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  • U.S. State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus provides Information in August 8, 2019 Briefing

    U.S. State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus provides Information in August 8, 2019 Briefing | site |



    Washington, DC - - (August 8, 2019) - - Today (August 8, 2019), the U.S. Department of State published the following transcript of information provided in a briefing (in the Press Room) by Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:

    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.

    In Bangkok, the Secretary participated in the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial, the ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, and the Lower Mekong Initiative, which has just celebrated the tenth anniversary. The Secretary held very positive bilateral meetings with a variety of his counterparts, including leaders from Thailand, the Philippines, China, and India. He also participated in a trilateral meeting with foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea as well as a trilateral meeting with Australia and Japan, after which those three nations released a statement expressing serious concerns about negative developments in the South China Sea.

    Our diplomacy within ASEAN nations has been consistently guided by our desire for partnership, our respect for sovereignty, and a shared commitment to the rule of law, human rights, and sustainable economic growth – all points the Secretary reiterated in his speech at the Siam Society in Bangkok, which I’d encourage everyone to read.

    In Sydney, the Secretary underscored our ironclad commitment to Australia, an unbreakable alliance based on shared democratic values and overlapping strategic interests. Secretary Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper led the U.S. delegation to AUSMIN, the Australian-U.S. Ministerial consultations, and discussed shared priorities – our work to achieve our shared vision for a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific; the denuclearization of North Korea; freedom of navigation and global shipping and air lanes; the eradication of ISIS and other terrorist groups; and the campaign to counter foreign interference in our elections.

    And finally, in Micronesia, Secretary Pompeo was warmly welcomed and became the first secretary of state to visit to the Federated States of Micronesia, where he stressed the importance of our decades-old partnership with the freely associated states and our continued support for the security, economic development, and prosperity of the region. Secretary Pompeo announced the United States’ intent to begin negotiating amendments to certain provisions of the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands and our intent to begin the compact review discussions with Palau.

    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.

    As today’s actions show, Russia consistently violates the Georgian people’s right to security and property. Further, Russia’s invasion and occupation of 20 percent of Georgian territory is in stark violation of the UN – of the principles of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law. We urge the Russian Federation to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We call upon the Russian Federation to implement in full the EU-mediated August 2008 ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Georgia and to affirm and to implement a commitment not to use force against Georgia.

    We will not stop working until Russia ends its occupation of sovereign Georgian territory. We support the right of hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees to return to their home safely and with dignity. Finally, we stand with the Georgian people and welcome the day we can commemorate the end of Russia’s occupation of their territory.

    We welcome the joint statement by the United States and Turkey yesterday on establishing a safe zone in northeast Syria. The military-to-military talks in Ankara made progress towards establishing a sustainable security mechanism that addresses the legitimate concerns of our NATO ally Turkey and the United States. While there are additional details that need to be worked out, we are encouraged by the initial steps that came out of these talks.

    A U.S.-Turkey joint operation center will be established in Turkey to continue planning and implementation. We look forward to continuing our work with our partners on this important matter to achieve peace and security in northeast Syria.

    The United States strongly condemns the vicious terror attack outside a hospital in Cairo on August 4th that killed at least 20 people and injured many more. The explosion, which occurred near a hospital, only underscores the callousness of this disgraceful act of terror. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those wounded. The United States stands with Egypt in its struggle against terrorism.

    This week, the United States and Poland formally launched the Warsaw Process Working Group. Each group is dedicated to tackling a challenge to peace and security in the Middle East. The working groups build on the historic ministerial hosted in Poland in February. The Warsaw ministerial reinvigorated our efforts to address regional security concerns on built alliances with our partners. It was an opportunity for us to share our assessments of the region and together offer solutions to the ongoing global challenges.

    These working groups will enhance cooperation around key areas of concern in the region. That includes cyber security, human rights, energy security, missile proliferation, and maritime and aviation security. The groups will begin meeting this fall, hosted by our partners – the Republic of Korea, Bahrain, Romania, Poland, and also the United States.

    It’s good that I have Floridians here with me for this announcement. As we head into August, we want everyone to be aware that late summer means storm season and the strongest Atlantic hurricanes hit between August and October. For Americans whose summer trips could put them in the path of a severe storm overseas, I’d like to share a few important reminders: Sign up at step.state.gov to receive safety alerts from us. Write down and carry with you contact information for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Buy both evacuation insurance and travel medical insurance. Have an emergency plan in place, in case you’re unable to leave before a storm hits. During a storm, be sure to update your loved ones directly or over social media to let them know you’re safe.

    For more key tips for traveling safely during this storm season, I encourage you to follow our TravelGov social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We will share important information on disaster preparedness through the months of August and September. As always, the safety and security of Americans abroad is our highest priority here at the department, and we want to ensure everyone travels safely this year.

    QUESTION: If I’m going to Florida, I should sign up with STEP? You know, there are parts of Disney World that are – might be foreign countries.

    MS ORTAGUS: You’re ruining my mojo, Matthew Lee. (Laughter.)

    I am pleased to announce that Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan will travel to Thimphu, Bhutan, the – and New Delhi, India August 11 through 17th to advance the United States partnership with two nations that are critical to preserving the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. In Bhutan, Deputy Secretary Sullivan will explore expanding and deepening our ties with the government and people of Bhutan. The deputy secretary will be the highest-level executive branch official from the United States to visit Bhutan in over two decades, so this is quite an exciting announcement, and I know he is really looking forward to it.

    The deputy will then travel to New Delhi to advance the broad and multifaceted U.S.-India Strategic Partnership, which is based on a shared commitment to democratic values, economic growth, and rule of law. There, the deputy secretary will meet Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar and address the India-U.S. Forum.

