677: 99 Lines of Code

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 55m
December 11th, 2014
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Cliff Mass Weather Blog: Northwesteners Take Major Storm in Stride while San Francisco Panics
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:22
Heavy rain, winds, flooding: hardy Pacific Northwest residents take it in stride.In San Francisco, they panic.
A strong storm is now bearing down on the Northwest, which I will describe in a second. San Francisco will NOT be hit by this strong low center but will get a bit of a trailing front. These poor golden-state folks will experience a few inches of rain tomorrow and some gusty winds, reaching perhaps 40-50 mph in the city. And they are in panic mode, closing down the city's schools, shuttering churches and synagogues. Canceling meetings and gathering of all types.
In contrast, we have had winds gusting to 70 mph on the coast and 40-60 mph around western Washington today (see graphic). Our rivers are flooding and heavy rain is striking our region. We take it in stride. No problem. I don't like to call anyone a weather wimp, but....
Today was an extraordinary day, the warmest December day in the history of our region at MANY locations. You will tell your grandchildren about it one day. The 24h maximum temps are shown below. Mid to upper 60s in many locations of western Oregon and Washington and 70F in Walla Walla.And yes, there is thesmall matter of the upcoming storm.This system is finally starting to develop. Here are the latest infrared and water vapor images, with my yellow marker indicating the storm. Not very impressive yet. One of the signs of a developing storm is a darkening in the water vapor imagery (associated with sinking behind the storm). I have indicated the darkening with an arrow.
Here is the latest UW WRF runs driven by the GFS model. In general, the low is slightly weaker than last night and a bit further offshore. The result will be more modest winds over Puget Sound. At 1 PM the low is off the central Oregon coast with strong winds (sustained at 50 kts) reaching the coast. Gust could reach 70-80 mph in some exposed locations.By 10 PM, the low has reached Tatoosh Island, with strong winds along the coast, and winds starting to rev in Puget Sound (perhaps gusts to 30-50 mph). The low will be weakening rapidly tomorrow night.Here is a close-up view of the sustained winds over western Washington at this time. Lots of sustained 30-40 mph over the water. Half that over the land. Gusts would be 30-50 mph over Seattle, 40-70 mph on the coast. A few higher gusts are possible.A significant event but not the equal of one of our great windstorms (like the Chanukah Eve Storm in 2006). There will surely be some power outages.The European Center model is now on the same page as the U.S. GFS. With both giving essentially the same forecast, our confidence in the prediction is much higher.
If this thing approached San Francisco, they would probably abandon the city. But we are made of sterner stuff.
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REMINDER: What is happening here can and likely will happen in your part of the world
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Presidential Proclamation -- Human Rights Day and Human Rights Week, 2014
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:37
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 09, 2014
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY AND HUMAN RIGHTS WEEK, 2014
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
On December 10, 1948, nations from six continents came together to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This extraordinary document affirmed that every individual is born equal with inalienable rights, and it is the responsibility of governments to uphold these rights. In more than 430 translations, the Declaration recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of all people and supports their right to chart their own destinies. On the anniversary of this human rights milestone, we join with all those who are willing to strive for a brighter future, and together, we continue our work to build the world our children deserve.
The desires for freedom and opportunity are universal, and around the world, yearnings for the rule of law and self-determination burn within the hearts of all women and men. When people can raise their voices and hold their leaders accountable, governments are more responsive and more effective. Children who are able to lead healthy lives and pursue an education without fear are free to spark progress and contribute to thriving communities. And when citizens are empowered to pursue their full measure of happiness without restraint, they help ensure that economies grow, stability and prosperity spread, and nations flourish. Protecting human rights around the globe extends the promise of democracy and bolsters the values that serve as a basis for peace in our world.
It is our obligation as free peoples to stand with courageous individuals who raise their voices to demand universal rights. Under extremely difficult circumstances -- and often at grave personal risk -- brave human rights defenders and civil society activists throughout the world are working to actualize the rights and freedoms that are the birthright of all humankind. The United States will continue to support all those who champion these fundamental principles, and we will never stop speaking out for the human rights of all individuals at home and abroad. It is part of who we are as a people and what we stand for as a Nation.
My Administration supports free and fair elections, and we will always oppose efforts by foreign governments to restrict the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression. We will continue to defend the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, call for the release of all who are unjustly detained, and insist that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons be treated equally under the law. We will press forward in our efforts to end the scourge of human trafficking, our fight to ensure the protection of refugees and other displaced persons, and our tireless work to empower women and girls worldwide.
The United States will always lift up those who seek to work for the world as it should be. This is part of American leadership. On Human Rights Day and during Human Rights Week, let us continue our urgent task of rejecting hatred in whatever form it takes and recommit to fostering a global community where every person can achieve their dreams and contribute to humankind.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 10, 2014, as Human Rights Day and the week beginning December 10, 2014, as Human Rights Week. I call upon the people of the United States to mark these observances with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
BARACK OBAMA
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Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
Domestic[edit]World War I[edit]The first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.[1]
World War II[edit]During World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".[1]Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities.[2] The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.[2]
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold War[edit]During the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on Drugs[edit]The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988,[3][4] but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998,[5] is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States".[6][7] The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.[8]
Iraq War[edit]In early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program.[9] The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts.[10] On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.[11]
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America.[12] Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.[13]
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act[edit]The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.[14][15][16]
Ad Council[edit]The Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.[17]
International[edit]Through several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.[18]
Psychological operations[edit]The US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.[19]
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public.[20][21][22] Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.[23]
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.[24]
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap." [22][24] The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.[20][21][25]
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia,[26] as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.[22]
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1708^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
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Rectal Feeding
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Where Rectal Feeding Came From and How the CIA Used It - Bloomberg
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:09
The revelation that U.S. interrogators force-fed terrorism suspects through their rectums outraged human-rights activists and doctors, who called it an outdated practice with no legitimate medical rationale.
Rectal feeding was performed on at least five detainees, none with documented conditions that made it medically necessary, according to a report released by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Others were also threatened with rectal rehydration, according to cables and records.
While rectal hydration may be used in emergency situations, it's not the first-, second- or even third-best option, said Allen Keller, director of the Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture. It's clear in the context of the report that there were ulterior motives in the decision to use the technique, he said.
''This was done not solely for therapeutic reasons but as another form of abuse or humiliation,'' Keller said. ''Given the circumstances, this is sodomy with the intention of humiliation under the guise of medical treatment.''
Related:
Central Intelligence Agency interrogators made clear that the practice, justified as a way to hydrate prisoners who refused to eat, wasn't simply for their health. It was identified as a means of ''behavior control'' by CIA medical officers that could hasten the end of hunger strikes, according to the documents.
Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesMembers and supporters of The Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture dress as detainees during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Mar. 10, 2008. Close
Members and supporters of The Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture... Read More
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OpenPhotographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesMembers and supporters of The Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture dress as detainees during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Mar. 10, 2008.
''While IV infusion is safe and effective, we were impressed with the ancillary effectiveness of rectal infusion on ending the water refusal in a similar case,'' one of the officers wrote, according to an executive summary of the 6,000-page report, originally approved in December 2012 and now declassified.
'Sloshing Up'The same officer described how the procedure was carried out:
''Regarding the rectal tube, if you place it and open up the IV tubing, the flow will self-regulate, sloshing up the large intestines,'' he wrote.
Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, a Saudi man who was accused of planning the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors, was force-fed rectally after he went on a hunger strike, according to the report. He had refused to eat after accusing the agency of drugging or poisoning his food and has since said he was tortured into confessing his role in seven attacks.
The technique was also used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, identified in the report as KSM, a top-ranking al-Qaeda member and the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.
'Total Control'The chief of interrogations ordered the rectal rehydration, a process he later said showed the interrogator's ''total control over the detainee,'' according to the report. The practice was also intended to ''clear a person's head'' and encourage Mohammad to talk.
The anecdotes of rectal feeding were part of a litany of harsh procedures detailed in the Senate report on the treatment of terror suspects. In the fall of 2002, a detainee died of hypothermia while shackled to a concrete floor. Another detainee was held for 17 days in the dark without anybody knowing he was there.
''The new details provided by the report regarding the extent and barbarity of torture techniques used by the CIA are sickening and morally reprehensible,'' the American Psychological Association said in a statement yesterday.
The CIA, in a June 2013 response to Senate investigators, said rectal rehydration was a ''well acknowledged medical technique,'' though it didn't address rectal feeding. Current CIA Director John Brennan said yesterday that while the detention and interrogation program had ''shortcomings,'' it also helped thwart attacks, capture terrorists and save lives.
Ancient EgyptiansRectal feeding or hydration, known as proctoclysis, has been performed for centuries. It is rarely done now, though a 1998 report found water or saline given rectally was safe and effective for terminally ill cancer patients.
The first reports, on papyrus going back 3,500 years, show ancient Egyptians used reeds and animal bladders to infuse liquids like wine and milk into the rectum for a variety of ailments, according to a blog post by Eric Aadhaar O'Gorman, the author of ''Complete Tubefeeding.'' Perhaps the most famous patient was U.S. President James Garfield, who was fed whiskey and broth rectally after being shot since his doctors restricted what he could eat.
There is no current medical reason to use rectal hydration or nutrition since the rectum is an inefficient way to absorb nutrients, said Ranit Mishori, a family medicine physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine and a consultant for Physicians for Human Rights.
The approach also carries significant risks, including rectal perforation and infection, she said. Intravenous and tube feeding through the nose are more appropriate approaches for nutrition and hydration.
''There is clearly no use or benefit,'' she said. ''As a physician, I can't see any justification for this. It's medical, physiological and psychological torture.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at mcortez@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at tharrison5@bloomberg.net Andrew Pollack
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.
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The 10 most harrowing excerpts from the CIA interrogation report - The Washington Post
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:46
By Washington Post StaffDecember 9 at 3:08 PM
Five years after President Obama ended the CIA's rendition and interrogation program, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the agency's methods. Here are samples of some of the more harrowing passages about the program. Read about the key findings here and take a look back at the roots of the program.
1. Of the 119 CIA detainees, 26 should not have been apprehended. Among them was Abu Hudhaifa, who was "subjected to ice water baths and 66 hours of standing sleep deprivation" before the CIA discovered that he was probably "not the person he was believed to be."
2. President Bush received his first briefing on enhanced interrogation techniques in 2006, about four years after the program started. According to CIA records, Bush expressed discomfort with an image of a detainee "chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper."
3. The CIA used rectal feeding and rectal rehydration on at least five detainees. Even though detainee Majid Khan was cooperating with feedings, for example, the CIA subjected him to "involuntary rectal feeding and rectal hydration" and would puree his lunch tray, which was then "rectally infused."
4. CIA interrogators threatened to harm the family members of at least three detainees. In one case, a detainee was told that his mother's throat would be cut.
5. The CIA apprehended two foreigners working for a "partner government" allied with the agency. They were subjected to sleep deprivation and dietary manipulation. The two detainees were trying to give the CIA information on possible future al-Qaeda attacks. It took them months to get released.
6. Abu Zubaida, the CIA's first detainee, spent 266 hours in a coffin-size confinement box. Zubaida, who was born Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, often "cried, begged, pleaded, and whimpered" and was told that the only way he would leave the facility was in the coffin-shaped box.
7. When Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times, tried to breathe during the procedure, interrogators held his lips and poured water over his mouth.
8. The Senate committee found a photo of what looked like a well-used waterboarding station at a site where there was no reported use of the technique. The CIA could not explain the presence of the waterboard.
9. Of the at least 26 detainees who were wrongfully held, one was "intellectually challenged." Interrogators taped this detainee crying and used it as leverage against one of his relatives.
10. CIA officers would "strip a detainee naked, shackle him in the standing position for up to 72 hours, and douse [him] repeatedly with cold water."
See related links on the Senate's report on the CIA program:
CIA Torture Report: Top 10 Enhanced Interrogation Techniques / Sputnik International
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:22
US12:58 10.12.2014(updated 13:17 10.12.2014)
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(C) Sputnik. Denis Voroshilov
MOSCOW, December 10 (Sputnik) '' CNN has singled out ten most shocking interrogation techniques, used by the CIA in its Detention and Interrogation Program, launched in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.The program authorized CIA officers to use extreme interrogation techniques, including sleep deprivation, waterboarding, painful stress positions, dietary manipulation, walling, 'rectal rehydration' or rectal feeding, etc. All of them amount to nothing less than a torture, according to the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
Mock executions, ''hard takedowns'' and sleep deprivation topped CNN's list of extreme interrogation techniques. ''Hard takedowns'' involved agency's officers forcing the detainees to run up and down the hall naked. "As they ran him along the corridor, a couple of times he fell and they dragged him through the dirt," the report said in reference to one such case.
CIA officers kept some of the detainees awake for up to 180 hours. The prisoners were often forced to stand in painful stress positions during such sessions. Sometimes their hands were shackled above their heads.
(C) Sputnik. Denis Voroshilov
At least in one case waterboarding resulted in a near death experience. Abu Zubaydah "became completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open, full mouth" during one session. He came around only after medical intervention.Another enhanced interrogation technique on CNN's list involved a detainee being kept in total darkness and cold temperatures. He was shackled, had to remain in a stress position and was denied access to bathroom.
CIA officers also made ''vague threats'' in reference to relatives and loved ones of the detainees, using "fear for the well-being of [prisoner's] family to [the agency's] benefit," the report said. The operatives "threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families '-- to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee and a threat to 'cut [a detainee's] mother's throat,'" the report stated.
''I '... believe that the conditions of confinement and the use of authorized and unauthorized interrogation and conditioning techniques were cruel, inhuman, and degrading. I believe the evidence of this is overwhelming and incontrovertible,'' said US Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.The revelations were made public on Tuesday after a 525-page summary of a comprehensive 6,700-page report, produced by the US Senate Intelligence Committee following a lengthy investigation, was made public. The report, sent to the White House, the CIA, the US Department of Justice, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, remains classified.
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Hush money: CIA paid Poland to host its secret prisons and detainees
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:05
Published time: December 10, 2014 10:02Edited time: December 10, 2014 14:37A file photo taken in 2003 shows the control tower of Szymany's airport, northeastern Poland, where a CIA used Boeing 737 plane allegedly landed with prisoners from Afghanistan onboard (AFP Photo / Piotr Placzkowski)
The CIA paid at least a million dollars to Poland for it to host secret prisons, where it incarcerated alleged 9/11 terror suspects, according to the recent US torture report.
Warsaw had initially tried to halt the transfer of suspects, but after a generous offer, it suddenly became more ''flexible.''
READ MORE: Senate accuses CIA of torturing prisoners, overstepping legal boundaries
Although redacted, the US torture report doesn't name Poland, calling it just the ''Country''. Details such as the names of the detainees transferred to the country and the time they arrived at the CIA ''black site'' match the European Court of Human Rights ruling on the existence of a CIA "black site" in Poland.
''In December 2002, the two individuals then being detained by the CIA in [the] Country (Abu Zubaydah and 'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri) were transferred to [the] Country,'' says the report.
According to the report, the agreement to host a CIA detention facility in the Country ''created multiple, ongoing difficulties between [the] Country and the CIA.''
Poland then proposed a "Memorandum of Understanding" covering the relative roles and responsibilities of the CIA, but the agency refused to sign the document.
''Four months after the site began hosting CIA detainees, [the] Country rejected the transfer,'' says the document.
Warsaw rejected the transfer of Khalid Shaykh [Sheikh] Muhammad, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
READ MORE: Facing justice: UN, HRW, Amnesty call for prosecuting US officials for torture
However Poland's decision was ''reversed'' only after the US ambassador ''intervened'' with Warsaw.
''The following month the CIA provided $ X million to [the]Country's [officials]'' and the ''political leadership, indicated that [the] Country was now flexible with regard to the number of CIA detainees at the facility,'' says the report. The sum was redacted in the report.
The document states the detention facility was closed, as had been previously agreed, in 2003.
Years later, Polish officials were "extremely upset" at the CIA's ''inability to keep secrets.'' Polish authorities were also "deeply disappointed" that they hadn't been warned before President George W. Bush publicly acknowledged the program's existence in 2006, says the document.
The US acknowledged the presence of facilities outside US jurisdiction, but didn't identify the exact locations of them.
On Wednesday, the country's ex-President Aleksander Kwasniewski (in power 1995 ''2005), confirmed that Poland agreed to CIA ''black sites'', but didn't authorize the torture of prisoners. This is the first time a Polish leader has admitted that the country had secret CIA detention centers.
Reuters tried to reach a Polish government spokeswoman by phone and email, but she didn't respond.
The document doesn't name the ''US ambassador'' to Poland who was mentioned in the report. But at the time Christopher Hill (2000''2004) was in the post. Mr Hill hasn't yet commented on the report.
A spokesman for Leszek Miller, who was the Polish PM from 2001 to 2004, declined to comment.
READ MORE: CIA secret prison ruling sees Poland appeal to European Human Rights Court
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Poland violated an international treaty to protect human rights by hosting secret CIA prisons on its territory.
READ MORE: European rights court condemns Poland for hosting secret CIA prisons
The case was filed by Zubaydah and al-Nashiri who claimed they were brought to Poland in December 2002 and taken to a secret CIA prison in a Polish forest, code named 'Quartz', where they were tortured.
Al-Nashiri says he underwent what the Americans euphemistically termed ''enhanced interrogation techniques'' '' in other words torture. He was also subjected to other harsh treatment, ''such as a 'mock execution' with a gun and threats of sexual assault against his family members,'' Amnesty reported.
Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in one month while in CIA detention.
Both are now detainees at the US-run Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. The American government accused Zubaydah of running a terror camp in Afghanistan, where some of the September 11 hijackers trained. Al-Nashiri was accused of directing an attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000 that killed 17 sailors.
The court found the claims were sufficiently convincing. It concluded Poland cooperated in the CIA's rendition program.
"For all practical purposes, Poland had facilitated the whole process, had created the conditions for it to happen and had made no attempt to prevent it from occurring," the European Court of Human Rights said.
Poland was ordered to pay '‚¬100,000 in damages to al-Nashiri and '‚¬130,000 to Zubaydah.
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John Kiriakou - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 21:26
John Kiriakou (born August 9, 1964) is a former CIAanalyst and case officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant for ABC News, blogger for Huffington Post,[1] and author.[2][3][4]
He is notable as the first official within the U.S. government to confirm the use of waterboarding of al-Qaeda prisoners as an interrogation technique, which he described as torture.[5][6]
On October 22, 2012, Kiriakou pled guilty to disclosing classified information about a fellow CIA officer that connected the covert operative to a specific operation. Kiriakou thus became the second CIA officer convicted of violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and the first for passing along classified information to a reporter, although the reporter did not publish the name of the operative.[7] He was sentenced to 30 months in prison on January 25, 2013, and reported to the low-security Federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania, to begin serving his term on February 28, 2013.[8]Bruce Riedel, a former intelligence adviser to Barack Obama who turned down an offer to be considered for CIA director in 2009, has sent the President a letter signed by eighteen other CIA veterans urging that the sentence be commuted.[9]
Kiriakou received a prison "send-off" party at an exclusive Washington, D.C. hotel hosted by political peace activists dressed in orange jumpsuits and mock prison costumes.[10] In 2012, Kiriakou received the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage for standing up for constitutional rights.[11]
BiographyEditKiriakou was born August 9, 1964, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and raised in nearby New Castle, Pennsylvania, the son of elementary school educators. Kiriakou's grandparents immigrated from Greece.[12] He is married and has five children.
EducationEditCIA careerEditKiriakou spent the first eight years of his career as a Middle East analyst specializing on Iraq.[4] He maintained a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Informationsecurity clearance.[4] He learned Arabic and was assigned to the American Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, as an economic officer from 1994-1996.[4] He returned to Washington, D.C., and went back to work on Iraq until transferring to the CIA's Directorate of Operations in 1998.[4] He became a counter-terrorismoperations officer and served overseas in Athens, Greece, working on Eurocommunist terrorism issues. In Greece, Kiriakou recruited foreign agents to spy for the United States, and was nearly assassinated by leftists.[13] Kiriakou returned again to CIA Headquarters in 2000.[4]
Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Kiriakou was named Chief of Counterterrorist Operations in Pakistan. In that position, he claims to have led a series of raids on al-Qaedasafehouses that resulted in the capture of dozens of al-Qaeda fighters. On the night of March 28, 2002, Kiriakou claims to have led a raid in which Abu Zubaydah, then thought to be al-Qaeda's third-ranking official, was captured in Faisalabad, Pakistan.[4] Following a 2002-2004 domestic assignment, Kiriakou resigned from the CIA in 2004.
Over the course of Kiriakou's career, he was awarded 10 Exceptional Performance Awards, a Sustained Superior performance Award, the Counterterrorism Service Medal, and the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award.[4]
Life after the CIAEditDisclosing tortureEditOn December 10, 2007, Kiriakou gave an interview to ABC News[17] where he was described as participating in the capture and questioning of Abu Zubaydah, who is accused of having been an aide to Osama Bin Laden. Kiriakou, who did not witness the waterboarding, said he had been told by CIA associates, it had taken only a single brief instance of waterboarding to extract answers to an interrogator's questions from Abu Zubaydah.
...He was able to withstand the waterboarding for quite some time. And by that I mean probably 30, 35 seconds...and a short time afterwards, in the next day or so, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate.[18]Eventually it was reported that Abu Zubaydah had been waterboarded at least 83 times,[19] and that little or no useful extra information may have been gained by "harsh methods".[20][21] Kiriakou was under the mistaken belief from the CIA that Zubayda was waterboarded only once, and even that single instance he described as a form of torture and expressed reservations about whether the value of the information was worth the damage done to the United States' reputation.
Kiriakou's accounts of Abu Zubaydah's waterboarding, and the relatively mild nature of it, were widely repeated, and paraphrased,[5][Note 1] and he became a regular guest expert on news and public affairs shows, on the topics of interrogation, and counter-terrorism.
On July 3, 2013, Kiriakou published an open letter, on Firedoglake, warning former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to beware of being tricked by FBI officials.[22] He warned Snowden to anticipate FBI officials wearing clandestine listening devices who may attempt to betray and entrap him into making comments that, heard out of context, would seem incriminating.
On January 23, 2012, Kiriakou was charged with repeatedly disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee, Deuce Martinez, in classified activities.[23][24][25] In addition to leaking the names and roles of CIA officers, Kiriakou was alleged to have lied to the CIA to get his book published.[26]
His lawyer was Robert Trout.[27] Lawyer and whistleblower Jesselyn Radack helped him with the case. She had previously helped NSA official Thomas Andrews Drake in his espionage case.[28]
On April 5, he was indicted.[29] The indictment charges Kiriakou with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, three counts of violating the Espionage Act, and one count of making false statements for allegedly lying to the Publications Review Board of the CIA.
On April 13, Kiriakou pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on bail.[30]
Starting on September 12, 2012, the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia conducted closed Classified Information Procedures Act hearings in Kirikaou's case.[31] On Monday, October 22, 2012, he agreed to plead guilty to one count of passing classified information to the media thereby violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act; his plea deal spared journalists from testifying in a trial.[32]
On January 25, 2013, Kiriakou was sentenced to 30 months in prison, making him the second CIA officer to be jailed for revealing classified material of CIA undercover identities.[9]
New York Times reporter Scott Shane referenced the Kiriakou case when he told NPR that Obama's prosecutions of journalism-related leaking were having a chilling effect on coverage of national security issues.[33]
General David Petraeus, CIA director, made a statement to CIA employees: "This case yielded the first IIPA successful prosecution in 27 years, and it marks an important victory for our Agency, for our Intelligence Community, and for our country. Oaths do matter, and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws".[34]
His current place of incarceration location is available online. Initially it is Federal Correctional Institution, Loretto.[35]
In June 2013, Kiriakou wrote an open "Letter From Loretto" to Edward Snowden expressing his support and giving advice, including "the most important advice that I can offer, DO NOT, under any circumstances, cooperate with the FBI".[36]
Kiriakou won the 2012 Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, which is awarded to "national security whistleblowers who stood up for constitutional rights and American values, at great risk to their personal and professional lives".[11] In November 2013, Kiriakou was awarded the "Peacemaker of the Year" by the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County.[37] In December 2013, he received a 2013 Giraffe Hero Commendation, awarded to people who stick their necks out for the common good.[38]
^"...The waterboarding lasted about 35 seconds before Abu Zubaida broke down, according to Kiriakou, who said he was given a detailed description of the incident by fellow team members. The next day, Abu Zubaida told his captors he would tell them whatever they wanted... He said that Allah had come to him in his cell and told him to cooperate, because it would make things easier for his brothers..."ReferencesEdit^"John Kiriakou". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-01-29. ^Jeff Stein (2010-01-26). "CIA Man Retracts Claim on Waterboarding". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 2010-03-09. Well, it's official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about. ^"Colbert: Waterboard Kiriakou, CIA Faker". Politifi. 2010-02-06. Archived from the original on 2010-03-01. John Kiriakou, the former CIA employee whose claims about Waterboarding became an oft-cited defense of the Torture practice, got the "Colbert Report" treatment this week. ^ abcdefghiJohn Kiriakou, Michael Ruby (2010). The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror. Random House. ISBN 9780553807370. Retrieved 2010-03-09. ^ abWarrick, Joby; Dan Eggen (11 December 2007). "Waterboarding Recounted". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 April 2009. ^Davis, Mark (12 December 2007). "His second guess is wrong". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 20 April 2009. ^Shane, Scott (January 5, 2013). "Ex-Officer Is First From C.I.A. to Face Prison for a Leak". New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013. ^"Ex-CIA officer Kiriakou "made peace" with leak decision". BBC News. February 28, 2013. ^ ab"Ex-Officer for C.I.A. Sentenced to 30 Months in Leak Case". The New York Times. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013. ^Montgomery, David (February 22, 2013). "CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou gets posh send-off to prison". Washington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2013. ^ abFabrikant, Mel (October 12, 2012). "National Security Whistleblowers Honored with Callaway Award". The Paramus Post. Retrieved January 11, 2013. ^Savage, Charlie (January 25, 2012). "Ex-C.I.A. Officer's Path From Terrorist Hunter to Defendant". New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2013. ^Steve Coll (April 1, 2013). "The Spy Who Said Too Much:Why the Administration targeted a C.I.A. officer". The New Yorker. ^"John Kiriakou LinkedIn Profile". Retrieved March 13, 2012. ^Savage, Charlie (January 24, 2012). "Ex-CIA Officer's Path from Terrorist Hunter to Defendant". The New York Times. ^ ab"Rhodes Global Consulting". Retrieved March 13, 2012. ^"How '07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate", New York Times^"Part One of the Transcript with John Kiriakou", ABC.com^"CIA waterboarded key Al-Qaeda suspects 266 times: memo", Agence France-Presse, 04/20/2009^"Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots", The Washington Post^"My Tortured Decision", Ali Soufan, April 22, 2009, The Washington Post^"CIA leaker warns Snowden of FBI agents". Press TV. 2013-07-03. Archived from the original on 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2013-07-03. "FBI agents will lie, trick, and deceive you," Kiriakou wrote in an open letter to Snowden published by FireDogLake on Tuesday. "They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you. They will pretend to be people they are not - supporters, well-wishers, and friends - all the while wearing wires to record your out-of-context statements to use against you. The FBI is the enemy; it's a part of the problem, not the solution," he said. ^Matthew Barakat (2012-01-24). "Ex-CIA man accused of leaking classified info". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-01-25. ^Benson, Pam (January 23, 2012). "Former CIA officer accused of leaking classified info". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2012. ^Savage, Charlie (January 24, 2012). "Ex-C.I.A. Officer Charged in Information Leak". New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012. ^"Ex-spy Kiriakou, accused in CIA leaks, played key role in public debate over waterboarding". Associated Press. January 24, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2012. ^Charlie Savage, "Former C.I.A. Operative Pleads Guilty in Leak of Colleague's Name", New York Times, October 23, 2012^Josh Gerstein, "Feds dispute CIA leaker's contrition", Politico, January 2013^http://www.fbi.gov/washingtondc/press-releases/2012/former-cia-officer-john-kiriakou-indicted-for-allegedly-disclosing-classified-information-including-covert-officers-identity-to-journalists-and-lying-to-cias-publications-board^"'Reluctant' CIA spy pleads not guilty to leaking charges, gets bail". Express Tribune. AFP. April 14, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013. ^Van Buren, Peter (September 11, 2012). "Protecting Torturers, Prosecuting Whistleblowers". The Nation. Retrieved January 11, 2013. ^Williams, Pete; Greenberg, Rich; Isikoff, Michael (October 22, 2012). "Ex-CIA agent pleads guilty to leaking identity of covert operative". NBC News. Retrieved January 11, 2013. ^Fresh Air, WHYY (Philadelphia Radio), Interview of Scott Shane by Terry Gross, February 12, 2013^Message from the Director: Former Officer Convicted in Leak Case October 23, 2012, David H Petraeus, cia.gov (Archive)^Bureau of Prisons (Archive), inmate locator, John Kiriakou^Kevin Gosztola (July 2, 2013). "CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou's Open Letter to Edward Snowden". Firedoglake. Retrieved July 4, 2014. ^Blaylock, Dylan. "Kiriakou Honored Yet Again: Wins 'Peacemaker of the Year' Award". Government Accountability Project. Retrieved 1 November 2013. ^Medlock, Ann. "Letter to John Kiriakou". Giraffe Heroes Project. Retrieved 24 February 2014. Further readingEditExternal linksEditPersondataNameKiriakou, JohnAlternative namesShort descriptionFormer CIA analyst; whistleblowerDate of birthAugust 9, 1964Place of birthSharon, Pennsylvania, USADate of deathPlace of death
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Senate staffer tries to scrub 'torture' reference from Wikipedia's CIA torture article
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 21:25
What's This?
Image: Mashable, Bob Al-Greene
By Brian Ries2014-12-10 20:10:46 UTC
An anonymous Wikipedia user from an IP address that is registered to United States Senate has tried, and failed, to remove a phrase with the word "torture" from the website's article on the Senate Intelligence Committee's blockbuster CIA torture report.
The unknown individual has attempted on at least two occasions '-- first on Dec. 9 and then on Dec. 10 '-- to remove a line describing the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques as "a euphemism for torture."
(Click below to expand to see the edit made on Dec. 9.)
In both instances the anonymous editor explained that he or she was "removing bias" from the article. And each time the revision was overruled.
The debate over the classification of "torture" for the CIA's techniques has played out in the halls of Congress, on Sunday talk shows and behind closed doors. Wikipedia appears to be the latest battleground over public opinion as many, now, ponder the legalities of some of the more aggressive techniques used by CIA officers during the decade-long war on terror.
The United Nations, joined by a number of human rights groups, have called for the prosecution of U.S. officials who were responsible for the CIA torture program.
"It is now time to take action," said UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism Ben Emmerson in a statement. "The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today's report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes."
"By choosing to move on, to forget about the past, not to prosecute the serious crime, Obama is keeping torture as a misguided, wrongful policy option for some future American president," added Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, on Wednesday.
The Wikipedia revelations came to light on Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to a Twitter bot that tweets anonymous edits that are made from IP addresses in the US Congress.
That account, @congressedits, has been around since July 2014 and has alerted followers nearly 430 times of covert Wikipedia changes attempted by anonymous Senate staffers, officials or volunteers on the government network.
The targeted topics have included issues as diverse as Gamergate, "baby farming" and The Lord of the Rings.
The account was inspired by @parliamentedits, which tracks changes made from the UK Parliament IP, and is part of an entire community of bots that track everything from anonymous edits made from Russian government IPs to those made by anonymous staffers at the world's top media organizations.
The IP addresses, Wikipedia warns, are often shared by multiple users of a government agency or facility, though anonymous editing could be disabled if Wikipedia editors detect instances of vandalism.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Topics: cia torture, Politics, torture report, U.S., US & World, wikipedia
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Show me the Money
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What's in the spending bill? We skim it so you don't have to - The Washington Post
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:40
A $1 trillion spending bill unveiled Tuesday keeps most of the federal government funded through September. Here, the Post's Ed O'Keefe points out a few of the most notable components of the legislation. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)
This item has been updated and revised.
The $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled late Tuesday will keep most of the federal government funded through next September -- and it's packed with hundreds of policy instructions, known on Capitol Hill as "riders," that will upset or excite Democrats, Republicans and various special interest groups.
So, what's in the bill? We've sifted through the legislation, consulted supporting documents from Democratic and Republican aides, and called out some of the more notable and controversial elements below. (If you want to review detailed reports on all 12 parts of the spending bill, click here.)
Please note: This is a fluid report that will be updated to add more detail or correct errors. What notable changes did we miss? What notable changes did you spot? Contact us or share details in the comments section below:
ABORTION:
The bill once again bans using federal funding to perform most abortions; blocks the use of local and federal funding for abortions in the District of Columbia; and blocks the use of federal dollars for abortions for federal prisoners. Republicans say that there's also new language directing the secretary of health and human services to ensure that consumers shopping for health-care coverage on the federal exchange can tell whether a plan covers abortion services.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:
The law is still funded, but there's no new money for it. There's also no new ACA-related funding for the Internal Revenue Service and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the two agencies most responsible for implementing the law. The bill also would cut the budget of the Independent Payment Advisory Board -- what Republicans have called "the death panel" -- by $10 million.
AFGHANISTAN:
Congress withholds funding for the Afghan government "until certain conditions are met," including implementing the bilateral security agreement reached with the United States.
AMTRAK:
The nation's rail passenger service earns $1.39 billion, the same amount it currently receives. The rail service carries passengers through 46 states and hit an all-time high of 31.6 million passengers during the last fiscal year, according to Democratic aides.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE:
The bill would dramatically expand the amount of money that wealthy political donors could inject into the national parties, drastically undercutting the 2002 landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance overhaul. Bottom line: A donor who gave the maximum $32,400 this year to the Democratic National Committee or Republican National Committee would be able to donate another $291,600 on top of that to the party's additional arms -- a total of $324,000, ten times the current limit. Read more on this here.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL:
The agency would get more than $6.9 billion, an increase of about $42.7 million. The nation's leading disease-fighters also get $30 million to help fight Ebola (see below).
CLEAN WATER ACT:
In a win for Republicans, the spending bill blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from applying the law to certain farm ponds and irrigation ditches -- a move that GOP aides said would benefit farmers.
DODD-FRANK:
Democrats agreed to make some of the biggest changes yet to the 2010 financial regulatory reforms. In a deal sought by Republicans, the bill would reverse Dodd-Frank requirements that banks "push out" some of derivatives trading into separate entities not backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporations. Ever since being enacted, banks have been pushing to reverse the change. Now, the rules would go back to the way they used to be. But in exchange, Democrats say they secured more money for the enforcement budgets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
EBOLA:
Roughly $5.4 billion is provided across several agencies to combat the spread of the disease in the United States and around the world. The amount is less than the $6 billion Obama requested.
EGYPT:
The beleaguered country gets $1.3 billion in military aid and $150 million in economic aid -- but the money is subject to "democracy and human rights conditions," while the secretary of state can make exceptions for counterterrorism and border security operations.
EMBASSIES:
There's $5.4 billion for security at U.S. embassies worldwide, $46 million more than Obama requested. The total includes new money to implement recommendations from the Benghazi Accountability Review Board. The bill also once again bans any embassy construction money to be spent on the lavish new U.S. embassy in London.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:
The agency gets $8.1 billion, down $60 million from the last fiscal year. The agency's budget has been slashed by $2.2 billion, or 21 percent, since fiscal 2010, according to GOP aides. The cuts mean that EPA will have to reduce its staffing to the lowest levels since 1989.
ERIC CANTOR:
Well, kind of. The former House majority leader stunned the political world by losing in a GOP primary last summer. But Congress agreed to provide $12.6 million for his signature legislative achievement -- the Gabriella Miller Kids First Act, which authorizes new federally-funded pediatric research. The bill was paid for by slashing federal funding for political conventions.
FEDERAL WORKER PAY (AND CONFERENCES):
The bill allows a 1 percent pay raise ordered by Obama to take effect in January. And the legacy of embarrassing spending scandals at federal agencies persist as Congress once again banned or put limits on certain conferences, official travel and some employee awards.
FOOD SAFETY (AND THE FDA)
There's $2.589 billion for the Food and Drug Administration, a $37 million increase from last year. There's $27 million in new funding for the Food Safety Modernization Act. The Food Safety and Inspection Service would receive $1.016 billion, a $5 million increase.
GUANTANAMO BAY:
Once again the Obama administration is banned from transferring terrorism detainees to the United States from the U.S. military facility in Cuba. There's also a ban on building or buying any facility in the U.S. to house detainees. But the bill allows for the ongoing transfer of detainees to other countries.
HEROIN:
In a modest attempt to address a growing crisis with the illicit drug, lawmakers are adding $7 million for a new anti-heroin task force run out of the Justice Department's COPS Office. The money will be used as part of a competitive grant program for drug enforcement, including investigations and operations to stop the distribution or sale of the drug, according to Democrats.
IMMIGRATION:
The bill only funds the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees most immigration policy, until February. But negotiators gave new money for immigration programs at other federal agencies. There's $948 million for the Department of Health and Human Service's unaccompanied children program -- an $80 million increase. The program provides health and education services to the young migrants. The department also gets $14 million to help school districts absorbing new immigrant students. And the State Department would get $260 million to assist Central American countries from where of the immigrant children are coming.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE:
One of the GOP's favorite targets will see its budget slashed by $345.6 million. The nation's tax agency also would be banned from targeting organizations seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideological beliefs.
ISRAEL:
There's $3.1 billion in total aid for the country plus $619.8 million in defense aid.
JOE BIDEN:
The legislation once again enacts a pay freeze for the vice president "and senior political appointees."
LIBYA:
The troubled country cannot receive any U.S. aid until the secretary of state confirms the country is cooperating with ongoing investigations into the September 2012 attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
JORDAN:
The Arab kingdom would receive $1 billion in economic and military aid, in addition to U.S. humanitarian aid for millions of Syrian refugees.
LIGHT BULBS:
The bill once again prohibits new standards that would ban the use of cheaper, less energy efficient incandescent bulbs. The proposal was first introduced and set in motion by the Bush administration, but the Obama White House allowed the change to continue, despite sustained consumer demand for older bulbs.
MARIJUANA:
The District of Columbia will be prohibited from legalizing marijuana for the much of the coming year. The development -- upending a voter-approved initiative -- shocked elected D.C. leaders, advocates for marijuana legalization and civil liberties groups. The bill also would block the Justice Department from interfering with state-level medical marijuana measures and prohibits the Drug Enforcement Agency from interfering with industrial hemp production.
METRORAIL:
The D.C. region's subway and bus system would earn $150 million in federal dollars for continued improvements. That's part of $10.9 billion set to be doled out for transit programs nationwide, including the construction of new rail and rapid bus projects in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Texas. But Republicans stress that the bill has no new federal funding for high-speed rail projects, especially the ambitious Los Angeles-to-San Francisco routes envisioned by California Democrats.
MILITARY PAY AND PERKS:
Military service members will receive a 1 percent pay increase next year. But there's a pay freeze for generals and flag officers. The bill also ends a five percent discount on tobacco and tobacco-related products sold at military exchanges.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY:
The agreement includes $24 million to complete the federal government's contribution to the new museum being built on the Mall. The rest of the money will be raised through private donations.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:
The nation's premier medical research agency would receive $30.3 billion, a $150 million overall increase. Democrats noted that the new funding helps especially for ongoing Alzheimer's and brain research programs.
OFFICIAL PORTRAITS:
You're a government official and want an official portrait? You'll have to pay for it (or raise the funds). The bill bans taxpayer funding for official portraits of any Executive Branch employees, lawmakers and heads of legislative agencies.
OVERSEAS MILITARY OPERATIONS:
There's $1.3 billion for a new Counterterrorism Partnership Fund; $5 billion for military operations to combat the Islamic State, including $1.6 billion to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces; $500 million for a Pentagon-led program to train and equip vetted Syrian opposition fighters; $810 million for ongoing military operations in Europe, including requirements that at least $175 million is spent in support of Ukraine and Baltic nations.
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY:
The bill stops assistance to the Palestinian Authority if it becomes a member of the United Nations or UN agencies without an agreement with Israel. It also prohibits funds for Hamas.
PENSIONS:
For the first time, the benefits of current retirees could be severely cut, part of an effort to save some of the nation's most distressed pension plans. The change would alter 40 years of federal law and could affect millions of workers, many of them part of a shrinking corps of middle-income employees in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets. Read more on this here.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
You like your mail on Saturdays? You'll keep your mail on Saturdays. The bill requires the mail service to continue six-day deliveries, despite a years-long attempt to cut back on service to save money.
POTATOES:
White potatoes, to be exact. The Women, Infants and Children program that provides food aid to low-income families would receive $6.6 billion, a $93 million cut from the last fiscal year. But the program will be required to ensure that "all varieties of fresh vegetables, including white potatoes, are eligible for purchase" through the program, said Republicans. The change is a big victory for the potato lobby, which has long fought to be part of the food assistance program.
RACE TO THE TOP:
The bill cuts funding for Obama's signature education initiative -- a big blow to his education legacy, according to The Post's Valerie Strauss. Overall, the Education Department would take a slight hit in funding; at $70.5 billion, down $133 million below the fiscal year 2014, but special education grants to states would get $25 million more than last year, up to $11.5 billion. There is also no funding for the controversial Common Core State Standards in this legislation.
RAILROADS:
Among other things, there's $3 million to expand inspections along the roughly 14,000 miles of track used by trains hauling oil tankers.
SAGE-GROUSE:
In a victory for the GOP, the bill would ban the Fish and Wildlife Service from adding the rare bird found in several Western states to the Endangered Species List. Republicans argue that adding the bird to the list "would have severe economic consequences on Western states and the nation's efforts to become energy independent." But there's also $15 million for the Bureau of Land Management to conserve sage-grouse habitats.
SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM:
The school lunch nutritional changes sought by First Lady Michelle Obama take a hit. The bill allows more flexibility to school districts to implement new whole grain nutrition standards "if the school can demonstrate a hardship" when buying whole grain products, according to Republicans. The bill also relaxes new sodium standards until they are "supported by additional scientific studies."
SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY:
There's $257 million for the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs, including $25 million more to expand the Sexual Assault Victims' Counsel program. But Democrats, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), are expected to make a final push to expand the program this week.
TRUCKING:
In a victory for the trucking industry, the bill blocks new Transportation Department regulations requiring truckers to get two nights of sleep before starting a new work week. The regulation slashed a typical trucker's work week to 70 hours, down from 82 hours.
UNITED NATIONS:
The perennial ban on providing money for the ongoing renovation of U.N. Headquarters in New York remains intact.
U.S. CAPITOL (AND RELATED AGENCIES):
There's $21 million to continue restoring the cast-iron Capitol Dome. And $348 million for the U.S. Capitol Police (a force with 1,775 officers). Lawmakers also plan to save $10,000 by allowing the congressional Office of Compliance to email congressional staffers about their employment rights. Old rules required the office to send such notices by snail mail. Finally, for the first time the agency formerly known as the Government Printing Office is now officially known as the Government Publishing Office.
VETERANS:
After a year of embarrassing scandals at the sprawling Department of Veterans Affairs, lawmakers are making good on promises to provide more money and oversight. There's a total of $159.1 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending. Of that, $209 million was added to address new costs related to the bipartisan veterans' reform bill passed last summer. The legislation calls for adding medical staff and expanding dozens of facilities. In order to specifically addressing the "wait list" scandal, the VA's inspector general is getting a $5 million budget increase to continue investigating lapses in patient care.
WHISTLEBLOWERS:
The bill includes language ensuring that government contractors are not barred from reporting allegations of waste, fraud or abuse if they sign a confidentiality agreement. And the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would receive a $500,000 increase for its enforcement of existing whistleblower laws.
WHITE HOUSE BUDGET:
There's $222 million for executive mansion operations, a $10 million increase. The money pays for the National Security and Homeland Security councils, the Council of Economic Advisers, the vice president's office and the executive residence. The bill doesn't provide any new funding "to address security weaknesses at the White House complex," according to Democrats. But the U.S. Secret Service would be allowed to use some of its funding "to prepare and train for the next presidential election campaign," Democrats said.
WOLVES:
Well, only if you're attacked. There's $1 million in the bill "to compensate ranchers for livestock killed by wolves."
YUCCA MOUNTAIN:
There's no new money for the site, but current money for it must be spent pursuant to a recent court decision. Republicans say that the bill continues to leave open the possibility that the site could be used someday to store nuclear waste -- but that won't happen as long as Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) is around.
Michael Fletcher, Matea Gold, Christopher Ingraham, Valerie Strauss and Eric Yoder contributed to this report.
What notable changes did we miss? What notable changes did you spot? Contact us or share details in the comments section below.
Ed O'Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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Federal land deals full of thorny trade-offs - LA Times
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:39
One of the most ambitious public lands packages in years is speeding through Congress after being quietly attached to a must-pass bipartisan defense bill that cleared the House on Thursday.
The measure includes about 70 public lands projects, including the first national monument status for ice age fossil beds in Nevada, protection for about 275,000 acres of Montana's rugged Rocky Mountain Front and a land swap that clears the way for a controversial southeastern Arizona copper mine.
Meant to be a compromise between environmental groups and business interests, the package would designate 245,000 acres as wilderness while simultaneously conveying more than 110,000 acres out of federal ownership for economic development, including mining, timber production and infrastructure improvements.
Some of the trade-offs drew the ire of environmentalists, who criticized what they viewed as federal give-aways to oil, gas and mining interests, particularly an underground copper mine on Arizona land prized by Native Americans. Others opposed expanded livestock grazing that could harm the habitat for the sage grouse and other sensitive species.
But overall, the package is supported by major environmental groups, who had grown increasingly frustrated over Congress' failure to approve new conservation areas since Republicans won control of the House in 2010.
Tacking the package onto the National Defense Authorization Act is unorthodox, but not surprising given the short time remaining in the lame-duck session of Congress.
The 1,600-page defense bill '-- which also gives modest 1% pay raises to troops and sets military policy for fiscal 2015 '-- is among the final legislative measures expected to be approved by this Congress.
Nevertheless the maneuver drew scorching attacks from conservatives. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) condemned the "extreme land grab" and called the last-minute tactic a disservice to the military.
But those who have fought for expanded parks and open space welcomed the long-sought agreements.
The House overwhelmingly approved the bill 300 to 119, and the Senate was expected to quickly follow.
"This legislation will protect places taken right out of the pages of our history and science books," said Clark Bunting, president of National Parks Conservation Assn., noting the expansion of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park and three sites for the Manhattan Project National Historical Parks in New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington state. "These are places that deserve to be preserved for all Americans to experience."
Western lawmakers who have pushed for years to approve lands projects important to their regions seized on the opportunity to include them in the package.
Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, spent nearly a decade trying unsuccessfully to help West Coast fishermen refinance high-interest federal loans used to buy vessels off the Washington, Oregon and Northern California coasts. The lands package provided an opening.
"It's sort of the dysfunction of Congress at work '-- or not working," said DeFazio, explaining that the House and Senate often passed many of the individual bills in a bipartisan way, only to have them stall in the other chamber. "I don't have any trouble defending what's in the package."
As Congress scrambles to complete its work in the dwindling days of the lame-duck session, the massive defense bill, which has been approved annually for the last 50 years, was one of the final vehicles before lawmakers adjourn for the holidays.
Agreement over this year's defense measure proved difficult as lawmakers wrestled with whether to provide authority for President Obama's enhanced military campaign against Islamic State militants.
The bill also continued steep budget cuts previously approved by Congress under the so-called sequestration. At $585 billion, defense makes up almost half of the federal discretionary budget.
Troops will absorb many of the cutbacks, with lower housing allowances and a pay freeze for generals. Many will also face increasing co-payments for prescription drugs under the military healthcare system.
"We do not relish the idea of making these changes," said a joint statement from Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), the top senators on the Armed Services Committee, who said the alternatives were worse. "They are needed to avoid drastic reductions in military readiness that would potentially endanger the lives of our troops."
Efforts by some lawmakers, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to include a broader war powers authorization for Obama's military actions in Iraq and Syria were not expected to gain traction.
However, the bill extends the administration's authority to continue arming Syrian rebels in the fight against Islamic State.
The military provisions led DeFazio to withdraw his support for the bill, even though it included a provision he fought for to reduce costs on fishermen's loans. "It gives the president a blank check on his misbegotten Syria plan," DeFazio said.
The defense measure provides $5 billion to fight Islamic State, including funds for U.S. and Iraqi troops, and approves Obama's request for a new counter-terrorism partnership program, though at only one-third of the $4 billion he sought.
The military bill contains some of its own public lands provisions, including making space available for the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego and a provision by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) to add the names of 74 sailors from the U.S. destroyer Frank E. Evans to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
But the separate lands package drew much of the scrutiny.
"It's great that Congress is getting the Christmas spirit," said Jennifer Krill, executive director of the environmental group Earthworks, which opposes the Arizona copper project. "But they shouldn't be giving presents to foreign mining companies at the expense of the American people."
Also included were projects important to congressional leaders, including Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the outgoing majority leader who is up for reelection in 2016.
He secured 22,650 acres for Nevada's first national monument at Tule Springs, a fossil bed outside Las Vegas with the remains of "mammoths ... and sloths the size of sports cars," according to advocates. An additional 300 acres were conveyed to the mining town of Elko for a motocross park.
Many items, however, enjoyed bipartisan support '-- and a few even had to do with military affairs.
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Campaign Finance Reform's Death Knell Hidden in Spending Bill - ABC News
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:19
Campaign finance reform has long been on life support, but today it can be declared nearly dead.
A proposal tucked deep inside the massive spending bill to keep the government running is a boon for political parties. It's squirreled away on page 1,599 of the 1,603 page bill released late Tuesday night.
Under current regulations, a donor can give $32,400 to the Democratic or Republican National Committee. Soon, they will be able to give a total of $324,000 '' 10 times the current limit.
In a two-year election cycle, a married couple could contribute $1.3 million to the various party committees. This financing will help parties raise money for their political conventions.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, defended the proposal as ''bipartisan.'' He said it would allow political conventions to be financed privately, rather than through taxpayer funding.
''The Congress was very concerned about tax payer funding of political activities,'' Boehner told reporters today.
The change effectively guts most of what is left of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, a 2002 law that put tight caps on political contributions.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has long advocated for the change, but his aides say he didn't push for this proposal that has so far had no debate in Congress.
The political parties have gradually lost their grip on power, particularly with the flood of outside contributions allowing wealthy donors to create multi-million dollar political action committees that can help campaigns far more than the parties.
Campaign finance advocates questioned the transparency and the motive behind the proposal.
''Increasing these limits would only enable more dollars to pour into a system already flooded with cash and would encourage higher independent expenditures in the money arms race to counter them,'' said Lisa Gilbert, director of the advocacy group, Public Citizen. ''This embarrassing deal sacrifices the interests of everyday Americans who want clean elections while elevating the concerns of politicians who want to raise more money.''
There is a good chance President Obama will sign the bill given it is tied to the spending bill, but it's a major change in the blurred lines of money and politics.
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Congress Inserts $554B for DoD in 'Cromnibus' Spending Bill
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:03
WASHINGTON '-- The massive spending bill unveiled Tuesday evening by congressional leaders includes $554 billion for the Pentagon, including base-budget growth.
After a two-day delay, leadership and the heads of the Appropriations committees struck a deal on a ''cromnibus'' spending bill, which would fully fund 11 departments through the fiscal year and the Department of Homeland Security through February.
The term ''cromnibus'' refers to the measure's appearance as an omnibus appropriations bill because of its 11 full-year spending measures. The first two letters refer to a continuing resolution (CR) for Homeland Security, a Republican response to the president's action on immigration.
In what has become a holiday season tradition on Capitol Hill, the spending measure must pass by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. (EST) to avert a government shutdown that Republican leaders worked hard the last two weeks to head off. To that end, the chairs of the House and Senate Appropriations committees late Tuesday urged both chambers to pass the cromnibus ''as soon as possible.''
For the Defense Department, the legislation would provide $554.1 billion for fiscal 2015, just smaller than the $554.3 billion the Obama administration requested.
But the bill's $490.1 billion base 2015 Pentagon appropriations bill, if enacted this week, would be $3.3 billion larger than the amount allocated for fiscal 2014.
The measure would give the White House most of the funds it requested, including $3.4 billion of the $5.6 billion it recently asked for to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It proposes $64 billion for the Pentagon's overseas contingency operations (OCO) account; with the war in Afghanistan winding down, that level would be about $21 billion less than the 2014 enacted level.
A summary of the cromnibus released by congressional leaders and top appropriators states it includes $93.8 billion for total Pentagon procurement, a $1 billion hike from the previous year. For R&D, DoD would get a total of $63.7 billion, up $700 million from 2014.
Amid worries about the military's readiness, appropriators are proposing $161.7 billion '-- $1.8 billion more than last year '-- for operation and maintenance accounts.
The House and Senate appropriators merged the plans their respective committees had approved for blocking the Air Force's plans to retire its A-10 attack plane fleet. They adopted the House panel's language and the Senate committee's funding level.
Adopted as a floor amendment, the House language would prohibit the service from using any 2015 funds to retire its A-10s. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a defense spending bill that proposed $338 million to keep the A-10s flying for one more year.
?The bill would give DoD at least $240 million more than requested for the F-35 fighter program to buy four more jets than planned.
The measure also substantially ramps up funding for the Navy's E/A-18G electronic warfare jets to $1.4 billion, providing enough monies to buy 15 in fiscal 2015.
For the Navy, the legislation provides a $1 billion funding hike above the request for one San Antonio-class amphibious transport ship. It also would keep the American aircraft carrier fleet at 11, allocating $483.6 billion to refuel the USS George Washington.
The shutdown-skirting measure would increase funding for joint US-Israeli missile defense programs by $172 million. For the much-ballyhooed Iron Dome program, the appropriators doled out $175 million more than the $176 million the White House requested, for a program total of $351 million.
The National Guard and Reserve would get $1.2 billion more than requested to ''enhance'' their equipment, according to the summary.
As tensions in Eastern Europe continue to simmer, the appropriators propose $810 million for what's called the ''European Reassurance Initiative,'' including $175 million for equipment and ''associated support'' for indigenous forces in Ukraine and the Baltics.
The bill appears headed next for the House Rules Committee, then to chamber floor. Senior lawmakers remained cautiously optimistic as of late Tuesday afternoon that both chambers could waive certain floor rules to pass the cromnibus before the Thursday evening deadline.
''Federal government's going to run out of money in two days,'' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters. ''There's no reason the government should shut down. And we're ready to pass a yearlong spending bill to take care of this.''
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., and Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., are pushing their colleagues to adopt the cromnibus.
''More than two months into the fiscal year, it's time we end government on autopilot so we can turn our focus to meeting the day-to-day needs of Americans and long-range needs of the nation,'' the duo said Tuesday evening in a joint statement.
''This bill fulfills our constitutional duty to fund the government, preventing damage from shutdown politics,'' they said. ''While not everyone got everything they wanted, such compromises must be made in a divided government. These are the tough choices that we must make to govern responsibly and do what the American people sent us here to do.'' '–
SPECIAL OPS AND TERRORISM-Bill Text - 113th Congress (2013-2014) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:31
THIS SEARCH THIS DOCUMENT GO TONext Hit ForwardNew Bills SearchPrev Hit BackHomePageHit List Best Sections HelpContents DisplayBuck' McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (Reported in House - RH)
SEC. 1241. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY FOR SUPPORT OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS TO COMBAT TERRORISM.Section 1208(h) of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108-375; 118 Stat. 2086), as most recently amended by section 1203(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1621), is further amended by striking `2015' and inserting `2017'.
SEC. 1242. ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZATION FOR NON-CONVENTIONAL ASSISTED RECOVERY CAPABILITIES.(a) Extension- Subsection (h) of section 943 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4579), as most recently amended by section 1241 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Public Law 113-66; 127 Stat. 920), is further amended by striking `2015' and inserting `2016'.
(b) Cross-reference Amendment- Subsection (f) of such section is amended by striking `413b(e)' and inserting `3093(e)'.
SEC. 1243. EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF AUTHORITY TO SUPPORT OPERATIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICE OF SECURITY COOPERATION IN IRAQ.Section 1215(f)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1631; 10 U.S.C. 113 note), as most recently amended by section 1214 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Public Law 113-66; 127 Stat. 906; 10 U.S.C. 113 note), is further amended--
(1) by striking `fiscal year 2014' and inserting `fiscal year 2015';
(2) by striking `non-operational'; and
(3) by striking `in an institutional environment' and inserting `at a base or facility of the Government of Iraq'.
SEC. 1244. MODIFICATION OF NATIONAL SECURITY PLANNING GUIDANCE TO DENY SAFE HAVENS TO AL-QAEDA AND ITS VIOLENT EXTREMIST AFFILIATES.(a) Modification- Section 1032(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1571; 50 U.S.C. 3043 note) is amended--
(1) in paragraph (2)--
(A) by redesignating subparagraph (C), (D), and (E) as subparagraph (D), (E), and (F), respectively;
(B) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:
`(C) For each specified geographic area, a description of the following:
`(i) The feasibility of conducting multilateral programs to train and equip the military forces of relevant countries in the area.
`(ii) The authority and funding that would be required to support such programs.
`(iii) How such programs would be implemented.
`(iv) How such programs would support the national security priorities and interests of the United States and complement other efforts of the United States Government in the area and in other specified geographic areas.'; and
(C) in subparagraph (F) (as redesignated), by striking `subparagraph (C)' and inserting `subparagraph (D)'; and
(2) in paragraph (3)(A), by striking `paragraph (2)(C)' and inserting `paragraph (2)(D)'.
