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Saturday, November 30, 2013

La nouvelle vision de l’ESA pour étudier l’univers invisible

La nouvelle vision de l’ESA pour étudier l’univers invisible


World AIDS Day 2013
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 29, 2013

On World AIDS Day, we come together as a global community to honor the many lives we have lost, and to reaffirm our support for the millions of individuals and families who are still living with and affected by HIV/AIDS around the world.

On this day, we also gain strength by celebrating the important strides that we have taken over the past year, and recommit ourselves to the work still ahead to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

This year marks an extraordinary decade of progress. Ten years ago, when the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was launched by President Bush and with strong bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress, an AIDS diagnosis was a virtual death sentence in much of Africa. The epidemic was threatening the very foundation of societies – creating millions of orphans, stalling economic development, and leaving countries stuck in poverty.

Today, landmark scientific advances, coupled with success in implementing effective programs have put an AIDS-free generation within sight. In sub-Saharan Africa, where the epidemic has hit the hardest, new HIV infections are down by nearly 40 percent since 2001, and AIDS-related mortality has declined by nearly one-third since 2005. This progress is thanks in large part to the unique efforts of and partnership between PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and host countries.

The United States is proud of its longstanding leadership role in these efforts. Through research, funding, direct support for HIV services, we have always led by example in this fight, and asked others to join us.

This June, in marking PEPFAR’s tenth anniversary, I was pleased to announce the one-millionth baby born HIV-free due to PEPFAR-supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs. I also was greatly encouraged to report that 13 countries (including 11 in sub-Saharan Africa) have now reached the programmatic “tipping point” in their AIDS epidemic – the point where the annual increase in adults on treatment is greater than the number of annual new adult HIV infections.

And in September, I was honored to host a session with top African leaders and senior global health stakeholders to launch the innovative concept of PEPFAR Country Health Partnerships with South Africa, Rwanda, and Namibia, which will further our efforts to advance country ownership and strengthen sustainability. These successes were further amplified by the U.S. Congress’ bi-partisan and bi-cameral effort in the passage of the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act on November 19.

The Act reaffirms the United States’ continued commitment to this historic health program and to the fight against global AIDS.

Achieving an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility. Partnerships with host government, civil society, the faith community, the private sector, and multilateral organizations are vital to a robust and sustained global AIDS response.

On this World AIDS Day, as we reflect on the extraordinary progress we have made together, it is important to remember that our work is far from finished.

With a sustained focus on strengthened results and shared responsibility, I know that we can get there


November 27, 2013

Federal Court in California Orders James D. Crombie to Pay over $1.5 Million for Misrepresentations to the National Futures Association and for Solicitation Fraud

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a federal court Order against defendant James D. Crombie of Virginia, requiring him to pay $789,540.47 in restitution to defrauded customers and a civil monetary penalty of $750,000. Crombie’s fraudulent scheme involved making false statements and providing false documents to the National Futures Association (NFA) and fraudulently soliciting funds for his former company, Paron Capital Management, LLC (Paron). The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against Crombie and prohibits him from violating the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged.

The Order, entered on November 21, 2013 by the Honorable Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, stems from a CFTC Complaint filed against Crombie and Paron on September 15, 2011 (see CFTC Press Release 6112-11). On September 5, 2012, the court entered a consent Order of permanent injunction against Crombie’s former company, Paron; that Order imposed no monetary penalties against Paron and noted its cooperation with the CFTC’s investigation.

The November 21, 2013 Order against Crombie incorporated the findings of fact and conclusions of law set forth in the court’s July 26, 2013 partial grant of the CFTC’s motion for summary judgment against Crombie, in which the court found that Crombie willfully provided false documents to the NFA and lied to the NFA during the course of a subsequent investigation of Paron. The court also found on summary judgment that Crombie caused Paron to use fraudulent promotional materials in order to solicit clients to trade commodity futures.

The CFTC appreciates the cooperation and assistance of the NFA in this matter.

The CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Jonathan Robell, Danielle Karst, John Einstman, Dmitriy Vilenskiy, Joan Manley, and Paul Hayeck.



Cell Phones

Under the law, FDA does not review the safety of radiation-emitting consumer products such as cell phones and similar wireless devices before they can be sold, as it does with new drugs or medical devices. However, FDA does have the authority to take action if cell phones are shown to emit radiofrequency energy (RF) at a level that is hazardous to the user. In such a case, FDA could require cell phone manufacturers to notify users of the health hazard and to repair, replace or recall the phones so that the hazard no longer exists.