    And one final personnel announcement, which I’m sad to make today – I have a personnel announcement, of course, to make. Our Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs – my friend also – Kim Breier submitted her resignation on July 24th and will be leaving the department at the end of August. Kim has been with the department for over two years, having started in the Policy Planning staff in June 2017. She was later nominated in March of 2018 and confirmed by the Senate to be the second woman and first female political appointee of either party to lead the Western Hemisphere Bureau at the Department of State. As assistant secretary, she built one of the most diverse leadership teams of any bureau in the department.

    Kim is leaving us for personal reasons. As she noted during her swearing in, no matter what she may accomplish in this job or any other, her daughter, Emma, was the best thing she would ever do. After more than two years of late nights and constant travel, Kim wants to refocus her priorities at home. We thank Assistant Secretary Breier – my friend Kim – for her service to the Department of State and to the United States Government, and wish her all the best.

    Now, Matthew —

    QUESTION: Yes, ma’am.

    MS ORTAGUS: — before you begin, my mom and granny are here, so if you’re —

    QUESTION: I’ll be nice.

    MS ORTAGUS: If you’re too mean to me today, granny is going to get you. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: I’m not going to be mean. Boy.

    MS ORTAGUS: (Laughter.) You’re such an easy target. I’m sorry. It’s too easy.

    QUESTION: Can I start with the Secretary – the Indo part of the Secretary’s trip and also Deputy Secretary Sullivan’s upcoming visit?

    MS ORTAGUS: Uh-huh.

    QUESTION: In terms of the – of Secretary Pompeo’s meeting with the Indian foreign minister on Friday —

    MS ORTAGUS: While we were at ASEAN?

    QUESTION: Yeah, in Bangkok.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: There have been reports in the Indian media that have been denied by people here that the foreign minister gave – or told Secretary Pompeo what the Indian Government planned to do as it relates to Kashmir on the following Monday, like —

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. No, I was – those denials are right.

    QUESTION: They were meeting on Friday.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, yeah.

    QUESTION: And then Acting Assistant Secretary Wells, I guess, or senior bureau official Wells —

    MS ORTAGUS: She tweeted.

    QUESTION: She tweeted yesterday that those reports are inaccurate. They were —

    MS ORTAGUS: That’s right.

    QUESTION: But she wasn’t in Bangkok, was she, at that —

    MS ORTAGUS: No, but I was. I was in the meeting.

    QUESTION: Okay, all right.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: So but – so whatever she was read out on that meeting was – that there was no heads up given —

    MS ORTAGUS: That’s right.

    QUESTION: — is correct?

    MS ORTAGUS: That’s correct.

    QUESTION: Okay. Now, given that, the situation is obviously very tense with —

    MS ORTAGUS: Obviously.

    QUESTION: — with what’s happened. So does that have anything to do with Assistant Secretary Wells’ travel right now and Deputy Secretary Sullivan’s upcoming travel and also Ambassador Khalilzad’s travel to New Delhi, and is there any concern in the administration that the situation between – tensions between India and Pakistan could hamper, interrupt, or otherwise affect the Afghan peace talks?

    MS ORTAGUS: All very good questions. I will 100 percent confirm this, but I’m pretty sure that these trips, from all three of them, have been planned for quite some time. I know I spoke to Alice earlier today, and I think both her and the deputy secretary’s trips have been on the schedule, as have Zal. And so I think that these are all routine trips.

    Do I think that this will come up? I mean, I think obviously this is something that we watch incredibly closely. It’s something that we’ve called for calm and restraint by all parties. We want to main peace and stability, and we, of course, support direct – the direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern. And I’m sure that will be addressed when all three of them travel.

    QUESTION: Right. But is there any concern that this might have some kind of an impact – negative – on —

    MS ORTAGUS: On the – Afghanistan?

    QUESTION: Yes. Because both India and Pakistan are going to critical if that —

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure.

    QUESTION: — if that peace process or peace talks are to succeed or whatever —

    MS ORTAGUS: And Zal – Ambassador Khalilzad certainly spends a lot of time in both places. I think that this is – I think this is we’re at the 9th round, the 7th or the 9th round on his negotiations that he just finished in Kabul. Of course, we do have a negotiating team that has remained in Doha, and they continue to work towards a peace deal. And I think that the team feels fairly confident about the progress that we’re making. Of course, it’s tenuous; it’s day-by-day. And I think that there are always a range of issues, not just India and Pakistan, that could affect the Afghanistan peace negotiations, but I think Zal is one of the best diplomats in the business, and if anyone can get to this deal, it’s going to be him.

    QUESTION: Thanks.

    MS ORTAGUS: Okay. Hi, Andrea.

    QUESTION: Hi. And welcome to granny and your mother.

    MS ORTAGUS: Thank you. And my poor husband, who never gets a shout-out. Sorry. He’s here too. (Laughter.) Yeah.

    QUESTION: About Assistant Secretary Kim Breier.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yes.

    QUESTION: Can you explain why, despite complaints from Republican senators on Foreign Relations, she never agreed to testify about the Guatemala safe country agreement?

    MS ORTAGUS: I need to double-check with H on that. I believe that she has had a number of consultations even though she has not formally testified on that subject. And her resignation was, of course, dated back to July 24th, and it’s something that she had told some of us that was in the process, so I think that that was known around the building. But I will confirm what – excuse me – what discussions she’s had, but I do believe that she has been in touch with many senators without having formally appeared before the committee.

    QUESTION: But formal testimony is a very important part of oversight.

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure.