(b) Report- Section 1032(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1571; 50 U.S.C. 3043 note), as amended by subsection (a), is further amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
(2) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:
`(4) REPORT-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than October 1, 2014, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the national security planning guidance required under paragraph (1), including any updates thereto.
`(B) FORM- The report may include a classified annex as determined to be necessary by the President.
`(C) DEFINITION- In this paragraph, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
`(i) the congressional defense committees; and
`(ii) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.'.
SEC. 1245. ENHANCED AUTHORITY TO ACQUIRE GOODS AND SERVICES OF DJIBOUTI IN SUPPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ACTIVITIES IN UNITED STATES AFRICA COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States forces should continue to be forward postured in Africa and in the Middle East;
(2) Djibouti is in a strategic location to support United States vital national security interests in the region;
(3) the United States should take definitive steps to maintain its basing access and agreements with the Government of Djibouti to support United States vital national security interests in the region;
(4) the United States should devise and implement a comprehensive governmental approach to engaging with the Government of Djibouti to reinforce the strategic partnership between the United States and Djibouti; and
(5) the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, should take concrete steps to advance and strengthen the relationship between United States and the Government of Djibouti.
(b) Authority- In the case of a good or service to be acquired in direct support of covered activities for which the Secretary of Defense makes a determination described in subsection (c), the Secretary may conduct a procurement in which--
(1) competition is limited to goods of Djibouti or services of Djibouti; or
(2) a preference is provided for goods of Djibouti or services of Djibouti.
(c) Determination-
(1) IN GENERAL- A determination described in this subsection is a determination by the Secretary of either of the following:
(A) That the good or service concerned is to be used only in support of covered activities.
(B) That it is vital to the national security interests of the United States to limit competition or provide a preference as described in subsection (b) because such limitation or preference is necessary--
(i) to reduce--
(I) United States transportation costs; or
(II) delivery times in support of covered activities; or
(ii) to promote regional security, stability, and economic prosperity in Africa.
(C) That the good or service is of equivalent quality of a good or service that would have otherwise been acquired.
(2) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT- A determination under paragraph (1)(B) shall not be effective for purposes of a limitation or preference under subsection (b) unless the Secretary also determines that the limitation or preference will not adversely affect--
(A) United States military operations or stability operations in the United States Africa Command area of responsibility; or
(B) the United States industrial base.
(d) Reporting and Oversight- In exercising the authority under subsection (b) to procure goods or services in support of covered activities, the Secretary of Defense--
(1) in the case of the procurement of services, shall ensure that the procurement is conducted in accordance with the management structure implemented pursuant to section 2330(a) of title 10, United States Code;
(2) shall ensure that such goods or services are identified and reported under a single, joint Department of Defense-wide system for the management and accountability of contractors accompanying United States forces operating overseas or in contingency operations (such as the synchronized predeployment and operational tracker (SPOT) system); and
(3) shall ensure that the United States Africa Command has sufficiently trained staff and adequate resources to conduct oversight of procurements carried out pursuant to subsection (b), including oversight to detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse.
(e) Definitions- In this section:
(1) COVERED ACTIVITIES- The term `covered activities' means Department of Defense activities in the United States Africa Command area of responsibility.
(2) GOOD OF DJIBOUTI- The term `good of Djibouti' means a good wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of Djibouti.
(3) SERVICE OF DJIBOUTI- The term `service of Djibouti' means a service performed by a person that--
(A)(i) is operating primarily in Djibouti; or
(ii) is making a significant contribution to the economy of Djibouti through payment of taxes or use of products, materials, or labor of Djibouti, as determined by the Secretary of State; and
(B) is properly licensed or registered by authorities of the Government of Djibouti, as determined by the Secretary of State.
(f) Termination- The authority and requirements of this section expire at the close of September 30, 2018.
SEC. 1246. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR UNITED STATES SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION IN THE EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN REGIONS.(a) Strategic Framework-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall develop a strategic framework for United States security force assistance and cooperation in the European and Eurasian regions.
(2) ELEMENTS- The strategic framework required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) An evaluation of the extent to which the threat to security and stability in the European and Eurasian regions is a threat to the national security of the United States and the security interests of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance.
(B) An identification of the primary objectives, priorities, and desired end-states of United States security force assistance and cooperation programs in such regions and of the resources required to achieve such objectives, priorities, and end states.
(C) A methodology for assessing the effectiveness of United States security force assistance and cooperation programs in such regions in making progress towards such objectives, priorities, and end-states, including an identification of key benchmarks for such progress.
(D) Criteria for bilateral and multilateral partnerships in such regions.
(b) Report-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the strategic framework required by subsection (a).
(2) FORM- The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in an unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
(3) DEFINITION- In this subsection, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
(B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1247. REQUIREMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO CONTINUE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNITED STATES STRATEGY TO PREVENT AND RESPOND TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE GLOBALLY AND PARTICIPATION IN INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the most dangerous places to be a woman are some of the most unstable and violent regions in the world and gender-based violence will impact one in three women worldwide and this in turn has a direct impact on United States national security, the stability of nations, the rule of law, democracy, and peace-building processes;
(2) combating violence against women and girls through the implementation and integration of gender-based violence prevention and response mechanisms throughout United States overseas operations is a critical step toward promoting regional and global stability and achieving sustainable peace and security;
(3) under the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R. 2055, One Hundred Twelfth Congress), the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development were directed in the matter relating to section 7061 to submit to Congress a multi-year strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in countries where it is common through achievable and sustainable goals, benchmarks for measuring progress, and expected results, including through regular engagement with men and boys as community leaders and advocates in ending such violence;
(4) Executive Order 13623 of August 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 49345) established the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally (in this section referred to as the `Strategy'), the first such strategy submitted pursuant to the matter relating to section 7061 under the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012;
(5) Executive Order 13623 required the Department of Defense to participate in an Interagency Working Group co-chaired by the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development to implement the Strategy; and
(6) since the authority for the Strategy was established initially in the matter relating to section 7061 under the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012, it is important for Congress to maintain its appropriate oversight over the implementation of the Strategy.
(b) Briefings Required-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on efforts of the Department of Defense relating to participation in the Interagency Working Group to implement the Strategy.
(2) MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED- As part of the briefings, the Secretary shall describe specifically efforts of the Department of Defense in the Interagency Working Group to implement international violence against women and girls prevention and response strategies, funding allocations, programming, and associated outcomes.
(3) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
(B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
(c) Requirement to Continue Implementation of Strategy and Participation in Interagency Working Group- The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the Department of Defense--
(1) during the current period of the Strategy, continues to implement the Strategy as appropriate by reason of the role of the Department of Defense in the Interagency Working Group; and
(2) continues to participate in interagency collaborative efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.
SEC. 1248. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL ACTIVITY.(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) There is a lack of situational awareness within the Department of Defense concerning how state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries are interwoven into the international financial and trading systems via legal and licit activities and use such market activities to fund and equip themselves and advance their interests.
(2) There is a lack of capability within the Department of Defense to formulate policy options within the interagency process, or for consideration within the Department, concerning whether state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries have key vulnerabilities associated with their positioning within the global economic and financial systems.
(3) The Department of Defense would benefit from having enhanced situational awareness regarding the commercial and strategic interactions of state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries within the global economic and financial systems and integrating relevant findings into defense policy options, deterrence strategy, planning and preparedness.
(4) The state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds of adversaries and potential adversaries represent, in some cases, strategic tools of their controlling governments and their global operations and therefore warrant increased scrutiny and knowledge.
(5) Without improved situational awareness of the business transactions and financial activities of state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries, as well as entities they own and control, current efforts and deterrence strategies will continue to represent an underdeveloped defense requirement that lacks strategic direction.
(b) Enhanced Situational Awareness Required- The Secretary of Defense shall take such steps as may be necessary to improve--
(1) the situational awareness capabilities of the Department of Defense regarding the legal and licit business transactions and global market positioning of adversaries and potential adversaries; and
(2) the ability of the Department to translate such situational awareness into the intelligence, planning, deterrence, and capabilities and strategies of the Department.
SEC. 1249. TREATMENT OF THE KURDISTAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE PATRIOTIC UNION OF KURDISTAN UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT.(a) Discretion to Exclude Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan From Treatment as Terrorist Organizations- The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may exclude the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan from the definition of terrorist organization in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)) for the limited purpose of issuing a temporary visa to a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party or the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
(b) Prohibition on Judicial Review- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (whether statutory or nonstatutory), section 242 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1252), sections 1361 and 1651 of title 28, United States Code, section 2241 of such title, and any other habeas corpus provision of law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review any determination made pursuant to subsection (a).
SEC. 1250. PROHIBITION ON INTEGRATION OF CERTAIN MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS.None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for the Department of Defense or for United States contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization may be obligated or expended to integrate missile defense systems of the People's Republic of China into missile defense systems of the United States.
Subtitle F--Reports and Sense of Congress Provisions
SEC. 1261. REPORT ON `NEW NORMAL' AND GENERAL MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF UNITED STATES AFRICA COMMAND.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States Africa Command should have sufficient assigned military forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets; crisis response forces; and enablers to support the crisis response forces to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in the area of responsibility of the United States Africa Command;
(2) with the current force posture and structure of the United States Africa Command, the United States is accepting a high level of risk in defending United States posts that are `high risk, high threat' posts;
(3) the United States should posture forces forward and achieve the associated basing and access agreements to support such forces across the Continent of Africa in order to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in the area of responsibility of the United States Africa Command;
(4) the Department of Defense should consider reassigning to the United States Africa Command enabler assets currently assigned to, and shared with, the United States European Command; and
(5) the United States Africa Command requires more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in its area of responsibility.
(b) Report- Not later than January 15, 2015, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the extent to which the `New Normal' requirements have changed the force posture and structure required of the United States Africa Command to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in its area of responsibility.
(c) Elements- The report required by subsection (b) shall include the following:
(1) A detailed description of the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in the area of responsibility of the United States Africa Command.
(2) A description of any changes required for the United States Africa Command to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in its area of responsibility, including the gaps or shortfalls in capability, size, posture, agreements, basing, and enabler support of all crisis response forces and associated assets to access and defend posts that are `high risk, high threat' posts.
(3) An assessment of how the United States Africa Command could employ permanently assigned military forces to support all mission requirements of the United States Africa Command.
(4) An estimate of the annual intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements of the United States Africa Command and the shortfall, if any, in meeting such requirements in fiscal year 2015.
(d) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the congressional defense committees; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
(e) Form- The report required by subsection (b) may include a classified annex.
SEC. 1262. REPORT ON CONTRACTORS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE THAT HAVE CONDUCTED SIGNIFICANT TRANSACTIONS WITH IRANIAN PERSONS OR THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN.(a) In General- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for a period not to exceed 3 years, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the following:
(1) A list of each contractor with the Department of Defense (including any subcontractors at any tier of the contractor), and any person owned or controlled by the contractor or that owns or controls the contractor, that has conducted a significant transaction with an Iranian person (other than an Iranian person listed under paragraph (2)) or the Government of Iran.
(2) A list of each contractor with the Department of Defense (including any subcontractors at any tier of the contractor), and any person owned or controlled by the contractor or that owns or controls the contractor, that has conducted a significant transaction with an Iranian person whose property has been blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 49079) or Executive Order 13382 (70 Fed. Reg. 38567) during the 5-year period preceding the date of the submission of the report.
(3) The value of each significant transaction described in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(b) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
(2) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1263. REPORTS ON NUCLEAR PROGRAM OF IRAN.(a) In General- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the interim agreement relating to the nuclear program of Iran. Such report shall include--
(1) verification of whether Iran is complying with such agreement; and
(2) an assessment of the overall state of the nuclear program of Iran.
(b) Additional Reports- If the interim agreement described in subsection (a) is renewed or if a comprehensive and final agreement is entered into regarding the nuclear program of Iran, by not later than 90 days after such renewal or final agreement being entered into, the President shall submit to Congress a report on such renewed or final agreement. Such report shall include the matters described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a).
SEC. 1264. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON UNITED STATES PRESENCE AND COOPERATION IN THE ARABIAN GULF REGION TO DETER IRAN.It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States should maintain a robust forward presence and posture in order to support United States allies and partners in the Arabian Gulf region, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Israel, and to deter Iran;
(2) the United States should seek ways to support the security posture of GCC countries in the Arabian Gulf region to deter Iran;
(3) key strategic United States bases in the Arabian Gulf region that are used to deter Iran and would be used for any military operations in the Arabian Gulf region are entirely financed by funds for overseas contingency operations which is an unsustainable approach;
(4) such key strategic United States bases in the Arabian Gulf region should be funded through the base budget of the Department of Defense;
(5) the United States does not have status of forces agreements and defense agreements with key GCC allies, which would support the defense of the Arabian Gulf region and would deter Iran, and the United States should seek to complete these agreements immediately;
(6) the interim agreement with Iran relating to Iran's nuclear program does not address key aspects of Iran's nuclear program, including the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program;
(7) a comprehensive agreement with Iran relating to Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability should address past and present issues of concern of the United States, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the United Nations Security Council;
(8) the United States should continue to put significant pressure on Iran's network of organizations that conduct malign activities in the Arabian Gulf region, and around the globe, even while the United States engages in negotiations with Iran relating to Iran's nuclear program;
(9) the United States Government should not enter into a contract with any person or entity that is determined to have violated United States sanctions laws with respect to contracting with the Government of Iran and should encourage United States allies, partners, and other countries to maintain the same contracting standard; and
(10) a comprehensive agreement with Iran relating to Iran's efforts to develop or acquire a nuclear weapons capability should be agreed to by the United States only if--
(A) Iran ceases the enrichment of uranium;
(B) Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of, and has verifiably dismantled its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology; and
(C) the Government of Iran has ceased providing support for acts of international terrorism.
SEC. 1265. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON MODERNIZATION OF DEFENSE CAPABILITIES OF POLAND.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) The efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces have the potential not only to enhance the national security of Poland but also to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
(2) The main priority of Poland with respect to such efforts is to procure anti-aircraft and missile defense systems.
(3) At a time when most NATO allies are cutting defense spending, Poland has maintained a steady defense budget and is making significant investment in procurement of new defense systems.
(4) The United States should recognize the efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces and promote such efforts as a positive example for other NATO allies to follow.
(5) The United States has enjoyed a close cultural, economic, political, and military relationship with Poland for many years and the efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces provide opportunities for the two countries to work together even more closely.
(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the President should seek to work with Poland to ensure that, as part of the efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces--
(A) Poland, to the maximum extent practicable, procures defense systems that are interoperable with NATO defense systems and will help fill critical NATO shortfalls; and
(B) Poland, to the maximum extent practicable and to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of subparagraph (A), procures United States defense systems that--
(i) will strengthen the bilateral, strategic partnership between the two countries;
(ii) will provide Poland with proven defense systems capabilities; and
(iii) promote deeper and closer bilateral cooperation between the two countries; and
(2) the United States stands ready to assist Poland to achieve its goals to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces.
TITLE XIII--COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION
SEC. 1301. SPECIFICATION OF COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAMS AND FUNDS.(a) Specification of Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs- For purposes of section 301 and other provisions of this Act, Cooperative Threat Reduction programs are the programs specified in section 1501 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (50 U.S.C. 2362 note).
(b) Fiscal Year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction Funds Defined- As used in this title, the term `fiscal year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction funds' means the funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in section 301 and made available by the funding table in section 4301 for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs.
(c) Availability of Funds- Funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in section 301 and made available by the funding table in section 4301 for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs shall be available for obligation for fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017.
SEC. 1302. FUNDING ALLOCATIONS.(a) Funding for Specific Purposes- Of the $365,108,000 authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 in section 301 and made available by the funding table in section 4301 for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs, the following amounts may be obligated for the purposes specified:
(1) For strategic offensive arms elimination, $1,000,000.
(2) For chemical weapons destruction, $15,720,000.
(3) For global nuclear security, $17,703,000.
(4) For cooperative biological engagement, $254,342,000.
(5) For proliferation prevention, $46,124,000.
(6) For threat reduction engagement, $2,375,000.
(7) For activities designated as Other Assessments/Administrative Costs, $27,844,000.
(b) Report on Obligation or Expenditure of Funds for Other Purposes- No fiscal year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction funds may be obligated or expended for a purpose other than a purpose listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) until 15 days after the date that the Secretary of Defense submits to Congress a report on the purpose for which the funds will be obligated or expended and the amount of funds to be obligated or expended. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed as authorizing the obligation or expenditure of fiscal year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction funds for a purpose for which the obligation or expenditure of such funds is specifically prohibited under this title or any other provision of law.
(c) Limited Authority to Vary Individual Amounts-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), in any case in which the Secretary of Defense determines that it is necessary to do so in the national interest, the Secretary may obligate amounts appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for a purpose listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) in excess of the specific amount authorized for that purpose.
(2) NOTICE-AND-WAIT REQUIRED- An obligation of funds for a purpose stated in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) in excess of the specific amount authorized for such purpose may be made using the authority provided in paragraph (1) only after--
(A) the Secretary submits to Congress notification of the intent to do so together with a complete discussion of the justification for doing so; and
(B) 15 days have elapsed following the date of the notification.
SEC. 1303. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION ACTIVITIES WITH RUSSIAN FEDERATION.(a) Limitation- None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for Cooperative Threat Reduction may be obligated or expended for cooperative threat reduction activities with the Russian Federation until the date that is 30 days after the date on which the Secretary of Defense certifies, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to the appropriate congressional committees that--
(1) the armed forces of the Russian Federation are no longer illegally occupying Ukrainian territory;
(2) the Russian Federation is no longer acting inconsistently with the INF Treaty; and
(3) the Russian Federation is in compliance with the CFE Treaty and has lifted its suspension of Russian observance of its treaty obligations.
(b) Waiver- The Secretary of Defense may waive the limitation in subsection (a) if--
(1) the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, submits to the appropriate congressional committees--
(A) a notification that such a waiver is in the national security interest of the United States and a description of the national security interest covered by the waiver; and
(B) a report explaining why the Secretary of Defense cannot make the certification under subsection (a); and
(2) a period of 30 days has elapsed following the date on which the Secretary of Defense submits the information in the report under paragraph (1)(B).
(c) Exception for Certain Military Bases- The certification requirement specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall not apply to military bases of the Russian Federation in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula operating in accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine.
(d) Definitions- In this section:
(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
(B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
(2) CFE TREATY- The term `CFE Treaty' means the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed at Paris November 19, 1990, and entered into force July 17, 1992.
(3) INF TREATY- The term `INF Treaty' means the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, commonly referred to as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed at Washington December 8, 1987 and entered into force June 1, 1988.
(e) Effective Date- This section takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and applies with respect to funds described in subsection (a) that are unobligated as of such date of enactment.
TITLE XIV--OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS
Subtitle A--Military Programs
SEC. 1401. WORKING CAPITAL FUNDS.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense for providing capital for working capital and revolving funds, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
SEC. 1402. CHEMICAL AGENTS AND MUNITIONS DESTRUCTION, DEFENSE.(a) Authorization of Appropriations- Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction, Defense, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
(b) Use- Amounts authorized to be appropriated under subsection (a) are authorized for--
(1) the destruction of lethal chemical Agents and munitions in accordance with section 1412 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1986 (50 U.S.C. 1521); and
(2) the destruction of chemical warfare materiel of the United States that is not covered by section 1412 of such Act.
SEC. 1403. DRUG INTERDICTION AND COUNTER-DRUG ACTIVITIES, DEFENSE-WIDE.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense-wide, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
SEC. 1404. DEFENSE INSPECTOR GENERAL.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
SEC. 1405. DEFENSE HEALTH PROGRAM.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the Defense Health Program, as specified in the funding table in section 4501, for use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense in providing for the health of eligible beneficiaries.
Subtitle B--National Defense Stockpile
SEC. 1411. REVISIONS TO PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED DISPOSALS FROM THE NATIONAL DEFENSE STOCKPILE.(a) Fiscal Year 1999 Disposal Authority- Section 3303(a)(7) of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Public Law 105-261; 50 U.S.C. 98d note), as most recently amended by section 1412(a) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4649), is further amended by striking `1,386,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2016' and inserting `$1,436,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2019'.
(b) Fiscal Year 2000 Disposal Authority- Section 3402(b)(5) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106-65; 50 U.S.C. 98d note), as most recently amended by section 1412 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81;125 Stat. 1654), is further amended by striking `$830,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2016' and inserting `$850,000,000 by the end of 2019'.
Subtitle C--Other Matters
SEC. 1421. AUTHORITY FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO JOINT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE-DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL FACILITY DEMONSTRATION FUND FOR CAPTAIN JAMES A. LOVELL HEALTH CARE CENTER, ILLINOIS.(a) Authority for Transfer of Funds- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by section 1406 and available for the Defense Health Program for operation and maintenance, $146,857,000 may be transferred by the Secretary of Defense to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund established by subsection (a)(1) of section 1704 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84; 123 Stat. 2571). For purposes of subsection (a)(2) of such section 1704, any funds so transferred shall be treated as amounts authorized and appropriated specifically for the purpose of such a transfer.
(b) Use of Transferred Funds- For the purposes of subsection (b) of such section 1704, facility operations for which funds transferred under subsection (a) may be used are operations of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, consisting of the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Navy Ambulatory Care Center, and supporting facilities designated as a combined Federal medical facility under an operational agreement covered by section 706 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4500).
SEC. 1422. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR ARMED FORCES RETIREMENT HOME.There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 from the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund the sum of $63,400,000 for the operation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
TITLE XV--AUTHORIZATION OF ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS
Subtitle A--Authorization of Appropriations
SEC. 1501. PURPOSE.The purpose of this subtitle is to authorize appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 to provide additional funds for overseas contingency operations being carried out by the Armed Forces.
SEC. 1502. PROCUREMENT.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for procurement accounts for the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and Defense-wide activities in the amount of $6,180,000,000.
SEC. 1503. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for operation and maintenance in the amount of $64,040,000,000. In addition to the authorization of appropriations in the preceding sentence, funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the Department of the Air Force for the purpose of maintaining, operating, and upgrading the A-10 aircraft fleet in the amount of $635,000,000.
SEC. 1504. MILITARY PERSONNEL.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for military personnel in the amount of $7,140,000,000.
SEC. 1505. OTHER APPROPRIATIONS.(a) Authorization of Appropriations- Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for the Other Authorizations in the amount of $1,450,000,000.
(b) Definition- In this section, the term `Other Authorizations' means the Defense Health Program, Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense-wide, and National Guard and Reserve Equipment.
Subtitle B--Financial Matters
SEC. 1511. TREATMENT AS ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS.The amounts authorized to be appropriated by this title are in addition to amounts otherwise authorized to be appropriated by this Act.
SEC. 1512. SPECIAL TRANSFER AUTHORITY.(a) Authority to Transfer Authorizations-
(1) AUTHORITY- Upon determination by the Secretary of Defense that such action is necessary in the national interest, the Secretary may transfer amounts of authorizations made available to the Department of Defense in this title for fiscal year 2015 between any such authorizations for that fiscal year (or any subdivisions thereof). Amounts of authorizations so transferred shall be merged with and be available for the same purposes as the authorization to which transferred.
(2) LIMITATIONS- The total amount of authorizations that the Secretary may transfer under the authority of this subsection may not exceed $3,000,000,000.
(b) Terms and Conditions- Transfers under this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as transfers under section 1001.
(c) Additional Authority- The transfer authority provided by this section is in addition to the transfer authority provided under section 1001.
Subtitle C--Limitations, Reports, and Other Matters
SEC. 1521. CONTINUATION OF EXISTING LIMITATIONS ON THE USE OF FUNDS IN THE AFGHANISTAN SECURITY FORCES FUND.Funds available to the Department of Defense for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund for fiscal year 2015 shall be subject to the conditions contained in subsections (b) through (g) of section 1513 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181; 122 Stat. 428), as amended by section 1531(b) of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Public Law 111-383; 124 Stat. 4424).
SEC. 1522. USE OF AND TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM JOINT IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE DEFEAT FUND.Subsections (b) and (c) of section 1514 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364; 120 Stat. 2439), as in effect before the amendments made by section 1503 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4649), shall apply to the funds made available to the Department of Defense for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund for fiscal year 2015.
TITLE XVI--STRATEGIC PROGRAMS, CYBER, AND INTELLIGENCE MATTERS
Subtitle A--Space Activities
SEC. 1601. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SPACE SECURITY AND DEFENSE PROGRAM.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the Sense of Congress that--
(1) critical United States national security space systems are facing a serious growing foreign threat;
(2) the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation are both developing capabilities to disrupt the use of space by the United States in a conflict, as recently outlined by the Director of National Intelligence in testimony before Congress; and
(3) a fully-developed multi-faceted space security and defense program is needed to deter and defeat any adversaries' acts of space aggression.
(b) Report on Ability of the United States to Deter and Defeat Adversary Space Aggression- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report containing an assessment of the ability of the Department of Defense to deter and defeat any act of space aggression by an adversary.
(c) Study on Alternative Defense and Deterrence Strategies in Response to Foreign Counterspace Capabilities-
(1) STUDY REQUIRED- The Secretary of Defense, acting through the Office of Net Assessment, shall conduct a study of potential alternative defense and deterrent strategies in response to the existing and projected counterspace capabilities of China and Russia. Such study shall include an assessment of the congruence of such strategies with the current United States defense strategy and defense programs of record, and the associated implications of pursuing such strategies.
(2) REPORT- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees the results of the study required under paragraph (1).
SEC. 1602. EVOLVED EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE NOTIFICATION.(a) Notification- The Secretary of the Air Force shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees notice of each change to the evolved expendable launch vehicle acquisition plan and schedule from the plan and schedule included in the budget submitted by the President under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for fiscal year 2015. Such notification shall include--
(1) an identification of the change;
(2) a national security rationale for the change;
(3) the impact of the change on the evolved expendable launch vehicle block buy contract;
(4) the impact of the change on the opportunities for competition for certified evolved expendable launch vehicle launch providers; and
(5) the costs or savings of the change.
(b) Applicability- The requirement under subsection (a) shall apply to fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017.
(c) Appropriate Congressional Committees- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the congressional defense committees; and
(2) with respect to a change to the evolved expendable launch vehicle acquisition schedule for an intelligence-related launch, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
SEC. 1603. SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS RESPONSIBILITIES OF EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR SPACE.The Secretary of Defense shall, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, revise Department of Defense directives and guidance to require the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space to ensure that in developing space strategies, architectures, and programs for satellite communications, the Executive Agent shall--
(1) conduct strategic planning to ensure the Department of Defense is effectively and efficiently meeting the satellite communications requirements of the military departments and commanders of the combatant commands;
(2) coordinate with the secretaries of the military departments and the heads of Defense Agencies to eliminate duplication of effort and to ensure that resources are used to achieve the maximum effort in related satellite communication science and technology; research, development, test and evaluation; production; and operations and sustainment;
(3) coordinate with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and the Chief Information Officer of the Department to ensure that effective and efficient acquisition approaches are being used to acquire military and commercial satellite communications for the Department, including space, ground, and user terminal integration; and
(4) coordinate with the chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council to develop a process to identify the current and projected satellite communications requirements of the Department.
SEC. 1604. LIQUID ROCKET ENGINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should develop a next-generation liquid rocket engine that--
(1) is made in the United States;
(2) meets the requirements of the national security space community;
(3) is developed by not later than 2019;
(4) is developed using full and open competition; and
(5) is available for purchase by all space launch providers of the United States.
(b) Development-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense shall develop a next-generation liquid rocket engine that enables the effective, efficient, and expedient transition from the use of non-allied space launch engines to a domestic alternative for national security space launches.
(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act for fiscal year 2015 for research, development, test, and evaluation, Air Force, as specified in the funding table in section 4201, $220,000,000 shall be available for the Secretary of Defense to develop a next-generation liquid rocket engine.
(c) Coordination- The Secretary shall coordinate with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to the extent practicable, to ensure that the rocket engine developed under subsection (b) meets objectives that are common to both the national security space community and the space program of the United States.
(d) Report- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in coordination with the Administrator, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes--
(1) a plan to carry out the development of the rocket engine under subsection (b), including an analysis of the benefits of using public-private partnerships;
(2) the requirements of the program to develop such rocket engine; and
(3) the estimated cost of such rocket engine.
(e) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the following:
(1) The congressional defense committees.
(2) The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
(3) The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
SEC. 1605. PILOT PROGRAM FOR ACQUISITION OF COMMERCIAL SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SERVICES.(a) Pilot Program-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense may develop and carry out a pilot program to determine the feasibility and advisability of expanding the use of working capital funds by the Secretary to effectively and efficiently acquire commercial satellite capabilities to meet the requirements of the military departments, Defense Agencies, and combatant commanders.
(2) FUNDING- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated for any of fiscal years 2015 through 2020 for the Department of Defense for the acquisition of commercial satellite communications, not more than $50,000,000 may be obligated or expended for such pilot program during such a fiscal year.
(3) CERTAIN AUTHORITIES- In carrying out the pilot program under paragraph (1), the Secretary may not use the authorities provided in sections 2208(k) and 2210(b) of title 10, United States Code.
(b) Goals- In developing and carrying out the pilot program under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall ensure that the pilot program--
(1) provides a cost effective and strategic method to acquire commercial satellite services;
(2) incentivizes private-sector participation and investment in technologies to meet future requirements of the Department of Defense with respect to commercial satellite services;
(3) takes into account the potential for a surge or other change in the demand of the Department for commercial satellite communications access in response to global or regional events; and
(4) ensures the ability of the Secretary to control and account for the cost of programs and work performed under the pilot program.
(c) Duration- If the Secretary commences the pilot program under subsection (a)(1), the pilot program shall terminate on October 1, 2020.
(d) Reports-
(1) INITIAL REPORT- Not later than 150 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report that includes a plan and schedule to carry out the pilot program under subsection (a)(1).
(2) FINAL REPORT- Not later than December 1, 2020, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the pilot program under subsection (a)(1). The report shall include--
(A) an assessment of expanding the use of working capital funds to effectively and efficiently acquire commercial satellite capabilities to meet the requirements of the military departments, Defense Agencies, and combatant commanders; and
(B) a description of--
(i) any contract entered into under the pilot program, the funding used under such contract, and the efficiencies realized under such contract;
(ii) the advantages and challenges of using working capital funds as described in subparagraph (A);
(iii) any additional authorities the Secretary determines necessary to acquire commercial satellite capabilities as described in subsection (a)(1); and
(iv) any recommendations of the Secretary with respect to improving or extending the pilot program.
Subtitle B--Defense Intelligence and Intelligence-Related Activities
SEC. 1611. ASSESSMENT AND LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS OF UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES.(a) Assessment-
(1) REQUIREMENT- The Secretary of Defense, acting through the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an assessment of the intelligence activities and programs of United States Special Operations Command and special operations forces.
(2) INCLUSIONS- The assessment under paragraph (1) shall include each of the following elements:
(A) An overall strategy defining such intelligence activities and programs, including definitions of intelligence activities and programs unique to special operations.
(B) A validated strategy and roadmap of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance programs and requirements for special operations across the future years defense program.
(C) A comprehensive description of current and anticipated future Joint Staff validated requirements for the intelligence activities and programs of each geographic combatant commander within the respective geographic area of such covered combatant commander to be fulfilled by special operations forces, including those that can only be addressed by special operations forces, programs, or capabilities.
(D) Validated present and planned United States Special Operations Command force structure requirements to meet current and anticipated special operations intelligence activities and programs of geographic combatant commanders.
(E) A comprehensive review and assessment of statutory authorities, and Department and interagency policies, including limitations, for special operations forces intelligence activities and programs.
(F) An independent, comprehensive cost estimate of special operations intelligence activities and programs by the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation of the Department of Defense, including an estimate of the costs of the period of the current future years defense program, including a description of all rules and assumptions used to develop the cost estimates.
(G) A copy of any memoranda of understanding or memoranda of agreement between the Department of Defense and other departments or agencies of the United States Government, or between components of the Department of Defense that are required to implement objectives of special operations intelligence activities and programs.
(H) Any other matters the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) FORM- The assessment required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
(b) Limitations-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), not more than 50 percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for procurement, Defense-wide, or research, development, test, and evaluation, Defense-wide, for the major force program 11 of the United States Special Operations Command may be obligated until the assessment required under subsection (a) is submitted.
(2) EXCEPTION- Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to funds authorized to be appropriated for Overseas Contingency Operations under title XV.
(c) Definitions- In this section:
(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS- The term `appropriate committees of congress' means the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
(2) FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM- The term `future years defense program' means the future years defense program under section 221 of title 10, United States Code.
(3) GEOGRAPHIC COMBATANT COMMANDER- The term `geographic combatant commander' means a commander of a combatant command (as defined in section 161(c) of title 10, United States Code) with a geographic area of responsibility.
SEC. 1612. ANNUAL BRIEFING ON THE INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE COMBATANT COMMANDS.At the same time that the President's budget is submitted pursuant to section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020--
(1) the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall provide to the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate a briefing on--
(A) the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements, by specific intelligence capability type, of each of the combatant commands;
(B) for the year preceding the year in which the briefing is provided, the satisfaction rate of each of the combatant commands with the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements, by specific intelligence capability type, of such combatant command; and
(C) a risk analysis identifying the critical gaps and shortfalls in such requirements in relation to such satisfaction rate; and
(2) the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence shall provide to the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate a briefing on short-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies to address the critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements of the combatant commands.
SEC. 1613. ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF REPORT ON IMAGERY INTELLIGENCE AND GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION SUPPORT PROVIDED TO REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND SECURITY ALLIANCES.Section 921(c)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 112-239; 126 Stat. 1878) is amended by striking `2014 and 2015' and inserting `2014 through 2016'.
SEC. 1614. TACTICAL EXPLOITATION OF NATIONAL CAPABILITIES EXECUTIVE AGENT.Subchapter I of chapter 21 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
`Sec. 430. TENCAP executive agent`(a) In General- There is in the Department of Defense a Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities Executive Agent who shall be appointed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The Executive Agent shall report directly to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The Executive Agent shall be responsible for working with the combatant commands, military services, and the intelligence community to develop methods to increase warfighter effectiveness through the exploitation of national capabilities and to promote cross-domain integration of such capabilities into military operations, training, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities.
`(b) Annual Briefing- At the same time as the budget materials are submitted to Congress in connection with the submission of the budget for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020, pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, the Executive Agent, in coordination with the commanders of the combatant commands, the Secretaries of the military departments, and the heads of the Department of Defense intelligence agencies and offices, shall provide to the Committee on Armed Services and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives a briefing on the investments, activities, challenges, and opportunities of the Executive Agent in carrying out the responsibilities under paragraph (1). The briefings shall be coordinated with each of the armed services, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance office.'.
SEC. 1615. AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) The Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center provides essential national expertise on foreign aerospace system capabilities, including cyber, space systems, missiles, and aircraft.
(2) The Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center is organizationally aligned to the Headquarters Air Staff, through the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency.
(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center provides indispensable intelligence support to a variety of customers, including the Air Force, the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and national policymakers; and
(2) to maintain operational effectiveness, the Air Force organizational reporting structure of the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center should remain organizationally aligned to the Headquarters Air Staff with reporting through the Vice Chief of Staff.
(c) Plan- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Air Force shall submit to the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate a strategic plan for the intelligence organization of the Air Force, including maintaining the National Air and Space Intelligence Center alignment to the Headquarters Air Staff.
SEC. 1616. PROHIBITION ON NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM CONSOLIDATION.(a) Prohibition- No amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense may be used during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2015, to execute--
(1) the separation of the National Intelligence Program budget from the Department of Defense budget;
(2) the consolidation of the National Intelligence Program budget within the Department of Defense budget; or
(3) the establishment of a new appropriations account or appropriations account structure for the National Intelligence Program budget.
(b) Definitions- In this section:
(1) NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM- The term `National Intelligence Program' has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003).
(2) NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM BUDGET- The term `National Intelligence Program budget' means the portions of the Department of Defense budget designated as part of the National Intelligence Program.
Subtitle C--Cyberspace-Related Matters
SEC. 1621. EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR CYBER TEST AND TRAINING RANGES.(a) Executive Agent- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall designate a senior official of the Department of Defense to act as the executive agent for cyber and information technology test and training ranges.
(b) Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities-
(1) ESTABLISHMENT- Not later than one year after the enactment of this Act, and in accordance with Directive 5101.1, the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the executive agent designated under subsection (a).
(2) SPECIFICATION- The roles and responsibilities of the executive agent designated under subsection (a) shall include each of the following:
(A) Developing and maintaining a comprehensive list of cyber and information technology ranges, test facilities, test beds, and other means of testing, training, and developing software, personnel, and tools for accommodating the mission of the Department.
(B) Serving as a single entity to organize and manage designated cyber and information technology test ranges, including--
(i) establishing the priorities for cyber and information technology ranges to meet Department objectives;
(ii) enforcing standards to meet requirements specified by the United States Cyber Command, the training community, and the research, development, testing, and evaluation community;
(iii) identifying and offering guidance on the opportunities for integration amongst the designated cyber and information technology ranges regarding test, training, and development functions;
(iv) finding opportunities for cost reduction, integration, and coordination improvements for the appropriate cyber and information technology ranges;
(v) adding or consolidating cyber and information technology ranges in the future to better meet the evolving needs of the cyber strategy and resource requirements of the Department; and
(vi) coordinating with interagency and industry partners on cyber and information technology range issues.
(C) Defining a cyber range architecture that--
(i) may add or consolidate cyber and information technology ranges in the future to better meet the evolving needs of the cyber strategy and resource requirements of the Department;
(ii) coordinates with interagency and industry partners on cyber and information technology range issues;
(iii) allows for integrated closed loop testing in a secure environment of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities;
(iv) supports science and technology development, experimentation, testing and training; and
(v) provides for interconnection with other existing cyber ranges and other kinetic range facilities in a distributed manner.
(D) Certifying all cyber range investments of the Department of Defense.
(E) Performing such other roles and responsibilities as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
(c) Support Within Department of Defense- In accordance with Directive 5101.1, the Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the military departments, Defense Agencies, and other components of the Department of Defense provide the executive agent designated under subsection (a) with the appropriate support and resources needed to perform the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the executive agent.
(d) Definitions- In this section:
(1) The term `designated cyber and information technology range' includes the National Cyber Range, the Joint Information Operations Range, the Defense Information Assurance Range, and the C4 Assessments Division of J6 of the Joint Staff.
(2) The term `Directive 5101.1' means Department of Directive 5101.1, or any successor directive relating to the responsibilities of an executive agent of the Department of Defense.
(3) The term `executive agent' has the meaning given the term `DoD Executive Agent' in Directive 5101.1.
Subtitle D--Nuclear Forces
SEC. 1631. PREPARATION OF ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST REGARDING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.Section 179(f) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
`(3)(A) With respect to the preparation of a budget for a fiscal year to be submitted by the President to Congress under section 1105(a) of title 31, the Secretary of Defense may not agree to a proposed transfer of estimated nuclear budget request authority unless the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees a certification described in subparagraph (B).
`(B) A certification described in this subparagraph is a certification that includes the following:
`(i) Certification that, during the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year covered by the budget for which the certification is submitted, the Secretary of Energy obligated or expended any amounts covered by a proposed transfer of estimated nuclear budget request authority made for such prior fiscal year in a manner consistent with a memorandum of agreement that was developed by the Nuclear Weapons Council and entered into by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy.
`(ii) A detailed assessment by the Nuclear Weapons Council regarding how the Administrator for Nuclear Security implemented any agreements and decisions of the Council made during such prior fiscal year.
`(iii) An assessment from each of the Vice Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and the Commander of the United States Strategic Command regarding any effects to the military during such prior fiscal year that were caused by the delay or failure of the Administrator to implement any agreements or decisions described in clause (ii).
`(4) The Secretary of Defense shall include with the defense budget materials for a fiscal year the memorandum of agreement described in paragraph (3)(B)(i) that covers such fiscal year.
`(5)(A) Not later than 30 days after the President submits to Congress the budget for a fiscal year under section 1105(a) of title 31, the Commander of the United States Strategic Command shall submit to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff an assessment of--
`(i) whether such budget allows the Federal Government to meet the nuclear stockpile and stockpile stewardship program requirements during the fiscal year covered by the budget and the four subsequent fiscal years; and
`(ii) if the Commander determines that such budget does not allow the Federal Government to meet such requirements, a description of the steps being taken to meet such requirements.
`(B) Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff receives the assessment of the Commander of the United States Strategic Command under subparagraph (A), the Chairman shall submit to the congressional defense committees--
`(i) such assessment as it was submitted to the Chairman; and
`(ii) any comments of the Chairman.
`(6) In this subsection:
`(A) The term `budget' has the meaning given that term in section 231(f) of this title.
`(B) The term `defense budget materials' has the meaning given that term in section 231(f) of this title.
`(C) The term `proposed transfer of estimated nuclear budget request authority' means, in preparing a budget, a request for the Secretary of Defense to transfer an estimated amount of the proposed budget authority of the Secretary to the Secretary of Energy for purposes relating to nuclear weapons.'.
SEC. 1632. INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE PERSONNEL RELIABILITY PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE HUMAN RELIABILITY PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY.(a) Review-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy shall jointly seek to enter into a contract with a federally funded research and development center to conduct an independent review of the personnel reliability program of the Department of Defense and the human reliability program of the Department of Energy.
(2) MATTERS INCLUDED- The review under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) An examination of the costs and benefits of each program described in paragraph (1).
(B) Examples of successes and failures for each such program.
(C) The reporting and administrative requirements of each such program.
(D) The authorities and responsibilities of the commanders and managers of each such program.
(E) Guidance for when certain positions must be included in each such program.
(F) Recommendations with respect to making each such program more effective, more efficient, and, to the extent appropriate, more consistent between the Departments.
(G) Any other matters the Secretaries jointly determine appropriate.
(b) Report- Not later than October 1, 2015, the Secretaries shall jointly submit to the congressional defense committees such review.
SEC. 1633. ASSESSMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPON SECONDARY REQUIREMENT.(a) Assessment- The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Commander of the United States Strategic Command, shall assess the annual secondary production requirement needed to sustain a safe, secure, reliable, and effective nuclear deterrent.
(b) Report-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Commander of the United States Strategic Command, shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report regarding the assessment conducted under subsection (a).
(2) MATTERS INCLUDED- The report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) An explanation of the rationale and assumptions that led to the current 50 to 80 secondaries per year production requirement, including the factors considered in determining such requirement.
(B) An analysis of whether there are any changes to such 50 to 80 secondaries per year production requirement, including the reasons for any such changes.
(C) A description of how the secondary production requirement is affected by or related to--
(i) the demands of stockpile modernization, including the schedule for life extension programs;
(ii) the requirement for a responsive infrastructure, including the ability to hedge against technical failure and geopolitical risk; and
(iii) the number of secondaries held in reserve or the inactive stockpile, and the likelihood such secondaries may be reused.
(E) The proposed time frame for achieving such 50 to 80 secondaries per year production requirement.
(3) FORM- The report under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
SEC. 1634. RETENTION OF MISSILE SILOS.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the Sense of Congress that recent authorization and appropriations Acts passed by Congress and signed by the President have promulgated a national policy that it is in the national security interests of the United States to retain the maximum number of land-based strategic missile silos and their associated infrastructure to ensure that billions of dollars in prior taxpayer investments for such silos and infrastructure are not lost through precipitous actions which may be budget-driven, cyclical, and not in the long-term strategic interests of the United States.
(b) Requirement- The Secretary of Defense shall preserve each intercontinental ballistic missile silo that contains a deployed missile as of the date of the enactment of this Act in, at minimum, a warm status that enables such silo to--
(1) remain a fully functioning element of the interconnected and redundant command and control system of the missile field; and
(2) be made fully operational with a deployed missile.
(c) Termination- The requirement in subsection (b) shall terminate on February 5, 2021.
SEC. 1635. CERTIFICATION ON NUCLEAR FORCE STRUCTURE.Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in coordination with the Commander of the United States Strategic Command, shall certify to the congressional defense committees that the plan for implementation of the New START Treaty (as defined in section 494(a)(2)(D) of title 10, United States Code) announced on April 8, 2014, will enable the United States to meet its obligations under such treaty in a manner that ensures the nuclear forces of the United States--
(1) are capable, survivable, and balanced; and
(2) maintain strategic stability, deterrence and extended deterrence, and allied assurance.
Subtitle E--Missile Defense Programs
SEC. 1641. THEATER AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE OF ALLIES OF THE UNITED STATES.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) A Patriot battery of the United States providing a short-range air and missile defense capability has previously been rotationally deployed to Poland, pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland, during a period occurring between 2010 to 2012.
(2) The deployment of the Patriot battery did not include operational missiles and was not replaced with another short-range air and missile defense system upon completion of the deployment rotation in 2012.
(b) Policy- It is the policy of the United States that available short-range air and missile defense systems and terminal missile defense systems of the United States with operational missiles be rotationally deployed to central and eastern European allies, pursuant to agreements between the United States and such allies, to strengthen the air and missile defense capabilities of such allies, as appropriate.
(c) Aegis Ashore System-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than December 31, 2016, and pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland, the Secretary of Defense shall ensure the operational availability of the Aegis Ashore system site in Poland.
(2) RELOCATION OF ASSETS- The Secretary may relocate the necessary assets of the Aegis weapon system between and within the DDG-51 Class Destroyer program and the Aegis Ashore program to meet mission requirements.
(3) BRIEFINGS- The Secretary shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees quarterly briefings to update the status of the progress in carrying out paragraph (1).
(4) TRANSFER AUTHORITY- The Secretary may use the authority provided under section 1001 to carry out this subsection.
(d) Missile Defense Capability of Poland-
(1) DEPLOYMENT- Not later than December 31, 2014, and pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland, the Secretary of Defense shall deploy to Poland a system providing a short-range air and missile defense capability or terminal missile defense capability, or both, and the personnel required to operate and maintain such system.
(2) REMOVAL- No action may be taken to effect or implement the removal of the system or the personnel described in paragraph (1) unless--
(A) at least 30 days before the removal, the Secretary of Defense notifies the appropriate congressional committees that such removal is in the national security interests of the United States; or
(B) the removal is requested by the Government of Poland in the manner provided in the agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland regarding the system and personnel.
(e) Notification- The Secretary of Defense shall notify the appropriate congressional committees by not later than 60 days after the date on which a NATO member state makes a request that communicates to the Secretary the interest of the member state in hosting missile defense capabilities described in subsection (b) and the plan of the Secretary for addressing such request.
(f) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the following:
(1) The congressional defense committees.
(2) The Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1642. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON PROCUREMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENT II EXOATMOSPHERIC KILL VEHICLE.It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should not procure an additional capability enhancement II exoatmospheric kill vehicle for deployment until after the date on which a successful intercept flight test of the capability enhancement II ground-based interceptor has occurred, unless such procurement is for test assets or to maintain a warm line for the industrial base.
TITLE XVII--DEFENSE AUDIT ADVISORY PANEL ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUDITABILITY
SEC. 1701. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) Congress remains steadfast in supporting the continuing efforts of the Department of Defense to produce auditable financial statements. Such efforts are essential to ensure taxpayers dollars are accounted for at the largest department of the Federal Government
(2) As the 2017 and 2019 statutory audit deadlines approach, Congress believes an advisory panel is necessary to better track the Department's progress.
(b) Purposes- The purposes of the Advisory Panel are--
(1) to work on behalf of Congress to actively monitor the audit readiness work of the Department of Defense and, after September 30, 2017, the Department's 2018 audit; and
(2) to regularly providing interim findings and recommendations to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, with the purpose of making the Department auditable and aiding in oversight of the Department by such Committees.
SEC. 1702. ESTABLISHMENT OF ADVISORY PANEL ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUDIT READINESS.(a) Establishment- There is established the Advisory Panel on Department of Defense Audit Readiness (in this title referred to as the `Advisory Panel').
(b) Membership-
(1) COMPOSITION- The Advisory Panel shall be composed of 10 members, of whom--
(A) two shall be appointed jointly by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Ranking Member of each such Committee, from among members of different political parties from each such Committee, to serve as Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel;
(B) two shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
(C) two shall be appointed by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
(D) two shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and
(E) two shall be appointed by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.
(2) APPOINTMENT DATE- The appointments of the members of the Advisory Panel shall be made not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(3) QUALIFICATIONS- Appointments to the Advisory Panel shall be made from among individuals who are certified public accountants and have work experience within the Department of Defense or private financial management sectors. An individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government may not be appointed to the Advisory Panel.
(c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies- Members shall be appointed for the life of the Advisory Panel. Any vacancy in the Advisory Panel shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(d) Initial Meeting- Not later than 60 days after the date on which all members of the Advisory Panel have been appointed, the Advisory Panel shall hold its first meeting.
(e) Meetings- The Advisory Panel shall meet regularly at the call of the Co-Chairmen.
(f) Quorum- Five members of the Advisory Panel shall constitute a quorum, but four members may hold hearings.
SEC. 1703. DUTIES OF THE ADVISORY PANEL.(a) In General- The duties of the Advisory Panel are as follows:
(1) To provide the Secretary of Defense, through the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), independent advice on the Department's financial management, including the financial reporting process, systems of internal controls, audit process, and processes for monitoring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
(2) To identify, review, and evaluate the work of the Department of Defense (including the work of each military department and Defense Agency) on auditability.
(3) To identify problem areas and recommend solutions in order to aid the Department in meeting the following statutory deadlines:
(A) By not later than September 30, 2017, validating the financial statements of the Department of Defense as ready for audit, as required by section 1003(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84; 10 U.S.C. 2222 note).
(B) By not later than March 31, 2019, auditing the financial statements of the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2018, as required by section 1003(a)(2)(a)(iii) of such Act (Public Law 111-84; 10 U.S.C. 2222 note)
(4) To provide briefings regularly to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the Advisory Panel's findings, analysis, and recommendations.
(b) Reports- Not later than March 31 and September 30 of each year during the life of the Advisory Panel, beginning with March 31, 2015, the Advisory Panel shall submit to the congressional defense committees findings and conclusions of the Advisory Panel as a result of its work under subsection (a) during the period covered by the report, together with such recommendations as it considers appropriate.
(c) Authority of Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)- In accordance with Department policy and procedures, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) is authorized to act upon the advice emanating from the Advisory Panel.
SEC. 1704. POWERS OF THE ADVISORY PANEL.(a) Hearings- The Advisory Panel may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Advisory Panel considers advisable to carry out this title.
(b) Information From Department of Defense- The Advisory Panel may secure directly from the Department of Defense such information as the Advisory Panel considers necessary to carry out this title. Upon request of the Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel, the Secretary of Defense shall furnish such information to the Advisory Panel.
(c) Postal Services- The Advisory Panel may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
SEC. 1705. ADVISORY PANEL PERSONNEL MATTERS.(a) Compensation of Members- Members of the Advisory Panel shall serve without compensation for such service.
(b) Travel Expenses- Each member of the Advisory Panel shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
(c) Staff-
(1) DIRECTOR- The Advisory Panel may have a Director, who shall be appointed by the Co-Chairmen.
(2) STAFF- The Co-Chairmen may appoint such additional staff as may be necessary to enable the Advisory Panel to perform its duties, except that the number of staff may not exceed the equivalent of five full-time employees.
(3) COMPENSATION- The Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel may fix the compensation of the Director and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the Director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of such title.
(d) Detail of Government Employees- Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Advisory Panel without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services- The Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.
SEC. 1706. TERMINATION OF THE ADVISORY PANEL.The Advisory Panel shall terminate April 30, 2019.
DIVISION B--MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATIONS
SEC. 2001. SHORT TITLE.This division may be cited as the `Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015'.
SEC. 2002. EXPIRATION OF AUTHORIZATIONS AND AMOUNTS REQUIRED TO BE SPECIFIED BY LAW.(a) Expiration of Authorizations After Three Years- Except as provided in subsection (b), all authorizations contained in titles XXI through XXVII for military construction projects, land acquisition, family housing projects and facilities, and contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program (and authorizations of appropriations therefor) shall expire on the later of--
(1) October 1, 2017; or
(2) the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing funds for military construction for fiscal year 2018.
(b) Exception- Subsection (a) shall not apply to authorizations for military construction projects, land acquisition, family housing projects and facilities, and contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program (and authorizations of appropriations therefor), for which appropriated funds have been obligated before the later of--
(1) October 1, 2017; or
(2) the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing funds for fiscal year 2018 for military construction projects, land acquisition, family housing projects and facilities, or contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program.
SEC. 2003. EFFECTIVE DATE.Titles XXI through XXVII shall take effect on the later of--
(1) October 1, 2014; or
(2) the date of the enactment of this Act.
TITLE XXI--ARMY MILITARY CONSTRUCTION
SEC. 2101. AUTHORIZED ARMY CONSTRUCTION AND LAND ACQUISITION PROJECTS.(a) Inside the United States- Using amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in section 2103 and available for military construction projects inside the United States as specified in the funding table in section 4601, the Secretary of the Army may acquire real property and carry out military construction projects for the installations or locations inside the United States, and in the amounts, set forth in the following table:
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BURMA-Bill Text - 113th Congress (2013-2014) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)
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SEC. 1233. REPORT ON GOALS AND OBJECTIVES GUIDING MILITARY ENGAGEMENT WITH BURMA.(a) Report Required- Not later than December 1, 2014, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the goals and objectives guiding military-to-military engagement between the United States and the Union of Burma.
(b) Matters to Be Included- The report required under subsection (a) shall include--
(1) a description of the specific goals and objectives of the United States that military-to-military engagement between the United States and Burma would facilitate;
(2) a description of how the United States measures progress toward such goals and objectives, and the implications of failing to achieve such goals and objectives;
(3) a description of the specific military-to-military engagement activities between the United States and Burma conducted during the period beginning on March 1, 2011, and ending on the close of the day before the date of the submission of the report, and of any planned military-to-military engagement activities between the United States and Burma that will be conducted during the period beginning on the date of the submission of the report and ending on the close of February 29, 2020, including descriptions of associated goals and objectives, estimated costs, timeframes, and United States military organizations or personnel involved;
(4) a description and assessment of the political, military, economic, and civil society reforms being undertaken by the Government of Burma, including--
(A) protecting the individual freedoms and human rights of the Burmese people, including for all ethnic and religious minorities and internally displaced populations;
(B) establishing civilian control of the armed forces;
(C) implementing constitutional and electoral reforms;
(D) allowing access to all areas in Burma; and
(E) increasing governmental transparency and accountability; and
(5) a description and assessment of relationships of the Government of Burma with unlawful or sanctioned entities.
(c) Update-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit on an annual basis to the appropriate congressional committees an update of the matters described in subsection (b)(4) and included in the report required under subsection (a).
(2) SUNSET- The requirement to submit updates under paragraph (1) shall terminate at the end of the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(d) Form- The report required under subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex, if necessary.
(e) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the congressional defense committees; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1234. REPORT ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MUNITIONS STRATEGY FOR UNITED STATES PACIFIC COMMAND.(a) Report Required- Not later than April 1, 2015, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the munitions strategy for the United States Pacific Command, including an identification of munitions requirements, an assessment of munitions gaps and shortfalls, and necessary munitions investments. Such strategy shall cover the 10-year period beginning with 2015.
(b) Elements- The report on munitions strategy required by subsection (a) shall include the following:
(1) An identification of current and projected munitions requirements, by class or type.
(2) An assessment of munitions gaps and shortfalls, including a census of current munitions capabilities and programs, not including ammunition.
(3) A description of current and planned munitions programs, including with respect to procurement, research, development, test and evaluation, and deployment activities.
(4) Schedules, estimated costs, and budget plans for current and planned munitions programs.
(5) Identification of opportunities and limitations within the associated industrial base.
(6) Identification and evaluation of technology needs and applicable emerging technologies, including with respect to directed energy, rail gun, and cyber technologies.
(7) An assessment of how current and planned munitions programs, and promising technologies, may affect existing operational concepts and capabilities of the military departments or lead to new operational concepts and capabilities.
(8) An assessment of programs and capabilities by other countries to counter the munitions programs and capabilities of the Armed Forces of the United States, not including with respect to ammunition, and how such assessment affects the munitions strategy of each military department.
(9) Any other matters the Secretary determines appropriate.
(c) Form- The report under subsection (a) may be submitted in classified or unclassified form.
SEC. 1235. MISSILE DEFENSE COOPERATION.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of the United States Pacific Command, testified before the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives on March 5, 2014, that in the spring of 2013, North Korea `conducted another underground nuclear test, threatened the use of a nuclear weapon against the United States, and concurrently conducted a mobile missile deployment of an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, reportedly capable of ranging our western most U.S. territory in the Pacific.';
(2) General Curtis Scaparrotti, Commander of the United States Forces Korea, testified before such committee on April 2, 2014, that `CFC [Combined Forces Command] is placing special emphasis on missile defense, not only in terms of systems and capabilities, but also with regard to implementing an Alliance counter-missile strategy required for our combined defense.'; and
(3) increased emphasis and cooperation on missile defense among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, enhances the security of allies of the United States in Northeast Asia, increases the defense of forward-based forces of the United States, and enhances the protection of the United States.
(b) Assessment Required- The Secretary of Defense shall conduct an assessment to identify opportunities for increasing missile defense cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, and to evaluate options for short-range missile, rocket, and artillery defense capabilities.
(c) Elements- The assessment under subsection (b) shall include the following:
(1) Candidate areas for increasing missile defense cooperation, including greater information sharing, systems integration, and joint operations.
