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 Year: 2007
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Burma: Economic Sanctions

Burma: Economic Sanctions

Date: December 14, 2007
Creator: Niksch, Larry A. & Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation

Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation

Date: December 10, 2007
Creator: Haddal, Chad C.
Description: This report examines various issues pertaining to foreign students in the United States. Since the Immigration Act of 1924, the United States has expressly permitted foreign students to study in U.S. institutions. Most foreign students are at least 18 years old and are enrolled in higher education programs. Foreign students are generally considered to enrich cultural diversity of the educational experience for U.S. residents as well as enhance the reputation of U.S. universities as world-class institutions. Concerns have arisen in recent years that have caused Congress to take a new look at the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions that govern their admission.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Government Information In the United States

Access to Government Information In the United States

Date: December 5, 2007
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Kolakowski, Michael W.
Description: The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes — the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
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The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy

The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy

Date: November 30, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Description: This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate.
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Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature

Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature

Date: November 13, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Description: The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, as amended, requires that contractors, engaging in certain federal contract construction, pay workers on such projects not less than the locally prevailing wage for comparable work. In addition, such contractors are required to file payroll reports and to meet other administrative and labor standards requirements. Included in this report is a bibliography of published materials dealing with the Davis-Bacon Act and related issues.
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Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions

Date: November 9, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products. Used mainly by the Department of Defense (DOD) and related industries, perchlorate also occurs naturally and is present in some organic fertilizer.This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and recent developments.
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Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003

The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003

Date: October 31, 2007
Creator: Browne, Marjorie Ann
Description: On October 31, 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to recommend Senate advice and consent to U.S. adherence to the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement Relating to Implementation of Part XI of that Convention. This followed the statement by President Bush on May 15, 2007, urging “the Senate to act favorably on U.S. accession” to the Convention. CRS Issue Brief IB95010, The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy, serves as a basic CRS source for discussion of issues related to the United States and the Convention and Agreement, whereas this report focuses on events and issues that emerged since October 2003. It summarizes the committee’s proposed resolution of advice and consent in 2004 and presents some of the issues raised in support of and in opposition to U.S. adherence.
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Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight

Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight

Date: October 19, 2007
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the climate change issue as well as other Clean Air Act issues the 110th Congress may consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Journalists’ Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses

Journalists’ Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses

Date: September 28, 2007
Creator: Cohen, Henry & Ann Ruane, Kathleen
Description: This report examines laws pertaining to journalists' privilege. Most states afford journalists some protection from compelled release of their confidential sources. The question remains, however, as to whether a concomitant federal privilege exists. The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of journalists’ privilege under the First Amendment only once; in Branzburg v. Hayes, it left open the question of whether the First Amendment provides journalists with any privilege.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"

The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"

Date: September 27, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. L.; Baldwin, Pamela & Alexander, Kristina
Description: This report provides a context for evaluating legislative proposals through examples of how science has been used in selected cases, a discussion of the nature and role of science in general, and its role in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process in particular, together with general and agency information quality requirements and policies, and a review of how the courts have viewed agency use of science.
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Education for the Disadvantaged: Reauthorization Issues for ESEA Title I-A Under the No Child Left Behind Act

Education for the Disadvantaged: Reauthorization Issues for ESEA Title I-A Under the No Child Left Behind Act

Date: September 17, 2007
Creator: Riddle, Wayne C.
Description: This report provides an overview of aspects of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I-A that are likely to be the focus of substantial debate as the 110th Congress considers the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) reauthorization legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: September 10, 2007
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried and punished according to the laws on the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under some limited circumstances. The federal exceptions to the general rule usually involve crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, or crimes committed aboard a ship or airplane. State prosecution for overseas misconduct is limited almost exclusively to multijurisdictional crimes, i.e., crimes where some elements of the offense are committed within the state and others are committed abroad. The Constitution, Congress, and state law define the circumstances under which American criminal law may be used against crimes occurring, in whole or in part, outside the United States
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Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Date: August 30, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
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Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress

Date: August 23, 2007
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Description: This report reviews the history and trends of oil spills in the United States, and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Forestry in the 2007 Farm Bill

Forestry in the 2007 Farm Bill

Date: August 20, 2007
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report briefly describes the Agriculture Committees' jurisdiction over forestry, with examples of legislation addressed by the committees. It discusses forestry issues likely to be debated in the upcoming farm bill and presents information on the forestry provisions in the Administration's proposal for the 2007 farm bill, followed by the forestry provisions in the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Transportation Security: Issues for the 110th Congress

Transportation Security: Issues for the 110th Congress

Date: August 3, 2007
Creator: Peterman, David R.; Elias, Bart & Frittelli, John
Description: The focus of this report is how best to construct and finance a system of deterrence, protection, and response that effectively reduces the possibility and consequences of another terrorist attack without unduly interfering with travel, commerce, and civil liberties.
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Congress’s Contempt Power: A Sketch

Congress’s Contempt Power: A Sketch

Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Rosenberg, Morton & Tatelman, Todd B.
Description: This report outlines the source of the contempt power, reviews major developments in the case law, and analyzes the procedures associated with each of the three different types of contempt proceedings.
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Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Date: July 31, 2007
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: This is one part in the series of reports that provide a background and analysis, and most recent developments regarding broadband or high-speed Internet access. The report starts out by answering questions; what is broadband and why is it important? This report also discusses broadband technologies, the status of broadband deployment and the related policy issues, as well as the legislation in congress.
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Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: July 13, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Date: July 10, 2007
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?

Date: July 2, 2007
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: In view of the growing impact of hedge funds on a variety of financial markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2004 adopted a regulation that requires hedge funds to register as investment advisers, disclose basic information about their operations, and open their books for inspection. The regulation took effect in February 2006, but on June 23, 2006, a court challenge was upheld and the rule was vacated. S. 1402 and H.R. 2586 would reinstate the SEC's authority. H.R. 2683 would require defined benefit pension plans to disclose investments in hedge funds. In December 2006, the SEC proposed raising the "accredited investor" standard - to be permitted to invest in hedge funds, an investor would need $2.5 million in assets, instead of $1 million.
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Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Date: June 7, 2007
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Description: In 1996, Congress enacted comprehensive reform of the nation’s statutory and regulatory framework for telecommunications by passing the Telecommunications Act, which substantially amended the 1934 Communications Act. The general objective of the 1996 Act was to open up markets to competition by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers to entry. This report discusses the history of the law and examines current issues.
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Exporting Software and the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law: Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.

Exporting Software and the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law: Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.

Date: May 31, 2007
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: Generally speaking, United States patent law does not have extraterritorial effect. The exception, however, is § 271(f) of the Patent Act, which makes it an act of patent infringement to manufacture within the United States the components of a patented invention and then export those disassembled parts for combination abroad into an end product. This report discusses Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp. (550 U.S. ___ , No. 05-1056, decided April 30, 2007), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that software companies are not liable for patent infringement under § 271(f) when they export software that has been embodied in machine-readable, physical form (a CD-ROM, for example), with the intent that such software be copied abroad for installation onto foreign-manufactured computers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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