    QUESTION: There have been numerous reports, credible reports, that Steve Miller and his demands regarding immigration – and Guatemala in particular, but other issues – had a role in her decision to spend more time with her family.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, so I talked to Kim about that. She’s addressed that with me directly. She said there’s absolutely no truth to that. The Washington Post reported that there was an email from Stephen Miller. She has denied ever seeing this email. I know that she’s consulted with other people in the White House. I’ll let them speak for themselves, but I believe that they would offer – also offer similar denials.

    And Kim has been here 27 months. It’s – I know I’ve been on two trips with her already in the four and a half months that I’ve been here. It’s demanding, it’s really grueling, and I think, unfortunately, we are losing one of the best and brightest that we have as she’s moving on. But I think that she has indicated to everyone, and to me personally – I’ve spoken to her multiple times over the past few days – that this is something that she had planned in the works for several months now, as she felt like it was time for her to move on.

    QUESTION: I mean, it’s at a critical time —

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure.

    QUESTION: — and assistant secretary positions are vacant or acting in a number of key regions.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. In fact, I think Kim was left hanging in the Senate for many months. I don’t remember the exact number of months, but in the two years that she was here, she spent probably way longer waiting in the Senate for confirmation than she should have spent.

    QUESTION: But concerns about the numbers of vacancies? I know Secretary Pompeo came and tried to fill a lot of these positions that had been vacant.

    MS ORTAGUS: He did, yeah. He’s been aggressive.

    QUESTION: But now we’ve got policy planning, obviously you’ve got assistant secretaries in key regions, actings and others. How do you fill these gaps?

    MS ORTAGUS: I think that – well, first of all, there’s 69,000, I think, amazing people that work around the world for the State Department. I’ve been lucky on several occasions to serve at two U.S. embassies with I think some of the best and brightest diplomats around the world, and it’s an honor to work with them, and it’s an honor to speak for them here whenever I do brief at this podium.

    I think – I’m sure that the Secretary will have some personnel announcements. They’ll want to find the right people to step up in either acting roles or to fill these vacancies, and it’s something that I think he has been very attuned to in the little more than a year that he’s been Secretary of States in killing these – filling these key positions.

    Hey, Lesley.

    QUESTION: Hello, Morgan. A quick thing that is a breaking news story that I just wanted to ask you about.

    MS ORTAGUS: Oh. Okay.

    QUESTION: Are you aware of the French inviting President Rouhani to the G7?

    MS ORTAGUS: I had heard rumors about that yesterday, and —

    QUESTION: Yeah. Is it true?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t think it’s true. We’ll need to confirm for you, but as far as I’ve heard, it’s rumors. I don’t know why he would be invited.

    QUESTION: I mean —

    MS ORTAGUS: We’ll confirm.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MS ORTAGUS: We’ll confirm, but I believe those are just rumors.

    QUESTION: Okay. Well, is that something that you think that the Secretary and even the President would welcome?

    MS ORTAGUS: I think that the President and the Secretary have said that they’re willing on multiple occasions to negotiate, to talk to Iran without preconditions. That offer remains on the table. Whenever the ayatollah and whenever Rouhani, the people that are actually in charge of that government, want to speak, we’ll be there to listen.

    QUESTION: And then I just have a follow-up —

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure.

    QUESTION: — on something else that I wanted to talk to you about, was there was a letter today from Nita Lowey regarding the money that – there’s a temporary freeze on some key foreign aid funds.

    MS ORTAGUS: Is this the OMB?

    QUESTION: That’s correct.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: The question is: Has the State Department actually provided the OMB with any details or a response to the letter over the weekend?

    MS ORTAGUS: That process is ongoing. I don’t know that our response is finalized. And speaking with the department, OMB’s call for this data and information that you referred to is the first step in a process, of course, to determine how best to spend foreign assistance funds. And so I have not seen the letter from Nita Lowey, but again, this is the first step. And we will, of course, comply and provide the data and information that OMB requires of us.

    QUESTION: Okay. But that hasn’t happened yet?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t know that it’s finalized. I’m sure that we’re in the process. We can certainly confirm when that is finalized, but again, this is just the first step in the process.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MS ORTAGUS: Hi.

    QUESTION: Hi.

    MS ORTAGUS: Nice to see you.

    QUESTION: Good to see you. The Chinese foreign ministry’s office in Hong Kong has issued a formal protest over a reported meeting between U.S. consular officials in the city and opposition figures. The statement demanded the U.S. explain the purpose of the meeting and, quote, “immediately” cease interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs. Do you have anything on that meeting and then reaction to the statement?

    MS ORTAGUS: How did you characterize the first sentence? Can you say that again?

    QUESTION: It was the Chinese foreign ministry office in Hong Kong, I believe.

    MS ORTAGUS: Uh-huh. But how – but what did you say that – they issued a – you said? Read your first statement again.

    QUESTION: A formal protest?

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. I don’t think that leaking an American diplomat’s private information, pictures, names of their children – I don’t think that that’s a formal protest. That is what a thuggish regime would do. That’s not how a responsible nation would behave. Releasing any of that personal information of an American diplomat is completely unacceptable. That’s not a protest. That’s what a thuggish regime does, and it’s unacceptable.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Well, (inaudible) address the reason for the thuggishness, which is a meeting between a consular official and —

    MS ORTAGUS: This is – this is what – sure, I understand the question. This is what American diplomats do every single day around the world. American diplomats meet with formal government officials, we meet with opposition protesters, not just in Hong Kong or China. I mean, this literally happens in every single country in which an American embassy is present. So our diplomat was doing her job and we commend her for her work.