Interagency Working Group

FDA belongs to the Radiofrequency Interagency Work Group. The federal agencies in this group have responsibility for different aspects of RF safety and work to ensure coordinated efforts at the federal level. The other agencies in this group are:

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Communications Commission
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Federal Communications Commission
FDA shares regulatory responsibilities for cell phones with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). FCC certifies wireless devices, and all phones that are sold in the United States must comply with FCC guidelines on RF exposure. FCC relies on the FDA and other health agencies on health and safety related questions about cell phones.

FCC also regulates cell phone base stations. These base stations operate at higher power than cell phones. The RF exposures people experience from base stations are typically much lower than from cell phones because base station antennas are mounted on towers or other building structures and are thus substantially farther away from the public. Both cell phones and base stations are required to comply with FCC RF exposure guidelines.

International Workgroup

For the past several years, delegations from Japan, Korea, the European Union, Australia, China, the World Health Organization, and the United States have met to discuss health concerns for wireless telecommunications. The purpose of these workshops has been to discuss scientific issues related to RF exposure from wireless communications technology from an international perspective. Specific topics addressed have included:

health effects of emerging wireless technologies
recent biological research
standards development
prospects for international collaboration related to the safety of wireless telecommunication devices.


Statement by Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels 
on sentencing in fatal gunpowder plant explosion

Editor's Note: This re-issued News Statement clarifies the length of the sentences imposed in the case.

CONCORD, N.H. — Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels today issued the following statement regarding the sentencing of Craig Sanborn in Coös County Court in New Hampshire for manslaughter in connection with the May 2010 explosion at the Black Mag LLC plant, which killed employees Jesse Kennett and Don Kendall while they were manufacturing a gunpowder substitute. Sanborn, who was the company's president, managing member and primary owner, was sentenced to five to 10 years on two counts of manslaughter, to be served consecutively, for a total of 10 to 20 years, and assessed fines of $10,000:

"The disregard for safety cost two workers their lives, and this jury agreed that Craig Sanborn's actions were criminal.

"Sanborn recklessly ignored basic safety measures that would have protected their lives. His criminal conviction and sentence won't bring these men back to life, but it will keep him from putting workers' lives in peril. And it should drive home to employers this message: Worker safety can never be sacrificed for the benefit of production, and workers' lives are not — and must never be — considered part of the cost of doing business. We categorically reject the false choice between profits and safety.

"The Labor Department commends the Coös County Attorney's Office for its successful prosecution. We also appreciate the invaluable cooperation of the New Hampshire Department of Safety, specifically the Fire Marshal and the State Police, during our investigation."

# # #

Note: OSHA's investigation of the May 2010 explosion at Sanborn's Black Mag gunpowder plant in Colebrook, N.H., resulted in issuance of 16 willful and over 30 serious safety violation citations, along with a $1.2 million penalty to Black Mag. The citations and penalties were affirmed in an agreement that compelled Sanborn to surrender his ATF explosives manufacturing license and barred him from ever again employing workers in any explosives-related business enterprise.
State of New Hampshire v. Craig Michael Sanborn, Case No. 214-2012-CR-18 (Superior Court, Coös County)

Friday, November 29, 2013


The East Coast Marine Corps Combined Band marches in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 28, 2013. The band includes 80 instrumentalists from the Marine Corps' three largest East Coast installations; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. A.J. Rasure -

"Gobbles," the prize winning turkey, sits on display at the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team's dining facility on Fort Stewart, Ga., Nov. 27, 2013. Chefs created the turkey from various types of chips and other snack foods. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigle.

The First Lady Receives the 2013 White House Christmas Tree | The White House

The First Lady Receives the 2013 White House Christmas Tree | The White House

ESA Week in Images

Week in Images


Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address -- Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hi, everybody.  On behalf of all the Obamas – Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny – I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

We’ll be spending today just like many of you – sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football, and most importantly, count our blessings.

And as Americans, we have so much to be thankful for.

We give thanks for the men and women who set sail for this land nearly four centuries ago, risking everything for the chance at a better life – and the people who were already here, our Native American brothers and sisters, for their generosity during that first Thanksgiving.

