Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honduras Coup Latest


Pentagon officials confirm that no U.S. forces were involved or harmed during a weekend coup in Honduras.

FEMA advisory 06.30

Kentucky Disaster Recovery Centers Extend Their Hours
Tue, 30 Jun 2009 07:27:51 -0500

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Starting Monday, the two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Kentucky, located in Jackson and Pikeville, are extending their hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

FEMA Funds Help Iberia Parish Parks Return To Pre-Storm Operations
Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:13:53 -0500

IBERIA PARISH, La. -- Community parks offer families a place to retreat from the busyness of everyday life and enjoy healthy, outdoor fun. When Hurricane Gustav damaged Iberia Parish parks, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) and local officials realized the parks' importance and worked together to repair the parks as quickly as possible for all to enjoy again.

Dozier Elementary Safeguards Next Generation
Tue, 30 Jun 2009 12:03:42 -0500

ERATH, La. -- While Rita-related repair work to restore Dozier Elementary School is currently underway, residents of Vermilion Parish may also notice a new addition to the school's campus. A five-foot floodwall is being built around the facility, thanks to the school board's smart planning and a recent federal grant, announced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA).

Disaster Crisis Counseling - Answering The Call With Support
Tue, 30 Jun 2009 12:34:24 -0500

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Rebuilding your life, your home and your family is emotionally taxing after a disaster, but help is available. A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is making crisis counseling available to storm-survivors.

FEMA Administrator Fugate Meets Top Israeli Official To Discuss Emergency Management Issues
Tue, 30 Jun 2009 15:30:32 -0500

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met today with Maj. Gen. Yair Golan of the Israeli Defense Forces Home Front Command (IDF/HFC), continuing to foster a working relationship with Israel and bolstering the exchange of information on common emergency management practices.

GEN Odierno Briefing II


The security of Iraq's cities has now officially passed from coalition to Iraqi control.

GEN Odierno Briefing I


Iraqi security forces took over security responsibilities for their own cities and towns on Tuesday.

ADM Keating on North Korea


Admiral Timothy Keating told an audience in Washington, DC North Korea's recent activities are disturbing and unsettling.

U.S. Now Supporting Iraqi Forces


U.S. troops have completed their pullout from Iraqi cities, but will continue to train, coordinate and advise Iraqi Security Forces.

New Head Of U.S. European Command


Admiral James Stavridis took command of the U.S. European Command from General John Craddock during a ceremony Tuesday in Stuttgart, Germany.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Barber of Seville with solo Drums...

High Court Decides To Rehear Clinton Documentary Case

CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS – CAMPAIGN FINANCE
June 29, 2009 – 1:59 p.m.
By Bart Jansen, CQ Staff

The Supreme Court wants to hear a new round of arguments in a closely watched case about how nonprofits can weigh in during political campaigns, and has signalled that it might broaden the case to cover print advertising in addition to TV programming.

The case — which involves a critical cable documentary about Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton that a nonprofit funded and sought to run during the 2008 presidential primaries — will be reargued Sept. 9, the high court said Monday.

By then, the court may have a new justice: President Obama has nominated appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed retiring Justice David H. Souter .

The court has asked both sides to address its 1990 ruling upholding a state law prohibiting the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit funded largely by dues from for-profit corporations, from running newspaper ads supporting a candidate. Although the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the state law violated the First Amendment, the high court in 1990 upheld the prohibition on such express advocacy by corporations in a 6-3 decision.

The court’s ruling in the case of “Hillary: The Movie” could have broad ramifications for campaign advertising, especially if it relaxes a longstanding federal ban on corporate spending to expressly support candidates.

“What that means is that the Supreme Court will consider whether corporations and unions can go ahead and can spend unlimited amounts of their shareholders’ money or union dues on hard-hitting, negative attack ads that are full-fledged express advocacy,” said Scott E. Thomas, a former Federal Election Commission chairman who is now of counsel at Dickstein Shapiro LLP. “That has to have the American public a little frightened of what they’re going to see on their television sets. They’re already sick of the saturation that they already see. It’s a significant thing.”

Continue - Link

Critics Seize on Supreme Court Decision to Assail Sotomayor’s Judgment

CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS – LEGAL AFFAIRS
Updated June 29, 2009 – 12:47 p.m.
By Seth Stern, CQ Staff

Critics of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor seized on Monday’s high court ruling overturning a decision she had joined in a high-profile reverse discrimination case, presaging questions likely to arise at her Senate confirmation hearing next month.

In a 5-4 decision by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy , the court ruled that the city of New Haven violated the rights of the 19 white firefighters by throwing out the results of an officers’ promotion exam in which minority candidates received disproportionately low scores.

Retiring Justice David H. Souter , whom Sotomayor would replace, joined the three other members of the court’s liberal wing in dissent. The ruling was announced on the last day of decisions for the term and Souter’s tenure as justice.