    QUESTION: So you don’t buy the Chinese argument that because Hong Kong is part of China, even though it’s run differently, that this is interference in their internal affairs?

    MS ORTAGUS: This is what not only American diplomats do, this is what other countries’ diplomats do.

    QUESTION: Right. The Secretary met with opposition people in Australia, did he not?

    MS ORTAGUS: He did. In Australia?

    QUESTION: Or in Thailand, or on his recent trip? No?

    MS ORTAGUS: I was in almost every meeting and I don’t recall that happening.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MS ORTAGUS: I can double-check to make sure I didn’t miss something, but I don’t – I was not in a meeting with opposition figures.

    QUESTION: Last thing.

    QUESTION: Hi.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Are you saying there was no formal protest at all? There was just this leaking of photographs and —

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t know if there was a formal protest. My point is – is that I’m taking issue with the Chinese saying they issued a formal protest when in fact they harassed an American diplomat.

    QUESTION: So are you saying that – just to put a finer point on it —

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure.

    QUESTION: — that the Chinese Government behaved thuggishly? Are you calling them a thuggish regime?

    MS ORTAGUS: I think I said that three times.

    QUESTION: I mean —

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Hi. On the agreement with Turkey that you mentioned at the top.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yes, ma’am.

    QUESTION: An embassy statement said there will be a peace corridor and displaced Syrians will go there. You didn’t mention that and neither did the Pentagon in its statement.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: So the question: Will displaced Syrians be brought into the area, and if so, will you ensure that there’s no major demographic shift and no creation of a demographic corridor that separates the Kurds in Syria from the Kurds in Turkey?

    MS ORTAGUS: So the – so, yeah, the first part, I checked with the – or I had a member of my team, I should say, check with the Pentagon because I know that they gave you an answer to one of your questions. And I believe that the DOD maybe just left off a sentence and didn’t give you the full response. So, I mean, I think that we have the full statement that’s posted on the Embassy Ankara website. I believe the DOD also has it posted as well, and we can certainly – our team can make sure that you have a copy of the full statement.

    And what else was it that you needed from me? I’m sorry.

    QUESTION: That – will there be the movement of Syrian refugees in Turkey into that area, and will you ensure that doesn’t result in a big demographic shift?

    MS ORTAGUS: So it’s the U.S. position that we do not support any sort of forced or coerced relocations of refugees or IDPs. If and when conditions allow any refugee who wants to return to their destination, it must be of their own choosing and must be voluntary, safe, and dignified.

    QUESTION: Will these be Syrians who lived in that area or any Syrian can go there? Because 3.6 million Syrians, if —

    MS ORTAGUS: Absolutely.

    QUESTION: — would change the demography of that area.

    MS ORTAGUS: It certainly would, and I think that any sort of discussions in fine detail on the safe zone are still ongoing. I think that we were certainly encouraged that the U.S. and Turkey issued a joint statement on something that the United States Government has been working very diligently with our NATO ally Turkey on, and I don’t think I have any details beyond that.

    Okay. Hey.

    QUESTION: Hey. Thanks, Morgan. Do you have a status update on the CAATSA sanctions for Turkey’s purchase of the S-400?

    MS ORTAGUS: No.

    QUESTION: And can you say whether the recent Taliban-claimed violence has had any role in the ongoing discussions in Doha between the U.S. and the Taliban?

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, you’re referring to the attack yesterday, I assume?

    QUESTION: Yeah.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, I mean, listen, the attack yesterday or any of these attacks are appalling. I mean, they are totally disgusting, and on every level, we think that the cost of war, especially in Afghanistan, is too high and the violence needs to end. And that is principally why Ambassador Khalilzad has spent so much time trying to get to a peace deal, because we want to get to peace. We want the Afghan people to be able to choose their own destiny, to be able to choose their own government, and we want the war to end.

    QUESTION: But can you say whether they’ve warned the negotiators in Doha that this is unacceptable, whether there would be any consequences for this action?

    MS ORTAGUS: Did the negotiators warn the Taliban? Is that the question?

    QUESTION: Yeah, or just has there been any message from the U.S. directly to the Taliban to that effect?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t want to put any words in Zal’s mouth, so I’d certainly need to speak to him, but I can tell you that anybody who’s representing the U.S. Government is certainly going to condemn both publicly and privately attacks on innocent civilians.

    QUESTION: And just one final question.

    MS ORTAGUS: Did you – oh, sorry.

    QUESTION: Can you confirm that Matthew Gebert has been placed on leave, the accused official involved with white supremacy?

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, I am not able to confirm anything from this podium.

    QUESTION: Just a quick follow-on on —

    MS ORTAGUS: On Afghanistan?

    QUESTION: — the Kabul attack. Yeah, on Afghanistan. The Secretary 10 days or so ago in the interview with David Rubenstein said —

    MS ORTAGUS: Right.

    QUESTION: — that the President had directed him to prepare for the withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of his first term, and I think he said in a follow-up answer at that breakfast —

    MS ORTAGUS: Well, I think the way – if I may interject —

    QUESTION: Yeah, please.

    MS ORTAGUS: — I think the way David asked the question was would it be by the end of 2020.

    QUESTION: And I think what the Secretary said was that those were the President’s orders to me and he said that he thought it would be job-enhancing to – to meet that.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, I mean, I think that the President has made that clear since he began campaigning in 2015.

    QUESTION: I’m just wondering whether this Kabul attack —

    MS ORTAGUS: It always complicates – yeah, sure, I mean, it’s definitely – it’s complicating and it certainly makes our job tougher. But at the same time, this is why we have Ambassador Khalilzad and some of the best people in the business trying to bring all sides to the table. It’s not just a – I think we spend a lot of time focusing on the negotiations that we have with the Taliban, but we’re also equally, incredibly focused on inter-Afghan dialogue.