(2) Potential challenges and limitations to enabling such cooperation and plans for mitigating such challenges and limitations.
(3) An assessment of the utility of short-range missile defense and counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar system capabilities, including with respect to--
(A) the requirements for such capabilities to meet operational and contingency plan requirements in Northeast Asia;
(B) cost, schedule, and availability;
(C) technology maturity and risk; and
(D) consideration of alternatives.
(d) Briefing Required- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall provide to the congressional defense committees a briefing on the assessment under subsection (b).
SEC. 1236. MARITIME CAPABILITIES OF TAIWAN AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO REGIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY.(a) Report Required- Not later than April 1, 2016, the Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, submit to the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report that contains the following:
(1) A description and assessment of the posture and readiness of elements of the Chinese People's Liberation Army expected or available to threaten the maritime or territorial security of Taiwan, including an assessment of--
(A) the undersea and surface warfare capabilities of the People's Liberation Army Navy in the littoral areas in and around the Taiwan Strait;
(B) the amphibious and heavy sealift capabilities of the People's Liberation Army Navy;
(C) the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army Air Force to establish air dominance over Taiwan; and
(D) the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Corps to suppress or destroy the forces of Taiwan necessary to defend the security of Taiwan.
(2) A description and assessment of the posture and readiness of elements of the armed forces of Taiwan expected or available to maintain the maritime or territorial security of Taiwan, including an assessment of--
(A) the undersea and surface warfare capabilities of the navy of Taiwan;
(B) the land-based anti-ship cruise missile capabilities of Taiwan; and
(C) other anti-access or area-denial capabilities, such as mines, that contribute to the deterrence of Taiwan against actions taken to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means.
(b) Form- The report required by subsection (a) may be submitted in classified or unclassified form.
(c) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (Public Law 96-8), should continue to make available to Taiwan such defense articles and services as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability;
(2) the growth and modernization of the People's Liberation Army, including its focus on `preparing for potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait [which] appears to remain the principal focus and primary driver of China's military investment', as noted in the 2013 Office of the Secretary of Defense Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, requires greater attention to the needed defense capabilities of Taiwan; and
(3) the United States should consider opportunities to help enhance the maritime capabilities and nautical skills of the Taiwanese navy that can contribute to Taiwan's self-defense and to regional peace and stability, including extending an invitation to Taiwan to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific international maritime exercise in non-combat areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
SEC. 1237. INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT ON COUNTERING ANTI-ACCESS AND AREA-DENIAL STRATEGIES AND CAPABILITIES IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.(a) Assessment Required-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense shall enter into an agreement with an independent entity to conduct an assessment of anti-access and area-denial strategies and capabilities that pose a threat to security in the Asia-Pacific region and strategies to mitigate such threats.
(2) MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED- The assessment required under paragraph (1) shall include--
(A) identification of anti-access and area-denial strategies and capabilities;
(B) assessment of gaps and shortfalls in the ability of the United States to address anti-access and area-denial strategies and capabilities identified under subparagraph (A) and plans of the Department of Defense to address such gaps and shortfalls;
(C) assessment of Department of Defense strategies to counter or mitigate anti-access and area-denial strategies and capabilities identified under subparagraph (A); and
(D) any other matters the independent entity determines to be appropriate.
(b) Report Required-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than March 1, 2015, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report that includes the assessment and strategies required under subsection (a) and any other matters the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
(2) FORM- The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex if necessary.
(c) Department of Defense Support- The Secretary of Defense shall provide the independent entity described in subsection (a) with timely access to appropriate information, data, and analysis so that the entity may conduct a thorough and independent assessment as required under subsection (a).
SEC. 1238. SENSE OF CONGRESS REAFFIRMING SECURITY COMMITMENT TO JAPAN.It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States highly values its alliance with the Government of Japan as a cornerstone of peace and security in the region, based on shared values of democracy, the rule of law, free and open markets, and respect for human rights in order to promote peace, security, stability, and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region;
(2) the United States welcomes Japan's determination to contribute more proactively to regional and global peace and security;
(3) the United States supports recent increases in Japanese defense funding, adoption of a National Security Strategy, formation of security institutions such as the Japanese National Security Council, and other moves that will enable Japan to bear even greater alliance responsibilities;
(4) the United States and Japan should continue to improve joint interoperability and collaborate on developing future capabilities with which to maintain regional stability in an increasingly uncertain security environment;
(5) the United States and Japan should continue efforts to strengthen regional multilateral institutions that promote economic and security cooperation based on internationally accepted rules and norms;
(6) the United States acknowledges that the Senkaku Islands are under the administration of Japan and opposes any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine such administration and remains committed under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security to respond to any armed attack in the territories under the administration of Japan; and
(7) the United States reaffirms its commitment to the Government of Japan under Article V of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security that `[e]ach Party recognizes that an armed attack against either Party in the territories under the administration of Japan would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional provisions and processes'.
SEC. 1239. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON OPPORTUNITIES TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA.It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the alliance between the United States and Republic of Korea has served as an anchor for stability, security, and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, in the Asia-Pacific region, and around the world;
(2) the United States and Republic of Korea continue to strengthen and adapt the alliance to serve as a linchpin of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, recognizing the shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as the foundations of the alliance;
(3) the United States and Republic of Korea share deep concerns that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missiles programs and its repeated provocations pose grave threats to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia and recognize that both nations are determined to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea, and remain fully committed to continuing close cooperation on the full range of issues related to North Korea;
(4) the United States supports the vision of a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons, free from the fear of war, and peacefully reunited on the basis of democratic and free market principles, as articulated in President Park's Dresden address;
(5) the United States and Republic of Korea are strengthening the combined defense posture on the Korean Peninsula;
(6) the United States and Republic of Korea have decided that due to the evolving security environment in the region, including the enduring North Korean nuclear and missile threat, the current timeline to the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON) to a Republic of Korea-led defense in 2015 can be reconsidered; and
(7) the United States welcomes the Republic of Korea's ratification of a new five-year Special Measures Agreement, which establishes the framework for Republic of Korea contributions to offset the costs associated with the stationing of United States Forces Korea on the Korean Peninsula.
Subtitle E--Other Matters
SEC. 1241. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY FOR SUPPORT OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS TO COMBAT TERRORISM.Section 1208(h) of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108-375; 118 Stat. 2086), as most recently amended by section 1203(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1621), is further amended by striking `2015' and inserting `2017'.
SEC. 1242. ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF AUTHORIZATION FOR NON-CONVENTIONAL ASSISTED RECOVERY CAPABILITIES.(a) Extension- Subsection (h) of section 943 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4579), as most recently amended by section 1241 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Public Law 113-66; 127 Stat. 920), is further amended by striking `2015' and inserting `2016'.
(b) Cross-reference Amendment- Subsection (f) of such section is amended by striking `413b(e)' and inserting `3093(e)'.
SEC. 1243. EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF AUTHORITY TO SUPPORT OPERATIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICE OF SECURITY COOPERATION IN IRAQ.Section 1215(f)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1631; 10 U.S.C. 113 note), as most recently amended by section 1214 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Public Law 113-66; 127 Stat. 906; 10 U.S.C. 113 note), is further amended--
(1) by striking `fiscal year 2014' and inserting `fiscal year 2015';
(2) by striking `non-operational'; and
(3) by striking `in an institutional environment' and inserting `at a base or facility of the Government of Iraq'.
SEC. 1244. MODIFICATION OF NATIONAL SECURITY PLANNING GUIDANCE TO DENY SAFE HAVENS TO AL-QAEDA AND ITS VIOLENT EXTREMIST AFFILIATES.(a) Modification- Section 1032(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1571; 50 U.S.C. 3043 note) is amended--
(1) in paragraph (2)--
(A) by redesignating subparagraph (C), (D), and (E) as subparagraph (D), (E), and (F), respectively;
(B) by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:
`(C) For each specified geographic area, a description of the following:
`(i) The feasibility of conducting multilateral programs to train and equip the military forces of relevant countries in the area.
`(ii) The authority and funding that would be required to support such programs.
`(iii) How such programs would be implemented.
`(iv) How such programs would support the national security priorities and interests of the United States and complement other efforts of the United States Government in the area and in other specified geographic areas.'; and
(C) in subparagraph (F) (as redesignated), by striking `subparagraph (C)' and inserting `subparagraph (D)'; and
(2) in paragraph (3)(A), by striking `paragraph (2)(C)' and inserting `paragraph (2)(D)'.
(b) Report- Section 1032(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81; 125 Stat. 1571; 50 U.S.C. 3043 note), as amended by subsection (a), is further amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
(2) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following:
`(4) REPORT-
`(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than October 1, 2014, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the national security planning guidance required under paragraph (1), including any updates thereto.
`(B) FORM- The report may include a classified annex as determined to be necessary by the President.
`(C) DEFINITION- In this paragraph, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
`(i) the congressional defense committees; and
`(ii) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.'.
SEC. 1245. ENHANCED AUTHORITY TO ACQUIRE GOODS AND SERVICES OF DJIBOUTI IN SUPPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ACTIVITIES IN UNITED STATES AFRICA COMMAND AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States forces should continue to be forward postured in Africa and in the Middle East;
(2) Djibouti is in a strategic location to support United States vital national security interests in the region;
(3) the United States should take definitive steps to maintain its basing access and agreements with the Government of Djibouti to support United States vital national security interests in the region;
(4) the United States should devise and implement a comprehensive governmental approach to engaging with the Government of Djibouti to reinforce the strategic partnership between the United States and Djibouti; and
(5) the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, should take concrete steps to advance and strengthen the relationship between United States and the Government of Djibouti.
(b) Authority- In the case of a good or service to be acquired in direct support of covered activities for which the Secretary of Defense makes a determination described in subsection (c), the Secretary may conduct a procurement in which--
(1) competition is limited to goods of Djibouti or services of Djibouti; or
(2) a preference is provided for goods of Djibouti or services of Djibouti.
(c) Determination-
(1) IN GENERAL- A determination described in this subsection is a determination by the Secretary of either of the following:
(A) That the good or service concerned is to be used only in support of covered activities.
(B) That it is vital to the national security interests of the United States to limit competition or provide a preference as described in subsection (b) because such limitation or preference is necessary--
(i) to reduce--
(I) United States transportation costs; or
(II) delivery times in support of covered activities; or
(ii) to promote regional security, stability, and economic prosperity in Africa.
(C) That the good or service is of equivalent quality of a good or service that would have otherwise been acquired.
(2) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT- A determination under paragraph (1)(B) shall not be effective for purposes of a limitation or preference under subsection (b) unless the Secretary also determines that the limitation or preference will not adversely affect--
(A) United States military operations or stability operations in the United States Africa Command area of responsibility; or
(B) the United States industrial base.
(d) Reporting and Oversight- In exercising the authority under subsection (b) to procure goods or services in support of covered activities, the Secretary of Defense--
(1) in the case of the procurement of services, shall ensure that the procurement is conducted in accordance with the management structure implemented pursuant to section 2330(a) of title 10, United States Code;
(2) shall ensure that such goods or services are identified and reported under a single, joint Department of Defense-wide system for the management and accountability of contractors accompanying United States forces operating overseas or in contingency operations (such as the synchronized predeployment and operational tracker (SPOT) system); and
(3) shall ensure that the United States Africa Command has sufficiently trained staff and adequate resources to conduct oversight of procurements carried out pursuant to subsection (b), including oversight to detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse.
(e) Definitions- In this section:
(1) COVERED ACTIVITIES- The term `covered activities' means Department of Defense activities in the United States Africa Command area of responsibility.
(2) GOOD OF DJIBOUTI- The term `good of Djibouti' means a good wholly the growth, product, or manufacture of Djibouti.
(3) SERVICE OF DJIBOUTI- The term `service of Djibouti' means a service performed by a person that--
(A)(i) is operating primarily in Djibouti; or
(ii) is making a significant contribution to the economy of Djibouti through payment of taxes or use of products, materials, or labor of Djibouti, as determined by the Secretary of State; and
(B) is properly licensed or registered by authorities of the Government of Djibouti, as determined by the Secretary of State.
(f) Termination- The authority and requirements of this section expire at the close of September 30, 2018.
SEC. 1246. STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR UNITED STATES SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE AND COOPERATION IN THE EUROPEAN AND EURASIAN REGIONS.(a) Strategic Framework-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall develop a strategic framework for United States security force assistance and cooperation in the European and Eurasian regions.
(2) ELEMENTS- The strategic framework required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) An evaluation of the extent to which the threat to security and stability in the European and Eurasian regions is a threat to the national security of the United States and the security interests of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance.
(B) An identification of the primary objectives, priorities, and desired end-states of United States security force assistance and cooperation programs in such regions and of the resources required to achieve such objectives, priorities, and end states.
(C) A methodology for assessing the effectiveness of United States security force assistance and cooperation programs in such regions in making progress towards such objectives, priorities, and end-states, including an identification of key benchmarks for such progress.
(D) Criteria for bilateral and multilateral partnerships in such regions.
(b) Report-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the strategic framework required by subsection (a).
(2) FORM- The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in an unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
(3) DEFINITION- In this subsection, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
(B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1247. REQUIREMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO CONTINUE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNITED STATES STRATEGY TO PREVENT AND RESPOND TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE GLOBALLY AND PARTICIPATION IN INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the most dangerous places to be a woman are some of the most unstable and violent regions in the world and gender-based violence will impact one in three women worldwide and this in turn has a direct impact on United States national security, the stability of nations, the rule of law, democracy, and peace-building processes;
(2) combating violence against women and girls through the implementation and integration of gender-based violence prevention and response mechanisms throughout United States overseas operations is a critical step toward promoting regional and global stability and achieving sustainable peace and security;
(3) under the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (H.R. 2055, One Hundred Twelfth Congress), the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development were directed in the matter relating to section 7061 to submit to Congress a multi-year strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in countries where it is common through achievable and sustainable goals, benchmarks for measuring progress, and expected results, including through regular engagement with men and boys as community leaders and advocates in ending such violence;
(4) Executive Order 13623 of August 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 49345) established the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally (in this section referred to as the `Strategy'), the first such strategy submitted pursuant to the matter relating to section 7061 under the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012;
(5) Executive Order 13623 required the Department of Defense to participate in an Interagency Working Group co-chaired by the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development to implement the Strategy; and
(6) since the authority for the Strategy was established initially in the matter relating to section 7061 under the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012, it is important for Congress to maintain its appropriate oversight over the implementation of the Strategy.
(b) Briefings Required-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on efforts of the Department of Defense relating to participation in the Interagency Working Group to implement the Strategy.
(2) MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED- As part of the briefings, the Secretary shall describe specifically efforts of the Department of Defense in the Interagency Working Group to implement international violence against women and girls prevention and response strategies, funding allocations, programming, and associated outcomes.
(3) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED- In this subsection, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
(B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
(c) Requirement to Continue Implementation of Strategy and Participation in Interagency Working Group- The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the Department of Defense--
(1) during the current period of the Strategy, continues to implement the Strategy as appropriate by reason of the role of the Department of Defense in the Interagency Working Group; and
(2) continues to participate in interagency collaborative efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.
SEC. 1248. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS OF ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL ACTIVITY.(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) There is a lack of situational awareness within the Department of Defense concerning how state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries are interwoven into the international financial and trading systems via legal and licit activities and use such market activities to fund and equip themselves and advance their interests.
(2) There is a lack of capability within the Department of Defense to formulate policy options within the interagency process, or for consideration within the Department, concerning whether state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries have key vulnerabilities associated with their positioning within the global economic and financial systems.
(3) The Department of Defense would benefit from having enhanced situational awareness regarding the commercial and strategic interactions of state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries within the global economic and financial systems and integrating relevant findings into defense policy options, deterrence strategy, planning and preparedness.
(4) The state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds of adversaries and potential adversaries represent, in some cases, strategic tools of their controlling governments and their global operations and therefore warrant increased scrutiny and knowledge.
(5) Without improved situational awareness of the business transactions and financial activities of state and non-state adversaries and potential adversaries, as well as entities they own and control, current efforts and deterrence strategies will continue to represent an underdeveloped defense requirement that lacks strategic direction.
(b) Enhanced Situational Awareness Required- The Secretary of Defense shall take such steps as may be necessary to improve--
(1) the situational awareness capabilities of the Department of Defense regarding the legal and licit business transactions and global market positioning of adversaries and potential adversaries; and
(2) the ability of the Department to translate such situational awareness into the intelligence, planning, deterrence, and capabilities and strategies of the Department.
SEC. 1249. TREATMENT OF THE KURDISTAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE PATRIOTIC UNION OF KURDISTAN UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT.(a) Discretion to Exclude Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan From Treatment as Terrorist Organizations- The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may exclude the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan from the definition of terrorist organization in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)) for the limited purpose of issuing a temporary visa to a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party or the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
(b) Prohibition on Judicial Review- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (whether statutory or nonstatutory), section 242 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1252), sections 1361 and 1651 of title 28, United States Code, section 2241 of such title, and any other habeas corpus provision of law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review any determination made pursuant to subsection (a).
SEC. 1250. PROHIBITION ON INTEGRATION OF CERTAIN MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS.None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for the Department of Defense or for United States contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization may be obligated or expended to integrate missile defense systems of the People's Republic of China into missile defense systems of the United States.
Subtitle F--Reports and Sense of Congress Provisions
SEC. 1261. REPORT ON `NEW NORMAL' AND GENERAL MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF UNITED STATES AFRICA COMMAND.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States Africa Command should have sufficient assigned military forces; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets; crisis response forces; and enablers to support the crisis response forces to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in the area of responsibility of the United States Africa Command;
(2) with the current force posture and structure of the United States Africa Command, the United States is accepting a high level of risk in defending United States posts that are `high risk, high threat' posts;
(3) the United States should posture forces forward and achieve the associated basing and access agreements to support such forces across the Continent of Africa in order to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in the area of responsibility of the United States Africa Command;
(4) the Department of Defense should consider reassigning to the United States Africa Command enabler assets currently assigned to, and shared with, the United States European Command; and
(5) the United States Africa Command requires more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in its area of responsibility.
(b) Report- Not later than January 15, 2015, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the extent to which the `New Normal' requirements have changed the force posture and structure required of the United States Africa Command to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in its area of responsibility.
(c) Elements- The report required by subsection (b) shall include the following:
(1) A detailed description of the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in the area of responsibility of the United States Africa Command.
(2) A description of any changes required for the United States Africa Command to meet the `New Normal' and general mission requirements in its area of responsibility, including the gaps or shortfalls in capability, size, posture, agreements, basing, and enabler support of all crisis response forces and associated assets to access and defend posts that are `high risk, high threat' posts.
(3) An assessment of how the United States Africa Command could employ permanently assigned military forces to support all mission requirements of the United States Africa Command.
(4) An estimate of the annual intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements of the United States Africa Command and the shortfall, if any, in meeting such requirements in fiscal year 2015.
(d) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the congressional defense committees; and
(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
(e) Form- The report required by subsection (b) may include a classified annex.
SEC. 1262. REPORT ON CONTRACTORS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE THAT HAVE CONDUCTED SIGNIFICANT TRANSACTIONS WITH IRANIAN PERSONS OR THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN.(a) In General- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for a period not to exceed 3 years, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that contains the following:
(1) A list of each contractor with the Department of Defense (including any subcontractors at any tier of the contractor), and any person owned or controlled by the contractor or that owns or controls the contractor, that has conducted a significant transaction with an Iranian person (other than an Iranian person listed under paragraph (2)) or the Government of Iran.
(2) A list of each contractor with the Department of Defense (including any subcontractors at any tier of the contractor), and any person owned or controlled by the contractor or that owns or controls the contractor, that has conducted a significant transaction with an Iranian person whose property has been blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 49079) or Executive Order 13382 (70 Fed. Reg. 38567) during the 5-year period preceding the date of the submission of the report.
(3) The value of each significant transaction described in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(b) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and
(2) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1263. REPORTS ON NUCLEAR PROGRAM OF IRAN.(a) In General- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report on the interim agreement relating to the nuclear program of Iran. Such report shall include--
(1) verification of whether Iran is complying with such agreement; and
(2) an assessment of the overall state of the nuclear program of Iran.
(b) Additional Reports- If the interim agreement described in subsection (a) is renewed or if a comprehensive and final agreement is entered into regarding the nuclear program of Iran, by not later than 90 days after such renewal or final agreement being entered into, the President shall submit to Congress a report on such renewed or final agreement. Such report shall include the matters described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a).
SEC. 1264. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON UNITED STATES PRESENCE AND COOPERATION IN THE ARABIAN GULF REGION TO DETER IRAN.It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the United States should maintain a robust forward presence and posture in order to support United States allies and partners in the Arabian Gulf region, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Israel, and to deter Iran;
(2) the United States should seek ways to support the security posture of GCC countries in the Arabian Gulf region to deter Iran;
(3) key strategic United States bases in the Arabian Gulf region that are used to deter Iran and would be used for any military operations in the Arabian Gulf region are entirely financed by funds for overseas contingency operations which is an unsustainable approach;
(4) such key strategic United States bases in the Arabian Gulf region should be funded through the base budget of the Department of Defense;
(5) the United States does not have status of forces agreements and defense agreements with key GCC allies, which would support the defense of the Arabian Gulf region and would deter Iran, and the United States should seek to complete these agreements immediately;
(6) the interim agreement with Iran relating to Iran's nuclear program does not address key aspects of Iran's nuclear program, including the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program;
(7) a comprehensive agreement with Iran relating to Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability should address past and present issues of concern of the United States, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the United Nations Security Council;
(8) the United States should continue to put significant pressure on Iran's network of organizations that conduct malign activities in the Arabian Gulf region, and around the globe, even while the United States engages in negotiations with Iran relating to Iran's nuclear program;
(9) the United States Government should not enter into a contract with any person or entity that is determined to have violated United States sanctions laws with respect to contracting with the Government of Iran and should encourage United States allies, partners, and other countries to maintain the same contracting standard; and
(10) a comprehensive agreement with Iran relating to Iran's efforts to develop or acquire a nuclear weapons capability should be agreed to by the United States only if--
(A) Iran ceases the enrichment of uranium;
(B) Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of, and has verifiably dismantled its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and ballistic missile launch technology; and
(C) the Government of Iran has ceased providing support for acts of international terrorism.
SEC. 1265. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON MODERNIZATION OF DEFENSE CAPABILITIES OF POLAND.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) The efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces have the potential not only to enhance the national security of Poland but also to strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
(2) The main priority of Poland with respect to such efforts is to procure anti-aircraft and missile defense systems.
(3) At a time when most NATO allies are cutting defense spending, Poland has maintained a steady defense budget and is making significant investment in procurement of new defense systems.
(4) The United States should recognize the efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces and promote such efforts as a positive example for other NATO allies to follow.
(5) The United States has enjoyed a close cultural, economic, political, and military relationship with Poland for many years and the efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces provide opportunities for the two countries to work together even more closely.
(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the President should seek to work with Poland to ensure that, as part of the efforts of Poland to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces--
(A) Poland, to the maximum extent practicable, procures defense systems that are interoperable with NATO defense systems and will help fill critical NATO shortfalls; and
(B) Poland, to the maximum extent practicable and to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of subparagraph (A), procures United States defense systems that--
(i) will strengthen the bilateral, strategic partnership between the two countries;
(ii) will provide Poland with proven defense systems capabilities; and
(iii) promote deeper and closer bilateral cooperation between the two countries; and
(2) the United States stands ready to assist Poland to achieve its goals to modernize its defense capabilities and restructure its armed forces.
TITLE XIII--COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION
SEC. 1301. SPECIFICATION OF COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION PROGRAMS AND FUNDS.(a) Specification of Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs- For purposes of section 301 and other provisions of this Act, Cooperative Threat Reduction programs are the programs specified in section 1501 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (50 U.S.C. 2362 note).
(b) Fiscal Year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction Funds Defined- As used in this title, the term `fiscal year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction funds' means the funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in section 301 and made available by the funding table in section 4301 for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs.
(c) Availability of Funds- Funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in section 301 and made available by the funding table in section 4301 for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs shall be available for obligation for fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017.
SEC. 1302. FUNDING ALLOCATIONS.(a) Funding for Specific Purposes- Of the $365,108,000 authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 in section 301 and made available by the funding table in section 4301 for Cooperative Threat Reduction programs, the following amounts may be obligated for the purposes specified:
(1) For strategic offensive arms elimination, $1,000,000.
(2) For chemical weapons destruction, $15,720,000.
(3) For global nuclear security, $17,703,000.
(4) For cooperative biological engagement, $254,342,000.
(5) For proliferation prevention, $46,124,000.
(6) For threat reduction engagement, $2,375,000.
(7) For activities designated as Other Assessments/Administrative Costs, $27,844,000.
(b) Report on Obligation or Expenditure of Funds for Other Purposes- No fiscal year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction funds may be obligated or expended for a purpose other than a purpose listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) until 15 days after the date that the Secretary of Defense submits to Congress a report on the purpose for which the funds will be obligated or expended and the amount of funds to be obligated or expended. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall be construed as authorizing the obligation or expenditure of fiscal year 2015 Cooperative Threat Reduction funds for a purpose for which the obligation or expenditure of such funds is specifically prohibited under this title or any other provision of law.
(c) Limited Authority to Vary Individual Amounts-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), in any case in which the Secretary of Defense determines that it is necessary to do so in the national interest, the Secretary may obligate amounts appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for a purpose listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) in excess of the specific amount authorized for that purpose.
(2) NOTICE-AND-WAIT REQUIRED- An obligation of funds for a purpose stated in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) in excess of the specific amount authorized for such purpose may be made using the authority provided in paragraph (1) only after--
(A) the Secretary submits to Congress notification of the intent to do so together with a complete discussion of the justification for doing so; and
(B) 15 days have elapsed following the date of the notification.
SEC. 1303. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR COOPERATIVE THREAT REDUCTION ACTIVITIES WITH RUSSIAN FEDERATION.(a) Limitation- None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for Cooperative Threat Reduction may be obligated or expended for cooperative threat reduction activities with the Russian Federation until the date that is 30 days after the date on which the Secretary of Defense certifies, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to the appropriate congressional committees that--
(1) the armed forces of the Russian Federation are no longer illegally occupying Ukrainian territory;
(2) the Russian Federation is no longer acting inconsistently with the INF Treaty; and
(3) the Russian Federation is in compliance with the CFE Treaty and has lifted its suspension of Russian observance of its treaty obligations.
(b) Waiver- The Secretary of Defense may waive the limitation in subsection (a) if--
(1) the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, submits to the appropriate congressional committees--
(A) a notification that such a waiver is in the national security interest of the United States and a description of the national security interest covered by the waiver; and
(B) a report explaining why the Secretary of Defense cannot make the certification under subsection (a); and
(2) a period of 30 days has elapsed following the date on which the Secretary of Defense submits the information in the report under paragraph (1)(B).
(c) Exception for Certain Military Bases- The certification requirement specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall not apply to military bases of the Russian Federation in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula operating in accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine.
(d) Definitions- In this section:
(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(A) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
(B) the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
(2) CFE TREATY- The term `CFE Treaty' means the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed at Paris November 19, 1990, and entered into force July 17, 1992.
(3) INF TREATY- The term `INF Treaty' means the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, commonly referred to as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed at Washington December 8, 1987 and entered into force June 1, 1988.
(e) Effective Date- This section takes effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and applies with respect to funds described in subsection (a) that are unobligated as of such date of enactment.
TITLE XIV--OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS
Subtitle A--Military Programs
SEC. 1401. WORKING CAPITAL FUNDS.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense for providing capital for working capital and revolving funds, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
SEC. 1402. CHEMICAL AGENTS AND MUNITIONS DESTRUCTION, DEFENSE.(a) Authorization of Appropriations- Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction, Defense, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
(b) Use- Amounts authorized to be appropriated under subsection (a) are authorized for--
(1) the destruction of lethal chemical Agents and munitions in accordance with section 1412 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1986 (50 U.S.C. 1521); and
(2) the destruction of chemical warfare materiel of the United States that is not covered by section 1412 of such Act.
SEC. 1403. DRUG INTERDICTION AND COUNTER-DRUG ACTIVITIES, DEFENSE-WIDE.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense-wide, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
SEC. 1404. DEFENSE INSPECTOR GENERAL.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, as specified in the funding table in section 4501.
SEC. 1405. DEFENSE HEALTH PROGRAM.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the Defense Health Program, as specified in the funding table in section 4501, for use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense in providing for the health of eligible beneficiaries.
Subtitle B--National Defense Stockpile
SEC. 1411. REVISIONS TO PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED DISPOSALS FROM THE NATIONAL DEFENSE STOCKPILE.(a) Fiscal Year 1999 Disposal Authority- Section 3303(a)(7) of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Public Law 105-261; 50 U.S.C. 98d note), as most recently amended by section 1412(a) of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4649), is further amended by striking `1,386,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2016' and inserting `$1,436,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2019'.
(b) Fiscal Year 2000 Disposal Authority- Section 3402(b)(5) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Public Law 106-65; 50 U.S.C. 98d note), as most recently amended by section 1412 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81;125 Stat. 1654), is further amended by striking `$830,000,000 by the end of fiscal year 2016' and inserting `$850,000,000 by the end of 2019'.
Subtitle C--Other Matters
SEC. 1421. AUTHORITY FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO JOINT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE-DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL FACILITY DEMONSTRATION FUND FOR CAPTAIN JAMES A. LOVELL HEALTH CARE CENTER, ILLINOIS.(a) Authority for Transfer of Funds- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by section 1406 and available for the Defense Health Program for operation and maintenance, $146,857,000 may be transferred by the Secretary of Defense to the Joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Facility Demonstration Fund established by subsection (a)(1) of section 1704 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84; 123 Stat. 2571). For purposes of subsection (a)(2) of such section 1704, any funds so transferred shall be treated as amounts authorized and appropriated specifically for the purpose of such a transfer.
(b) Use of Transferred Funds- For the purposes of subsection (b) of such section 1704, facility operations for which funds transferred under subsection (a) may be used are operations of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, consisting of the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Navy Ambulatory Care Center, and supporting facilities designated as a combined Federal medical facility under an operational agreement covered by section 706 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4500).
SEC. 1422. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR ARMED FORCES RETIREMENT HOME.There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 from the Armed Forces Retirement Home Trust Fund the sum of $63,400,000 for the operation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
TITLE XV--AUTHORIZATION OF ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS
Subtitle A--Authorization of Appropriations
SEC. 1501. PURPOSE.The purpose of this subtitle is to authorize appropriations for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 to provide additional funds for overseas contingency operations being carried out by the Armed Forces.
SEC. 1502. PROCUREMENT.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for procurement accounts for the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and Defense-wide activities in the amount of $6,180,000,000.
SEC. 1503. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for operation and maintenance in the amount of $64,040,000,000. In addition to the authorization of appropriations in the preceding sentence, funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the Department of the Air Force for the purpose of maintaining, operating, and upgrading the A-10 aircraft fleet in the amount of $635,000,000.
SEC. 1504. MILITARY PERSONNEL.Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the use of the Armed Forces and other activities and agencies of the Department of Defense for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for military personnel in the amount of $7,140,000,000.
SEC. 1505. OTHER APPROPRIATIONS.(a) Authorization of Appropriations- Funds are hereby authorized to be appropriated for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015 for expenses, not otherwise provided for, for the Other Authorizations in the amount of $1,450,000,000.
(b) Definition- In this section, the term `Other Authorizations' means the Defense Health Program, Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities, Defense-wide, and National Guard and Reserve Equipment.
Subtitle B--Financial Matters
SEC. 1511. TREATMENT AS ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS.The amounts authorized to be appropriated by this title are in addition to amounts otherwise authorized to be appropriated by this Act.
SEC. 1512. SPECIAL TRANSFER AUTHORITY.(a) Authority to Transfer Authorizations-
(1) AUTHORITY- Upon determination by the Secretary of Defense that such action is necessary in the national interest, the Secretary may transfer amounts of authorizations made available to the Department of Defense in this title for fiscal year 2015 between any such authorizations for that fiscal year (or any subdivisions thereof). Amounts of authorizations so transferred shall be merged with and be available for the same purposes as the authorization to which transferred.
(2) LIMITATIONS- The total amount of authorizations that the Secretary may transfer under the authority of this subsection may not exceed $3,000,000,000.
(b) Terms and Conditions- Transfers under this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as transfers under section 1001.
(c) Additional Authority- The transfer authority provided by this section is in addition to the transfer authority provided under section 1001.
Subtitle C--Limitations, Reports, and Other Matters
SEC. 1521. CONTINUATION OF EXISTING LIMITATIONS ON THE USE OF FUNDS IN THE AFGHANISTAN SECURITY FORCES FUND.Funds available to the Department of Defense for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund for fiscal year 2015 shall be subject to the conditions contained in subsections (b) through (g) of section 1513 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181; 122 Stat. 428), as amended by section 1531(b) of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Public Law 111-383; 124 Stat. 4424).
SEC. 1522. USE OF AND TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM JOINT IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE DEFEAT FUND.Subsections (b) and (c) of section 1514 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364; 120 Stat. 2439), as in effect before the amendments made by section 1503 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4649), shall apply to the funds made available to the Department of Defense for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund for fiscal year 2015.
TITLE XVI--STRATEGIC PROGRAMS, CYBER, AND INTELLIGENCE MATTERS
Subtitle A--Space Activities
SEC. 1601. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SPACE SECURITY AND DEFENSE PROGRAM.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the Sense of Congress that--
(1) critical United States national security space systems are facing a serious growing foreign threat;
(2) the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation are both developing capabilities to disrupt the use of space by the United States in a conflict, as recently outlined by the Director of National Intelligence in testimony before Congress; and
(3) a fully-developed multi-faceted space security and defense program is needed to deter and defeat any adversaries' acts of space aggression.
(b) Report on Ability of the United States to Deter and Defeat Adversary Space Aggression- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report containing an assessment of the ability of the Department of Defense to deter and defeat any act of space aggression by an adversary.
(c) Study on Alternative Defense and Deterrence Strategies in Response to Foreign Counterspace Capabilities-
(1) STUDY REQUIRED- The Secretary of Defense, acting through the Office of Net Assessment, shall conduct a study of potential alternative defense and deterrent strategies in response to the existing and projected counterspace capabilities of China and Russia. Such study shall include an assessment of the congruence of such strategies with the current United States defense strategy and defense programs of record, and the associated implications of pursuing such strategies.
(2) REPORT- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the congressional defense committees the results of the study required under paragraph (1).
SEC. 1602. EVOLVED EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE NOTIFICATION.(a) Notification- The Secretary of the Air Force shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees notice of each change to the evolved expendable launch vehicle acquisition plan and schedule from the plan and schedule included in the budget submitted by the President under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for fiscal year 2015. Such notification shall include--
(1) an identification of the change;
(2) a national security rationale for the change;
(3) the impact of the change on the evolved expendable launch vehicle block buy contract;
(4) the impact of the change on the opportunities for competition for certified evolved expendable launch vehicle launch providers; and
(5) the costs or savings of the change.
(b) Applicability- The requirement under subsection (a) shall apply to fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017.
(c) Appropriate Congressional Committees- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means--
(1) the congressional defense committees; and
(2) with respect to a change to the evolved expendable launch vehicle acquisition schedule for an intelligence-related launch, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
SEC. 1603. SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS RESPONSIBILITIES OF EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR SPACE.The Secretary of Defense shall, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, revise Department of Defense directives and guidance to require the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Space to ensure that in developing space strategies, architectures, and programs for satellite communications, the Executive Agent shall--
(1) conduct strategic planning to ensure the Department of Defense is effectively and efficiently meeting the satellite communications requirements of the military departments and commanders of the combatant commands;
(2) coordinate with the secretaries of the military departments and the heads of Defense Agencies to eliminate duplication of effort and to ensure that resources are used to achieve the maximum effort in related satellite communication science and technology; research, development, test and evaluation; production; and operations and sustainment;
(3) coordinate with the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and the Chief Information Officer of the Department to ensure that effective and efficient acquisition approaches are being used to acquire military and commercial satellite communications for the Department, including space, ground, and user terminal integration; and
(4) coordinate with the chairman of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council to develop a process to identify the current and projected satellite communications requirements of the Department.
SEC. 1604. LIQUID ROCKET ENGINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should develop a next-generation liquid rocket engine that--
(1) is made in the United States;
(2) meets the requirements of the national security space community;
(3) is developed by not later than 2019;
(4) is developed using full and open competition; and
(5) is available for purchase by all space launch providers of the United States.
(b) Development-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense shall develop a next-generation liquid rocket engine that enables the effective, efficient, and expedient transition from the use of non-allied space launch engines to a domestic alternative for national security space launches.
(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act for fiscal year 2015 for research, development, test, and evaluation, Air Force, as specified in the funding table in section 4201, $220,000,000 shall be available for the Secretary of Defense to develop a next-generation liquid rocket engine.
(c) Coordination- The Secretary shall coordinate with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to the extent practicable, to ensure that the rocket engine developed under subsection (b) meets objectives that are common to both the national security space community and the space program of the United States.
(d) Report- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in coordination with the Administrator, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes--
(1) a plan to carry out the development of the rocket engine under subsection (b), including an analysis of the benefits of using public-private partnerships;
(2) the requirements of the program to develop such rocket engine; and
(3) the estimated cost of such rocket engine.
(e) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the following:
(1) The congressional defense committees.
(2) The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.
(3) The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
SEC. 1605. PILOT PROGRAM FOR ACQUISITION OF COMMERCIAL SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SERVICES.(a) Pilot Program-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Defense may develop and carry out a pilot program to determine the feasibility and advisability of expanding the use of working capital funds by the Secretary to effectively and efficiently acquire commercial satellite capabilities to meet the requirements of the military departments, Defense Agencies, and combatant commanders.
(2) FUNDING- Of the funds authorized to be appropriated for any of fiscal years 2015 through 2020 for the Department of Defense for the acquisition of commercial satellite communications, not more than $50,000,000 may be obligated or expended for such pilot program during such a fiscal year.
(3) CERTAIN AUTHORITIES- In carrying out the pilot program under paragraph (1), the Secretary may not use the authorities provided in sections 2208(k) and 2210(b) of title 10, United States Code.
(b) Goals- In developing and carrying out the pilot program under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall ensure that the pilot program--
(1) provides a cost effective and strategic method to acquire commercial satellite services;
(2) incentivizes private-sector participation and investment in technologies to meet future requirements of the Department of Defense with respect to commercial satellite services;
(3) takes into account the potential for a surge or other change in the demand of the Department for commercial satellite communications access in response to global or regional events; and
(4) ensures the ability of the Secretary to control and account for the cost of programs and work performed under the pilot program.
(c) Duration- If the Secretary commences the pilot program under subsection (a)(1), the pilot program shall terminate on October 1, 2020.
(d) Reports-
(1) INITIAL REPORT- Not later than 150 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report that includes a plan and schedule to carry out the pilot program under subsection (a)(1).
(2) FINAL REPORT- Not later than December 1, 2020, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the pilot program under subsection (a)(1). The report shall include--
(A) an assessment of expanding the use of working capital funds to effectively and efficiently acquire commercial satellite capabilities to meet the requirements of the military departments, Defense Agencies, and combatant commanders; and
(B) a description of--
(i) any contract entered into under the pilot program, the funding used under such contract, and the efficiencies realized under such contract;
(ii) the advantages and challenges of using working capital funds as described in subparagraph (A);
(iii) any additional authorities the Secretary determines necessary to acquire commercial satellite capabilities as described in subsection (a)(1); and
(iv) any recommendations of the Secretary with respect to improving or extending the pilot program.
Subtitle B--Defense Intelligence and Intelligence-Related Activities
SEC. 1611. ASSESSMENT AND LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS OF UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES.(a) Assessment-
(1) REQUIREMENT- The Secretary of Defense, acting through the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an assessment of the intelligence activities and programs of United States Special Operations Command and special operations forces.
(2) INCLUSIONS- The assessment under paragraph (1) shall include each of the following elements:
(A) An overall strategy defining such intelligence activities and programs, including definitions of intelligence activities and programs unique to special operations.
(B) A validated strategy and roadmap of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance programs and requirements for special operations across the future years defense program.
(C) A comprehensive description of current and anticipated future Joint Staff validated requirements for the intelligence activities and programs of each geographic combatant commander within the respective geographic area of such covered combatant commander to be fulfilled by special operations forces, including those that can only be addressed by special operations forces, programs, or capabilities.
(D) Validated present and planned United States Special Operations Command force structure requirements to meet current and anticipated special operations intelligence activities and programs of geographic combatant commanders.
(E) A comprehensive review and assessment of statutory authorities, and Department and interagency policies, including limitations, for special operations forces intelligence activities and programs.
(F) An independent, comprehensive cost estimate of special operations intelligence activities and programs by the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation of the Department of Defense, including an estimate of the costs of the period of the current future years defense program, including a description of all rules and assumptions used to develop the cost estimates.
(G) A copy of any memoranda of understanding or memoranda of agreement between the Department of Defense and other departments or agencies of the United States Government, or between components of the Department of Defense that are required to implement objectives of special operations intelligence activities and programs.
(H) Any other matters the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) FORM- The assessment required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
(b) Limitations-
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), not more than 50 percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2015 for procurement, Defense-wide, or research, development, test, and evaluation, Defense-wide, for the major force program 11 of the United States Special Operations Command may be obligated until the assessment required under subsection (a) is submitted.
(2) EXCEPTION- Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to funds authorized to be appropriated for Overseas Contingency Operations under title XV.
(c) Definitions- In this section:
(1) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS- The term `appropriate committees of congress' means the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.
(2) FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM- The term `future years defense program' means the future years defense program under section 221 of title 10, United States Code.
(3) GEOGRAPHIC COMBATANT COMMANDER- The term `geographic combatant commander' means a commander of a combatant command (as defined in section 161(c) of title 10, United States Code) with a geographic area of responsibility.
SEC. 1612. ANNUAL BRIEFING ON THE INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE COMBATANT COMMANDS.At the same time that the President's budget is submitted pursuant to section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020--
(1) the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall provide to the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate a briefing on--
(A) the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements, by specific intelligence capability type, of each of the combatant commands;
(B) for the year preceding the year in which the briefing is provided, the satisfaction rate of each of the combatant commands with the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements, by specific intelligence capability type, of such combatant command; and
(C) a risk analysis identifying the critical gaps and shortfalls in such requirements in relation to such satisfaction rate; and
(2) the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence shall provide to the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate a briefing on short-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies to address the critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements of the combatant commands.
SEC. 1613. ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF REPORT ON IMAGERY INTELLIGENCE AND GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION SUPPORT PROVIDED TO REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND SECURITY ALLIANCES.Section 921(c)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Public Law 112-239; 126 Stat. 1878) is amended by striking `2014 and 2015' and inserting `2014 through 2016'.
SEC. 1614. TACTICAL EXPLOITATION OF NATIONAL CAPABILITIES EXECUTIVE AGENT.Subchapter I of chapter 21 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
`Sec. 430. TENCAP executive agent`(a) In General- There is in the Department of Defense a Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities Executive Agent who shall be appointed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The Executive Agent shall report directly to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. The Executive Agent shall be responsible for working with the combatant commands, military services, and the intelligence community to develop methods to increase warfighter effectiveness through the exploitation of national capabilities and to promote cross-domain integration of such capabilities into military operations, training, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities.
`(b) Annual Briefing- At the same time as the budget materials are submitted to Congress in connection with the submission of the budget for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020, pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, the Executive Agent, in coordination with the commanders of the combatant commands, the Secretaries of the military departments, and the heads of the Department of Defense intelligence agencies and offices, shall provide to the Committee on Armed Services and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives a briefing on the investments, activities, challenges, and opportunities of the Executive Agent in carrying out the responsibilities under paragraph (1). The briefings shall be coordinated with each of the armed services, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance office.'.
SEC. 1615. AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATION.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) The Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center provides essential national expertise on foreign aerospace system capabilities, including cyber, space systems, missiles, and aircraft.
(2) The Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center is organizationally aligned to the Headquarters Air Staff, through the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency.
(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that--
(1) the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center provides indispensable intelligence support to a variety of customers, including the Air Force, the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and national policymakers; and
(2) to maintain operational effectiveness, the Air Force organizational reporting structure of the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center should remain organizationally aligned to the Headquarters Air Staff with reporting through the Vice Chief of Staff.
(c) Plan- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Air Force shall submit to the congressional defense committees, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate a strategic plan for the intelligence organization of the Air Force, including maintaining the National Air and Space Intelligence Center alignment to the Headquarters Air Staff.
SEC. 1616. PROHIBITION ON NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM CONSOLIDATION.(a) Prohibition- No amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense may be used during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2015, to execute--
(1) the separation of the National Intelligence Program budget from the Department of Defense budget;
(2) the consolidation of the National Intelligence Program budget within the Department of Defense budget; or
(3) the establishment of a new appropriations account or appropriations account structure for the National Intelligence Program budget.
(b) Definitions- In this section:
(1) NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM- The term `National Intelligence Program' has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003).
(2) NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAM BUDGET- The term `National Intelligence Program budget' means the portions of the Department of Defense budget designated as part of the National Intelligence Program.
Subtitle C--Cyberspace-Related Matters
SEC. 1621. EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR CYBER TEST AND TRAINING RANGES.(a) Executive Agent- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall designate a senior official of the Department of Defense to act as the executive agent for cyber and information technology test and training ranges.
(b) Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities-
(1) ESTABLISHMENT- Not later than one year after the enactment of this Act, and in accordance with Directive 5101.1, the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the executive agent designated under subsection (a).
(2) SPECIFICATION- The roles and responsibilities of the executive agent designated under subsection (a) shall include each of the following:
(A) Developing and maintaining a comprehensive list of cyber and information technology ranges, test facilities, test beds, and other means of testing, training, and developing software, personnel, and tools for accommodating the mission of the Department.
(B) Serving as a single entity to organize and manage designated cyber and information technology test ranges, including--
(i) establishing the priorities for cyber and information technology ranges to meet Department objectives;
(ii) enforcing standards to meet requirements specified by the United States Cyber Command, the training community, and the research, development, testing, and evaluation community;
(iii) identifying and offering guidance on the opportunities for integration amongst the designated cyber and information technology ranges regarding test, training, and development functions;
(iv) finding opportunities for cost reduction, integration, and coordination improvements for the appropriate cyber and information technology ranges;
(v) adding or consolidating cyber and information technology ranges in the future to better meet the evolving needs of the cyber strategy and resource requirements of the Department; and
(vi) coordinating with interagency and industry partners on cyber and information technology range issues.
(C) Defining a cyber range architecture that--
(i) may add or consolidate cyber and information technology ranges in the future to better meet the evolving needs of the cyber strategy and resource requirements of the Department;
(ii) coordinates with interagency and industry partners on cyber and information technology range issues;
(iii) allows for integrated closed loop testing in a secure environment of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities;
(iv) supports science and technology development, experimentation, testing and training; and
(v) provides for interconnection with other existing cyber ranges and other kinetic range facilities in a distributed manner.
(D) Certifying all cyber range investments of the Department of Defense.
(E) Performing such other roles and responsibilities as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate.
(c) Support Within Department of Defense- In accordance with Directive 5101.1, the Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the military departments, Defense Agencies, and other components of the Department of Defense provide the executive agent designated under subsection (a) with the appropriate support and resources needed to perform the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the executive agent.
(d) Definitions- In this section:
(1) The term `designated cyber and information technology range' includes the National Cyber Range, the Joint Information Operations Range, the Defense Information Assurance Range, and the C4 Assessments Division of J6 of the Joint Staff.
(2) The term `Directive 5101.1' means Department of Directive 5101.1, or any successor directive relating to the responsibilities of an executive agent of the Department of Defense.
(3) The term `executive agent' has the meaning given the term `DoD Executive Agent' in Directive 5101.1.
Subtitle D--Nuclear Forces
SEC. 1631. PREPARATION OF ANNUAL BUDGET REQUEST REGARDING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.Section 179(f) of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
`(3)(A) With respect to the preparation of a budget for a fiscal year to be submitted by the President to Congress under section 1105(a) of title 31, the Secretary of Defense may not agree to a proposed transfer of estimated nuclear budget request authority unless the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees a certification described in subparagraph (B).
`(B) A certification described in this subparagraph is a certification that includes the following:
`(i) Certification that, during the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year covered by the budget for which the certification is submitted, the Secretary of Energy obligated or expended any amounts covered by a proposed transfer of estimated nuclear budget request authority made for such prior fiscal year in a manner consistent with a memorandum of agreement that was developed by the Nuclear Weapons Council and entered into by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy.
`(ii) A detailed assessment by the Nuclear Weapons Council regarding how the Administrator for Nuclear Security implemented any agreements and decisions of the Council made during such prior fiscal year.
`(iii) An assessment from each of the Vice Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and the Commander of the United States Strategic Command regarding any effects to the military during such prior fiscal year that were caused by the delay or failure of the Administrator to implement any agreements or decisions described in clause (ii).
`(4) The Secretary of Defense shall include with the defense budget materials for a fiscal year the memorandum of agreement described in paragraph (3)(B)(i) that covers such fiscal year.
`(5)(A) Not later than 30 days after the President submits to Congress the budget for a fiscal year under section 1105(a) of title 31, the Commander of the United States Strategic Command shall submit to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff an assessment of--
`(i) whether such budget allows the Federal Government to meet the nuclear stockpile and stockpile stewardship program requirements during the fiscal year covered by the budget and the four subsequent fiscal years; and
`(ii) if the Commander determines that such budget does not allow the Federal Government to meet such requirements, a description of the steps being taken to meet such requirements.
`(B) Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff receives the assessment of the Commander of the United States Strategic Command under subparagraph (A), the Chairman shall submit to the congressional defense committees--
`(i) such assessment as it was submitted to the Chairman; and
`(ii) any comments of the Chairman.
`(6) In this subsection:
`(A) The term `budget' has the meaning given that term in section 231(f) of this title.
`(B) The term `defense budget materials' has the meaning given that term in section 231(f) of this title.
`(C) The term `proposed transfer of estimated nuclear budget request authority' means, in preparing a budget, a request for the Secretary of Defense to transfer an estimated amount of the proposed budget authority of the Secretary to the Secretary of Energy for purposes relating to nuclear weapons.'.
SEC. 1632. INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE PERSONNEL RELIABILITY PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE HUMAN RELIABILITY PROGRAM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY.(a) Review-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy shall jointly seek to enter into a contract with a federally funded research and development center to conduct an independent review of the personnel reliability program of the Department of Defense and the human reliability program of the Department of Energy.
(2) MATTERS INCLUDED- The review under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) An examination of the costs and benefits of each program described in paragraph (1).
(B) Examples of successes and failures for each such program.
(C) The reporting and administrative requirements of each such program.
(D) The authorities and responsibilities of the commanders and managers of each such program.
(E) Guidance for when certain positions must be included in each such program.
(F) Recommendations with respect to making each such program more effective, more efficient, and, to the extent appropriate, more consistent between the Departments.
(G) Any other matters the Secretaries jointly determine appropriate.
(b) Report- Not later than October 1, 2015, the Secretaries shall jointly submit to the congressional defense committees such review.
SEC. 1633. ASSESSMENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPON SECONDARY REQUIREMENT.(a) Assessment- The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Commander of the United States Strategic Command, shall assess the annual secondary production requirement needed to sustain a safe, secure, reliable, and effective nuclear deterrent.
(b) Report-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Commander of the United States Strategic Command, shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report regarding the assessment conducted under subsection (a).
(2) MATTERS INCLUDED- The report under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) An explanation of the rationale and assumptions that led to the current 50 to 80 secondaries per year production requirement, including the factors considered in determining such requirement.
(B) An analysis of whether there are any changes to such 50 to 80 secondaries per year production requirement, including the reasons for any such changes.
(C) A description of how the secondary production requirement is affected by or related to--
(i) the demands of stockpile modernization, including the schedule for life extension programs;
(ii) the requirement for a responsive infrastructure, including the ability to hedge against technical failure and geopolitical risk; and
(iii) the number of secondaries held in reserve or the inactive stockpile, and the likelihood such secondaries may be reused.
(E) The proposed time frame for achieving such 50 to 80 secondaries per year production requirement.
(3) FORM- The report under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.
SEC. 1634. RETENTION OF MISSILE SILOS.(a) Sense of Congress- It is the Sense of Congress that recent authorization and appropriations Acts passed by Congress and signed by the President have promulgated a national policy that it is in the national security interests of the United States to retain the maximum number of land-based strategic missile silos and their associated infrastructure to ensure that billions of dollars in prior taxpayer investments for such silos and infrastructure are not lost through precipitous actions which may be budget-driven, cyclical, and not in the long-term strategic interests of the United States.
(b) Requirement- The Secretary of Defense shall preserve each intercontinental ballistic missile silo that contains a deployed missile as of the date of the enactment of this Act in, at minimum, a warm status that enables such silo to--
(1) remain a fully functioning element of the interconnected and redundant command and control system of the missile field; and
(2) be made fully operational with a deployed missile.
(c) Termination- The requirement in subsection (b) shall terminate on February 5, 2021.
SEC. 1635. CERTIFICATION ON NUCLEAR FORCE STRUCTURE.Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in coordination with the Commander of the United States Strategic Command, shall certify to the congressional defense committees that the plan for implementation of the New START Treaty (as defined in section 494(a)(2)(D) of title 10, United States Code) announced on April 8, 2014, will enable the United States to meet its obligations under such treaty in a manner that ensures the nuclear forces of the United States--
(1) are capable, survivable, and balanced; and
(2) maintain strategic stability, deterrence and extended deterrence, and allied assurance.
Subtitle E--Missile Defense Programs
SEC. 1641. THEATER AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE OF ALLIES OF THE UNITED STATES.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) A Patriot battery of the United States providing a short-range air and missile defense capability has previously been rotationally deployed to Poland, pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland, during a period occurring between 2010 to 2012.
(2) The deployment of the Patriot battery did not include operational missiles and was not replaced with another short-range air and missile defense system upon completion of the deployment rotation in 2012.
(b) Policy- It is the policy of the United States that available short-range air and missile defense systems and terminal missile defense systems of the United States with operational missiles be rotationally deployed to central and eastern European allies, pursuant to agreements between the United States and such allies, to strengthen the air and missile defense capabilities of such allies, as appropriate.
(c) Aegis Ashore System-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than December 31, 2016, and pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland, the Secretary of Defense shall ensure the operational availability of the Aegis Ashore system site in Poland.
(2) RELOCATION OF ASSETS- The Secretary may relocate the necessary assets of the Aegis weapon system between and within the DDG-51 Class Destroyer program and the Aegis Ashore program to meet mission requirements.
(3) BRIEFINGS- The Secretary shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees quarterly briefings to update the status of the progress in carrying out paragraph (1).
(4) TRANSFER AUTHORITY- The Secretary may use the authority provided under section 1001 to carry out this subsection.
(d) Missile Defense Capability of Poland-
(1) DEPLOYMENT- Not later than December 31, 2014, and pursuant to an agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland, the Secretary of Defense shall deploy to Poland a system providing a short-range air and missile defense capability or terminal missile defense capability, or both, and the personnel required to operate and maintain such system.
(2) REMOVAL- No action may be taken to effect or implement the removal of the system or the personnel described in paragraph (1) unless--
(A) at least 30 days before the removal, the Secretary of Defense notifies the appropriate congressional committees that such removal is in the national security interests of the United States; or
(B) the removal is requested by the Government of Poland in the manner provided in the agreement between the United States and the Government of Poland regarding the system and personnel.
(e) Notification- The Secretary of Defense shall notify the appropriate congressional committees by not later than 60 days after the date on which a NATO member state makes a request that communicates to the Secretary the interest of the member state in hosting missile defense capabilities described in subsection (b) and the plan of the Secretary for addressing such request.
(f) Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined- In this section, the term `appropriate congressional committees' means the following:
(1) The congressional defense committees.
(2) The Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 1642. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON PROCUREMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF CAPABILITY ENHANCEMENT II EXOATMOSPHERIC KILL VEHICLE.It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should not procure an additional capability enhancement II exoatmospheric kill vehicle for deployment until after the date on which a successful intercept flight test of the capability enhancement II ground-based interceptor has occurred, unless such procurement is for test assets or to maintain a warm line for the industrial base.
TITLE XVII--DEFENSE AUDIT ADVISORY PANEL ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUDITABILITY
SEC. 1701. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
(1) Congress remains steadfast in supporting the continuing efforts of the Department of Defense to produce auditable financial statements. Such efforts are essential to ensure taxpayers dollars are accounted for at the largest department of the Federal Government
(2) As the 2017 and 2019 statutory audit deadlines approach, Congress believes an advisory panel is necessary to better track the Department's progress.
(b) Purposes- The purposes of the Advisory Panel are--
(1) to work on behalf of Congress to actively monitor the audit readiness work of the Department of Defense and, after September 30, 2017, the Department's 2018 audit; and
(2) to regularly providing interim findings and recommendations to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives, with the purpose of making the Department auditable and aiding in oversight of the Department by such Committees.
SEC. 1702. ESTABLISHMENT OF ADVISORY PANEL ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUDIT READINESS.(a) Establishment- There is established the Advisory Panel on Department of Defense Audit Readiness (in this title referred to as the `Advisory Panel').
(b) Membership-
(1) COMPOSITION- The Advisory Panel shall be composed of 10 members, of whom--
(A) two shall be appointed jointly by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Ranking Member of each such Committee, from among members of different political parties from each such Committee, to serve as Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel;
(B) two shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
(C) two shall be appointed by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
(D) two shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and
(E) two shall be appointed by the Ranking Member of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.
