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  • U.S. State Department Officials give Background Briefing to Traveling Press

    U.S. State Department Officials give Background Briefing to Traveling Press | site |


    Bangkok, Thailand - - (August 2, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following transcript of a special briefing provided (by senior State Department officials) to the traveling press:

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The last two days build on what began last year, which is the launch of a strategic engagement with the region under the heading of the Indo-Pacific strategy. And over the past year, we’ve seen significant advances in complementary moves by other powers in the region, including Japan, India, Australia, but more importantly, among Southeast Asian states, an awareness of the importance of working more aggressively towards regional development, economic integration, and a common position on the key security questions of the day, to include transparent negotiations on a code of conduct for the South China Seas, and an emphasis on diversification and balancing of economic ties and awareness of the danger of embracing China too closely.

    The discussions that took place over the two days reflected that evolution, with a keen awareness of the importance of keeping the forward momentum going.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: [Senior State Department Official Three], do you have anything to add? No. Okay. Jump in.

    QUESTION: As far as that code of conduct goes, what’s the U.S. position? I know that there were some advancements earlier in the week between China and ASEAN. Do we feel like that’s something that we have a role in? Do we feel like we’re being kind of cut out of that process?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: We’re privy to the discussions, but clearly not part of them since they and the PRC all insisted this is related to those with direct interest. However, the consensus seems to be that we already have a code of conduct globally, international code of conduct; it’s called the Law of the Sea.

    QUESTION: Well, except that we’re not part of it.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: I don’t think that really matters. The fact is that that is the international rules and norms. We – actually, we comply with the UNCLOS. And so the fact is that there are standards that exist, and the region is more and more insisting that the code of conduct looks like what exists. And the reason to do that is you can’t have separate standards. Standards are standard for a reason. But the fact is that if you had different rules for flying over the U.S. than for flying over China or flying over India, you would have a lot of accidents. Where you operate in things like global commons, you have to have a single standard to prevent – I mean, the whole point of that is to prevent collisions and such.

    So the only real answer to this whole code of conduct would be something that looks a lot like UNCLOS, so you don’t have to think through a brand new set of rules every time you transit —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: And in fact, if I can just add to that, several of the countries that were present – and I would add including China – actually made reference to the need for continuity, building on practice, the importance of transparency, UNCLOS, 2002 DOC agreement, and building out the COC from that to update it for a more modern age. So I don’t think there can be any question that the starting premise is that there have to be transparent agreements on how to do freedom of navigation and overflight.

    QUESTION: So what does China want in code of conduct? What would be a more favorable code of conduct to their interests? How would it differ from what we want?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: Well, let’s just speak to actions by stated policy. But Nine-Dash Line, they would want something applies to a mindset or a perspective that says historical and other precedent would drive things counter to what UNCLOS says, and that would be 200-mile EEZs, exclusive economic zones, based on territorial – existing territorial sovereignty.

    So you have to ask the Chinese side about exactly what they want. But in general, you’ve got the Nine-Dash Line that conflicts directly with the UNCLOS-derived EEZs. And you’re seeing that right now in Vanguard Bank, where Vietnam is exploring for oil inside their own exclusive economic zone, and that you also have the Chinese who are attempting to interrupt that.

    QUESTION: I’ve got a North Korea question, but I want to start – just to – since we’re on China: How concerned are you about the situation in Hong Kong? There were some people who took the Secretary’s remarks – answer to the question this morning of the Siam Society about not wanting to tip our hand about U.S. military intervention and – I mean, that’s not really on the table. We’re not going to – if the PLA invades or comes into Hong Kong, they – I mean, we don’t have a – was he really not ruling out military action? And then secondly, different note, the big thing here this week other than not having a meeting with the North Koreans, is really like kind of what we’re seeing is the rapid deterioration of the – Japan and South Korea. And so how concerned are you guys about that? And how did the trilat go? Because it certainly didn’t end with a happy photo op.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: I guess I’ll go first to last. So first one, Hong Kong. Policy statements match the reality. This is one where the – we always want these things to be resolved through dialogue and peaceful processes vice bringing in – rolling in tanks and troops and all the things. But the problem with Hong Kong is – and our position is – that we should allow peaceful protest. I mean, this is the essence of democracy. And as we’ve heard from Beijing, we are trying to develop a new type of governance and that’s – those are their words – a new model of how the international – domestic Chinese and international model works where free speech, the freedom to disagree with the government, are not acceptable.

    And so what the – but the big issue is the fact that it’s resolving – it’s resorting to violence inside Hong Kong. There are questions as to why, whether it’s being instigated or whether it’s just happening, it’s the Hong Kong people doing that. But the fact is they’re clearly expressing their interest in being able to determine their own future, in accordance with the agreement in 1997, 50 years of relative autonomy. So it’s – the will of the people is being heard, or at least it’s being expressed. I don’t know if it’s being heard.

    As far as the current situation in Northeast Asia, the trilat went well. The fact that we met, the fact that you saw all three parties there, means there is interest in, of course, finding a solution to this or at least resolution. And yeah, the foreign ministers are talking, and U.S. has no interest in arbitrating or mediating. That fact remains. As far as details on that, to lay that out here would unnecessarily prejudice the outcomes of this discussion.

    QUESTION: Are you hopeful they can de-escalate things before they get out of control? I mean, the South Koreans are talking about ending this intel cooperation agreement and —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: Well, clearly that’s the message to them is, as this relationship comes apart – that’s probably overstated – U.S. interests are at stake as well, right, U.S. security interests. And then for [Senior State Department Official Four]’s world here —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: In regards to North Korea, why don’t we —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: In regards to North Korea —

    QUESTION: State Department Official Number Three.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: In regards to North Korea —

    QUESTION: Could I just – the thing you just said —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Will you let him finish?

    QUESTION: Oh, okay.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: The united front in this case has worked very well, and if it comes apart it will certainly make it more difficult for us to encourage the North Koreans to do – at least to complete what they signed up to do.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Do you want to add anything?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: I’d just say that while the current tensions have been described accurately, this doesn’t apply to every dimension of U.S. cooperation with Japan and South Korea. In fact, cooperation on North Korea is uninterrupted and has been unaffected by tensions in other parts of the relationships, demonstrating that both countries, when they see their national interests coinciding, they’re still capable of working together. And we think that’s a very important sign of, hopefully, that we’ve reached the bottom on this. But specifically in regard to North Korea, there is complete openness to work together, as demonstrated this weekend, this week during their meetings with the U.S. on the topic.