The decision in the case, Ricci v. DeStefano, was quickly cited by conservatives as new evidence that Sotomayor is a judicial activist who decides cases based on her own personal preferences. Sotomayor is certain to face questions about her reasoning at her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, scheduled to begin on July 13.

“This case sharpens our focus on Judge Sotomayor’s troubling speeches and writings, which indicate the opposite belief: that personal experiences and political views should influence a judge’s decision,” Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “That theory is a breathtaking departure from the proper role of the American judge and will clearly be the subject of questioning at the upcoming hearing.”

Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy , D-Vt., said in a statement that “it would be wrong to use today’s decision to criticize Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who sat on the panel of the Second Circuit that heard this case but did not write its unanimous opinion.”

Continue - Link

FEMA advisory 06.29

FEMA Registration Deadline In 30 Days
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:34:34 -0500

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- While more than $6 million in disaster assistance has already been approved for those who suffered losses from the Volusia County flooding of May 17-May 28, there are only 30 more days to apply for federal aid.

A Hurricane Can Vary Its Path Sharply In A Short Time
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:13:06 -0500

DENTON, Texas -- Hurricanes are extremely dangerous and unpredictable. They can strengthen tremendously in a matter of hours, taking coastal residents and experts by surprise. There is no guarantee they will follow the path predicted by computer models according to state and federal emergency management officials.

Estill And Fulton Counties Added To Kentucky Disaster Declaration
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:43:26 -0500

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Gov. Steve Beshear's request for Estill and Fulton counties to be designated for public assistance under the recent federal disaster declaration for damage caused by storms and flooding in May has been approved. Government agencies and certain private nonprofit organizations in these counties are now eligible to apply for help with their disaster costs.

Iowans Ask Questions Concerning Flood Insurance, And NFIP Answers
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:51:18 -0500

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Close to 3,000 Iowans signed up for flood insurance less than one year after the floods of June 2008 inundated the state.

FEMA advisory for Montgomery, Ala. 06.29

Disaster Recovery Center Opens In Union Springs, Bullock County
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:41:51 -0500

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) will open a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Bullock County on Monday to help people affected by the May 6-8 storms and flooding.

FEMA, AEMA To Close Disaster Recovery Centers
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:41:20 -0500

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Disaster Recovery Centers in Bullock, Elmore, and Montgomery counties will close Thursday, July 2.

Norfolk Pregnancy Seminar


Naval Station Norfolk hosts a seminar on pregnancy.

Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras


Pentagon officials say the situation at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras is calm and the U.S. military is not involved in any activities other than its designated mission.

Iraqi Forces Take Security Lead


Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell tells CNN that Iraqi Security Forces are taking the lead in security efforts despite the recent increase in violence.

FEMA advisory for South Charleston, W. Va. 06.29

When Disaster Strikes – Protect Your Pets
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 15:36:14 -0500

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- Flooding disasters don't just affect people - they also affect pets, and pets depend on people for their safety. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advise that the best protection for your pet is to plan ahead. (Update)

More Than $11.1 Million In FEMA/State Funds Go To West Virginia For Disaster Relief: SBA Approves Close To $2.7 Million In Loans
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:32:47 -0500

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- More than $11.1 million in disaster relief is approved for West Virginia, with another $2.5 million in low interest loans approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The announcement was made today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Helping Kids Overcome Their Disaster Fears
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:39:15 -0500

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- When kids see news about a storm or flood or other kind of disaster it can make them feel helpless, experts say. Or they may hear their friends or relatives talking about what happened to them during a storm or flood; the kids' eyes widen and their ears perk up. They wonder if they could be hurt in a disaster.

Monday Is The Deadline To Apply For Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Mon, 29 Jun 2009 07:37:08 -0500

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is Monday, June 29 if you live or work in Raleigh or McDowell Counties and lost income because of the early May storms.

Iraq Stability


The U.S. commander in Iraq says stability there remains good despite the recent surge in violence.

Odierno on CNN


The recent increase in violence in Iraq is the result of extremist elements trying to bring attention to a fractured movement.

U.S. Forces out of Cities


U.S. forces are out of Iraqi cities, easily meeting the June 30th Status of Forces Agreement deadline.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Situation in Honduras

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

Washington, DC - June 28, 2009

The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all. We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue. Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Ramones - Spider-Man from Kobra.com

Submarine Races


Aspiring Naval architects and Marine engineers looking for a creative outlet need not look further than the international submarine races.

Hear the Enemy, Stay Alive

Thursday, June 25, 2009 - MHS

For the first time ever, the Army has deployed audiologists to combat zones, placing them in Iraq and Afghanistan to educate and train troops on hearing protection, and to monitor and treat soldier hearing problems. The influx of hearing experts is part of the new Army Hearing Program (formerly known Army Hearing Conservation), which is being implemented to ensure adequate hearing services are provided to soldiers in all environments, including during pre-and post-deployment operations.

