January 19, 2022

News

News Network

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Independence Day

10 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the government and people of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the 41st anniversary of your independence.

The United States is committed to helping make the Caribbean safer and more prosperous while upholding democratic values and human rights.  The U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership strengthens our preparedness for hurricanes and other natural disasters.  Through the USAID Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Early Learners Program, more than 7,000 young Vincentian students have learned valuable skills.  Our joint law enforcement efforts have intercepted drug traffickers and disrupted their operations, and we have worked together to combat COVID-19 for the health and well-being of our citizens.

The United States values the relationship between our two countries, and we wish a happy Independence Day to all Vincentians.

News Network

  • Seven MS-13 Gang Members Indicted in Violent Crime and Drug Distribution Conspiracy
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in Nashville, Tennessee, returned a 16-count superseding indictment Wednesday, charging seven MS-13 gang members with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and serious firearm-related offenses, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.
    [Read More…]
  • Digital Services: Considerations for a Federal Academy to Develop a Pipeline of Digital Staff
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found As the federal government continues its modernization efforts across agencies, it faces a severe shortage of digital expertise in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), data science, application development, cybersecurity, computational biology, and robotics process automation. According to participants in a roundtable of federal officials and other experts, agencies' needs for digital services staff vary in urgency and roles, with some needs requiring immediate attention while others are more long-term. In addition, the kinds of work that additional digital services staff could address include updating legacy systems, applying advanced technologies, managing cybersecurity risks, and reimagining service delivery. Currently, according to roundtable participants, agencies try to meet their digital service workforce needs through a mix of civil service hiring, use of contractors, the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program, and fellowship and internship programs. One potential method for developing digital services staff, discussed by the roundtable participants, is the creation of a digital service academy—similar to military academies—to train future civil servants in the digital skills needed to modernize government. Considerations for a digital service academy include the kinds of skills that would be taught and the composition and size of a graduating class, according to roundtable participants. Further, they said digital services staff would need proficiency in both digital skills as well understanding the functions of government to meet agencies' needs. The composition and size of a digital service academy could affect how it can meet agencies' needs. Example of a Digital Service Academy Concept Agencies can prepare for a pipeline of qualified digital services staff by taking steps such as integrating mission needs into digital service projects, developing professional growth opportunities, cultivating institutional relationships, establishing support networks, and building a data-centric culture, according to roundtable participants. At the same time, participants discussed challenges associated with existing policies, infrastructure, laws, and regulations that may hinder agency recruitment and retention of digital services staff. Why GAO Did This Study The U.S. government has a need for digital expertise, and federal agencies have faced challenges in hiring, managing, and retaining staff with digital skills. GAO was asked to gather perspectives of federal technology leaders on establishing an academy that could provide a dedicated talent pool to help meet the federal government's needs for digital expertise. GAO convened a roundtable discussion on October 13, 2021 comprised of chief technology officers, chief data officers, chief information officers, and those in similar roles across the federal government, as well as knowledgeable representatives from academia and nonprofits. This report summarizes the perspectives that selected technology leaders shared on (1) federal workforce needs for digital services staff, (2) key characteristics of a digital service academy, and (3) considerations to help ensure federal agencies can absorb graduates of a digital service academy. For more information, contact Candice N. Wright at (202) 512-6888 or WrightC@gao.gov, Taka Ariga at (202) 512-6888 or ArigaT@gao.gov, or Dave Hinchman at (214) 777-5719 or HinchmanD@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Privacy: Federal Financial Regulators Should Take Additional Actions to Enhance Their Protection of Personal Information