    QUESTION: I’ll shut up after this, but so did they tell you affirmatively in the trilat today that their work on North Korea is not going to be affected by this other thing? And then two, what happened? You guys were – I don’t want to say begging, but you made it very clear that you were open to a meeting with the North Koreans here, and then they didn’t show up. And so is –do you take that as a snub?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: So in regard to cooperation on North Korea, the Japanese and South Korean diplomats met with the U.S. special representative today, and it was clear from the course of those discussions that the cooperation between the three parties is going to be uninterrupted by tensions in other parts of the relationship. There’s too much at stake, and all three parties know this.

    In regards to the non-appearance of the North Koreans at the ASEAN Regional Forum, I think that it was a surprise to the hosts. It was noticed by virtually all the delegations that – with which the United States met. That didn’t keep North Korea from being a major topic of discussion between the special representative and his counterparts and between the Secretary and his counterparts. If anything, the absence of North Korea allowed for a more open and candid discussion on how to achieve the goals of diplomacy that President Trump has laid out. And the missile tests, the two rounds of missile tests that happened during the course of this three-day meeting, actually seemed to have galvanized cooperation in that regard.

    So not just with countries like Japan and South Korea, who are longstanding allies of the United States, but even in discussions with the Chinese and with the Russians it’s clear that there is strong alignment still, 14 months after we began this process at the summit in Singapore. And it was unfortunate that the North Koreans missed this opportunity, but it probably hurt their own interests.

    QUESTION: Even if they didn’t appear, is the U.S. still in contact with North Korea? Are you hearing from them? How do you analyze all these missile launches in the past few weeks? Where do you think we are right now with North Korea?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: So there is ongoing communications with the North Koreans on a regular basis. While we would like to be further along in restarting working-level negotiations, we are in regular contact with the North Koreans. And I think it’s fair to say that the President and the Secretary of State are expecting that we will be resuming those negotiations relatively soon. We don’t have a time and a location set yet.

    The unwillingness of the North Koreans to do that in the timeframe that they laid out at the President’s meeting in Panmunjom a month ago was noticed and is not a positive or constructive response by them. But we remain – we expect still that they will resume in working-level negotiations with our special representative, and we’re prepared to do so when they’re ready.

    QUESTION: And the missile launch are constructive or positive message?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Yeah, obviously, any kind of provocations are unwelcome in this environment, and those provocations, paired with a failure to follow through on their own commitments to reengage in diplomacy, were noticed by virtually every country attending this summit meeting over the last three days. It was a subject of virtually every discussion, and there is a common view that this is a huge mistake and a self-inflicted damage on their own part. And that view isn’t just the view of the United States of America. It’s the view of our Asian allies, even countries with whom we don’t necessarily cooperate on as many matters, like China and Russia. There’s a unified view, a unified message going to the North Koreans, that they need to cease the provocations, reengage in diplomacy to achieve complete denuclearization.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I think —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: And I think that message is just as strong today, if not stronger, than it was before the Secretary arrived here.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I think in the ministerial today, almost every single country at some point in the remarks —

    QUESTION: Which one?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I’m sorry?

    QUESTION: Which one?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: The one that was – what was it, around noon?

    QUESTION: EAS.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: The big one with the —

    QUESTION: The East Asia —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah, the ministerial.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah, yeah. Almost every single country referenced North Korea in their remarks in the way – in the manner of – and in every meeting the three of us have been in, almost every single meeting with the Secretary as well.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: United States leaves this – leaves these meetings reassured that we have strong international support.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: I want to get – let’s get —

    QUESTION: But just one thing. The President said it’s not a problem, the missile launches. You said it’s a huge mistake and a provocation.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Our goal is —

    QUESTION: No, no, not showing up is —

    QUESTION: Or not showing up.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Yeah. Our goal is the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. The missile launches, any kind of provocations, are not helpful to advancing the cause of diplomacy, but we are prepared to engage with the North Koreans to achieve the strategic goal that we and virtually every other country that’s present this week here at the ASEAN events is sharing.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Let’s get Tracy in.

    QUESTION:
    Yeah, just a couple of things. You said that even China believe that –

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Yeah.

    QUESTION: — conveyed that to you. Could you elaborate on that a little bit? And then –

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: And – okay, yeah.

    QUESTION: And then – and you say there is communication going on. At what level? They have yet to not – to name a team, right? Is that not true?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: So on your first question, the – I had an opportunity to – my – excuse me. The Chinese special representative for North Korea is not at this meeting. Because of the way they divide up the portfolio in the foreign ministry, ASEAN summits are actually the responsibility of international organizations entity inside the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and not the Asia portfolio.

    But the U.S. special representative did have an opportunity to speak by phone during the course of these three days to coordinate more closely with his Chinese counterpart. This is not the first time that they’ve talked. It’s been an ongoing conversation. This is a relatively new person in the ministry replacing a long-time diplomat who’s now moved on to a different post inside the ministry.

    Foreign Minster Wang and Secretary Pompeo discussed a broad set of issues during their bilateral meeting, but noteworthy in that was despite several areas of tension and disagreement in the U.S.-China relationship, areas that both sides need to continue to work on, there is one area that is clearly an exceptional case of cooperation between the United States and China, and that’s on North Korea.

    I am confident that the Chinese would confirm what I will tell you, that – which is that Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Wang had broad agreement on the necessary approach with North Korea and the objectives of our diplomacy. China’s not doing that as a favor for the United States. China’s doing that because it’s in their national interests just as much as it’s in the United States’ national interests. But it was a very good discussion between the Secretary and foreign minister on that issue, and it reaffirms our assumption that this will still be a foundation for cooperation between the United States and China going forward.

    QUESTION: And the communication with North Korea?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Communication with North Korea happens – to some extent, it continues at the President’s level. You will have seen bits and snatches of some of the communications between the President and Chairman Kim in – even in the few weeks since the two leaders met for a brief meeting at Panmunjom village. But also that communication is happening at levels below the President, including the U.S. special representative and his team. And while we do not yet have a time and a location for the restart of working-level negotiations, it is a subject of discussion between the two sides, and the communications would suggest that both sides expect that to happen in the not too distant future.

    QUESTION: But they don’t have a team yet? They haven’t (inaudible) as far as you know, as far as it is known?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: North Korea generally doesn’t publicize much about its internal decision-making. We know who we’re talking to, and we know – we’re very familiar with the people who are responsible for these issues inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in North Korea. They’ve worked with us for a very long time. We had an opportunity to spend quite a bit of time together in Panmunjom village while the two leaders were meeting with their foreign minister and Secretary of State. So I have – we have confidence that we know the people with whom we’ll be working, and we’re prepared to engage with them as soon as they’re ready.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible) NHK. So have you ever talked about the standstill agreement with Japan and ROK? And what did the Secretary propose to these two countries at the ministerial?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: One of the – I’m learning this – one of the key elements in diplomacy is time. Situations that may look intractable currently, right now, as – over time, the situation and background changes, and the relative positions get closer and farther apart. So in any negotiation, time can be an enemy, but in general if there is a problem that we’re just not finding any solutions, generally it’s okay to wait before you take any hard decisions that may put you in a position where you cannot – force you into a position that you didn’t want to be in.

