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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held.
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Horn of Africa Region: The Humanitarian Crisis and International Response

Horn of Africa Region: The Humanitarian Crisis and International Response

Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Margesson, Rhoda; Dagne, Ted & Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report provides an overview of the current status of the crisis, summary background on the region, a framework for the international and humanitarian response, and an analysis of some of the operational challenges.
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State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations

Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Epstein, Susan B. & Lawson, Marian Leonardo
Description: This report analyzes the FY2012 request and congressional action related to FY2012 State- Foreign Operations legislation. This report focuses on only the accounts funded through the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill, but provides appropriations figures for the entire international affairs (Function 150) budget in Appendix E.
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Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress

Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. This report also delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, and worksite enforcement.
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Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Siskin, Alison & Wyler, Liana Sun
Description: Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP.
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Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Description: This report examines the extent of the security problems in Central America, the current efforts being undertaken by Central American governments to address them, and U.S. support for Central American efforts through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. It also raises potential policy issues for congressional consideration such as funding levels, human rights concerns, and how CARSI relates to other U.S. government policies.
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Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Date: January 19, 2012
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
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U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications

U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications

Date: January 25, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico trade and economic trends, the Mexican economy, the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and major trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: January 26, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report gives an overview of the U.S. sanctions in place on Iran and legislation that would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of CISADA and other laws. It also discusses the measures that the United Nations and others have enacted against Iran and the effects of the sanctions.
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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis

Date: February 8, 2012
Creator: Williams, Brock R.
Description: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The negotiating partners have expressed an interest in allowing this proposed “living agreement” to cover new trade topics and to include new members that are willing to adopt the proposed agreement's high standards. This report provides a comparative economic analysis of the TPP countries and their economic relations with the United States. It suggests that the TPP negotiating partners encompass great diversity in population, economic development, and trade and investment patterns with the United States. This economic diversity and inclusion of fast-growing emerging markets presents both opportunities and challenges for the United States in achieving a comprehensive and high standard regional FTA among TPP countries.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
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Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
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Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law: An Abbreviated Sketch

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law: An Abbreviated Sketch

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses the application of American criminal law outside the United States.
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The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: Globalization and technological innovation have fostered the expansion of both legitimate and criminal operations across physical borders as well as throughout cyberspace. U.S. law enforcement has increasingly relied on intelligence-led policing, enhanced interagency cooperation, and technological implementation to confront 21st century crime. Issues for Congress are how it can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime. It may also examine whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information.
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NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Ek, Carl
Description: This report gives an overview of the feasibility of burdensharing amongst North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states due to the global financial crisis and defense budget cuts in many of the contributing nations.
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U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

Date: February 22, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: During discussions about the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Congress reviewed and discussed the plans for maintaining and modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Although the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30 years. As a result, the 112th Congress will continue to review these programs during the annual authorization and appropriations process.
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U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

Date: February 22, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: During discussions about the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Congress reviewed and discussed the plans for maintaining and modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Although the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30 years. As a result, the 112th Congress will continue to review these programs during the annual authorization and appropriations process.
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The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues

The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues

Date: March 1, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a new agreement for combating intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement. The ACTA negotiation concluded in October 2010, nearly three years after it began, and negotiating parties released a final text of the agreement in May 2011. Negotiated by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its 27 member states, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland, the ACTA is intended to build on the IPR protection and enforcement obligations set forth in the 1995 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
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Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Date: March 2, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
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Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar amendment, authorizing U.S. threat reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union, in November 1991, after a failed coup in Moscow and the disintegration of the Soviet Union raised concerns about the safety and security of Soviet nuclear weapons. It has evolved from an emergency response to impending chaos in the Soviet Union, to a more comprehensive threat reduction and nonproliferation effort, to a broader program seeking to keep nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons from leaking out of the former Soviet Union and into the hands of rogue nations or terrorist groups, to a global program to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Analysts have debated numerous issues related to U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance. These include questions about the coordination of and priority given to these programs in the U.S. government, questions about Russia's willingness to provide the United States with access to its weapons facilities, questions about the President's ability to waive certification requirements so that the programs can go forward, and questions about the need to expand the efforts into a global program that receives funding from numerous nations and possibly extends assistance to others outside the former Soviet Union.
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Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.; Elias, Bart & Shedd, Daniel T.
Description: This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries.
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Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications

Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications

Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: Challenges to Russia's democratic development have long been of concern to Congress as it has considered the course of U.S.-Russia cooperation. Some in Congress have criticized the conduct of the election, but have endorsed continued engagement, while others have called for stepping back and reevaluating the Obama Administration's engagement policy which assists in solving mutual strategic concerns. Congress may consider the implications of another Putin presidency, lagging democratization, and human rights abuses in Russia as it debates possible future foreign assistance and trade legislation and other aspects of U.S.-Russia relations.
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