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Palestinians and Middle East Peace: Issues for the United States
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Palestinians and Middle East Peace: Issues for the United States
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"Terrorism" and Related Terms in Statute and Regulation: Selected Language
Congress is considering revised definitions of “terrorism” and related terms in the context of the proposed “Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001.” While the proposed definitions relate to criminal law and immigration law, hundreds of other federal statutes and regulations already define “terrorism” and related terms in a variety of other contexts. However, these statutes and regulations ultimately refer to an extremely small set of statutory definitions, current criminal law and immigration definitions being among them. This report provides the current text of these fundamental definitions. The report will be updated as action on new antiterrorism law proceeds.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings in Vladivostok, Russia: A Preview
Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) week-long series of senior-level meetings in Vladivostok on September 2-9, 2012. The main event for the week will be the 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held September 8-9, 2012. This report looks at the main points of this meeting as they relate to the U.S.
Burma Holds Peace Conference
This report discusses the Burma Peace conference that could be a step toward ending Burma's six-decade long, low-grade civil war and establishing a process eventually leading to reconciliation and possibly the formation of a democratic federated state.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Policy: In Brief
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider.
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Results of the 2012 Elections
This report looks at the state of Hong Kong politics after the 2012 elections. It covers three key reasons why Congress may consider appropriating funds to foster the development of civil society and democratic practices in Hong Kong: [1] it is U.S. policy to support democracy in Hong Kong, [2] the conduct of the 2012 elections may be indicators of support for democratic reforms, and [3] there is a possibility that democracy in Hong Kong could lead to democratic reforms in Mainland China.
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: The 2017 Election Reforms
This report discusses the current state of democracy in Hong Kong leading up to elections in 2017. The democratization of Hong Kong not only has implications for U.S. relations with Hong Kong, but also for U.S. relations with China and the political development of Taiwan and cross-Strait relations.
U.S. Sanctions on Burma
Existing U.S. sanctions on Burma are based on various U.S. laws and Presidential Executive Orders. This report provides a brief history of U.S. policy towards Burma and the development of U.S. sanctions, a topical summary of those sanctions, and an examination of additional sanctions that have been considered, but not enacted, by Congress, or that could be imposed under existing law or executive orders. The report concludes with a discussion of options for Congress.
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the economic relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. that resumed in the 1990s. Of particular interest to Congress is that both nations may soon be members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TTP).
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the economic relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. that resumed in the 1990s. Of particular interest to Congress is that both nations may soon be members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TTP).
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report examines the bilateral trade issues between United States and Vietnam, discussing their main elements and exploring their potential implications for the 113th Congress.
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report examines the bilateral trade issues between United States and Vietnam, discussing their main elements and exploring their potential implications for the 114th Congress.
What's the Difference?--Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data
This report discusses the size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China, which continues to be an important issue in bilateral trade relations.
What's the Difference?--Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data
This report discusses the size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China that continues to be an important issue in bilateral trade relations.
The Rohingya Crises in Bangladesh and Burma
This report discusses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Burma and Bangladesh and proposed legislation in Congress regarding restrictions on Burmese military officials, trade, and humanitarian assistance. A brief background on the Rohingya people group, repressive policies by the Burmese government, current conditions in Burma and Bangladesh, risks of radicalization, human rights violations, and attempts by the U.N. and others to resolve the conflict are included in the report.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
The deadly attacks on Afghan civilians allegedly by a U.S. service member have raised questions regarding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in place between the United States and Afghanistan that would govern whether Afghan law would apply in this circumstance. In the case of Afghanistan, the SOFA, in force since 2003, provides that U.S. Department of Defense military and civilian personnel are to be accorded status equivalent to that of U.S. Embassy administrative and technical staff under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961. Accordingly, U.S. personnel are immune from criminal prosecution by Afghan authorities and are immune from civil and administrative jurisdiction except with respect to acts performed outside the course of their duties. Under the existing SOFA, the United States would have jurisdiction over the prosecution of the service member who allegedly attacked the Afghan civilians.
U.S.-Iraw Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.
U.S.-Iraw Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.
U.S.-Iraw Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.
U.S.-Iraw Withdrawal/Status of Forces Agreement: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report begins by discussing the historical legal framework governing U.S. military operations in Iraq. The report then provides a general background as to the contents of agreements traditionally considered Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). Finally, the report discusses specific aspects of the SOFA, highlighting issues that may require continued congressional oversight.
Piracy: A Legal Definition
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 developments in two trials involving charges of piracy in the federal district court in Norfolk, VA, United States v. Said and United States v. Hasan, specifically focusing on how the courts interpreted the definition of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651.
Piracy: A Legal Definition
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.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
This report discusses the provisions of multilateral and bilateral agreements addressing the status of U.S. armed forces abroad, which are commonly referred to as Status of Force Agreements (SOFA), and provides a survey of current SOFAs.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
Report concerning multilateral and bilateral Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). Topics include the common traits of SOFAs, historical examples, and current examples.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
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.
Selected International Depreciation Rates by Asset and Country
The depreciation provisions in the U.S. tax system are of recurring interest to Congress. More than 100 bills were introduced in the 109th Congress that addressed some aspect of depreciation. Concerns about the U.S. depreciation system tend to begin with the criticism that updates to the system have not kept pace with technological advancements of the assets for which it is utilized to account. This report provides information on the depreciation systems of selected European Union countries (France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom) by presenting depreciation rates for buildings; computers; expensable assets; motor vehicles; patents; plant, equipment, machinery, and tools; and software.