We give thanks for the generations who followed – people of all races and religions, who arrived here from every country on Earth and worked to build something better for themselves and for us.

We give thanks for all our men and women in uniform – and for their families, who are surely missing them very much today.  We’re grateful for their sacrifice too.

We give thanks for the freedoms they defend – the freedom to think what we want and say what we think, to worship according to our own beliefs, to choose our leaders and, yes, criticize them without punishment.  People around the world are fighting and even dying for their chance at these freedoms.  We stand with them in that struggle, and we give thanks for being free.

And we give thanks to everyone who’s doing their part to make the United States a better, more compassionate nation – who spend their Thanksgiving volunteering at a soup kitchen, or joining a service project, or bringing food and cheer to a lonely neighbor.  That big-hearted generosity is a central part of our American character.  We believe in lending a hand to folks who need it.  We believe in pitching in to solve problems even if they aren’t our problems.  And that’s not a one-day-a-year belief.  It’s part of the fabric of our nation.

And we remember that many Americans need that helping hand right now.  Americans who’ve lost their jobs and can’t get a new one through no fault of their own.  Americans who’ve been trapped in poverty and just need that helping hand to climb out.  Citizens whose prayers and hopes move us to act.

We are a people who are greater together than we are on our own.  That’s what today is about.  That’s what every day should be about.  No matter our differences, we’re all part of one American family.  We are each other’s keeper.  We are one nation, under God.  That core tenet of our American experience has guided us from the earliest days of our founding – and it will guide us to a future that’s even brighter than today.

Thank you, God bless you, and from my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.



Pet Food
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates that can of cat food, bag of dog food, or box of dog treats or snacks in your pantry. The FDA’s regulation of pet food is similar to that for other animal foods. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) requires that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. In addition, canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low acid canned food regulations to ensure the pet food is free of viable microorganisms, see Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 113 (21 CFR 113).

FDA Regulation of Pet Food
There is no requirement that pet food products have pre-market approval by the FDA. However, FDA ensures that the ingredients used in pet food are safe and have an appropriate function in the pet food. Many ingredients such as meat, poultry and grains are considered safe and do not require pre-market approval. Other substances such as sources of minerals, vitamins or other nutrients, flavorings, preservatives, or processing aids may be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for an intended use (21 CFR 582 and 584) or must have approval as food additives (21 CFR 570, 571 and 573). Colorings must have approvals for that use as specified in 21 CFR 70 and be listed in Parts 73, 74, or 81. For more information about pet foods and marketing a pet food, see FDA’s Regulation of Pet Food and Information on Marketing a Pet Food Product.

Pet food labeling is regulated at two levels. The current FDA regulations require proper identification of the product, net quantity statement, name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor, and proper listing of all the ingredients in the product in order from most to least, based on weight. Recent legislation in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 requires FDA to establish by regulation – (1) ingredient standards and definitions with respect to pet food; (2) processing standards for pet food; and, (3) updated standards for the labeling of pet food that include nutritional and ingredient information. FDA is working on this legislative mandate. Comments concerning this initiative can be made at to Docket No. FDA-2007-N-0442. Some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many of these regulations are based on a model provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). For more information about AAFCO,disclaimer icon please visit its website. For more information about labeling requirements, see Pet Food Labels - General.

FDA also reviews specific claims on pet food, such as “maintains urinary tract health,” “low magnesium,” “tartar control,” “hairball control,” and “improved digestibility.” Guidance for collecting data to make a urinary tract health claim is available in Guideline 55 on the CVM portion of the FDA internet site.

CVM DOES NOT recommend one product over another or offer guidance on individual pet health issues that are normally provided by the pet’s veterinarian. Questions regarding your pets' health and/or the specific use of any veterinary drug, pet food, or other product should always be referred to your veterinarian.


Holiday Belt-Tightening for Minimum Wage Workers

“I’m living out of a spare room at my children’s house.”

“I’m working 70 hours a week…my day starts at 6am…I want to go to college, [but] I don’t have time [and] I can’t afford it.”

“I shouldn’t have to decide: am I going to pay the electric bill or do I pay the heat? I’m a thousand dollars behind in rent now…where is this money going to come from?”

“I’ve worked since I was 15 years old, and I’ve never been fired or asked to leave a job. I can’t work more than 8 hours a day or I’ll lose my day care… If I lose that, I’ll lose access to food assistance. I’m barely staying above water now as it is.”