“[Hearing loss] is an invisible injury. You don’t see it, so it’s easily overlooked,” said Col. Kathy E. Gates, audiology consultant for the Army Surgeon General and director of the Army Audiology and Speech Center, at an overview of the Army Hearing Program presented May 21 to a group of military and veterans service organizations. “We are working to raise command awareness of how hearing is a critical sense for soldier survivability and lethality, [through a campaign called] ‘Hear the enemy, stay alive’.”

In 2004, Gates worked with the Office of the Army Surgeon General, Health Policy and Services, and the Proponency Office for Preventive Medicine to institute pre-deployment hearing services for deploying soldiers. In February 2009, policy was changed to include a post-deployment hearing test for all redeploying soldiers. The military’s overall hearing program leadership is now working to expand the role of an audiologist to include operational hearing services in deployed environments, including the battlefield.

Both military and civilian audiologists are supporting the mission. Currently, 30 Army audiologists work in preventive medicine and support AHP. Working with civilian audiologists, who support the direct health care mission and provide clinical or rehabilitative services to eligible beneficiaries, Army audiologists relay the message that “hearing health is critical” to about 324,000 deploying soldiers, who will be routinely exposed to hazardous noise in theater.

A post-deployment health assessment conducted by the Army between March of 2003 and September 2007 concluded that 75 percent of those deployed suffered exposure to extreme noise decibels, and 41 percent experienced vibration. Thirteen percent and 16 percent recorded instances of dizziness and ringing in the ears, respectively. These symptoms are often synonymous with traumatic brain injury, or TBI, and there has been a collaborative effort to merge health care procedures between the Army TBI Multi-Disciplinary Team and Army audiology specialists. A recent report from the VA estimated that nearly 70,000 of the 1.3 million soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are collecting disability for tinnitus, a hearing loss symptom that manifests as a ringing sound in one or both ears. In addition to those suffering from tinnitus, more than 58,000 veterans are currently on disability for hearing loss, costing the VA nearly $805 million annually.

To help prevent hearing loss in the ranks, the Army and Marine Corps have distributed thousands of pairs of the Combat Arms Earplug (CAE), an innovative device designed to block hazardous noise, while still allowing nearly normal hearing. Unfortunately, audiologists and combat veterans say many troops who receive the earplugs either ignore or misuse them due to lack of instruction and training. Efforts are underway to ensure soldiers are provided education, training and fitting of the CAE at Initial Entry Training sites.

But even as troops are trained to use the CAE, the more technologically sophisticated QuietPro is currently being screened for standard use in theater. QuietPro is a digital, lightweight tactical communication headset with built-in, intelligent, high-level hearing protection. The headset provides effective noise reduction of loud blasts while still allowing situational awareness for infantry by letting less harmful combat sounds to come through. The military hopes that the QuietPro device will allow troops more efficient communication during hearing-sensitive tasks like patrol on listening posts, urban warfare, and battlefield commands.

QuietPro, digital hearing device"Soldiers not only want to hear, they want to hear well," Gates said, adding that a QuietPro-type of device both enhances and protects hearing. One of the drawbacks of QuietPro is its price tag: about $600 per unit. The Combat Arms Earplug is $10. The Army Rapid Equipping Force initiative has placed a few thousand QuietPro units in rotation to gauge its overall effectiveness during deployment, and the Marines and Navy are also issuing these particular units.

“The Army is very excited about our road-ahead mission in moving the AHP forward into the 21st Century, where hearing loss is no longer an acceptable by-product of military service," said Gates.

The United States Welcomes Statements on Decommissioning

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
Washington, DC -June 27, 2009

We welcome the statements today from the main unionist groups in Northern Ireland regarding the decommissioning of their weapons.


The announcements underscore the remarkable progress that has taken place in Northern Ireland over the years. All parties agree, as the people of Northern Ireland do, that the only way forward is through peace and reconciliation, and not through violence. Peter Robinson and other unionist leaders should be commended for their efforts in convincing these groups to take this courageous step. Leaders on all sides deserve our praise for their continued commitment to moving the process forward.


The United States remains engaged in order to support Northern Ireland in its progress towards a future of peace and prosperity.

CJCS Podcast for 06.26


ADM Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks about the need to maintain a strong relationship with Pakistan in the fight against Afghan insurgents.

MHS Official Talks Substance Abuse

Friday, June 26, 2009

On June 24, Michael Kilpatrick, M.D., director of strategic communications for the Military Health System, appeared as a guest on the Internet radio program Armed With Science to discuss substance use and abuse in the military.

Acknowledging that substance abuse is an issue of concern in the military, Kilpatrick discussed programs available to service members and their families to prevent substance abuse and provide counseling and rehabilitation for those with problems, which can include non-medical use of prescription drugs.

