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Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance

Description: 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. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan.
Date: January 20, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Algeria: Current Issues

Description: This report focuses on current political issues, as well as Algeria's economy, its foreign policy, and U.S.-Algeria relations. Key issues include reform efforts initiated after anti-government demonstrations in early 2011 and amid the regional tumult of the "Arab Spring"; terrorism and related security issues; human rights; national reconciliation following the "dark decade" of the 1990s Islamist insurgency; and activism in ethnic Berber areas.
Date: January 18, 2012
Creator: Arieff, Alexis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Description: Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers—especially economics—currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. The 112th Congress has debated alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles directly and as it has addressed other key topics. On June 16, 2011 the Senate approved S.Amdt. 476 which would have eliminated the excise tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline before its December 31, 2011 expiration date. Although the underlying legislation failed a cloture vote in the Senate, the amendment was approved 73-27. The prospects for further action increasing or extending biofuels and alternative fuels tax incentives may be limited in light of that vote.
Date: January 19, 2012
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Description: Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ATPA Renewal: Background and Issues

Description: The Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) extends special duty treatment to certain U.S. imports from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru that meet domestic content and other requirements. The purpose of ATPA is to promote economic growth in the Andean region and to encourage a shift away from dependence on illegal drugs by supporting legitimate economic activities. This report outlines the various aspects of the ATPA, including significant dates and modifications.
Date: January 9, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Australia: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report gives an overview of the relationship between the Commonwealth of Australia and the United States including the close alliance under the ANZUS treaty. The report includes information about the structure of the Australian government, political and domestic issues, economics, defense policies and security ties, counterterrorism, environmentalism, affairs in Asia and the Pacific Southwest, and an analysis of other specific events.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Vaughn, Bruce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Description: This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date.
Date: January 11, 2012
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Description: Background of birthright citizenship to alien parents in the U.S. The report ends with a detail of amendments in the 112th Congress that would amend the Constitution to exclude from citizenship at birth persons born in the United States whose parents are unlawfully present in the United States or are non-immigrant aliens.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Building Civilian Interagency Capacity for Missions Abroad: Key Proposals and Issues for Congress

Description: This report draws on over three dozen studies with recommendations to improve the current national security system. The studies surveyed include three prepared by the Project on National Security Reform, with comprehensive recommendations, four prepared or co-sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and two by RAND in conjunction with the American Academy of Diplomats, as well as reports by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Defense Science Board, the National Defense University, and others. This report draws from these studies, as well as a few articles, for recommendations to improve strategy-making, planning, and budgeting; to improve institutional authorities, structures and arrangements; and, to create interagency personnel policies and mechanisms.
Date: January 23, 2012
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.; Dale, Catherine & Towell, Pat
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: U.S. policy toward the Central Asian states has aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Other U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets, democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of East-West and Central Asia-South Asia trade links. Such policies aim to help the states become what various U.S. administrations have considered to be responsible members of the international community rather than to degenerate into xenophobic, extremist, and anti-Western regimes that contribute to wider regional conflict and instability
Date: January 3, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 112th Congress

Description: This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration. Finally, legislation in the 112th Congress is discussed.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department