Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honduras Coup Latest

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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

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

GEN Odierno Briefing I

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

ADM Keating on North Korea

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

U.S. Now Supporting Iraqi Forces

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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

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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...

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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

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Naval Station Norfolk hosts a seminar on pregnancy.

Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras

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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

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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

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

Odierno on CNN

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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

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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

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Submarine Races

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Quadrennial Defense Review

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

Golden Knights Seek Candidates

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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

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

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