This is just a sampling of what I’ve heard from low-wage workers I’ve met with recently. I come away from these conversations more convinced than ever that we have to raise the federal minimum wage.

In a nation as wealthy as ours, one based on the belief that anyone can make it if they try, it’s unconscionable that people working full-time are living in poverty and resorting to safety net programs for their very survival. As one young man who works in fast food in Milwaukee told me: “This fight – it’s about the minimum wage, but it’s about respect.”

This is a time of year for plentiful family gatherings. But while many of us are fortunate to enjoy a Thanksgiving of abundance and relaxation, the holidays are too often a source of even greater economic anxiety than usual for those earning at or near the minimum wage.

The American Farm Bureau Federation has estimated that feeding a table of 10 this Thanksgiving will cost $49 on average. But it takes minimum wage workers nearly a full shift to earn that much (and many will have to work on Thanksgiving anyway). For them, putting any meal on the table, let alone a multi-course feast, is a penny-squeezing struggle. So while many Americans will be loosening their belts after helpings of turkey and stuffing, it’s another day of belt-tightening for workers trying to get by on the minimum wage.

But increasing the minimum wage isn’t about holiday giving or charity. This is smart economic policy with universal benefits. In an economy driven by consumer demand, more purchasing power for working families means more sales at businesses large and small. With tens of millions of people heading to stores to start their holiday shopping this weekend, imagine how much more retailers could benefit if low-wage workers had more to spend. I can’t put it any better than one worker who told me: “If they would pay us what we need, we could put money back into the economy and pay for what we need. And that strengthens all of us.”

Minimum wage workers are proud and hardworking. They need and deserve a raise. And that’s not just Tom Perez talking — more than three-quarters of Americans agree, according to a recent Gallup poll. As a matter of social justice and economic common sense, it’s time for Congress to act.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Former Suppliers of Beef to National School Lunch Program Settle Allegations of Improper Practices and Mistreating Cows

Several California companies and individuals that formerly supplied beef to the National School Lunch Program have agreed to settle allegations of inhumane handling of cattle, circumventing appropriate inspection of nonambulatory disabled (“downer”) cattle and false representations regarding their eligibility to process beef, the Justice Department announced today.  The announcement follows approval of the last of these settlements by a California probate court.

“Children across the country depend on the National School Lunch Program to provide them with a healthy meal each day, so we all depend on companies providing food to the program to follow the rules designed to ensure those meals are safe to eat,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery.  “The Justice Department will pursue aggressively anyone whose unlawful conduct puts the safety of our food at risk.”

“The contractors who supply beef and other meat products to schools and child-care facilities have a responsibility to provide our nation’s young people with products that come only from healthy and humanely handled animals,” said U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California André Birotte Jr.  “This settlement holds accountable businesses that mistreated cows on a regular basis and routinely evaded a critically important USDA inspection procedure that allowed ‘downer cows’ to be processed into food.”

The settlements will conclude a lawsuit initiated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA) after an HSUS investigator videotaped alleged inhumane cattle handling and improper downer cattle inspection practices at the slaughterhouse and meat processing facility of Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing Co. in Chino, Calif.  The government later joined the lawsuit and brought additional claims that the defendants concealed their ineligibility to process beef because a convicted felon, Aaron “Arnie” Magidow, was a partner in and otherwise responsibly connected with the facility’s operations.  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations applicable to suppliers of the National School Lunch Program prohibit the inhumane handling of cattle, require the proper inspection and disposition of downer cattle and require suppliers to identify convicted felons who are responsibly connected to the suppliers’ operations.

The National School Lunch Program, administered by the USDA, is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child-care institutions.  The program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.  All ground beef containing the defendants’ products was recalled as of Feb. 16, 2008, and the defendants no longer supply beef to the National School Lunch Program.

“A top priority for USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is protecting the integrity of America’s food supply by investigating violations of the Federal Meat Inspection Act,” said USDA-OIG Western Region Special Agent in Charge Lori Chan.  “Agents from OIG’s Diamond Bar, Calif., office conducted an extensive investigation of the Hallmark/Westland facility, which supplied ground beef to schools through USDA’s National School Lunch Program.  The government’s joint investigation led to one of the largest civil settlements in OIG’s history.”  

