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Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive

Description: This report discusses attempts to resolve the political division of Cyprus that have occurred over the last 45 years. Current issues include the Republic of Cyprus receiving EU presidency in July 2012 and a recent discovery of natural gas deposits off the southern coast of Cyprus.
Date: January 3, 2013
Creator: Morelli, Vincent
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heritable Genetic Changes in Cells Recovered From Irradiated 3D Tissue Contracts. Final report

Description: Combining contemporary cytogenetic methods with DNA CGH microarray technology and chromosome flow-sorting increases substantially the ability to resolve exchange breakpoints associated with interstitial deletions and translocations, allowing the consequences of radiation damage to be directly measured at low doses, while also providing valuable insights into molecular mechanisms of misrepair processes that, in turn, identify appropriate biophysical models of risk at low doses. The aims of this work apply to cells recovered from 3D tissue constructs of human skin and, for the purpose of comparison, the same cells irradiated in traditional 2D cultures. These aims are: to analyze by multi-flour fluorescence in situ hybridization (mFISH) the chromosomes in clonal descendents of individual human fibroblasts that were previously irradiated; to examine irradiated clones from Aim 1 for submicroscopic deletions by subjecting their DNA to comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) microarray analysis; and to flow-sort aberrant chromosomes from clones containing stable radiation-induced translocations and map the breakpoints to within an average resolution of 100 kb using the technique of 'array painting'.
Date: May 3, 2013
Creator: Cornforth, Michael N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposal to Participate in J-Parc KL Experiment

Description: During the previous grant period we have been working on the J-PARC KL E14 (KOTO) experiment with the goal to discover and measure the rate of the rare decay neutral kaons to a pion and two neutrinos. This CP-violating flavor changing neutral current decay proceeds through second-order weak interactions. Other, as yet undiscovered particles, which can mediate the decay could provide an enhancement to the branching ratio, which in the Standard Model predicted to be about 2.80E-11. The experiment is expected to observe 100 events at the Standard Model branching ratio for a 10% measurement. The experiment is a follow-up to E391a at KEK and has been approved as experiment E14 at J-PARC. The main barrel vacuum vessel, the charged veto detectors, and the main barrel photon veto system will be reused from E391a. The main calorimeter has been replaced with Cesium Iodide crystals that are both smaller to provide improved shower reconstruction and longer to prevent energy leakage out of the back of the calorimeter. New trigger and data acquisitions electronics will be used.
Date: February 3, 2013
Creator: Campbell, Myron & Tecchio, Monica
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Health Care: Improvements Needed in Processes Used to Address Providers' Actions That Contribute to Adverse Events

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers GAO visited did not adhere to certain policy elements of the protected peer review process, and monitoring by VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is limited. According to policy issued by VHA, protected peer review may be used by VA medical centers (VAMC) when there is a need to determine whether a provider's actions associated with an adverse event were clinically appropriate--that is, whether another provider with similar expertise would have taken similar action. Despite VAMC officials' general understanding of the protected peer review process, none of the VAMCs GAO visited adhered to all four protected peer review policy elements selected for review, including the timely completion of reviews, and the timely development of peer review triggers that signal the need for further review of a provider's care. Failure of VAMCs to adhere to the protected peer review policy elements may result in missed opportunities to identify providers who pose a risk to patient safety. Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN), responsible for oversight of VAMCs, monitor VAMCs' protected peer review processes through quarterly data submissions and annual site visits. A VHA official said that VHA monitors the process by reviewing and analyzing the aggregated quarterly data submitted by VAMCs through the VISNs. The VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) also conducts oversight of the protected peer review process as part of a larger review of VAMCs' operations. While the VISNs and VA OIG have reviewed VAMCs establishment of peer review triggers to prompt further review of a provider's care, neither they nor VHA has monitored their implementation. As such, VHA cannot provide reasonable assurance that VAMCs are using the peer review triggers as intended, as a risk assessment ...
Date: December 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Standards For Internal Control In The Federal Government: 2013 Exposure Draft

Description: Other written product issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Internal control is the plans, methods, policies, and procedures an organization employs to ensure effective resource use in fulfilling its mission, goals, objectives, and strategic plan. GAO's Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, known as the Green Book, sets these standards for federal agencies."
Date: September 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flood Insurance: More Information Needed on Subsidized Properties

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act) immediately eliminated subsidies for about 438,000 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, but subsidies on an estimated 715,000 policies across the nation remain. Depending on factors such as policyholder behavior, the number of subsidized policies will continue to decline over time. For example, as properties are sold and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resolves data limitations and defines key terms, more subsidies will be eliminated. GAO analysis found that remaining subsidized policies would cover properties in every state and territory where NFIP operates, with the highest numbers in Florida, Louisiana, and California. In comparing remaining subsidized and nonsubsidized policies GAO found varying characteristics. For example, counties with the highest and lower home values had a larger percentage of subsidized versus nonsubsidized policies."
Date: July 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees' Compensation Act: Case Examples Illustrate Vulnerabilities That Could Result in Improper Payments or Overlapping Benefits

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO found examples of improper payments and indicators of potential fraud in the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) program, which could be attributed, in part, to oversight and data-access issues. GAO found examples of claimants' receiving overlapping FECA and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, which may be allowable under certain circumstances, but could also be erroneous. GAO also found that FECA program requirements allow claimants to receive earnings, and earnings increases, without necessarily resulting in adjustment of FECA compensation. For example, of the 32 FECA case files reviewed, GAO found five instances where an individual's wage-earning capacity (WEC), which is used to determine FECA benefits, was not adjusted even though the individual earned substantially more than the wage that was originally used to calculate the WEC. In addition, two FECA claimants continued to receive privateemployment salaries that were not subject to their WEC calculation. This is because, as currently written, program procedures allow claimants to receive increases in earnings, in certain circumstances, without adjustments to FECA compensation, and current law allows for claimants' earnings from dissimilar concurrent private employment at the time of injury to be exempt when determining FECA compensation. As discussed below, GAO identified challenges related to oversight and data access, which could result in improper payments or overlapping benefits."
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Health Resources and Services Administration: Review of Internal Communication Mechanisms, Staffing, and Use of Contracts