(2) APPOINTMENT DATE- The appointments of the members of the Advisory Panel shall be made not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(3) QUALIFICATIONS- Appointments to the Advisory Panel shall be made from among individuals who are certified public accountants and have work experience within the Department of Defense or private financial management sectors. An individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government may not be appointed to the Advisory Panel.
(c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies- Members shall be appointed for the life of the Advisory Panel. Any vacancy in the Advisory Panel shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(d) Initial Meeting- Not later than 60 days after the date on which all members of the Advisory Panel have been appointed, the Advisory Panel shall hold its first meeting.
(e) Meetings- The Advisory Panel shall meet regularly at the call of the Co-Chairmen.
(f) Quorum- Five members of the Advisory Panel shall constitute a quorum, but four members may hold hearings.
SEC. 1703. DUTIES OF THE ADVISORY PANEL.(a) In General- The duties of the Advisory Panel are as follows:
(1) To provide the Secretary of Defense, through the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), independent advice on the Department's financial management, including the financial reporting process, systems of internal controls, audit process, and processes for monitoring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
(2) To identify, review, and evaluate the work of the Department of Defense (including the work of each military department and Defense Agency) on auditability.
(3) To identify problem areas and recommend solutions in order to aid the Department in meeting the following statutory deadlines:
(A) By not later than September 30, 2017, validating the financial statements of the Department of Defense as ready for audit, as required by section 1003(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84; 10 U.S.C. 2222 note).
(B) By not later than March 31, 2019, auditing the financial statements of the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2018, as required by section 1003(a)(2)(a)(iii) of such Act (Public Law 111-84; 10 U.S.C. 2222 note)
(4) To provide briefings regularly to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the Advisory Panel's findings, analysis, and recommendations.
(b) Reports- Not later than March 31 and September 30 of each year during the life of the Advisory Panel, beginning with March 31, 2015, the Advisory Panel shall submit to the congressional defense committees findings and conclusions of the Advisory Panel as a result of its work under subsection (a) during the period covered by the report, together with such recommendations as it considers appropriate.
(c) Authority of Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)- In accordance with Department policy and procedures, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) is authorized to act upon the advice emanating from the Advisory Panel.
SEC. 1704. POWERS OF THE ADVISORY PANEL.(a) Hearings- The Advisory Panel may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Advisory Panel considers advisable to carry out this title.
(b) Information From Department of Defense- The Advisory Panel may secure directly from the Department of Defense such information as the Advisory Panel considers necessary to carry out this title. Upon request of the Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel, the Secretary of Defense shall furnish such information to the Advisory Panel.
(c) Postal Services- The Advisory Panel may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
SEC. 1705. ADVISORY PANEL PERSONNEL MATTERS.(a) Compensation of Members- Members of the Advisory Panel shall serve without compensation for such service.
(b) Travel Expenses- Each member of the Advisory Panel shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.
(c) Staff-
(1) DIRECTOR- The Advisory Panel may have a Director, who shall be appointed by the Co-Chairmen.
(2) STAFF- The Co-Chairmen may appoint such additional staff as may be necessary to enable the Advisory Panel to perform its duties, except that the number of staff may not exceed the equivalent of five full-time employees.
(3) COMPENSATION- The Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel may fix the compensation of the Director and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the Director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of such title.
(d) Detail of Government Employees- Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Advisory Panel without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.
(e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services- The Co-Chairmen of the Advisory Panel may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.
SEC. 1706. TERMINATION OF THE ADVISORY PANEL.The Advisory Panel shall terminate April 30, 2019.
DIVISION B--MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AUTHORIZATIONS
SEC. 2001. SHORT TITLE.This division may be cited as the `Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015'.
SEC. 2002. EXPIRATION OF AUTHORIZATIONS AND AMOUNTS REQUIRED TO BE SPECIFIED BY LAW.(a) Expiration of Authorizations After Three Years- Except as provided in subsection (b), all authorizations contained in titles XXI through XXVII for military construction projects, land acquisition, family housing projects and facilities, and contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program (and authorizations of appropriations therefor) shall expire on the later of--
(1) October 1, 2017; or
(2) the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing funds for military construction for fiscal year 2018.
(b) Exception- Subsection (a) shall not apply to authorizations for military construction projects, land acquisition, family housing projects and facilities, and contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program (and authorizations of appropriations therefor), for which appropriated funds have been obligated before the later of--
(1) October 1, 2017; or
(2) the date of the enactment of an Act authorizing funds for fiscal year 2018 for military construction projects, land acquisition, family housing projects and facilities, or contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Investment Program.
SEC. 2003. EFFECTIVE DATE.Titles XXI through XXVII shall take effect on the later of--
(1) October 1, 2014; or
(2) the date of the enactment of this Act.
TITLE XXI--ARMY MILITARY CONSTRUCTION
SEC. 2101. AUTHORIZED ARMY CONSTRUCTION AND LAND ACQUISITION PROJECTS.(a) Inside the United States- Using amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in section 2103 and available for military construction projects inside the United States as specified in the funding table in section 4601, the Secretary of the Army may acquire real property and carry out military construction projects for the installations or locations inside the United States, and in the amounts, set forth in the following table:
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WORLD Mobile | Defense spending bill sparks battle over federal land | Dec. 8, 2014
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:08
Government | Angela Lu
The Arkansas River rolls through Browns Canyon near Salida, Colo., site of a proposed national monument.Associated Press/Photo by David Zalubowski
The $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the House on Thursday not only funds the Defense Department, but also devotes 450 pages to unrelated provisions'--including the largest public land package in years.
With lawmakers trying to cram in legislation during the remaining days of the lame duck session, the NDAA designates 245,000 acres of land as wilderness,creates eight new National Parks and expands seven existing parks, and increases wild and scenic river designations. In a land swap, the bill also takes 110,000 acres out of federal ownership for economic development, such as mining, drilling, and infrastructure.
The bill, which passed 300-119 in the House, is expected to pass in the Senate this week. It will be the largest public land package since the Omnibus Public Land management Act in 2009, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
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''Many of these federal land lockups could never be enacted on their own if debated and voted in the light of day,'' CEI's Myron Ebell said in a statement. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the package an ''extreme land grab'' and said in a statement, ''With the military's shrinking budget, it is offensive that this bill would be used to fund congressional pork.''
Critics pointed to the government's inability to manage so much land. Four federal agencies'--Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service'--currently control 623 million acres of land, most of which is in the West. As of 2011, the Government Accountability Office found that the Department of the Interior has a maintenance backlog of between $13.5 billion and $20 billion.
Areas that are designated wilderness are the most restricted: Roads, vehicles, and permanent structures are prohibited, along with logging and mining. Robert Gordon of the Heritage Foundation said the designation makes it ''very difficult for all but a few people to enjoy.'' Trails can't be improved, and management of forest fires and infestation is difficult. So far, nearly 110 million acres of federal land is designated wilderness, a number that has grown every year since the Wilderness Act passed in 1964.
At the same time, Utah has given the federal government until Dec. 31 to hand over 31.2 million acres of federal land to the state. In 2012, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the Transfer of Public Lands Act to demand control of the land, claiming the state could better manage and maintain it. With the government's latest move to expand rather than relinquish land, Utah likely will face a long fight in the courts.
Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, believes the land package is an example of more federal overreach in the West.
''This is a continuation of the governance by blackmail,'' Cowan said. ''The national defense authorization is vital to our nation and those who serve in the military. It should not be used as a bargaining chip for land grabs. Working on land packages in this manner is a disservice to the land and the people who enjoy it.''
Copyright (C) 2014 God's World Publications
BUYING BACK THE SEQUESTRATION-Defense spending bill passes, sequester must now go - The Washington Post
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:06
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House today with a huge, bipartisan majority of 300 to 119. The bill to fund the military (in the amount of $585 billion) now goes to the Senate where it has bipartisan support. In an emailed statement, majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.) summarized its key provisions: ''The bill funds troop readiness and also supports our military operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, while ensuring increased Congressional oversight on these activities. It also explicitly prohibits the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denies funding for any terrorist detention facilities on American soil. Notably, the bill also prohibits another round of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process from being carried out in 2015.''
Representative Howard ''Buck'' McKeon, a Republican from California and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, top right, chairs a hearing with Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, not pictured, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)It did not include a bipartisan measure from Sen. Kristian Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Susan Collins (R-Me.) and others that would have taken investigation and punishment of sexual assaults outside the chain of command. The measure drew harsh objections from the Pentagon and pro-defense lawmakers. A GOP aide sneered, saying senators were in essence ''giving a sloppy kiss to an amendment that takes authority out of the hands of military commanders, the guys who know their troops the best, and puts it in the hands of government bureaucrats.'' (Building on past legislation, further reforms supported by the military are included in the House bill.)
With regard to the substance of the bill, the House Armed Services Committee summary observed:
This year's budget request reflects years of compounding resource cuts to national security. Indeed, President Obama has directed over $1 trillion in cuts to the military since he took office. The President's FY15 base budget request is $31 billion less than called for in his FY14 budget. His request paid for the cuts by dramatically reducing the size of the military, increasing out of pocket expenses for military families, and cutting vital programs. Armed Services Members are not prepared to accept a smaller less capable force at this time. Members from both parties worked hard to find savings in less critical areas that do not pose the threat of irrevocable damage to the force or the potential to harm recruiting or retention. Still, at current resource levels, tough choices must be made.
On military readiness the HASC warned:
Our military is experiencing ever growing challenges maintaining readiness as a result of sequestration, leading to a system of tiered readiness where only deploying military personnel are fully trained and ready to deploy. To address this concern the NDAA builds on the work done by Chairman Rob Wittman (R-VA) and the Subcommittee on Readiness to provide over $212 billion for operation and maintenance requirements funding activities such as ship refueling and overhaul, depot maintenance, and facilities sustainment. The NDAA further addresses critical readiness gaps associated with depot maintenance, flying hour programs and base operations support caused by sequestration and repeated resource cuts. These are achieved by diverting funds from lower priority items. Members remain concerned however that if resource trends are not reversed soon, any tentative gains in these accounts will be diminished or eliminated. Consistently failing to meet appropriate levels of combat readiness places our troops at risk.
In a moving goodbye speech, retiring chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) admonished his colleagues to end the sequester limits. Asking them to think of the troops, he deplored the ''shame'' in failing to adequately equip, prepare, pay and care for them.
Indeed, the next Congress will need to address the knotty issue of the sequester in order to put the military on sound footing and allow it to plan for the future. ''Sequester is Latin for politicians doing dumb things,'' Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) likes to say. In a Capitol Hill interview with me he vowed to take on the sequester cuts. He was candid that refunding defense will require both sides to give something. He said, ''There is no social security without national security. . . A strong government starts with a strong national defense.'' His idea is to ''buy back'' most of the sequester with a combination of entitlement reform and closing tax expenditures aimed at discrete businesses. Without opening up all entitlement reform he wants to consider eliminating the Medicare Part D drug subsidy for those making $200,000 or more and extend the budgeting window to stretch out and lessen the yearly reductions. But he will also insist on Pentagon reforms on personnel, acquisition, and retirement to eliminate waste and excess. ''I will be leading that fight,'' he says.
Graham has been consistent on the sequester. ''I voted against the sequester,'' Graham recalled. ''My concern was that when it comes to Congress expect the worst and you won't be disappointed.'' As he predicted, the super-committee failed and we are now cannibalizing our own defense. ''Now here we are and everything I feared would come to pass has. I would say to libertarians in my party [who likely will want all tax loophole savings to go to tax rate reduction] security is the first and biggest obligation of the federal government. The tax code is not going to keep ISIL at bay.'' He adds, ''If we cannot buyback the sequester we have lost our way.''
New pro-defense senators will join Graham, but they will be tested with hard votes. They may imagine they can ''force'' the president to take all the savings out of domestic items, but they can stick to that position or solve the problem, but not both with this president. They will need to decide if their rhetoric on the primacy of national security outweighs ideological purity on revenue.
McKeon has been exemplary in highlighting the need to replenish the military; now it will be up to Graham and his old and new colleagues to get that job done.
Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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Left revolts over funding bill | TheHill
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:22
Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged Democrats Wednesday to withhold support for a massive government funding bill, as opposition on the political left mounted over a set of changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law buried in the legislation.
''I urge my Democratic colleagues in the House to withhold support for it until this risky giveaway is removed,'' Warren (D-Mass.) said during remarks on the Senate floor.
Among the host of provisions included in the $1.1 trillion funding measure is one that would partially repeal a Dodd-Frank rule aimed at ensuring risky derivatives trading happens away from banks that have a government safety net.
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The last-minute inclusion, hammered out by party negotiators, is outraging several Democrats who have spent years fighting back against GOP efforts to reduce the impact of the 2010 law.The titular sponsor of the law, retired Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), is calling on his former colleagues to defeat the funding bill because of the ''stealth attack'' on his namesake legislative achievement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats are ''deeply troubled'' by several provisions included in the roughly 1,600-page bill posted Tuesday evening and highlighted language stepping back tougher rules on financial derivatives.
''This provision, allowing big banks to gamble with money insured by the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.], opens the door to another taxpayer-funded bailout of big banks '-- forcing middle class families to bear the burden of Wall Street's mistakes,'' she said in a statement.
Several top-ranking House Democrats immediately identified the financial reform law tweaks as a major concern, after the group huddled Wednesday morning.
While Pelosi stopped short of saying she would vote against the measure without changes, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, said he would oppose the bill as is, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Pelosi's top lieutenant, singled out the Dodd-Frank portion as ''very dangerous'' to taxpayers.
Democratic support will be crucial to passage of the bill in the House, as dozens of conservative Republicans are expected to oppose the measure over concerns that it doesn't go far enough to counter President Obama's recent executive action on deportations.
The GOP defections mean Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will need Democratic support to pass the bill and send it on the Senate.
Along with Warren, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who could be the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee in the next Congress, blasted the Dodd-Frank provision as a ''giveaway to Wall Street.''
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, said the party was prepared to fight against that particular provision.
''Democrats are now alerted, and they're paying attention, and I think we can put up a good fight,'' she said.
While unified Democratic opposition could pose trouble for the spending package, time is running short for changes, with the government set to shut down without a new funding measure at the end of the day Thursday.
The fight centers on legislation included in the bill sponsored by House Republicans '-- but with some Democratic support '-- that would allow banks to engage in some derivatives trading activity that was previously barred under Dodd-Frank.
The so-called ''push out'' requirement of Dodd-Frank requires banks to shift derivatives activity to separate entities that are not guaranteed by the FDIC, which provides a backstop for traditional banking activities and accounts.
The thinking behind the measure is that risky derivatives trading, which played a central role in financial collapse, should not occur in banks where the government is ultimately in a position to provide a rescue.
But the financial industry has pushed for some relief from that requirement for some trading activity, arguing it overcomplicates their services and renders them more costly.
The provision included in the spending measure was previously passed by the House with bipartisan support. Seventy Democrats joined nearly all Republicans in approving the legislation in October 2013, but the bill went nowhere in the Democratic-led Senate.
At the time, the White House issued a statement on the bill that stopped short of a veto threat but argued it was potentially ''harmful'' to tinker with Dodd-Frank while regulators were still implementing it. The White House did not commit Wednesday to signing the measure if Congress passed it but praised the bipartisan effort behind it.
Backers of the provision argue that removing that part of Dodd-Frank and allowing banks to engage in some derivatives activity is not overly risky.
''There's huge misunderstandings about what this thing says,'' said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), who was an early sponsor of the original House bill.
Himes argued that the most dangerous derivatives would still be kept away from government-backed banks, and banks would only be allowed to trade ''plain vanilla'' interest rate swaps.
'-- Mike Lillis and Ramsey Cox contributed.
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Caliphate!
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IRBIL, Iraq: Sources: U.S. air strikes in Syria targeted French agent who defected to al Qaida | Syria | McClatchy DC
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:50
IRBIL, Iraq '-- A former French intelligence officer who defected to al Qaida was among the targets of the first wave of U.S. air strikes in Syria last month, according to people familiar with the defector's movements and identity.
Two European intelligence officials described the former French officer as the highest ranking defector ever to go over to the terrorist group and called his defection one of the most dangerous developments in the West's long confrontation with al Qaida.
The identity of the officer is a closely guarded secret. Two people, independently of one another, provided the same name, which McClatchy is withholding pending further confirmation. All of the sources agreed that a former French officer was one of the people targeted when the United States struck eight locations occupied by the Nusra Front, al Qaida's Syrian affiliate. The former officer apparently survived the assault, which included strikes by 47 cruise missiles.
U.S. officials have acknowledged that the assault on the Nusra Front locations, which came as the Americans and coalition partners also struck Islamic State positions elsewhere, was aimed at members of what the Obama administration has dubbed the Khorasan group, a unit of top-level terror operatives who had been dispatched to Syria to plot attacks on the West.
The only member of that unit U.S. officials have identified is Muhsin al Fahdli, a 33-year-old one-time confidant of al Qaida founder Osama bin Laden. The United States offered a $7 million reward in October 2012 for information leading to Fahdli's death or capture. Twitter accounts associated with jihadi sympathizers have said Fahdli was killed, but U.S. officials have said that information remains unconfirmed.
The former French officer may have been a more important target. Syrian rebels battling to topple President Bashar Assad said that U.S. officials had told them before the strikes that they were closely monitoring the defector's movements.
European intelligence officials said the former officer had defected from either French military intelligence or from France's foreign intelligence agency, the General Directorate for External Security, known by its French-language acronym as the DGSE.
The former officer, according to one rebel source, is an explosives expert who fought in Afghanistan and in Syria with al Qaida and had assembled a group of about five men that was operating out of a mosque in Idlib.
The French operative is ''still alive and kicking'' after the airstrikes, said one European intelligence official, who described the man as ''highly trained in Western intelligence trade-craft and explosives.'' The combination of Western-style intelligence training and devout jihadist beliefs made him among the most dangerous of al Qaida operatives, the intelligence official said.
It was unknown whether the former officer's al Qaida sympathies were missed during the French vetting process or manifested themselves later.
Four European intelligence agents from a variety of countries with a range of knowledge of the situation were able to confirm or partially confirm the French agent's existence. All declined to speak for attribution because of the sensitive nature of the information and because they feared being charged criminally in their home countries for revealing classified information. One called the existence of the French officer ''absolutely top secret.''
''I'm rather appalled I'm even having this conversation,'' he said.
''We don't know if he was sleeper [agent] or radicalized after he joined the service,'' said another European intelligence official familiar with the man's background. ''I assume my French colleagues are working hard to determine that and if they have figured it out, they certainly aren't sharing how they ended up in this mess, which as you could expect they find rather embarrassing.''
Two European intelligence sources provided the man's name but asked that it not be published '' one cited possible violence in France against the man's family. Both independently provided the same name.
When reached for comment on the situation, a U.S. intelligence official refused to provide any information.
Three attempts to discuss the matter with French intelligence services were rebuffed. ''There is no way I am going to discuss this matter'' was one response.
An intelligence official from a third country, who said that his familiarity with the situation stemmed only from casual conversation and not from an official briefing, said the situation represents an ''epic nightmare that we have so far been spared.''
''We've seen Arab partners lose well trained people to these groups, and in a handful of cases those defectors have benefited from our training through partnership programs,'' he said. ''It's the cost of doing business when you aid some of our regional allies.''
But the French officer's defection, he said, is the first he'd heard of by ''someone with legitimate security clearance and Western-style vetting and training.''
''As embarrassed as the French must be right now, it should be pointed out that the French services are highly regarded within the intelligence community as consummate and loyal professionals,'' he said. ''This failure, and I do believe this happened, must be seen in the context as an outlier and not anything systematic about the French services.''
One European official directly familiar with the case said the partial confusion over the man's resume '' which has been alternately described as French Special Forces, military intelligence or DGSE '' probably stems from the overlapping ''seconding'' process where specialists move between branches of the government on a fairly regular basis.
''It sounds likely he started as French military and maybe because of an Arabic family background and appearance, language skills and a high degree of competency, he would then be loaned out to different aspects of the French services,'' the European official said. ''Everyone does that all the time,'' he said, citing as an example a member of the U.S. military's Special Operations Command being assigned to the CIA.
For their part, Syrian rebels, who are already furious at the United States for not notifying them in advance about the strikes and for not including Assad government facilities among the targets, expressed puzzlement at why the U.S. government hadn't approached them about trying to seize the man.
But a European intelligence official said the decision to try to strike the defector with a missile rather than capture him was in part to keep the French agent's existence a secret. ''Perhaps some problems are best buried forever under a pile of rubble,'' he said.
Roy Gutman contributed to this story from Istanbul.
Prothero is a McClatchy special correspondent. Email: mprothero@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @mitchprothero
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SITE-Report: Islamic State Claims 'Radioactive Device' Now in Europe | Washington Free Beacon
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:40
Smoke billows behind an Islamic State group sign / AP
BY:Adam KredoDecember 8, 2014 4:35 pm
An alleged weapons maker for the Islamic State (IS) claimed that a ''radioactive device'' has been smuggled into an undisclosed location in Europe, according to an intelligence brief released Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group.
''A Radioactive Device has entered somewhere in Europe,'' according Twitter user Muslim-Al-Britani, who claims to be a freelance jihadist weapons maker now working alongside IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS), according to tweets captured and disseminated by SITE.
The claim by Al-Britani comes just days after reports emerged that IS could have in its possession a dirty bomb, the elements of which were obtained via earlier IS raids on a university research facility in Mosul that contained uranium. Al-Britani is also responsible for the flurry of reports on the dirty bomb.
Al-Britani, who has disseminated on his Twitter feed ''weapon instructions and manuals,'' claimed on Nov. 23 that the ''Islamic State does have a dirty bomb. We found some radioactive material from Mosul university,'' according to the tweets reproduced by SITE.
While it is difficult to assess the veracity of Al-Britani's claims, U.S. officials have expressed concern about IS potentially smuggling nuclear and radioactive material out of Iraq.
U.S. and Iraqi officials inked a pact in September meant to step up efforts to combat this type of smuggling, which the United States deemed a ''critical'' threat.
''There's always a concern about radiological or radioactive sources,'' a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon at the time.
While the United States, at that time, was ''not aware of any cases of these types of material being smuggled out of the country thus far,'' ISIL could potentially use these radioactive materials to create a crude bomb, the official said.
''This is the kind of thing where if ISIL got its hands on enough radioactive sources or radioactive sources of a sufficient radioactivity level and they decided to turn it into a bomb and blow it up in a market, that would be a very unpleasant thing,'' the official said.
Iraq reportedly informed the United Nations in July that terrorists had seized nuclear materials being housed at Mosul University. Some 90 pounds of uranium were said to have been stolen, according to reports.
Former Pentagon adviser Michael Rubin said that intelligence officials should be considering the information disseminated by purported IS confidants.
''Too often, counterterrorism officials plan to prevent replication of the last terror attack,'' Rubin said. ''Terror groups, however, plan to shock with something new.''
''Maybe Britani is lying, and maybe he's not. But Western officials would be foolish to assume that just because something hasn't happened yet, it won't,'' Rubin said. ''The terrorist groups have the motivation and, thanks to post-withdrawal vacuum created in Iraq, the means to strike the West like never before.''
The threats also should factor into the ongoing debates about border control, according to Rubin.
''Perhaps it's also time to recognize that open borders and successful counter-terrorism are mutually exclusive,'' he said. ''It's a lesson that might fly in the face of Obama's ideology, but reality will always trump political spin.''
Bio | Ming Holden
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 20:04
Ovoo, Ulaanbaaar, Mongolia
A creative writer, artist, and international development worker, Ming Holden was invited by the US Embassy to Suriname to a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program for 2014 Women's History Month. (Here is the press release.) In 2011, she founded the Survival Girls, a theater group for young Congolese women in the slums of Nairobi. Her book about the experience, the nonfiction novella The Survival Girls, came out in 2013 through Wolfram Productions. Ming also won the USAID worldwide essay contest for inclusion in the USAID Frontiers in Developmentpublication alongside work by Bill Gates, Indra Noori, Paul Collier, and others. Her essay about the Survival Girls got some love from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself in the book's introduction! (Ming's writing about the Girls was also nominated for the AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction.)
Ming won Glimmer Train's 2013 Family Matters story contest and The Chattahoochee Review's 2013 nonfiction contest, and her nonfiction has placed as a finalist or runner-up for the annual nonfiction prizes at Arts & Letters, Passages North, and the Crab Orchard Review. While an undergraduate at Brown University ('07), Ming co-founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brown Literary Review. Ming served the Mongolian Writers Union as its first-ever International Relations Adviser during her year as a Henry Luce Scholar in Mongolia and worked towards the formation of a Mongolia PEN Center. She has since returned to Mongolia to work for The Asia Foundation on a literary translation and advocated for an exiled Chinese writer in Turkey at the Writers and Literary Translators International Congress 2010, where she was the youngest presenter and one of the only Americans.
She is also the recipient of the Herman Wells Graduate Fellowship, Indiana University's most prestigious student award, designated for ''leadership abilities, character, social consciousness, and generosity of spirit,'' and the Woon-Joon Yoon Memorial Fellowship, for ''students who have exemplified tolerance and understanding across racial and religious lines through service, personal commitment, academic achievement and future potential.'' (Here's thepress release for the Wells.)
Before relocating to the Midwest, She has worked in Russia (at the Silver Taiga Sustainable Forestry Foundation); Syria (with Every Syrian); Turkey (independently); Ecuador (at the CEMOPLAF family planning clinic); Bolivia (at the Rio Beni Health Project); Mongolia (at The Asia Foundation); Kenya (at the UNHCR); Suriname (through the American Embassy); and also in New York (at Archipelago Books) and California (at People Helping People).
Ming's poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, photography, and literary translations have appeared in Alchemy, Arts & Letters, Cerise Press, The Best American Poetry Blog, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Huffington Post, Molotov Cocktail, Passages North, Peaches and Bats, The Poker, the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, the Santa Barbara Independent, Slice Magazine's blog, and others. She taught a cross-genre workshop at the Richard Hugo House. She stars at Janey in the Plaza Playhouse production of Calamity Jane in Carpinteria, and over the summer played the role of Reika in Dijo Production's Ghetto.
A Recipient of the University of California's Special Regents Fellowship, Ming is currently pursuing a PhD in the Theater and Dance Department. She was a part of the pilot Graduate Affiliate Fellow program at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and this year she is the teaching assistant and research assistant for the Odyssey Project, which brings incarcerated young men to the UCSB campus for a theater workshop.
A list of Ming's publications is here. A list of her honors and awards is here.
She's got profiles in all the usual places: LinkedIn, Picasa, Youtube, & Facebook.
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ISIS release images of execution after man found guilty of sodomy | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:42
An Islamic court ruled that he should be flung from the highest buildingThey posted the graphic images on a jihadist websiteIt is unknown whether the man died instantly from his injuriesThis is the third execution for homosexuality in less than a monthWARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT By Henry Austin For Mailonline
Published: 08:01 EST, 10 December 2014 | Updated: 11:15 EST, 10 December 2014
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Chilling new images released by ISIS militants show a group of fighters throwing a man off the roof of a building for being gay.
Moments before he is flung to his death, a mob of at least eight men can be seen atop of the building that is believed to be somewhere in northern Iraq.
Posted on a jihadist website the group go on to show the graphic images of the man's body before seeking to justify the brutal execution.
After dragging the man to the top of a building the mob threw him to his death after he was found guilty by an Islamic court of being gay
Heavily armed, balaclava clad Islamic State fighters read the judgement which said the man who was found guilty of being gay, should be thrown off the highest point in the city, which is believed to be somewhere in northern Iraq
It is not known whether the man died instantly after being thrown from the roof. The Islamic court ruled that he should also be stoned to death
'The Islamic court in Wilayet al-Furat decided that a man who has practised sodomy must be thrown off the highest point in the city,' they said in a statement accompanying the images, adding that he would also be 'stoned to death.'
Wilayet al-Furat refers to an area stretching across the Syrian-Iraqi frontier, where the Euphrates river flows from Syria into Iraq.
It is not known whether the man died instantly after being thrown off the roof.
It is the third time in less than a month that the jihadist group has used the brutal execution method for alleged homosexuality.
After claiming they found videos on his mobile phone showing him 'practicing indecent acts with males,' a 20-year old man was stoned to death in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor in late November, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The London based activist group also claimed that an 18-year-old man was subjected to the same punishment in a separate incident.
Public executions are popular with the group who rule parts of northern Iraq and Syria with an iron fist, meting out harsh punishments for actions they see as violating their interpretation of Islamic law, such as adultery, stealing and blasphemy.
They have also killed a smaller number of foreign captives.
With children watching in the crowd, the group beheaded a man in northern Syria after accusing him of 'offending Allah' yesterday, reported the Observatory, which tracks the conflict using its own sources on the ground.
A statement posted on a jihadist website said the man admitted to blasphemy before being killed in the countryside of Raqqa province, which the hard line group controls.
AL QAEDA COMMANDER IN YEMEN CRITICISES ISIS BEHEADINGSAl Qaeda in Yemen commander Nasr bin Ali al-Ansi
A senior commander of Al Qaeda in Yemen has blasted his ISIS rivals for carrying out beheadings calling them 'very barbaric' and 'unacceptable' in the name of Jihad.
Although his group is suspected a number of executions, including the beheading of 15 Yemeni soldiers in August, Nasr bin Ali al-Ansi claimed that the executions were were 'individual acts' and not endorsed by the leadership.
'Filming and promoting it among people in the name of Islam and Jihad is a big mistake and not acceptable whatever the justifications are,' al-Ansi said in a video response to questions by reporters posted on one of the group's Twitter accounts.
'This is very barbaric,' he added in the video which appeared to have recorded the interview before British born hostage Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie were killed by militants during a rescue attempt by US special forces.
The Yemeni branch of the terror group is, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is seen by the US as the group's most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate globally.
The group has criticized ISIS before for trying to expand its territory.
Al-Ansi went on to say that the drone strikes stoke popular outrage that boosts al Qaeda's popularity.
'While they kill some of the jihadis, the U.S. drone strikes increase the sympathy of Muslims with us,' he said, adding, 'thanks to the blood of the martyrs, the call for jihad spreads.'
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CSPAN- Kerry seeing AUMF, calling ISIS now DASH (DAESH)
Lawfare 'º The Obama Administration Wants a Super-Broad AUMF For the Islamic State (and Other Reactions to Yesterday's AUMF Hearing)
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:47
Secretary of State Kerry testified yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on the need for a new AUMF for the Islamic State (which Kerry referred to by the new moniker ''Daesh,'' and I will for now call ''IS''). It was a revealing few hours. The Senators were well-informed and asked good questions with an unusual bipartisan flavor. Kerry was well-informed too and did his best to answer their questions. The big news is that Kerry laid the administration's cards on the table about what it wants in an AUMF for IS. It wants quite a lot.
Some reactions:
Obama's Past Pledges. President Obama has long said he wants to work with Congress to update presidential authorities to comport with the modern Islamic terrorist threat. Most recently, on November 5, the President stated: ''I'm going to begin engaging Congress over a new Authorization to Use Military Force against ISIL.'' Yesterday's hearing made plain that this pledge, like past similar pledges, was hollow. Senators from both sides of the aisle complained about the lack of Executive branch engagement, the absence of a concrete presidential proposal, and Congress's general inability to get information from the Executive branch related to a new AUMF.
Kerry's Outline of Administration Preferences. While Kerry resisted the notion that the administration should send Congress a concrete AUMF proposal, he did state the four main elements of what the administration prefers in an IS AUMF: (i) authority to use force against IS andassociated forces; (ii) no geographical limitation; (iii) no ground troop limitation; and (4) a three-year time-limit on the authorization, with an exception for an ''extension in the event that circumstances require it.'' Kerry was very vague on point (iv) but it sounds like he wants to maintain the Executive branch's ability to extend the conflict beyond three years based on the President's (as opposed to Congress's) determination about the continuing threat posed by IS. That does not sound like much of a time limit, and certainly not one that requires new congressional authorization after three years.
The Extraordinary Breadth of the Administration's Desired AUMF. What the administration appears to be seeking is an open-ended IS AUMF akin to the one that Congress gave the President for al Qaeda and affiliates in the 2001 AUMF. In addition to the features noted above, the administration would like an ''associated forces'' extender but (apparently) not a reporting requirementabout covered groups or places. This would replicate the problem under the 2001 AUMF of Congress (and the American people) not necessarily knowing who we are fighting against, or where. It is also worth noting that Kerry envisions the proposed IS AUMF to extend very broadly geographically. When Senator Udall asked how Kerry's outlined AUMF would ''treat groups who have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State, including, as of December 2014, groups in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia?,'' Kerry responded: ''They should be associated forces. They fit under that category.'' All of these factors, taken together, amount to a desire for an extraordinarily broad IS AUMF. Pretty amazing coming from an administration whose Chief Executive said in his NDU speech 18 months ago (i) ''Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may . . . continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states,'' (ii) that he ''look[ed] forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the [2001] AUMF's mandate,'' and (iii) that he ''will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further.'' I view of Kerry's testimony as the final repudiation of this element of the NDU speech, and as an acknowledgment that the ''Forever War'' is not close to over.
End-of-Forever-War Watch. Speaking of which, Kerry made clear that ''[i]t will be years, not months, before [IS] is defeated.'' When Senator Johnson asked, ''Does the president really believe that '' that ISIS, or '' or the new name, Daesh, will be defeated in three years?,'' Kerry responded, ''No, the president has said this is going to take a long time.'' That must mean more than three years.
Ground Forces. In arguing against a ground forces limitation, Kerry said that the President doesn't plan to use ground combat troops in Iraq or Syria, but that Congress should not ''preemptively bind the hands of the commander in chief or our commanders in the field in responding to scenarios and contingencies that are impossible to foresee.'' Senator Kaine responded that a congressional refusal to extend its authorization to ground troops does not preclude the President from ever using ground troops. ''The president,'' he said, ''always has the power under Article II to use any forces including ground forces to repel an imminent threat to the United States, by ISIL or by any other group or nation.'' Senator Kaine is right about this (though this President and his predecessors have interpreted Article II to do much more than authorize force in imminent self-defense.) This point is important because it means that a ground force limitation would not, as Senator Durbin hopes, stop ''this president or some future president'' from ''drag[ging] us into another deep, long lasting, blood, almost pointless conflict.'' The President can still do that under Article II if faced with a sufficient threat (and if he secures continued congressional financing). But as Senator Kaine implied, a ground forces limitation raises the stakes politically for a President that wants to use combat ground troops under Article II, and to that degree makes such action less likely. This is how a ground force limitation would have bite.
Astonishing Absence of Presidential Leadership. As I have explained before, in the modern era, AUMFs have emerged from concrete presidential proposals and related presidential explanations about why the particular AUMF is needed. I gave two reasons for this practice: ''Congress is naturally responsibility-dodging,'' and ''its de-centralized structure makes it very hard for it to get its act together, on its own initiative, to authorize force.'' Other reasons are that the Commander in Chief has a near-monopoly on intelligence and is best organized to craft strategy and tactics, at least as an initial matter. The main exceptions to the rule of presidential leadership on AUMFs '' Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1991) '' are ''not happy precedents for the presidency, for they are instances in which presidential unilateralism went badly, and Congress in response took the initiative to insist on the applicability of the War Powers Resolution and to authorize force with President-constraining conditions.'' And yet yesterday, Kerry invoked these two unfortunate precedents in arguing for congressional leadership, and presidential backseat-ism, in crafting an IS AUMF. Across the spectrum the Senators rejected this view and complained about the lack of presidential leadership and Executive branch engagement on the IS AUMF. They practically begged the administration to tell the Congress straightforwardly what authorities it wants and why it needs them. The references here are too numerous to cite; they are all over the transcript. Kerry gave no good reason why the administration is proceeding this way, especially in light of the President's past pledges to engage Congress. The President's leadership from behind on this issue continues to astonish me.
Law, Strategy, and Intelligence. A related point made by Senators in both parties was that it is impossible to craft a responsible AUMF for IS until the administration explains its strategy for defeating IS and the intelligence that underlies it. To take two of maybe a dozen examples, Senator Coons said: ''I think one of the reasons there remains real hesitation '-- real resistance to just an open-ended commitment to conduct of any kind '-- is that we haven't had a full debate or discussion about the strategy.'' And Senator Corker said: ''What I would like to understand is how we're going to go about ensuring that we have an outcome here that is worthy of the effort. . . . And I would just say that for all of us to conduct a situation where we pass an AUMF, I think it would be good to understand how the administration's going to go about it.''
It also emerged yesterday that the administration has not adequately briefed Congress on its current tactics and strategy, or even on the intelligence related to its tactics and strategy. Senator Shaheen stated:
And we were hoping to work with some members of the administration in a classified setting to hear more about what is currently underway with respect to the war against ISIL. . . . [S]hould we assume that there are members from the Department of Defense and from the intelligence communities who could also be part of working with us on that kind of a back and forth? And is that something that we could get set? Because my understanding is that one of the challenges has been a commitment from folks to actually come and answer some of the questions and the concerns that this committee has had.
Senator Corker similarly said: ''Some of the things that will be discussed, obviously, as are things like boots on the ground and yet we have no defense presentations here, we have no intelligence presentations here.'' Or as Senator Rubio said, even more tersely: ''If [the President] wants the authority to win the fight, he's got to tell us what the fight looks like.''
What About the 2001 AUMF? Kerry said a few interesting things about the 2001 AUMF. He argued that the 2001 AUMF extends to IS because (i) IS is the same group as al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which the United States fought in the 2000s, (ii) AQI was part of or an ''associated force'' of al Qaeda, and (iii) a mere name change from AQI to IS cannot destroy the 2001 AUMF authorization. The problem with this argument is that Kerry fails to note the organizational and other differences between AQI and IS, most notably the crucial fact that IS (unlike AQI) is not part of or associated with Al Qaeda. He kind of made this last point, and thus contradicted himself, when he said: ''We acknowledge that there is a gap in time and a sufficient differential in what we're fighting that the American people are owed a more precise articulation that meets the current moment.'' Kerry also said that ''we will support the inclusion of language in the new AUMF that will clarify that the Daish-specific AUMF rather than the 2001 AUMF is the basis for the use of military force. And I think that will give comfort to a lot of people.'' But it shouldn't give comfort unless Congress somehow (i) makes clear that the 2001 AUMF does not authorize force against IS, and (ii) repudiates the flexible ''associated forces'' rationale (or whatever it is) for IS being covered by the 2001, to make sure it is not applied to the IS AUMF to extend it to some distantly related group in the future.
War Powers Resolution Piffle. Kerry stated:
President Obama, who served on this committee for, you know, four years, and Senator Biden '-- then Senator Biden, now vice president '-- served in this committee for about '-- what is it? You know, 30 years, or near. Both are huge supporters of the War Powers Act, as I am. He's lived by it, even in situations where he didn't feel like he had to necessarily strictly set it up, he set it up. He always, you know, moved on the side of caution, and '-- and of '-- of compliance.
This simply isn't accurate. It is more accurate to say that the Obama administration rendered the WPR's 60-day limit ''meaningless in many important contexts when it concluded that it did not apply to the Libya action.''
Recommended Reading. In connection with a discussion of limited AUMFs of the past, Senator Kaine stated: ''I would recommend to all of my colleagues an article, Congressional Authorization and the War on Terrorism, authored by Jack Goldsmith and Curtis Bradley, May of 2005, in the Harvard Law Review.'' Thanks, Senator Kaine!
‘Daesh’: John Kerry starts calling the Islamic State a name they hate
'Daesh': John Kerry starts calling the Islamic State a name they hate - The Washington Post
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 05:01
On Wednesday, John Kerry was speaking at NATO headquarters in Belgium during a meeting of the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State extremist group. During his remarks, the secretary of state made a subtle, yet noteworthy, change to the language he was using: He began referring to the Islamic State by a name they hate.
After Kerry's first reference to the group in the speech, Kerry stopped referring to the group as ISIL (short for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and instead began referring to them as Daesh, an acronym for the group based on the Arabic original.
Kerry has rarely used the term Daesh to refer to the Islamic State. In October, he sporadically used the phrase while talking with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, though he still used ISIL in most references. On Wednesday, however, Kerry referred to the group as Daesh almost exclusively '' he used the term 16 times and only used ISIL twice.
Naming the Islamic State has proved a problem for many organizations since the Sunni Islamist extremist group gained traction in Iraq this year. At first, many referred to it as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or the acronym ISIS. However, due to differences over how the name should be translated from its Arabic original, the U.S. government and some others referred to them as ISIL.
The group later announced that it should simply be called the "Islamic State" '' a reference to the idea that the group was breaking down state borders to form a new caliphate '' and many media organizations (including The Washington Post) began to refer to them this way. That in turn led to some complications: Islamic clerics around the world expressed anger at the extremist group being used to portray all of Islam, and requested that it be called by another name (a group of British imams suggested calling it the "Un-Islamic State," arguing that it was "neither Islamic, nor is it a state").
In most Arabic nations, however, the group is generally referred to as Daesh. Historian and blogger Pieter van Ostaeyen wrote this year that that word was a transliteration of an Arabic word (داعش), an acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham (which is itself a transliteration of the group's Arabic name: اÙدÙÙØ(C) اÙØ¥Ø"ÙاميØ(C) في اÙعراق ÙاÙشام). The word can be transliterated a variety of different ways: The Washington Post uses DAIISH, but DAASH, DAIISH and DAISH are also used.
Some non-Arab countries, including France, have begun using the name, too. "I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in September. "The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.' ''
Swapping one acronym for another may not seem like too big a deal. But there's an interesting detail here: According to multiple reports, the Islamic State loathes the name. There have been reports of the Islamic State threatening to cut out the tongues of anyone who used the phrase publicly, perhaps due to the word's similarity to another Arabic word, دعØ", or Das, which means to trample down or crush. The word "Daeshi" is used as an insult by anti-Islamic State groups.
It's tempting to believe that Kerry was getting his revenge on the Islamic State, which has insulted him personally in the past year, but Kerry may just have been showing deference to his audience, many of whom were Arab leaders. On Friday, a State Department spokesperson denied reports that there was any change in policy. "In routine matters and documents, the Department refers to the terrorist organization as ISIL," the spokesperson said.
Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.
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ISIS in Arizona WTF
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:06
ISIS provides worldwide security, intelligence, technology and training to government and private enterprises. ISIS is strategically positioned across the globe, with a highly credentialed management team and personnel. We have a superlative track record for delivering exceptional service and support to the most demanding of clients in the most challenging of circumstances.
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ISTANBUL: Suspected Israeli war jets strike near Damascus airport | Israel | McClatchy DC
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:43
ISTANBUL '-- Suspected Israeli aircraft bombed a military complex on the outskirts of Damascus' international airport Sunday in what Syrian state television said was an attack on warehouses housing an advance Russian-made anti-aircraft system.
The attack would be consistent with repeated Israeli pledges that it would not allow Syria to deploy the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system and raised the question of whether Russia had sent new components of the system to Syria, perhaps in violation of an August pledge not to complete delivery under terms of a United Nations arms embargo.
The Israeli military offered no comment on the report.
The government-operated Syrian Arab News Agency blamed Israel directly for the strikes and said they targeted ''two safe areas in the Damascus countryside in al Dimas and near Damascus International Airport.''
Video accompanying the government television report showed jet aircraft dropping anti-aircraft flares as they zoomed through the sky '' supposedly the raiding planes '' followed by explosions in the distance. The video was similar to postings on Twitter and other social media by users claiming to have witnessed the attack. All the video indicated the air strikes came during daylight hours.
The Russian sale of the S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria has long been controversial. Israel first objected to the sale when it was agreed to in 2007, fearing that the system, with a range of nearly 50 miles, would allow the Syrians to down Israeli aircraft while still in Israeli airspace. Considered one of the most sophisticated anti-aircraft defense systems in the world, it is said to be able to track as many as 100 targets simultaneously.
An agreement to sell the system to Iran collapsed under international pressure in 2010.
Russia and Syria have both acknowledged that some S-300 components have been delivered. But Russia said in August that it would suspend delivery of the complete system due to the arms sale embargo the U.N. has placed on Syria. While Russia has used its veto in the U.N. Security Council to block a complete blockade on arms sales to Syria, it acknowledged that other sanctions covered the S-300, which would represent a massive upgrade in Syria's air defense capabilities.
An Aug 11, 2014, report by Russia's Interfax-AVN military news agency said the decision to cancel further deliveries of the S-300 system had been made by Russia's ''political leadership.'' It quoted Konstantin Buryulin, the deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, as saying that already delivered components ''will be disposed of'' if an ''appropriate application'' is not found. IHS Janes Defence Weekly first reported the statement on Aug 14, 2014.
It's unclear if the delivered components have any significant military value or could be used for purposes other than the S-300. It's also unknown if the components might be of use to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite Muslim political movement that has waged war against Israel for decades.
Israel has warned that it would strike Syrian targets if it saw any effort to transfer war technology to Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to help defend the government of President Bashar Assad against rebels seeking to topple him from power.
On at least three occasions in the last two years, suspected Israeli jets struck targets either in Damascus or along the Lebanese border '' one strike occurred in Lebanese territory '' to stop what reportedly were transfers of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. Israel has not officially acknowledged responsibility for the attacks.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a brutal month long war in 2006 and while the border has essentially been quiet sense, Hezbollah officials frequently refer to having increased their military capability and technology and claim to have new weapons systems that can hit any part of Israel from Lebanon.
Prothero is a McClatchy special correspondent. Email: mprothero@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @mitchprothero
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Furgeson
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Obama's Push For That National Police Force | GOP The Daily Dose
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:29
By David Risselada
Being educated in social work and community organizing, I have long suspected that Obama's deception runs much deeper than many may realize. I have argued in other articles that blacks in America are deliberately being impoverished so they can easily be called upon to protest against the system; after all, that is the job of the community organizer, to stir up hate and discontent. This isn't really a far fetched idea seeing as though some of the most impoverished cities in the country have been governed by Democrats for decades. I wrote in my article ''Critical Projection Theory,'' that the real reason Democrats push the race card so much is to hide their true history as the real oppressor of minorities in America. Watching events unfold as they have, I have to say I am more convinced of this than ever before. Are we witnessing the Hegelian Dialectic at play here?
This week in New York, another white police officer was not indicted for the death of another black man, and protests have been called. This is the case where the police officer in question choked Eric Gardner to death on the sidewalk July 17th of this year. To be honest with you, after watching the video I find myself wondering why he wasn't indicted. In my opinion this looks like a clear cut case of police brutality. Is it possible that the same communist agitators that flamed the Ferguson riots have manipulated events concerning the jury's decision not to indict, in order to encourage more resentment? While it may seem like a far fetched idea, it is in fact, the way ''psychopolitical operatives'' (communists) operate. This could very well be an expert application of the Hegelian Dialectic at work;create the problem, cause a crisis and then offer the solution. In this case the solution Obama wants may be a nationalized police force.
It isn't hard to come to this conclusion when you remember what Obama said about a civilian security force that is better funded and more ''well trained'' than the military. Alleged racism in the police precincts across the country gives Obama and his communist cohorts the perfect excuse. We even have the U.N. expressing concerns about racially charged police brutality in America. The facts about white police killing blacks, as Janna B. reported, matter little because their is an agenda, and that agenda is disarming America and creating a national gestapo.
Public Law 87-297, State Department Publication NO. 7277, which is called The Arms Control And Disarmament act, calls for the complete and total disarmament of America. In fact, the first target of this plan is the United States military. If you haven't noticed, our military has been decimated over the past couple of years. The plan then calls for disarming the public. Is it possible that disarming the police forces is also on the agenda? There would have to be a level of ''psychological disarmament'' before police forces across the countries would accept being under federal control; however, once this was accomplished they would certainly lack any ability to push back against the enveloping arms of the federal leviathan.
President Obama knows he can not push his will on the American people much longer, and he needs massive manpower to quell the civil unrest he knows is coming. As it stands now, he knows he can not count on local law enforcement because too many county sheriffs know their responsibilities, and are willing to stand up to the federal government. A nationalized police force could very well do away with the county sheriff and consolidate all policing powers under the federal government.
While much of this seems like crazy speculation, you have to remember that a great deal of what Obama accomplished was at one point, considered to be the same. The man keeps pushing for more and more and honestly, the less the cowardly Republicans do to stop him, the more he will push. I realize that sometimes many people will think I'm reaching far out there to come to conclusions that may never come to pass. The truth is, I hope they are right; however, when I see the racial divide Obama has created, and videos that appear to represent his own personal army in training, I get a little concerned. Keep your eyes open America, the next two years promise to be the most trying.
See more at www.ForTruthsSake.com
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The Department of Social Justice | National Review Online
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 03:56
Driscoll, the former Civil Rights Division chief of staff, says the Justice Department may have rushed to announce its investigation. ''It's not unprecedented to open [an investigation] that quickly, but that's certainly unusual,'' he says. ''Politics factor into that decision, and then, certainly, you have community unrest, and you have people that don't have a great relationship with the PD.''
Unlike other parts of the Justice Department that operate behind a cloak of secrecy, the DOJ spokeswoman says, the Civil Rights Division often acknowledges or announces investigations into individuals or police departments. But the spokeswoman did not say how the department decided an investigation was necessary. While the Community Relations Service town-hall meetings with Ferguson residents have concluded, DOJ officials remain in the city. Before, during, and after a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, the officials met with protesters and other key stakeholders such as Mayor Knowles about how to keep the peace.
But Knowles says he thinks the public statements of Attorney General Eric Holder have built an expectation that the Justice Department will deliver the retributive justice that protesters in Ferguson seek. The Civil Rights Division's pattern of behavior elsewhere indicates that Ferguson is not the only community receiving special attention from the Justice Department. During the past five fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division has opened more than 20 ''pattern or practice'' investigations into police departments throughout the country '-- such as the one involving the Ferguson Police Department '-- which is more than twice as many as were opened in the previous five years, according to a statement from Holder on Thursday. These investigations are conducted to determine whether local law-enforcement officers have engaged in a pattern or practice that deprives people of rights protected by U.S. law or the Constitution.
While a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson in November, the Department of Justice seems to be hunkering down for the long haul. Holder pledged in a Post-Dispatchop-ed published earlier this summer that, ''long after the events of Aug. 9 [Brown's death] have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community.'' He did not say what it would take for DOJ to walk away from Ferguson, and that remains to be seen.
The force behind the Justice Department's lasting presence in Ferguson may be Vanita Gupta, who was selected to lead the Civil Rights Division in October after heading up the American Civil Liberties Union's efforts on Ferguson. Before beginning her new job, Gupta advocated for the Justice Department to take a more proactive role in its independent federal investigations and called for racial-bias training for forces that receive federal grants. A week ago, Holder announced his intention to ''institute rigorous new standards '-- and robust safeguards '-- to help end racial profiling once and for all,'' which were specifically directed at police. He said the Justice Department is preparing to implement these changes in the coming days. After announcing the changes, Holder went on to say, ''In recent weeks, there have arisen great sparks of humanity, and hope, that illuminate the way forward.'' Perhaps it's time the Justice Department stopped igniting fires and started putting them out.
'-- Ryan Lovelace is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.
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What's Really Going on with Holder's Civil-Rights Crusade against Police Departments | National Review Online
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:48
Civil-rights investigations in Ferguson and Staten Island? No, what denizens of St. Louis and New York City ought to be worried about right now is . . . the crime wave overtaking Seattle.
If you don't understand why, then you probably thought Obamacare was about covering the uninsured. Like its health-care ''reform'' campaign, the Obama Left's civil-rights crusade is about control '-- central control of state law enforcement by Washington.
The deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York are each tragic in their own way. But in neither is there a federal civil-rights case to be had. To think otherwise, you have to be getting your advice from Al Sharpton '-- the huckster confidant of President Obama and Attorney General Holder.
The law of civil rights requires the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, usually driven by racial prejudice, willfully acted '-- violently in these cases '-- with the evil purpose to deprive a person of specific federal rights. Let's put aside the utter absence of proof that race had any bearing on what happened in Staten Island, for example, where police supervised by an African-American officer came to the scene because of complaints about Garner by local business owners. It is virtually impossible to prove a civil-rights violation when there is no denying that police were engaged in a good-faith arrest and were put in the position of using force because a suspect resisted.
In Ferguson, Michael Brown did not merely resist arrest. Having just robbed a store, he was the aggressor in a confrontation with a police officer, who was made to fear for his life. And in Staten Island, there may be a real question about whether one police officer used excessive force under the circumstances; but there is no question that some quantum of force was appropriate in arresting a physically imposing suspect who insisted he would not be taken into custody and waved his arms to prevent the cops from cuffing him.
Federal civil-rights cases are much harder to make than state homicide cases. They are supposed to be. They were conceived as a rare federal intrusion on the sovereign police power a state exercises within its territory. When police are engaged in an arrest because a crime really has been committed, and they use force because the suspect really does resist, the claim that they were actually scheming to deprive the suspect of his civil rights is asinine. The time to worry about the deprivation of civil rights, as Messrs. Williamson, Cooke, and Goldberg point out, is when progressives enact overbearing laws that criminalize things like untaxed cigarette sales, not when police dutifully carry them out.
Eric Holder knows this as well as anyone. The bloviating he is doing today about Ferguson and Staten Island is of a piece with the bloviating he was doing two years ago about Sanford, Fla. As I observed of the Trayvon Martin killing at the time, the attorney general huffed and puffed about bringing a civil-rights case against ''white Hispanic'' George Zimmerman, but he was never actually going to file one. It would have been even more embarrassing than the trumped-up murder case he and Sharpton browbeat Florida into charging '-- the one the jury threw out in nothing flat.
Holder and his constitutional-scholar boss are not banging the civil-rights drum because they believe these are prosecutable cases. It is just a pretext for unleashing Justice Department community organizers on state and municipal police departments.
The government cannot win a standalone loser of a civil-rights prosecution by crying, ''Disparate impact!'' Individual cases that have been demagogued by the racial-grievance industry become high profile. Once public attention is riveted, the legal and logical flaws become obvious. When people start looking long and hard, the ''institutionalized racism'' canard is exposed. For guys like Sharpton, that's bad for business.
But the Justice Department civil-rights investigations Holder is fond of announcing are not like public trials. They occur out of the public eye, where feverish Justice Department claims are not aired and scrutinized. More significant, they happen with the air of extortion created by the nearly $28 billion in funding Congress keeps giving Justice every year, no matter how many congressional investigations it obstructs, how many false statements its officials make, and how much it politicizes law enforcement. The investigations are taxpayer-funded jihads that states, cities, and towns know they lack the resources to fight off.
Here is how the game works. Holder streams in behind a tragedy that Sharpton and Obama have demagogued. He announces a civil-rights investigation. Eventually, he backs down from the threat of an indictment in the individual case, never conceding that the supporting evidence was not there, usually citing some strawman injustice that has nothing to do with the matter at hand '-- in Florida, for example, it was ''stand your ground'' gun laws that purportedly needed reforming. But, the attorney general is pleased to add, the original civil-rights probe of the non-crime has metastasized into a thoroughgoing civil-rights probe of the state or local police department's training, practices, and . . . drumroll . . . institutional racism.
You never get to see what that investigation turns up. States and their subdivisions know they cannot afford to go toe-to-toe with the Beltway behemoth. Big cities, moreover, are governed by Democrats sympathetic to the Obama/Holder race obsessions '-- they're happy to have the feds come in and hamstring police with ''social justice'' guidelines that would be a hard sell politically. So the Justice Department makes the locals an offer they can't refuse: A consent decree that makes the Treaty of Versailles look like a slap on the wrist. This device is the license by which the Obama administration is remaking state law enforcement in its own image.
How do they get away with this? Well, Obamacare may be the most notorious ''reform'' progressives have foisted on an unsuspecting nation in modern times, but it's not the only one. In 1994 '-- the last time before 2009 that Democrats controlled the White House and both congressional chambers '-- they rammed through a monstrosity known as the ''Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.'' A Clinton deputy attorney general named Eric Holder was among the first to exploit it.
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:53
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355, Pub.L. 103''322(sometimes called the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, as part of the Act dealt with that subject), is an act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement that became law in 1994. It is the largest crime bill in the history of the United States, consisting of 356 pages providing for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons and $6.1 billion in funding for prevention programs which were designed with significant input from experienced police officers.[1] Sponsored by U.S. Representative Jack Brooks of Texas, the bill was originally written by Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
Following the 101 California Street shootings, the 1993 Waco Siege, and other high-profile instances of violent crime, the Act expanded federal law in several ways. One of the most noted sections was the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Other parts of the Act provided for a greatly expanded federal death penalty, new classes of individuals banned from possessing firearms, and a variety of new crimes defined in statutes relating to immigration law, hate crimes, sex crimes, and gang-related crime. The bill also required states to establish registries for sexual offenders by September 1997.
Federal Assault Weapons Ban[edit]Title XI-Firearms, Subtitle A-Assault Weapons, formally known as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, but commonly known as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban or the Semi-automatic Firearms Ban, barred the manufacture of 19 specific semi-automatic firearms, classified as "assault weapons", as well as any semi-automatic rifle, pistol, or shotgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine, and which has two or more features considered characteristic of such weapons. The list of such features included telescoping or folding stocks, pistol grips, flash suppressors, grenade launchers, and bayonet lugs.[2]
This law also banned possession of newly manufactured magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition.
The ban took effect September 13, 1994, and expired on September 13, 2004, due to a sunset provision. Since the expiration date, it is again legal to own or possess the subject firearms as well as magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition. The National Rifle Association and other organizations argued that the ban was unconstitutional and that it violated the Second Amendment.