Under the settlements, Westland Meat Co., based in Corona Del Mar, Calif., and its owner Steve Mendell will pay $240,000, and Westland will enter into a consent judgment for $155.68 million.  M&M Management, also based in Corona Del Mar, Calif., and Cattleman’s Choice, based in Commerce, Calif., and the estate of Cattleman’s deceased owner, Arnie Magidow, and Magidow’s surviving spouse will pay a total of approximately $2.45 million.  Magidow’s surviving spouse was named in the lawsuit as a successor in interest to Magidow and is not alleged to have engaged in any wrongdoing.  In October 2012, defendants Donald R. Hallmark and Donald W. Hallmark settled allegations for $304,130.

The FCA’s whistleblower provisions, under which HSUS filed the lawsuit, permit a private entity to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government and to share in any proceeds from the suit.  The FCA also allows the government to intervene in the lawsuit, as it has done in this case.  As a result of the settlements announced today, HSUS will receive approximately $600,000.    

The case was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch; in cooperation with the USDA Office of Inspector General.  The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.



In the week ending November 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 316,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 326,000. The 4-week moving average was 331,750, a decrease of 7,500 from the previous week's revised average of 339,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending November 16, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 16 was 2,776,000, a decrease of 91,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,867,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,831,750, a decrease of 22,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,854,500.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 363,053 in the week ending November 23, an increase of 37,229 from the previous week. There were 358,869 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent during the week ending November 16, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,684,088, an increase of 143,750 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.2 percent and the volume was 2,835,628.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending November 9 was 3,913,729, an increase of 38,437 from the previous week. There were 5,183,962 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2012.

No state was triggered "on" the Extended Benefits program during the week ending November 9.

Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,943 in the week ending November 16, a decrease of 237 from the prior week. There were 2,027 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 412 from the preceding week.

There were 19,189 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending November 9, a decrease of 785 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 31,277, an increase of 413 from the prior week.

States reported 1,304,899 persons claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending November 9, an increase of 3,337 from the prior week. There were 2,119,054 persons claiming EUC in the comparable week in 2012. EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending November 16 were in Alaska (4.6), Puerto Rico (3.8), New Jersey (3.2), Virgin Islands (3.1), California (2.8), Connecticut (2.8), Pennsylvania (2.7), Oregon (2.5), Illinois (2.4), and New York (2.4).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 16 were in Florida (+888), Idaho (+573), Mississippi (+534), Minnesota (+155), and North Dakota (+103), while the largest decreases were in California (-4,644), Michigan (-3,342), Pennsylvania (-3,112), Texas (-2,584), and New York (-2,246).


U.S. soldiers conduct a dismounted patrol from one of their observation points to an Afghan border police checkpoint in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, Nov. 18, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Provost.

U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Weston, center, and his soldiers secure the rear element of a dismounted patrol en route to an Afghan border police checkpoint in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, Nov. 18, 2013. Weston, a team leader, is assigned to 10th Mountain Division's Company C, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. The patrol's purpose was to assess the state of the checkpoint and its current capabilities. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Provost.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

West Wing Week 11/29/13 or, "Kindness Covers All of My Political Beliefs" | The White House

West Wing Week 11/29/13 or, "Kindness Covers All of My Political Beliefs" | The White House


Hagel Issues Thanksgiving Message to Troops, Families
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel offered his gratitude to service members and their families in a Thanksgiving message.
Here is the secretary's message:

One hundred fifty years ago, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving. Though it was a time of hardship, Thanksgiving was a day for Americans to express gratitude for the many blessings they enjoyed, including the sacrifices of those serving in uniform and their families. Every year since, Americans have come together during this season to reflect and to give thanks.

As this special American holiday draws near, I want to extend my personal gratitude to the entire Department of Defense community for your work to keep our country strong and secure. Whether you are in uniform or a civilian, whether deployed abroad or stationed here at home, it is your service and commitment that allows Americans to enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving. Your strength, selflessness, and patriotism are deeply respected by the American people, and we are very thankful for your commitment to our country.This time of year is especially difficult for service members who are serving far away from their families and loved ones. To all those deployed overseas: know that Americans will be thinking about you as they gather around the Thanksgiving table, and praying for your safe return. To their families back here at home: Americans will always be indebted to you for sacrificing on their behalf. And to all DOD personnel everywhere and your families: thank you and happy Thanksgiving.