In addition to talking about the help that’s out there for those who need it, Kilpatrick discussed ongoing studies being conducted by DoD to better understand the extent and contributing factors for these issues.

Timothy P. Condon, PhD, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was also a guest on the show.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Military Scams


The Federal Trade Commission says the downturn in the economy is resulting in a rise in scams, many of which are targeting the military.

Veterans To Receive Stimulus Payment


The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates about $500 million will be paid out to nearly two million eligible veterans as part of the new stimulus plan.

Conyers’ Wife Pleads Guilty to Federal Bribery Charges

CQ TODAY MIDDAY UPDATE
June 26, 2009 – 1:48 p.m.

The wife of House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. pleaded guilty Friday to a federal charge of conspiring to commit bribery.

Monica Conyers, the president pro tem of the Detroit City Council, accepted bribes in 2007 in exchange for voting in favor of a wastewater treatment contract between the city and Synagro Technologies Inc.

As Judiciary chairman, John Conyers is tasked with oversight of the Justice Department, which prosecuted his wife. A spokesman for Conyers, D-Mich., would not comment on whether he would recuse himself from anything related to the department.

“This has been a trying time for the Conyers family and, with hope and prayer, they will make it through this as a family,” the spokesman said. “Public officials must expect to be held to the highest ethical and legal standards. With this in mind, Mr. Conyers wants to work towards helping his family and city recover from this serious matter.”

Monica Conyers faces up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $200,000.

CQ Homeland Security - June 26, 2009 — 3 P.M.

The other Guantanamo: Though it’s well know that President Bush left behind the job of closing Guantanamo, fewer are aware that Obama faces an even larger dilemma dealing with the 600-plus detainees at Bagram prison in Afghanistan, The Public Record spotlights. Of 27 ex-Bagram inmates interviewed by BBC News, only two say they weren’t tortured — while The Guardian expresses surprise at “how long these stories have taken to reach the international media, given the scale of the problem.” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., meantime, tells The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus it “chills my blood” to think that FBI agents now have to administer Miranda rights to Afghan enemy combatants.

Citizen Corps News: Upcoming Events of Interest for Citizen Corps Councils & Partners II

  • Critical Days of Summer
  • Summer Thunderstorms
  • United We Serve
  • Independence Day
  • Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Citizen Corps supports weekly and monthly outreach themes which encourage and promote civic engagement, public safety, preparedness, resilience, and volunteerism. The outreach themes are intended to be used as an opportunity to jumpstart work with additional Citizen Corps partners and affiliates on promoting awareness, planning events, and media outreach to strengthen community preparedness at the state and local level. Local Citizen Corps Councils and partners may contact local representatives from the organizations below to learn how the community can benefit from involvement, reach out to citizens about participation, and involve the local media in distributing information on these events. These events will help raise awareness for local Citizen Corps activities and ultimately increase community preparedness, training, and volunteer participation.

The following are the upcoming events for the end of June and July:

Critical Days of Summer: The "Critical Days of Summer" campaign is an effort to keep families and neighbors safe during summer activities. Studies show that more deadly accidents and mishaps occur during the busy summer months than any other time of year. The campaign focuses on summer safety in four areas: traffic safety, boating safety, drowning prevention, and heat stress prevention. For safety and prevention resources and more information you can share with your community, visit: the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety webpage, National Safety Council's Distracted Driving webpage, Poolsafety.gov, NOAA's National Weather Service Heat Wave webpage, FEMA's Extreme Heat webpage, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Impaired Driving webpage, Motorcycle Safety webpage, Seatbelt Safety webpage, and Child Passenger Safety webpage.

Summer Thunderstorms: In many areas, the summer months are particularly prone to thunderstorms. It is important to note that all thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. Visit FEMA's Thunderstorms and Lightning webpage, NOAA's Severe Storm Laboratory webpage, and NOAA's Lightening Safety webpage for resources and more information about what individuals can do prior to, during, and after a storm. Work with Citizen Corps partners and affiliates to educate your community on thunderstorms through planning events and distributing information at locations that are frequented during the summer such as parks, hardware stores, swimming pools, fairgrounds, and theme parks. Distribute flashlights, bottled water, and flyers with tips and local emergency numbers.

United We Serve (Jun 22 - Sept 11, 2009): United We Serve is President Barack Obama's extended call to service, challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth in this country by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. United We Serve has an emphasis on community organization and resilience which are goals shared by Citizen Corps Councils and partners across the country. The United We Serve summer initiative is June 22 through September 11, 2009- the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Serve.gov has several resources to help you spread the word on United We Serve, including: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's call to service videos, an online tool where individuals and groups can register their local preparedness projects, share success stories, and find local volunteer opportunities, and toolkits to help create new service projects.