    I was with the Secretary in Kabul not long ago when we were meeting with leaders of their parliament. We met with women, we met with people in education and activists. And he had the same message, which was, of course, we want all people and all parties to be brought to the table. And I think many of you know my personal history with Afghanistan and my own personal commitment to seeing peace there. And we’ve talked from this podium, I think the last time I was here, about the number of people even on my team who have spouses serving in Afghanistan right now.

    And so this is something that’s, I think, incredibly personal to all of us, and it’s incredibly personal to the American people. We’re 18, 19 years in. We have young men and women who were born after 9/11 who are being sent over there to fight, and I think if the last 20 years has taught us anything, it’s that the President is correct that we need to try to pursue peace in Afghanistan, and that’s the goal that we’re working towards.

    QUESTION: Could you – sorry, Morgan. Could you just – I didn’t realize you had personal experience in Afghanistan. But anyway, could you just explain why it was that you weren’t able to answer the question —

    MS ORTAGUS: Which one?

    QUESTION: — about the person being put on suspension or leave? Just the explanation as to why. You said, “I’m not able to confirm anything from this podium.” Why is that?

    MS ORTAGUS: We’re not – we just are not able to confirm suspensions from this podium.

    QUESTION: Morgan?

    QUESTION: Could I ask —

    MS ORTAGUS: Go ahead, Conor.

    QUESTION: Could I just ask you about climate change in light of the – another UN report? When the Secretary was in Micronesia, he said that one of the things that he tries to do – or we all can do – is help nations lower their carbon emissions. Is that something that you’ve seen him bring up in meetings with counterparts? He was with China last week. Did he urge the Chinese foreign minister to lower their emissions?

    MS ORTAGUS: We covered a number of issues in China, and I believe we sent a readout on the meeting.

    QUESTION: Yeah, it wasn’t mentioned.

    MS ORTAGUS: And I don’t think that we had that mentioned specifically on there, but I’ve definitely been in meetings with him where we’ve discussed this. And I think that he’s said to many of you who have asked him the question, he’s quoted the emissions – the United States’ emissions drop at 13 percent from 2005 to 2019. And this, of course, was at a time when our economy was growing by 19 percent.

    And I think the one thing that the Secretary has always stressed, especially coming from the private sector, that he thinks one of the reasons why the United States has – able to make such significant gains in reducing emissions is because of private sector-led innovation. And that’s certainly something that he champions and talks about.

    QUESTION: On that statistic, though, the Energy Information Administration, part of the U.S. Government, reported that in 2018 emissions actually rose 2.7 percent. So is there any sort of concern that the U.S. is actually heading in the wrong direction now in terms of carbon dioxide emissions?

    MS ORTAGUS: Well, I mean, if you look at the EIA forecast, they say that CO2 emissions will decline by 2.3 percent in 2019, and so that’s certainly a target that we hope to hit.

    Yes, sir.

    QUESTION: Thank you. Can I ask a few questions on India and Pakistan?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t know that I’m going to go much beyond our formal statements that we said.

    QUESTION: Okay, I —

    MS ORTAGUS: But you have – certainly may ask.

    QUESTION: Yeah. So do you have a readout of Ambassador Wells’ meeting in Pakistan, who all she met and what were the issues to be discussed?

    MS ORTAGUS: I spoke to her maybe about an hour ago, and we didn’t have a great connection, so I don’t have a readout yet. But I’ll certainly talk to her team.

    We announced her – I believe I announced her travel here from the podium. I think we also sent out a Media Note. But we will make sure to follow up with you, and maybe we could even have you meet with her when she gets back for a readout. I’ve certainly been trying to open up and get all of you more access to our officials here at the State Department.

    QUESTION: Thank you for doing that. After Monday’s decision on Kashmir by India and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in his own parliament, has Secretary Pompeo reached out to his counterparts in India and Pakistan?

    MS ORTAGUS: So we had a meeting, of course, with Jaishankar in ASEAN, and I need to – I know that he has had a number of phone calls. I don’t know which ones we’ve released publicly, but yes, I mean, he speaks with his counterparts on a daily basis. And as Matt so – did my job for me and pointed out how many State Department officials we have in the region, we have a lot of engagement. But listen, we have a lot of engagement with India and Pakistan. Obviously, we just had Prime Minister Khan here, not just because of Kashmir. That’s certainly an incredibly important issue and something that we follow closely, but we have a host of issues that we work with India on quite closely and that we work with Pakistan on quite closely. I would say that we are – as a State Department, we are incredibly engaged in Southeast Asia.

    QUESTION: Has there been any change in U.S. policy on Kashmir?

    MS ORTAGUS: No.

    QUESTION: There’s no change on it?

    MS ORTAGUS: No. And if there was, I certainly wouldn’t be announcing it here, but no, there’s not. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: A follow-up? Just a follow-up?

    QUESTION: Well, why not?

    QUESTION: A follow-up on Kashmir, please?

    MS ORTAGUS: Because we would let someone more important like the President do that.

    QUESTION: So the prime minister of Pakistan is calling it a genocide in Kashmir. Does the U.S. see any human rights violation even, or no?

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, I mean, I really don’t want to go beyond what we’ve said, because it’s such a tenuous issue. It’s something that we’re talking to them about quite closely. We obviously, whenever it comes to – whenever it comes to any region in the world where there are tensions, we ask for people to observe the rule of law, respect for human rights, respect for international norms. We ask people to maintain peace and security and direct dialogue.

