Congressional Research Service Reports - 908 Matching Results

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Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

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.
Date: March 26, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The European Parliament

Description: The European Parliament (EP) is one of the three key institutions of the European Union (EU), and the only EU institution whose members are directly elected. This report discusses the construction and history of the EP, its role in functions of the EU as well as internationally, various international supports and criticisms of the EP, and the EP's ties with the U.S. Congress.
Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Archick, Kristin & Mix, Derek E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: There appears to be a growing international consensus to adopt progressively strict economic sanctions against Iran to try to compel it to compromise on its further nuclear development. The U.S. view - increasingly shared by major allies-is that sanctions should target Iran's energy sector, which provides about 80% of government revenues, and try to isolate Iran from the international financial system. U.S. efforts to curb international energy investment in Iran's energy sector began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA has been expanded significantly in 2010. This report discusses said expansions, provides background on the ISA, and explores how this Act has affected
Date: October 7, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

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.
Date: November 9, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Climate Change: A Negotiations Side-by-Side

Description: This report discusses various cooperative international efforts to address the issue of global climate change. The two major international agreements discussed in a side-by-side comparison are the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2010 Copenhagen Accord. The report discusses how many observers are hoping that initiatives carried out under the Copenhagen Accord may help bridge divides between the various tracks and economic groupings established under the Kyoto Protocol.
Date: November 18, 2010
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa & Lawson, Marian Leonardo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO): An Overview

Description: This report describes the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), which is the World Trade Organization's (WTO) means of resolving disputes arising under WTO agreements. The report includes criticisms of certain flaws in the DSU, as well as WTO Members' suggestions for improvement. The report also describes the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which represents the United States in WTO disputes. Also discussed are pieces of legislation that dictate procedures for specifically the United States in instances of WTO disputes.
Date: November 2, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Description: This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP.
Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Vaughn, Bruce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

Description: This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores the policy options available to Congress and will be updated as the congressional debate unfolds.
Date: November 4, 2010
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F. & Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Description: 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 111th Congress.
Date: October 26, 2010
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement

Description: Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades, resulting in catastrophic civilian casualties and displacements. This report discusses the history of Sudan's civil unrest and the subsequent crisis in Darfur, as well as United Nations and United States aid and peacekeeping efforts and current related policy under the Obama Administration.
Date: October 8, 2010
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Uganda: Current Conditions and the Crisis in North Uganda

Description: 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.
Date: October 6, 2010
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

Description: The Senate may consider providing its advice and consent to U.S. ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, or the Convention) during the 112th Congress. CEDAW is the only international human rights treaty that specifically addresses the rights of women. This report provides an overview of CEDAW's background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
Date: November 12, 2010
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications

Description: This report is designed to assist Members of Congress as they consider the costs and benefits of the U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA.) It examines the provisions of the KORUS FTA in the context of the overall U.S.-South Korean economic relationship, U.S. objectives, and South Korean objectives.
Date: November 12, 2010
Creator: Cooper, William H.; Manyin, Mark E.; Jurenas, Remy & Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq

Description: The Kurdish-inhabited region of northern Iraq is relatively peaceful and prospering economically, but the Iraqi Kurds' political autonomy and political strength in post- Saddam Iraq is causing friction with Arab leaders in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. However, an overall reduction in violence in Iraq, coupled with continued U.S. political influence over the Kurds, is likely to prevent a destabilizing escalation of the Iraqi Kurd-Arab disputes. Also see CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security, by Kenneth Katzman.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Piracy: A Legal Definition

Description: Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651 requires a robbery at sea.
Date: October 19, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proliferation Control Regimes: Background and Status

Description: This report provides background and current status information on multilateral regimes established to restrict trade in nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missile technologies, and to monitor their civil applications. Congress may consider the efficacy of these regimes in considering the potential renewal of the Export Administration Act, as well as other proliferation-specific legislation in the 111th Congress.
Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth; Kerr, Paul K. & Hildreth, Steven A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community

Description: Maintaining the security of U.S. borders is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. This report discusses the contribution of intelligence agencies to the border security efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that work in cooperation with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Much of the intelligence community's border security-related efforts are classified, however.
Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

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.
Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Randol, Mark A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department