Federal Death Penalty Act[edit]Title VI, the Federal Death Penalty Act, created 60 new death penalty offenses under 41 Federal capital statutes,[3] for crimes related to acts of terrorism, murder of a federal law enforcement officer, drug trafficking, civil rights-related murders, drive-by shootings resulting in death, the use of weapons of mass destruction resulting in death, and carjackings resulting in death.
The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing occurred a few months after this law came into effect, and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was passed in response, further increasing the federal death penalty. In 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed for the murder of eight federal law enforcement agents under this title.
Elimination of inmate education[edit]One of the more controversial provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act overturned a section of the Higher Education Act of 1965 permitting prison inmates to receive a Pell Grant for postsecondary education while incarcerated. The amendment is as follows:
''(a) IN GENERAL- Section 401(b)(8) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a(b)(8)) is amended to read as follows:(8) No basic grant shall be awarded under this subpart to any individual who is incarcerated in any Federal or State penal institution.'.[4]
''Because of this, the VCCLEA effectively eliminated the ability of lower income prison inmates to receive college educations during their term of imprisonment, thus ensuring the education level of most inmates remains unimproved over the period of their incarceration.[5]
Violence Against Women Act[edit]Title IV, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), allocated $1.6 billion to help prevent and investigate violence against women. VAWA was renewed in 2000 and in 2005. This includes:
Part of VAWA was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in United States v. Morrison (2000).
Driver's Privacy Protection Act[edit]Title XXX, the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, governs the privacy and disclosure of personal information gathered by stateDepartments of Motor Vehicles. The law was passed in 1994; it was introduced by Rep. Jim Moran in 1992, after an increase in opponents of abortion rights using public driving license databases to track down and harass abortion providers and patients, most notably besieging Susan Wicklund's home for a month and following her daughter to school.[6]
Other provisions[edit]Another provision of the Act authorized the hiring of 100,000 more police officers, initiate "boot camps" for delinquent minors, and allocated a substantial amount of money to build new prisons.
Fifty new federal offenses were added, including provisions making membership in gangs a crime. Some argued[citation needed] that these provisions violated the guarantee of freedom of association in the Bill of Rights. The Act also generally prohibits individuals who have been convicted of a felony involving breach of trust from working in the business of insurance, unless they have received written consent from state regulators.
The Act also made drug testing mandatory for those serving on federal supervised release.
The increase in incarceration led to prison overcrowding. The legal system relied on plea bargains to minimize the increased case load.[7]Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton later regretted the measure.[8][9]
References[edit]^"Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994". National criminal justice reference service. ^Spitzer, Robert J. (2012). "Assault Weapons". In Carter, Gregg Lee. Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law (2nd ed.). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 53. ISBN 0313386706. ^"The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994". Office of the United States Attorneys. Department of Justice. Retrieved 17 May 2013. ^"H. R. 1168". Bulk.Resource.Org. ^"Education as Crime Prevention: The Case for Reinstating Pell Grant Eligibility for the Incarcerated". Bard Prison Initiative. Archived from the original on November 27, 2007. ^Miller, Michael W. (August 25, 1992). "Information Age: Debate Mounts Over Disclosure Of Driver Data". Wall Street Journal. ^Rohrlich, Justin (November 10, 2014). "Why Are There Up to 120,000 Innocent People in US Prisons?". VICE news. Retrieved 10 November 2014. ^Vara, Vauhini (November 7, 2014). "Will California Again Lead the Way on Prison Reform?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 10 November 2014. ^Hunt, Kasie (10/08/14). "Bill Clinton: Prison sentences to take center stage in 2016". MSNBC. Retrieved 10 November 2014. External links[edit]
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act-FACT SHEET
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:53
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. U.S. Department of Justice Fact Sheet The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 represents the bipartisan product of six years of hard work. It is the largest crime bill in the history of the country and will provide for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons and $6.1 billion in funding for prevention programs which were designed with significant input from experienced police officers. The Act also significantly expands the government's ability to deal with problems caused by criminal aliens. The Crime Bill provides $2.6 billion in additional funding for the FBI, DEA, INS, United States Attorneys, and other Justice Department components, as well as the Federal courts and the Treasury Department. Some of the most significant provisions of the bill are summarized below: Substantive Criminal Provisions Assault Weapons Bans the manufacture of 19 military-style assault weapons, assault weapons with specific combat features, "copy-cat" models, and certain high-capacity ammunition magazines of more than ten rounds. Death Penalty Expands the Federal death penalty to cover about 60 offenses, including terrorist homicides, murder of a Federal law enforcement officer, large-scale drug trafficking, drive-by-shootings resulting in death and carjackings resulting in death. Domestic Abusers and Firearms Prohibits firearms sales to and possession by persons subject to family violence restraining orders. Firearms Licensing Strengthens Federal licensing standards for firearms dealers. Fraud Creates new insurance and telemarketing fraud categories. Expands Federal jurisdiction to cases that do not involve the use of delivery services to commit a fraud. Provides special sentencing enhancements for fraud crimes committed against the elderly. Gang Crimes Provides new and stiffer penalties for violent and drug trafficking crimes committed by gang members. Immigration Provides for enhanced penalties for alien smuggling, illegal reentry after deportation and other immigration-related crimes. (See Part II). Juveniles Authorizes adult prosecution of those 13 and older charged with certain serious violent crimes. Prohibits the sale or transfer of a firearm to or possession of certain firearms by juveniles. Triples the maximum penalties for using children to distribute drugs in or near a protected zone, i.e., schools, playgrounds, video arcades and youth centers. Registration of Sexually Violent Offenders Requires states to enact statutes or regulations which require those determined to be sexually violent predators or who are convicted of sexually violent offenses to register with appropriate state law enforcement agencies for ten years after release from prison. Requires state prison officials to notify appropriate agencies of the release of such individuals. Requires states to criminally punish those who fail to register. States which fail to establish registration systems may have Federal grant money reduced. Repeat Sex Offenders Doubles the maximum term of imprisonment for repeat sex offenders convicted of Federal sex crimes. Three Strikes Mandatory life imprisonment without possibility of parole for Federal offenders with three or more convictions for serious violent felonies or drug trafficking crimes. Victims of Crime Allows victims of Federal violent and sex crimes to speak at the sentencing of their assailants. Strengthens requirements for sex offenders and child molesters to pay restitution to their victims. Improves the Federal Crime Victims' Fund and the victim-related programs it supports. Other Creates new crimes or enhances penalties for: drive-by-shootings, use of semi-automatic weapons, sex offenses, crimes against the elderly, interstate firearms trafficking, firearms theft and smuggling, arson, hate crimes and interstate domestic violence. Immigration Initiatives The Crime Bill contains specialized enforcement provisions respecting immigration and criminal aliens. Those programs are highlighted here: $1.2 billion for border control, criminal alien depor.tations, asylum reform and a criminal alien tracking center. $1.8 billion to reimburse states for incarceration of illegal criminal aliens. (See State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Grants in Section III). Enhanced penalties for failure to depart the United States after a deportation order or reentry after deportation. Expedited deportation for aliens who are not lawful permanent residents and who are convicted of aggravated felonies. Statutory authority for abused spouses and spouses with abused children to petition for permanent residency or suspension of deportation. Grant Programs For 1995 Most of these programs are authorized for six years beginning October 1, 1994. Some are formula grants, awarded to states or localities based on population, crime rate or some other combination of factors. Many are competitive grants. All grants will require an application process and are administered by the Department of Justice unless otherwise noted. As always, all funds for the years 1996-2000 are subject to appropriation by the Congress. Brady Implementation Competitive grant program for states to upgrade criminal history records keeping so as to permit compliance with the Brady Act. $ 1 00 million appropriated in 1995. In addition, the Brady Act authorizes $1 00 million for FY 1996. $50 million of this amount is authorized to be expended from the Violent Crime Control Act Trust Fund. Byrne Grants Formula grant program for states for use in more than 20 law enforcement purposes, including state and local drug task force efforts. $450 million appropriated for the formula grant program in 1995. $550 million authorized in 1996-2000 for both formula and discretionary. Community Policing Competitive grant program (COPS Program) to put 100,000 police officers on the streets in community policing programs. $1.3 billion available in 1995. $7.5 billion authorized in 1996-2000. Community Schools Formula grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services for supervised afterschool, weekend, and summer programs for at-risk youth. $25.9 million available in 1995. $567 million authorized in 1995-2000. Correctional Facilities/Boot Camps Formula and competitive grant program for state corrections agencies to build and operate correctional facilities, including boot camps and other alternatives to incarceration, to insure that additional space will be available to put - and keep - violent offenders incarcerated. Fifty percent of money to be set aside for those states which adopt truth-in-sentencing laws (violent offenders must serve at least 85% of their sentence) or which meet other conditions. $24.5 million in competitive funds available for boot camps in 1995. $7.9 billion authorized in 1996.2000. Drug Courts Competitive grant program to support state and local drug courts which provide supervision and specialized services to offenders with rehabilitation potential. $29 million available in 1995. $971 million authorized in 1996-2000. Family and Community Endeavor Schools Competitive grants program administered by the Department of Education for localities and community organizations to help improve the overall development of at-risk youth living in poor and high-crime communities. This program is for both in-school and after-school activities. $11 million available in 1995. $232 million authorized in 1996-2000. Hotline Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a National Domestic Violence Hotline. $1 million authorized in 1995. $2 million authorized in 1996-2000. Prevention Council Provides funding for the President's Prevention Council to coordinate new and existing crime prevention programs. $1.5 million available in 1995. $88.5 million authorized for competitive grants in 1996-2000. SCAAP Grants Formula grant program to reimburse states for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens. $130 million available in 1995. $1.67 billion authorized in 1996-2000. Violence Against Women Formula grant program to support police and prosecutor efforts and victims services in cases involving sexual violence or domestic abuse, and for other programs which strengthen enforcement and provide services to victims in such cases. $26 million available in 1995. $774 million for formula grants and over $200 million for competitive grants authorized in 1996-2000. Grant Programs For 1996-2000 All programs available in 1995 are continued. All programs are administered by the Department of Justice unless otherwise noted. Funding for 1996-2000 is, as always, subject to appropriation by the Congress. Battered Women's Shelters Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services for battered women's shelters and other domestic violence prevention activities. $325 million authorized. Capital Improvements to Prevent Crime in Public Parks Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Interior for states and localities for crime prevention programs in national and public parks. $15 million authorized. Community Economic Partnership Competitive program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services for lines of credit to community development corporations to stimulate business and employment opportunities for low-income, unemployed and underemployed individuals. $270 million authorized. Crime Prevention Block Grants $377 million authorized for a new Local Crime Prevention Block Grant program to be distributed to local governments to be used as local needs dictates. Authorized programs include: anti-gang programs, sports leagues, boys and girls clubs, partnerships (triads) between the elderly and law enforcement, police partnerships for children and youth skills programs. Delinquent and At-Risk-Youth Competitive grant program for public or private non profit organizations to support the development and operation of projects to provide residential services to youth, aged 11 to 19, who have dropped out of school, have come into contact with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of either. $36 million authorized. DNA Analysis Competitive grant program for states and localities to develop or improve DNA identification capabilities. $40 million authorized. An additional $25 million is authorized to the FBI for DNA identification programs. Drug Treatment $383 million for prison drug treatment programs, including $270 million in formula grants for states. Education and Prevention to Reduce Sexual Assaults Against Women Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to fund rape prevention and education programs in the form of educational seminars, hotlines, training programs for professionals and the preparation of informational materials. $205 million authorized. Local Partnership Act Formula grant program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for localities to enhance education, provide substance abuse treatment and fund job programs to prevent crimes. $1.6 billion authorized. Model Intensive Grants Competitive grant program for model crime prevention programs targeted at high-crime neighborhoods. Up to 15 cities will be selected. $625 million authorized. Police Corps Competitive funding for the Police Corps (college scholarships for students who agree to serve as police officers), and formula grants to states for scholarships to in-service law enforcement officers. $100 million authorized for Police Corps, and $ 1 00 million authorized for in-service law enforcement scholarships. Prosecutors Competitive grant program for state and local courts, prosecutors and public defenders. $150 million authorized. Rural Law Enforcement Formula grant program for rural anti-crime and drug enforcement efforts, including task forces. $240 million authorized. Technical Automation Competitive grant program to support technological improvements for law enforcement agencies and other activities to improve law enforcement training and information systems. $130 million authorized. Urban Recreation For At-Risk-youth Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Interior for localities to provide recreation facilities and services in areas with high crime rates and to provide such services in other areas to at-risk-youth. $4.5 million authorized. For More Information For further information about the Violent Crime and law Enforcement Act of 1994, contact the: Department of Justice Response Center 1-800-421-6770 In the Washington, DC metropolitan area: 202-307-1480 October 24,1994 NCJ FS000067
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. U.S. Department of Justice Fact Sheet The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 represents the bipartisan product of six years of hard work. It is the largest crime bill in the history of the country and will provide for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons and $6.1 billion in funding for prevention programs which were designed with significant input from experienced police officers. The Act also significantly expands the government's ability to deal with problems caused by criminal aliens. The Crime Bill provides $2.6 billion in additional funding for the FBI, DEA, INS, United States Attorneys, and other Justice Department components, as well as the Federal courts and the Treasury Department. Some of the most significant provisions of the bill are summarized below: Substantive Criminal Provisions Assault Weapons Bans the manufacture of 19 military-style assault weapons, assault weapons with specific combat features, "copy-cat" models, and certain high-capacity ammunition magazines of more than ten rounds. Death Penalty Expands the Federal death penalty to cover about 60 offenses, including terrorist homicides, murder of a Federal law enforcement officer, large-scale drug trafficking, drive-by-shootings resulting in death and carjackings resulting in death. Domestic Abusers and Firearms Prohibits firearms sales to and possession by persons subject to family violence restraining orders. Firearms Licensing Strengthens Federal licensing standards for firearms dealers. Fraud Creates new insurance and telemarketing fraud categories. Expands Federal jurisdiction to cases that do not involve the use of delivery services to commit a fraud. Provides special sentencing enhancements for fraud crimes committed against the elderly. Gang Crimes Provides new and stiffer penalties for violent and drug trafficking crimes committed by gang members. Immigration Provides for enhanced penalties for alien smuggling, illegal reentry after deportation and other immigration-related crimes. (See Part II). Juveniles Authorizes adult prosecution of those 13 and older charged with certain serious violent crimes. Prohibits the sale or transfer of a firearm to or possession of certain firearms by juveniles. Triples the maximum penalties for using children to distribute drugs in or near a protected zone, i.e., schools, playgrounds, video arcades and youth centers. Registration of Sexually Violent Offenders Requires states to enact statutes or regulations which require those determined to be sexually violent predators or who are convicted of sexually violent offenses to register with appropriate state law enforcement agencies for ten years after release from prison. Requires state prison officials to notify appropriate agencies of the release of such individuals. Requires states to criminally punish those who fail to register. States which fail to establish registration systems may have Federal grant money reduced. Repeat Sex Offenders Doubles the maximum term of imprisonment for repeat sex offenders convicted of Federal sex crimes. Three Strikes Mandatory life imprisonment without possibility of parole for Federal offenders with three or more convictions for serious violent felonies or drug trafficking crimes. Victims of Crime Allows victims of Federal violent and sex crimes to speak at the sentencing of their assailants. Strengthens requirements for sex offenders and child molesters to pay restitution to their victims. Improves the Federal Crime Victims' Fund and the victim-related programs it supports. Other Creates new crimes or enhances penalties for: drive-by-shootings, use of semi-automatic weapons, sex offenses, crimes against the elderly, interstate firearms trafficking, firearms theft and smuggling, arson, hate crimes and interstate domestic violence. Immigration Initiatives The Crime Bill contains specialized enforcement provisions respecting immigration and criminal aliens. Those programs are highlighted here: $1.2 billion for border control, criminal alien depor.tations, asylum reform and a criminal alien tracking center. $1.8 billion to reimburse states for incarceration of illegal criminal aliens. (See State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) Grants in Section III). Enhanced penalties for failure to depart the United States after a deportation order or reentry after deportation. Expedited deportation for aliens who are not lawful permanent residents and who are convicted of aggravated felonies. Statutory authority for abused spouses and spouses with abused children to petition for permanent residency or suspension of deportation. Grant Programs For 1995 Most of these programs are authorized for six years beginning October 1, 1994. Some are formula grants, awarded to states or localities based on population, crime rate or some other combination of factors. Many are competitive grants. All grants will require an application process and are administered by the Department of Justice unless otherwise noted. As always, all funds for the years 1996-2000 are subject to appropriation by the Congress. Brady Implementation Competitive grant program for states to upgrade criminal history records keeping so as to permit compliance with the Brady Act. $ 1 00 million appropriated in 1995. In addition, the Brady Act authorizes $1 00 million for FY 1996. $50 million of this amount is authorized to be expended from the Violent Crime Control Act Trust Fund. Byrne Grants Formula grant program for states for use in more than 20 law enforcement purposes, including state and local drug task force efforts. $450 million appropriated for the formula grant program in 1995. $550 million authorized in 1996-2000 for both formula and discretionary. Community Policing Competitive grant program (COPS Program) to put 100,000 police officers on the streets in community policing programs. $1.3 billion available in 1995. $7.5 billion authorized in 1996-2000. Community Schools Formula grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services for supervised afterschool, weekend, and summer programs for at-risk youth. $25.9 million available in 1995. $567 million authorized in 1995-2000. Correctional Facilities/Boot Camps Formula and competitive grant program for state corrections agencies to build and operate correctional facilities, including boot camps and other alternatives to incarceration, to insure that additional space will be available to put - and keep - violent offenders incarcerated. Fifty percent of money to be set aside for those states which adopt truth-in-sentencing laws (violent offenders must serve at least 85% of their sentence) or which meet other conditions. $24.5 million in competitive funds available for boot camps in 1995. $7.9 billion authorized in 1996.2000. Drug Courts Competitive grant program to support state and local drug courts which provide supervision and specialized services to offenders with rehabilitation potential. $29 million available in 1995. $971 million authorized in 1996-2000. Family and Community Endeavor Schools Competitive grants program administered by the Department of Education for localities and community organizations to help improve the overall development of at-risk youth living in poor and high-crime communities. This program is for both in-school and after-school activities. $11 million available in 1995. $232 million authorized in 1996-2000. Hotline Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a National Domestic Violence Hotline. $1 million authorized in 1995. $2 million authorized in 1996-2000. Prevention Council Provides funding for the President's Prevention Council to coordinate new and existing crime prevention programs. $1.5 million available in 1995. $88.5 million authorized for competitive grants in 1996-2000. SCAAP Grants Formula grant program to reimburse states for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens. $130 million available in 1995. $1.67 billion authorized in 1996-2000. Violence Against Women Formula grant program to support police and prosecutor efforts and victims services in cases involving sexual violence or domestic abuse, and for other programs which strengthen enforcement and provide services to victims in such cases. $26 million available in 1995. $774 million for formula grants and over $200 million for competitive grants authorized in 1996-2000. Grant Programs For 1996-2000 All programs available in 1995 are continued. All programs are administered by the Department of Justice unless otherwise noted. Funding for 1996-2000 is, as always, subject to appropriation by the Congress. Battered Women's Shelters Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services for battered women's shelters and other domestic violence prevention activities. $325 million authorized. Capital Improvements to Prevent Crime in Public Parks Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Interior for states and localities for crime prevention programs in national and public parks. $15 million authorized. Community Economic Partnership Competitive program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services for lines of credit to community development corporations to stimulate business and employment opportunities for low-income, unemployed and underemployed individuals. $270 million authorized. Crime Prevention Block Grants $377 million authorized for a new Local Crime Prevention Block Grant program to be distributed to local governments to be used as local needs dictates. Authorized programs include: anti-gang programs, sports leagues, boys and girls clubs, partnerships (triads) between the elderly and law enforcement, police partnerships for children and youth skills programs. Delinquent and At-Risk-Youth Competitive grant program for public or private non profit organizations to support the development and operation of projects to provide residential services to youth, aged 11 to 19, who have dropped out of school, have come into contact with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of either. $36 million authorized. DNA Analysis Competitive grant program for states and localities to develop or improve DNA identification capabilities. $40 million authorized. An additional $25 million is authorized to the FBI for DNA identification programs. Drug Treatment $383 million for prison drug treatment programs, including $270 million in formula grants for states. Education and Prevention to Reduce Sexual Assaults Against Women Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to fund rape prevention and education programs in the form of educational seminars, hotlines, training programs for professionals and the preparation of informational materials. $205 million authorized. Local Partnership Act Formula grant program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for localities to enhance education, provide substance abuse treatment and fund job programs to prevent crimes. $1.6 billion authorized. Model Intensive Grants Competitive grant program for model crime prevention programs targeted at high-crime neighborhoods. Up to 15 cities will be selected. $625 million authorized. Police Corps Competitive funding for the Police Corps (college scholarships for students who agree to serve as police officers), and formula grants to states for scholarships to in-service law enforcement officers. $100 million authorized for Police Corps, and $ 1 00 million authorized for in-service law enforcement scholarships. Prosecutors Competitive grant program for state and local courts, prosecutors and public defenders. $150 million authorized. Rural Law Enforcement Formula grant program for rural anti-crime and drug enforcement efforts, including task forces. $240 million authorized. Technical Automation Competitive grant program to support technological improvements for law enforcement agencies and other activities to improve law enforcement training and information systems. $130 million authorized. Urban Recreation For At-Risk-youth Competitive grant program administered by the Department of Interior for localities to provide recreation facilities and services in areas with high crime rates and to provide such services in other areas to at-risk-youth. $4.5 million authorized. For More Information For further information about the Violent Crime and law Enforcement Act of 1994, contact the: Department of Justice Response Center 1-800-421-6770 In the Washington, DC metropolitan area: 202-307-1480 October 24,1994 NCJ FS000067
From Eric Holder: A message to the people of Ferguson : News
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 02:05
Since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, the nation and the world have witnessed the unrest that has gripped Ferguson, Mo. At the core of these demonstrations is a demand for answers about the circumstances of this young man's death and a broader concern about the state of our criminal justice system.
At a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn '-- in a fair and thorough manner '-- exactly what happened.
Today, I will be in Ferguson to be briefed on the federal civil rights investigation that I have closely monitored since I launched it more than one week ago. I will meet personally with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office to receive detailed briefings on the status of this case.
The full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown's death. This inquiry will take time to complete, but we have already taken significant steps. Approximately 40 FBI agents and some of the Civil Rights Division's most experienced prosecutors have been deployed to lead this process, with the assistance of the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed in connection with this matter. On Monday, at my direction, a team of federal medical examiners conducted an independent autopsy.
We understand the need for an independent investigation, and we hope that the independence and thoroughness of our investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in Ferguson. In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Although these acts have been committed by a very small minority '-- and, in many cases, by individuals from outside Ferguson '-- they seriously undermine, rather than advance, the cause of justice. And they interrupt the deeper conversation that the legitimate demonstrators are trying to advance.
The Justice Department will defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate and for the media to cover a story that must be told. But violence cannot be condoned. I urge the citizens of Ferguson who have been peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions and sow discord.
Law enforcement has a role to play in reducing tensions, as well. As the brother of a retired law enforcement officer, I know firsthand that our men and women in uniform perform their duties in the face of tremendous threats and significant personal risk. They put their lives on the line every day, and they often have to make split-second decisions.
At the same time, good law enforcement requires forging bonds of trust between the police and the public. This trust is all-important, but it is also fragile. It requires that force be used in appropriate ways. Enforcement priorities and arrest patterns must not lead to disparate treatment under the law, even if such treatment is unintended. And police forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.
Over the years, we have made significant progress in ensuring that this is the case. But progress is not an endpoint; it is a measure of effort and of commitment. Constructive dialogue should continue '-- but it must also be converted into concrete action. And it is painfully clear, in cities and circumstances across our great nation, that more progress, more dialogue, and more action is needed.
This is my pledge to the people of Ferguson: Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent. And beyond the investigation itself, we will work with the police, civil rights leaders, and members of the public to ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding '-- and robust action '-- aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve. Long after the events of Aug. 9 have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community.
As we move forward together, I ask for the public's cooperation and patience. And I urge anyone with information related to the shooting to contact the FBI by dialing 800-CALL-FBI, option 4.
Eric H. Holder Jr. is attorney general of the United States.
The Department of Social Justice | National Review Online
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 20:21
When Department of Justice officials arrived in Ferguson, Mo., one day after the death of Michael Brown, it wasn't just to conduct an investigation on potential civil-rights violations. In fact, officials from one Justice Department office were conducting meetings with Ferguson residents to educate them on subjects such as ''white privilege.''
The DOJ's Community Relations Service arrived in Ferguson purportedly to lessen the tension between protesters and city officials. But sources who attended the DOJ's private gatherings with Ferguson residents tell NRO that the Justice Department also sought to educate and question the community about the issues of white privilege and racism. The political nature of the Justice Department's intervention in Ferguson may not be exclusive to its interactions with residents; it also might have affected its ongoing investigations into the Ferguson Police Department and officer Darren Wilson. As investigators combed through Ferguson, DOJ's Community Relations Service began holding the town-hall meetings, which excluded press and everyone from out of town. Ferguson resident Audrey Watson, 47, attended one of the meetings. She says federal officials organized the attendees into small groups and asked questions such as ''What stereotypes exist in our community?'' ''How does white privilege impact race relations in our community?'' and ''Is there a need for personal commitment to race relations?''
Hundreds of people attended the fall meetings, including Ferguson mayor James Knowles III, who says many people at the initial meetings were angry and screaming. Knowles says the Community Relations Service officials told him they had previously responded to Trayvon Martin's death in Sanford, Fla., and that they were there to help. During the meetings, he says, the DOJ officials talked about underlying racism that people may not perceive, and the issue of white privilege.
''I mean, I think it was really just trying to get people to understand what that [white privilege] means, because the average white person wakes up and says, if you're just a middle-class white person, you say, What privilege do I have?'' Knowles says. ''But until you really understand the systemic issues and maybe some of those not-visible things that exist in society, which affect African Americans or other persons of color, you may not really understand what that is.''
In an e-mail to NRO, a Justice Department spokeswoman said the meetings were designed to ease tension. The spokeswoman requested that NRO not quote her e-mails and added that it's not the role of Community Relations Service officials to take a position on issues of race. Robert Driscoll, who from 2001 to 2003 was the DOJ Civil Rights Division's chief of staff, says it's not standard for these officials to educate the community about white privilege, and he called such action unfortunate. ''Their function is supposed to be on the ground . . . and to talk to people and let them know what the processes are at the Department of Justice,'' he says. ''The hope is that it's a way to channel public sentiment to avoid civil unrest.'' Rioters still managed to burn down much of the town in the aftermath of the grand jury's decision not to indict Wilson, but Knowles says he thinks the Community Relations Service's involvement has been constructive nonetheless.
However, the mayor says he thinks the DOJ's investigators misled him from their very first encounter, and he has concerns about DOJ's ability to conduct a fair investigation. He says the investigators, including Jonathan Smith, the Civil Rights Division's special litigation chief, told him that the purpose of their first meeting was to determine whether an investigation was necessary. But by the time Knowles got home from the meeting, Attorney General Eric Holder was on television announcing the investigation. ''Clearly the decision was already made before they even met with me,'' he says. ''And later on they apologized to me for that, but of course nobody could say who [made the decision] and why that decision was made.'' He adds that, based on his interactions with them, he thinks the investigators he spoke to did not intentionally mislead him and were unaware of Holder's plans.
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CONENT DECREE-Eric Holder: Cleveland Police engaged in pattern of excessive force - CBS News
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 05:37
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday that "there is reasonable cause to believe that the Cleveland Division of Police engages in a pattern and practice of using excessive force," after Justice Department investigators examined nearly 600 cases of use of force that occurred between 2010 and 2013.
Holder went on to say that Cleveland and the Justice Department had agreed on a statement of principles that will lead to a consent decree.
The investigation in the Cleveland Police Department was launched in March 2013, "following a number of high profile use of force incidents and requests from the community and local government to investigate the [police department]," the report released Thursday said.
The report cited specific incidents, including a January 2011 police chase of an unarmed man, who suffered "kicks to the head" after he had "surrendered to officers and was handcuffed and prone on the ground." None of the officers filed a report on the use of force, and none "were appropriately disciplined for failing to report the use of force."
In another incident from November 2012, the report said, "over 100 Cleveland police officers engaged in a high speed chase, in violation of [Cleveland Division of Police] policies, and fatally shot two unarmed civilians. [Cleveland Division of Police] officers ultimately fired 137 shots at the car, killing both its occupants."
The unreasonable practices the Justice Department found included the following:
Unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force, including shootings and head strikes with impact weaponsUnnecessary, excessive or retaliatory use of less lethal force including Tasers, chemical spray and fistsExcessive force against persons who are mentally ill or in crisis, including in cases where the officers were called exclusively for a welfare checkEmployment of poor and dangerous tactics that places officers in situations where avoidable force becomes inevitableJustice Department investigators also said the division doesn't adequately review and investigate the use of force by its officers or fully investigate misconduct allegations or identify and respond to patterns of at-risk behavior.
The Justice Department and Cleveland Police Department so far have only agreed to come to an agreement about how to address this problem. They will work out the details of that agreement -- the so-called "consent decree" -- in the coming months, but it will include a requirement for an independent monitor who will oversee necessary reforms.
Holder invoked the names of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was killed in Cleveland in November, noting that there are ongoing federal civil rights investigations for each of those incidents. The Justice Department's investigation predates the recent shooting of Rice, and CBS News has learned that while that incident was not taken into consideration in the investigation, it will be considered as an agreement on changes that must be made within the Cleveland Division of Police.
"The tragic losses of these and far too many other Americans - including, just last month, the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice here in Cleveland - have raised urgent, national questions. And they have sparked an important conversation about the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect."
The Cleveland investigation is the same kind of investigation the Justice Department launched into the Ferguson Police Department after one of its officers, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Holder made his announcement in Cleveland, where he is hosting a round table discussion as part of a tour of several U.S. cities where he will meet with local leaders and discuss relations between the community and law enforcement. He is also expected to visit Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Oakland in the coming weeks.
(C) 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Law Students May Postpone Exams Due to Stress from Grand Jury Decisions | JD Journal
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:52
Summary:Columbia University School of Law has announced that students will be allowed to delay their final exams if they have suffered mental trauma from the recent grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
According to the Daily Caller, law students at Columbia University will be allowed to postpone taking their final exams if they suffered mental trauma from the recent grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases. Interim dean Robert Scott stated in a message to students, ''The law school has a policy and a set of procedures for students who experience trauma during exam period. In accordance with these procedures and policy, students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled.''
Scott noted the recent grand jury decisions that have been the center of news media outlets nationwide: the decision not to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown, and the decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for his use of a chokehold that killed Eric Garner.
Read about a flash mob that assembled after Garner's death.
Both decisions, closely followed by the media, resulted in protests. Both police officers are white, and both men who died are black. The decisions sparked an increase in racial tension across the United States. Violence and looting broke out in Ferguson when the decision was announced, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Protestors also filled New York's Times Square after the Eric Garner decision was announced.
Read an analysis of the Garner grand jury decision.
But why should law students be able to postpone their exams because of these decisions? Scott explains, ''The grand juries' determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally. For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.''
Michael Brown's family has vowed to continue seeking justice.
In addition, the law school will also hold special sessions in the coming week with Dr. Shirley Matthews, a trauma specialist. Several faculty members will also hold special office hours to discuss the grand jury decisions with students.
Next semester, the school plans to conduct a reading group, a speaker series, and teach-ins to ''formulate a response to the implications, including racial meanings, of these non-indictments.''
Photo credit: businessinsider.com
Law Students May Postpone Exams Due to Stress from Grand Jury Decisions by Noelle PriceTagged: Columbia Law School, daniel pantaleo, darren wilson, eric garner, ferguson, Law School News, Michael Brown, New York City, protests
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Wal-Mart, Toys R Us price black, white Barbies differently
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:34
"It is our policy to price like dolls of all ethnicities the same. We will ensure the pricing is corrected," Kathleen Waugh, vice president, Corporate Communications at Toys R Us told CNBC in an e-mail.
Mattel, the maker of the Barbie dolls, did not respond to CNBC's requests for a comment.
Discount retailer Target already caught heat from its own case of Barbie pricing discrepancy. The retailer originally priced its African-American fashion design marker Barbie at $49.99'--more than twice the sale price of the $23.49 white version, reported WCPO's website.
Target is now selling both Barbies for $20.99.
"It is never our intention to offend our guests with our product assortment," a Target spokesman said, in a statement. "Both dolls should have reflected the same pricing, however, due to a systems issue this change did not occur."
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College president forced to apologize after saying 'all lives matter'
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:35
The president of Smith College was forced to apologize after she sent out a campus wide email saying ''all lives matter'' instead of the rally cry of Ferguson protesters'--''black lives matter.''
In the original email, obtained by Campus Reform, Kathleen McCartney used ''all lives matter'' in the email detailing the ''struggle'' and ''hurt'' the Smith community was experiencing following the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
''We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest; yet we wake again to news of violence that reminds us, painfully, of the stark reality of racial injustice,'' McCartney wrote.
McCartney also announced the college's plan to institute a new Chief Diversity Officer to support programs and conversations to advance social justice.
However, it was the subject line that had Smith students up in arms. Students took to social media to chastise McCartney, blaming her skin color for her lack of understanding.
''No, Kathy. Please do not send out an email saying 'All lives matter.' This isn't about everyone, this is about black lives,'' Sophia Buchanan, a Smith student, said on Twitter.
''[P]eople are upset because...[K]athy (and other white people) clearly doesn't understand the importance of holding black lives central to the conversation,'' one student wrote on an anonymous online confessional. ''Black lives can't be central to the conversation if the word black isn't even in the title.''
Six hours later, McCartney apologized in a separate email to the student body, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. McCartney alleged that she was not aware the term "all lives matter" could be used by some on social media to supposedly counter the "black lives matter" movement.
Besides apologizing, McCartney also planned a vigil and prayer for Monday afternoon to memorialize Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice. According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, 130 people attended the vigil.
Sophomore Cecelia Lim told the news outlet that McCartney should have apologized.
''It felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives,'' said Lim.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that around 50 students marched across campus and blocked traffic in a protest Sunday afternoon.
Smith College, is a private women's liberal arts school located in Massachusetts.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn
The Statesman: UN rights chief expresses concern over racial killings in US
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:30
Press Trust of IndiaUnited Nations, 26 November: Expressing concern over ''disproportionate'' number of young African-Americans killed in police encounters in the US, the UN rights chief has said the court's ruling in Ferguson shooting case has spotlighted fears of ''institutionalised discrimination'' in the country. ''I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African-Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in US prisons and the disproportionate number of African-Americans on Death Row,'' UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein said in a statement.Zeid said that the decision in the Michael Brown case has spotlighted broader concerns about institutionalised discrimination across the United States. ''It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,'' he said, urging the US authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.18-year-old Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in the US town of Ferguson in August, sparking protests around the country and inflaming the debate surrounding the treatment of African-American men by US law enforcement.In a widely watched and scrutinised decision, the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, sparking protests across US states and wide-spread looting in Ferguson. While the High Commissioner did not comment on whether or not the verdict itself conformed to international law, he said that continuing reports of deadly encounters between police officers and members of the African-American community had repeatedly prompted concerns among respected national bodies and by UN bodies monitoring the implementation of international human rights treaties.Zeid noted that just two weeks ago, Brown's parents had addressed the UN Committee against Torture, which is currently reviewing the US application of its obligations under the relevant Convention. The grand jury's decision on November 24 comes just three days after a police officer fatally shot another 12-year-old African-American boy Tamir Rice who was wielding a non-lethal replica gun in Cleveland because he was holding a non-lethal replica gun.Zeid noted that Rice's killing not only reiterated the racial disparity in deaths at the hands of US police officers but also placed the issue of gun-related deaths in the US back into focus.''In many countries, where real guns are not so easily available, police tend to view boys playing with replica guns as precisely what they are, rather than as a danger to be neutralised,'' he said. Pointing to Article 9 of the UN's Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Zeid said that law enforcement officials were called upon to ''not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,'' he said.
Press Trust of IndiaUnited Nations, 26 November: Expressing concern over ''disproportionate'' number of young African-Americans killed in police encounters in the US, the UN rights chief has said the court's ruling in Ferguson shooting case has spotlighted fears of ''institutionalised discrimination'' in the country. ''I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African-Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in US prisons and the disproportionate number of African-Americans on Death Row,'' UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad Al Hussein said in a statement.Zeid said that the decision in the Michael Brown case has spotlighted broader concerns about institutionalised discrimination across the United States. ''It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems,'' he said, urging the US authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.18-year-old Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in the US town of Ferguson in August, sparking protests around the country and inflaming the debate surrounding the treatment of African-American men by US law enforcement.In a widely watched and scrutinised decision, the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, sparking protests across US states and wide-spread looting in Ferguson. While the High Commissioner did not comment on whether or not the verdict itself conformed to international law, he said that continuing reports of deadly encounters between police officers and members of the African-American community had repeatedly prompted concerns among respected national bodies and by UN bodies monitoring the implementation of international human rights treaties.Zeid noted that just two weeks ago, Brown's parents had addressed the UN Committee against Torture, which is currently reviewing the US application of its obligations under the relevant Convention. The grand jury's decision on November 24 comes just three days after a police officer fatally shot another 12-year-old African-American boy Tamir Rice who was wielding a non-lethal replica gun in Cleveland because he was holding a non-lethal replica gun.Zeid noted that Rice's killing not only reiterated the racial disparity in deaths at the hands of US police officers but also placed the issue of gun-related deaths in the US back into focus.''In many countries, where real guns are not so easily available, police tend to view boys playing with replica guns as precisely what they are, rather than as a danger to be neutralised,'' he said. Pointing to Article 9 of the UN's Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, Zeid said that law enforcement officials were called upon to ''not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life,'' he said.
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Almost Half of US Hate Crimes Related to Racial Bias: FBI / Sputnik International
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 23:11
WASHINGTON, December 8 (Sputnik) '-- The overwhelming majority of hate crimes in the United States are related to racial tensions, an FBI press release issued Monday reads.
''49.3 percent of [hate crime] victims were targeted because of the offenders' racial bias,'' the press release says referring to FBI's recent Hate Crime Statistics, 2013 report.
In 2013 there was a total of 5,928 hate crime incidents involving 6,933 offenses ''as being motivated by a bias toward a particular race, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity in 2013,'' according to the release.
The second motive for hate crimes in the United States was stated as sexual-orientation bias accounting for 20.2 percent of cases, and the third motive being religious bias with 16.9 percent of hate victims targeted because of the religion they profess.
The FBI report indicates that the vast majority of hate crime offenders are white Americans.
''Of the 5,814 known offenders, 52.4 percent were white, and 24.3 percent were black or African American,'' the press release reads.
Over the past two weeks the United States saw two waves of race-related protests. Riots flared in the US town of Ferguson, Missouri following the grand jury decision on November 24 not to indict a white police officer Darren Wilson for fatal shooting of 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown. Protests swept across 180 US cities of 38 different states and even spread to some other countries including the United Kingdom.
A new wave of protests erupted in New York City after last Wednesday's grand jury decision not to bring charges against the white police officer Pantaleo, who killed the African-American Eric Garner in a chokehold in July.
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National Bank Of Ukraine DSK
National Bank of Ukraine:
Ukraine insider and ex-MP Andrei Shkil wrote on his Facebook page:
"According to my sources, the post of the head of the National Bank of Ukraine may go either to Dominique Strauss-Kahn or Viktor Yushchenko. They say this is serious," he wrote.
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Poroshenko instructs secret services to crack down on anti-Ukrainian media | Ukraina.ru
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:05
Ukrainian secret services will crack down on media outlets criticizing the country's government because they "are receiving funding from Russia and have a special anti-Ukrainian mission," Yury Lutsenko, head of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary party, told Verkhovna Rada deputies on December 9
"The neo-imperialists are preparing to destabilize the Ukrainian state from within. We can now see that they are trying to plant the lethal virus of separatism that has spelled disaster for one-third of Ukrainian Donbas and they are now trying to spread it onto other regions," he noted.
On behalf of his party, Lutsenko urged the secret services to repel "anti-state elements and spies and the Kremlin's fifth column."
"We're also demanding to put an end to the orgy of anti-Ukrainian separatism in certain print media which are financed from abroad and which are circulated freely in millions of copies all over Ukraine," he added.
Ukraine's 'Ministry of Truth' to deal with mass media that criticize Poroshenko - English pravda.ru
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:03
The media that express criticism of Ukrainian President Poroshenko will be automatically equated to "enemies of Ukraine" or "FSB agents," with all ensuing consequences.
Speaking on December 9 at the Verkhovna Rada, the head of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction, Yuriy Lutsenko, said that intelligence agencies of Ukraine should deal with those mass media outlets that criticize the sitting Ukrainian authorities.
"Neo-imperialists take efforts to internally disorganize the Ukrainian state. We have recently seen that the deadly germs of separatism that have brought a third of the Ukrainian Donbass to a state of catastrophe start growing in other areas," said Lutsenko.
He demanded the security forces of Ukraine should confront "anti-state elements and spies, as well as the fifth column of the Kremlin."
"We also demand the Bacchanalia of anti-Ukrainian separatism should be stopped in certain media outlets that are fed from abroad and are freely distributed in Ukraine in millions of copies," said the MP.
Noteworthy, Ukraine works to set up the "Ministry of Truth" that will deal with dissent of citizens. The new department is said to be headed by Poroshenko's relative, Yuri Stets.
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''Sweden says it will pursue a feminist foreign policy to counter macho Russian aggression '...'' - The Washington Post
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:55
'''... even if no one really knows what that means.'' An interesting article by Nathalie Rothschild (Foreign Policy); here's an excerpt, though you should read the whole piece:
Margot Wallstr¶m, the newly minted foreign minister, has said that under her leadership Sweden will become the only country in the world to conduct a ''feminist foreign policy.'' That's a perspective that flows from U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325, a landmark measure that recognized both the disproportionate impact war has on women and the role women must play in ensuring peace and security'....
By empowering women, the argument goes, there are better chances of snuffing out wars before they start and of ending them in more equitable ways. However, it is less clear what such a feminist foreign policy has to say about the old-school power politics that Putin has helped resuscitate in the past year.
During a recent debate in the Swedish parliament, Wallstr¶m said that her feminist approach is based on the American political scientist Joseph Nye's concept of ''smart power.'' ''The tools of foreign policy can, in varying degrees, be hard as well as soft. The situation at hand determines this,'' Wallstr¶m said. ''The half of the population that so far has been almost systematically excluded and forgotten '-- namely, women '-- will now be included.''
Asked how she believes a feminist foreign policy will help end Russian aggression, Wallstr¶m suggested it would be useful to review women's participation in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and to look at what it does to address the problems women face '-- a statement exactly as vague as it sounds '...
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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Ukraine Needs Additional $15Bln to Avoid Financial Collapse: IMF / Sputnik International
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:24
Business11:55 10.12.2014(updated 12:36 10.12.2014)
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(C) Sputnik. Evgeny Kotenko
MOSCOW, December 10 (Sputnik) '-- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculates that to avoid a financial collapse, $15 billion is needed for Ukraine in a matter of weeks, the Financial Times has reported, quoting sources in the IMF.A 7 percent drop in Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) and a disruption of exports to Russia, the country's biggest trading partner, have contributed to the fiscal gap, the newspaper stated Tuesday, adding that those factors have led to large capital outflows and a rundown in central bank reserves. Before the start of political unrest in the eastern Ukraine, those regions accounted for around 16 percent of the country's economic output.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine, said on Tuesday that his government was prepared to put in place belt-tightening measures, such as spending cuts and a crackdown on the shadow economy. He added that his government was not begging for money, but considered IMF as a partner.According to the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, the European Commission is considering a third rescue program for Ukraine.
Ukraine, currently on the verge of default, is facing a grave economic crisis. Kiev is hoping to save its economy with international financial aid. The additional funding would add to the $17 billion IMF made available in April that is expected to last until 2016. Since then, Kiev has received $8.2 billion in funding from the IMF and other international organizations.
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Six mistakes the West makes in dealing with Putin - English pravda.ru
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:32
The West estimated Vladimir Putin's behavior at Europe-Asia Summit in Milan as challenging and negligent. Indeed, everyone was expecting a "breakthrough," but Putin did not justify anyone's expectations. Why is that? In dealing with the Russian president, Western officials allow insults, put Russia into line with worst enemies and do not hide the wish to destroy Russian statehood and faith.
How could Putin be late for the meeting with Merkel, pretending that he had more important things in Belgrade, The New York Times resented in a long article devoted to the Milan summit. Afterwards, Putin defiantly went to Berlusconi "for truffles", where he was partying till four a.m.. This describes Putin as an irresponsible politician, because at six a.m., he had a scheduled "pivotal" meeting with Poroshenko, the newspaper wrote.
"For Mr. Putin, the helter-skelter blitz through Milan was only the latest demonstration of an unpredictable, often theatrical, diplomatic style that he has employed during the Ukraine crisis to throw his rivals off balance," the article said. Putin may "face a tougher reception when he travels next month to a Group of 20 summit meeting in Brisbane, Australia," the authors of the article assumed.
Here is a more specific quote to the point of our article. "He didn't say that progress was made," said Valentino Valentini, a longtime aide to Mr. Berlusconi who was present for their meeting. "The impression was that their positions were still far apart.""
How so? Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained. "The goal of Western sanctions is not to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, but to make Russia change its stance on key and most fundamental questions and to accept the position of the West, - Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday in an interview with NTV. - In fact, the true purpose of their restrictions permeates through their statements and actions - to remake Russia," Lavrov said. The Russian Foreign Minister said that even though Western politicians say nothing about the need to change the regime in Russia, but "some marginalized officials in Europe say such phrases," he said.
Let's brush aside Lavrov's everlasting diplomatic comme il faut. In fact, the situation is much tougher. Samuel Phillips Huntington in his "Clash of Civilizations?" from 1993 wrote about the true purpose of the West. According to him, the West is determined to destroy Orthodoxy or subordinate Orthodoxy to Western principles. We can see how, for example, the British were doing it for centuries. They fought against Russia in the Crimean War (1852-1856), were opposed to Russia's stronger positions in the Balkans and Central Asia, they got Russia involved in World War I, were active participants in the Entente during the struggle against the young Soviet power, they developed plans to seize oil fields of the Caucasus after Hitler's possible victory, they were preparing for a preventive strike during the Cold War. Today, murderers and thieves, who escaped from Russia, find political asylum in the UK. British prime ministers have always been at the forefront of accusing Russia of "aggression" - David Cameron is no exception.
According to Huntington, it goes about the destruction of the Slavic culture and the Russian statehood, which is based on Orthodoxy. Even communism has Orthodox roots. Statehood came to Russia from Byzantium, and in this model, law will never be first priority, because for Orthodox believers, morality, friendship and justice is above law. Remember Russia's reunion with the Crimea, and what Putin said in Belgrade: "Russia does not sell friendship." The Byzantine model stipulates for the unification of equal peoples in one state with the help of love, rather than with the help of the Western melting pot model, which is governed by strict laws.
Given that the faith has been a reason for countless wars for centuries, the merger of two civilizations is impossible. This is not necessary due to the law of the dialectical development of the universe. Even Yeltsin, who sold everything he could to the West, warned: one should not expand NATO to the east, forgetting that Russia has a "nuclear briefcase." Putin has recently reiterated this idea by saying that the current conflict was a conflict between nuclear powers.
A second conclusion from the clash of civilizations is Orthodoxy, and, consequently, Russia has her own ideal picture of the world order. The imposition of another project is perceived as an attack on the foundations of statehood.
President Putin - is not a "mini-Gorbachev," as The New York Times wrote. He is not a huckster like Poroshenko, but a statesman, who will continue his efforts to make Russian, Orthodox model flourish. Putin's prime goal for the time being is to make sure that the West sees Russia as a full partner. Russia lost this reputation during the time of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. For the time being, the West does not understand that and hopes that sanctions will break Russia.
Huntington does not say that unity is possible in the struggle of opposites. This is nonetheless possible, but only when one has skills in finding compromises. What do the Anglo-Saxons need to understand?
First. All types of "Eastern partnerships" are impossible without consulting Russia. One needs to understand that Putin will not allow NATO bases to appear on the territory of Ukraine. He will adequately respond to extra military threats - the deployment of the missile defense system and rapid response forces.
Second. Do not teach us how to live. Putin will pursue protectionist policies to protect the Orthodox civilization, restrict the activities of Western NGOs that undermine the constitutional structure of Russia and morality of its people. Russia is not strong for its economy, but it is strong for something that the West can not understand - it is strong for its soul.
Third. The Russian president will behave accordingly to your behavior. If you consistently topple Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Yanukovych, it is reasonable to guess who is next on your list. Noteworthy, each candidate for toppling would at first be demonized in Western media. The same is happening with regard to Putin. Suffice it to mention numerous offensive comparisons to Hitler and "shirt-fronting" threats, because this is the language the "aggressor" understands (we're talking about Australian Prime Minister Abbott).
Fourth. If Obama puts Russia on the second place on the list of global threats, please expect an adequate reaction.
Fifth. Re-read memoirs of German, French and other conquerors of Russia. Sending you all sorts of "messages" is not Putin's way - he will act on the basis of national interests. "Do not expect that once taken advantage of Russia's weakness, you will receive dividends forever. Russians always come for their money. And when they come - they will not rely on the Jesuit agreement you signed, that supposedly justify your actions. They are not worth the paper it is written. Therefore, with the Russians you should use fair play or no play," said Otto von Bismarck.
Sixth. Your approach to world affairs has a destructing effect that everyone sees. There is a large group of countries behind Russia that have not yet decided to take Russia's side. If a moment comes, they will not doubt to do it.
Lyuba LulkoPravda.Ru
Read the original in Russian
The Unknown Putin. Part 1
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World's longest train journey reaches its final destination in Madrid - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 04:09
The train, named "Yixinou" arrives in Madrid Abronigal railway station in Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 9, 2014. Madrid was the final destination on Tuesday for a train which has set the record for the longest train journey in history: 13,052 kilometers between the Chinese city of Yiwu and the Spanish capital. (Xinhua/Xie Haining)
MADRID, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Madrid was the final destination on Tuesday for a train which has set the record for the longest train journey in history; 13,052 kilometers between the Chinese city of Yiwu and the Spanish capital.
The train which arrived in Madrid at 11a.m. local time (1000GMT), departed from Yiwu on November 18th with 40 wagons, carrying 1,400 tons of cargo, consisting of stationary, craft products and products for the Christmas market and it will return to China filled with luxury Spanish produce such as cured ham, olive oil and wine.
The results of this first historic journey which will then be evaluated with the aim of opening a regular two-way rail link between China and Spain, which could commence operations in early 2015.
Two major advantages of rail travel are that the goods were transported much faster than would otherwise be possible by boat, arriving in Spain in half of the time a cargo vessel would need to cross from China to Spain, while the train produces 62 percent less carbon dioxide contamination less than a lorry making the same journey by road.
The marathon journey crossed China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, before arriving in Spain with 30 of the wagons it had originally set out with.
The 13,052 kilometers between Madrid and Yiwu is a greater distance than that between the north and south pole, although the distance was not covered using the same crew, nor the same engine.
The engine was changed approximately every 800 kilometers, while the crew changes with each country the train traversed. Meanwhile special stops were necessary at the frontier cities of Dostyk (Kazakhstan), Brest (Belarus) and Irun (Spain) in order to deal with the different railway gauges encountered along the route.
A host of dignitaries, such as Spain's Public Works Minister Ana Pastor, the Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, as well as the Director of Business at the Chinese Embassy in Madrid Mr. Huang Yazhong, and the Director of Commerce for the Government of Zhejiang Province Mr. Zhang Shuming.
Mr. Huang said the journey showed the great importance China gave to strengthening relations with Europe, while thanking all of the authorities which had helped to make such a historic trajectory possible, while Mrs Botella commented that the 13,053 of railway which had made the historic feat possible was like a "new silk road for the 21st century, except that now the commerce will travel in both directions.
Space Fakes
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The missing blueprints [email]
ITM Adam,
On the last show you were talking about the missing Saturn V blueprints. I think I know what happened to them. About 15 years ago I was working on an IT contract at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This is where the Saturn V was designed. The IT department had just moved into an old building that had previously housed engineering. The story I was told is that when engineering left to move into the new headquarters building, they left behind many old filing cabinets including the kind used to store large drawings. IT needed the space and called engineering to come and get the cabinets. Engineering said that the cabinets were no longer needed and could be disposed of. They were hauled out to the dumpster. A few weeks later a frantic engineer came back asking the whereabouts of the old cabinets and said that they contained rocket and spacecraft designs from the 50s and 60s. Too late. They were gone.
Please don't use my name with this. I was working with a security clearance at the time.
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LINGERING inthe belts-Five Things We'll Learn from Orion's First Flight Test | NASA
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:57
[image-67][image-115][image-83][image-51][image-99]All the superlatives associated with Orion's first mission this year '' farthest a spacecraft for humans has gone in 40 years, largest heat shield, safest vehicle ever built '' can be dazzling, no doubt. But the reason engineers are chomping at the bit for Orion's first mission is the promise of crucial flight test data that can be applied to the design for future missions. Orion only has two flight test opportunities before astronauts climb aboard for the first crewed mission in 2021 '' so gleaning the maximum information possible from Exploration Flight Test (EFT)-1 in December (and later, Exploration Mission-1 in 2017) is of the highest priority. Here are the top five things the engineers will be paying attention to:
1. Launch Abort System Separation '' The launch abort system (LAS) is a key reason that Orion is intended to become the safest spacecraft ever built. In an emergency it could activate to pull the crew module and the astronauts it will carry away from the launch pad and the rocket in milliseconds. Hopefully it's never needed, and since no crew will fly on EFT-1 the rescue system won't be active.
But even when a launch goes perfectly, the 904-pound LAS jettison motor has to perform flawlessly. If it doesn't get rid of the LAS 6 minutes and 20 seconds into the mission, there will be no landing '' the LAS protects the crew module during ascent, but to do so, it blocks the parachutes that allow Orion to safely splashdown.
The Launch Abort System separation is just the first of 17 separations or jettisons that have to happen exactly as planned for the mission to be successful.
2. Parachute Deployment '' For EFT-1, Orion will travel 3,600 miles above the Earth so that when it performs its deorbit burn, it will come screaming back into the Earth's atmosphere at almost 20,000 miles per hour. Before it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, it needs to slow down to 1/1000th of its entry speed '' a relatively gentle 20 miles per hour.
Earth's atmosphere does its part to put on the brakes, but to make landing survivable, Orion relies on its parachute system '' primarily two drogue parachutes and three massive mains that together would cover almost an entire football field. They've been tested on Earth; test versions of Orion have been dropped from airplanes with a multitude of failure scenarios programmed into the parachute deployment sequence in an effort to make sure that every possibly problem is accounted for.
But the sheer number of possible problems to be tested indicates how complicated the system is '' each parachute must deploy at the exact right time, open to the exact right percentages in the exact right stages, and be cut away exactly as planned. And no test on Earth can exactly simulate what the spacecraft will really experience on its return from space.
3. Heat Shield Protection '' Before the parachutes even get a chance to deploy, Orion has to make it safely through Earth's atmosphere. The reason that Orion is traveling so far and coming back in so fast is to give the heat shield a good workout '' the idea is to get as close as possible to the temperatures Orion would experience during a return from Mars. At the speed it will be traveling, the temperature should reach almost 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At that same temperature, a nuclear reactor would melt down.
Standing between the crew module and all that heat is no more than 1.6 inches of Avcoat, a material that's designed to burn away rather than transfer the temperatures back to Orion. Some 20 percent of the Avcoat will erode during the spacecraft's journey back to Earth, and although it's not the first time the materials has been used for this purpose, at 16.5 feet wide, Orion's heat shield is the largest ever built. Technicians filled with Avcoat each of the 320,000 honeycomb cells that make up the shield's structure by hand, then machined them to the precise fractions of inches called for by the design. Getting it exactly right is all that will get Orion through one of the most dynamic periods of its mission.
4. Radiation Levels '' Traveling 15 times farther into space than the International Space Station will take Orion beyond the radiation protection offered by Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field. In fact, the majority of EFT-1 will take place inside the Van Allen Belts, clouds of heavy radiation that surround Earth. No spacecraft built for humans has passed through the Van Allen Belts since the Apollo missions, and even those only passed through the belts '' they didn't linger.
Future crews don't plan to spend more time than necessary inside the Van Allen Belts, either, but long missions to deep space will expose them to more radiation than astronauts have ever dealt with before. EFT-1's extended stay in the Van Allen Belts offers a unique opportunity to see how Orion's shielding will hold up to it. Sensors will record the peak radiation seen during the flight, as well as radiation levels throughout the flight, which can be mapped back to geographic hot spots.
5. Computer Function '' Orion's computer is the first of its kind to be flown in space. It can process 480 million instructions per second. That's 25 times faster than the International Space Station's computers, 400 times faster than the space shuttle's computers and 4,000 times faster than Apollo's.
But to operate in space, it has to be able to handle extreme heat and cold, heavy radiation and the intense vibrations of launches, aborts and landings. And it has to operate through all of that without a single mistake. Just restarting the computer would take 15 seconds; and while that might sound lightning fast compared to your PC, you can cover a lot of ground in 15 seconds when you're strapped to a rocket.
This computer-generated art depicts Orion's heat shield protecting the crew module as it enters the Earth's atmosphere.
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This computer-generated art shows the launch abort system still attached and the jettison of the service module fairing panels.