    There are reports, as you’ve mentioned, of detentions and restrictions of residents in Jammu and in Kashmir. And again, that’s why we continue to monitor this very, very closely.

    QUESTION: One small —

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Thank you, Morgan.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Two questions for – on the South Korea.

    MS ORTAGUS: Okay.

    QUESTION: First question is President Trump said yesterday that South Korea agreed increase of —

    MS ORTAGUS: The President said what? I’m sorry.

    QUESTION: President said yesterday that South Korea agreed increase of defense cost sharing. Is there some more negotiation with the South Korea or he just is saying so? Because South Korean parliament said that negotiation is not starting yet.

    MS ORTAGUS: Right.

    QUESTION: So I want to know about that. Second question is the —

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure.

    QUESTION: — Defense Secretary Esper has mentioned recently United States are deploying a medium-range missiles in Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries. Can you confirm on this?

    MS ORTAGUS: So I’ll start with Esper. I mean, I would defer you to the Department of Defense and to Secretary Esper to clarify his comments for anything that you may need there. We certainly don’t want to speak on behalf of them.

    I mean, listen, when it comes to U.S. bases in South Korea and those agreements, this is one of those issues that the President has been incredibly crystal clear on, right. There’s no ambiguity in where the President stands. He wants – he said that he wants our allies to contribute more. It’s certainly a reoccurring theme. We’re also – I would say that we are – here at the State Department, we’re, of course, very appreciative of the considerable resources that South Korea has provided to support the alliance. South Korea is one of our most crucial allies in Northeast Asia; they will remain so. And they, of course, contributed towards the cost of maintaining U.S. presence – U.S. forces in South Korea.

    But of course, this is something – burden sharing is a theme of the President’s and it will be a theme of the President’s as it relates to South Korea, as it relates to NATO. Pick your issue; the President wants all countries to share in the mutual defense.

    Hi.

    QUESTION: I have two questions in regards to Iran. With the designation of Mr. Zarif by the Treasury, does the prohibition on providing services to Mr. Zarif include barring his access to the U.S. social media, including his access to Twitter and Instagram?

    MS ORTAGUS: I think he’s still tweeting. Pretty sure you could – I mean, it’s too bad the Iranians can’t tweet, the Iranian people. But yeah, he’s still tweeting.

    QUESTION: Okay. And the second one is that you mentioned that there is a precondition still on the table with the negotiation with the Iranian —

    MS ORTAGUS: No, I said there’s no preconditions.

    QUESTION: I’m sorry. No preconditions on the table.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Does that – with Mr. Zarif out of the picture with the designation, so who the U.S. administration prefers to do the talking with?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t think that we have said that we must talk to person X or person Y in the regime. I mean, our request to the ayatollah and to Rouhani is for their country – for them to think very carefully about how they’ve terrorized the region and to consider stop doing so. And if they want to talk about how they can behave like a normal nation, they know – and how they can be brought back into the world and have sanctions removed, they know exactly who they can call, and that’s President Trump, and he’s waiting on their phone call.

    QUESTION: Also, any update on the maritime security initiative? What is the latest?

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, we had an update yesterday. I don’t know if you saw the press conference with the new British foreign minister in which they announced their participation as well. I think we’re – this is also led by DOD, and so I’m not going to get ahead of any announcements, but I think we’ve had over 60 countries that have been in meetings and consultations and participation. And we will – I think we will continue to give updates and provide which countries are participating on a routine basis.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    QUESTION: Can we stay on Iran for one second —

    MS ORTAGUS: Sure. Michelle. Is it Michelle?

    QUESTION: Yeah, it’s me. (Laughter.) The Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang marked three years now in prison in Iran. And his wife was here in Washington today, asking the Trump administration to do more, pointing out that the U.S. sent its hostage negotiator to Sweden to get Rocky – A$AP Rocky out. What more is this administration doing on behalf of Americans —

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, the implication there is that if we’re working to help one hostage that we can’t help to work another. And we can walk and chew gum. Robert O’Brien is a close friend of mine, someone I’ve known for years. I know that he is working diligently behind the scenes. I think this administration has one of the most successful records in getting American hostages released. Robert is constantly traveling and negotiating, working with these countries. And this is something that’s very personal to him, to get our American hostages back; it’s something that’s incredibly personal to the Secretary, and of course to the President. And that’s why we have such a great track record of doing so, and we are going to continue every day that we all draw breath here at the State Department to fight for our Americans to get them – to get our American hostages back.

    QUESTION: Wait, Morgan, are you saying by that answer that you – the administration considered A$AP Rocky to be a hostage held by Sweden?

    MS ORTAGUS: No, that’s – thank you for clarifying that. Thank you, Matt. Robert is the head of hostage negotiations here, but he was working with – within the consular affairs in those negotiations because he was already —

    QUESTION: Right, but you said you can walk and chew gum at the same time, and we can – in other words, we can work to free one hostage. She specifically mentioned this guy in Sweden. And —

    MS ORTAGUS: Right, right.

    QUESTION: So you’re not trying to say that the Swedes were holding him hostage?

    MS ORTAGUS: No, no. No, we are not – no, no, sorry for implying that.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MS ORTAGUS: You’re right. Thank you.

    QUESTION: Why was it appropriate even for him to be in Sweden when the prime minister had very specifically said that their system of laws is that the prime minister does not interfere with their judicial system? I mean, wasn’t it offensive for the hostage negotiator – who has a very specific mission – to show up in Sweden on the A$AP Rocky case?

    MS ORTAGUS: I think it’s appropriate that he went because the President sent him.

    QUESTION: Well, that doesn’t make it appropriate.