Independence Day (July 4, 2009): As families and neighbors head outdoors to backyard barbecues, campouts, and fireworks displays for the 4th of July celebrations, share the message of cooking fire and fireworks safety in your community. Visit FireSafety.gov, the National Council on Fireworks Safety, and National Citizen Corps Affiliate, the National Fire Protection Associationlocal television station to conduct an interview with a firefighter or Fire Corps volunteer to share this information. Additionally, you may distribute fire and fireworks safety information at summer celebrations around the community. Engage CERT members and other Citizen Corps volunteers to participate in 4th of July parades; consider having a Citizen Corps float and be sure to hand out preparedness information along the parade route. for tips on how to safely enjoy cooking outdoors, campfires, and fireworks. Consider asking your

Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26, 2009):http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/specialplans.shtm. People with disabilities and special needs can visit Ready.gov to learn more about adequately preparing themselves for disasters. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It is important to recognize that some individuals with special needs and disabilities may have an increased vulnerability to disasters. To support individuals with special needs and commemorate the anniversary of this act, your Citizen Corps Council may pledge to include special needs in all activities, host an event for organizations that serve special needs to educate them on preparing their clients for disasters, or work with your Citizen Corps partners to spread special needs preparedness and find ways to involve community members with special needs. For more information on preparing and planning for individuals with special needs visit

A complete list of weekly and monthly outreach themes for 2009 is available on the Citizen Corps website at http://www.citizencorps.gov/news/themes.shtm.

Sincerely,

The National Office of Citizen Corps
FEMA Community Preparedness Division

Blood Donor Couple



Quadrennial Defense Review


The Quadrennial Defense Review is a look at the present and the future of the Defense Department.

Golden Knights Seek Candidates


The U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team is seeking candidates for its 2009 assessment and selection.

Middle East Quartet Issues Statement

Date: 06/26/2009 Location: Trieste, Italy Description: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana; and U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell answer questions during a press conference in a G8 foreign ministers' meeting in Trieste, Italy. © AP Image

(June 26): "The Quartet underscored that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfils the aspirations of both parties for independent homelands through two states for two peoples, Israel and an independent, contiguous, and viable state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Quartet welcomed the commitment of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas to the two-state solution." -Full Text

Radovan Karadzic's May 25, 2009 Filing before the ICTY

Bureau of Public Affairs
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC - June 25, 2009

On May 25, 2009 Radovan Karadzic filed a motion before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) titled the “Holbrooke Agreement Motion” in which he argues that his indictment should be dismissed on the grounds that Ambassador Richard Holbrooke promised Dr. Karadzic immunity from prosecution in The Hague in return for his resignation from public life.

The United States is aware of this allegation and repeatedly has made clear that no agreement ever was made to provide Radovan Karadzic immunity from prosecution. Neither Ambassador Holbrooke nor any United States official was in a position to offer Dr. Karadzic such immunity, and no such offer was made. Dr. Karadzic did sign a statement, the text of which was negotiated in Belgrade on July 18, 1996, by Ambassador Holbrooke and a team of United States government officials with senior Serbian officials at a meeting where Dr. Karadzic was not present. In this statement, Dr. Karadzic pledged to leave office and withdraw from public life. There was no “quid pro quo”.

As part of an ongoing commitment to assist the work of the ICTY, the United States regularly provides information to both prosecution and defense counsel. As part of this standard practice and in response to requests from Dr. Karadzic’s legal advisor, we have provided a number of documents to Dr. Karadzic, a few of which were cited in the motion filed on May 25. However, we believe that Dr. Karadzic has mischaracterized the evidentiary import of the information he received.

In the interest of transparency and accuracy, we are making available to the public documents that pertain to the allegation of an immunity agreement and, in particular, demonstrate the lack of an underlying basis for that assertion. As these documents show, the United States Government repeatedly made clear at the time of Dr. Karadzic’s agreement to withdraw from public life that it still expected Dr. Karadzic to be tried in The Hague. This position is reflected in both official statements to the press and in private diplomatic communications, including in letters from Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Ambassador Holbrooke to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

The United States respects the ICTY’s judicial independence and strongly supports the work and mandate of the ICTY to investigate and try some of history’s most horrific crimes. We applauded Serbian authorities following the arrest and transfer of Radovan Karadzic to The Hague on July 21, 2008, and heralded the day as an important milestone for justice for the victims and reconciliation for the Balkans. Our longstanding policy is to ensure that those accused of atrocities face justice.

United We Serve IV


Defense Secretary Robert Gates recognizes volunteers and wounded servicemen and women during the "United We Serve" event at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Medical Grads


There are more than 300 new military doctors ready to tend to the sick and the wounded.

FEMA - Major Disaster Declaration Issued for Kansas

Federal Aid Programs For Kansas Disaster Recovery
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:59:08 -0500

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's major disaster declaration issued for Kansas.

