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 Year: 2011
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83857/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83856/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses Iraq's political system that is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition and formation of cross-sectarian alliances. However, ethnic and sectarian political and sometimes violent infighting continues, often involving the questionable use of key levers of power and legal institutions. This infighting-and the belief that holding political power may mean the difference between life and death for the various political communities-significantly delayed agreement on a new government that was to be selected following the March 7, 2010, national elections for the Council of Representatives (COR, parliament) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84122/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses Iraq's political system that is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition and formation of cross-sectarian alliances. However, ethnic and sectarian political and sometimes violent infighting continues, often involving the questionable use of key levers of power and legal institutions. This infighting-and the belief that holding political power may mean the difference between life and death for the various political communities-significantly delayed agreement on a new government that was to be selected following the March 7, 2010, national elections for the Council of Representatives (COR, parliament) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84121/
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122336/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses Iraq's political system that is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition and formation of cross-sectarian alliances. However, ethnic and sectarian political and sometimes violent infighting continues, often involving the questionable use of key levers of power and legal institutions. This infighting-and the belief that holding political power may mean the difference between life and death for the various political communities-significantly delayed agreement on a new government that was to be selected following the March 7, 2010, national elections for the Council of Representatives (COR, parliament) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40273/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
This report provides a brief overview of key legal issues related to recent insourcing initiatives. Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors previously performed on behalf of federal agencies. Among other things, the 109th through the 111th Congresses enacted several statutes requiring the development of policies and guidelines to ensure that agencies "consider" using government employees to perform functions previously performed by contractors, as well as any new function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83963/
Kim Jong-il's Death: Implications for North Korea's Stability and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the status of North Korea following the death of Kim Jong-il with an analysis of the stability of North Korea as well as a discussion of the implications and options for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93918/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors previously performed on behalf of federal agencies. Among other things, the 109th through the 111th Congresses enacted several statutes requiring the development of policies and guidelines to ensure that agencies "consider" using government employees to perform functions previously performed by contractors, as well as any new function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40153/
Judicial Discipline Process: An Overview
The first part of this report covers the process for handling complaints against federal judges and judicial discipline, which was enacted on November 2, 2002 as the Judicial Improvements Act of 2002. The second part of this report covers two impeachments during the 111th Congress, those of Judge Samuel B. Kent and Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99060/
State and Local Government Debt: An Analysis
This report examines state and local government debt. It provides an overview of state and local government finances and how these governments incorporate borrowing into their budget, reports data on state and local government debt and how that debt has changed over time, and discusses different economic perspectives on the use of debt by governments and if governments are intrinsically biased toward borrowing more than is considered economically optimal. Issues related to state and local government finances, such as government pensions and health benefits, are also addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99042/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
The Administration's FY2012 budget would zero-out certain national activities related to Community Service Block Grant (CSBG), including Rural Community Facilities and Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI). The budget requests $20 million for Community Economic Development (down from the FY2010 level of $36 million but more than the final FY2011 level of $18 million), and would target these funds toward the multiagency Healthy Food Financing Initiative. The Administration would fund Individual Development Accounts (IDAs, also known as Assets for Independence) at $24 million in FY2012, which is the same level as in FY2010 and FY2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84049/
National Security Letters: Proposals in the 112th Congress
This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103116/
State and Local Government Debt: An Analysis
This report first provides a broad overview of state and local government finances and how these governments incorporate borrowing into their budgets. The second section reports data on state and local government debt and how that debt has changed over time. This section includes a comparative analysis of these debt parameters for each state. The third section discusses different economic perspectives on the use of debt by governments and if governments are intrinsically biased toward borrowing more than is considered economically optimal. The discussion provides background for Congress as it deliberates potential changes in the oversight of the primary and secondary markets for state and local government debt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40128/
National Security Letters: Proposals in the 112th Congress
This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act (to which form they would be returned under S.1125 and H.R. 1805). NSLs are roughly comparable to administrative subpoenas. Various intelligence agencies use them to demand certain customer information from communications providers, financial institutions, and consumer credit reporting agencies under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the National Security Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96683/