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah.

    QUESTION: Can I ask a follow-up on Iran?

    QUESTION: Thank you. Jahanzaib Ali from ARY News TV Pakistan. President —

    MS ORTAGUS: You’re not going to ask me about Kashmir again, are you? Because I’m done with that.

    QUESTION: Okay, okay.

    MS ORTAGUS: Okay.

    QUESTION: So let’s go to Afghanistan.

    QUESTION: Silk. (Laughter.)

    MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. Yes.

    QUESTION: So after a meeting, President Trump, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited Taliban delegation to talk about the peace agreement between Taliban and the Afghan Government.

    MS ORTAGUS: Who invited the Taliban?

    QUESTION: Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    MS ORTAGUS: Oh, Khan. Thank you. I thought you said President Trump. I thought —

    QUESTION: Yeah. So how do you see this progress, connecting Taliban with the Afghan Government?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t think that I have anything additional really to go beyond what I’ve already said. I think we’ve talked about Afghanistan quite a bit. But I would say that obviously that Prime Minister Khan is going to be incredibly crucial in helping us with these – with this peace deal and with this peace negotiation that continues. And I think when he was here in Washington, the President and the Secretary alluded to that as well, how important that relationship will be in helping us pursue peace in Afghanistan.

    It’s certainly – it’s not a bilateral issue between the U.S. and Afghanistan. It certainly affects us, but it affects our NATO allies who are there with us. It affects India; it affects Pakistan; it affects Russia and China. It’s something that affects many nations in the world, and that’s why I think you see Zal traveling so much and working diligently.

    I think we’ll do last question with Nick.

    QUESTION: Yesterday Zarif – this is Iran again – Zarif —

    MS ORTAGUS: Okay.

    QUESTION: — Javad Zarif said that if Iran doesn’t see more commitment from the Europeans to give it the benefits of the JCPOA, that it would violate additional terms of the nuclear deal.

    MS ORTAGUS: He says that a lot, yeah.

    QUESTION: So I’m wondering what this means for the decision to keep extending nuclear waivers, waivers for the civil nuclear program. Would successive violations by Iran cause the U.S. to reconsider the decision to grant those waivers?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t know that those two things are ultimately connected the way that you just connected them, so I’ll take the first part of what you said. I mean, listen, if the European – we’re not a part of the JCPOA, obviously. We withdrew. So if the Europeans want to be held hostage by the threats from Iran as it relates to the deal, that’s their business to do so.

    As it relates to the nuclear waivers and their extensions, I believe they were extended for another 90 days, and that’s a decision that the Secretary and the President made together. And if there is another extension in 90 days, we’ll certainly let you know.

    QUESTION: And can I – just one follow-up on INSTEX? Sorry.

    MS ORTAGUS: Only because I like you.

    QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you. (Laughter.) On – German media is reporting that the German former diplomats who’s been tasked with running INSTEX from their side has been —

    MS ORTAGUS: I haven’t seen this.

    QUESTION: — has been pushed out because of some anti-Semitic comments he made on YouTube.

    MS ORTAGUS: Well, that would be bad.

    QUESTION: I’m just wondering what your current attitude is toward INSTEX. Do you see this as a viable conduit for humanitarian financial transactions, or would you rather that countries – Germany, for example – stay away from INSTEX?

    MS ORTAGUS: Were you with us in Germany on that trip? I thought you were. Were you with us?

    QUESTION: Which one?

    MS ORTAGUS: I don’t think so. So I think – and we’ll have to look this up – I think the last time the Secretary was asked this was at his press avail —

    QUESTION: Right.

    MS ORTAGUS: — with the German Foreign Minister Maas, in which he spoke and said – at the time, when he was asked about it – and again, he could have addressed this recently; I will certainly double-check. My recollection, the last time he was asked about this, he was very forthright and said if there are trades – excuse me, if there are goods that are not sanctioned that are being used in that facility, then he’s supportive of it. And we can certainly pull the exact language that he used from the press conference with Foreign Minister Maas.

    QUESTION: Right. Thank you.

    MS ORTAGUS: Thanks, everybody. I’ll see you – I may be on reserve duty next week, so I may not be here. But I will confirm with all of you and let you know. So if I’m not here, I will brief as soon as I’m back. Thank you.

    QUESTION: Thank you.





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    Our diplomacy within ASEAN nations has been consistently guided by our desire for partnership, our respect for sovereignty, and a shared commitment to the rule of law, human rights, and sustainable economic growth – all points the Secretary reiterated in his speech at the Siam Society in Bangkok, which I’d encourage everyone to read.

    In Sydney, the Secretary underscored our ironclad commitment to Australia, an unbreakable alliance based on shared democratic values and overlapping strategic interests. Secretary Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper led the U.S. delegation to AUSMIN, the Australian-U.S. Ministerial consultations, and discussed shared priorities – our work to achieve our shared vision for a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific; the denuclearization of North Korea; freedom of navigation and global shipping and air lanes; the eradication of ISIS and other terrorist groups; and the campaign to counter foreign interference in our elections.

    And finally, in Micronesia, Secretary Pompeo was warmly welcomed and became the first secretary of state to visit to the Federated States of Micronesia, where he stressed the importance of our decades-old partnership with the freely associated states and our continued support for the security, economic development, and prosperity of the region. Secretary Pompeo announced the United States’ intent to begin negotiating amendments to certain provisions of the Compacts of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands and our intent to begin the compact review discussions with Palau.

    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.