    Again, not all – I don’t think the business world looks at time the same way. The military world doesn’t look at time the same way. But in diplomacy, time is an important thing, so given enough time, you can find some sort of a resolution to almost anything. So, yeah, there’s —

    QUESTION: So you don’t deny that the standstill – so-called standstill agreement —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: There’s no such thing as a standstill agreement, so no, no. There’s –
    but, clearly, a little more time in this case would probably have been helpful so.

    QUESTION: Can anyone shed light on the Secretary in the availability yesterday made reference to Cambodia denying that – the story about this port, one? And two, can anyone address the significance of China squeezing the water coming down in the Mekong Delta?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: So for the last one, as far as the Mekong, we heard not just – we heard murmurs of the Lower Mekong Initiative, the mainland, Southeast Asian countries that are interested in the Mekong mention the fact that while the flows have not been the same as they were, and there was an indication by at least some that that water’s being held up. So now you have all the upstream problems that you have in Turkey, Syria, Jordan like that. So I have no personal knowledge of any restricted water flows, but that was – it’s clearly of interest to the folks that – who need that water for survival.

    And the first question was?

    QUESTION: Cambodian port?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: The Cambodian port. There’s different reports. There’s what you’re hearing from the rest of the region than what you’re hearing from Phnom Penh, and they don’t seem to quite match. There’s also been Chinese activity – certainly a lot of building and such there in that area. So there’s been denials in some points from the Cambodian side, and there’s been contradictory language as well, so the general sense is that given the non – lack of transparency around exactly what’s going on at that port would lead one to believe that there’s probably other intentions than stated.

    QUESTION: So – he welcomed it, the Secretary. He welcomed their refutation.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: There was much greater focus in the two days of discussion among the member states of the security concerns they had of encroachment by the Chinese, and part of that was reflected in the statements by governments like Cambodia, which walked back perceptions that they were ceding ground to China.

    QUESTION: I lived in Cambodia for five years.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:
    On questions like building out a military force, they were actually quite specific – they were actually quite specific about it, so in the context of what we’re dealing with here, that’s an evolution. It is a recognition that business as usual in working with China on issues like infrastructure projects in the region, on issues like security cooperation, on issues like code of conduct for the South China Sea requires a much more muscular approach from governments in the region responding to what their own interests are and how they protect them. And the statement by the Cambodians was a reflection of the pressure they were under to explain what exactly was the arrangement they were coming to with China.

    QUESTION: Yeah, but three years ago the Cambodians held up the joint communique. As I just said, I mean, I lived there for five years and Hun Sen is basically selling out the entire country to the Chinese. It’s – that’s a fact. So what – the Secretary sounded like he believed the foreign minister’s refutation of theJournal story about the port, but it now sounds like you guys aren’t sure that they’re telling the truth.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: Well, I think he just reiterated what we heard the Cambodian side say —

    QUESTION: Right.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: — is that despite —

    QUESTION: No, I know. But I mean –

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: — despite the suspicions all around, the Cambodian side committed that this was not going to be militarized. So we’re just – we’re thankful for that clarification.

    QUESTION: So just to underline, when you say “what we’re dealing with,” that’s a long-term Chinese campaign to use every instrument of its influence and power to encroach in the region?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: There certainly was discussion across the board of what exactly was involved with Chinese investment in certain projects in the region. And the discussion went further than that in looking at the broader Indian Ocean, so looking at projects in Myanmar, looking at projects in Sri Lanka, and the concern expressed was general. When you’re interpreting what the Secretary said yesterday, it’s exactly as what was just referenced – a statement of fact repeating what the Cambodians felt they had to explain to ASEAN as a whole. That is an evolution in Cambodia’s position. No one’s denying that there isn’t significant relations between Cambodia and China on an economic level. What there was is at least a reaction by Cambodia recognizing that what they were doing was impacting the security and strategic objectives of other partners in the ASEAN region. That was extremely clear across the two days of discussion.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: We’re at – yeah. And we’re getting close to 30.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Senior Official number four has to catch a plane. So you got anything else real quick?

    QUESTION: Enjoy Pyongyang. (Laughter.)

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: Anything else?

    QUESTION: Could you just tell us a little bit quickly just your sense of what these provocations actually mean. And is there a point where – I mean, how do you reconcile – sure, there’s still talks happening, but then you see provocations continuing to happen. How does that – how are you in your mind able to reconcile that?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: There’s a long history of diplomacy between the international community and North Korea, between the United States and North Korea, and provocations have always been part of the playbook of the North Koreans – provocations and also efforts to feel and find the seams between the interests of other international parties. And one of the very reassuring things that the Secretary of State is leaving this three days in ASEAN with is that, in fact, those efforts are failing. The provocations only further galvanize the international community and its commitment to achieve the goals of complete denuclearization, and international unity is intact and, if anything, as strong as it’s been in a very long time.

    The close cooperation, consultation between the U.S. special representative and his counterparts in all the countries involved in ASEAN – Japan, South Korea, China, Russia – all continue to show close alignment, and the United States is prepared to work with all of its partners and allies and friends in achieving our shared goals. So whatever the goal is, we don’t know. We don’t know the strategy in Pyongyang. It’s theirs to decide, but it’s not working.

    QUESTION: Was there anything that would change the posture from diplomatic to other means?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: The President’s been very clear that he is committed to a diplomatic process to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, along with complete denuclearization. The – of course there are provocations that would potentially result in more consequential response from the rest of the countries in the world. Other countries, the UN Security Council, have made perfectly clear that there are limits to what they’re willing to accept. But right now, the window’s open for diplomacy.

    The President is fully committed to that course. He’s directed the Secretary of State and his team to pursue it, and as we said a moment ago, that we’re expecting in the not too distant future we’ll be back – back in a sustained negotiating process with the North Koreans.

    QUESTION: The missiles are being characterized as new missiles. Are you concerned that North Korea is just buying time while they make advances in their missile program?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: We would certainly like to be farther along in our diplomacy in ending all of North Korea’s missile programs and weapons of mass destruction. That’s the goal of the United States. That’s what is clearly laid out in the UN Security Council resolutions, that all ballistic misses, all weapons of mass destruction needed to be – need – that North Korea needs to rid itself of all of them. That continues to be the view of the UN Security Council; it continues to be the view of the United States. And so whatever the strategy is – and we don’t know – we can’t read their minds – whatever it is, it’s not working.

