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China and Falun Gong
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
China and "Falun Gong"
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
This report details the total cost of counterterrorism operations in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. This report also includes descriptions of relevant budgetary legislation.
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
This report details the total cost of counterterrorism operations in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. This report also includes descriptions of relevant budgetary legislation.
DR-CAFTA: Regional Issues
On August 5, 2004, the United States signed the U.S- Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic. DR-CAFTA could have a significant effect on U.S. relations with the region, primarily by establishing a permanent and reciprocal trade preference arrangement among the signatory countries. DR-CAFTA must now be ratified by each country’s legislature and approved by the U.S. Congress before taking effect.
IMF Reform and the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission
No Description Available.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures
Since October 2001, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) have been responsible for many of the more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq, and 178 combat deaths in Afghanistan. IEDs are hidden behind signs and guardrails, under roadside debris, or inside animal carcasses, and encounters with these bombs are becoming more numerous and deadly in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to counter IEDs have proven only marginally effective, and U.S. forces continue to be exposed to the threat at military checkpoints, or whenever on patrol. IEDs are increasingly being used in Afghanistan, and DOD reportedly is concerned that they might eventually be more widely used by other insurgents and terrorists worldwide.
Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq: Effects and Countermeasures
No Description Available.
U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement
No Description Available.
U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement
No Description Available.
The World Trade Organization: The Hong Kong Ministerial
The World Trade Organization (WTO) held its 6th Ministerial summit in Hong Kong from December 13-18, 2005. WTO Ministerials are held every two years to bring together trade ministers from member states, often to make political decisions for the body. Although an original goal of the Ministerial was to agree on a package of modalities (methods by which the round is negotiated) for the ongoing Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round of trade negotiations, this aim was dropped in order to avoid a high-profile failure similar to previous Ministerials at Cancun and Seattle. Rather, members agreed to some modest advancements in agriculture, industrial tariffs, and duty and quota-free access for least developed countries. The final outcome of these negotiations could provide a substantial boost to the world economy, but if the round itself is not completed, there may be repercussions for the WTO as an institution and for the architecture of the world trading system.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report discusses the recently finalized Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that attempts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes, in exchange for a broad suspension of U.S., European Union (EU), and United Nations sanctions.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Immigration Enforcement within the United States
This report provides an analysis of immigration enforcement within the United States. The report opens with a definition of immigration enforcement, a discussion of the statutory authority to conduct immigration enforcement, and an overview of immigration enforcement related legislation since 1986. It follows with an exposition on the dichotomy of interior and border enforcement. The report then details different aspects of immigration enforcement in the United States including detention and removal, alien smuggling and trafficking, document and benefit fraud, worksite enforcement, inspections at ports of entry, and patrolling the border between ports of entry. The report continues with a discussion of the role of state and local law enforcement in the enforcement of immigration laws. The report then presents a comparative analysis of the resources devoted to divergent immigration enforcement activities. It concludes with a discussion of crosscutting immigration enforcement issues related to the structure of the Department of Homeland Security.
The International Space Station and the Iran Nonproliferation Act (INA): The Bush Administration's Proposed INA Amendment
The Iran Nonproliferation Act (P.L. 106-178), as originally enacted, prohibited the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from purchasing Russian goods and services for the U.S.-led International Space Station (ISS) unless the President certified that Russia was not proliferating certain technologies to Iran. On July 12, 2005, the Bush Administration submitted to Congress an amendment to allow NASA to purchase goods and services from Russia to support the ISS. That presented a classic policy dilemma. Without access to Russian spacecraft, the U.S. use of the ISS could be extremely limited. Yet Russian entities were continuing proliferation activities relating to missile proliferation according to the Department of State. This report explains the Bush Administration proposal and resulting congressional action.
Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
The focus of this report is on proposed amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to a Nuclear Agreement with Iran: In Brief
This report provides, in brief, analysis of the congressional procedural provisions laid out in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-17). The act establishes a period for Congress to review any comprehensive agreement, during which certain presidential actions to provide relief from sanctions on Iran are barred.
Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report provides background information and recent developments in Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia. The report discusses renewed conflict in South Ossetia, implications for Georgia and Russia, and international and U.S. responses.
Turkey: Selected Foreign Policy Issues and U.S. Views
This report focuses on the foreign policy of Turkey, a long-time valued U.S. NATO ally, and examines the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) recalculation of the country's approach to foreign affairs and its possible effects on relations with the United States. This report surveys Turkish foreign policy issues that are of critical interest to U.S. officials and Members of Congress.
Stability in Russia's Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments
This report provides background information on terrorist attacks in Russia's North Caucasus that includes the formerly breakaway Chechnya and other ethnic-based regions, which appeared to increase substantially in 2007-2009. The report discusses impacts of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict and the recent development in the Northern Caucasus.
The North Korean Economy: Leverage and Policy Analysis
This report provides an overview of the North Korean economy, its external economic relations, reforms, and U.S. policy options.
Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with Russia: Statutory Procedures for Congressional Consideration and Their Implementation
This report sketches the procedures prescribed by the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) for congressional action in relation to nuclear cooperation agreements, then summarizes legislative proceedings occurring in relation to the proposed agreement with Russia, beginning with its recent submission. It also addresses several questions regarding the implementation and intent of these statutory requirements related to the proposed agreement with the Russian Federation. Special attention is given to the definition of "days of continuous session" and possible implications of this definition depending on whether or not the requisite period ends before the end of the 110th Congress.