President Declares Major Disaster For Kansas
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:54:31 -0500

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for Kansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes during the period of April 25 to May 16, 2009.

Federal Aid Programs For Kansas Disaster Recovery
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:59:08 -0500

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's major disaster declaration issued for Kansas.

Kansas Severe Storms, Flooding, Straight-line Winds, and Tornadoes

Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:56:11 -0500

Major Disaster Declaration number 1849 declared on Jun 25, 2009.

President Declares Major Disaster For Kansas
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:54:31 -0500

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for Kansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes during the period of April 25 to May 16, 2009.

FEMA advisory for Jefferson City, Mo. - 06.25

FEMA Grants Available For Missouri Residents And Infrastructure
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 15:01:13 -0500

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- As a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding May 8 - 16, President Obama declared a Federal disaster making funds available across the state to assist in the recovery process. These are available to Missouri's residents and infrastructure.

$500,000 In Disaster Grants Designated To Missouri Residents
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 10:41:11 -0500

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- More than $547,000 in disaster assistance has been approved in the seven days since President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for Missouri. The disaster declaration is a result of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding May 8 – 16.

FEMA advisory for Tallahassee, Fla. - 6.25

FEMA Individual Disaster Aid Nears $3 Million; Registration Deadline June 29
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 12:54:37 -0500

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Nearly 1,300 north Floridians have registered for federal-state disaster assistance following the storms and flooding of late-March through early May and there are still a few days left for others to do the same.

Applicants: Keep In Touch With FEMA
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 14:52:35 -0500

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Federal and state officials overseeing north Florida’s disaster recovery from the severe storms and flooding of late March through early May urge all registered applicants to stay in touch throughout the recovery process.

FEMA advisory for Montgomery, Ala. 06.25

FEMA Speeds More Than $1 Million To Assist Recovery Efforts In Autauga, Elmore, And Montgomery Counties
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 07:17:47 -0500

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- In less than 72 hours after Alabama received a federal disaster declaration for Individual Assistance, more than $1 million in housing money was approved for eligible storm survivors as they registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available For Autauga, Elmore, And Montgomery Counties
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 13:22:51 -0500

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to individuals who worked in or are self-employed residents of Autauga, Elmore, and Montgomery counties, according to state and federal officials.

Disaster Recovery Center Opens In Millbrook, Elmore County
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 12:19:14 -0500

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) will open a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Elmore County at noon Sunday to help people affected by the May 6-8 storms and flooding.

FEMA Speeds More Than $2.5 Million To Assist Recovery Efforts In Autauga, Bullock, Elmore, And Montgomery Counties
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:33:03 -0500

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- In less than a week after Alabama received a federal disaster declaration for Individual Assistance, more than $2.5 million in housing money was approved for eligible storm survivors as they registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Tips For Improving Fitness - The Military Health System Blog

Posted by: Health.mil Staff

For Men's Health Month, Mike Caviston, director of fitness at the Naval Special Warfare Center, submitted the following piece on becoming and remaining physically fit. (Caviston was also the guest on a recent episode of our podcast, Dot Mil Docs. Click here to listen!)

The first thing to do is define the term fitness. We want to improve it, but what exactly is it? Essentially, it means being physically prepared for a specific job or activity. You might be a cross country runner, you might be a ditch digger, you might be a Navy SEAL—each of those jobs requires a certain level and type of fitness that is different from the others. Improving your fitness involves “training,” which is a lot like “exercise,” but more focused on improving your ability to perform a specific task rather than improving your general health (though good training will also lead to good health!)

Exercise scientists recognize some general principles and variables related to fitness and training. First, the Overload Principle tells us we need to work hard enough to challenge the body to adapt and improve. So we have to run a little further or lift a little more weight than we are comfortable with, or our hearts and muscles won’t have any reason to alter the status quo. At the same time, we don’t want to do too much or go too hard too often, which leads to burnout and injury. The Specificity Principle tells us we need to focus explicitly on the things we want to improve. Do we want endurance or strength? Do we want endurance for running or swimming? Do we want strength in the arms or legs? Or all of these combined? The adaptations we see are specific to the training we do. According to the Reversibility Principle, the gains we make aren’t permanent, and we have to keep using it or we’re going to lose it (we can maintain fitness with less training than it takes to acquire fitness, but if we stop training altogether we regress towards our starting point). The Individual Differences Principle reminds us that we’re all unique, both genetically and with reference to the amount of fitness we start with, so results we see from a particular training program will vary from person to person.

The variables we need to manipulate while training can be remembered by the acronym F.I.T.T., which stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. Frequency refers to the number of training sessions per week; 3-4 times per week is recommended at a minimum, and up to 2 times a day for the serious, committed, experienced athlete. Intensity is all about how hard you work, and is directly related to the Overload Principle. Again, we need to work hard enough to stimulate gains but not so hard that we become injured or are unable to recover before the next session.