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A test version of NASA's Orion spacecraft touches down in the Arizona desert after its most complicated parachute test to date.
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The Orion crew module for Exploration Flight Test-1 is shown in the Final Assembly and System Testing (FAST) Cell, positioned over the service module just prior to mating the two sections together.
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NASA/Rad Sinyak
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The three panels or fairings encapsulating a stand-in for Orion's service module successfully detach and fall into the Fairing Catch System during a test Nov. 6, 2013 at Lockheed Martin's facility in Sunnyvale, Calif.
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Lockheed Martin
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NASA Finds New Radiation Belt Circling Earth - weather.com
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:12
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A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday.
Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
The new belt held steady for four weeks before a solar flare blasted it to pieces. It has not been seen since.
"The sun giveth, and the sun taketh away," said Nicola Fox, a deputy scientist on the mission based at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.
The twin probes were the first built by NASA to study the radiation belts, which were discovered in 1958 by astrophysicist James Van Allen. The inner belt is between 6,000 and 8,000 miles out and the outer belt forms at about 15,000 miles.
(MORE: Space Coverage | SpaceX Blasts off for ISS)
Scientists have found charged particles hovering between the inner and outer belts before, in 1991 and 1992. But they were never this stable or remained as long as a month.
"There are a host of different processes that occur in radiation belts," Fox said. "What we do not yet know is why sometimes one is more dominant than another. It is like knowing all the ingredients but not the proportions."
The so-called Van Allen probes gave scientists their best glimpse yet at those proportions. Equipped with identical particle, plasma, magnetic field and plasma wave sensors, the probes measured charged particles in and around the planet's magnetosphere between September and October.
Most NASA spacecraft take several months to power up, but the Van Allen probes began taking measurements early -- a last-minute decision by scientists who wanted to get data that would overlap with readings from an older satellite set to go out of service in November. That timing revealed an amazing show in progress.
(MORE: Supermassive Black Hole Spins Super Fast)
A third radiation belt had begun to form after a solar eruption blasted some -- but not all -- of the outer belt's particles away. The remaining particles settled closer to Earth, between 11,900 and 13,900 miles above the planet, according to a report published online by the journal Science.
Study leader Dan Baker of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics said the solar eruption was a "Goldilocks phenomenon." The force of the eruption was not too strong and not too weak, but just right to trigger the formation of a third belt.
The Van Allen probes also showed that different belts of particles had different reactions to the same event, a discovery that came as a surprise to scientists. A second solar event in early October delivered particles that shored up the outer belt but left the inner belt undisturbed.
Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have radiation belts. "The same thing happening here is happening everywhere," Fox said.
While they pore over their data, the researchers wait for another Goldilocks moment to see whether a third belt will appear again.
"The frequency will depend on what the sun throws at us," Fox said. "The more active the conditions, the more we are likely to see it."
MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Seeing RED in Space
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Third Radiation Belt Discovered Around Earth | DiscoverMagazine.com
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:10
Earth's magnetic field normally gathers energetic particles from the sun into two doughnut-shaped regions circling our planet. Called the Van Allen Belts, the inner one ranges from about 400 to 4,000 miles above Earth's surface, and the outer one from 6,250 to as far as 40,000 miles. But in February 2013, NASA announced it had, briefly, observed a third belt.
On Aug. 30, 2012, NASA launched the twin Van Allen Probes (formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes) to study the belts. Between Sept. 3 and 6, the probes' instruments detected particles making up a third belt forming between the known two, only to disappear in early October.
Scientists think a shock wave (an energetic disturbance) from the sun disrupted the outer belt, moving particles lower and forming the temporary belt. Another shock wave a month later likely destroyed it.
The Van Allen Belts can be harmful to the numerous satellites that routinely encounter them, so it's in industry's best interests '-- as well as science's '-- to better understand their behavior.
[This article originally appeared in print as "Third Radiation Belt Discovered Around Earth."]
'Star Trek-like shields': New radiation belt protects Earth from 'killer electrons' '-- RT News
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:13
Published time: November 29, 2014 16:37Image by Andy Kale, University of Alberta
Surrounded by radiation belts, Earth is being protected by an invisible shield that stops high-speed ''killer electrons,'' scientists have found after taking a closer look at the Van Allen belt 7,200 miles above our planet.
''Somewhat like the shields created by force fields on Star Trek that were used to repel alien weapons, we are seeing an invisible shield blocking these electrons,'' the study's lead author, Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics explained. ''It's an extremely puzzling phenomenon.''
This previously unknown phenomenon has been discovered by probes aimed at examining the so-called Van Allen belts, zones of donut-shaped rings around our planet.
Until March 2013, scientists assumed there were only two belts, filled with high-energy electrons and protons, surrounding Earth.
READ MORE: NASA probe detects third radiation belt around Earth
However, a NASA-launched probe detected that there was a third belt in between the two.
The outer Van Allen belt is about 25,000 miles (40, 000 km) above the Earth, while the inner one can dip as low as 600 miles, close to the plasmasphere. The newly discovered barrier is 7,200 miles or 11, 500 km above Earth. But it seems to fluctuate in response to space weather.
These ''killer electrons'' travel at near light-speed of around 100,000 miles per second and are capable of damaging space electronics and can put astronauts in danger. But this third belt stops them from moving towards Earth's atmosphere.
''It's almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space,'' Baker said.
Previously the team thought the electrons drifted into Earth's upper atmosphere, where they were wiped out by air molecules.
Baker's colleague on the study, co-author and associate director of MIT's Haystick Observatory, John Foster, says: "It's like looking at the phenomenon with new eyes, with a new set of instrumentation, which give us the detail to say, 'Yes, there is this hard, fast boundary.'"
Scientists have also looked at a number of scenarios that could create and maintain such a barrier.
The team initially thought that the barrier was created by the Earth's magnetic fields, which exist to send protons and electrons back and forth from one magnetic pole to another. It was mooted that Earth's manmade communications could be creating some type of scattering effect.
Baker believes both explanations don't hold any water and that the key to understanding the barrier will lie in closer, thorough studies of the Van Allen belts.
"I think the key here is to keep observing the region in exquisite detail, which we can do because of the powerful instruments on the Van Allen probes. If the sun really blasts Earth's magnetosphere with a coronal mass ejection (CME), I suspect it will breach the shield for a period of time," Baker adds.
His work was published in the November 27 issue of the journal Nature.
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s2ch3 Van Allen Belts
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:04
s2ch3SP-368 Biomedical Results of Apollo
CHAPTER 3
RADIATION PROTECTION AND INSTRUMENTATION
by
J. Vernon Bailey
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Introduction
[105] The solar and cosmic radiation found in space has long been recognized as a possible danger in space travel Exposure to such radiation has the potential of causing serious medical problems. For example, radiation exposure can produce a number of significant changes in various elements of the blood, making an individual more susceptible to disease; also, ionizing radiations of the type found in space can produce significant damage to the lens of the eye. Radiation exposure can also cause temporary or lasting damage to the reproductive system ranging from reduced fertility to permanent sterility. The extent of damage depends upon the tissue involved, the duration of exposure, the dose received, and other factors.
Apollo missions placed men for the first time outside the Earth's geomagnetic shield, subjecting them to potentially hazardous particulate radiation of an intensity and frequency not encountered in the Earth's environment. In addition, various aspects of ground-based operations in support of Apollo missions involved some exposure to radioactive materials, for example during manufacture, testing, and installation of radioluminescent panels in the spacecraft. In flight, astronauts were exposed to both manmade radiations and those occurring naturally in space. Of the two, space radiations posed the larger hazard and were largely uncontrollable. Manmade radiation sources, while of appreciable strength, could be controlled.
The Apollo radiation protection program focused on both the natural radiations encountered in space and manmade radiations encountered on the ground and in the space environment. In both areas, the basic philosophy remained the same: to avoid harmful radiation effects by limiting the radiation dose to the lowest level judged consistent with the achievement of beneficial goals.
Radiation from Space
During a complete Apollo mission, astronauts were exposed to widely varying radiation sources. These included the Van Allen belts, cosmic rays, neutrons, and other [106] subatomic particles created in high energy collisions of primary particles with spacecraft materials. Spacecraft transfer from low Earth orbit to translunar coast necessitated traverse of the regions of geomagnetically trapped electrons and protons known as the Van Allen belts. When beyond these belts, the spacecraft and crewmen were continuously subjected to high-energy cosmic rays and to varying probabilities of particle bursts from the sun. In addition, the individual responsibilities of the crewmen differed, and with these, their radiation exposure. Free-space extravehicular activity, lunar surface activity, and intravehicular Command and Lunar Module activity imposed varying radiation doses.
Van Allen Belts
The problem of protecting astronauts against the radiation found within the Van Allen belts was recognized before the advent of manned space flight. These two bands of trapped radiation, discovered during the Explorer l flight in 1958, consist principally of protons and high-energy electrons, a significant part of which were, at that time, debris from high altitude tests of nuclear weapons. The simple solution to protection is to remain under the belts [below an altitude of approximately 556 km (300 nautical miles)] when in Earth orbit, and to traverse the belts rapidly on the way to outer space. In reality, the problem is somewhat more complex. The radiation belts vary in altitude over various parts of the Earth and are absent over the north and south magnetic poles. A particularly significant portion of the Van Allen belts is a region known as the South Atlantic anomaly (figure 1). Over the South Atlantic region, the geomagnetic field draws particles closer to the Earth than in other regions of the globe. The orbit inclination of a spacecraft determines the number of passes made per day through this region and, thus, the radiation dose.
Figure 1. Isodose profile showing high-dose region over South Atlantic.
[107] Particles within the Van Allen belts, in spiraling around the Earth's magnetic lines of force, display directionality. This directionality varies continuously in angular relationship to the trajectory of the spacecraft. Therefore, dosimetry instrumentation for use in the Van Allen belts had relatively omnidirectional radiation sensors so that the radiation flux would be measured accurately. The Van Allen belt dosimeter (figure 2) was designed specifically for Apollo dosimetry within these radiation belts.
Figure 2. Van Allen Belt dosimeter.
Solar-Particle Radiation
No major solar-particle events occurred during an Apollo mission. Although much effort has been expended in the field of solar event forecasting, individual eruptions from the solar surface have proved impossible to forecast. The best that can be provided is an estimate of particle dose, given visual or radio-frequency (RF) confirmation that an eruption has occurred. A system of solar-monitoring stations, the Solar Particle Alert Network (SPAN), provides a NASA-sponsored network of continuous data on solar-flare activity. SPAN consists of three multiple-frequency radio telescopes and seven optical telescopes. The network gives data for determining the severity of solar-particle events and the resultant possible radiation hazards to crewmen. After the appearance of particles is confirmed onboard a spacecraft, protective action can be taken.
In terms of hazard to crewmen in the heavy, well shielded Command Module, even one of the largest solar-particle event series on record (August 4-9, 1972) would not have caused any impairment of crewmember functions or ability of the crewmen to complete [108] their mission safely. It is estimated that within the Command Module during this event, the crewmen would have received a dose of 360 rads* to their skin and 35 rads to their blood-forming organs (bone and spleen). Radiation doses to crewmen while inside the thinly shielded Lunar Module or during an extravehicular activity (EVA) would be extremely serious for such a particle event To monitor particle activity, a nuclear particle-detection system (figure 3) was designed to have a relatively narrow acceptance angle. It measured the isotropic proton and alpha particles derived from solar-particle events.
Figure 3. Nuclear-particle detection system.
Cosmic Rays
Cosmic ray fluxes, consisting of completely ionized atomic nuclei originating outside the solar system and accelerated to very high energies, provided average dose rates of 1.0 millirads per hour in cislunar space** and 0.6 millirads per hour on the lunar surface. These values are expected to double at the low point in the 11-year cycle of solar-flare activity (solar minimum) because of decreased solar magnetic shielding of the central planets. The effect of high-energy cosmic rays on humans is unknown but is considered by most authorities not to be of serious concern for exposures of less than a few years. Experimental evidence of the effects of these radiations is dependent on the development of highly advanced particle accelerators or the advent of long-term manned missions outside the Earth's geomagnetic influence.
[109] Neutrons
Neutrons created by cosmic rays in collision with lunar materials were postulated to be a potential hazard to Apollo crewmen (Kastner et al., 1969). Two methods for neutron-dose assessment were used. These techniques of whole-body counting and neutron-resonant foil were initiated on the Apollo II mission. Later analyses indicated that neutron doses were significantly lower than had been anticipated. Both methods were retained because of the remaining potential for neutron production by solar-event particles and because of possible crewman exposure to neutrons from the SNAP-27 radioisotope thermal generator used to power the Apollo lunar surface experiments packages.
Detection Devices
To allow accurate determination of overall radiation exposure of the crewmen, each carried a personal radiation dosimeter (PRD) (figure 4) and three passive dosimeters (figure 5). The PRD provided visual readout of accumulated radiation dose to each crewman as the mission progressed. It is approximately the size of a cigarette pack, and pockets were provided in the flight coveralls as well as in the space suit for storage. The passive dosimeters were placed in the garments worn throughout the mission. By placing these detectors at various locations (ankle, thigh, and chest) within the garments, accurate radiation doses for body portions were determined.
Figure 4. Personal radiation dosimeter.
A radiation-survey meter (RSM) (figure 6) allowed crewmen to determine radiation levels in any desired location in their compartment. Crewmen could use the RSM, a [110] direct-reading dose-rate instrument, to find a habitable low-dose region within the spacecraft in the event of a radiation emergency.
Figure 5. Passive dosimeter with component parts.
Figure 6. Radiation-survey meter.
Problems Involving Radiations of Manmade Origin
Protection against manmade sources of radiation is a ground support function concerned mainly with the protection of the ground personnel, the general public, and the environment against detrimental effects of radiation. Much of this effort involved [111] routine health-physics procedures governed by U.S. Atomic Energy Commission regulations (Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, 1971) and U.S. Department of Labor Standards (Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, 1971). However, certain problems concerning spacecraft radioluminescent sources were peculiar to the Apollo Program. The chief problems were leakage of radioactive material from radioluminescent switch tips, and emission of excess soft X-ray radiation from radiolumineseent panels. Both of these problems were solved.
A summary of all of the onboard instrumentation used during Apollo missions to assess radiation exposure is presented in table 1.
Table 1
Onboard Radiation Instrumentation
Instrument
Measurement
Location
.
Nuclear particle detection system
Alpha-proton spectrometer (4 channels proton, 15 m 1 50 MeV; 3 channels alpha, 40 m 300 MeV); telemetered
Service Module
van Allen belt dosimeter
Skin and depth dose rates; telemetered
CM
Radiation survey meter
Portable, hand-held ratemeter: 4 linear ranges, 0 to 0.1 to 0 to 100 rad/hr; visual readout
CM (portable)
Personal radiation dosimeter
1/crewmen; accumulated radiation dose: 0.01 to 1000 rad: visual readout
Suit
Passive radiation dosimeter
3/crewmen; emulsion/thermoluminescent dosimeters; postflight analysis
constant wear garment
Results and Discussion
Average radiation doses were computed for each mission (table 2). Individual readings varied approximately 20 percent from the average because of differences in the shielding effectiveness of various parts of the Apollo spacecraft as well as differences in duties, movements, and locations of crewmen. Doses to blood-forming organs were approximately 40 percent lower than the values measured at the body surface. In comparison with the doses actually received, the maximum operational dose (MOD) limit for each of the Apollo missions was set at 400 rads (X-ray equivalent) to skin and 50 rads to the blood-forming organs.
Radiation doses measured during Apollo were significantly lower than the yearly average of 5 rem*** set by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission for workers who use [112] radioactive materials in factories and institutions across the United States. Thus, radiation was not an operational problem during the Apollo Program. Doses received by the crewmen of Apollo missions 7 through 17 were small because no major solar-particle events occurred during those missions. One small event was detected by a radiation sensor outside the Apollo 12 spacecraft, but no increase in radiation dose to the crewmen inside the spacecraft was detected.
Table 2
Average Radiation Doses of the Flight Crews for the Apollo Missions
Apollo Mission
Skin Dose, rads
.
7
0.16
8
.16
9
.20
10
.48
11
.18
12
.58
13
.24
14
1.14
15
.30
16
.51
17
.55
One particular effect possibly related to cosmic rays was the light-flash phenomenon reported on the Apollo 11 and subsequent missions. Although it is well known that ionizing radiations can produce visual phosphenes (subjective sensations best described as flashes of light) of the types reported, a definite correlation was not established between cosmic rays and the observation of flashes during the Apollo Program. The light flashes were described as starlike flashes or streaks of light that apparently occur within the eye. The flashes were observed only when the spacecraft cabin was dark or when blindfolds were provided and the crewmen were concentrating on detection of the flashes.
There is a possibility that visual flashes might indicate the occurrence of damage to the brain or eye; however, no damage has been observed among crewmen who experienced the light-flash phenomenon During the Apollo 16 and 17 missions, a device known as the Apollo Light Flash Moving Emulsion Detector (ALFMED) was employed for the purpose of establishing if the flashes were indeed being caused by heavy cosmic rays. Further information regarding the light-flash phenomenon is contained in Section IV, Chapter 2 of this book.
Although Apollo missions did not undergo any major space radiation contingency, procedures for handling radiation problems were ready. The development of spacecraft dosimetry systems, the use of a space radiation surveillance network, and the availability of individuals with a thorough knowledge of space radiation assured that any contingency would be recognized immediately and would be coped with in a manner most expedient [113] for both crewmember safety and mission objectives. The possible deterrent to manned space flight by large radiation doses was successfully avoided in the Apollo missions. More significantly, Apollo astronaut doses were negligible in terms of any medical or biological effects that could have impaired the function of man in the space environment.
The two key problems affecting safe operations with manmade radiation were resolved by design modifications. Leakage of radioactive materials from radioluminescent switch tips was eliminated by a change in encapsulating material. The problem of extensive emission of soft X-ray radiation from radioluminescent panels was resolved by applying a layer of plastic to the panels.
Summary and Conclusions
Radiation was not an operational problem during the Apollo Program. Doses received by the crewmen of Apollo missions 7 through 17 were small because no major solar-particle events occurred during those missions. One small event was detected by a radiation sensor outside the Apollo 12 spacecraft, but no increase in radiation dose to the crewmen inside the spacecraft was detected. Solar-particle releases are random events, and it is possible that flares, with the accompanying energetic nuclear particles, might hinder future flights beyond the magnetosphere of the Earth.
Radiation protection for the Apollo Program was focused on both the peculiarities of the natural space radiation environment and the increased prevalence of manmade radiation sources on the ground and onboard the spacecraft. Radiation-exposure risks to crewmen were assessed and balanced against mission gain to determine mission constraints. Operational radiation evaluation required specially designed radiation detection systems onboard the spacecraft in addition to the use of satellite data, solar observatory support, and other liaison. Control and management of radioactive sources and radiation-generating equipment was important in minimizing radiation exposure of ground support personnel, researchers, and the Apollo flight and backup crewmen.
References
Anon.: Occupational Safety and Health Standards. Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, part 191O, May 1971.Anon.: Standards for Protection Against Radiation. Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, part 20, rev. July 15, 1971.Kastner, Jacob; Oltman, B.G.; Feige, Yehuda; and Gold, Raymond: Neutron Exposure to Lunar Astronauts. Health Phys., vol. 17,no. 5, Nov. 1969, pp. 732-733.*Radiation absorbed dose. Corresponds to absorption of watts (100 ergs) yr gram of any medicine.
**That region of space between the Earth and the moon or the moon's orbit.
***Roentgen Equivalent, Man refers to the absorbed dose of any ionizing radiation which produces the same biological effects in man as those resulting from the absorption of 1 roentgen of X-rays.
s2ch3SP-368 Biomedical Results of Apollo
CHAPTER 3
RADIATION PROTECTION AND INSTRUMENTATION
by
J. Vernon Bailey
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Introduction
[105] The solar and cosmic radiation found in space has long been recognized as a possible danger in space travel Exposure to such radiation has the potential of causing serious medical problems. For example, radiation exposure can produce a number of significant changes in various elements of the blood, making an individual more susceptible to disease; also, ionizing radiations of the type found in space can produce significant damage to the lens of the eye. Radiation exposure can also cause temporary or lasting damage to the reproductive system ranging from reduced fertility to permanent sterility. The extent of damage depends upon the tissue involved, the duration of exposure, the dose received, and other factors.
Apollo missions placed men for the first time outside the Earth's geomagnetic shield, subjecting them to potentially hazardous particulate radiation of an intensity and frequency not encountered in the Earth's environment. In addition, various aspects of ground-based operations in support of Apollo missions involved some exposure to radioactive materials, for example during manufacture, testing, and installation of radioluminescent panels in the spacecraft. In flight, astronauts were exposed to both manmade radiations and those occurring naturally in space. Of the two, space radiations posed the larger hazard and were largely uncontrollable. Manmade radiation sources, while of appreciable strength, could be controlled.
The Apollo radiation protection program focused on both the natural radiations encountered in space and manmade radiations encountered on the ground and in the space environment. In both areas, the basic philosophy remained the same: to avoid harmful radiation effects by limiting the radiation dose to the lowest level judged consistent with the achievement of beneficial goals.
Radiation from Space
During a complete Apollo mission, astronauts were exposed to widely varying radiation sources. These included the Van Allen belts, cosmic rays, neutrons, and other [106] subatomic particles created in high energy collisions of primary particles with spacecraft materials. Spacecraft transfer from low Earth orbit to translunar coast necessitated traverse of the regions of geomagnetically trapped electrons and protons known as the Van Allen belts. When beyond these belts, the spacecraft and crewmen were continuously subjected to high-energy cosmic rays and to varying probabilities of particle bursts from the sun. In addition, the individual responsibilities of the crewmen differed, and with these, their radiation exposure. Free-space extravehicular activity, lunar surface activity, and intravehicular Command and Lunar Module activity imposed varying radiation doses.
Van Allen Belts
The problem of protecting astronauts against the radiation found within the Van Allen belts was recognized before the advent of manned space flight. These two bands of trapped radiation, discovered during the Explorer l flight in 1958, consist principally of protons and high-energy electrons, a significant part of which were, at that time, debris from high altitude tests of nuclear weapons. The simple solution to protection is to remain under the belts [below an altitude of approximately 556 km (300 nautical miles)] when in Earth orbit, and to traverse the belts rapidly on the way to outer space. In reality, the problem is somewhat more complex. The radiation belts vary in altitude over various parts of the Earth and are absent over the north and south magnetic poles. A particularly significant portion of the Van Allen belts is a region known as the South Atlantic anomaly (figure 1). Over the South Atlantic region, the geomagnetic field draws particles closer to the Earth than in other regions of the globe. The orbit inclination of a spacecraft determines the number of passes made per day through this region and, thus, the radiation dose.
Figure 1. Isodose profile showing high-dose region over South Atlantic.
[107] Particles within the Van Allen belts, in spiraling around the Earth's magnetic lines of force, display directionality. This directionality varies continuously in angular relationship to the trajectory of the spacecraft. Therefore, dosimetry instrumentation for use in the Van Allen belts had relatively omnidirectional radiation sensors so that the radiation flux would be measured accurately. The Van Allen belt dosimeter (figure 2) was designed specifically for Apollo dosimetry within these radiation belts.
Figure 2. Van Allen Belt dosimeter.
Solar-Particle Radiation
No major solar-particle events occurred during an Apollo mission. Although much effort has been expended in the field of solar event forecasting, individual eruptions from the solar surface have proved impossible to forecast. The best that can be provided is an estimate of particle dose, given visual or radio-frequency (RF) confirmation that an eruption has occurred. A system of solar-monitoring stations, the Solar Particle Alert Network (SPAN), provides a NASA-sponsored network of continuous data on solar-flare activity. SPAN consists of three multiple-frequency radio telescopes and seven optical telescopes. The network gives data for determining the severity of solar-particle events and the resultant possible radiation hazards to crewmen. After the appearance of particles is confirmed onboard a spacecraft, protective action can be taken.
In terms of hazard to crewmen in the heavy, well shielded Command Module, even one of the largest solar-particle event series on record (August 4-9, 1972) would not have caused any impairment of crewmember functions or ability of the crewmen to complete [108] their mission safely. It is estimated that within the Command Module during this event, the crewmen would have received a dose of 360 rads* to their skin and 35 rads to their blood-forming organs (bone and spleen). Radiation doses to crewmen while inside the thinly shielded Lunar Module or during an extravehicular activity (EVA) would be extremely serious for such a particle event To monitor particle activity, a nuclear particle-detection system (figure 3) was designed to have a relatively narrow acceptance angle. It measured the isotropic proton and alpha particles derived from solar-particle events.
Figure 3. Nuclear-particle detection system.
Cosmic Rays
Cosmic ray fluxes, consisting of completely ionized atomic nuclei originating outside the solar system and accelerated to very high energies, provided average dose rates of 1.0 millirads per hour in cislunar space** and 0.6 millirads per hour on the lunar surface. These values are expected to double at the low point in the 11-year cycle of solar-flare activity (solar minimum) because of decreased solar magnetic shielding of the central planets. The effect of high-energy cosmic rays on humans is unknown but is considered by most authorities not to be of serious concern for exposures of less than a few years. Experimental evidence of the effects of these radiations is dependent on the development of highly advanced particle accelerators or the advent of long-term manned missions outside the Earth's geomagnetic influence.
[109] Neutrons
Neutrons created by cosmic rays in collision with lunar materials were postulated to be a potential hazard to Apollo crewmen (Kastner et al., 1969). Two methods for neutron-dose assessment were used. These techniques of whole-body counting and neutron-resonant foil were initiated on the Apollo II mission. Later analyses indicated that neutron doses were significantly lower than had been anticipated. Both methods were retained because of the remaining potential for neutron production by solar-event particles and because of possible crewman exposure to neutrons from the SNAP-27 radioisotope thermal generator used to power the Apollo lunar surface experiments packages.
Detection Devices
To allow accurate determination of overall radiation exposure of the crewmen, each carried a personal radiation dosimeter (PRD) (figure 4) and three passive dosimeters (figure 5). The PRD provided visual readout of accumulated radiation dose to each crewman as the mission progressed. It is approximately the size of a cigarette pack, and pockets were provided in the flight coveralls as well as in the space suit for storage. The passive dosimeters were placed in the garments worn throughout the mission. By placing these detectors at various locations (ankle, thigh, and chest) within the garments, accurate radiation doses for body portions were determined.
Figure 4. Personal radiation dosimeter.
A radiation-survey meter (RSM) (figure 6) allowed crewmen to determine radiation levels in any desired location in their compartment. Crewmen could use the RSM, a [110] direct-reading dose-rate instrument, to find a habitable low-dose region within the spacecraft in the event of a radiation emergency.
Figure 5. Passive dosimeter with component parts.
Figure 6. Radiation-survey meter.
Problems Involving Radiations of Manmade Origin
Protection against manmade sources of radiation is a ground support function concerned mainly with the protection of the ground personnel, the general public, and the environment against detrimental effects of radiation. Much of this effort involved [111] routine health-physics procedures governed by U.S. Atomic Energy Commission regulations (Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, 1971) and U.S. Department of Labor Standards (Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, 1971). However, certain problems concerning spacecraft radioluminescent sources were peculiar to the Apollo Program. The chief problems were leakage of radioactive material from radioluminescent switch tips, and emission of excess soft X-ray radiation from radiolumineseent panels. Both of these problems were solved.
A summary of all of the onboard instrumentation used during Apollo missions to assess radiation exposure is presented in table 1.
Table 1
Onboard Radiation Instrumentation
Instrument
Measurement
Location
.
Nuclear particle detection system
Alpha-proton spectrometer (4 channels proton, 15 m 1 50 MeV; 3 channels alpha, 40 m 300 MeV); telemetered
Service Module
van Allen belt dosimeter
Skin and depth dose rates; telemetered
CM
Radiation survey meter
Portable, hand-held ratemeter: 4 linear ranges, 0 to 0.1 to 0 to 100 rad/hr; visual readout
CM (portable)
Personal radiation dosimeter
1/crewmen; accumulated radiation dose: 0.01 to 1000 rad: visual readout
Suit
Passive radiation dosimeter
3/crewmen; emulsion/thermoluminescent dosimeters; postflight analysis
constant wear garment
Results and Discussion
Average radiation doses were computed for each mission (table 2). Individual readings varied approximately 20 percent from the average because of differences in the shielding effectiveness of various parts of the Apollo spacecraft as well as differences in duties, movements, and locations of crewmen. Doses to blood-forming organs were approximately 40 percent lower than the values measured at the body surface. In comparison with the doses actually received, the maximum operational dose (MOD) limit for each of the Apollo missions was set at 400 rads (X-ray equivalent) to skin and 50 rads to the blood-forming organs.
Radiation doses measured during Apollo were significantly lower than the yearly average of 5 rem*** set by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission for workers who use [112] radioactive materials in factories and institutions across the United States. Thus, radiation was not an operational problem during the Apollo Program. Doses received by the crewmen of Apollo missions 7 through 17 were small because no major solar-particle events occurred during those missions. One small event was detected by a radiation sensor outside the Apollo 12 spacecraft, but no increase in radiation dose to the crewmen inside the spacecraft was detected.
Table 2
Average Radiation Doses of the Flight Crews for the Apollo Missions
Apollo Mission
Skin Dose, rads
.
7
0.16
8
.16
9
.20
10
.48
11
.18
12
.58
13
.24
14
1.14
15
.30
16
.51
17
.55
One particular effect possibly related to cosmic rays was the light-flash phenomenon reported on the Apollo 11 and subsequent missions. Although it is well known that ionizing radiations can produce visual phosphenes (subjective sensations best described as flashes of light) of the types reported, a definite correlation was not established between cosmic rays and the observation of flashes during the Apollo Program. The light flashes were described as starlike flashes or streaks of light that apparently occur within the eye. The flashes were observed only when the spacecraft cabin was dark or when blindfolds were provided and the crewmen were concentrating on detection of the flashes.
There is a possibility that visual flashes might indicate the occurrence of damage to the brain or eye; however, no damage has been observed among crewmen who experienced the light-flash phenomenon During the Apollo 16 and 17 missions, a device known as the Apollo Light Flash Moving Emulsion Detector (ALFMED) was employed for the purpose of establishing if the flashes were indeed being caused by heavy cosmic rays. Further information regarding the light-flash phenomenon is contained in Section IV, Chapter 2 of this book.
Although Apollo missions did not undergo any major space radiation contingency, procedures for handling radiation problems were ready. The development of spacecraft dosimetry systems, the use of a space radiation surveillance network, and the availability of individuals with a thorough knowledge of space radiation assured that any contingency would be recognized immediately and would be coped with in a manner most expedient [113] for both crewmember safety and mission objectives. The possible deterrent to manned space flight by large radiation doses was successfully avoided in the Apollo missions. More significantly, Apollo astronaut doses were negligible in terms of any medical or biological effects that could have impaired the function of man in the space environment.
The two key problems affecting safe operations with manmade radiation were resolved by design modifications. Leakage of radioactive materials from radioluminescent switch tips was eliminated by a change in encapsulating material. The problem of extensive emission of soft X-ray radiation from radioluminescent panels was resolved by applying a layer of plastic to the panels.
Summary and Conclusions
Radiation was not an operational problem during the Apollo Program. Doses received by the crewmen of Apollo missions 7 through 17 were small because no major solar-particle events occurred during those missions. One small event was detected by a radiation sensor outside the Apollo 12 spacecraft, but no increase in radiation dose to the crewmen inside the spacecraft was detected. Solar-particle releases are random events, and it is possible that flares, with the accompanying energetic nuclear particles, might hinder future flights beyond the magnetosphere of the Earth.
Radiation protection for the Apollo Program was focused on both the peculiarities of the natural space radiation environment and the increased prevalence of manmade radiation sources on the ground and onboard the spacecraft. Radiation-exposure risks to crewmen were assessed and balanced against mission gain to determine mission constraints. Operational radiation evaluation required specially designed radiation detection systems onboard the spacecraft in addition to the use of satellite data, solar observatory support, and other liaison. Control and management of radioactive sources and radiation-generating equipment was important in minimizing radiation exposure of ground support personnel, researchers, and the Apollo flight and backup crewmen.
References
Anon.: Occupational Safety and Health Standards. Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, part 191O, May 1971.Anon.: Standards for Protection Against Radiation. Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, part 20, rev. July 15, 1971.Kastner, Jacob; Oltman, B.G.; Feige, Yehuda; and Gold, Raymond: Neutron Exposure to Lunar Astronauts. Health Phys., vol. 17,no. 5, Nov. 1969, pp. 732-733.*Radiation absorbed dose. Corresponds to absorption of watts (100 ergs) yr gram of any medicine.
**That region of space between the Earth and the moon or the moon's orbit.
***Roentgen Equivalent, Man refers to the absorbed dose of any ionizing radiation which produces the same biological effects in man as those resulting from the absorption of 1 roentgen of X-rays.
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Ministry of Truth
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Andy Carvin launches social-media reporting team for First Look '-- Tech News and Analysis
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:15
There's been a lot of news out of First Look Media recently, although not the kind that the site was hoping to deliver: instead of scoops, it's been a stream of reports about mismanagement and departures of key writers and editors like Matt Taibbi and John Cook. But despite the turmoil, former NPR staffer Andy Carvin says he has been hard at work hiring social-media ''anchors'' for an innovative global reporting team at First Look '-- a team that he launched on Monday.
The venture is called Reported.ly, and in a nutshell it will be doing an expanded version of what Carvin (who I consider a friend) did for NPR during the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and subsequent news events: the half dozen staff he has hired will be embedded in a variety of social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit and using them to report in real-time on breaking news stories and other important events. As Carvin put it:
''So many media organizations just use social media as a way to promote their content. Not many people are thinking of these places as living and breathing spaces where they can discuss the news directly with the people who are there. We want to try to serve those readers where they are, and do native journalism on those platforms.''
A global team of anchorsThe Reportedly team includes Malachy Browne, the former news editor at Storyful, who will be based in Dublin; Marina Petrillo, an Italian author and journalist, who will be based in Milan; freelance journalist and programmer Asteris Masouras, who will be based in Greece; Kim Bui, formerly of Digital First Media, who will be based in Los Angeles, and Wendy Carrillo, a former radio host and producer who will also be based in L.A. Leading the team will be Carvin, who is based out of his home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
We want to try to serve those readers where they are, and do native journalism on those platforms
Andy CarvinAs he described it to me in an interview prior to the launch, Carvin sees the team members as being like anchors or producers whose medium is the social platform they are embedded with. He has called what he did on Twitter during the Arab Spring being a ''disc jockey'' for news '-- pulling out facts and highlighting conversations, doing some real-time factchecking but mostly just using this new social medium to tell engaging stories about breaking news events.''We're going to be holding conversations with users on Twitter and Reddit to talk about what we want to do '-- most of the first month will be dedicated to establishing connections with those communities and discussing how we can serve them. And we're also going to try and bring as many as we can into the fold to help us create journalism.''
Because the idea of Reportedly is to have journalists or anchor/producers embedded in different social platforms and engaging directly with users there, the project doesn't have a website yet, although it will be getting one. Carvin said that to begin with, the team will be using a Medium collection to talk about how the experiment is unfolding, and to brainstorm about the kind of journalism they want to do. But in the future, he hopes there will be a site that can act as a ''central dashboard'' where readers can see everything.
The buddy systemCarvin said the team will be structured as a ''buddy system,'' in which two of the anchor/producers will be working at one time '-- so he and Marina will take a shift, followed by Kim and Wendy, then Malachy and Asteris, and so on, so that the project will be able to cover as many time zones as possible. As stories emerge, more than one or two people could be pulled into it to help sift through the conversations going on on the various platforms, Carvin said.
''We want to dive into some of the biggest global stories like ISIS and Syria, Ukraine and Russia, Ebola and public health. But we're not trying to be breaking news organization that will cover every breaking story around the world '-- and one of the things we want to do is get a sense from these communities of what they want covered and what they think isn't being covered well.''
Carvin said that the team have already started reaching out to journalism-related groups or users within the different platforms, including the moderators of the Syrian Civil War sub-Reddit and other sites like Grasswire and Bellingcat from investigative blogger Eliot ''Brown Moses'' Higgins. But Carvin also said fact-checking news reports was just part of what Reportedly wanted to do, and that the major focus would be on ''working with the public to tell more diverse stories about what's happening around the world.''
I asked Carvin for his take on the recent turmoil around the departures of Taibbi and Cook, and reports of micro-management at First Look, and he said he and his team haven't experienced anything like what the staff of The Intercept wrote about in their story on the upheaval, although he did say that the explosion of coverage of those events made it hard for the members of the Reportedly team to keep their heads down and focus on what they were doing.
''It's been an ongoing challenge within First Look to find a culture that complements the personalities and skills that have been brought together, and there's always a certain amount of conflict as you figure that kind of thing out. But getting these issues out in the open as the Intercept team did has actually been very good for the process. We would have all preferred if it hadn't played out that way, but it's certainly not stopping any of the work we've got planned.''
CARVIN REPORTER ARE A BAND WTF-The view from Italy '-- the reported.ly team '-- Medium
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:59
The view from ItalyI was a broadcaster all my life, thankfully in community radio, where you either enjoy having a real relationship with your listeners or you better pick a different job.
2011 changed my life in ways that I'm not yet done exploring. I was brought back into to the streets by the streets of others. Weaving minute by minute stories on Twitter from Egypt and Bahrain especially, sometimes for as long as 14 hours a day, filled me with a sense of urgency and an awe for engagement in our public life. When for many colleagues the shift to participatory journalism was uprooting and uncomfortable, it gave me a sense of belonging, meaning and rejuvenation that I hadn't felt in a long time.
All of a sudden, I had found my real place. Also, social journalism would give me the largest number of encounters with kindred spirits that I could ever hope possible'Š'--'Špeople I don't need to be close friends with to feel their inspiration, or to swap views and experiences with, or to encourage each other on this uncertain terrain. Old structures have crumbled, yes, but new structures are being born, and often in the shape of strong and ethical ecosystems. Sometimes, too, in the shape of gorgeously brave and chaotic ventures like reported.ly and First Look Media.
What I do is a living testament to the fact that transparent social journalism empowers others to do more of the same'Š'--'Šsince most of what I know about it I actually learnt by watching closely what Andy Carvin was doing.
Little did I know that, one day, a chance would come up to be a proud part of Andy's posse, which would also mean the chance to work side by side with some of the people whose work I most admired in the last few years.
There is no other place I would want to be right now.At reported.ly we're setting out to follow and discover stories, to preserve some of the most liquid material that is handled in social journalism, to build new tools, to create new bridges, to interact, to collaborate, to weave, to experiment'Š'--'Što make, to admit and to correct mistakes.
Andy put together a team that relies on professionality, experience and a passionate love for social journalism, but also on diversity and a touch of quirkyness.
Community, service, context, discovery, presence, narration'Š'--'Šbeing a flexible, experienced and caring team will hopefully enable us to be where we are more needed.
We're a start-up, we're a band.We're determined to be useful. We're one part of the equation and the other part is you.
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Google Europe Blog: An update on Google News in Spain
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:54
After 9/11, one of our engineers, Krishna Bharat, realized that results for the query ''World Trade Center'' returned nothing about the terrorist attacks. And it was also hard to compare the news from different sources or countries because every web site was a silo. That's how Google News was born and today the service is available in more than 70 international editions, covering 35 languages.It's a service that hundreds of millions of users love and trust, including many here in Spain. It's free to use and includes everything from the world's biggest newspapers to small, local publications and bloggers. Publishers can choose whether or not they want their articles to appear in Google News -- and the vast majority choose to be included for very good reason. Google News creates real value for these publications by driving people to their websites, which in turn helps generate advertising revenues.
But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we'll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it's with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we'll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.
For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet changed all that -- creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers' attention and for advertising Euros increased. We're committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues.
Posted by Richard Gingras, Head of Google News
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Vaccine$
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Day care vaccination laggards vex parents
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:45
Nearly 3 out of every 4 of those parents surveyed said they'd consider removing their kids from a day care center if just 1 in 4 children there lacked up-to-date shots'--a level of compliance that researchers picked because it is around what is seen nationally year to year.
"I am surprised" with that result, said Sarah Clark, associate director of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, in an interview with CNBC.com.
"Being a parent myself, I know that changing day care is not something that people take on lightly," Clark said.
But parents clearly are concerned with the possibility of their kids getting sick from another child in day care.That worry was reflected in the fact that 66 percent of those polled said they should be told by their day care center just how many kids there are not up to date with their shots.
And if a kid isn't up to date, 41 percent of parents favor banning the kid from the day care until they are thoroughly vaccinated.
Read MoreOne 'buck' a day for keeping the MD away
Clark said the findings suggest that day care providers could benefit financially from requiring all kids to be up to date with their vaccines.
"That might be a good business decision by day cares, to assure parents that they are providers who are looking out for their kids' health and safety," she said.
Clark noted that all states have minimum vaccination standards for licensed day care providers. But, she added, there are differences both in the minimum vaccinations that states require and how often those vaccinations are required to be updated.
"There's quite a wide range," she said.
Parents support daycare policies to get kids up-to-date on vaccines | National Poll on Children's Health
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:43
Almost all states require vaccines for children who attend daycare, to prevent the spread of disease. However, even with requirements, some children do not receive all vaccines. In June 2014, we asked a national sample of parents of children 0-5 about vaccination policies for children in daycare.
How Do Parents Feel about Daycare Vaccination Policies?Most parents agree that all children in daycare centers should be vaccinated (59% strongly agree, 22% agree), with slightly less agreement for children in home-based childcare (47% strongly agree, 24% agree). In addition, most parents feel that daycare providers should review children's immunization status every year to ensure they are up-to-date (52% strongly agree, 22% agree).
Most parents (66%) think they should be informed of the number of children at their daycare center who are not up-to-date on vaccines. Only 25% of parents believe they should receive the names of children who are not up-to-date on vaccines.
In a scenario where 1 in 4 children in their daycare center were not up-to-date with vaccinations, 74% of parents would consider removing their own children from that childcare center; another 11% would consider removal of their children only if an outbreak occurred.
With regard to how daycare centers should deal with a child who is not up-to-date on vaccines, parents most commonly support excluding the child until all vaccines are received (Figure 1). Only 1 in 10 parents support allowing an unvaccinated child to attend childcare, without a waiver or vaccine requirement.
ImplicationsDaycares are common settings for the spread of disease, due to the close proximity of young children. Vaccination is an effective way to prevent outbreaks of serious diseases such as pertussis, chicken pox, and influenza, and protects children in daycare who are too young to be fully vaccinated themselves with all recommended doses. In addition, vaccination of young children prevents the spread of diseases to family members of all ages who are immunocompromised, such as people with cancer or those taking medicines that affect their immune systems.
Results of this poll indicate that most parents support daycare policies requiring children to be up-to-date on vaccines. This support is consistent with existing daycare vaccination requirements in every state. However, some state requirements apply only to daycare entry, which may discount the importance of keeping children up-to-date on vaccines. Poll results show that three-quarters of parents feel daycares should check vaccination records every year; in practice, this may not be done consistently.
Even with daycare policies or state requirements, parents may seek medical, religious, or philosophical exemptions to vaccination, which means that some children in daycare may not receive all vaccines. Poll results on how to handle this situation demonstrate mixed views among parents. The most common area of agreement is the belief that parents should be informed of how many children in the daycare are not up-to-date on vaccines, but not the names of those children.
Parents had varying responses to how the daycare should respond in a situation where a child is not up-to-date on vaccines. The majority of parents in this poll felt the daycare should insist the child be vaccinated'--with a split between those who felt the child should be excluded until vaccination occurred and those who felt the family should have a grace period while the child continues to attend daycare. Few parents felt the child should be allowed to attend daycare without any expectations that either vaccines or a waiver from a doctor would be obtained.
Parents in this poll also had mixed responses to a hypothetical situation where 25% of children in a daycare were not-up-to-date on vaccines. Although the majority said they would consider removing their child from that daycare, the responses varied from ''definitely would consider'' to ''only in the event of an outbreak''. It seems that parents do not have a consensus threshold in this arena.
The take-home message from this poll is that, when choosing a daycare for their child, parents should feel comfortable asking about the vaccination policies, such as whether the daycare excludes children who are not up-to-date, and whether they check children's vaccination status every year.
Data Source:This report presents findings from a nationally representative household survey conducted exclusively by GfK Custom Research, LLC (GfK), for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital via a method used in many published studies. The survey was administered in June 2014 to a randomly selected, stratified group of adults age 18 and older from GfK's web-enabled KnowledgePanel® that closely resembles the U.S. population. Responses from parents with a child 0-5 (n=614) were used for this report. The sample was subsequently weighted to reflect population figures from the Census Bureau. The survey completion rate was 53% among the parent panel members contacted to participate. The margin of error is ± 3 to 5 percentage points.
C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's HealthDirector: Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPPAssociate Director: Sarah J. Clark, MPHManager & Editor: Dianne C. Singer, MPHData Analysts: Amilcar Matos-Moreno, MPH & Acham Gebremariam, MSWeb Editor: Anna Daly Kauffman, BAResearch Associate: Katrease Hale, MPH
Findings from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health do not represent the opinions of the investigators or the opinions of the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan reserves all rights over this material.
National, State, and Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19''35 Months '-- United States, 2012
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:49
The National Immunization Survey (NIS) is a random-digit''dialed telephone survey used to monitor vaccination coverage among U.S. children aged 19''35 months. This report describes national, state, and selected local area vaccination coverage estimates for children born during January 2009''May 2011, based on results from the 2012 NIS. Healthy People 2020* objectives set childhood vaccination targets of 90% for '‰¥1 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR); '‰¥3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB); '‰¥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine; '‰¥1 doses of varicella vaccine; '‰¥4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP); '‰¥4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV); and the full series of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib). Vaccination coverage remained near or above the national Healthy People 2020 target for '‰¥1 doses of MMR (90.8%), '‰¥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (92.8%), '‰¥3 doses of HepB (89.7%), and '‰¥1 doses of varicella vaccine (90.2%). Coverage increased from 68.6% in 2011 to 71.6% in 2012 for the birth dose of HepB.' Coverage was below the Healthy People 2020 target and either decreased or remained stable relative to 2011 for '‰¥4 doses of DTaP (82.5%), the full series of Hib (80.9%), and '‰¥4 doses of PCV (81.9%). Coverage also remained stable relative to 2011 and below the Healthy People 2020 targets of 85% and 80%, respectively, for '‰¥2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine (HepA) (53.0%), and rotavirus vaccine (68.6%). The percentage of children who had not received any vaccinations remained 15 weeks, and the final dose should be given by age 8 months (5). These age restrictions might preclude infants from starting or completing the series. Health-care providers should make every effort to start and complete administration of the rotavirus vaccine series on time.
Although few differences in coverage by racial/ethnic group were observed after adjustment for poverty status, differences in coverage by poverty level remained for many vaccines. The Vaccines For Children program¶¶¶ has been successful in removing differences in coverage between children living above and below the poverty level that once existed for vaccines such as MMR, polio, and HepB (6); however, coverage among children living below the poverty level still lags behind coverage of children living at or above the poverty level for newer vaccines (HepA and rotavirus) and vaccines that require 4 doses to complete the series.
Vaccination coverage continues to vary across states. Clusters of unvaccinated children leave communities vulnerable to outbreaks of disease. The continued occurrence of measles outbreaks among unvaccinated persons in the United States (7) underscores the importance of maintaining uniformly high coverage to prevent transmission of imported disease. Recent budget cuts to state and local health departments (8) as well as differences by state in factors such as population characteristics, immunization program activities, vaccination requirements for child-care centers, and vaccine financing policies might contribute to variations in vaccination coverage.
The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, the proportion of the NIS sampled by cellular telephone in 2012 was about half compared with only 11% in 2011 and zero in earlier years. Living in a household with only cellular telephone service is associated with poverty and other demographic factors that might be related to vaccination status (3). Second, underestimates of vaccination coverage might have resulted from the exclusive use of provider-reported vaccination histories because completeness of these records is unknown. Third, bias resulting from nonresponse and exclusion of households without telephone service might persist after weighting adjustments, although estimated bias from these sources for the 2011 NIS was low for selected vaccines examined, ranging from 0.3 (for MMR) to 1.5 (for '‰¥4 DTaP) percentage points (9). The potential for nonresponse bias was increased in 2012 because of the lower response rate for the cellular telephone sample. However, a comparison of vaccination coverage estimates from the NIS from July 2011 through June 2012 with those from the National Health Interview Survey during the same period yielded similar results, both overall and for children living in cellular-only households, despite largely different response rates between the two surveys (Assessment Branch, Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and Survey Planning and Special Surveys Branch, Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC; unpublished data; 2013). Finally, although national coverage estimates are precise, estimates for state and local areas should be interpreted with caution because of smaller sample sizes and wider confidence intervals.
High vaccination coverage among preschool-aged children has resulted in historically low levels of most vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States (1). The results of the 2012 NIS indicate that vaccination coverage among young children remained relatively stable and the proportion of children who do not receive any vaccinations has remained low. Slight decreases in coverage for some vaccines relative to 2011 cannot be immediately explained but could be attributable to a change in NIS methods. The 2012 results should be considered a baseline against which future trends in coverage can be evaluated. Careful monitoring of coverage levels overall and in subpopulations (e.g., racial/ethnic and geographic) is important to ensure that all children remain adequately protected. Parents and health-care providers should work to sustain high coverage and improve coverage for the more recently recommended vaccines and those that require booster doses after age 12 months. In addition to health system''based interventions previously described, national, state and local immunization programs should continue to partner with providers to implement the Guide to Community Preventive Services''recommended interventions aimed at increasing community demand for vaccination, such as client reminder/recall and client or family incentives. Enhanced access to health services also is recommended, through reduced out-of-pocket costs, home visits, and vaccination programs in child-care centers, schools, and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) settings**** (4). Health insurance reforms of the Affordable Care Act require health plans to cover recommended immunizations without cost to the enrollee when administered by an in-network provider (10).' ' ' '
ReferencesCDC. Vaccine-preventable diseases, immunizations, and MMWR'--1961''2011. MMWR 2011;60(Suppl 4):49''57.CDC. Updated recommendations for use of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine: reinstatement of the booster dose at ages 12''15 months. MMWR 2009;58:673''4.CDC. Wireless substitution: early release of estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, July''December 2012. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2013. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/wireless201306.pdf.Community Preventive Services Task Force. Increasing appropriate vaccination: universally recommended vaccinations. In: The Guide to Community Preventive Services. Atlanta, GA: Community Preventive Services Task Force; 2013. Available at http://www.thecommunityguide.org/vaccines/index.html.CDC. General recommendations on immunization: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 2011;60(No. RR-2).CDC. Vaccination coverage by race/ethnicity and poverty level among children aged 19''35 months, United States, 1996. MMWR 1997;46:963''8.CDC. Measles'--United States, 2011. MMWR 2012;61:253''7.Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Budget cuts continue to affect the health of Americans: update March 2012. Arlington, VA: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; 2012. Available at http://www.astho.org/display/assetdisplay.aspx?id=6907.Pineau V, Wolter K, Skalland B, et al. Modeling total survey error in the 2011 National Immunization Survey (NIS): pre-school children and teens. Paper presented at 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings, August 3''8, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, Canada.Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Pub. L. No. 111-48,124 Stat. 119 (2010).What is already known on this topic?
Healthy People 2020 set childhood vaccination targets of 90% for '‰¥1 doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR); '‰¥3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB); '‰¥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine; '‰¥1 doses of varicella vaccine; '‰¥4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine; '‰¥4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; and the full series of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine. The National Immunization Survey estimates coverage among U.S. children aged 19''35 months for these and other vaccines.
What is added by this report?
In 2012, childhood vaccination coverage remains near or above national target levels for '‰¥1 doses of MMR (90.8%), '‰¥3 doses of HepB (89.7%), '‰¥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (92.8%), and '‰¥1 doses of varicella vaccine (90.2%); however, coverage varied by state and tended to be lower among children in families with incomes below the federal poverty level.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Sustaining current coverage levels and increasing coverage for those vaccines below national target levels is needed to maintain the low levels of vaccine-preventable diseases and prevent a resurgence of these diseases in the United States. Ensuring systems such as client reminder/recall and vaccination programs are in place in settings such as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics and child-care facilities can help support high vaccination coverage.