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has mechanisms in place to share information important for supporting the agency's mission across its various organizational components and levels of staff--a practice that is consistent with internal control standards for the federal government. These communication methods include an annual operational planning process for allocating agency resources, workgroups that involve staff from across the agency to work on issues of a cross-cutting nature, and regular meetings between the Office of the Administrator and leaders of the agency's various organizational components."
Date: December 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internal Controls: SEC Should Consider Requiring Companies to Disclose Whether They Obtained an Auditor Attestation

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the implementation of the auditor attestation requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), companies exempt from the requirement have had more financial restatements (a company's revision of publicly reported financial information) than nonexempt companies, and the percentage of exempt companies restating generally has exceeded that of nonexempt companies. Exempt and nonexempt companies restated their financial statements for similar reasons (e.g., revenue recognition and expenses), and the majority of these restatements produced a negative effect on the companies' financial statements."
Date: July 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Communications Networks: Outcome-Based Measures Would Assist DHS in Assessing Effectiveness of Cybersecurity Efforts

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the primary responsibility for protecting the nation's communications networks belongs to private-sector owners and operators, federal agencies also play a role in support of their security, as well as that of critical components supporting the Internet. Specifically, private-sector entities are responsible for the operational security of the networks they own, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Defense, and Commerce have regulatory and support roles, as established in federal law and policy, and have taken a variety of related actions. For example, FCC has developed and maintained a system for reporting network outage information; DHS has multiple components focused on assessing risk and sharing threat information; Defense and DHS serve as co-chairs for a committee on national security and emergency preparedness for telecommunications functions; and Commerce has studied cyber risks facing the communications infrastructure and participates in standards development. However, DHS and its partners have not yet initiated the process for developing outcome-based performance measures related to the cyber protection of key parts of the communications infrastructure. Outcome-based metrics related to communications networks and critical components supporting the Internet would provide federal decision makers with additional insight into the effectiveness of sector protection efforts."
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Institutions: Causes and Consequences of Recent Bank Failures

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Ten states concentrated in the western, midwestern, and southeastern United States—all areas where the housing market had experienced strong growth in the prior decade—experienced 10 or more commercial bank or thrift (bank) failures between 2008 and 2011. The failures of the smaller banks (those with less than $1 billion in assets) in these states were largely driven by credit losses on commercial real estate (CRE) loans. The failed banks also had often pursued aggressive growth strategies using nontraditional, riskier funding sources and exhibited weak underwriting and credit administration practices. The rapid growth of CRE portfolios led to high concentrations that increased the banks’ exposure to the sustained real estate and economic downturn that began in 2007. GAO’s econometric model revealed that CRE concentrations and the use of brokered deposits, a funding source carrying higher risk than core deposits, were associated with an increased likelihood of failure for banks across all states during the period. Several state regulatory and community banking association officials told GAO that in some cases, the losses failed banks incurred on their CRE loans were caused by declines in the value of the underlying collateral of impaired, collateral-dependent loans. However, data are not publicly available that indicate the extent to which loan losses were driven by such declines in collateral values. Fair value accounting also has been cited as a potential contributor to bank failures, but between 2007 and 2011 fair value accounting losses in general did not appear to be a major contributor, as over two-thirds of small failed banks’ assets were not subject to fair value accounting. The Department of the Treasury and the Financial Stability Forum’s Working Group on Loss Provisioning have observed that the current accounting model for estimating ...
Date: January 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Description: This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are three tables organized by region, including the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, the CIA's Open Source, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Date: December 3, 2013
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses

Description: This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 113th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones. Finally, it briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance.
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Description: This report reviews efforts to combat unauthorized migration across the Southwest border in the nearly three decades since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) initiated the modern era in migration control, takes stock of the current state of border security, and considers lessons that may be learned about enhanced enforcement at U.S. borders. The report begins by reviewing the history of border control and the development of a national border control strategy beginning in the 1990s. The following sections summarize appropriations and resources dedicated to border enforcement, indicators of enforcement outcomes, metrics for estimating unauthorized migration flows, and possible secondary and unintended consequences of border enforcement. The report concludes by reviewing the overall costs and benefits of the current approach to migration control and raising additional questions that may help guide the discussion of these issues in the future.,5/
Date: May 3, 2013
Creator: Rosenblum, Marc R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2013

Description: This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its Armed Forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past U.S. military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.
Date: May 3, 2013
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

Description: This report presents the means through which the total debt of the federal government can increase, gives a historical overview of debt limits, and discusses how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
Date: May 3, 2013
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FutureGen: A Brief History and Issues for Congress

Description: This report briefly summarizes the history of FutureGen, discusses why it has gained interest and support from some Members of Congress and the Administration while remaining in initial stages of development, and offers some policy considerations on barriers that challenge its further development as a model for a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) program.
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Amazon Laws" and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis

Description: This report focuses on the ways in which the states' efforts to impose requirements on out-of-state retailers are limited by the Constitution. The report discusses recent state legislation as well as legislation introduced in the two most recent Congresses.
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: Lunder, Erika K. & Pettit, Carol A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues

Description: This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program — including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates — and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization.
Date: April 3, 2013
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department