Different methods have been developed to measure intensity that include monitoring heart rate, breathing, or blood chemistry. A simple but quite accurate way to judge intensity is to make sure the effort feels “somewhat hard” (not “easy” or “excruciating”). The time spent training during a single session will vary depending on your goals and abilities, but somewhere between twenty minutes and an hour is a pretty good range in most cases. The type, or mode, of exercise you do needs to reflect the job or event you are preparing for (remember the Specificity Principle). For example, a swimmer might supplement training with a few land-based activities, but needs to spend a significant amount of time in the water.

Designing a training program doesn’t have to be especially complicated, but you should put a little thought into it, and bear in mind the principles and variables described above. You should make a training plan to accomplish your specific goals, taking into account your particular strengths and weaknesses, rather than stringing together a random collection of exercises with arbitrary targets. I recommend five simple steps to take before outlining a program:

  1. Decide what you are training for (example: a military Physical Fitness Test that involves push-ups, pull-ups, and running).
  2. Decide how good you want/need to be (will you be satisfied with achieving the minimal standards, or do you really want to blow it out of the water?)
  3. Determine your current fitness level (are you completely sedentary or are you already in decent shape?)
  4. Determine how much time you will be able to devote to training (the number of weeks until you will be tested, as well the number of hours per day/week you will realistically spend training).
  5. Take stock of the resources you have to train with (do you have a gym and a running track at your disposal, or will you be exercising in your garage and running through your neighborhood?)

A plan’s effectiveness should be measured based on how well it accomplishes your fitness goals and improves your ability to perform, not on how sore it makes you or whether it causes you to throw up. Of course we’d like to avoid injuries caused by training, but remember that training doesn’t come without risks. The only way to avoid training injuries is to avoid training – hardly an acceptable solution, especially for people for whom fitness may potentially affect survival, such as our warriors, police officers, and firefighters. But it is not appropriate for a warrior’s effectiveness or readiness to be compromised by an avoidable training injury, and the risks of training should always be outweighed by the benefits.

Aggressive training should always be moderated with intelligent programming. Probably the most common mistake made while training is simply attempting to do too much too soon (running too many miles, lifting too much weight, doing too many reps). A general rule of thumb is to increase your workload by no more than 5-10 percent per week. Slow, steady, continual progress is preferable to the one step forward, one step back scenario that results from re-aggravating the same injuries over and over without modifying the program. Learn proper technique, follow instructions, and don’t let ego get in the way by focusing on comparison with others rather than your own needs and abilities.

Posted at 2009-06-25 15:48:09 in Monthly Themes| Permalink

Michael Jackson's "I’ll Be There" Lyric

You and I must make a pact
We must bring salvation back
Where there is love, Ill be there

Ill reach out my hand to you,
Ill have faith in all you do
Just call my name and Ill be there

Chorus:
And oh - Ill be there to comfort you,
Build my world of dreams around you
Im so glad that I found you
Ill be there with a love thats strong
Ill be your strength, Ill keep holding on
Yes I will, yes I will

Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, well thats all Im after
Whenever you need me, Ill be there
Ill be there to protect you
With an unselfish love I respect you
Just call my name and Ill be there

(chorus)

If you should ever find someone new
I know hed better be good to you
cos if he doesnt, Ill be there

Dont you know, baby, yeah yeah
Ill be there, Ill be there, just call my name, Ill be there

(just look over your shoulders, honey - ooh)

Ill be there, Ill be there, whenever you need me, Ill be there

Dont you know, baby, yeah yeah
Ill be there, Ill be there, just call my name, Ill be there...

Michael Jackson Dies

Flight Air France 447 Rio de Janeiro - Paris-Charles de Gaulle (PRn xx)

Paris, 25 June 2009 - 12:08 local time

Among the victims found in the sea search, two members of the Air France crew have been identified: the flight captain and a steward.

Chief Executive Officer, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, extended his condolences to their families on behalf of all Air France.

FEMA advisory for South Charleston, W. Va. 06.25

Gilbert Disaster Recovery Center Will Be Closed On Saturdays
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 07:13:56 -0500

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced that the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Gilbert will be closed on Saturdays beginning June 27. The Business Recovery Center, operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, will observe the same days and hours of operation as the DRC.

Flood Insurance: What’s It Worth?
Tue, 23 Jun 2009 13:51:14 -0500

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- The recent severe storms in West Virginia have underscored the value of flood insurance. Since homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 to help reduce the financial losses created by flood damage.


House Ethics Panel Opens Probe of Lawmakers’ Caribbean Trips

CQ TODAY MIDDAY UPDATE
June 25, 2009 – 2:09 p.m.