Vaccine and dosage
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
DTaP
'‰¥3 doses
96.2
(±0.5)
95.0
(±0.6)
95.0
(±0.6)
95.5
(±0.5)
94.3
(±0.7)'
'‰¥4 doses
84.6
(±1.0)
83.9
(±1.0)
84.4
(±1.0)
84.6
(±1.0)
82.5
(±1.2)'
Poliovirus ('‰¥3 doses)
93.6
(±0.6)
92.8
(±0.7)
93.3
(±0.7)
93.9
(±0.6)
92.8
(±0.7)'
MMR ('‰¥1 doses)
92.1
(±0.7)
90.0
(±0.8)
91.5
(±0.7)
91.6
(±0.8)
90.8
(±0.8)
Hib§
Primary series
N/A
92.1
(±0.8)
92.2
(±0.8)
94.2
(±0.6)
93.3
(±0.7)
Full series
N/A
54.8
(±1.4)
66.8
(±1.3)
80.4
(±1.1)
80.9
(±1.2)
HepB
'‰¥3 doses
93.5
(±0.7)
92.4
(±0.7)
91.8
(±0.7)
91.1
(±0.7)
89.7
(±0.9)'
1 dose by 3 days (birth)¶
55.3
(±1.3)
60.8
(±1.3)
64.1
(±1.3)
68.6
(±1.3)
71.6
(±1.4)'
Varicella ('‰¥1 doses)
90.7
(±0.7)
89.6
(±0.8)
90.4
(±0.8)
90.8
(±0.7)
90.2
(±0.8)
PCV
'‰¥3 doses
92.8
(±0.6)
92.6
(±0.7)
92.6
(±0.8)
93.6
(±0.6)
92.3
(±0.8)'
'‰¥4 doses
80.1
(±1.1)
80.4
(±1.2)
83.3
(±1.0)
84.4
(±1.0)
81.9
(±1.1)'
HepA**
'‰¥1 doses
70.5
(±1.1)
75.0
(±1.1)
78.3
(±1.1)
81.2
(±1.0)
81.5
(±1.1)
'‰¥2 doses
40.4
(±1.2)
46.6
(±1.4)
49.7
(±1.4)
52.2
(±1.4)
53.0
(±1.5)
Rotavirus' '
N/A
43.9
(±1.4)
59.2
(±1.4)
67.3
(±1.3)
68.6
(±1.4)
Combined series
4:3:1:3*:3:1:4§§
N/A
44.3
(±1.4)
56.6
(±1.3)
68.5
(±1.3)
68.4
(±1.4)
Children who received no vaccinations
0.6
(±0.2)
0.6
(±0.1)
0.7
(±0.2)
0.8
(±0.2)
0.8
(±0.1)
Vaccine and dosage
Race/Ethnicity
Poverty level
White, non-Hispanic
Black, non-Hispanic
Hispanic
American Indian/Alaska Native
Asian
Multiracial, non-Hispanic
At or above
Below
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
DTaP
'‰¥3 doses
94.8
(±0.8)
94.0
(±1.6)
93.5
(±1.9)
95.6
(±3.3)
96.1
(±2.1)
95.1
(±2.0)
95.0
(±0.9)
93.4
(±1.3)**
'‰¥4 doses
83.6
(±1.5)
79.6
(±3.1)¶
80.8
(±2.9)
88.2
(±5.9)
88.1
(±4.3)
85.6
(±3.6)
85.0
(±1.4)
78.5
(±2.3)**
Poliovirus ('‰¥3 doses)
93.0
(±0.9)
92.9
(±1.8)
92.5
(±1.8)
95.2
(±3.4)
92.3
(±3.6)
93.3
(±2.3)
93.4
(±0.9)
91.8
(±1.4)
MMR ('‰¥1 doses)
90.9
(±1.0)
90.9
(±2.1)
90.7
(±2.0)
92.0
(±5.0)
89.8
(±5.2)
92.3
(±2.6)
91.4
(±1.0)
89.9
(±1.6)
Hib' '
Primary series
93.7
(±0.9)
91.1
(±2.2)
93.5
(±1.7)
94.5
(±3.9)
94.9
(±2.2)
94.0
(±2.2)
94.3
(±0.8)
91.9
(±1.4)**
Full series
82.2
(±1.4)
77.5
(±3.3)¶
79.5
(±2.8)
84.7
(±7.1)
86.1
(±4.4)
82.5
(±3.9)
84.0
(±1.4)
76.4
(±2.2)**
HepB
'‰¥3 doses
89.3
(±1.1)
89.7
(±2.2)
89.4
(±2.1)
94.0
(±3.9)¶
93.2
(±2.7)¶
92.2
(±2.6)
89.8
(±1.1)
89.4
(±1.5)
1 dose by 3 days (birth)§§
69.2
(±1.6)
74.9
(±3.6)¶
73.9
(±3.4)¶
NA
71.6
(±6.6)
75.9
(±4.8)¶
69.4
(±1.7)
75.8
(±2.5)**
Varicella ('‰¥1 doses)
89.8
(±1.0)
90.4
(±2.1)
90.9
(±2.1)
92.5
(±4.5)
91.9
(±3.2)
90.9
(±2.9)
90.6
(±1.0)
89.7
(±1.7)
PCV
'‰¥3 doses
92.7
(±1.0)
91.2
(±2.0)
92.4
(±1.8)
94.0
(±4.0)
90.7
(±3.3)
94.0
(±2.2)
93.4
(±0.9)
90.7
(±1.5)**
'‰¥4 doses
83.5
(±1.4)
77.1
(±3.5)¶
82.1
(±2.5)
NA
80.7
(±5.1)
84.1
(±3.7)
85.3
(±1.2)
76.7
(±2.3)**
HepA ('‰¥2 doses)
52.6
(±1.8)
52.0
(±3.9)
54.4
(±3.4)
NA
57.5
(±7.7)
49.4
(±5.7)
55.4
(±1.8)
49.4
(±2.7)**
Rotavirus¶¶
70.5
(±1.6)
60.4
(±4.0)¶
70.0
(±3.1)
NA
69.9
(±7.1)
69.3
(±5.4)
72.5
(±1.6)
63.0
(±2.5)**
Combined series
4:3:1:3*:3:1:4***
69.3
(±1.7)
64.8
(±3.8)¶
67.8
(±3.2)
NA
71.6
(±6.6)
71.5
(±4.8)
71.6
(±1.6)
63.4
(±2.7)**
State/Area
MMR ('‰¥1 doses)
DTaP ('‰¥4 doses)
HepB (birth)§
HepA ('‰¥2 doses)¶
Rotavirus**
Combined series*
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
United States
90.8
(±0.8)
82.5
(±1.2)§§
71.6
(±1.4)' '
53.0
(±1.5)
68.6
(±1.4)
68.4
(±1.4)
Alabama
93.1
(±3.5)
84.8
(±5.9)
83.8
(±4.9)' '
49.2
(±7.4)
66.0
(±7.4)§§
71.3
(±6.8)
Alaska
86.2
(±5.1)
79.4
(±5.8)
56.8
(±6.9)
50.1
(±6.9)
60.3
(±6.8)
59.5
(±6.8)
Arizona
88.3
(±4.9)
82.7
(±5.8)
83.0
(±5.3)' '
55.2
(±6.9)
71.6
(±6.7)
67.5
(±7.5)
Arkansas
92.3
(±4.0)
79.8
(±6.4)
81.7
(±6.5)
40.1
(±7.5)
56.3
(±8.0)
66.4
(±7.6)
California
91.5
(±4.3)
81.6
(±6.6)
61.5
(±7.5)
54.6
(±7.8)
71.0
(±6.8)
66.8
(±7.5)
Colorado
91.5
(±4.5)
82.8
(±6.7)
64.0
(±8.4)
56.2
(±8.6)
73.5
(±7.7)
71.7
(±7.9)
Connecticut
94.8
(±2.9)
91.3
(±3.8)
75.7
(±5.7)
65.5
(±6.3)' '
72.5
(±6.4)
77.1
(±5.7)
Delaware
94.4
(±3.4)
90.9
(±4.3)
72.3
(±6.7)
65.7
(±7.1)' '
76.5
(±6.5)
72.6
(±6.7)
District of Columbia
93.0
(±3.7)
90.7
(±4.0)
78.2
(±5.4)
62.3
(±6.6)
54.2
(±6.8)
73.4
(±6.2)
Florida
91.0
(±4.8)
83.3
(±6.5)
62.6
(±7.6)
51.9
(±8.1)
66.0
(±7.9)
68.6
(±7.5)
Georgia
91.9
(±4.2)
86.7
(±5.2)
87.6
(±5.1)
65.9
(±7.6)
71.8
(±7.2)
74.7
(±6.8)
Hawaii
95.0
(±2.7)
87.9
(±4.6)
82.7
(±5.2)' '
58.1
(±7.1)
70.6
(±6.5)' '
80.2
(±5.5)
Idaho
93.3
(±3.6)
76.6
(±6.7)
70.1
(±7.8)
52.8
(±8.6)
68.2
(±7.2)
63.0
(±8.2)
Illinois
91.6
(±2.7)
85.3
(±2.6)
71.3
(±5.0)
48.2
(±5.4 )
67.2
(±5.2)
68.5
(±4.9)
City of Chicago
86.8
(±6.1)
79.4
(±7.6)
70.3
(±8.4)
45.2
(±8.7)
69.5
(±8.7)
60.4
(±8.8)§§
Rest of state
93.2
(±2.9)
87.4
(±4.1)
71.7
(±6.0)
49.3
(±6.6)
66.4
(±6.3)
71.4
(±5.8)
Indiana
90.0
(±4.5)
76.8
(±6.5)
78.2
(±6.0)
48.0
(±7.5)
63.9
(±7.4)
61.4
(±7.4)
Iowa
93.3
(±3.4)' '
88.2
(±4.4)
68.3
(±7.5)
59.3
(±7.2)' '
70.2
(±7.5)
74.8
(±6.3)
Kansas
88.5
(±4.6)
79.0
(±6.0)§§
78.3
(±5.4)
58.5
(±6.9)
59.9
(±7.0)
65.0
(±6.7)
Kentucky
89.2
(±4.4)
83.0
(±5.4)
80.8
(±5.6)
48.4
(±7.0)
69.0
(±6.4)
68.2
(±6.6)
Louisiana
90.5
(±4.0)
77.8
(±6.6)
76.6
(±6.8)
46.9
(±7.3)
65.0
(±7.4)
68.5
(±7.1)
Maine
91.2
(±4.2)
87.9
(±5.1)
74.2
(±5.8)
52.5
(±7.4)' '
64.7
(±7.0)
72.6
(±6.6)
Maryland
92.5
(±4.8)
83.2
(±6.2)
73.3
(±6.6)
53.1
(±7.3)
71.2
(±6.9)
67.1
(±7.1)
Massachusetts
93.7
(±3.4)
88.2
(±4.5)
74.0
(±6.2)
57.5
(±6.9)
82.4
(±5.6)
73.5
(±6.2)
Michigan
91.4
(±4.4)
81.5
(±6.7)
78.9
(±6.1)
40.9
(±7.4)§§
64.3
(±7.4)
70.5
(±7.3)
Minnesota
90.1
(±5.6)
84.2
(±5.6)
62.8
(±7.4)
55.4
(±7.7)
76.6
(±6.4)
66.2
(±7.6)
Mississippi
93.4
(±4.3)
83.6
(±6.4)
81.6
(±6.5)
39.7
(±8.2)
63.8
(±8.0)
77.5
(±7.0)
Missouri
92.7
(±4.1)
81.9
(±7.0)
78.7
(±6.2)
56.3
(±7.9)
69.3
(±7.8)
63.9
(±8.0)
Montana
91.5
(±4.0)
86.6
(±4.4)' '
64.5
(±6.8)§§
50.5
(±7.3)
61.3
(±7.4)
66.5
(±7.1)
Nebraska
89.0
(±4.4)§§
84.5
(±5.2)§§
79.4
(±5.8)
60.6
(±7.0)
74.2
(±6.2)
72.6
(±6.5)
Nevada
89.8
(±4.1)
81.0
(±5.5)
70.5
(±6.3)
52.2
(±7.0)
62.7
(±6.7)
65.3
(±6.6)
New Hampshire
93.7
(±3.4)
88.7
(±4.7)
72.2
(±6.6)
57.0
(±7.0)
83.0
(±5.8)
80.1
(±5.7)' '
New Jersey
94.8
(±2.7)
84.7
(±5.1)
52.6
(±6.9)
45.9
(±6.9)
68.0
(±6.6)' '
71.5
(±6.4)
New Mexico
88.8
(±4.4)
87.0
(±4.9)
68.9
(±7.0)
51.9
(±7.6)
78.4
(±5.8)
71.6
(±6.6)
New York
90.2
(±2.9)
83.8
(±3.5)
61.5
(±4.7)' '
45.9
(±4.7)
65.5
(±4.5)
63.7
(±4.6)
City of New York
90.3
(±3.9)
82.9
(±5.3)
60.5
(±6.4)' '
44.4
(±6.6)
56.8
(±6.8)
62.8
(±6.5)
Rest of state
90.0
(±4.2)
84.6
(±4.7)
62.4
(±6.8)
47.5
(±6.7)
74.1
(±5.9)' '
64.6
(±6.5)
State/Area
MMR ('‰¥1 doses)
DTaP ('‰¥4 doses)
HepB (birth)§
HepA ('‰¥2 doses)¶
Rotavirus**
Combined series*
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
%
(95% CI)
North Carolina
89.0
(±4.9)
85.9
(±5.4)
78.2
(±5.9)
48.5
(±7.3)
68.0
(±7.1)
75.4
(±6.5)
North Dakota
90.6
(±5.4)
85.1
(±6.2)
82.3
(±5.6)
59.8
(±7.5)
75.4
(±7.1)
72.2
(±7.2)
Ohio
90.3
(±4.9)
83.3
(±6.0)
77.8
(±6.2)
53.8
(±7.0)
67.4
(±7.5)
66.8
(±6.9)
Oklahoma
90.0
(±4.8)
79.1
(±6.0)
67.4
(±7.4)
56.1
(±7.4)
56.4
(±7.7)
61.0
(±7.6)
Oregon
87.3
(±4.7)
81.2
(±5.8)
65.4
(±6.6)
57.6
(±7.0)
66.1
(±6.7)
66.7
(±6.7)
Pennsylvania
87.0
(±4.6)§§
80.1
(±5.3)
83.2
(±4.3)' '
58.5
(±6.1)
72.5
(±5.5)
68.3
(±5.9)
Philadelphia County
92.6
(±4.3)
85.4
(±5.7)
78.1
(±6.0)
58.1
(±7.6)
68.0
(±7.2)
73.8
(±7.1)
Rest of state
85.9
(±5.5)§§
79.1
(±6.2)
84.2
(±5.1)' '
58.6
(±7.1)
73.4
(±6.4)
67.2
(±6.9)
Rhode Island
94.3
(±3.1)
89.0
(±4.9)
68.3
(±6.7)
57.3
(±6.9)
79.8
(±6.4)
72.5
(±6.5)
South Carolina
93.2
(±3.5)
80.9
(±6.0)
78.4
(±5.8)' '
48.5
(±7.3)
70.6
(±6.7)' '
71.8
(±6.7)
South Dakota
93.3
(±3.0)
79.2
(±5.5)
76.6
(±5.6)
45.3
(±6.8)' '
59.5
(±7.0)
63.6
(±6.4)
Tennessee
92.2
(±4.0)
82.0
(±6.0)
68.8
(±7.0)
55.4
(±7.7)
64.3
(±7.6)
73.1
(±6.8)
Texas
89.7
(±2.4)§§
77.4
(±3.6)§§
74.6
(±3.7)
57.4
(±4.0)
67.5
(±3.9)
64.8
(±4.0)§§
Bexar County
90.9
(±4.0)
77.5
(±6.4)
76.4
(±6.4)' '
62.6
(±7.6)
67.5
(±7.4)
65.7
(±7.5)
City of Houston
92.2
(±4.7)
83.4
(±6.8)
84.3
(±5.6)
64.4
(±8.4)
79.7
(±7.6)' '
70.9
(±7.9)
Dallas County
86.5
(±5.6)
78.8
(±6.6)
72.3
(±7.0)§§
56.8
(±8.0)
72.0
(±7.2)
69.8
(±7.5)
El Paso County
87.1
(±4.7)
76.5
(±6.1)
77.9
(±5.6)
57.4
(±6.7)
68.4
(±6.7)
62.3
(±6.7)
Rest of state
89.7
(±3.3)§§
76.2
(±5.0)
72.8
(±5.2)
55.7
(±5.6)
64.5
(±5.4)§§
62.9
(±5.6)§§
Utah
87.3
(±5.5)
80.5
(±6.6)
78.6
(±6.3)
57.1
(±7.7)
74.5
(±6.8)
73.0
(±7.2)
Vermont
91.7
(±3.8)
86.0
(±5.0)
36.0
(±6.7)' '
37.4
(±6.4)
64.2
(±6.6)
63.2
(±6.7)
Virginia
94.3
(±3.9)
82.7
(±6.6)
71.4
(±7.4)
50.0
(±8.3)
71.9
(±7.9)
69.8
(±7.7)
Washington
84.8
(±5.8)
84.0
(±5.5)
73.2
(±6.5)
51.0
(±7.4)
68.6
(±7.0)
65.2
(±7.2)
West Virginia
84.6
(±6.0)
79.1
(±6.8)
74.4
(±6.6)' '
54.9
(±7.9)
62.6
(±7.8)
60.8
(±7.9)
Wisconsin
89.3
(±5.2)
87.8
(±5.3)
72.2
(±6.5)
55.6
(±7.4)
67.4
(±7.1)
75.2
(±6.5)
Wyoming
91.2
(±3.9)
79.4
(±6.0)
64.8
(±7.1)
32.3
(±6.8) §§
69.1
(±6.7)' '
67.2
(±6.8)
U.S. Virgin Islands
63.7
(±7.4)§§
55.6
(±7.7)
72.8
(±7.0)
12.0
(±4.7)
15.6
(±5.7)
41.5
(±7.6)
All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.
**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.
U.S. agency offers legal immunity to Ebola vaccine makers
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:02
Scientists at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, prepare an experimental Ebola vaccine for shipment to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva in this undated handout picture released October 18, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Public Health Agency of Canada/Handout
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Press Announcements > FDA approves Gardasil 9 for prevention of certain cancers caused by five additional types of HPV
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:38
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) for the prevention of certain diseases caused by nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Covering nine HPV types, five more HPV types than Gardasil (previously approved by the FDA), Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.
Gardasil 9 is a vaccine approved for use in females ages 9 through 26 and males ages 9 through 15. It is approved for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58, and for the prevention of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 or 11. Gardasil 9 adds protection against five additional HPV types'--31, 33, 45, 52 and 58'-- which cause approximately 20 percent of cervical cancers and are not covered by previously FDA-approved HPV vaccines.
''Vaccination is a critical public health measure for lowering the risk of most cervical, genital and anal cancers caused by HPV,'' said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. ''The approval of Gardasil 9 provides broader protection against HPV-related cancers.
A randomized, controlled clinical study was conducted in the U.S. and internationally in approximately 14,000 females ages 16 through 26 who tested negative for vaccine HPV types at the start of the study. Study participants received either Gardasil or Gardasil 9. Gardasil 9 was determined to be 97 percent effective in preventing cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers caused by the five additional HPV types (31, 33, 45, 52, and 58). In addition, Gardasil 9 is as effective as Gardasil for the prevention of diseases caused by the four shared HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18) based on similar antibody responses in participants in clinical studies.
Due to the low incidence of anal cancer caused by the five additional HPV types, the prevention of anal cancer is based on Gardasil's demonstrated effectiveness of 78 percent and additional data on antibodies in males and females who received Gardasil 9.
The effectiveness of Gardasil 9 in females and males ages 9 through 15 was determined in studies that measured antibody responses to the vaccine in approximately 1,200 males and 2,800 females in this age group. Their antibody responses were similar to those in females 16 through 26 years of age. Based on these results, the vaccine is expected to have similar effectiveness when used in this younger age group.
Gardasil 9 is administered as three separate shots, with the initial dose followed by additional shots given two and six months later. For all of the indications for use approved by the FDA, Gardasil 9's full potential for benefit is obtained by those who are vaccinated prior to becoming infected with the HPV strains covered by the vaccine.
The safety of Gardasil 9 was evaluated in approximately 13,000 males and females. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were injection site pain, swelling, redness, and headaches.
Gardasil 9 is manufactured by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
###
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Ebola
U.S. agency offers legal immunity to Ebola vaccine makers
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:02
Scientists at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, Manitoba, prepare an experimental Ebola vaccine for shipment to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva in this undated handout picture released October 18, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Public Health Agency of Canada/Handout
Time names Ebola fighters as 'person' of 2014
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:56
NEW YORK: Time magazine Wednesday named the medics who have treated patients struck with the killer Ebola virus as its "Person of the Year 2014", paying tribute to their courage and mercy.
The year saw the Ebola outbreak turn into an epidemic in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and there have been scattered cases in Nigeria, Mali, Spain, Germany and the United States.
"Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease," wrote Time editor Nancy Gibbs, announcing the prestigious annual title
"The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight.
"For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are Time's 2014 Person of the Year."
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Common Core
An hour of code can inspire a future of opportunity | TheHill
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:27
Early experiences have the ability to inspire us and shape our future. One early source of inspiration for me was my father, who was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. It was because of him that from a young age, I learned the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I witnessed firsthand how my father's pursuit of science opened doors of opportunity. Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, 2014, offers an opportunity for all of us to ask how we can inspire a new generation.
Microsoft is proud to partner with Code.org, an organization dedicated to expanding participation in computer science, with a series of activities geared toward teachers, students, and parents in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. In particular, we will help Code.org with its grassroots campaign goal for the week to reach 100 million students globally with ''The Hour of Code,'' a program that provides a hands-on introduction to computer science. Specifically, our software is available for tutorials and on November 20, we offered a free training to educators throughout Washington, D.C. on how to set up an ''Hour of Code'' in their classrooms. Participating in the Hour of Code campaign and other events taking place around the country give a new generation of students the opportunity to experience computer science. This week also presents an opportunity for legislators, teachers, parents, and educators to reflect on the importance of computer science in primary and secondary education.
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Computer science education lays the foundation for many high-paying jobs today and those that will be created in the future. Across business sectors and around the country, America's most innovative companies are facing a national challenge in finding the high-skilled workers they need to compete, particularly in fields like computer science. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that between 2010 and 2020, approximately 60 percent of math and science job openings will be in computing professions. Despite this trend, fewer than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with a degree in Computer Science. To maintain U.S. competitiveness and innovation, it is imperative that our nation's young people have access to and pursue the education and skills training needed to adequately prepare for these jobs. States should also continue efforts to make computer science education count toward high school graduation credit, a goal Microsoft and Code.org have long advocated. Last year, Microsoft deployed a team to work state-by-state on this mission. As a result, ten more states have joined this effort. We celebrate this achievement, but we do so recognizing that only 25 states and the District of Columba have clear, publicly accessible policies allowing rigorous computer science courses to satisfy existing high school graduation requirements for mathematics or science. Such policies go a long way to expanding the pursuit of computer science. States that count computer science as a core graduation requirement see 50 percent more enrollment in their AP Computer Science courses as well as increased participation from underrepresented minorities. For our nation to succeed and to sustain our global competitiveness, it is time to ensure that U.S. students are prepared to compete for highly technical computer jobs.
In September, we embarked on the third year of Microsoft YouthSpark, announcing the expansion of technology education efforts to help address the rising tide of global youth unemployment. As part of that effort, we are nearly doubling the size of our Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program. TEALS is a grassroots program that recruits, trains, mentors, and places high tech professionals from across the country into high school classes as volunteer teachers. Through the TEALS program, Microsoft will place software engineers as volunteers in 131 high schools across 18 states and the District of Columbia. Fourteen schools in our area now have TEALS classrooms, with three new schools added this year in Northern Virginia.
This Computer Science Education Week, I encourage everyone '' legislators, students, and teachers alike '' to take part in the Hour of Code, discover the fun of coding and, more importantly, how it can be a catalyst to create and achieve great things. Everyone starts somewhere. This week offers the opportunity to get your start in computer science. To join us in this effort, please visit csedweek.org.
Humphries is vice president for U.S. government affairs at Microsoft.
MSFT-Hour of Code | Learn the Basics of Computer Science
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:28
''When I was in 8th grade, my dad brought home a Timex Sinclair ZX81 computer. I found that I could write words (code) and make things happen on the screen. Today, I work in an industry where the level of creativity and artistry, to me, matches that of any other medium '' all possible through the power of computer programming.''
Partners | Code.org
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:31
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(C) Code.org, 2014. Code.org®, the CODE logo and Hour of Code® are trademarks of Code.org.
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Leadership | Code.org
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:32
Our Education Advisory Council is a group of educators with decades of experience in teaching Computer Science, across all grade levels - elementary, secondary, or at the university level.
Owen AstrachanProfessor of the Practice / Duke University
Owen Astrachan is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Computer Science at Duke where he has taught in four decades and two millennia. He taught math and computer science in high school for seven years. He is the PI for the NSF/College Board CS Principles Project, was the Chief Reader for AP Computer Science, and was an inaugural recipient of the NSF/CISE Distinguished Education Fellow award. He enjoys thinking, running, collaborating, and pushing limits gently.
Gail ChapmanDirector of National Outreach, Exploring Computer Science / University of California, Los Angeles
Gail Chapman is Director of Outreach for Exploring Computer Science and co-author of the Exploring Computer Science curriculum. Gail works with partner districts on strategic planning related to implementation of ECS, including professional development, leadership development, and sustainability. Prior to joining the ECS team, Gail was the Director of Leadership and Professional Development at the Computer Science Teachers Association. She taught high school mathematics and computer science, including AP Computer Science, for 15 years and subsequently worked on the AP Computer Science program at both ETS and College Board; this work included assessment development, curriculum design, and professional development.
Rebecca DoviComputer Science Teacher / Hanover County Public Schools
Rebecca Dovi has taught high school computer science full time for over 15 years. She has been a pilot instructor for the new APCS Principles course for the past three years. She is also the instructor for the new AP Computer Science MOOC running this school year. In Virginia, Rebecca serves as the founding president of the CSTA - Central Virginia chapter and represents Virginia nationally in the CSTA Leadership Cohort.
Joanna GoodeAssociate Professor of Education Studies / University of Oregon
Joanna Goode is an Associate Professor of Education Studies at the University of Oregon. Previously, she taught computer science and mathematics at a diverse, urban high school. She is a co-author of Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing, a co-author Exploring Computer Science curriculum and professional development program for high schools, and the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on computer science education. Joanna is a member of ACM's Education Policy Committee, the Equity chair of the Computer Science Teachers Association, and a member of the National Center for Women in Technology's K-12 alliance. She has served as a co-PI on several NSF grants related to broadening participation in computing for girls and students of color in formal school systems.
Jeff GrayAssociate Professor of Computer Science, University of Alabama
Jeff Gray is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Alabama. He has been a Principal Investigator on multiple NSF grants concentrating on K-12 education topics, including a current CS10k grant that is providing professional development on the Computer Science Principles curriculum to 50 Alabama teachers. Most of his past projects were focused on introducing computer science into urban school districts that have a high enrollment of students from underrepresented populations. For over a decade, he has taught a series of multi-week summer camps (dorm-based) and coordinated various computer science contests for students in K-12. He has been a pilot instructor for the new CS Principles course since 2011 and is an editor of a Teaching Guide on CS Principles for the College Board. Jeff is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and was a recent Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year.
Pat PhillipsEditor / Computer Science Teachers Association's newsletter the Voice
Patricia Phillips taught computer science for 20 years in Janesville, Wisconsin. She served on Microsoft's National K-12 Faculty Advisory Board and edited the High School Faculty Connection website for technology teachers. She has worked in a variety of roles related to K-12 curriculum development and pilot programs, including Expression Studio web design, XNA game development, and MTA Certification Exam Review Kits. She is currently the editor of the Computer Science Teachers Association newsletter, the Voice.
Kiki ProttsmanExecutive Director / Thinkersmith
Kiki is the Executive Director of Thinkersmith and a computer science instructor at the University of Oregon. She sits on the board of the educational robotics company Play-i, as well as serving on the Leadership Team for the Oregon Girls Collaborative Project. Kiki is a champion for responsible computing and equity in both CS employment and education. Her landmark work with the hands-on K-12 Traveling Circuits Computer Science curriculum helped Thinkersmith receive the 2013 Google RISE Award for excellence in Science and Engineering.
Alfred ThompsonComputer Science Teacher / Bishop Guertin High School
Alfred Thompson teaches high school computer science at Bishop Guertin HS in Nashua NH. He's developed curriculum, textbooks, and other teaching resources for almost 20 years. His role at Code.org is to help organize, curate, and otherwise assist teachers in finding and selecting curriculum for their own classrooms.
Sheena VaidyanathanComputer Science Teacher; CSTEM Program Specialist / Los Altos School District
Sheena teaches computer science in a weekly STEM program to approximately 500 sixth graders in the Los Altos School District, in California. Sheena has taught computer programming, digital art and visual art for over 7 years. Prior to her teaching career, Sheena worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years in technology as a computer scientist and technology entrepreneur. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science and a Certificate in Studio Art. Articles on Sheena's work that combines computer science and art have appeared in NPR's MindShift, ISTE's L&L, CSTA Voice and EdSurge.
Donors | Code.org
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:33
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(C) Code.org, 2014. Code.org®, the CODE logo and Hour of Code® are trademarks of Code.org.
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About Us - Ali and Hadi Partovi investments
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:33
Our philosophy is simple. We try our best to invest in exceptional people, and we roll up our sleeves to help them succeed.
Our progress so far:
49 companies: 16 acquisitions & success stories. 30 still going. 5 failures14x return on investment over 15 years, with annualized rate of return (IRR) of 68%Ali PartoviCo-founder, Code.orgCo-founder, iLikeCo-founder, LinkExchangeSVP Bizdev, MySpaceMS in Computer Science, HarvardFull bio (and compromising videos) on CrunchBase
Hadi PartoviCo-founder, Code.orgCo-founder, iLikeGeneral Manager, MSN.comFounding team, TellmeProgram Manager, Internet ExplorerMS in Computer Science, HarvardFull bio on CrunchBase
Movie PR
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Leaked Sony Emails Reveal Jokes About Obama and Race | Variety
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:38
In the latest of embarrassing emails to leak online from Sony this week, studio co-chairman Amy Pascal and producerScott Rudin riff on what President Barack Obama's favorite movies could be, focusing mostly on films starring and by African Americans.
According to Buzzfeed, Pascal asked Rudin for advice before going to an Obama fundraiser hosted by DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, particularly what she should ask the President ''at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast.''
''Would he like to finance some movies,'' responded Rudin.
''I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?'' said Pascal, with Rudin replying ''12 YEARS.''
''Or the butler. Or think like a man?'' continued Pascal, who is a major donor for the Democratic party and President Obama.
''Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart,'' said Rudin.
Hart, who stars in the upcoming Sony comedy ''The Wedding Ringer,'' was called a ''whore'' by a different Sony exec (Clint Culpepper) in another email on Wednesday for demanding more money from the studio.
''I'm not saying he's a whore, but he's a whore,'' Culpepper said of the box office star, who had asked for more money on top of his $3 million payment for tweeting about his new comedy.
''If he doesn't do his normal routine,'' he wrote to Pascal, ''his film will not open as well and his brand will appear diminished and he will- in fact '' be f'--ing himself because we have his next 2 immediate films.''
On Tuesday, other damaging emails showed Pascal and Rudin trading nasty insults, mostly over the Steve Jobs biopic ''Jobs'' that started at Sony and ultimately moved to Universal. In the emails, Pascal said Angelina Jolie was upset that David Fincher was set to direct ''Jobs'' when she wanted him to direct her big-budget ''Cleopatra,'' to which Rudin called the actress a ''minimally talented spoiled brat.'' Rudin also took a jab at producer and Annapurna founder Megan Ellison, calling her a ''28-year-old bipolar lunatic.''
As the Sony situation continues to unravel, it was revealed through more stolen emails on Wednesday that Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai stepped in to scrutinize and approve certain scenes from James Franco and Seth Rogen's controversial upcoming film ''The Interview.''
A group calling itself Guardians of Peace has been targeting Sony Pictures since Nov. 24, resulting in the leak of confidential information about executive and star salaries, movie budgets and employees' personal information. The group also released five new Sony movies on torrent sites, including the upcoming titles ''Annie'' and ''Still Alice.''
A Sony rep declined comment on the leaked emails while Rudin did not immediately respond to Variety's request to comment.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Sony hack: Studio Tries to Disrupt Downloads of its Stolen Files | Re/code
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:17
Sony Pictures Entertainment is fighting back.
The studio behind the ''Spider-Man'' franchise and ''The Social Network'' has taken technological counter-measures to disrupt downloads of its most sensitive information, which were exposed when a hacking attack crippled its systems in late November.
The company is using hundreds of computers in Asia to execute what's known as a denial of service attack on sites where its pilfered data is available, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Sony is using Amazon Web Services, the Internet retailer's cloud computing unit, which operates data centers in Tokyo and Singapore, to carry out the counterattack, one of the sources said. The tactic was once commonly employed by media companies to combat Internet movie and music piracy.
In one of the most devastating cyber security breaches in recent memory, a hacking group calling itself Guardians of Peace claimed to have stolen under 100 terabytes of Sony Pictures' financial information, budgets, payroll data internal emails and feature films and has slowly leaked portions of it to public file-sharing sites such as PasteBin.
The breach has caused havoc within Hollywood's inner circles as private correspondence between powerful producers and executives have exposed internal politics and petty gripes. More importantly, the data also appeared to include spreadsheets outlining financial deals Sony had with third parties, which could hurt its standing with its partners. These details also expose how much these third parties have paid Sony for rights to certain TV shows and films.
These files have not been verified by Sony Pictures, which also declined to comment for this story.
With the fifth such illicit data dump, made available earlier this week, individuals who attempted to access the torrent file encountered bogus ''seeds'' '-- or computers '-- that sapped the resources of their software, the sources said.
This variant on the hacker's favorite tool, the denial of service attack, slowed download speeds to a crawl. The latest document leak, offered Wednesday, had a different type of file name which apparently fooled Sony's interdiction efforts.
North Korea, or its sympathizers, are being investigated as suspects in the attack, and while the reclusive state denied any involvement, it praised the perpetrators for their ''righteous deed.''
Sony's technique is similar to one it employed in the early days of file-sharing, when it worked with an anti-piracy firm called MediaDefender. The firm populated file-sharing networks with decoy files labeled with the names of such popular movie as ''Spider-Man,'' to entice users to spend hours downloading an empty file.
The goal was to frustrate users and prod them to turn to legitimate movie sites. It was a temporary fix that worked until file-sharing sites grew more sophisticated and provided information that allowed users to easily identify these so-called spoof files.
More on the Sony Hack AttackContact Dawn Chmielewski:|EMAILContact Arik Hesseldahl:|EMAIL
Angelina Jolie called 'minimally talented spoiled brat' in hacked Sony emails | Film | The Guardian
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:11
Angelina Jolie, one of the stars reportedly attacked in hacked emails. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
Angry and passionate email exchanges between major Hollywood players have been exposed by the recent hack into Sony Pictures.
Producer Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal were working together on a biopic of Steve Jobs written by Aaron Sorkin, until the studio pulled out last month. Progress had already been fairly tortuous, with David Fincher pulling out as director, then Christian Bale as star '' they were replaced with Danny Boyle and, tentatively, Michael Fassbender. Universal have now picked up the project.
In the wake of Sony's decision to leave the film, Rudin reportedly emailed Pascal to tell her: ''You've destroyed your relationships with half the town over how you've behaved on this movie, and if you don't think it's true, wait and see... you don't deserve one exhalation of breath on your behalf. You've behaved abominably and it will be a very, very long time before I forget what you did to this movie and what you've put all of us through.'' The pair had worked together on critically and commercially successful movies like The Social Network and Captain Phillips; Rudin has won an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Tony for his productions.
Thanks to sifting by the Defamer blog, the emails reveal the arguments began back in February, after Angelina Jolie wanted Fincher to direct her in Cleopatra, rather than take on the Jobs film. Rudin tells Pascal to ''shut Angie down before she makes it very hard for David to do Jobs.'' Despite acknowledging Cleopatra could be a ''big commercial hit'', Rudin then escalated his opposition to the film, writing: ''There is no movie of Cleopatra to be made (and how that is a bad thing given the insanity and rampaging ego of this woman and the cost of the movie is beyond me),'' referring to Jolie. ''Watch how you talk to me,'' he says to Pascal, prompting her response: ''Don't fucking threaten me.''
Happier times: Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal at the Golden Globe awards in 2011.Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty ImagesAnother Rudin email also attacks Jolie, calling her a ''a minimally talented spoiled brat who thought nothing of shoving this off her plate for eighteen months so she could go direct a movie [Unbroken]... She's a camp event and a celebrity and that's all and the last thing anybody needs is to make a giant bomb with her that any fool could see coming.''
Other titbits include a conversation about Michael Fassbender for the part of Jobs '' Michael DeLuca, president of production at Sony studio Columbia, writes that Fassbender's role in Shame ''just makes you feel bad to have normal-sized male genitalia.'' David Fincher meanwhile told Pascal that the casting of Adam Driver in Star Wars was a ''terrible idea,'' while Rudin also attacked Her and True Grit producer Megan Ellison, calling her a ''bipolar 28 year old lunatic''.
Conversations with agents were also revealed, as stars including Tom Cruise, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio were put forward for roles in the Jobs film.
Spider-Man, who could have ended up in Captain America 3.Photograph: Getty Images/Getty ImagesIn the end, the Sony-Jobs deal seems to have fallen apart thanks to lack of financing from partners including Ellison and New Regency, with Sony exec Doug Belgrad finally telling Pascal: ''I love the script but I can't do this to the company.''
In other emails raked over by the Wall Street Journal, Pascal said that Marvel considered featuring Spider-Man in its upcoming Captain America sequel, and that Marvel and Sony would collaborate on a new Spider-Man trilogy '' the talks later broke down, with Sony going alone with the character. Possible plans now include an animated adventure helmed by the creators of The Lego Movie.
The hacked emails were revealed as a result of an attack by the group Guardians of Peace, who have demanded that Sony's upcoming North Korea-baiting comedy The Interview go unreleased.
Sony Hackers Reveal Seth Rogen and James Franco's Pay for 'The Interview' | Variety
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:14
The cyber-attack targeting Sony Pictures uncovered a few more confidential details on Wednesday in what's quickly evolved into a publicity nightmare for the company.
Seth Rogen was reportedly paid $8.4 million for ''The Interview,'' according to new data obtained by Bloomberg, while his co-star James Franco earned $6.5 million for the comedy.
The film, which allegedly cost $44 million, also paid Britney Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline $5,000 for his cameo.
''The Interview,'' about two journalists tasked with assassinating North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un, is at the center of a recent hack attack at Sony. Several new films leaked online as a result of the computer breach in addition to personal data and salary information about the Sony Pictures' top executives.
The FBI is investigating the corporate hacking, which is one of the worst of its kind in history.
The hackers, identifying themselves as ''The Guardians of Peace,'' have claimed that more information will be released about the movie distributor in the next few weeks.
North Korea, meanwhile, has yet to deny its involvement in the computer breach, telling the media to ''wait and see'' if the country is actually retaliating for Rogen and Franco's new comedy, which opens Christmas Day.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
George Clooney Was the Only One Who Saw the Sony Hack Coming
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 22:54
The debilitating, often humiliating Sony hack has pretty much screwed over most anyone who's ever had anything to do with the company ever. But when the time comes to lay blame, lay it not on George Clooney. For as with everything else in life, George Clooney had the upper hand. His prophecy by email lies below.
The message came from yesterday's leak of Sony exec emails, where we found George Clooney's prescient words nestled amidst the data dump, bearing a wisdom no one was ready for. At least, Amy Pascal, Sony Picture Entertainment's co-chairman, certainly wasn't; she just laughed off George's "you're probably going to get hacked at some point so I'm just gonna say some shit" message as a fun little joke.
Just like the fun little jokes made by Nostradamus himself.
Image: Getty/Stephen Chernin
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Dana Miller, Producer, AIDS Advocate and Frontiers Columnist, Has Died - FrontiersMedia
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:27
Entertainment
''Dana was legendary in gay L.A. and Hollywood during the AIDS crisis. He was a brilliant and warm friend to so many, including Frontiers, the City of West Hollywood and several nonprofits," says Frontiers Publisher Michael Turner
December 10, 2014 - by Karen Ocamb
Dana Miller, the witty, sometimes cantankerous and always passionate entertainment producer, AIDS advocate and longtime columnist for Frontiers magazine, was found dead in the South Pasadena home of his late mother by his partner, Brody Darren Robertson, on Tuesday, Dec. 9. Dana was 59.
(Update 10:05 a.m.) According to Detective-Sgt. Robert Bartl of the South Pasadena Police Department, Dana was supposed to meet with a real estate agent on Monday, but he never showed up. Brody also had not heard from Dana and flew in from Hawaii to check on him, finding Dana's body yesterday. The Fire Dept. arrived around 4:13pm. The investigating police officer estimated that Dana died sometime over the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. Bartl said there were no signs of foul play nor signs of suicide. He presumes an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.
''Dana was legendary in gay Los Angeles and Hollywood during the AIDS crisis. He was a brilliant and warm friend to so many, including Frontiers, the City of West Hollywood and several nonprofits. We will miss his stories, sense of humor and the contributions he made to Frontiers,'' New Frontiers Media owner and publisher Michael Turner said in a statement. ''Dana was looking forward to hosting Toy Box this year, benefiting the families supported by APLA. Please join us for Toy Box this Sunday at Pump Restaurant from 5-8 p.m. to celebrate a little of Dana in each unwrapped toy donated.''
This is the 19th year AIDS Project Los Angeles is holding its annual Toy Box Party'--an event Dana loved producing. One year, he shut down Larrabee Street, between Eleven Nightclub and Revolver in West Hollywood and trucked in bags of fake snow as a holiday adornment for Santa's throne and the huge pile of toys to rest upon. He also invited aging Hollywood actors to pose for pictures with gays who still considered them icons. (Visit Toy Box Party on Facebook for more information on this year's event.)
When not producing fundraisers for AIDS organizations, Dana wrote a regular column, first for IN Los Angeles magazine and then for Frontiers after the two publications merged'--a gig he acquired through his close friendship with the late Mark Hundahl and co-owner/publisher, David Stern. Dana's ''Out & About'' column not only provided space for Dana's voice but also the voices of old gay Hollywood and gays and lesbians who remembered when advocacy was more important than fleeting infamy. And he could skillfully slice and dice the powerful with his rapier wit or skewer them just for fun, as in this look at The Real Housewives of the West Hollywood City Council, one of his last feature stories.
''Dana's wit was unparalleled, and he had a gift for finding humor in all that life threw at him. He also called it like he saw it, especially in situations that he thought could be improved upon. As the publisher of IN and Frontiers, that at times caused me a bit of backlash, but it was well worth it, because his overall intention was always for the greater good,'' Stern said in a statement. ''We lost a historian, not only in our own gay culture but in the history of Hollywood. I can picture Dana now taking his proper place in heaven, in a seat reserved for him somewhere between Mark Hundahl and Elizabeth Taylor. And that visual is exactly who Dana Miller was. Rest in peace, dear friend.''
Dana knew Elizabeth Taylor and helped AIDS Healthcare Foundation produce its Elizabeth Taylor tribute float in the 2011 New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, the first time a gay or AIDS float appeared in the parade seen around the world.
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Shut Up Slave!
A long list of sex acts just got banned in UK porn
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 19:13
The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 requires that video-on-demand (VoD) online porn now adhere to the same guidelines laid out for DVD sex shop-type porn by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC).
Seemingly arbitrarily deciding what is nice sex and what is not nice sex, the board has banned the following acts from being depicted by British pornography producers:
Spanking
Caning
Aggressive whipping
Penetration by any object "associated with violence"
Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual)
Urolagnia (known as "water sports")
Female ejaculation
Strangulation
Facesitting
Fisting
The final three listed fall under acts the BBFC views as potentially "life-endangering".
While the measures won't stop people from watching whatever genre of porn they desire, as video shot abroad can still be viewed, they do impose severe restrictions on content created in the UK, and appear to make no distinction between consensual and non-consensual practices between adults.
Femdom porn will be hit particularly hard by the regulations
"There appear to be no rational explanations for most of the R18 rules," Jerry Barnett of the anti-censorship group Sex and Censorship told Vice UK. "They're simply a set of moral judgements designed by people who have struggled endlessly to stop the British people from watching pornography."
More worryingly, the amendment seems to take issue with acts from which women more traditionally derive pleasure than men.
"The new legislation is absurd and surreal," Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, a dominatrix who produces porn with a feminist theme added to Vice UK. "I mean, why ban facesitting? What's so dangerous about it? It's a harmless activity that most femdom performers, myself included, do fully dressed anyway. Its power is symbolic: woman on top, unattainable."
In a piece for The Independent, award-winning erotic film director Erika Lust said that she believes "we need to rethink what is offensive or dangerous and what is, in fact, normal human nature, and remember that it's more important to educate than regulate."
Mass 'face-sitting' to take place on Friday in protest against porn censorship laws | Metro News
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:16
Ms Rose says the laws don't just affect the porn industry '' they are an attack on everyone's civil liberties (Picture: Getty Images)Here's a protest you might want to get behind.
Around 500 demonstrators will converge in Westminster on Friday to stage a mass 'face-sitting' and have fake sex in protest against porn censorship laws.
The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 banned a number of legal acts from UK pornography including spanking, female ejaculation and humiliation on 1 December on the grounds they could be dangerous and might encourage home 're-enactments'.
But protesters on Friday will express their anger at the new laws when they stage #PornProtest in Westminster in an event that will include a 'Sex Factor' gameshow, an attempt to break the 'face-sitting' world record and plenty of fake sex.
MORE: This McDonald's accidentally showed porn all evening and none of the staff noticed
MORE: Theatre sends porn DVDs to children instead of school performances
'These laws are not only sexist but they taking away people's choices without consent,' 2013's Sex Worker of the Year and political campaigner Charlotte Rose told London24.
'Personal liberty is what we are fighting for on Friday which no one has the right to take away from somebody else.'
Ms Rose worked briefly as a dominatrix before studying and starting a family, later returning to the sex industry as a therapist.
MORE: 'Vindictive' boyfriend avoids jail for posting revenge porn of ex-girlfriend
MORE: No make-up selfies: The porn star and model version
Charlotte Rose stood as an independent in the Rochester and Strood by-election (Picture: Charlotte Rose)And while she concedes the protest may sound silly, she stresses that the new regulations represent an attack on civil liberties that affects everyone.
Myles Jackman, a renowned obscenity lawyer, agrees.
'Pornography is the canary in the coal mine of free speech: it is the first freedom to die. If this assault on liberty is allowed to go unchallenged, other freedoms will fall as a consequence,' he told London24.
#PornProtest is taking place on Friday 12 December at 12pm in Old Palace Yard near the Houses of Parliament.
EuroLand
Liquidatiegolf: 'Mocro-maffia bestaat niet' - Nieuws.nl
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:41
(Foto: Novum/Huurdeman Orange Pictures)
De kogels vliegen letterlijk door de Amsterdamse straten. Bij buurtbewoonster Corine Colijn doorboren de kogels zelfs de slaapkamer van haar zoontje. "Op dat moment was ik wel even van slag ja, dat was wel heftig", zegt Corine in E(C)nVandaag. De ernst van de zaak is wel duidelijk.
MisverstandDe samenstelling van verdachte groepen kan snel veranderen. Het is volgens officier van justitie Jeroen van Berkel dan ook een misverstand om te denken dat het alleen om Marokkanen gaat. Ook Antillianen en autochtone Nederlanders spelen een rol. Dat zegt hij in een interview met De Telegraaf vandaag.Waarom dan toch 'Mocro-maffia'?"Ik denk dat de meeste journalisten de term gewoon overnemen. Ze zien het in een bepaalde context en denken verder niet na over consequenties van het woord. Het is natuurlijk vrij makkelijk om de term te herhalen als het toch al zo gebruikt wordt door andere media", zegt media-ethicus Huub Evers. "Ze zullen het niet intentioneel gebruiken om de hele Marokkaanse gemeenschap hiermee af te schilderen als slecht."
Stigmatiseren"Omdat veel media de term 'Mocro-maffia' gebruiken, kan dat een stigmatiserend effect hebben. Dat betekent letterlijk: iemand ten onrechte een slechte naam bezorgen. Dus stel dat het woord 'jongerenmaffia' veelvuldig gebruikt werd om een groep aan te duiden, was het waarschijnlijk dat woord geworden."
SnowJob
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Russian spy Anna Chapman was ordered to seduce Edward Snowden | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 22:14
A defector has revealed that Russian spy Anna Chapman was ordered by her Russian bosses to seduce US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to former KGB major Boris Karpichkov, if the whistleblower had accepted he would have a right to Russian citizenship, which would have locked him in Russia, as he would have needed permission because of the citizenship, the Mirror reported.
He said that the pair met just once, but Snowden became concerned about what the ­consequences would be.
The 32-year-old spy even proposed marriage to Snowden on the orders of Russian ­intelligence high command on Twitter.
Anna Chapman ordered to seduce Edward Snowden, claims defector | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:36
Ex-KGB agent Boris Karpichkov makes claims over proposal backgroundAlleges that plan was launched for Chapman to keep Snowden in MoscowThis would be so the Russians could continue to question him, he claimsThey apparently met just once - but Chapman proposed in tweet last year By Mark Duell for MailOnline
Published: 07:29 EST, 7 December 2014 | Updated: 07:01 EST, 8 December 2014
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Ex-spy: Anna Chapman has become a celebrity in Russia since she was deported there four years ago
Former intelligence agent Anna Chapman was told by Russian spy chiefs to seduce Edward Snowden, a defector claimed today.
Ex-KGB agent Boris Karpichkov alleged that a plan was launched for Chapman, 32, to keep US whistleblower Snowden, 31, in Moscow - so the Russians could continue to question him.
The two were said to have met just once - but Chapman proposed in a tweet in July 2013.
Mr Karpichkov told journalist Nigel Nelson for the Sunday People: 'If Snowden had accepted he would have a right to Russian citizenship. That would lock him in Russia. As a citizen he'd need permission to leave.'
Mr Karpichkov - who fled to Britain after 15 years as a KGB agent, but is still in contact with sources in Moscow - said Snowden became 'concerned about what the consequences would be' of being attached to Chapman.
Former Conservative MP Rupert Allason, better-known now as spy writer Nigel West, said that Chapman was 'sophisticated enough to live with an American'.
Mr Allason told the Sunday People: 'There aren't many of those in the FSB (formerly the KGB). She would be prepared to use her obvious gifts.'
In September 2013, Chapman refused to answer questions about the proposal in a bizarre five-minute interview with NBC, and walked out after she was asked about the tweet. She has never publicly commented on it.
Chapman, the daughter of a senior KGB agent, was arrested in 2010 with nine others, accused of working for a spy ring for Russia's external intelligence agency.
Edward Snowden is wanted in the US after leaking classified details of government surveillance programmes
Anna Chapman was arrested in 2010 with nine others, accused of working for a spy ring for Russia's external intelligence agency. She pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was deported back to Russia in 2010
Anna Chapman in uniform as she visits Russian tank division
She pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy and was deported back to Russia in July 2010 as part of a prisoner swap. She has since become a celebrity in Russia.
She married British public schoolboy Alex Chapman in 2002 and the pair moved to London, but divorced in 2006. When unmasked as a Russian agent, she was stripped of her British passport.
Since returning to Moscow, Chapman - dubbed a 'femme fatale' - has carved out a lucrative career as a TV presenter, model and owner of a fashion brand.
Question: They were said to have met just once - but Chapman proposed to Snowden in a tweet in July 2013
Russian Spy Anna Chapman walks out of Today Show interview
In the spotlight: Since returning to Moscow, Chapman has carved out a lucrative career as a TV presenter, model and owner of a fashion brand
Snowden left his long-term girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Hawaii when he fled the US, and was granted asylum in Moscow in August 2013, after six weeks of waiting at the city's airport.
In the summer Snowden was reunited in Russia with Miss Mills, a pole-dancer. The pair were pictured together on a theatre date in Moscow. Snowden now has a three-year residency permit.
He is wanted in the US after leaking classified details of government surveillance programmes. His critics view him as a traitor, while supporters see him as a hero who spoke up for civil liberties.
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Obama renews NSA snooping for 90 more days - Washington Times
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:30
President Obama has renewed the NSA's phone-snooping program for another three months, with the administration saying Monday that it's too important to let it expire right now, defying members of Congress who said it was time to ax the controversial program.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper said Monday they've won a 90-day extension of the snooping authority from the secret court that oversees intelligence activities.
They said they'd prefer Congress rewrite the laws to limit the program, but Senate Republicans last month filibustered a bill to do that, foisting the decision about whether to renew the program back solely on the president.
''Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the telephony metadata program, the government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, as modified by the changes the president directed in January,'' the two men said in a joint statement.
The new order was issued on Dec. 4, and gives the NSA snooping powers through Feb. 27.
The National Security Agency's program collects the phone numbers, times and durations of calls made on U.S. telephone companies' systems. The data is stored for five years, and investigators are allowed to check it to build a network of connections if they have a number they believe to be associated with terrorism.
Administration lawyers argue the program is justified by a part of the Patriot Act that they said allows for bulk collection of data on Americans. Opponents '-- including the Patriot Act's author '-- say that's a misreading of the law.
Congressional opponents easily won House passage earlier this year of a bill to rein in bulk collection, but Republicans filibustered a different version in the Senate last month. That filibuster signals it is unlikely Congress will reach an agreement on the snooping program next year, when the GOP will control both the House and Senate.
Given that gridlock, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the senior Democrat in the Senate, had urged Mr. Obama to kill the program himself by declining to seek the 90-day extension.
''The president can end the NSA's dragnet collection of Americans' phone records once and for all by not seeking reauthorization of this program by the FISA Court,'' Mr. Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week.
Mr. Obama says he's already taken steps to limit the NSA's snooping, including usually asking investigators to seek court permission before scouring the database for connections and limiting their search to just two ''hops,'' or connections, from the initial number they were investigating.
The program's operations were mired in secrecy until it was revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden. And while details have now been discussed publicly, the program remains sensitive.
Even the fact that the administration sought another 90-day review was initially classified, and Mr. Clapper had to clear it for release. The final court order granting the extension should also be released once it too is declassified, likely in several weeks.
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NA-Tech News
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Google Just Admitted More Than Half Of The Ads It Serves Are Never Seen | Business Insider
Sun, 07 Dec 2014 22:15
Online ad viewability is a hot topic in advertising right now, as marketers are becoming more aware (and concerned) that many of the ads they buy online are never actually seen by people.
Advertisers are also shifting to pay only for ads that have actually been viewed, as opposed to those that are just being blindly served. That's why Google has released a study analysing its display ad platforms using its Active View technology, such as DoubleClick, to explore which factors affect ad viewability. It wants to show the market it is taking the issue seriously '-- and that it is responsible enough to admit that even its own platforms don't deliver 100% of the time.
The results seem staggering: Advertisers are essentially throwing half of their budgets away every time they pay for display ads. Some 56.1% of all the impressions served on the Google display platforms were not actually seen because they were served outside of the browser window.
When the world's largest digital display advertising company puts out a number this large (without even mentioning bot-related ad fraud), the industry should be jolted into sitting up and take notice of this massive problem. Google gets $US55 billion a year, roughly, in ad revenues. A huge chunk of that was paid for ads that no one saw, Google's study implies. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that many of these impressions are sold on a cost-per-click basis, so not all the ads that are served and go unseen are being paid for.
Digital advertising companies often say their properties are superior to traditional media like TV due to their sophisticated targeting and measurement. But just as TV viewers are likely to check at their phones or put the kettle on during a commercial break, it turns out legions of people never lay eyes on the ads served to them online.
The reason so many ads are going unseen?
Page position really matters. Google says the most viewable ad position is right above the page fold (the lowest point on the page before a user has to scroll) '-- not right at the top of the page as most people might think. However, Google also caveats this by saying above the fold is not always viewable, but just that it's the most likely place an ad will be seen.
Size matters when it comes to display ads too. Unsurprisingly, vertical ads garner the highest viewability rates. This is likely because they stay on the page as a user scrolls for longer.
Viewability also varies across different content verticals. The sites associated with the most captive engagement levels '-- reference, online communities and games '-- have far higher viewability scores than content about food and drink, news or real estate.
Google says this research should help advertisers better understand high and low-value inventory and then shift budgets and targets accordingly. On the publisher side, Google advises companies to aim for above 50% viewability rates, consider which ad sizes are most effective at different page positions and better identify and monetise often disregarded but valuable below-the-fold inventory.
But the research also raises the question as to why Google did not set these standards in the first place when it formed these publisher partnerships. It may only be the middle-man in the advertiser-publisher relationship, but it nevertheless plays its part in the advertising viewability problem too.
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Insurer's incentive: Get fit, get paid a buck a day
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 20:43
As many as 20,000 Oscar customers will be offered the chance to download a Misfit app onto their smartphones that will monitor the device. After the Oscar-branded wristband is shipped and activated by the customer, it then automatically syncs to the app and the customer's insurance plan account.
Read More'Kickback' flak: Sanofi's caseload grows bigger
The benchmarks determined by an algorithm "start around 2,000 steps per day, that would be the early goal," Schlosser said. "If it sees you hit your goal every day for a week or so, then it would increase your goal.... Of course, it comes down again if you start missing your goal."
The maximum goal is "a bit over 10,000" steps per day, he said. "You don't have to be a triathlete to achieve this."
Customers are awarded $1 per day '-- with a $20 monthly cap '-- if they beat the benchmarks. The award is loaded on an Amazon.com gift card.
With Oscar's cheapest "silver" Obamacare plans costing about $405 per month in premiums, the Misfit program offers customers the incentive of a discount equal to more than 5 percent per month.
"We think it can be a very powerful tool to getting people out on the street and being more active," Schlosser said.
Read MoreWeek 2 for Obamacare enrollment slows'--quite a bit
It also may be a tool to help Oscar make some money.
Part of the bet Oscar is making by handing out the Misfit devices, which has a $60 retail value, is to reduce the rate of health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes among Oscar's customers. That, in turn, could reduce their use of doctors and hospitals, which Oscar's plan pays for.
Asked what the return on that investment might be per customer, Schlosser said, "I don't think anybody can completely answer that question right now.
"It will pay off, at best, in the medium term, if not the short term," he said.
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Bans in Netherlands, New Delhi deal new blows to Uber taxi service - The Globe and Mail
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:52
It's been a bad day for Uber, with authorities on two continents hitting the car-sharing service with new bans on its operations.
Monday's decision by the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal, which Uber has vowed to appeal, bans the car-sharing service from taking bookings in the Netherlands via its smartphone app. The decision could leave the car-sharing service with fines of up to '‚¬100,000 ($122,650 U.S.).
More Related to this StoryIn New Delhi, Uber has been forbidden from operating in the Indian capital after a female passenger accused one of its drivers of rape.
WHAT IS UBER?
Launched in California four years ago, the service has rapidly become popular in a number of countries because it often undercuts established taxi and minicab services.
However, taxi drivers across Europe say Uber breaks local taxi rules and violates licensing, insurance and safety regulations. It has faced legal action in Germany and a number of European capitals. In Toronto last month, the city sought an injunction against the company in provincial court after an undercover investigation found what the city concluded were ''real and urgent'' safety problems with the service.
(Read more: Inside Toronto's Uber investigation)
THE DUTCH BAN
The tribunal in The Hague ordered Uber to stop providing the service known as UberPop, which it said broke a law requiring that drivers have a special licence. Drivers could face fines of '‚¬10,000 for each violation, up to a maximum of '‚¬40,000, the court said.
''This is only the first step in a long-running legal battle,'' Uber said in a statement.
Uber had asked the Dutch court to overturn a government-imposed ban and fines for use of UberPop, the smartphone application used to arrange rides. ''We believe were are offering a service within the spirit of the law. We will continue to offer safe, competitive, quality services to consumers,'' said spokesman Thomas van Oortmerssen.
THE INDIAN BAN
The accusations of rape against an Uber driver have reignited a debate about the safety of women in the South Asian nation.
Police said the 32-year-old driver dropped the woman home after attacking her and warned her not to inform the authorities. She managed to note the driver's number and take a photograph of his car, they said.
The arrested driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, appeared in court on Monday and was remanded in custody for three days.
Uber, which had employed the driver even though he had been arrested on allegations of sexual assault three years ago, would be blacklisted from providing any future services in the New Delhi area, the city's transport department said in a statement. A spokeswoman for Uber said she could not immediately comment.
Indian police said they were considering legal action against the taxi service for failing to run background checks on the driver. The company said there were no defined rules in India on background checks for commercial transport licenses and it was working with the government to address the issue.
''What happened over the weekend in New Delhi is horrific,'' Travis Kalanick, Uber's chief executive officer, said in a statement before the ban. ''We will do everything, I repeat, everything to help bring this perpetrator to justice.''
Is dit echt het einde van UberPOP? - Nederland - TROUW
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:50
Redactie '' 08/12/14, 14:24
(C) anp. De taxi-app Uber.
Vier vragen Dankzij Uber kan zo goed als iedereen met een vierdeursauto aan de slag als taxichauffeur. Maar vandaag oordeelde het College van Beroep voor het Bedrijfsleven opnieuw dat de taxidienst UberPOP illegaal is. Het bedrijf Uber moet stoppen met de dienst op straffe van een dwangsom van maximaal 100.000 euro. Trouw legt in vier vragen uit hoe het nou precies zit.
Wat is er gebeurd?In oktober werden vier UberPOP-chauffeurs opgepakt omdat ze taxiritjes maakten zonder vergunning. Ze kregen ieder een boete van 1500 euro. Gaan ze weer de fout in, dan kunnen ze boetes van 10.000 tot 40.000 euro krijgen. Het bedrijf zelf kreeg ook een dwangsom opgelegd: elke keer dat er een overtreding wordt geconstateerd, krijgt Uber een boete van 10.000 met een maximum van 100.000 euro.
Wat zegt Uber?Uber vindt de boetes onterecht. Het bedrijf noemt de wet achterhaald. "De huidige wetgegeving stamt uit 2000. Toen waren er nog geen smartphones en apps", aldus directeur Niek van Leeuwen. Bovendien let het bedrijf, naar eigen zeggen, voldoende op de kwaliteit van de chauffeurs. De boetes zouden een gezonde concurrentie op de taximarkt tegenwerken. Uber tekende bezwaar aan en daar maakte de rechter vandaag korte metten mee.