    As today’s actions show, Russia consistently violates the Georgian people’s right to security and property. Further, Russia’s invasion and occupation of 20 percent of Georgian
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
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    Treasury and IRS Issue Improved Form W-4 for 2020 to Simplify Filing and Increase Transparency

    Treasury and IRS Issue Improved Form W-4 for 2020 to Simplify Filing and Increase Transparency | site |



    (August 9, 2019) - - The U.S. Department of the Treasury provided (today) the following information:

    Washington—Today, the Treasury Department and the IRS introduced a redesigned Form W-4 for tax year 2020. Several changes were made to the draft form based on extensive feedback from stakeholders with the goal of... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Labor Awards National Dislocated Worker Grant for Disaster Response after Severe Storms and Flooding in Arkansas

    U.S. Department of Labor Awards National Dislocated Worker Grant for Disaster Response after Severe Storms and Flooding in Arkansas | site |


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

    WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today approved Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) funding of up to $5,411,294,... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Housing Administration to Promote Greater Residential and Commercial Development in Opportunity Zones

    Federal Housing Administration to Promote Greater Residential and Commercial Development in Opportunity Zones | site |


    (August 9, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development published the following information:

    WASHINGTON - To stimulate greater multifamily residential and commercial development in Opportunity Zones, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today announced the Federal Housing... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    National Institutes of Health-funded Study will Test Seasonal Flu Vaccines with Two Experimental Adjuvants

    National Institutes of Health-funded Study will Test Seasonal Flu Vaccines with Two Experimental Adjuvants | site |


    (August 8, 2019) - - Today, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published the following information:

    An early-stage clinical trial is evaluating two licensed seasonal influenza vaccines, administered with or without novel adjuvants, for their safety and ability to generate an immune response. Adjuvants are compounds added to vaccines to induce stronger and longer-lasting immune responses. The Phase 1 study is enrolling healthy... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Secretary of the Interior Bernhardt to Lead U.S. Delegation to Tuvalu for Partners Dialogue at the Pacific Islands Forum

    Secretary of the Interior Bernhardt to Lead U.S. Delegation to Tuvalu for Partners Dialogue at the Pacific Islands Forum | site |


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


    WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt will lead a U.S. government delegation—comprised of senior officials from the White House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Indo-Pacific
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements in 10 States

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements in 10 States | site |


    USDA says Investments will Benefit 213,295 Residents and Businesses


    (August 9, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the following information:

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe today announced that USDA is investing $181 million to upgrade rural electric... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Awards Contract for Region 4 of Community Care Network to Increase Veteran Access to Health Care

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Awards Contract for Region 4 of Community Care Network to Increase Veteran Access to Health Care | site |



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

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded a contract Aug. 6 to TriWest Healthcare Alliance to serve as Third Party Administrator in managing Region 4 of VA’s new Community Care Network... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Statement of Enforcement Priorities Regarding Service Animals on Flights

    U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Statement of Enforcement Priorities Regarding Service Animals on Flights | site |



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

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued a Final Statement of Enforcement Priorities Regarding Service Animals that provides greater clarity to passengers, airlines, and other stakeholders about the DOT’s interpretation and enforcement of the existing service animal rules.

    In this Final Statement, the Department’s Enforcement Office
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    State Department Hosts Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment: Minerals, Responsible Sourcing, and the Jewelry Supply Chain

    State Department Hosts Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment: Minerals, Responsible Sourcing, and the Jewelry Supply Chain | site |



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


    The State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs hosted a conference today entitled Women’s Economic Empowerment: Minerals, Responsible Sourcing, and
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Communications Commission Establishes New Digital Opportunity Data Collection

    Federal Communications Commission Establishes New Digital Opportunity Data Collection | site |



    Will Collect Granular Geospatial Data Critical to Identifying Gaps in Fixed Broadband Availability


    (August 6, 2019) - - Today (August 6, 2019), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the following information:

    WASHINGTON, August 1, 2019—Moving to better identify gaps in broadband coverage across the nation, the Federal Communications Commission today initiated a new process for collecting
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute Release of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XIX, South Asia

    Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute Release of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XIX, South Asia | site |



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

    The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XIX, South Asia. This volume is
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Amendments to Codify Exemption to Credit Rating Agency Rule

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Adopts Amendments to Codify Exemption to Credit Rating Agency Rule | site |



    (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).

    Rule 17g-5(a)(3) under the Securities Exchange Act provides for
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Trump Administration Officials Visit Bloomington, IN as Baxter Signs Pledge to America's Workers

    Trump Administration Officials Visit Bloomington, IN as Baxter Signs Pledge to America's Workers | site |


    (August 2, 2019) - - Today (August 2, 2019), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the following information:

    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
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Department of Homeland Security Rescinds Public Notice Regarding Security Conditions at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila

    Department of Homeland Security Rescinds Public Notice Regarding Security Conditions at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila | site |


    (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
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 24 States

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests in Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 24 States | site |


    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
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo’s Call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud

    U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo’s Call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud | state |



    (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
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
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    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Completes South American Trip

    U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Completes South American Trip | site |


    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
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    Federal Election Commission addresses Use of Campaign Funds for Childcare Expenses

    Federal Election Commission addresses Use of Campaign Funds for Childcare Expenses | site |



    In the Mary Jennings Hegar case Opinion, the Federal Election Commission said campaign funds may be used to pay for a candidate’s childcare expenses that are incurred as a direct result of campaign activity.



    (August 1, 2019) - - In Advisory Opinion 2019-13 (AO 2019-13), the Federal Election Commission... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    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
    ... read more
    Staff Reporter 2 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week Ago
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    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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 1 Week 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 Weeks Ago
    Staff Reporter 2

    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 2 Weeks Ago