Remarks by the President on the Economy -- DreamWorks
Glendale, California
12:50 P.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Oh, it is good to be in L.A.!  (Applause.)  It is colder in D.C. at the moment, colder in Chicago, and 70-degree weather is something to be thankful for.

And it is great to be at DreamWorks Animation.  I would like to work here.  (Laughter.)  I have asked Jeffrey.  The only concern I had was the lights were kind of dim in the offices and -- (laughter) -- I'm pretty sure I'd fall asleep.  But there’s a natural connection between me and DreamWorks.  I don't know if you know this, but my ears were one of the inspirations for “Shrek.”  (Laughter.)  That's true.  True story.

Mellody was being very modest when she said she had a front-row seat.  Mellody was one of my earliest supporters back when nobody could pronounce my name.  And her and John Rogers at Arial Capital helped to co-chair some of my first fundraisers. And they’d have to drag some straggly group in, kicking and screaming, and write a check and listen to this young senator who had a lot of ideas but not necessarily any realistic prospects to win.  And she went through a lot of ups and downs with me and my career and is just a great, great friend.  So I want to thank her publicly for all the support that she’s given us.  (Applause.)

We’ve got some folks here who are fighting for the people of Southern California every single day and I just want to acknowledge them.  We've got the Mayor of Glendale, Dave Weaver. (Applause.)  We've got three of your outstanding members of Congress -- Brad Sherman, Adam Schiff, Karen Bass.  They are all doing a great job.  (Applause.)

I want to thank all of you for being here.  And I want to thank your CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, for inviting me.  (Applause.) Jeffrey, like Mellody, has been a friend and a supporter through thick and thin.  And I think his place in the entertainment industry is legendary -- I don't need to puff him up too much.  (Laughter.)  He has a healthy sense of self.  (Laughter.)  But he is a great friend and somebody whose counsel and advice I value. And I'm incredibly grateful to be here at this wonderful institution that he helped to build.

And I’ve come here today because this is one of America’s economic engines.  Not just DreamWorks, but this whole cluster of companies that generations have grown up knowing -- Disney and Warner and Universal and others.  When you think about it, what finance is to New York, what the auto industry is to the Midwest, what technology is to Northern California, entertainment is to this part of the country.

And most of us have spent a lot of time thinking about our favorite movies or TV shows, but we don’t often think about the entire infrastructure and industry behind the scenes.  Hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs -- they’re not always on the marquee -- jobs for electricians, and carpenters, and sound mixers, and makeup artists, and designers, and animators depend on this incredible industry here in southern California.

Entertainment is one of America’s biggest exports.  And every day, you sell a product that’s made in America to the rest of the world.  Every time somebody buys movie tickets, or DVDs, or distribution rights to a film, some of that money goes back to the local economy right here.

And believe it or not, entertainment is part of our American diplomacy.  It’s part of what makes us exceptional, part of what makes us such a world power.  You can go anywhere on the planet and you’ll see a kid wearing a “Madagascar” T-shirt.  (Laughter.) You can say, “May the Force be with you” -- they know what you’re talking about.  (Laughter.)

Hundreds of millions of people may never set foot in the United States, but thanks to you, they’ve experienced a small part of what makes our country special.  They’ve learned something about our values.  We have shaped a world culture through you.

And the stories that we tell transmit values and ideals about tolerance and diversity and overcoming adversity, and creativity that are part of our DNA.  And as a consequence of what you’ve done, you helped shape the world’s culture in a way that has made the world better.

They might not know the Gettysburg Address, but if they’re watching some old movie, maybe “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” or “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” or “Will and Grace” and “Modern Family,” they’ve had a front-row seat to our march towards progress, even if their own nations haven’t made that progress yet.  And young people in countries all around the world suddenly make a connection and have an affinity to people who don’t look like them and maybe originally they might have been fearful of, and now suddenly they say, oh, this person is like me -- which is one of the powers of art, but that’s what you transmit.

And that is a remarkable legacy.  Now, it’s also a big responsibility.  When it comes to issues like gun violence, we’ve got to make sure that we’re not glorifying it, because the stories you tell shape our children’s outlook and their lives.  Earlier this year, leaders from this town sat down with Vice President Biden to talk about what Hollywood could do to help keep our kids safe.  This was in the wake of Sandy Hook.  And those conversations need to continue.  The stories we tell matter.  And you tell stories more powerfully than anybody else on the Earth.

