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Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2016

Description: This report briefly discusses authorization legislation for the water resources activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) in 2016, which the 114th Congress is anticipated to consider. These issues span the agency's role in new and existing navigation improvements, coastal and riverine flood risk reduction, and environmental restoration and protection efforts.
Date: January 5, 2016
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Shutdown of the Joint North/South Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex

Description: This report briefly discusses the South Korean government's decision to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), which is an 11-year-old industrial park located in North Korea just across the demilitarized zone where more than 120 South Korean manufacturers employed over 50,000 North Korean workers.
Date: February 11, 2016
Creator: Manyin, Mark E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electric Grid Physical Security: Recent Legislation

Description: This report briefly discusses legislative initiatives to address the physical safety of electrical transformers and 0other parts of the U.S. electric grid which are vulnerable to damage from theft, vandalism, or terrorist attacks.
Date: January 6, 2016
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Escalating Violence in El Salvador

Description: This report briefly discusses gangs and violence in El Salvador, and examines the U.S. policy response.
Date: January 7, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

Description: This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions.
Date: January 21, 2016
Creator: Tang, Rachel Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation After "El Chapo" Guzmán's January 2016 Recapture

Description: This report discusses relations between the U.S. and Mexico following the escape and recapture of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City in July 2015. One key concern for U.S. policymakers is whether the Mexican government will be able to hold Guzmán securely in the same prison from which he escaped and then extradite him swiftly to the United States--a source of tension in U.S.-Mexican relations. Another is whether Guzmán's recapture, which was supported by U.S. intelligence, will lead to closer security cooperation moving forward.
Date: January 13, 2016
Creator: Beittel, June S. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Guatemala: One President Resigns; Another Elected, to Be Inaugurated January 14

Description: This report discusses the transfer of power to the newly-elected president of Guatemala and its context, following the resignation of the former president and vice-president, their arrest for government corruption, and the succeeding interim government.
Date: January 11, 2016
Creator: Taft-Morales, Maureen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Appointment of African American U.S. Circuit and District Court Judges: Historical Overview and Current Data

Description: This report briefly provides historical and statistical information related to the appointment of African Americans as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such information addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics of lower federal court judges.
Date: February 12, 2016
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zika Virus: Global Health Considerations

Description: This report gives a brief overview of the Zika virus, which typically causes mild symptoms, including fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Health experts are uncertain whether Zika causes microcephaly, a potentially-severe birth defect involving brain damage.
Date: February 6, 2016
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Fight Against Al Shabaab in Somalia in 2016

Description: This report discusses current efforts to counter Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based Al Qaeda affiliate.
Date: January 19, 2016
Creator: Blanchard, Lauren P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aung San Suu Kyi's Party Takes Control of Parliament in Burma

Description: This report discusses politics and government in Burma following elections in November 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has now assumed control of Burma's Union Parliament. The lower chamber (People's Assembly) and the upper chamber (National Assembly) took office on February 1 and 3, 2016, respectively.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Additional U.S. Ground Troops to Counter the Islamic State? Five Questions

Description: This report briefly discusses various arguments regarding the introduction of additional ground forces to secure territory once it has been taken back from the Islamic State.
Date: February 17, 2016
Creator: McInnis, Kathleen J. & Feickert, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taiwan's January 2016 Elections: A Preview

Description: This report briefly provides context for the January 16, 2016 presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan. The elections may determine whether an eight-year period of relative calm in relations between Taiwan (whose formal name is the Republic of China or ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues, or comes to an end.
Date: January 12, 2016
Creator: Lawrence, Susan V. & Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Maternity and Parental Leave Policies

Description: This report briefly discusses the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD) new policies for maternity and parental leave as part of the department's "Force of the Future" initiative.
Date: February 3, 2016
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016: Effects on Budgetary Trends

Description: This report discusses recent changes to the federal budget outlook and the effects of these amendments on recent budgetary trends using the CBO and JCT cost estimates for the legislation, the CBO budget forecast released in August 2015, and OMB historical data.
Date: January 11, 2016
Creator: Driessen, Grant A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. Lead exposure is a major public health concern, particularly because low-level exposures can impair the neurodevelopment of children. The main source of lead in drinking water is the corrosion of plumbing materials in the distribution system.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?

Description: This report briefly discusses the consequences of rapid price increases from about mid-2014 to mid-2015 in China's two main stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE).
Date: February 11, 2016
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Nelson, Gabriel M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Reserve Issues Final Rule on Emergency Lending

Description: This report briefly discusses major provisions of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) Final Rule, governing emergency lending under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act and implementing Section 1101 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).
Date: January 6, 2016
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Murphy, M. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY2016 Changes to DOD's 1033 Program

Description: This report briefly discusses the current status of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) 1033 Program, under which excess DOD property -- such as personal computers, vehicles, and firearms -- are made available to qualified federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Else, Daniel H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agency Final Rules Submitted After May 16, 2016, May Be Subject to Disapproval in 2017 Under the Congressional Review Act

Description: This report briefly discusses The Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. §§801-808), enacted as part of the 104th Congress's (1995-1996) "Contract with America," which established a special parliamentary mechanism whereby Congress can disapprove a final rule promulgated by a federal agency. With a change in the occupancy of the White House taking place in 2017, some in Congress are paying renewed attention to a parliamentary mechanism that might enable a new Congress and new President to overturn agency final rules of the Obama Administration issued after mid-May 2016.
Date: February 4, 2016
Creator: Davis, Christopher M. & Beth, Richard S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea's January 6, 2016, Nuclear Test

Description: This report provides a brief background about North Korea's announcement that it successfully tested a "hydrogen bomb" (its fourth nuclear test) on January 6, 2016. The official statement also called the device an experimental or "pilot H-bomb."
Date: January 7, 2016
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America

Description: This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance during FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America."
Date: January 5, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Meyer, Peter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zika Virus: Global Health Considerations

Description: This report gives a brief overview of the Zika Vvrus, which typically causes mild symptoms, including fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Health experts are uncertain whether Zika causes microcephaly, a potentially-severe birth defect involving brain damage.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department