January 29, 2022

News

News Network

On the Passing of Former Palau President Kuniwo Nakamura

12 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States, I want to convey my deepest condolences to the family of former President Kuniwo Nakamura and the people of Palau on his passing. President Nakamura was a great statesman who guided Palau’s independence and fostered the emergence of our close and enduring relationship of free association.

Together, our two countries honor his memory and legacy through our commitment to shared values. As President Nakamura told the UN General Assembly, Palau is “large in things that count” including “a commitment to human rights and a democratic government.” In this time of mourning, please accept our profound sympathies and our reassurance that the United States will remember President Nakamura’s friendship and his commitment to the best possible future for the people of Palau.

News Network

  • Fiji Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Exercise increased [Read More…]
  • Timor-Leste National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Federal Court Permanently Bars Southern Florida Tax Preparer from Preparing Returns
    In Crime News
    A federal court in the Southern District of Florida has permanently enjoined a West Palm Beach tax return preparer and her business from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the court’s order, it issued the injunction in response to violations of a prior order in the case that had allowed the preparer and her business to prepare returns subject to certain restrictions. In April 2017, the United States filed a complaint against Lena D. Cotton and Professional Accounting LDC, LLC, that alleged the defendants prepared returns with improper education credits, manipulated filing statuses, and improper vehicle deductions, among other issues. In November 2017, the court permanently enjoined both defendants from this and other specific conduct and required defendants to engage a “neutral monitor” to “determin[e] and/or secur[e] compliance” with injunction.
    [Read More…]
  • Travel by U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Iowa Woman Sentenced to 304 Months in Prison for Hate Crimes Involving Attempting to Kill Two Children Because of their Race and National Origin
    In Crime News
    An Iowa woman was sentenced yesterday on two hate crimes charges for attempting to kill two minor victims because of their race and national origin.
    [Read More…]
  • 2021 U.S. ASPIRE Competition
    In Climate - Environment - Conservation
    Bureau of Oceans and [Read More…]
  • The U.S. Department of State to Honor Locally Employed Staff Hella and Badye Ladhari as Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Asphalt Contractor To Pay $4.25 Million To Settle Claims That It Misled The Government As To The Materials Used To Pave Road
    In Crime News
    Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. (DOCI), an Indiana-based asphalt contractor, has agreed to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting to the government the materials that it was using to pave federally-funded roads in the state of Indiana, the Department of Justice announced today.  Under the settlement agreement, DOCI has agreed to pay over $4.25 million over a period of four years.    
    [Read More…]
  • Sexual Assault and Harassment: NOAA Has Made Substantial Progress in Prevention and Response but Could Further Improve Its Processes
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (2017 NDAA) required the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a policy for preventing and responding to sexual assault and sexual harassment of NOAA's workforce. In response to the 2017 NDAA, NOAA issued its Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response Policy in February 2018. GAO found that this 2018 policy is consistent with most of the relevant legal requirements from the 2017 NDAA and is partially or not consistent with some. For example, although NOAA has protocols for investigating allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment, NOAA's policy does not specifically describe these protocols, as required by the 2017 NDAA. In addition, the policy follows most selected practices recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in its 2017 Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment document. While NOAA's actions followed many selected EEOC promising practices, GAO found some shortcomings in the agency's prevention and response processes. For example, NOAA's 2020 mandatory training for supervisors and managers did not explain the consequences for failing to fulfill the reporting responsibilities related to allegations of harassment—in contrast to EEOC's promising practices. Specifically, the training did not describe the consequences managers could face if, for example, they failed to report incidents that they witnessed or that were reported to them. In the absence of training or other mechanisms to clearly outline consequences for failing to fulfill managers' responsibilities, agency managers may allow harassing behavior to continue, thereby raising liability concerns and undermining the message that sexual harassment is not tolerated. In addition, EEOC's promising practices state that those implementing an agency's complaint system should appropriately document every complaint. The offices responsible for implementing each of NOAA's complaint systems do not maintain or collect data in a consistent manner and have not always provided data to management in a consistent format. Consequently, the agency has experienced difficulty reconciling data from its multiple complaint systems for annual reports to Congress and is hindered in its ability to target prevention and response efforts, according to agency officials. Extent to which NOAA's 2018 Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy and the Agency's Related Actions Follow Selected Promising Practices Summary Results of GAO analysis NOAA's 2018 policy follows most selected Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment. ● NOAA's leadership and accountability actions to prevent and respond to sexual harassment follow selected EEOC promising practices. ◐ NOAA's anti-harassment training follows selected EEOC promising practices. ◐ NOAA's harassment complaint systems follow selected EEOC promising practices. ◐ Source: GAO. I GAO-21-560 ● Follows ◐ Partially Follows Why GAO Did This Study Sexual assault and sexual harassment can have harmful effects on the individual employees as well as the workplace by undermining employee morale and decreasing productivity. In 2018, NOAA identified several factors indicating that the agency may be at risk for harassment or assault, or both. GAO was asked to review NOAA's policies and actions for preventing and responding to sexual assault and sexual harassment. This report examines: (1) the extent to which NOAA's policy is consistent with relevant legal requirements in the 2017 NDAA and follows EEOC's promising practices and (2) the extent to which NOAA's actions follow EEOC's promising practices. GAO reviewed NOAA's prevention and response policy and actions from 2016 through August 2021. GAO analyzed data, interviewed officials, and compared NOAA's policy and actions to relevant sections of the 2017 NDAA and EEOC's promising practices.