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the early history of the negotiations to reunify Cyprus, a more detailed review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks. A side issue involving trade between the European Union and Turkish Cyprus is also addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97985/
Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present
This report provides roll call vote data identified by the Congressional Research Service for measures to adjust the statutory debt limit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40157/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America has intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. This report discusses the issue in relation to the U.S. State Department's April 2009 Country Report on Terrorism; Colombian President Hugo Chávez's sympathies with terrorist groups and lack of cooperation on antiterrorism efforts; growing U.S. concern over activities of terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay; and various legislative initiatives related to Latin American terrorism issues being considered by the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31487/
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which have long been ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. In particular, the report focuses on largely unsuccessful Ugandan efforts to resolve the conflict with the LRA, as well as talks with the U.S. under the Bush Administration and the recent suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40219/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Much of the debate over U.S. policy toward Iran has centered on the nature of the current regime; some believe that Iran, a country of about 70 million people, is a threat to U.S. interests because hardliners in Iran's regime dominate and set a policy direction intended to challenge U.S. influence and allies in the region. President George W. Bush, in his January 29, 2002, State of the Union message, labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea. This report discusses how the Obama Administration differs from the Bush Administration regarding strategy in Iran relations. This report also discusses the current political state of Iran, including incidents of violence and unrest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40188/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
The ongoing uprising in Libya against the government of Muammar al Qadhafi has been the subject of ongoing domestic and international debate about potential international military intervention, including the proposed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. This report discusses several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33028/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84117/
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which has long been ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. In particular, the report focuses on largely-unsuccessful Ugandan efforts to resolve the conflict with the LRA, as well as talks with the U.S. under the Bush Administration and the recent suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103201/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93810/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94197/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33097/
Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda
This report discusses the current political conditions of Uganda, which have long been ravaged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), an armed rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. In particular, the report focuses on largely unsuccessful Ugandan efforts to resolve the conflict with the LRA, as well as talks with the U.S. under the Bush Administration and the recent suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, in July 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33060/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions has been accomplished through a series of elections that began in 2005. However, disputes regarding various communities' claims on power and economic resources has contributed to popular frustration and continued political unrest. This report discusses these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40258/
Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace
This report discusses the political climate of Somalia, which has undergone extreme unrest for years. The report focuses on events since October 2002, including the formation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2007 and the TFG's cooperation with the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) in 2008. The report also discusses the U.S. relationship with Somalia under the Obama Administration, including U.S. economic assistance given to Somalia and U.S. efforts to contain Somalian terrorist groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40224/
Côte d'Ivoire Post-Gbagbo: Crisis Recovery
Côte d'Ivoire is emerging from a severe political crisis that followed a disputed November 28, 2010, presidential runoff election between former president Laurent Gbagbo and his, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. Both claimed electoral victory and formed opposing governments. Their rivalry spurred a full-scale civil military conflict in early March 2011, after months of growing political violence. The main conflict died down days after Gbagbo's arrest by pro-Ouattara forces, aided by United Nations (U.N.) and French peacekeepers, but limited residual fighting was continuing to occur as of April 20. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40261/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the establishment of no-fly zones and several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, including international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97997/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40066/
European Union Enlargement: A Status Report on Turkey's Accession Negotiations
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union's (EU) accession process and Turkey's path to EU membership. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33106/
Western Sahara
This report discusses how Morocco and the independence-seeking Popular Front for the Liberation of Saqiat al Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario) have been vying for control of the Western Sahara, a former Spanish territory, since the 1970s. The report discusses recent settlement attempts, as well as how the Western Sahara issue has affected Algerian-Moroccan bilaterial relations, Moroccan relations with the African Union, and regional cooperation on economic and security issues. The report also discusses the United States' involvement in and stance on the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33090/
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency
Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84006/
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