U. N. Development Program: A Fact Sheet
The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) coordinates and provides funding for most U.N. development assistance programs. In FY1994, the U.S. contribution of $116 million made the United States the largest donor, comprising about 12 percent of the agency's budget.
World Health Organization: A Fact Sheet
The World Health organization (WHO), established in 1948, is the United Nations system's authority on international public health issues. It assists governments in improving national health services and in establishing worldwide standards for foods, chemicals, and biological and pharmaceutical products. WHO concentrates on preventive rather than curative programs, including efforts to eradicate endemic and other widespread diseases, stabilize population growth, improve nutrition, sanitation, and maternal and child care. WHO is not an operational agency. It works through contracts with other agencies and private voluntary organizations.
World Health Organization: A Fact Sheet
The World Health Organization (WHO), established in 1948, is the U.N. System's authority on international public health issues. It assists governments in improving national health services and in establishing worldwide standards for foods, chemicals, and biological and pharmaceutical products. WHO concentrates on preventive rather than curative programs, including efforts to eradicate endemic and other widespread diseases, stabilize population growth, improve nutrition, sanitation, and maternal and child care. WHO works through contracts with other agencies and private voluntary organizations.
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
This report describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically. The World Heritage Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites.
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
During the 105th Congress, the House considered H.R. 901, legislation which would give Congress a role in designating any new U.S. national parks and monuments of world significance added to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Sponsors of the bill are concerned that designation of a U.S. site to the U.N. list, which is currently done under Executive Branch authority, does not protect the rights of private property owners or the States. The Administration and opponents of the bill argue that the designation has no affect on property rights and does not provide the United Nations with any legal authority over U.S. territory. H.R. 901 passed the House on October 8, 1997. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and H.R. 901. It will be updated as the legislation progresses through the House and Senate. Similar language concerning the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program has become law. For information on that legislation, see CRS Report 96-517 ENR, Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet.
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
On July 13, 2000, the House passed H.R. 4811, the FY 2001 Foreign Operations bill, containing language prohibiting the use of any funds in the bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. This Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. On May 20, 1999, the House passed (by voice vote) the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (H.R. 883), which requires congressional approval to add any additional U.S. national parks and monuments to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically.
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
P.L. 106-429, in which H.R. 5526, the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs appropriations act for 2001 was referenced, contained language prohibiting funding from this bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. This Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. On May 20, 1999, the House passed (by voice vote) the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (H.R. 883), which requires congressional approval to add any additional U.S. national parks and monuments to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically.
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
On March 6, 2001, Congressman Don Young introduced H.R. 883, the American Land Sovereignty Act. H.R. 883 requires congressional approval to add any lands owned by the United States to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. In related legislation, P.L. 106-429, in which H.R. 5526, the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs appropriations act for 2001 was referenced, contained language prohibiting funding from this bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. The World Heritage Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically.
The Addition of Trainers to Iraq: Background for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the conflict with the Islamic State organization (IS, aka ISIL/ISIS/Daesh) and resulting military campaign.
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the formation of the Islamic State. Some 60 nations and partner organizations agreed to participate, contributing either military forces or resources (or both) to the campaign. In Brussels in December 2014, these 60 partners agreed to organize themselves along five "lines of effort," with at least two countries in the lead for each.
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the coalition organized as part of a global campaign to counter the Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS), including its military aspects and challenges to its coherence.
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the formation of the Islamic State. Some 60 nations and partner organizations agreed to participate, contributing either military forces or resources (or both) to the campaign. In Brussels in December 2014, these 60 partners agreed to organize themselves along five "lines of effort," with at least two countries in the lead for each.
American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
This report identifies four considerations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that are particularly relevant for U.S. food and agriculture. It includes a partial snapshot of some of the higher-profile improvements in market access for agricultural products in the agreement, a summary of selected provisions beyond market access that are of interest to food and agriculture, a brief overview of industry reactions to the agreement, and a review of what would need to occur for the agreement to enter into force for the United States.
Financing U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba
This report discusses a new policy approach toward Cuba that, in part, seeks to reduce the role of long-standing U.S. sanctions on commercial relations with Cuba while also promoting greater engagement and normal relations with the island nation.
TPP: American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
This report identifies four considerations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that are particularly relevant for U.S. food and agriculture. It includes a partial snapshot of some of the higher-profile improvements in market access for agricultural products in the agreement, a summary of selected provisions beyond market access that are of interest to food and agriculture, a brief overview of industry reactions to the agreement, and a review of what would need to occur for the agreement to enter into force for the United States.
China's Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism
This report provides an overview of the Muslim separatist movement in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China’s attempts to stifle activities which it considers terrorism, and implications for U.S. policy. Some analysts suggest that the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism may make it difficult to pressure the Chinese government on human rights and religious freedoms, particularly as they relate to Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
China's Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism
This report provides an overview of the Muslim separatist movement in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China’s attempts to stifle activities which it considers terrorism, and implications for U.S. policy. Some analysts suggest that the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism may make it difficult to pressure the Chinese government on human rights and religious freedoms, particularly as they relate to Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Pros and Cons
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) would ban all nuclear explosions. President Clinton signed it in 1996 and transmitted it to the Senate in 1997. The Senate rejected it in 1999. To enter into force, 44 named nations, including the United States, must ratify the treaty. The Bush Administration opposes ratification but has maintained a moratorium on nuclear testing begun in 1992. This report presents pros and cons of key arguments: the treaty’s implications for nuclear nonproliferation, for maintaining and developing nuclear weapons, for the value of nuclear weapons, and for maintaining U.S. nuclear advantage; monitoring issues; and potential consequences of resuming testing.