The House ethics committee said Thursday it has opened an investigation of trips by four House members and a delegate, including Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel , to conferences in the Caribbean that a conservative group says violated House rules.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct announced creation of an investigative subcommittee to look into the travel of Rangel, D-N.Y., Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick , D-Mich, Donald M. Payne , D-N.J., Bennie Thompson , D-Miss., and Del. Donna M.C. Christensen , D-V.I.

Under a 2007 rules change put in place then by a new Democratic majority, House members cannot take trips lasting more than two days that are paid for by lobbyists or by entities other than colleges and universities that employ lobbyists.

The lawmakers under scrutiny traveled to the Sonesta Maho Bay Resort & Casino in St. Maarten for a three-day conference in November 2008 that was sponsored by the New York Carib News Foundation, which is affiliated with a newspaper aimed at New York’s Caribbean immigrant community. But the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative group, said the conference was also underwritten by several companies including Pfizer Inc., Citigroup Inc. and IBM Corp.

The ethics committee also is looking into a trip by the same lawmakers to Antigua and Barbuda for a four-day conference in November 2007 sponsored by the Carib News Foundation.

The investigative subcommittee will be led by G.K. Butterfield , D-N.C., and the top-ranking Republican will be J. Gresham Barrett of South Carolina. The other members are Brad Miller , D-N.C., and Mike Simpson , R-Idaho.

Another ethics subcommittee was set up last year to look into Rangel’s personal finances.

FEMA advisory for Frankfort, Ky 06.25

Commonwealth Flooding Spells Need For Flood Insurance
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 15:21:15 -0500

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The severe May storms that led to a presidential disaster declaration for Individual Assistance in five Kentucky counties are but the latest incidents of flooding that have affected the commonwealth in recent years. Yet many Kentucky homeowners, renters and businesses still lack flood insurance protection.

Kentuckians Urged To Return Their Disaster Loan Forms
Thu, 25 Jun 2009 07:52:19 -0500

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Don't be misled by the word "business" in the name of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). After a disaster, low interest disaster loans from the SBA are the nation's primary source of disaster recovery funds for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and most non-profit organizations.

Age Of Aquarius Lyrics

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revalation
And the mind's true liberation
Aquarius! Aquarius!

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The age of Aquarius
Aquarius! Aquarius!

"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett Dies

New SOUTHCOM Commander


Air Force General Douglas Fraser takes the reins of U.S. Southern Command. Gen. Fraser is the first Air Force commander ever to assume the post.

Your Care in MiCare

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Posted by: Health.mil Staff

Today, Col. Keith L. Salzman, M.D., M.P.H., gives an update on the personal health record pilot program going on at Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis, Wash. Salzman is Chief, Western Regional Medical Command/ Madigan Army Medical Center Informatics.

It’s been almost 12 months since Madigan Army Medical Center started MiCare to bring the concept of a personal health record (PHR) to military beneficiaries.
Through demonstration projects with industry leaders Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health, we have been able to take personal medical information from the MHS electronic medical record, AHLTA, and put the information in our patients’ hands. Into their own personal health record—the patient owns a copy and controls it. Over 400 patients at Madigan have participated in the MiCare, and they like what they see.
It’s been an important year—and it’s paving the way for DoD to be able to share medical information with our patients in an even more comprehensive way. Here are just a few of the early benefits we are seeing from this demonstration project:
  • Patients become partners in their care. Our patients are viewing their lab test results, medication profiles, medical histories and are enabled to be more active participants in managing their medical issues. (The traffic on open accounts is about 10 percent a day).
  • PHRs improve the quality of the information in AHLTA. By sharing medical information with our patients, we are also improving our own systems and we’re better prepared for a patient visit. Medication profiles and medical histories can be outdated—when we share our information from the patient, we introduce another quality control check that ensures the information we look at in AHLTA is more current and relevant.
  • PHRs improve the provider-patient interaction and compliance. We’re in the early stages of this project, but we are also seeing that patients who use a PHR are asking more questions and becoming more engaged in following their treatment plans.
This is an early report from the field. We have much more to do—more capabilities to add, more technical issues to resolve, and expansion to a larger group of users. But in Year One, we are dealing with the big issues—and focused on the end results: improving the quality of every visit, improving the quality of care, and increasing patient participation in their care.
Greater transparency and sharing between AHLTA and the MiCare PHR has great benefits for our patients and our system. As the country engages in an active debate about the future of our health system, the Military Health System is poised to be a leader in this area.
Our team at Madigan is excited to share the results of this pilot program with others in this system. We don’t have all the answers and don’t even know all the questions. I would like to hear from any of you in the MHS. Where do you think the PHR is directed? What are the most valuable uses of a PHR—for patients and for providers? What bridges should be built between our EHR and a PHR? Please share your thoughts and I will continue to provide MiCare updates over the coming months.

Posted at 2009-06-24 12:59:34 in Technology| Permalink
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