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Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Description: This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights, including the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations.
Date: January 6, 2014
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report

Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program

Description: This report discusses the public safety officers' benefits (PSOB) program that provides three different types of benefits to public safety officers and their survivors: a death, a disability, and an education benefit.
Date: November 19, 2013
Creator: James, Nathan
Item Type: Report

Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities

Description: This report discusses the physical security at nuclear power plants and concerns of radiological sabotage, a deliberate act against a plant that could directly or indirectly endanger public health and safety through exposure to radiation.
Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Holt, Mark & Andrews, Anthony
Item Type: Report

Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran, the last of which seems incongruous with the other positive aspects of Oman's relationship with the U.S.
Date: December 27, 2013
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments

Description: This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing.
Date: June 10, 2013
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Item Type: Report

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

Description: This report discusses the USA PATRIOT Act (107-56) and its expanded authority to issue national security letters (NSLs). A report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General (IG) found that in its pre-amendment use of expanded USA PATRIOT Act authority the FBI had "used NSLs in violation of applicable NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, and internal FBI policies," but that no criminal laws had been broken.
Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Description: This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Date: June 10, 2013
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Item Type: Report

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Description: This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Date: January 13, 2014
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Item Type: Report

Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report supplies brief answers to some frequently-asked questions regarding recess appointments. These are appointments to high-level policy-making positions in federal departments which are generally confirmed by the Senate. When the Senate is in recess, the President may make a temporary appointment, called a recess appointment, to any such position without Senate approval.
Date: July 7, 2013
Creator: Hogue, Henry B.
Item Type: Report

The Paris Club and International Debt Relief

Description: This report discusses the Paris Club, a voluntary, informal group of creditor nations who meet approximately 10 times per year and provide debt relief to developing countries. Members of the Paris Club agree to renegotiate and/or reduce official debt owed to them on a case-by-case basis.
Date: December 11, 2013
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Item Type: Report

Arab League Boycott of Israel

Description: This report briefly discusses the Arab League's boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since Israel's founding in 1948, as well as U.S. efforts to end the boycott and prevent U.S. firms in participating in the boycott.
Date: December 19, 2013
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Item Type: Report

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction.
Date: January 2, 2014
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Item Type: Report

Nigeria: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Description: This report covers the recent 2011 Nigerian elections, development challenges, reform initiatives, social issues, security concerns, and international relations in Nigeria. It ends with some concerns for Congress, including U.S.-Nigerian trade issues, Nigerian counter-terrorism efforts, and U.S. assistance to Nigeria.
Date: November 15, 2013
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Item Type: Report

Veterans and Homelessness

Description: This report discusses several issues relating to homelessness among veterans, which has become more prominent since the beginning of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Date: November 29, 2013
Creator: Perl, Libby
Item Type: Report

Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?

Description: This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by EPA. It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community.
Date: December 16, 2013
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Item Type: Report

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and Beyond: Detainee Matters

Description: This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by the detainee provisions of the FY2012 NDAA, provides a section-by-section analysis, and discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the act's mandatory military detention provision. It also addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 NDAA and 2014 NDAA.
Date: January 27, 2014
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael J.
Item Type: Report

Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006.
Date: January 30, 2014
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Description: This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
Date: January 27, 2014
Creator: Burrelli, David F. & Salazar Torreon, Barbara
Item Type: Report

"Leahy Law" Human Rights Provisions and Security Assistance: Issue Overview

Description: This report provides background on the Leahy laws, including a brief history of their legislative development; an overview guide to the standards and processes used to "vet"--that is, review and clear--foreign military and other security forces for gross violations of human rights; and a brief review of salient issues regarding the provisions of the laws and their implementation.
Date: January 29, 2014
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.; Beittel, June S.; Ploch Blanchard, Lauren & Rosen, Liana
Item Type: Report