Congressional Research Service Reports - 2,418 Matching Results

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Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the threat of organized crime against the United States, most notably organized crime from criminal organizations in Russia, Asia, Italy, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa. The report explores the issue of organized crime in relation to the economic downturn and national security, namely terrorism. The report also discusses how Congress is currently working to address these issues and includes information on relevant pieces of legislation.
Date: May 15, 2009
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

Description: This report provides background on ICC investigations in Africa and gives an overview of cases currently before the Court. The report also examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the ICC's possible role in deterring future abuses and the potential impact of international criminal prosecutions on peace processes, ongoing in many countries on the continent.
Date: May 18, 2009
Creator: Arieff, Alexis & Margesson, Rhoda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Madagascar's 2009 Political Crisis

Description: This report discusses political tensions on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar between President Marc Ravalomanana and Andry Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital city, which escalated in early 2009, culminating in the President's forced removal from office.
Date: May 18, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Political Turmoil in Thailand and U.S. Interests

Description: This report examines the Thai government's performance, the role of the military, deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's impact on the situation, and the royal family's influence. It assesses the prospects for more elections, the degree of control exercised by the army over the civilian government, Thaksin's activities and possible future in Bangkok, and the role of the palace in current Thai politics.
Date: May 26, 2009
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues

Description: The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a trilateral initiative that was launched in March 2005 for the purpose of increasing and enhancing security and prosperity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This initiative promoted communication and cooperation across several key policy areas of mutual interest, such as improving certain sectors of the economy, developing higher health and safety standards, and addressing environmental concerns. This report describes this initiative in brief detail, including summaries of several SPP-related meetings between the three countries' leaders.
Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles & Lake, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives After 15 Years: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives' (OTI's) origin, its past and present activities, and issues about the program's impact, structure, and role within USAID that may be of interest to Congress. OTI's activities are overtly political, based on the idea that in the midst of political crisis and instability abroad there are local agents of change whose efforts, when supported by timely and creative U.S. assistance, can tip the balance toward peaceful and democratic outcomes that advance U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Lawson, Marian L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines: International Trade Issues

Description: This report focuses on the relationship between intellectual property right (IPR) provisions in international and U.S. trade policy and access to medicines. This issue represents one component of a broader debate about the relationship between trade policy and public health.
Date: May 28, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: On March 15, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution replacing the Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council (the Council). The Council was designed to be an improvement over the Commission, which was widely criticized for the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. This report discusses the history of the Council, the previous participation of the Bush Administration, the current participation of the Obama Administration, and ongoing international and Congressional concerns of the credibility and effectiveness of the Council.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Costa Rica: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: Costa Rica is a relatively politically stable and economically developed nation with a long tradition of civilian democracy. Once a predominantly agricultural nation, Costa Rica has established a diversified economy with a strong export sector. This report examines recent political and economic developments in Costa Rica as well as issues in U.S.-Costa Rica relations.
Date: June 2, 2009
Creator: Meyer, Peter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Description: This report discusses Iraq's political system, which has been restructured through a U.S.-supported election process. The Iraqi government is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition rather than violence, but sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting still remain. This report discusses issues relating to opponents of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and also discusses the atmosphere of nationwide provincial elections. The report also addresses the Obama Administration's plan to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Iraq by August 2010 and briefly addresses the Iranian influence in Iraq.
Date: June 2, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)

Description: This report discusses the increasing international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program and how that pressure discourages foreign firms from investing in Iran's energy sector, hindering Iran's efforts to expand oil production. This report discusses the history and progress of the formal U.S. effort to curb energy investment in Iran, which began with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) in 1996. This report also discusses U.S. concerns that other nations, e.g., U.S. allies, Russia, and China, are not as strict with their economic sanctions against Iran, and how U.S. policymakers are combating this reticence with various pieces of legislation.
Date: June 4, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Government Formation and Performance

Description: This report discusses the current Afghan government, which is rife with corruption and very limited in power, hence the continued presence of the Taliban and general worldwide pessimism about Afghanistan stabilization efforts. This report addresses issues such as ethnic diputes, President Hamid Karzai's re-election bid for August 2009, and the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship in particular. The Obama Administration is currently promoting, among other Afghanistan stabilization efforts, a "civilian surge" of additional U.S. personnel to Afghanistan.
Date: June 5, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses issues related to peace in the Middle East, including post-Gulf War negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; U.S. interest in these and continuing negotiations and peacetalks between Middle Eastern countries; and the role of the U.S., the U.N., the European Union, and Russia in Middle Eastern relations.
Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Global Peace Operations Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report describes in detail the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI), the centerpiece of the Bush Administration's efforts to prepare foreign security forces to participate in international peacekeeping operations. This report lists the funding and allocations set aside for GPOI, as well as the function of GPOI and its future.
Date: June 11, 2009
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights -- major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Fischer, Hannah
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 the 111th 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. The report will be updated as events warrant.
Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Cooper, William H.; Manyin, Mark E.; Jurenas, Remy & Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Description: Multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces abroad are commonly referred to as Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). SOFAs establish the framework under which military personnel operate in a foreign country. The United States is currently party to more than 100 agreements that may be considered SOFAs. A list of current agreements included at the end of this report is categorized in tables according to the underlying source of authority, if any, for each of the SOFAs.
Date: June 18, 2009
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Instability in Chad

Description: The political and security situation in Chad remains volatile. Ethnic clashes, banditry, and fighting between government forces and rebel groups, both Chadian and Sudanese, have contributed to a fragile security situation in the east. The instability has forced many into exile from their homes due to ongoing violence. The presence of the displaced in refugee camps contributes to the escalated tension in the area. This report discusses these issues, as well as joint efforts between the United Nations and the European Union to deploy aid and improve regional security.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Description: The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) was agreed to in 1982, but the United States never became a signatory nation. In the 111th Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on January 13, 2009, acknowledged that U.S. accession to the LOS Convention would be an Obama Administration priority. This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy.
Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment

Description: This report first outlines the statutes authorizing certain federal officers to conduct warrantless searches. It then addresses the scope of the government's constitutional authority to search and seize persons and property at the border. It also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally required for each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. Finally, this report lists several bills before the 111th Congress that address border searches. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional "border searches."
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Kim, Yule
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power

Description: After several decades of widespread stagnation, nuclear power is attracting renewed interest. Expanding global access to nuclear power has the potential to lead to the spread of nuclear technology that could be used for nuclear weapons. This report discusses the issue of nuclear power with regard to nuclear weapons nonproliferation policies, the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) begun under the Bush Administration, the future of the GNEP under the Obama Administration, and four areas of oversight in which Congress will have a considerable role.
Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth; Andrews, Anthony & Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea: Terrorism List Removal

Description: The issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea demanded that the Clinton and Bush Administration remove North Korea from the terrorism support list. Secretary of State Clinton said on June 7, 2009, that the Obama Administration would consider reinstating North Korea on the list of state supporters of terrorism. However, she said that there would have to be "recent evidence of their support for international terrorism."
Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: Niksch, Larry A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea's Second Nuclear Test: Implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874

Description: The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Res. 1874 on June 12, 2009, in response to North Korea's second nuclear test. The resolution puts in place a series of sanctions on North Korea's arms sales, luxury goods, and financial transactions related to its weapons programs, and calls upon states to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying such shipments. This report summarizes and analyzes Res. 1874.
Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth; Manyin, Mark E.; Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Nanto, Dick K. & Niksch, Larry A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department