    [Read More…]
  • Lead Paint in Housing: Key Considerations for Adopting Stricter Lead Evaluation Methods in HUD’s Voucher Program
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found GAO found that the Housing Choice Voucher program had 1.1 million voucher holders living in units built before 1978, the year the U.S. banned lead paint in housing. Of these units, roughly 171,000 were occupied by approximately 229,000 young children (under age 6)––putting these children at an increased risk of lead exposure. The voucher program requires visual assessments for identifying deteriorated paint, with no testing of paint or dust. Any change to stricter evaluation methods would need to consider that certain states have a larger portion of pre-1978 voucher units occupied by families with young children. Estimated costs for adopting stricter lead evaluation methods for the voucher program would vary substantially depending on the method used and what units were included (see figure). Estimated initial costs range from about $60 million for a less expensive method applied only to units with young children to about $880 million for a more expensive method applied to all pre-1978 units. These estimated costs range from 3 percent to 41 percent, respectively, of the fiscal year 2021 budget dedicated to public housing agencies' administrative expenses for the voucher program. Total costs would also depend on the mobility of voucher households and the frequency of any additional lead evaluations. Total Estimated Cost to Change the Lead Evaluation Methods for Housing Choice Voucher Units Would Vary by Evaluation Method Used and Units Included Note: A combination evaluation includes all components of a lead inspection and a risk assessment. Estimated costs may vary by up to plus or minus 14 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence. GAO analysis estimated that nearly 6,000 lead professionals can conduct lead evaluations in the U.S. While there is no indication of a national shortage of lead professionals, areas with high numbers of pre-1978 voucher units and low numbers of lead professionals may face implementation challenges. Selected cities offer observations from their implementation of a change in lead evaluation method. For example, education of landlords can help clarify new evaluation requirements and encourage landlords to continue to rent to voucher holders. Further, implementing a new method in phases could target areas with the greatest need and help landlords and the industry adapt to the new requirement and the increased demand for lead evaluations. Why GAO Did This Study Exposure to lead paint, which was used in housing built before 1978, can have serious health effects, especially for young children. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has primary responsibility for identifying lead paint hazards in housing receiving HUD assistance, including private rental units in the voucher program. Some members of Congress have raised questions about whether the voucher program should change from visual assessments to a stricter lead evaluation method. The 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Joint Explanatory Statement, includes a provision for GAO to review HUD's efforts to address lead paint hazards. This report identifies considerations for policymakers related to changing to stricter lead evaluation methods for the voucher program, specifically regarding the (1) number and characteristics of voucher housing units and their occupants, (2) costs for lead evaluations based on method used and units included, (3) availability of lead professionals, and (4) observations from selected cities that use lead evaluation methods stricter than visual assessments. GAO analyzed HUD data on the voucher program (as of year-end 2019, the most recent available) and information on lead professionals from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states. GAO also conducted a nationwide, generalizable survey of lead professionals to estimate the costs of lead evaluation methods. In addition, GAO interviewed staff from HUD, EPA, and public housing agencies, and representatives from two national organizations that represent lead professionals. For more information, contact John H. Pendleton at (202) 512-8678 or pendletonj@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Rosemary Barton of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Issues Statement on the Department of Transportation’s Newark Airport Reassignment Notice
    In Crime News
    Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division issued the following statement after the Department of Transportation’s notice of proposed reassignment of schedules at Newark airport:
    [Read More…]
  • Federal Lands Snapshot: Hardrock Mining Systems
    In U.S GAO News
    This Snapshot draws from a number of GAO reports to describe the systems used to manage mining on federal lands. It also provides examples of the challenges and opportunities for improvement related to managing such mining, particularly in the areas of environmental stewardship, governance and transparency, and administrative resources.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken With Rene Pfister of Der Spiegel
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Cabo Verde Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • The Future of AI in Health and Human Services
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    As the largest public [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit
    In Crime News
    Good afternoon. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the first Tribal Nations Summit in five years. 
    [Read More…]
  • Proposed NASA Mission Would Visit Neptune’s Curious Moon Triton
    In Space
    One of four concepts [Read More…]
  • Warsaw Process Humanitarian Issues and Refugees Working Group Convenes in Brasilia
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Office of the [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.