U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
This report discusses renewal of the peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC). It focuses on congressional roles in crafting and carrying out the agreement. Such agreements are subject to Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended (AEA, P.L. 95-242, 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) and commonly are called "123 agreements."
Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report provides background information and recent developments in the Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia.
Iran Nuclear Agreement: Selected Issues for Congress
This report addresses some of the many issues raised by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including: those related to monitoring and enforcing the Iran Nuclear Agreement itself, how the sanctions relief provided by the agreement would affect Iran's regional and domestic policies, the implications for regional security, and the potential for the agreement to change the course of U.S.-Iran relations.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
This report discusses the recent controversy that has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Congress recently approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees. The Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109- 148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163) contain identical provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions, added to the defense appropriations and authorization bills via amendments introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as “the McCain amendment.” This report discusses the McCain amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program. They have finalized a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA) that attempts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes, in exchange for a broad suspension of U.S. sanctions and a lifting of those sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations. This report discusses the agreement and implications for U.S.-Iran relations.
Reestablishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba
This report discusses the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba and to reopen embassies in their respective capitals (announced July 1, 2015). It briefly describes the U.S.'s new policy approach towards Cuba and the congressional response to the changes.
India-U.S. Relations
This report discusses on relations between the United States and India, a relationship deepened in the Clinton and G. W. Bush Administrations. The report talks about the continuing U.S. interest in South Asia with a focus on ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, human rights issues, caste-based discrimination, and India's economic expansion.
South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations
This report looks at the relationship between the United States and South Africa. Topics include: foreign policy issues; health (in particular HIV/AIDS) reform; economics and electricity shortages; and corruption in South African politics.
Glass-Steagall Act: Commercial vs. Investment Banking
This report discusses debate over reform of the Nation's financial structure in the 100th Congress includes re-examination of "the separation of banking and commerce." This separation was mandated by the Glass-Steagall Act (part of the Banking Act of 1933); and was carried forward into the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended in 1970 and thereafter. The resulting isolation of banking from securities was designed to (1) maintain the integrity of the banking system; (2) prevent self-dealing and other financial abuses; and (3) limit stock market speculation. By half a century later, the "wall" it created seemed to be crumbling, as bankers created new financial products resembling securities, and securities firms innovated new financial products resembling loans and deposits. The ongoing process of "financial deregulation" has evoked calls for Congress to give depository institutions new powers, especially in the securities field. Financial deregulation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan has put additional pressure on Congress to re-examine this Act. Concerns over a seemingly fragile system of depository institutions persist, however, tending to place counter-pressure on Congress to maintain the Act.
Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy
Following a review of such broad policy issues, this report treats specific human rights issues of current interest. Discussions of controversy over the selection of an Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and of human rights policy at the international financial institutions are followed by reviews of U.S. human rights policy toward Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, South Africa, and the Soviet Union.
The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response
This report discusses the background and history of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the U.S.'s response. The LRA is a small armed group that originated in northern Uganda in 1987 and is currently operating in remote border areas between the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Sudan. The LRA's actions--which include massacres, abductions (notoriously of children), sexual assault, and looting--have caused humanitarian suffering and instability.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping
This report discusses the outcome of the 2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping, which might elevate ongoing congressional interest in several policy issues related to U.N. peacekeeping.
Stability in Russia's Chechnya and Other Regions of the North Caucasus: Recent Developments
This report provides background information on terrorist attacks in Russia's North Caucasus, which appeared to increase substantially in 2007-2009. The report discusses impact of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict and the recent development in the Northern Caucasus.
Turkey: Update on Crisis of Identity and Power
This report discusses the current political situation in Turkey and its relations with Untied States.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the INF Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance with the treaty and concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns with Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
International Climate Change Negotiations: What to Expect in Paris, December 2015
This report identifies critical issues regarding the expected Paris Agreement and a Decision that would give effect to the Agreement. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) draws on the draft negotiating texts, publicly available reports, and commentaries to suggest likely outcomes.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. A final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report discusses the recently finalized Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that attempts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes, in exchange for a broad suspension of U.S. sanctions and a lifting of those sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations.
South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations
This report discusses political, social, and economic issues in South Africa, as well as the country's relationship to the United States.
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdiction and to criminalize all acts of torture.
Nigeria
This report discusses the current political climate of Nigeria and the resulting issues for Congress. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, with an estimated 146 million people, is one of the United States government's key strategic partners on the continent.
Russia-Georgia Conflict in August 2008: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report provides background information and recent developments in Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia. The report discusses renewed conflict in South Ossetia, implications for Georgia and Russia, and international and U.S. responses.
South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations
This report looks at the relationship between the United States and South Africa. Topics include: foreign policy issues; health (in particular HIV/AIDS) reform; economics and electricity shortages; and corruption in South African politics.
The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq
This report provides a brief overview of the major issues facing the Iraqi Kurds. The Iraqi Kurds' political autonomy, demands, and ambitions are causing friction with Christian and other minorities in the north, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other Arab leaders of Iraq, neighboring Turkey, and Iran. The U.S. ability to keep these tensions contained could wane as U.S. forces, as planned, draw down from Iraq over the next three years.
Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights and State Sovereign Immunity
This report discusses the Eleventh Amendment and the concept of state sovereign immunity. Although the amendment appears to be focused on preventing suits against a state by non-residents in federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the concept of state sovereign immunity to reach much further than the literal text of the amendment, to include immunity from suits by the states' own citizens and immunity from suits under federal law within a state's own court system.
Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report tracks developments in U.S. policy toward Cuba and legislative initiatives in the 111th Congress.