    QUESTION: So do you believe that time is on their side or our side?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOUR: We’re not in a hurry to get a bad deal. The door’s open for diplomacy. The North Koreans are under enormous pressure from international sanctions. Our goal is not to bring them to their knees. The goal of U.S. policy is to give the North Koreans a very clear choice for a brighter future for their country. President Trump is fully committed to that objective, fully committed to achieving that objective through diplomacy. So we’re not in a hurry to achieve this. The President has said that many times. And the door is open for diplomacy. Whatever the North Korean strategy today – it hasn’t worked for them.

    QUESTION: If I can go back to the Japan and ROK. My name is Atsushi Takemoto with Kyodo News. Good to see you. I’m just wondering if you could talk a little bit about the GSOMIA issue. How much are you concerned of the probability of the South Korea Government eliminating GSOMIA? And how do you assess the impact of that?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: The – GSOMIA has come up in the conversation, but it’s much broader than that. It’s the relationship itself. Both depend on the other just as much as we depend on them to maintain security in northeast Asia. Individual parts of that cooperation – losing any one of those is important, and it downgrades our ability to defend each other. The attacks can happen on any of the three countries, which is why we – it’s in all of our interests, U.S., Japan, and Korea, to cooperate. The more cooperation the better. There’s no downside to cooperation. And the word from the White House and from U.S. Government all along has been let’s find a way – and it’s between Korea and Japan – find a way to resolve this issue. There is – there are – yes, it’s an emotional issue, certainly on the Korean Peninsula, but also for the Japanese side. But that’s what governments do, is they apply rationality and a long-term view to prevent these things from getting out of hand. So —

    QUESTION: Did the Secretary during the trilateral share his views on Japan’s recent decision to remove South Korea from its list of preferential trade partners? Did he actually say whether he was disappointed in the decision? Did he take any kind of stand?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: Well – these meeting behind closed doors for a reason, because as we reveal these – your specific question, then it obviates options and you end up jamming yourself. So I’m not going to talk about exactly what was discussed. But the fact that we all were able to get in the same room together and express each other’s positions and identify the – where each other’s interests are was a key step to getting back together. The U.S. is very interested in this for reasons I described. It touches on the interests of all three. And so —

    QUESTION: Did I hear you say that the U.S. definitely will not be a mediator in this dispute?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: There are arbitration and mediation caveats, codicils, in the 1965 agreement. I mean, the process – and there’s other international agreements and such like that. So the U.S. is involved, but there’s no upside to getting in the middle of this. There is no positive outcome to that. This is between Seoul and Tokyo. This is not the first time this has happened. The timing of this is unfortunate, and we need definitely to get past this soon. Certainly don’t need to take any further steps – any further steps need to rebuild the relationship vice take it apart.

    QUESTION: Well, did you get the sense in the trilat that that was a possibility, or is this something that the foreign ministers can’t really – this is something that’s got to be done at the head-of-state, head-of-government level to calm things down?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: We were – we did not talk about specific further steps.

    QUESTION: No, no, no, I know. But I mean, did you get a sense that there was any interest? I mean, it just seemed today like it was one thing after another. It was like, “Screw you,” “No, screw you,” “No, screw you.” And it was just like we were looking at the complete elimination of any relationship, friendly relationship by midnight tonight. Did you get a sense that that —

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: No, both sides are very interested in finding – to resolving this. So I mean, that’s obvious.

    QUESTION: Well, yeah, but they’re interested in resolving it with the other side capitulating. So I mean, is there any – like – do you get a sense that there’s any attempt to find some kind of middle ground?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: I think so. I mean, if what you said was true, then we wouldn’t have had the meeting. Both sides would have just said, why – would stand off to the side and not be seen as even trying to resolve this.

    QUESTION: Was there any reluctance to do the trilateral at all?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: We had a meeting. I mean, I think that says it all.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: All right, guys. We’re getting at 40 minutes. Do we have anything final? [Senior State Department Official Two], any final words?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Strike that name from the – (laughter).

    QUESTION: So you think it’s fair to say that the advantage of our strategic position now vis-a-vis China and the region is that we can portray ourselves, in reality are kind of running with the grain of the interests of these countries? We can say, “We’re interested in your sovereignty, we’re interested in good investment that doesn’t have strings attached, it’s not going to screw you in the long run,” et cetera, et cetera?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Absolutely. And in terms of the themes, when the various nations and their representatives were speaking about their core interests, it wasn’t just the strategic level. It was heavily focused on economic questions, development questions, cooperation in the region, attracting outside investment, addressing changing realities in global trade relations, and not simply looking at it through the prism of conflict with China or between China and the United States.

    There is a strong awareness of the growing potential of the region, and not just reflected in the amount of U.S. foreign direct investment or the trade with the United States; looking more broadly at what the potential is as a buildout and deal with the Pacific region as a whole, the Indian Ocean as a whole. A very different dynamic at work – what started as a more reflective, intellectual, conceptual discussion a year ago is being fleshed out with very clear ideas. And what we’re going to see as we move forward to the East Asia Summit on November 4th is, I think, a greater focus on those very practical questions which impact the welfare of hundreds of millions of people in this region.

    So it definitely is a forward-looking discussion in which people are proactively working out new strategies to put flesh on the bones of concepts.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Okay. You’re welcome, kids.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    QUESTION: Thank you very much.

    QUESTION: Thank you so much for doing this.

    QUESTION: Thank you.







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    REMARKS OF
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    Okay, let’s get going. I’d like to turn to Secretary Pompeo’s recent trip to Asia, which is a very successful effort that underscored the United States firm commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. This trip allowed the Secretary to personally reinforce America’s support for our allies and partners in the region, as well as our commitment to effective, meaningful multilateralism.

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    Next I’d like to go – it has been 11 years since Russia’s military invasion of Georgia, when hundreds were killed or injured and over 190,000 civilians were displaced. For many, the impact of the conflict continues. Livelihoods remain destroyed; families remain separated; freedom of movement has not been restored; and property has not been returned. Within the last 24 hours, we received reports that Russian-backed de facto authorities have started the process of borderization at a village near a South Ossetia administrative boundary line. If completed, this action would cut the village off from its irrigation system. These actions are a threat to peace and stability.

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    (August 8. 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson provided the following information:

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    (August 7, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published the following information:

    Washington D.C., Aug. 7, 2019 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has voted to adopt rule amendments codifying an existing exemption for credit rating agencies registered with the Commission as nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs).

