obama, this beats running on your record.
In a stunning development on Thursday, the U.S. Treasury Department accused the Iranian government of sponsoring al Qaeda. Treasury designated six al Qaeda terrorists and reported that they are working for a network headquartered in Iran. This al Qaeda network is “headed by Ezedin Abdel Aziz Khalil, a prominent Iran-based al Qaeda facilitator, operating under an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government.”
I just ran into former White House chief of staff/Treasury secretary/secretary of State Jim Baker at Reagan National airport. After some small talk and some sharing of our pleasure at the killing of Osama bin Laden and our admiration for all involved, from the president to the Navy SEALs, we drifted into a discussion of the debt ceiling fight.
The 9/11 Commission castigated the CIA for neglecting to collect and analyze intelligence about terrorist financing. It noted that “information about terrorist money helps us to understand [al-Qaeda] networks, search them out, and disrupt their operations.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury announced targeted financial sanctions on a formidable list of Iranian companies, persons, and entities. Some of the designations specifically target Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, while others target the country’s energy sector, which has kept its economy on life support. Others target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a terrorist organization tied to both the nuclear program and the energy sector.