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The five federal financial regulators GAO reviewed have built more than 100 information system applications that regularly collect and use extensive amounts of personally identifiable information (PII)—information that can be used to locate or identify an individual—to fulfill their regulatory missions. These regulators collect and share PII with entities such as banks or service providers, contractors and other third parties, and other federal and state regulators. The regulators also collect PII directly from individuals and from financial institutions. Regulators use the PII to conduct supervisory examinations of financial institutions and to receive and respond to complaints or inquiries from customers (see figure). Collection, Use, and Sharing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at Selected Federal Financial Regulators All five financial regulators have created privacy programs that generally take steps to protect PII in accordance with key practices in federal guidance. For example, regulators fully addressed key practices for establishing privacy programs, conducting privacy training for staff, and implementing incident response procedures. However, four of the regulators did not fully implement key practices in other privacy protection areas. For example, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) did not maintain a full PII inventory for all agency-owned applications, and did not document steps they took to minimize the collection and use of PII. Also, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Federal Reserve did not establish agencywide metrics to monitor privacy controls, and the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) had not fully tracked decisions by program officials on the selection and testing of privacy controls. Until these regulators take steps to mitigate these weaknesses, the PII they collect, use, and share could be at increased risk of compromise. Why GAO Did This Study Federal financial regulators are agencies that supervise the products provided by financial institutions. As part of their oversight responsibilities, many regulators collect and maintain a large amount of consumers' PII. Increased collection and use of PII by agencies can pose challenges in ensuring the protection of individuals' privacy. GAO was asked to review regulators' handling of PII. This report examines (1) what mission-related PII selected federal financial regulators collect, use, and share, and (2) the extent to which selected regulators ensure the privacy of the PII they collect, use, and share, in accordance with federal requirements and guidance. GAO selected for review five regulators based on their authority to enforce consumer protection laws and the amount of PII they collect. For each of these entities, GAO analyzed privacy documentation to determine methods by which regulators handle PII, and compared regulators' key practices for handling PII to federal guidance. GAO interviewed officials from these regulators on their handling of PII. GAO also reviewed available agency inspector general reports addressing privacy issues.
    [Read More…]
  • Two Members of Notorious Videogame Piracy Group “Team Xecuter” in Custody
    In Crime News
    Two leaders of one of the world’s most notorious videogame piracy groups, Team Xecuter, have been arrested and are in custody facing charges filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
    [Read More…]
  • Get to Know Preclearance
    In Travel
    Information for [Read More…]
  • Launching Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • North Carolina Restaurant Owner and Son Charged with COVID-Relief Fraud
    In Crime News
    Two individuals were charged in an indictment that was unsealed today for their alleged participation in a scheme to obtain, through multiple fraudulent loan applications, more than $1.7 million in COVID-19 relief guaranteed by the Small Business Administration through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
    [Read More…]
  • Wrongful billing results in $2.6M settlement and 10-year exclusion from federal health care programs
    In Justice News
    A 46-year-old [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Announces Funding Opportunities to Support Public Safety in Tribal Communities
    In Crime News
    The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the opening of the FY 2022 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation period.
    [Read More…]
  • Individual Arrested and Charged with Operating Notorious Darknet Cryptocurrency “Mixer”
    In Crime News
    A dual Russian-Swedish national was arrested Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport on criminal charges related to his alleged operation of the longest-running bitcoin money laundering service on the darknet.
    [Read More…]
  • Former Rapides Parrish Corrections Officer Sentenced to 11 Months in Federal Prison for Assaulting Inmate
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that a former correctional officer with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO), Detention Center 1, in Alexandria, Louisiana, was sentenced today in federal court for assaulting an inmate detained at the facility.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Awards More Than $210 Million to Support Forensic Science
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced grant awards totaling more than $210 million to fund crime laboratories, support research, decrease DNA backlogs and help law enforcement identify missing persons. The funding is administered by the OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
    [Read More…]
  • U.S. Marshals Arrest More Than 6,000 Murder Suspects in 2021, Over 84,000 Fugitives Apprehended
    In Crime News
    The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) arrested 84,247 fugitives (27,399 on federal and 56,848 on state and local warrants) in Fiscal Year 2021. On average, the agency arrested 337 fugitives per day (based on 250 operational days).