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    Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan visited Baxter International Inc.’s Bloomington, Indiana facility where Baxter
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    (August 8, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following information:


    WASHINGTON–Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan ordered today, effective immediately, rescission of the Public Notice regarding
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    Investments will Benefit 133,000 Residents in Rural Communities


    (August 8, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe today announced that USDA is investing $135 million in 49 projects to improve rural water
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    U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo’s Call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud

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    (August 7, 2019) - - Today (August 7, 2019), the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson reported that Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus provided the following information:

    Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Saudi Crown Prince
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    The Secretary Magnified the Importance of Strong U.S. Ties to the Region


    (August 8, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce provided the following information:

    From July 29th to August 6th, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross visited three South American countries – Brazil, Argentina, and Peru – in order to further solidify the strong... read more
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    Federal Election Commission addresses Use of Campaign Funds for Childcare Expenses

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    Dana Schulze Named Director of National Transportation Safety Board Office of Aviation Safety

    Dana Schulze Named Director of National Transportation Safety Board Office of Aviation Safety | site |





    Dana Schulze



    (July 25, 2019) - - Today (July 25, 2019), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published the following information:

    ​WASHINGTON (July 25, 2019) — The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday a change in leadership
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    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Annual Publication Examines Potential Credit and Market Risks

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Annual Publication Examines Potential Credit and Market Risks | site |



    (July 30, 2019) - - Today (July 30, 2019). the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation published the following information:

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today published its 2019 Risk Review, an annual publication highlighting emerging risks and exposures in the banking system. The publication will be... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Communications Commission Bans Malicious Caller ID Spoofing of Text Messages and Foreign Robocalls

    Federal Communications Commission Bans Malicious Caller ID Spoofing of Text Messages and Foreign Robocalls | site |


    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the following information:


    WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today adopted new rules banning malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign calls. These new rules will close a loophole in the law that
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Transcript of August 6, 2019 Press Briefing titled, CDC Vital Signs: Naloxone

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Transcript of August 6, 2019 Press Briefing titled, CDC Vital Signs: Naloxone | site |


    (August 7, 2019) - - Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the following uneditied* version of their August 6, 2019, CDC Vital Signs: Naloxone press briefing transcript:


    Tuesday, August 6, 2019

    OPERATOR: Welcome, and thank you for standing by. All participants win in listen-only mode until the question-and-answer session. At that time, please press star-one. Please unmute your phone and record your name at the prompt. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Kathy Harben, you may begin.

    MODERATOR: Thank you, Malinda, and thank you all for joining us today for the release of a new CDC Vital Signs, which covers trends in pharmacy-based dispensing of naloxone. We’re joined today by CDCs Principal Deputy Director, Dr. Anne Schuchat. She will share key findings from the Vital
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo And United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

    Remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo And United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab | site |


    Washington, DC - - (August 7, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State provided a transcript of remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. The following remarks were made in the Treaty Room:

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon, everyone.

    It’s my pleasure to welcome Foreign Secretary Raab – Dominic – on your first visit to the United States in your new role. Great to have you with us. I enjoyed our first conversation today here in Washington, although we had already spoken a couple times before that.

    As everyone knows, this relationship is truly special. I said that in
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Homeland Security Acting Secretary McAleenan Traveling to Yuma, AZ

    U.S. Homeland Security Acting Secretary McAleenan Traveling to Yuma, AZ | site |


    (August 7, 2019) - - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provided (today) the following information:

    WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan will be traveling to Yuma, AZ to meet with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Arizona National Guard... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Announces Agency Efforts to Reduce Risk from Cash-out Refinance Lending

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Announces Agency Efforts to Reduce Risk from Cash-out Refinance Lending | site |


    FHA and Ginnie Mae seek to preserve homeowner equity and, boost investor confidence


    (August 1, 2019) - - Today (August 1, 2019), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published the following information:

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced joint policy actions designed to reduce risk
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Public Comment on Changes To Family and Medical Leave Act Forms

    U.S. Department of Labor Seeks Public Comment on Changes To Family and Medical Leave Act Forms | site |



    (August 7, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a 60-day period for public comment on proposed revisions to optional use forms that the Department’s Wage and... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Joint Statement on the Ministerial Meeting of the United States, Greece, Republic of Cyprus, and Israel Regarding Cooperation in the Field of Energy

    Joint Statement on the Ministerial Meeting of the United States, Greece, Republic of Cyprus, and Israel Regarding Cooperation in the Field of Energy | site |


    (August 7, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson provided the following information:

    The text of the following statement was released by the governments of the United States of America, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, and the State of Israel regarding cooperation
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosts Initiative that Assists in Securing Financial Futures for Veterans, Service Members and their Families

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosts Initiative that Assists in Securing Financial Futures for Veterans, Service Members and their Families | site |


    (August 6, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the following information:


    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will host the Economic Investment (EI) Initiative Puget Sound 2019, Aug. 6 – 8 at the South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington, to help those who serve or have served in uniform find continued success in civilian life.... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S Department of Veterans Affairs Announces Upcoming Awards of more than 400 Million Dollars in Grants to Help Veterans who are Homeless or At Risk of Homelessness

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Announces Upcoming Awards of more than $400 Million in Grants to Help Veterans who are Homeless or At Risk of Homelessness | site |



    (August 1, 2019) - - Today (August 1, 2019), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON — Thousands of low-income Veterans and their eligible family members will continue to have access to crucial homelessness services as
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Energy Announces Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement to Examine Building a Versatile Test Reactor in the U.S.

    U.S. Department of Energy Announces Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement to Examine Building a Versatile Test Reactor in the U.S. | site |



    (August 5, 2019) - - The U.S. Department of Energy published (today) the following information:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register announcing that the... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Release Mitigation Funds in two Tranches

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Release Mitigation Funds in two Tranches | site |


    (August 2, 2019) - - Today (August 2, 2019), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published the following information:

    WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that a Federal Register notice will
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Dorel Juvenile Group USA Recalls Inclined Sleepers Due to Safety Concerns About Inclined Sleep Products

    Dorel Juvenile Group USA Recalls Inclined Sleepers Due to Safety Concerns About Inclined Sleep Products | site |


    (July 31 2019) - - The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning that certain types of inclined sleep products can be dangerous. The specific class of products being currenlty addressed are inclined sleep products for children.