Attempts to resolve the Cyprus problem and reunify the island have undergone various levels of negotiation for over 45 years. Talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have thus far failed to reach a mutually agreed settlement leaving the country with a solution for unification far from being achieved and raising the specter of a possible permanent separation. This report provides a brief overview of the early history of the negotiations, a more detailed review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks. A side issue involving trade between the European Union and Turkish Cyprus is also addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93829/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
Iraq's political system is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition and formation of cross-sectarian alliances. However, ethnic and sectarian political and sometimes violent infighting continues, often involving the questionable use of key levers of power and legal institutions. This infighting-and the belief that holding political power may mean the difference between life and death for the various political communities-significantly delayed agreement on a new government that was to be selected following the March 7, 2010, national elections for the Council of Representatives (COR, parliament). With U.S. diplomatic help, on November 10, 2010, major ethnic and sectarian factions agreed on a framework for a new government, breaking the long deadlock. The agreement, under which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is serving a second term, was implemented when a broad-based cabinet was confirmed on December 21, 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40260/
Madagascar's Political Crisis
This report discusses the current situation in Madagascar and U.S. concerns about foreign aid spending, the countries unique ecosystem, and the country's political and developmental challenges. In March 2009, under pressure from mutinous soldiers and large crowds of protestors, President Ravalomanana fled the country; the military conferred state authority to Rajoelina, who has since held power under a self-declared transitional government. Following coups elsewhere in Africa in 2008, the African Union, the United States, and the European Union, among others, warned against an unconstitutional transfer of power on the island nation and have since suspended most foreign aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96667/
Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Set to Expire
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provides a statutory framework by which government agencies may, when gathering foreign intelligence investigation,1 obtain authorization to conduct electronic surveillance2 or physical searches,3 utilize pen registers and trap and trace devices,4 or access specified business records and other tangible things. Authorization for such activities is typically obtained via a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a specialized court created to act as a neutral judicial decision maker in the context of FISA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40068/
Northern Ireland: The Peace Process
For years, the British and Irish governments sought to facilitate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Northern Ireland. This report provides a brief overview of the continuing peace talks and efforts in Northern Ireland, including the deal reached in February 2010 between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The report also discusses the United States' active support of the Northern Ireland peace process, including the future of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31488/
Tanzania: Background and Current Conditions
This report discusses the current political climate in Tanzania, an important U.S. ally in Africa. The report also provides some general background information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31500/
Morocco: Current Issues
This report discusses the current political and foreign policy status of Morocco, especially with regard to its relationship with the United States and its struggles combating terrorism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31491/
Algeria: Current Issues
This report examines the current state of Algeria, including the country's associations with terrorism, despite steady decreases of domestic terrorism; the lessening in power of the Algerian military; and growing oil revenues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31490/
Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis
This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33101/
Côte d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis
This report discusses the contested November 28, 2010, presidential election runoff election in Côte d'Ivoire. Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, both continue to claim to have won the runoff and to exercise exclusive national executive authority, and to attempt to consolidate their control over state institutions. An increase in armed conflicts in late February 2011, among other indicators, signals the possible outbreak of a renewed civil war. This report discusses these events, as well as U.S. and international efforts to support a peaceful transition in Côte d'Ivoire, which has remained largely divided since the civil war that began in 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33102/
Political Transition in Tunisia
This report discusses Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution," the common term for President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's flight from the country following weeks of mounting anti-government protests. This report discusses how the Jasmine Revolution appears to have added momentum to anti-government sentiment in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other countries. This report discusses Tunisia's pro-democracy movement; concerns over potential instability in a previously secure, pro-Western area; and U.S.-Tunisian relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33095/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its current relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33056/
Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba, as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba, including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31479/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai, to address corruption within the Afghan government, as well as a discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99124/
Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations, including issues such as: political change in Yemeni leadership; ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives at large in Yemen's hinterlands; and international efforts to bolster the country's stability despite an array of daunting socio-economic problems. Congress and U.S. policymakers may be concerned with prospects for stabilizing Yemen and establishing strong bilateral relations with future Yemeni leaders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99111/
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