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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations

A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations

Date: January 7, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Description: The Copenhagen conference in December 2009 achieved only mandates to continue negotiating toward the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Mexico City in December 2010. As a background to these proceedings, this document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy deliberations to address climate change from 1979-2009. Negotiations underway since 2007 have run on two tracks, the Kyoto Protocol the Convention under the Bali Action Plan. Many in the U.S. Congress are concerned with the goals and obligations that a treaty or other form of agreement might embody. For U.S. legislators, additional issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures, and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements, with a view toward potential Senate ratification of the agreement and federal legislation to assure that U.S. commitments are met.
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Extradition To and From the United States: Overview of the Law and Recent Treaties

Extradition To and From the United States: Overview of the Law and Recent Treaties

Date: March 17, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Doyle, Charles
Description: "Extradition" is the formal surrender of a person by a State to another State for prosecution or punishment. Extradition to or from the United States is a creature of treaty. The United States has extradition treaties with over a hundred of the nations of the world. International terrorism and drug trafficking have made extradition an increasingly important law enforcement tool. This is a brief overview of federal law in the area and of the adjustments in recent treaties to make them more responsive to American law enforcement interests.
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Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: March 26, 2010
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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U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends and Policy Issues

U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends and Policy Issues

Date: June 25, 2010
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: Trade is one of the more enduring issues in contemporary U.S.-Latin America relations. Latin America is far from the largest U.S. regional trade partner, but historically is the fastest growing one. The United States has implemented comprehensive reciprocal trade agreements with most of its important trade partners in Latin America. Agreements with Panama and Colombia have been signed but not implemented, pending congressional action. Countries south of the Caribbean Basin have been reluctant to enter into such a deal because it does not meet their primary negotiation objectives. This report looks at the status, implications, and alternatives to current free trade agreements in the region.
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Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties

Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties

Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Description: U.S. trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization agreements, and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have been approved by majority vote of each house rather than by two-thirds vote of the Senate - that is, they have been treated as congressional-executive agreements rather than as treaties. The congressional-executive agreement has been the vehicle for implementing Congress's long-standing policy of seeking trade benefits for the United States through reciprocal trade negotiations. This report discusses this topic in brief.
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U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: The United States and Russia signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement on May 6, 2008. President Bush submitted the agreement to Congress on May 13. This report discusses key policy issues related to that agreement, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation and Russia's policies toward Iran.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Randol, Mark A.
Description: Between May 2009 and August 2010, arrests were made for 19 "homegrown," jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. The apparent spike in such activity after May 2009 suggests that at least some Americans - even if a tiny minority - continue to be susceptible to ideologies supporting a violent form of jihad. This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. This report also provides official definitions for terms such as "homegrown," "jihadist," and "violent jihadist." The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism, describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
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The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting

The Millennium Development Goals: The September 2010 U.N. High-level Meeting

Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa & Lawson, Marian Leonardo
Description: This report discusses overarching trends in Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and lessons learned from previous and ongoing efforts to achieve them. The MDGs are a group of measurable development targets agreed to by 189 U.N. member states - including the United States - as part of the 2000 Millennium Declaration. The MDGs cover a number of issues, such as eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV/AIDS, and promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. This report examines U.S. policy toward the MDGs and how, if at all, the Goals fit into U.S. development and foreign assistance policy. It also examines different schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of the Goals, their role in international development, and their long-term sustainability. This report addresses the MDGs as a whole; it does not assess or analyze issues pertaining to the individual Goals.
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Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Foreign Officials

Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Foreign Officials

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: On June 1, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously in Samantar v. Yousef that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which governs the immunity of foreign states in U.S. courts, does not apply in suits against foreign officials. This report provides an overview of the FSIA, followed by a consideration of the remaining options for foreign officials who seek immunity from lawsuits, as well as some of the questions that may emerge from each option. The report also addresses legislation that would affect the immunity of foreign officials, including S. 2930.
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North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions

North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions

Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E.
Description: This report discusses the economic sanctions the United States imposes on North Korea for activities related to weapons proliferation, destabilizing the region, anti-terrorism, and undemocratic governance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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