    Information published by CPSC includes the following:




    Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rock Bassinet (Model BT055CSY)





    Disney Baby Doze and Dream Bassinet (Model BT071DHS)



    Name
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Plumbing Contractor For Exposing Employees to Trenching Hazards Following Fatality

    U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Plumbing Contractor For Exposing Employees to Trenching Hazards Following Fatality | site |


    (August 2, 2019) - - Today (August 2, 2019), the U.S. Department of Labor published the following information:

    DAYTON, OH ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Payne Enterprises Inc. – a plumbing contractor based in Dayton, Ohio
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    IRS, Treasury issue Guidance on Making or Revoking the Bonus Depreciation Elections

    IRS, Treasury issue Guidance on Making or Revoking the Bonus Depreciation Elections | site |


    (July 31, 2019) - - Today (July 31, 2019), the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a revenue procedure allowing a taxpayer to make a late election, or to revoke an election, under section 168(k) for certain property acquired by the taxpayer after September 27, 2017, and... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. State Department says The United States Imposes Maximum Pressure on Former Maduro Regime

    U.S. State Department says The United States Imposes Maximum Pressure on "Former Maduro Regime" | site |


    (August 6, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following statement made by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo:


    On August 5, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order blocking all property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of the Treasury Designates China as a Currency Manipulator

    U.S. Department of the Treasury Designates China as a Currency Manipulator | site |



    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the following information:

    Washington – The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to analyze the exchange rate policies of other countries. Under Section 3004 of the Act, the Secretary must "consider... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Department of Transportation Tentatively Grants Antitrust Immunity for Delta-Air France-KLM-Virgin Atlantic Joint Venture

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Department of Transportation Tentatively Grants Antitrust Immunity for Delta-Air France-KLM-Virgin Atlantic Joint Venture | site |


    Tentative decision is subject to conditions that will protect competition and consumers


    (August 2, 2019) - - Today (August 2, 2019), the U.S. Department of Transportation published the following information:
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    NATIONWIDE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM TEST ON AUGUST 7

    NATIONWIDE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM TEST ON AUGUST 7


    FEMA and the FCC Remind the Public About Upcoming Test Alert
    on TVs and Radios


    (August 5, 2019) - - Today (August 5, 2019), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the following information:


    WASHINGTON, August 5, 2019—FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, reminds the public that it will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Homeland Security Acting Secretary McAleenan Met with Officials in Guatemala City to Further Implement DHS Initiatives

    U.S. Homeland Security Acting Secretary McAleenan Met with Officials in Guatemala City to Further Implement DHS Initiatives | site |



    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON–Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin K. McAleenan, departed Guatemala City last Thursday after engaging... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Reserve Announces Plan to Develop a New Round-the-clock Real-time Payment and Settlement Service to Support Faster Payments

    Federal Reserve Announces Plan to Develop a New Round-the-clock Real-time Payment and Settlement Service to Support Faster Payments | site |


    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published the following information:

    The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced that the Federal Reserve Banks will develop a new round-the-clock real-time payment and settlement service, called the FedNow℠ Service, to support faster
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue Statement on U.S. and E.U. Beef Agreement

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue Statement on U.S. and E.U. Beef Agreement | site |



    (August 2, 2019) - - Today (August 2, 2019), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the following information:

    (WASHINGTON, D.C., August 2, 2019) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after an agreement was signed between the United
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. State Department refers to Australia and the United States as An Alliance for the Future

    U.S. State Department refers to Australia and the United States as An Alliance for the Future | site |


    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson provided the following information:


    Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne, Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper met for AUSMIN 2019 in Sydney on 4 August 2019. The Ministers and Secretaries set a path forward for the Australia–U.S. alliance to build a secure, prosperous future. The two countries intend to work together to:

    INDO-PACIFIC PROSPERITY AND STABILITY:

    • Provide principles-based, sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, including through the Australia-Japan-US Trilateral Infrastructure Partnership. Following the successful trilateral mission to Papua New Guinea, both sides intend to support a Trilateral Infrastructure Partnership mission to Southeast Asia in the second half of 2019




    • Build effective institutions and governance through coordinated
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Clayton Announces Event for Main Street Investors in Chicago

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Clayton Announces Event for Main Street Investors in Chicago | site |


    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published the following information:

    Washington D.C., Aug. 5, 2019 — Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton today announced an event for Main Street investors to be held in Chicago on Thursday, August 15.

    Chairman
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Still Not Enough Naloxone Where It’s Most Needed

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Still Not Enough Naloxone Where It’s Most Needed | site |


    Despite huge overall increase in prescribing, more needed in rural areas


    (August 6, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the following information;

    The overdose-reversing drug naloxone saves lives – but only if it’s readily available when an overdose occurs.

    Despite a huge increase in naloxone prescribing in recent years, CDC researchers report in the latest Vital Signs study published today that far too little naloxone is being dispensed in many areas of the country that need it the most.
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Interior Secretary Bernhardt Spotlights Maine Businesses Signing the Pledge To America’s Workers and Visits Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

    U.S. Interior Secretary Bernhardt Spotlights Maine Businesses Signing the Pledge To America’s Workers and Visits Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge | site |


    (July 24, 2019) - - Today (July 24, 2019), the U.S. Department of the Interior published the following information:

    Portland, ME - Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt highlighted outdoor recreation during a visit to the Sterling Rope Company, where he was joined by representatives from the Sterling Rope Company, Good To-Go, and Flowfold for a signing of President... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Communications Commission updates Cable Franchising Rules to Promote Broadband Deployment by Cable Operators

    Federal Communications Commission updates Cable Franchising Rules to Promote Broadband Deployment by Cable Operators | site |



    (August 2, 2019) - - Today (August 2, 2019), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the following information:

    WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today adopted new rules to promote broadband investment and deployment. Specifically, the Order prohibits excessive franchise fees and explains
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2019 Preparedness Grants

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2019 Preparedness Grants | site |


    (August 2, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    WASHINGTON— As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan today announced... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Ohio Governor DeWine Statement on Dayton Shooting

    Ohio Governor DeWine Statement on Dayton Shooting | site |


    (August 4, 2019) - - On August 4, 2019, the Office of the Governor of Ohio published the following information:


    (COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement:

    "Fran and I are absolutely heartbroken over the horrible attack that occurred this morning in Dayton. We join
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Texas Governor Abbott Statement On El Paso Shooting

    Texas Governor Abbott Statement On El Paso Shooting | site |


    (August 3, 2019) - - On August 3, 2019 the Office of the Governor of Texas published the following information:

    Governor Greg Abbott today issued the following statement regarding the shooting in El Paso. The Governor will also be traveling to El Paso this afternoon.

