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US diplomats barred from ice bucket challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The charity stunt has lured athletes, celebrities, politicians and rock stars and gone viral on the Internet, but don't look for any more U.S. diplomats getting in on the fun.

Lawyers at the State Department have banned American ambassadors and other high-profile foreign service officers from participating in the ice-bucket challenge to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In a cable sent this week to all U.S. diplomatic missions, they say it runs afoul of federal ethics rules barring officials from using public office for private gain "no matter how worthy the cause." The unclassified cable was obtained by The Associated Press Thursday.

At least one U.S. ambassador had already participated in the challenge by the time the cable was sent.
   AP-WF-08-21-14 1512GMT