Wat zegt de rechter?Dat de boete terecht is. Een officile taxichauffeur moet een recente geneeskundige verklaring en een afgeronde opleiding met chauffeursdiploma hebben. UberPOP-chauffeurs zijn eigenlijk amateurs en beschikken niet over dergelijke papieren. Daarmee overtreden de UberPOP-chauffeurs de wet.
Volgens de rechter levert het bedrijf Uber niet alleen de technologische middelen om de chauffeurs en klanten samen te brengen, maar is Uber door het aanbieden van het platform meer betrokken dan dat. Uber selecteert de chauffeurs, kent de klanten, handelt de betalingen af en strijkt twintig procent van de winst op. Daarom gaat, volgens de rechter, de betrokkenheid van Uber verder dan alleen het verstrekken van de technologie. Het zijn dus niet alleen de chauffeurs die de wet overtreden door voor taxi te spelen, maar Uber overtreedt daardoor zelf ook de wet.
Maar werkt het?Trouw-verslaggever Niels Markus nam de proef op de som en maakte hetzelfde ritje met een gewone taxi en met UberPOP. Het ritje van de Trouw-redactie naar het Uber-hoofdkantoor duurde met de Taxi Centrale Amsterdam maar 17 minuten, maar kostte wel wel '‚¬ 24,19. De chauffeur van UberPOP ging even de mist in. "De chauffeur mist nog een belangrijke vaardigheid die veel taxichauffeurs wel bezitten: gelijktijdig praten en rijden. Op de A10 pakte hij per ongeluk de verkeerde afslag." Het ritje duurde hierdoor een stuk langer: 22 minuten. Maar de terugreis was met 15 euro wel goedkoper.
Uber omstreden vanaf beginVandaag werd Uber verbannen uit de Indiase hoofdstad New Delhi, nadat een UberPOP-chauffeur werd opgepakt in verband met een verkrachting. Maar de dienst roept al langer felle reacties op.
In Duitsland, Frankrijk, Belgi en Spanje heeft de rechter zich ook al gebogen over de diensten van het bedrijf dat in 2009 in San Francisco werd opgericht.
Toen Uber dit jaar in verschillende markten op het toneel verscheen, kwamen taxichauffeurs in actie. Ze protesteerden of staakten, omdat ze vinden dat het bedrijf en de chauffeurs die ervoor werken zich schuldig maken aan oneerlijke concurrentie. In Barcelona werden in oktober zelfs auto's van twee Uber-chauffeurs in brand gestoken.
Rechters in verschillende landen delen de mening van de taxichauffeurs. Uber mag helemaal geen diensten meer aanbieden in de Spaanse steden Madrid en Barcelona. In de Belgische hoofdstad Brussel en de Duitse steden Berlijn en Hamburg is de dienst UberPOP verboden.
In Duitsland had de rechter de dienst landelijk verboden, maar van een andere rechter mag Uber de diensten wel blijven aanbieden zolang de zaak niet definitief is beslist. Er volgt nog een hoger beroep. Ook in Frankrijk is UberPOP nog beschikbaar ondanks een verbod, omdat Uber in hoger beroep ging.
Gestage uitbreidingTegelijkertijd zijn de diensten van Uber in veel andere Europese steden wel toegestaan, al zorgt de gestage uitbreiding van de dienst bij lokale chauffeurs voor onvrede. Inmiddels is Uber volgens de eigen website in 51 landen actief. In Europa gaat het om 42 steden. In dat lijstje staan echter ook steden als Frankfurt en Barcelona, waar dus een verbod geldt.
Toch kijkt de brancheorganisatie volgens Hubert Andela van Koninklijk Nederlands Vervoer (KNV) Taxi met belangstelling naar de strijd die Uber met de overheid voert. "Er zijn zeker heel wat taxichauffeurs die best van de vergunningplicht af willen. Wij vinden vooral dat het wel wat goedkoper mag. Een vergunning kost nu ruim 1400 euro voor vijf jaar. Daar komen nog opleidingskosten bij, een chauffeurspas, de kosten voor een keuring enzovoort."
Neelie Kroes woestOverigens krijgt Uber niet alleen kritiek te verduren. Toenmalig Europees Commissaris Neelie Kroes vroeg de tegenstanders van de app om realistisch te blijven. "Digitale vernieuwingen zijn hier om te blijven. We moeten met hen werken, niet hen tegenwerken." Ook viel ze in een blog Brussels minister Brigitte Grouwels keihard aan: "Ik ben woest. Wat voor rechtssysteem is dit? Zo bescherm je geen banen, Madame, zo irriteer je alleen mensen!"
Overigens ziet het er niet naar uit dat Uber werkelijk binnenkort verdwenen zal zijn. In juni haalde het taxibedrijf in een tweede financieringsronde 1,2 miljard dollar op bij investeerders en wordt het nu op op meer dan 40 miljard dollar gewaardeerd. Dat is meer dan beursgenoteerde bedrijven als Twitter en American Airlines.
Nederlandse chauffeursUber is tot nu toe vaag over hoeveel Nederlandse amateurchauffeurs er voor het bedrijf rijden, maar Hubert Andela denkt dat het er niet veel zijn en dat ze vooral rijden in Amsterdam. Naast UberPop, dat deze zomer van start ging, bestaat er sinds twee jaar ook UberBlack en UberLux waar alleen beroepschauffeurs voor rijden. Volgens Andela maakt deze 'legale' concurrent nog geen procent uit van het totaal aantal ritten. "Wij zijn wel gewend aan concurrentie. Zelfs met die enorme hoeveelheid media-aandacht groeit Uber voor zover ik het zie niet hard. Nederland is nu eenmaal niet zo'n taxiland als Amerika of Groot-Brittanni."
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Words Matter
JCD MAKING HIS CONSTANT DISAGREEMENT-BELITTLING OF MY OPINION-The Grammarphobia Blog: Yeah, no
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:03
Q: We North Queenslanders are considered rednecks even by Australian standards. I thought I'd pass on an example of English usage in this part of the world: Yeah, no, as in ''Yeah, no, they should've won in the last quarter.''
A: We've written on the blog about ''yeah,'' but we haven't looked into ''yeah, no'' until now.
Others, however, have studied this conversational response, which is used by both Americans and Australians.
In fact, Australians may use it, more'--at least there's been more written about ''yeah, no'' by language scholars in Australia.
A 2004 article in The Age, a Melbourne newspaper, quoted the Australian linguist Kate Burridge as saying, ''It's not going to disappear. It's always hard to predict with language change, but it looks like its use is on the increase.''
The author of the Melbourne article, Bridie Smith, pointed out that English speakers aren't alone in this usage, since ''Germans use a similar 'ja nein' and the South Africans 'ya nay.' ''
''In Australia,'' Smith wrote in 2004, ''where the phrase has become entrenched in the past six years, 'yeah no' can mean anything from 'yes, I see that, but can we go back to the earlier topic' to an enthusiastic 'yes, I can't reinforce that point enough.' ''
The meaning of ''yeah, no'' depends on its context, Smith says. She quotes Dr. Burridge, the linguist, as saying: ''It can emphasise agreement, it can downplay disagreement or compliments, and it can soften refusals.''
Burridge and a colleague, Margaret Florey, published a paper in the Australian Journal of Linguistics in 2002 entitled '' 'Yeah-no He's a Good Kid': A Discourse Analysis of Yeah-no in Australian English.''
An abstract of the paper said that as of 2002, ''Yeah, no'' was relatively new in Australian English and served many functions. It kept a conversation rolling, helped with ''hedging and face-saving,'' and indicated agreement or disagreement.
Since then, American linguists and language watchers have taken note of ''yeah, no'' in the US.
Linguists have discussed it on the American Dialect Society's mailing list. And articles have been written by Stephen Dodson for Language Hat, by Mark Liberman for the Language Log, and by Ben Yagoda for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Even presidents of the United States aren't immune. When a radio interviewer in 2011 asked Bill Clinton how he felt about being spoofed on TV comedy shows, Yagoda writes, ''The former president replied, 'Oh yeah, no I thought a lot of the Saturday Night Live guys were great.' ''
Liberman surveyed the speech databases in the Linguistic Data Consortium, and found that ''in all the cases that I looked at, the yeah and the no seem be independently appropriate in the context of use, even if the sequence seems surprising when viewed in merely semantic terms.''
In one comment on the ADS list, the lexicographer Jonathan Lighter quoted a former New York City police detective as saying on CNN: ''Yeah, no, you're right!''
Lighter added: ''There it seems to mean, 'Yes indeed, and no, I wouldn't think of contradicting you.' ''
But it can also mean disagreement, as in this tweet a few months ago about horror movies: ''yeah no i hate blood and guns and stuff like that.''
PS: Readers of the blog have reported sightings (or, rather, hearings) of the usage in New Zealand, in South African English as well as Afrikaans, and in Danish.
Check outour booksabout the English language
VIDEO-CLIPS-DOCS
VIDEO-Is Bill Cosby a somnophiliac? | Fox News
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:33
At least 16 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, and in many cases their stories are eerily similar: The women claim the comedian gave them some pills and proceeded to assault them.
But one woman, Dr. Charlotte Laws, claims her friend had a long-running affair with Cosby in the early '80s and was drugged by him, too, even though they were already in a consensual sexual relationship.
''[My friend] came to me and was distraught and said he had drugged her and had sex with her, and she said 'it's not like I would have said no to anything,''' Laws told FOX411. ''She was pretty sexually adventuresome. She was perplexed as to why he would have done that, and she felt betrayed and she was confused about it.''
Laws said her friend, whose name she does not wish to reveal, eventually split from Cosby, but Laws kept in touch with him because she ''liked him as a person.'' She said looking back on the incident she suspects the famed comedy king drugged her friend because he enjoyed having power over her. Laws, who holds a Ph.D. in social ethics, recalled a strange meeting when she heard him offer her friend a large sum of money to grow her hair longer. Laws claims Cosby even offered her money to convince her friend to grow her hair as he'd asked.
''It could be that he enjoyed having that power over women or that control over someone who was not in control,'' she speculated. ''I think that he probably'... it turns him on somehow to see a woman incapacitated or out or not in control of herself.''
The word ''somnophiliac,'' meaning someone who is aroused by sex with a person who is asleep or unconscious, has popped up in several articles related to the recent Cosby allegations. Could the man once dubbed ''America's dad'' indeed be a somnophiliac who wanted to have sex with unconscious women?
According to Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist who has not treated Cosby, if the women's accounts of their interactions with Cosby are true, he is a somnophiliac who also suffers from a serious need to dominate and control other people.
''Basically, this is an inability to have a normal, sexually intimate and respectful exchange with a partner,'' Kuriansky explained. ''Therefore, that partner needs to be drugged and semi-conscious in order for [one] to interact. It is not a matter of the sexual pleasure as it is of the dominance or control.''
Kuriansky emphasized that in some relationships partners fantasize about and even engage in ''sleepy sex,'' where they agree that one person can have sex with the other while they are sleeping, but when drugging and sexual assault are involved it becomes a dysfunction.
''We have differences between people who have fantasies about these things [and] people who have actually carried these fantasies into an act,'' she said.
Dr. Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, however, countered that from the extensive research he's done on somnophilia he believes the paraphilia '' another term for sexual deviation -- is very rare and is probably not a factor in the alleged Cosby rapes.
''I think [allegedly] using roofies to drug people is definitely one step removed from being a direct somnophiliac,'' he said. ''The date rape is just about having total power over somebody but not about being asleep as much.''
Both doctors agreed that somnophilia is on a larger spectrum of sexual behavior and it is somewhat related to necrophilia, which is the sexual attraction to corpses.
''I refer to it being pseudo-necrophilia,'' Griffiths said. ''There are some people who really won't go through a necrophilia act but having someone who is drugged or asleep may be enough for someone.''
Kuriansky, who teaches a course about human intimacy at the Columbia Teachers College, speculated if Cosby is suffering from any type of sexual perversion it is likely due to an incident during his childhood.
''I would love to have him on the couch to explore how some of his early childhood behavior led to this need to [allegedly] dominate women and the difficulty with intimacy,'' she said.
Laws said she suspects based on what she knows of him, Cosby probably has somnophilia.
''People take incredible risks when they have compulsions or obsessions,'' she said. ''It seems he gambled it all -- his career and legacy --and he lost.''
Cosby's lawyer, Martin Singer, did not return FOX411's request for comment.
Cosby, 77, has never been criminally charged stemming from any of the sex-abuse allegations, many of which date back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
WATCH: Four4Four on Miley Cyrus, Bill Cosby, Lena Dunham and purloined pics
VIDEO-Greenpeace facing 'criminal' charges for desecrating sacred sites in Peru. - YouTube
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:57
VIDEO-MSNBC Guest Blames Landrieu Loss On White Racism | MRCTV
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:59
Video cross-posted here at NewsBusters. On Saturday night, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) lost her bid for reelection to Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-La.) by nearly 12 points and some liberals decided to blame her defeat on white racists who hate President Obama. Appearing on MSNBC's The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart on Monday morning, Aisha Moodie-Mills of the Center for American Progress insisted that ''the reality, and every single poll shows this, is that Democrats have completely lost the south because white people are running away from Barack Obama and this African-American man who is occupying the White House.''
VIDEO-Ann Compton Reveals of Obama: He Has 'Profanity-Laced' Tirades Against Press | MRCTV
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:48
[See NewsBusters for more.] According to retired ABC News journalist Ann Compton, Barack Obama has launched into "profanity-laced" tirades against the press in off-the-record meetings with reporters. In a C-SPAN interview, Compton also derided the President for leading "the most opaque" administration of "any I have covered."
VIDEO-Reporter to Earnest: 'What's the Difference Between Harsh CIA Interrogation Techniques and Drones that Kill Civilians?' | MRCTV
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:37
By escheiner | December 9, 2014 9:39am ET 144 viewsIf the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
Bush Interrogated Terrorists to Get Information; Obama Kills Them With Drones See More at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/bush-interrogated-terrorists-get-information-obama-kills-them-drones
VIDEO-Ramos Hits Obama From the Left on Race; Wishes He Did More to Address 'White Privilege' | MRCTV
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 04:21
See more in the cross-post on the Newsbusters blog.
Fusion/Univision anchor Jorge Ramos interviewed President Obama on Tuesdayand spent the interview flaunting his liberal beliefs by constantly hitting the President from the far left on a wide range of issues, including race.
After discussing the release of the so-called CIA ''torture'' report by Senate Democrats, President Obama was asked if he got ''angry with'' the belief that ''many people expected you, probably, to do more on race relations, dealing with white privilege.''
VIDEO-Itay Talgam: Lead like the great conductors | Talk Video | TED.com
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:39
Itay Talgam:Lead like the great conductors20:51 · Filmed July 2009 at TEDGlobal 2009 · Subtitles available in 30 languages
An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this charming talk, Itay Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six great 20th-century conductors, illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders.
This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.
VIDEO- President Obama kicks off the Hour of Code 2014 - YouTube
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:27
VIDEO-obama national police force video - Mozilla Yahoo Search Results
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 02:32
Obama's Push For That NationalPolice Force - Tea...www.teapartycrusaders.com/commentary/ obamas-push-for-that... CachedDec 05, 2014 · Obama's Push For That NationalPoliceForce. ... when I see the racial divide Obama has created, and videos that appear to represent his own personal ...
VIDEO-Wall Street Demands Derivatives Deregulation In Government Shutdown Bill
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:24
WASHINGTON -- Wall Street lobbyists are trying to secure taxpayer backing for many derivatives trades as part of budget talks to avert a government shutdown.
According to multiple Democratic sources, banks are pushing hard to include the controversial provision in funding legislation that would keep the government operating after Dec. 11. Top negotiators in the House are taking the derivatives provision seriously, and may include it in the final bill, the sources said.
The bank perks are not a traditional budget item. They would allow financial institutions to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. -- potentially putting taxpayers on the hook for losses caused by the risky contracts. Big Wall Street banks had typically traded derivatives from these FDIC-backed units, but the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law required them to move many of the transactions to other subsidiaries that are not insured by taxpayers.
Taxpayer insurance helps banks secure higher credit ratings for their derivatives, since taxpayers assume some of the risk, which in turn makes the banks more profitable.
Last year, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) introduced the same provision under debate in the current budget talks. The legislative text was written by a Citigroup lobbyist, according to The New York Times. The bill passed the House by a vote of 292 to 122 in October 2013, 122 Democrats opposed, and 70 in favor. All but three House Republicans supported the bill.
Himes was passed over for leadership positions after the 2014 midterm elections, which he said he interpreted as unrest within the Democratic Party over his strong ties to financial elites.
"My guess is, it was a factor, which is disappointing because I think the criticism is way off base," said Himes, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs.
It wasn't clear whether the derivatives perk will survive negotiations in the House, or if the Senate will include it in its version of the bill. With Democrats voting nearly 2-to-1 against the bill in the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) never brought the bill up for a vote in the Senate. President Barack Obama opposed the bill ahead of the House vote, as did former FDIC Chair Shiela Bair, former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), currently the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.
VIDEO: Disruption as storm hits northern UK
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:28
High winds and huge waves are affecting north-western parts of the UK as bad weather hits power supplies and travel.
The "weather bomb" storm has brought hundreds of lightning strikes, temporarily cutting power to across the Western Isles, affecting 17,000 homes.
The Met Office has warned parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland to "be prepared" as the rapidly developing storm threatens gusts of up to 80mph.
Wind speeds are expected to peak on Wednesday afternoon and early evening.
Laura Bicker reports.
VIDEO-Michael Hayden: No One Ever Warned Us Against Overreacting to 9/11 - The Atlantic
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 15:06
A damning admission from a former head of the CIA and NSA.
Jason Reed/Reuters
After the Senate released its torture report, Michael Hayden, who formerly led both the CIA and the NSA, granted an interview to NBC News. Under questioning by Brian Williams, he provided no persuasive rebuttal to the report's findings. But he did offer a defense of America's intelligence community that doubles as an unwitting indictment of the country's leadership in the post-9/11 era. Here's what Hayden said as if it reflects well on the people who were in charge:
I was in government for ten years after 9/11, and let me tell ya, a phrase I never heard from anybody in any position of authority: 'Whatever you guys do about this terrorism threat, please, please don't overreact.' Never heard it, Brian.
Like so much of what Hayden says, this is factually false. Members of Congress were in a position of Constitutional authority, and some pleaded with the Bush Administration to avoid overreacting to 9/11, as Russ Feingold and Barbara Lee can attest. But let's suppose Hayden was speaking of executive branch authority figures, in accordance with the dangerous but common view that the executive is all powerful in emergencies. It's believable that neither George W. Bush nor Dick Cheney nor Don Rumsfeld warned bureaucrats beneath them against overreacting to the terror threat.
What's staggering is that Hayden still hasn't figured out what a catastrophic misstep that was. Overreacting to the terrorist threat caused the U.S. to launch a war of choice against Iraq that killed thousands more Americans than Osama Bin Laden did at a cost expected to reach $6 trillion, plus thousands of lost limbs and PTSD cases. Overreacting to terrorism caused intrusive ethnic profiling of New York City Muslims that led to zero terrorism leads and intrusive surveillance on the phone calls of American citizens that stopped zero terror plots.
One needn't be a particularly sophisticated student of terrorist-group tactics to understand that a superpower can harm itself more by overreacting than by doing too little. As David Kilcullen told Jim Fallows, "It's al-Qaeda plus our response that creates the existential danger.'' But if Hayden is to be believed, no one in a position of authority ever warned him to be wary of going too far, and he apparently lacked the prudence and foresight to guard against such excesses for himself.
Many American officials performed no better. Thus the world we live in today.
With one successful plot that killed 3,000 people, Osama Bin Laden baited America's ruling class into multiple foreign invasions, significant abrogations of civil liberties, and a loss of moral high ground as the world gazed in horror at our descent into torture. Yet an experienced intel official still finds it absurd to think he should've taken more care not to overreact. His heuristics are a poor guide to reality.
VIDEO-U.N.'s Lima Climate Talks Have Biggest Carbon Footprint Ever - NBC News.com
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:18
The Lima climate talks will produce more than 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a record carbon footprint for any U.N. climate meeting measured, organizers say '-- though all that greenhouse gas pollution will be offset by host country Peru's protection of forest, organizers say.
One big reason for that footprint, about 1.5 times the norm: The venue was built from scratch. Eleven football fields of temporary structures arose for the 13-day negotiations from what was an empty field behind army headquarters. Also, unreliable sunshine in Lima is one reason solar panels weren't used. And organizers say technical difficulties meant they couldn't draw power from Peru's grid, which is about 52 percent fed by non-polluting hydroelectric power. So diesel generators are being used for electricity. Big ticket items in the footprint include: construction, nearly 20 percent; jet fuel burned by 11,000 delegates and observers, 30 percent; local transportation (organizers hired more than 300 buses), 15-20 percent. Also, the 580 square miles (1,500 square kilometers) of forest must lie unperturbed for a half-century to neutralize all that carbon.
IN-DEPTHSOCIAL'-- The Associated PressFirst published December 9 2014, 10:52 AM
VIDEO-Col. Wilkerson: Dick Cheney Fully Informed About Prisoner Torture | Crooks and Liars
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 04:28
I share the anger Col. Wilkerson gets across during his interview with Chris Hayes about the lies and misdirection in the CIA torture program. Wilkerson was visibly angry during the entire interview, but nowhere was that more evident than when he pointed the finger directly at Cheney at the end.
Here's the transcript, but the video says it all.
HAYES: There's one thing that struck me in this report that I have to ask you about. This is in the summary that we got today.
An internal CIA email from July 2003 noted that "...the WH [White House] is extremely concerned that Secretary Powell would blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what's been going on."
You were working for Secretary Powell at that time. Your reaction to that.
WILKERSON: I'm sure that's probably the case. I got to see him -- I worked for him for twelve years and I got to see him blow his stack worse than he'd ever blown it before at the CIA with George Tenet and John McLaughlin, because he sensed what was being done to him.
He took me into a room and told me to cut about 25 percent of the presentation he was supposed to give out. Told me to take it out because it was worthless. He was even worried that it wasn't accurate.
And then within a few minutes George Tenet showed up with the spellbinding news that high level Al Qaeda operatives had revealed under interrogation, he said -- no revealing that he was being tortured at the time -- that he'd revealed significant contacts between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's operatives in Baghdad.
This was a flat-out lie. We later learned it was Sheik Al-Libi, we learned he was being tortured, no US personnel were even present, and that in a week to ten days he recanted what he'd given under torture.
So this is the kind of thing that was happening when I was out at the CIA for five days and nights with these people who are now trying to tell the American people that they are competent and they were telling the truth.
'†' Story continues below '†'
HAYES: So I just want to clarify here. So you didn't know about the program, the Secretary didn't know about the program and it looks like Condi Rice didn't know about the program. There were a lot of people at the highest levels of government in the executive branch who were not read in to the fact that we were torturing people.
WILKERSON: I think that's true. I'll go out on a limb and I'll say the only person who was completely read in and no one knows all the details, but the one who was read in on both the need for the law to cover their rear ends and the need to continue the program because it was effective was Richard Bruce Cheney.
He was the man in the shadows orchestrating all of this from his position in the White House.
And he has appeared on every cable news channel since he left office, treated as though he is a legitimate commentator about matters of national security.
I'll go out on a limb, too. I'll say that based on this report alone, the CIA should be entirely disbanded and cease to exist as an entity. Then the public should be fully informed as to every operative at home and abroad who has ever been a part of this agency, because it has created monsters.
When those monsters retire or leave their posts with the CIA, they live in your neighborhoods, shop in your markets, and get jobs as "security experts", poisoning our politics and maybe even running for office. But you won't know that, because CIA operatives' identities are mandated to remain secret by law.
If Republicans in Congress want so badly to repeal something, they should consider repealing all sections of law that birthed the CIA. If they're so desperate for hearings, they should consider holding hearings geared toward making torture a capital crime, whether performed by the CIA or the U.S. military.
We all have to wear the taint Richard Bruce Cheney brought down on us with his full-throated endorsement of inhuman and evil methods of causing pain, humiliation and harm to other human beings. It's wrong that there's no consequences for those who perpetrated it, and it's wrong that Cheney isn't languishing in a privatized prison somewhere.
VIDEO-Join the largest learning event in history, Dec 8-14, 2014
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:29
Try the tutorialsWhen is the Hour of Code?Anybody can host an Hour of Code anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 8-14, 2014, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one specific hour? No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week. (And if you can't do it during that week, do it the week before or after).Why computer science?Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. See more stats on Code.org.How do I participate in the Hour of Code?Sign up to host an Hour of Code event here and start planning. You can organize an Hour of Code event at your school or in your community '-- like in an extracurricular club, non-profit or at work. Or, just try it yourself when Dec. 8 arrives.Who is behind the Hour of Code?The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. An unprecedented coalition of partners have come together to support the Hour of Code, too '-- including Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board.I don't know anything about coding. Can I still host an event?Of course. Hour of Code activities are self-guided. All you have to do is try our current tutorials, pick the tutorial you want, and pick an hour '-- we take care of the rest. We also have options for every age and experience-level, from kindergarten and up. Start planning your event by reading our how to guide.Do I need computers for every participant?No. We have Hour of Code tutorials that work on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and some that require no computer at all! You can join wherever you are, with whatever you have.Here are a few options:
Work in pairs. Research shows students learn best with pair programming, sharing a computer and working together. Encourage your students to double up.Use a projected screen. If you have a projector and screen for a Web-connected computer, your entire group can do an Hour of Code together. Watch video portions together and take turns solving puzzles or answering questions.Go unplugged. We offer tutorials that require no computer at all.How can I make an Hour of Code tutorial?If you're interested in becoming a tutorial partner, see our guidelines and instructions. We'd like to host a variety of engaging options, but the primary goal is to optimize the experience for students and teachers who are new to computer science.Do students need to log on using an account?No. Absolutely no signup or login is required for students to try the Hour of Code. Most of the follow-on courses require account creation to save student progress.Where is the tutorial with Anna and Elsa?Which activity should I do with high school students?Across all ages, we recommend trying one of the beginner tutorials on Code.org/learn to start, such as the tutorial with Angry Birds or with Anna and Elsa. A high school student should be able to finish one of these in 30 minutes and can then try a more advanced tutorial in JavaScript, such as KhanAcademy or CodeHS.I am doing Scratch for Hour of Code, but what if my students have iPads rather than laptops?Scratch doesn't run on tablets. If your students are young, they can use the ScratchJR iPad app (for early-readers). If you look at the tutorials on Code.org/learn, you can find other tutorials that work on iPads - from Code.org, Tynker, Lightbot, or CodeSpark.
VIDEO-President Obama Delivers Remarks at an ''Hour of Code'' Event | The White House
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:51
December 08, 2014 | 1:59 | Public Domain
On December 8, 2014, President Obama kicked off Computer Science Education week by speaking with students participating in an ''Hour of Code'' event at the White House.
Download mp4 (71MB) | mp3 (2MB)
AUDIO-When It Comes To Day Care, Parents Want All Children Vaccinated : Shots - Health News : NPR
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:41
According to a national poll on children's health, over 80 percent of parents believe all children in day care should be required to be up to date on their vaccines. Alison Bruzek/NPRhide caption
itoggle caption Alison Bruzek/NPRThere's been a lot of attention drawn to people who don't believe in vaccinating their children, but there are many more people who believe that vaccines are the best way to protect children from contagious disease. A recent poll shows just how concerned parents are about vaccines when it comes to putting their children in day care.
According to a poll conducted by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, 81 percent of parents say they believe all children in day care should be required to be up to date on vaccines. In fact, 41 percent said children who aren't up to date should be kept out of day care.
Furthermore, 70 percent of parents said they would take their children out of a child care facility where one-quarter of the children were not fully vaccinated.
A majority of parents also believed that child care providers should take responsibility for getting children vaccinated '-- 74 percent said day care providers should be required to check the vaccines status of each of the children every year. Overall, just 10 percent of parents said children who aren't fully vaccinated should be allowed to attend child care without any penalty.
The researchers who conducted the poll say they hope the findings will start a conversation among parents and day care providers about vaccination policies.
JINGLES-Sir Longrock's Jingles and Clips : Sir Longrock : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:47
Dear Internet Archivists: It shouldn't cost you to give something away. On the Web, people share things for free, but corporations charge a lot to store and serve that data. The Internet Archive believes in an open internet. Here you can preserve your cultural treasures forever. For free. The good news is people care. They download 20 million books here each month. We get more visitors in a year than most libraries do in a lifetime. The key is to keep improving and to keep it free. That's where you can help us. Internet Archive is a non-profit. We don't run ads, but still need to pay for servers and staff. If everyone reading this gave $75, we could end our fundraiser right now. For the cost of buying a book, you can make a book permanently available for the next generation. It's a small amount to inform millions. Help us do more. Thank you.**
Dear Internet Archivists: It shouldn't cost you to give something away. On the Web, people share things for free, but corporations charge a lot to store and serve that data. The Internet Archive believes in an open internet. Here you can preserve your cultural treasures forever. For free. The good news is people care. They download 20 million books here each month. We get more visitors in a year than most libraries do in a lifetime. The key is to keep it free. That's where you can help us. Internet Archive is a non-profit. We don't run ads, but still need to pay for servers and staff. If everyone reading this gave $75, we could end our fundraiser right now. It's a small amount to inform millions. Help us do more. Thank you.**
Dear Internet Archivists: It shouldn't cost you to give something away. On the Web, people share things for free, but corporations charge a lot to store and serve that data. At the Internet Archive you can preserve your cultural treasures forever. For free. The good news is people care. They download 20 million books here each month. We get more visitors in a year than most libraries do in a lifetime. The key is to keep it free. That's where you can help us. Internet Archive is a non-profit. We don't run ads, but still need to pay for servers and staff. If everyone reading this gave $75, we could end our fundraiser right now. Help us do more. Thank you.**
Dear Friends: Internet Archive is a library for the digital generation, non-profit and ad-free. Please donate now so we can make this knowledge accessible forever. Thank you.**Thanks to our friends at Wikimedia for making their fundraising data open source.
VIDEO-BET Exclusive: Obama Talks Race, Racism and How Far America Has to Go | News | BET
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:44
Barack Obama '' not the president, but the man '' has a dream: his children will be viewed as individuals and judged not by the color of their skin but based on the content of their character, their behavior and their talents and gifts. Sadly, he observed in an exclusive interview with BET Networks, "misguided attitudes" mean that people of color still have less margin for error, particularly if they are male.
The good news, the president said, is that younger generations have evolved on the issue as race, which is evidenced by the sea of multi-ethnic faces in the crowds at coast-to-coast protests taking place in response to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner tragedies.
"They've got a better attitude and a clearer mindset and a greater empathy for what's going on. And I think each successive generation, as it gets more understanding, more familiarity, more comfort with people of other races and other cultures, then some of this dissipates," Obama said, referring to the "deeply rooted" racism that still plagues this nation.
Hours before the interview aired, his critics on the right began lashing out at him for, according to Breitbart News, "playing the race card more overtly than ever before." Others will say it's about time he spoke up about the series of police-involved deaths of a disproportionate number of African-American men, which he acknowledged. But he also said that "institutionally" he is required to remain silent during the investigations of those incidents, which would be compromised "if it appeared that I was trying to steer to a particular outcome."
That doesn't mean he does not empathize with those who've expressed their anger and frustration more publically. The president recalled a meeting he had last week that included several young African-American leaders whose experiences of being stopped or treated suspiciously for no reason reminded him of his own. He also said that as long as the protests remain peaceful, they are necessary
"And that's why I had them in the Oval Office, some of these folks who've been organizing these protests. Because the old adage, power concedes nothing without a fight -- I think that's true," said Obama. "But what's also true is that a country's conscience sometimes has to be triggered by some inconvenience, because I think a lot of people who saw the Eric Garner video are troubled, even if they haven't had that same experience themselves. Even if they're not African-American or Latino."
But time sometimes causes interest to wane or another headline grabs the public's attention, he added, so "the value of peaceful protests, activism organizing is it reminds the society this is not yet done."
During the 30-minute interview, Obama outlined some of the steps his administration is taking to try to address disparities in the nation's criminal justice system. In 90 days, a new task force will present recommendations on issues such as how to train and equip law enforcement and hold them more accountable. He also is prepared to withhold funding to jurisdictions that eschew best practices identified.
"We're going to provide more [funding] to folks who are doing the right thing and we're going to be investigating folks who are not doing the right thing," he warned. "I think that becomes an important part of the leverage that we can exert."
Obama does, however, believe that the "vast majority" of law enforcement officers are doing a good job and "trying to do the right thing."
"But a combination of bad training, in some cases; a combination in some cases of departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work; a combination in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different -- all of this contributes to a national problem that's going to require a national solution," he said.
It's also not a problem that can be solved overnight, but it's important to acknowledge the progress already made and older generations will attest that racism in America is not as bad as it was 50 years ago, Obama said. In some cases it's still "not good, but better," he conceded, but that's why he's pushing young people to be vigilant and persistent in their efforts to uproot racism and bias in American society.
"This is not only personal for me, because of who I am and who Michelle is and who our family members are and what our experiences are, but as president, I consider this to be one of the most important issues we face. Because America works when everybody feels as if they are being treated fairly and that they've got a fair shot," Obama concluded. "And whenever we are unified in trying to uphold our ideals, then this country can't be stopped. And when we are divided and people feel as if those ideals are being betrayed, that holds us back in every aspect of life."
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VIDEO-Obama discusses racism, police mistrust and progress - NY Daily News
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:44
President Obama '-- in his first televised interview since a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict the New York cop who killed Eric Garner '-- said Monday that ''bad training'' and a ''fear of folks who look different'' in a small number of police departments across the U.S. have contributed to the ongoing mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities.
''The vast majority of law enforcement officers are doing a really tough job, and most of them are doing it well and are trying to do the right thing,'' Obama said during a one-on-one interview with BET Networks that aired Monday. ''But a combination of bad training, in some cases, a combination in some cases of departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work; a combination in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different '-- all of this contributes to a national problem that's going to require a national solution.''
''This country is at its best when everybody is being treated fairly. We have a history and a legacy of people not being treated fairly in all kinds of walks of life,'' he said during the 30-minute special, titled ''A Conversation with President Barack Obama.'' ''It is particularly important for people to feel like they're being treated fairly by law enforcement and police, because the consequences when they're not treated fairly can be deadly.''
The comments represent some of Obama's most explicit thoughts yet in the weeks and months since grand juries refused to return indictments in the deaths of Eric Garner, in Staten Island, and Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo. '-- both black males killed by white police officers.
However, Garner's death, unlike Brown's, was captured on video '-- providing access to images that Obama said ''troubled'' many Americans, ''even if they haven't had that same experience themselves, even if they're not African-American or Latino.''
''I think there are a lot of good, well-meaning people, I think there are probably a lot of police officers who might have looked at that and said, that is a tragedy what happened, and we've got to figure out how to bring an end to these kinds of tragedies,'' he said.
Obama also revealed that he himself had troubling experiences as young black man that helped mold his desire to bring about improvements in race relations.
''My mind went back to what it was like for me when I was 17, 18, 20,'' Obama said, referring to his thoughts after meeting with a group of civil rights activists who had been targeted by police on account of their race. ''And as I told them, not only do I hear the pain and frustration of being subjected to that kind of constant suspicion, but part of the reason I got into politics was to figure out how can I bridge some of those gaps and understanding so that the larger country understands this is not just a black problem or a brown problem, this is an American problem.''
Obama, nevertheless, stressed that ''progress has been made'' when it comes to combating racism in the U.S.
''Things are better. Not good, in some cases, but better,'' he said. ''And the reason it's important for us to understand progress has been made is that then gives up hope that we can make even more progress.''
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VIDEO NEEDED-Unreal: Obama Says Police Shoot Black Men Because They Have A ''Subconscious Fear Of Folks Who Look Different'''... | Weasel Zippers
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 04:45
Obama goes all-in with the race card.
Via NYDN:
President Obama '-- in his first televised interview since a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict the New York cop who killed Eric Garner '-- said Monday that ''bad training'' and a ''fear of folks who look different'' in a small number of police departments across the U.S. have contributed to the ongoing mistrust between law enforcement and minority communities.
''The vast majority of law enforcement officers are doing a really tough job, and most of them are doing it well and are trying to do the right thing,'' Obama said during a one-on-one interview with BET Networks that aired Monday. ''But a combination of bad training, in some cases, a combination in some cases of departments that really are not trying to root out biases, or tolerate sloppy police work; a combination in some cases of folks just not knowing any better, and in a lot of cases, subconscious fear of folks who look different '-- all of this contributes to a national problem that's going to require a national solution.''
''This country is at its best when everybody is being treated fairly. We have a history and a legacy of people not being treated fairly in all kinds of walks of life,'' he said during the 30-minute special, titled ''A Conversation with President Barack Obama.'' ''It is particularly important for people to feel like they're being treated fairly by law enforcement and police, because the consequences when they're not treated fairly can be deadly.''
The comments represent some of Obama's most explicit thoughts yet in the weeks and months since grand juries refused to return indictments in the deaths of Eric Garner, in Staten Island, and Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo. '-- both black males killed by white police officers.
VIDEO-NEEDED-Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks During the Interfaith Service and Community Forum at Ebenezer Baptist Church | OPA | Department of Justice
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 02:01
Thank you all for being here. It is my honor to bring warm greetings from President Obama, who asked that I share his best wishes with you this evening.
I'd like to thank Reverend [Raphael] Warnock, and his colleagues and counterparts throughout Atlanta's thriving community of faith, for inviting me to join you tonight. I also want to thank Mayor [Kasim] Reed and Police Chief [George] Turner for welcoming me to this beautiful city. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to meet with the two of them '' along with a number of law enforcement, faith, civil rights, and community leaders from here in Atlanta '' for the first in what will be a series of meetings with law enforcement, civic, and community leaders around the country in the coming weeks. I heard about the great work they are doing to foster strong and mutually-respectful relationships throughout this region. And I was particularly encouraged to learn about robust engagement strategies like the one that's in place in this area '' thanks to the leadership of DeKalb County Director of Public Safety Cedric Alexander and his colleagues '' as people have reacted to events in Ferguson.
I want to take a moment to recognize the Justice Department leaders who took part in this meeting, and who are here with us tonight '' including Karol Mason, the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs; senior leaders from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; Vanita Gupta, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; and Atlanta's very own Sally Yates, our outstanding U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
Most importantly, I want to thank each of the passionate citizens '' and especially the young people '' who has taken the time to reflect, to pray, and to engage with us this evening. It is a privilege to stand with this community as you convene a forum to help build cooperation, to foster inclusion, and to make your voices heard. And it is a particular honor to do so in the shadow of the historic sanctuary where a young man of faith named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first found the voice that would stir millions to action; where he first articulated the vision that pushes us forward even today; and where he first bound himself to the enduring struggle for equal justice '' a cause that he would pioneer, for which he would lay down his life, and in which every successive generation must be both trained and invested.
It was here at Ebenezer Baptist, well over half a century ago, that our nation's greatest advocate for justice, for peace, and for righteousness began the work that would help to transform the nation '' and usher in decades of extraordinary, once-unimaginable progress. It was here that Dr. King set out not merely to change our laws, but to change the world '' and to pull the country he loved ever closer to its founding principles. And it was here, too, that he issued a prophetic warning that, although brighter days undoubtedly lay ahead, progress would not come without considerable hardship, struggle, setback '' and profound sacrifice.
''The winds,'' he told us, ''are going to blow. The storms of disappointment are coming. The agonies and the anguishes of life are coming.''
Dr. King knew then '' as we know, today '' that with the strength conferred by abiding faith, together, we can ''stand up amid the storms.'' By placing our trust in the Divine, and in one another, we can ''walk with [our] feet solid to the ground and [our] head[s] to the air.'' He assured us that, come what may, we need not feel discouraged or afraid; in fact, we need not fear any challenge that comes before us. But the struggles will continue. The storms will come. And the road ahead will be anything but smooth or straight.
As we look down this road tonight, it's clear that our nation continues to face persistent challenges '' along with the countless opportunities that Dr. King helped make possible, but that he himself did not live to see. As we recommit ourselves to the cause with which he entrusted us, it's apparent that our nation's journey is not yet over. And so we return once more to this hallowed place to seek shelter from a terrible storm '' a storm that I'm certain we will weather, so long as we continue to stand united '' and unafraid to address realities too long ignored.
Like millions of Americans, I know many of you have spent the past few days with family members, friends, and loved ones, giving thanks for the blessings of the past year '' but also mindful of recent news, the anguished emotions, and the images of destruction that have once again focused this country's attention on Ferguson, Missouri.
While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, I can report this evening that the Justice Department's investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown, as well as our investigation into allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department, remain ongoing and active. They have been rigorous and independent from the very beginning. While federal civil rights law imposes an extremely high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted prejudging the evidence or forming premature conclusions. And as these investigations proceed, I want to assure the American people that they will continue to be conducted both thoroughly and in a timely manner '' following the facts and the law wherever they may lead. We will see these investigations through to their appropriate conclusions, so that we can continue to work with the community to restore trust, to rebuild understanding, and to foster renewed cooperation between law enforcement and community members.
Like you, I understand that the need for this trust was made clear in the wake of the intense public reaction to last week's grand jury announcement. But the problems we must confront are not only found in Ferguson. The issues raised in Missouri are not unique to that state or that small city. We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope and that threaten the entire nation. Broadly speaking, without mutual understanding between citizens '' whose rights must be respected '' and law enforcement officers '' who make tremendous and often-unheralded personal sacrifices every day to preserve public safety '' there can be no meaningful progress. Our police officers cannot be seen as an occupying force disconnected from the communities they serve. Bonds that have been broken must be restored. Bonds that never existed must now be created.
But the issue is larger than just the police and the community. Our overall system of justice must be strengthened and made more fair. In this way, we can ensure faith in the justice system. Without that deserved faith, without that reasoned belief, there can be no justice. This is not an unreasonable desire '' it is a fundamental American right enshrined in our founding documents.
There can be no question that Michael Brown's death was a tragedy. Any loss of life '' and particularly the loss of someone so young '' is heart-rending, regardless of the circumstances. But in the months since this incident occurred, it has sparked a significant national conversation about the need to ensure confidence in the law enforcement and criminal justice processes. The rifts that this tragedy exposed, in Ferguson and elsewhere, must be addressed '' by all Americans '' in a constructive manner. And it is deeply unfortunate that this vital conversation was interrupted, and this young man's memory dishonored, by destruction and looting on the part of a relatively small criminal element.
Dr. King would be the first to remind us that acts of mindless destruction are not only contrary to the rule of law and the aims of public safety; they threaten to stifle important debate, ''adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.'' They actively impede social progress by drowning out the legitimate voices of those attempting to make themselves heard. And they are not consistent with the wishes of Michael Brown's father, who asked that his son be remembered peacefully.
Time and again, America's proud history has shown that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to principles of non-aggression and nonviolence. As this congregation knows better than most, peaceful protest has long been a hallmark, and a legacy, of past struggles for progress. This is what Dr. King taught us, half a century ago, in his eloquent words from the Ebenezer pulpit and in the vision he shared from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
So this evening, I renew his call for all those who seek to lend their voices to important causes and discussions, and who seek to elevate these vital conversations, to do so in ways that respect the gravity of their subject matter. I urge all Americans to stand in solidarity with those brave citizens, in Ferguson, who stopped looters from destroying even more local businesses, who isolated people responsible for acts of violence, and who rejected lawless and destructive tactics '' just as I have urged them to stand with law enforcement personnel to ensure the rights of protestors and defuse tense situations whenever and wherever possible.
I also want to reaffirm my own steadfast dedication, and the commitment of my colleagues at every level of the U.S. Department of Justice, to keep working with citizens and law enforcement leaders alike in building this inclusive, national dialogue '' so we can close these gaps, improve police and community relations, and open a new era of collaboration in pursuit of public safety, especially among the vulnerable and underserved populations that need our assistance the most.
This has been a top priority for my colleagues and me over the past six years. In fact, in just the last few months, under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General Mason and COPS Director Ron Davis, our Office of Justice Programs and COPS Office have worked to develop and disseminate guidance to law enforcement officers about how to maintain order during peaceful protests and other First Amendment-protected events '' while safeguarding the rights of demonstrators. As we speak, the COPS Office and Community Relations Service are doing great work on the ground in Ferguson '' conducting an after-action review, recommending constructive steps we can take to resolve persistent tensions, and identifying areas where law enforcement priorities and community concerns must fall into alignment.
As this critical effort unfolds, we will remain firmly resolved to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in driving this work into the future. And this commitment will also fuel our broader efforts to bring change '' and meaningful reform '' to urgent challenges far beyond the realm of community policing.
Through the Smart on Crime initiative I launched last year, we are already strengthening the federal criminal justice system, moving away from outdated sentencing regimes, and embracing a holistic approach to law enforcement, incarceration, rehabilitation, and reentry. Through important, bipartisan legislation like the Smarter Sentencing Act '' and in cooperation with Congressional leaders from both parties '' we're striving to give judges more discretion in determining sentences for people convicted of certain federal drug crimes. And we're marshaling a broad coalition of bipartisan leaders to urge state lawmakers to repeal and rethink misguided and unjust policies like felon disenfranchisement, so voting rights can be restored to those individuals who have served their time, paid their fines, and completed their probation or parole.
Through the groundbreaking My Brother's Keeper initiative that President Obama announced in February, we are also working tirelessly to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color '' and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Under the leadership of Vanita Gupta, the Department's Civil Rights Division is deeply engaged in reinvigorated police reform work. Over the last five fiscal years, they've opened more than 20 investigations into police departments across the country '' and entered into 15 consent decrees or memoranda of understanding '' to correct unconstitutional policing practices. And through the new National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which I launched in September, we are forging robust relationships between police officers and their communities '' so we can bridge long-simmering divides from coast to coast; so we can provide innovative training on bias reduction and procedural fairness, to ensure that everyone is treated equitably; and so we can minimize needless confrontation, preserve peace, and maintain the public trust at all times '' particularly in moments of heightened community tension.
Earlier today, I was proud to join President Obama at the White House to discuss this ongoing work. And I am pleased to note this evening that the President has announced a series of steps to take these efforts to a new level '' to strengthen promising practices by local police while bolstering law enforcement and community relations.
First: based on an exhaustive, Administration-wide review of the distribution of military hardware to state and local police '' which the President ordered in August, and which uncovered a lack of consistency in the way this equipment is distributed '' the White House has released a detailed report outlining next steps for ensuring appropriate use of federal programs. And the President has instructed his staff to draft an Executive Order directing relevant agencies to work with law enforcement and civil rights organizations to find ways to improve the effectiveness, integrity, accountability, and transparency of these initiatives.
Second: the President made clear that this Administration will continue to strongly support the use of body cameras by local police. And he announced a commitment of more than $200 million to support a three-year initiative that will invest in body-worn cameras, expand training for law enforcement agencies, add more resources for police department reform, and multiply the number of cities where Justice Department leaders facilitate greater engagement between residents and local authorities.
Third: in the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement, which will institute rigorous new standards '' and robust safeguards '' to help end racial profiling, once and for all. This new guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing.
Finally: the President took the historic step of creating a new Task Force on 21st Century Policing '' a body composed of law enforcement executives and community leaders from around the country, led by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, and COPS Director Ron Davis, who will convene in the coming weeks to examine the present state of policing, to identify best practices, and to make recommendations for the future. This important Task Force will ask tough questions, examine thorny challenges, and consider the state of the law enforcement profession in a broad and inclusive way. It will offer suggestions for new ways to advance community policing throughout the country. And it will help to provide strong, national direction on a scale not seen since President Lyndon Johnson's Commission on Law Enforcement nearly 50 years ago.
I want to be very clear that, although frank dialogue is a necessary first step and sign of commitment, these efforts aren't just about talking '' and they're certainly not about imposing solutions from Washington. They're about bringing leaders together '' from every perspective '' to confront specific challenges, to spur renewed engagement, and to translate healthy dialogue into concrete, coordinated action and results.
Because police officers have an indispensable role to play in securing our neighborhoods and building a brighter future. Because these public servants shoulder enormous burdens, and incur significant personal risks, to fulfill their critical responsibilities. Because all lives matter and all lives must be valued. And because all Americans deserve fair and equal treatment in the eyes of the law.
After all, at a fundamental level, this is about much more than effective policy. It's about the progress that can only spring from thoughtful, peaceful gatherings like this one. It's about leaders like all of you '' the men and women in this crowd tonight. And it's about the power that passionate, engaged citizens can and must exercise in shaping our nation's future: so we can reclaim the promise, and the singular opportunity born of tragedy, that brings us together '' here and now. So we can keep our steadfast commitment to prevent future tragedies and promote mutual understanding. And so we can fulfill the sacred responsibility that all Americans share '' a responsibility to Dr. King, and untold millions of others, who sacrificed everything they had to bring our nation to this point; a responsibility to our fellow citizens, as well as the law enforcement officers who keep us safe; and '' most of all '' a responsibility to our children, black and white, from all backgrounds, races, and walks of life, in cities and towns across this country '' as to generations yet to come.
It was Dr. King who reminded us '' in his very last speech, on the night before his life was taken '' that it's only when it is dark enough that the stars can be seen.
Tonight, once again, it is dark enough. Yet even in recent weeks, there have arisen great sparks of humanity, and hope, that illuminate the way forward.
Out of this darkness shine the actions of those who reject destruction in favor of peaceful protest; the bravery of others who faced down mobs; the valor of law enforcement officers who risked their lives to restore public safety to their communities; and the humble words of a father who lost a son, but raised his voice in pursuit of peace.
These are the moments that remind us of the values that bind us together as a nation. These are the times '' of great challenge and great consequence '' that point the way forward in our ongoing pursuit of a more perfect Union. And these are the lights that will help us beat back the encroaching darkness '' and the stars that will guide us, together, out of this storm.
May God grant us safe passage. May He continue to watch over our journey. And may He always bless the United States of America.
VIDEO-FBI charges Saudi-born naval engineer over plans to sink aircraft carrier - Washington Times
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:48
A Naval engineer is facing federal charges for allegedly giving an undercover FBI agent secret documents on a new aircraft carrier being built in Norfolk, Va.
Saudi-born Mostafa Ahmed Awwad, 35, of Yorktown, Va., was arrested Friday on an FBI affidavit claiming he planned to use a dead-drop location along a secluded hiking trail to hand off secret information about the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, set to be delivered to the Navy in 2016, Fox News reported Saturday.
During a hotel meeting on Oct. 9, Mr. Awwad gave the undercover agent, posing as an Egyptian spy named ''Yousef,'' secret drawings of the vessel and ''discussed where to strike the vessel with a missile in order sink it,'' the affidavit says.
He also asked for $1,500 to buy a tiny camera to photograph restricted material around the shipyard.
Mr. Awwad cried as he was led into a courtroom for a hearing on Saturday, The Virginian Pilot reported. A magistrate judge ordered Mr. Awwad be detained until a second hearing on Wednesday.
Mr. Awwad is accused of two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and technical data, punishable by 20 years in prison for each count.
According to the affidavit, Mr. Awwad was born in Saudi Arabia, married a U.S. citizen in Cairo in 2007 and took steps to become a U.S citizen.
He was hired to work at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard's nuclear engineering and planning department in February and received security clearance in August.
The FBI began a sting operation in September after the undercover agent contacted Mr. Awwad. It is unclear why he was contacted, Fox News reported.
Court documents say Mr. Awwad explained to ''Yousef'' that he intended to use his position to obtain secret documents for the Egyptian government, including but not limited to, the designs of the new nuclear aircraft carrier.
''Awwad agreed to conduct clandestine communications with the undercover FBI agent by email and unattributable telephones and to conduct 'dead drops' in a concealed location in the park,'' the Justice Department said in a press release, cited by The Navy Times.
At the end of the meeting Mr. Awwad agreed to provide the undercover agent with passport photos at the dead-drop location to be used to create a fake Egyptian passport so he could travel to Egypt without alerting U.S. government officials.
On Oct. 23 Mr. Awwad traveled to the dead drop location on the hiking trail where he retrieved $3,000 from a hole in the ground and left the photos and a one-tarabyte external hard drive, which the FBI later collected.
On Nov. 28, Mr. Awwad was observed entering his office at the shipyard carrying design schematics of the aircraft carrier in a cardboard tube, according to the Justice Department release. He spent roughly 45 minutes viewing the schematics and taking photos before placing them back in a cardboard tube and leaving the office.
VIDEO- Key & Peele - 9/11 - al-Qaeda planning another attack (Sketch Season 4) - YouTube
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:40
VIDEO- Conference | James Bissett on topic "US-led NATO powers responsibility for the crisis in Ukraine" - YouTube
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:33
VIDEO-60 Minutes on coal ash - muted outrage, lots of smiles and nods - Atomic Insights
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 22:49
On December 7, 2014, 60 Minutes, the venerable investigative reporting television show that has been on the air since 1968, aired a segment about Duke Energy's Dan River coal ash spill, which occurred on February 2, 2014. That large release of coal waste was a big topic in local newspapers and television shows in my current hometown; the affected river is less than an hour away by car. I'm not sure how much coverage the event and clean-up received in national or international news outlets.
Coming on the heels of 60 Minute's catastrophic portrayal of the area affected by the 1986 Chernobyl accident, Stahl's segment offers a contrast worth discussion in primetime media tone and content between the aftermath of a radioactive contamination event that took place in a remote area under the Soviet Union more than 28 years ago, and a toxic coal ash contamination event affecting tens of thousands of US citizens that occurred just 10 months ago.
It offers an even starker contrast between the media and government oversight reactions associated with the Dan River coal ash spill and the tiny release of nearly pure water from the San Onofre nuclear power station. The 60 minutes segment reveals that Duke Energy paid a $99,000 fine for allowing a pipe at a coal ash impoundment to collapse and release tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the Dan River. It tells us that the company responsible for the coal ash knew there was significant risk of a major release and did nothing to shore up its systems or to move the toxic material to a safer storage location.
About 10% '' 20% of the segment consists of a friendly, smile-filled conversation between the responsible company's CEO and the investigative reporter, with plenty of opportunity for Duke Energy to provide its version of the story.
When the San Onofre nuclear power station experienced a leak in a single steam generator U-tube that seeped from the primary closed system into the secondary closed system at a rate of 75 gallons per day, the end result''after more than 14 months of hearings and focused political pressure with the power plant owner spending tens of millions in studies and response efforts''was a decision by the company to close a 2,200 MWe power station that generated between $2 and $5 million worth of virtually emission-free electricity every day.
In the San Onofre case, company leaders were routinely demonized and portrayed as being untrustworthy. Even the responsible federal regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was under severe criticism and political pressure to act harshly towards SCE, the company that owned the plant.
Major coal ash releases into public waterways and onto private land are not frequent, but they are certainly not unknown. In fact, Leslie Stahl, the same reporter featured in the December 7, 2014 Dan River coal ash segment also starred in a 2009 segment about the Kingston River coal ash pond collapse that released a billion gallons of sludge.
Aside: The headline and URL associated with the archived copy of this piece on the CBS web site is Coal ash spill: A billion barrels of muck. Perhaps the headline writer and editor don't realize that a barrel is 42 times larger than a gallon. End Aside.
Actual spill was a billion gallons, not a billion barrels
Despite a history of serious problems and focused political and legal pressure from environmental organizations, coal ash remains unregulated at the federal level and subjected to state level regulations that have a wide variety of different standards.
I'll again reveal my bias against ''state rights'' in energy regulations. State borders are imaginary lines on a map and do not control the movement of materials like coal ash, combustion waste, or even radioactive materials. They also have nothing to do with the national prosperity and power that depends on abundant, accessible energy resources. As our founding documents encourage, when issues affect commerce between states or when one state's rules significantly affect the citizens of other states, the federal government should be the arbitrator.
When the coal ash pond in North Carolina experienced a ruptured pipe, many of the people who suffered from the impact of released sludge lived in Virginia have no vote that can lead to improved rules and procedural requirements.
Not surprisingly, utilities that own coal ash disposal sites and continue to produce 130 million more tons of the material every year work diligently to ensure that the material does not get classified as hazardous waste and does not come under federal government regulations. That classification would add a considerable cost burden and would reduce the economic advantage that coal has in some areas over its competitive power sources.
I am not advocating a situation where coal ash regulations are increased to the point where they rival the regulations associated with reusable nuclear fuel. That would harm the entire economy by restricting our access to a reliable, affordable source of power. What I would like to see is a situation where there is more uniform regulation of coal ash and a strong, prompt push to implement workable solutions that protect public waterways and private property.
It would also be useful for the companies that operate nuclear power plants and own reusable nuclear fuel to take some notes from their coal divisions about how to better use their position to influence regulations that make sense without imposing onerous operating costs.
I'm not opposed to the political process and I recognize the important advantages to the adversarial system that is the foundation for our system of government. The nuclear industry needs to learn how to play the role that an industry is supposed to play in keeping regulatory reach and media coverage under control.
VIDEO- CGEP - Impact of Sanctions on Russia's Energy Economy - YouTube
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:49

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Common Core

Obama Hour of Code.mp3
The New HOUR OF CODE Promo.mp3

Furgeson / Dept of Social Justice

'Not a Black or White Thing' Says Eric Garner's Wife.mp3
Holder Cleveland consent decree.mp3
MSNBC-Aisha Moodie-Mills of the Center for American Progress-south white haters.mp3
Obama BET int-Feds FUND and INFLUENCES jursitictions.mp3
Obama BET-2-National Solution.mp3
Obama Civilian Security Force.mp3
Telemundo int Obama - white priveledge.mp3

JCD Clips

abe and rearming japan.mp3
edelman versus the chinese.mp3
engel on sharpton.mp3
feinstein on effectiveness ARCHIVE.mp3
fox medly.mp3
leahy story about the joggers.mp3