    "Today, the El Paso community
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Reserve Board approves actions by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City

    Federal Reserve Board approves actions by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City | site |



    (August 1, 2019) - - Today (August 1, 2019), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published the following information:


    The Federal Reserve Board
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    National Transportation Safety Board says Insufficient Training, Inadequate Bridge Operating Procedures, Lack of Operational Oversight Led to Fatal Ship Collision

    National Transportation Safety Board says Insufficient Training, Inadequate Bridge Operating Procedures, Lack of Operational Oversight Led to Fatal Ship Collision | site |


    (August 5, 2019) - - Today, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published the following information:


    WASHINGTON (Aug. 5, 2019) — The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that the Aug. 21, 2017, collision between the USS John S McCain and the tanker Alnic MC was caused by insufficient training,... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Remarks in Australia by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo refer to The Unbreakable Alliance

    Remarks in Australia by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo refer to “The Unbreakable Alliance” | site |


    Sydney, Australia - - (August 4, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State provided the following transcript of remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo while at the State Library of New South Wales:

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon, everyone. It always concerns me, though, when you applaud before the speech. (Laughter.) So hang on, hear what I say, and see what you think.

    I was reminded – I walked through a little bit earlier and I saw these card catalogs in the library – reminded me I’ve used those. I see young people, you have no idea what’s in those drawers. Reminds me how old I am.

    It’s great to be with you all today. Foreign Minister Payne, thank you for the very kind introduction. We had a great meeting this afternoon alongside our counterpart Minister Reynolds and my new counterpart Mark Esper. And we – you and I had just seen each other in Bangkok, so I’m sure she’s getting sick of me by now.

    And I’d be remiss too if I didn’t extend my thanks to the people of Australia for such a warm welcome here for myself and Susan. The same goes for those of you who are here today, the dignitaries, including Minister Turnbull; Penny Wong, the shadow minister of foreign affairs; Ambassador Hockey; our ambassador, A.B. Culvahouse; Jennifer Westacott, the chair of the business council; and Dr. John Vallance,
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Syria

    Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Syria | site |

    (August 1, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following information:


    WASHINGTON—Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin K. McAleenan, announced that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Communications Commission sets December 17 as Date for Bidding in Experimental Auction of Toll Free Numbers

    Federal Communications Commission sets December 17 as Date for Bidding in Experimental Auction of Toll Free Numbers | site |


    Public Notice Sets Procedures for First-Ever U.S. Auction of Toll Free Numbers


    (August 1, 2019) - - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today set December 17 as the date for bidding in its experimental auction of certain sought-after toll free numbers in the 833
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and DeepMind develop Machine Learning System to Predict Life-threatening Disease Before it Appears

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and DeepMind develop Machine Learning System to Predict Life-threatening Disease Before it Appears | site |


    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published the following information:

    WASHINGTON —The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in partnership with DeepMind Health, published results in the July 31 edition of Nature, on the development of
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue Statement on Labor Agreement with Guatemala

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Perdue Statement on Labor Agreement with Guatemala | site |



    (August 1, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the following information concerning a labor agreement with Guatemala:

    (Washington, D.C., August 1, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the Department of Labor and Guatemala on... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Energy Authorizes Liquefied Natural Gas Exports from the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project in Mississippi

    U.S. Department of Energy Authorizes Liquefied Natural Gas Exports from the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project in Mississippi | site |


    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy today issued an order to Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company, LLC (GLLC) approving exports of domestically produced liquefied natural... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. State Department Officials give Background Briefing to Traveling Press

    U.S. State Department Officials give Background Briefing to Traveling Press | site |


    Bangkok, Thailand - - (August 2, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following transcript of a special briefing provided (by senior State Department officials) to the traveling press:

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The last two days build on what began last year, which is the launch of a strategic engagement with the region under the heading of the Indo-Pacific strategy. And over the past year, we’ve seen significant advances in complementary moves by other powers in the region, including Japan, India, Australia, but more importantly, among Southeast Asian states, an awareness of the importance of working more aggressively towards regional development, economic integration, and a common position on the key security questions of the day, to include transparent negotiations on a code of conduct for the South China Seas, and an emphasis on diversification and balancing of economic ties and awareness of the danger of embracing China too closely.

    The discussions that took place over the two days reflected that evolution, with a keen awareness of the importance of keeping the forward momentum going.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: [Senior State Department Official Three], do you have anything to add? No. Okay. Jump in.

    QUESTION: As far as that code of conduct goes, what’s the U.S. position? I know that there were some advancements earlier in the week between China and ASEAN. Do we feel like that’s something that we have a role in? Do we feel like we’re being kind of cut out of that process?

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE: We’re privy to the discussions, but clearly not part of them since they and the PRC all insisted this is related to those with direct interest. However, the consensus seems to be that we already have
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. General Services Administration Awards Next Generation Maintenance Repair Facility Supplies Solution

    U.S. General Services Administration Awards Next Generation Maintenance Repair Facility Supplies Solution | site |



    (July 29, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) published the following information:


    WASHINGTON - The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded the first 30 Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) on its next generation Maintenance Repair Facility Supplies (MRFS) purchasing channel, further streamlining the acquisition of maintenance, repair, janitorial, and sanitation products governmentwide. The MRFS Purchasing Channel combines GSA’s Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) and the Janitorial and Sanitation (JanSan) Purchasing Channels into one program. The BPAs awarded under Multiple Awards Schedules 51V, 73, and 75, are designed to help federal agencies purchase maintenance supplies at best value prices.

    “MRFS is smart one-stop shopping that saves taxpayer dollars, helps agency budgets, and supports our small business partners,” explained GSA Heartland Regional Commissioner and Category Manager for Facilities and Construction Mary Ruwwe. “Combining these two commodity classes into one solution doesn’t just make things more convenient for
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Minutes of the Meeting of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association July 30, 2019

    Minutes of the Meeting of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association July 30, 2019 | site |



    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the following information:

    The Committee convened in a closed session at the Department of the Treasury at 9:15 a.m. All members were present. Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Affordable Housing Policy Kipp Kranbuhl, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance Brian Smith, Director of the Office of Debt Management Fred Pietrangeli, and Deputy Director of the Office of Debt Management Nick Steele welcomed the Committee. Other members of Treasury staff present were Ayeh Bandeh-Ahmadi, Chris Cameron, Dave Chung, Courtney Demartini, Bernadette Goodwin, Brendan Griffiths, Daniel Harty, Sarah Hirsch,
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Quarterly Refunding Statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance Brian Smith

    Quarterly Refunding Statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance Brian Smith | site |



    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the following information:


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury is offering $84 billion of Treasury securities to refund approximately $57.3 billion of privately-held Treasury notes and bonds maturing on August 15, 2019. This issuance will raise new cash of approximately $26.7 billion. The securities are:

    - A 3-year note in the amount of $38 billion, maturing August 15, 2022;
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Report to the Secretary of the Treasury from the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