    [Read More…]
  • On Pride Month
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Husband Sentenced to 188 Months in Prison for Human Trafficking Convictions Related to Forced Labor of Foreign Nationals
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department today announced that former Stockton, California resident Satish Kartan, 46, was sentenced today to188 months in prison for forced labor violations. In addition, U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. ordered $15,657 be paid in restitution to three victims, in part to cover their back wages and other losses.
    [Read More…]
  • Three Amazon Marketplace Sellers Plead Guilty to Price Fixing DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs in Ongoing Investigation
    In Crime News
    A New Jersey man and two New York men pleaded guilty yesterday to fixing the prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold on the Amazon Marketplace.
    [Read More…]
  • U.S. Special Envoy Lenderking Returns from Travel to Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Jordan
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • DSS cooperation in international police operation results in extradition of Albanian man wanted for human smuggling
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Xhensila Kodra — [Read More…]
  • Judiciary Launches Vulnerability Disclosure Program
    In U.S Courts
    The federal Judiciary has unveiled a new Vulnerability Disclosure Policy to ensure the security of data that can be accessed online. The policy gives security researchers clear guidelines on how they may conduct vulnerability discovery activities. It also instructs researchers on how to submit discovered vulnerabilities to the Judiciary.
    [Read More…]
  • Foreign Aid: USAID Has Increased Funding to Partner-Country Organizations but Could Better Track Progress
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) reporting on its principal Local Solutions indicator—the percentage of mission program funds obligated to local organizations in partner countries—lacks clarity, complicating the assessment of the agency's progress toward its fiscal year 2015 target of 30 percent. The March 2013 USAID Forward progress report states that these obligations increased from about 10 percent of mission program funds in fiscal year 2010 to about 14 percent in fiscal year 2012—a $465 million increase. However, the agency also has reported progress on the principal Local Solutions indicator in three other ways, depending on whether two key types of funding—cash transfers and certain qualifying trust funds—are included (see figure). These reporting differences make it difficult to compare the indicator from year to year and to quantify the progress needed to achieve the 30 percent target by fiscal year 2015. Moreover, USAID's approach to tracking the Local Solutions indicator has evolved since the launch of the initiative. For example, USAID included funds in Afghanistan and Pakistan, missions the agency previously had planned to exclude. If these missions are excluded, the percentage of mission program funds obligated to local organizations in fiscal year 2012, including qualifying trust funds and cash transfers, decreases by 10 percentage points. Reported USAID Mission Program Funds Obligated to Partner-Country Local Organizations, by Type of Funding Included, Fiscal Year 2012 USAID's principal Local Solutions indicator does not fully reflect activities the agency has undertaken to implement the initiative, and USAID does not have a means to track relevant mission-led evaluations of programs implemented by partner-country organizations. USAID relied primarily on its principal Local Solutions indicator to demonstrate progress. While this principal indicator reflects, to some degree, the steps missions are required to take before obligating funds to local organizations, it provides no information about the status of activities both prior to and following obligation of funds, such as assessing risk and monitoring programs. Furthermore, although USAID has laid some groundwork for evaluating the Local Solutions initiative, the agency does not currently have the means to determine the extent to which missions are conducting performance evaluations to assess the effectiveness of programs implemented through local organizations. Such evaluations can provide evidence needed to demonstrate progress toward the initiative's goals related to local partners' capacity, country ownership, and program sustainability. Why GAO Did This Study Since 2010, USAID has undertaken a series of reforms, collectively called USAID Forward. One key reform, the Local Solutions initiative, aims to shift program implementation from U.S.- based and international organizations to partner-country organizations, including governments and for-profit and nonprofit organizations. The three overarching goals of the initiative are to strengthen the capacity of partner countries, to enhance and promote country ownership, and to increase the sustainability of development efforts. GAO was asked to review the implementation of this initiative. GAO assessed the extent to which USAID (1) has demonstrated progress toward achieving its fiscal year 2015 target for the principal Local Solutions indicator, and (2) is tracking progress in achieving the initiative's goals related to local partners' capacity, country ownership, and program sustainability. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed funding data and documents and interviewed USAID officials.
    [Read More…]

Crime

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