    Report to the Secretary of the Treasury from the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association | site |




    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the following information:




    July 30, 2019

    Letter to the Secretary

    Dear Mr. Secretary:

    Economic activity grew at a moderate pace in the second quarter, with a 2.1% annualized increase in real GDP. Real GDP rose 2.3% over the past four quarters, somewhat above estimates of the economy’s longer run potential. Going forward, the easing in financial conditions since the start of this year will likely provide a boost to growth, while the
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of the Treasury Announces Marketable Borrowing Estimates

    U.S. Department of the Treasury Announces Marketable Borrowing Estimates | site |


    (July 29, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the following information:


    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced its current estimates of privately-held net marketable borrowing[1] for July – September 2019 and October – December 2019 quarters:


    • During the July – September 2019 quarter, Treasury expects to borrow $433 billion in privately-held
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Michael Faulkender Economy Statement for the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Michael Faulkender Economy Statement for the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association | site |



    (July 29, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the following information:


    In July, the U.S. economic recovery entered its 121st month, becoming the longest expansion on record. The advance estimate for real GDP in the second quarter of 2019 showed economic growth at an annual rate of 2.1 percent, above market expectations, after a 3.1 percent annual
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo speaks On The U.S. In Asia: Economic Engagement for Good

    U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo speaks On The U.S. In Asia: Economic Engagement for Good | site |



    Bangkok, Thailand - - (August 2, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State provided the following transcript of remarks made (at Siam Society) by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo:


    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone. Peter, thank you for the kind introduction. I also want to thank the Siam Society and your president for hosting me. I know too we have many prominent businesspeople here in the room with us today.

    I want to recognize Greg Bastion, the president of AmCham Thailand. He’s a West Point grad, so that’s always good.

    I especially want to thank the incoming Thai ambassador to the United States as well for joining us here today. Thank you for being here, sir.

    And there’s no bigger VIP than my wife, Susan, who’s sitting in the front row as well. (Laughter.) All right, I hit my mark on that one, it’s all good. (Laughter.)

    This is my first visit to Bangkok as the Secretary of State. I’ve been here before. I’ve been in the region many, many times. It’s special to be here in this place at this time. The United States has a long, cherished relationship, as the charge said, of 200 years. And I know we will remain great and good friends for the next two centuries as well.

    This place that we’re standing today has a motto. Siam Society’s motto is, quote, “Knowledge gives rise to friendship.” In that spirit, I’d like to share with you today my perspective on our economic engagement in the region. I don’t know that any element of our relationship could be more important. It is a history that has been forgotten at times, and worse, distorted by those who don’t have our mutual best interests at heart.

    It’s a story of partnerships which were once unimaginable, but are now absolutely indispensible to all
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Announces Major Infrastructure Investment in America

    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Announces Major Infrastructure Investment in America | site |


    U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes $856 Million in Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grants


    (July 25, 2019) - - Today (July 25, 2019), the U.S. Department of Transportation published the following information:

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced $855,950,000 in proposed grants through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of the Interior says 2018 Economic Impact on U.S. Insular Areas Estimated at 888 Million Dollars, Supports More than 26,000 Jobs

    U.S. Department of the Interior says 2018 Economic Impact on U.S. Insular Areas Estimated at $888 million, Supports More than 26,000 Jobs | site |



    (July 25, 2019) - - The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) published (today, July 25, 2019) the following information:


    WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) released an analysis on the economic impact of grants... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Communications Commission Proposes Establishing 20.4 Billion Dollars Rural Digital Opportunity Fund

    Federal Communications Commission Proposes Establishing $20.4 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund | site |


    Program Targets Areas With At Least 4 Million Rural Homes, Small Businesses That Lack Modern Broadband Service


    (August 1, 2019) - - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Amendments to the Coal Ash Regulations

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Amendments to the Coal Ash Regulations | site |


    Reconsiders the Beneficial Use Provisions and Provides Greater Clarity on Managing Piles of Coal Ash


    (July 30, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the following information:

    Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing further amendments to the regulations governing the disposal of coal combustion... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau Report New Residential Sales in June 2019

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau Report New Residential Sales in June 2019 | site |


    (July 24, 2019) - - Today (July 24, 2019), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published the following information:


    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential sales statistics for June 2019:







    New Home Sales


    Sales of new single-family
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Special Representative Abrams to Discuss Venezuela Crisis with Canadian Officials

    Special Representative Abrams to Discuss Venezuela Crisis with Canadian Officials | site |


    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Spokesperson provided the following information:

    Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams will travel to Ottawa, Canada, August 1 where he will meet with Canadian officials to discuss... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Department of Veterans Affairs Enhances Research and Education Efforts related to Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposure with Newly Restructured Research Hub

    Department of Veterans Affairs Enhances Research and Education Efforts related to Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposure with Newly Restructured Research Hub | site |


    (July 26, 2019) - - Today (July 26, 2019), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published the following information:

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently established the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence (AHBPCE) as part of its ongoing efforts to improve health care for Veterans.

    “VA is
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    The Federal Reserve issues Federal Open Market Committee Statement

    Federal Reserve issues Federal Open Market Committee Statement | site |


    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published the following Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement:

    Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. Job gains... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Pig Ear

    Salmonella Outbreaks Linked to Pig Ear | site |


    (July 31, 2019) - - Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the following information:

    A CDC update regarding a multistate outbreak of Salmonella illness linked to contact with pig ear dog treats has been posted at https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/pet-t...-19/index.html
    .

    • CDC and FDA are now advising
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
    Tags: Ear  linked  Outbreaks  Pig  salmonella 
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Commerce publishes article titled - - - Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Responds to Contempt Vote by House Democrats

    U.S. Commerce publishes article titled, "Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Responds to Contempt Vote by House Democrats" | site |


    U.S. Commerce says Department of Commerce Remained Cooperative with Oversight Requests for Months


    (July 17, 2019) - - The U.S. Department of Commerce published (today, July 17, 2019) the following information:


    Today, House Democrats took the unnecessary step to hold the U.S. Secretary
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago
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    U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to Traveling Press En Route to Bangkok, Thailand

    U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to Traveling Press En Route to Bangkok, Thailand | site |


    En Route to Bangkok, Thailand - - (July 30, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following transcript of remarks made to the traveling press by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo:

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So just a couple things, if I may, just to sort of set what caused me to take this trip. So we’ll be gathering with a bunch of countries that we have worked closely with on many different things, and you’ll see that I’ll have a series of bilats. Many of these are like-minded countries who share our vision for what the region should look like and how economic growth will – ought to be achieved. And so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve seen... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 3 Weeks Ago