But I want to make clear, even as we think long and hard about the messages we send, we should never waver from our commitment to the freedom that allows us to tell those stories so well.  Protecting our First Amendment rights are vital to who we are.  And it’s also good business, because in the global race for jobs and industries, the thing we do better than anybody else is creativity.  That’s something that can’t be copied.  It’s one of the reasons why even with new markets and new technologies, there’s still no better place to make movies and television and music than right here in the United States.

Entertainment is one of the bright spots of our economy.  The gap between what we can do and what other countries can do is enormous.


THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, that’s worth cheering for.  (Applause.) And that means that we’ve got to do what it takes to make sure that this industry, and every great American industry, keeps that competitive edge so that more folks can find career paths like many of you have, and get good middle-class jobs that allow you to support a family and get ahead.

Nothing is more important than that right now.  And as Mellody mentioned, when I came into office, we were going through a severe crisis.  Five years later, America has largely fought our way back.  We’ve made the tough choices required not just to help the economy recover, but to rebuild it on a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.

We refocused on manufacturing and exports, and today, our businesses sell more goods and services made in this country to the rest of the world than ever before.  Our manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, led by an American auto industry that’s come roaring back.  American cars are really good now.  (Laughter.)

We decided to reverse our dependence on foreign oil.  So today, we generate more renewable energy than ever -- doubled our renewable energy -- more natural gas than anybody.  For the first time in nearly 20 years, America now produces more of our own oil than we buy from other countries.  It’s good news.  (Applause.)

When I took office, America invested far less than countries like China did in wireless infrastructure and we’ve now narrowed that gap, and we have helped companies unleash jobs and innovation and become a booming app economy that’s created hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Six years ago, only 5 percent of the world’s smartphones ran on American operating systems.  Today, more than 80 percent do.  (Applause.)

And, yes, we decided to fix a broken health care system.  (Applause.)  And it’s interesting -- I was talking to some of the studio execs here, and I said, look, the rollout of the new health care marketplace was rough and nobody was more frustrated about the problems with our website than I am.  And yet, here in Southern California and here across this state, there are thousands of people every single day who are getting health care for the first time -- for the first time -- because of this.  (Applause.)  And, by the way, the website is continually working better, so check it out.  (Laughter.)

But as a country, we're now poised to gain health coverage for millions of Americans, starting on January 1st, and that includes more than 350,000 here in California who have already signed up.  And thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years.  Employer-based health care costs are growing at about one-third the rate of a decade ago.  And that means that if the studios here or your employers aren't having to spend as much on health care, they can hire more folks and reinvest more in the business, and come up with those cool technologies that -- I don’t exactly understand how they work, but -- (laughter) -- were really neat to look at.  (Laughter.)

And, by the way, we've done all this while bringing down our deficits.  (Applause.)  After years of trillion-dollar deficits, we reined in spending.  You would think sometimes listening to folks in Washington that we haven't made any progress on that front.  We wound down two wars.  We changed a tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class.  You add it all up, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half, and they continue to go down faster than any time since World War II.  (Applause.)

So all told, our businesses created 7.8 million new jobs over the past 44 months.  America has gone farther, recovered faster than most other industrialized nations.  But, as Mellody said, we've got more work to do.  The stock market is doing great, corporate profits soaring, but too many Americans aren’t sharing in that success.  And everybody here who works at DreamWorks -- a really good place to work.  I'm going to ask Jeff if maybe I can work here.  (Applause.)  But all of you have friends and family and neighbors who aren't as lucky.  And you know there are still a lot of folks who are struggling out there. And my top priority is making sure that this country remains a country where everybody who is willing to work hard can get ahead.

And we'd be a lot further along without some of the dysfunction and obstruction we've seen in Washington.  (Applause.)  We would be a lot further along if we could just get folks to act with some sense -- (laughter) -- if we didn’t have one wing of one party that was a little less obsessed with repealing health care for 40 million people, more concerned with making sure the law works.  If they hadn't spent 40 votes trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they might have actually taken some votes on rebuilding our infrastructure, or instituting early childhood education for young people across this country, or investing more money in basic research that helps to create the amazing technologies that many of you utilize.  Any of the serious proposals I've put forward that would be creating jobs right now, they could have been taking votes on that.

Instead of rooting for failure, or refighting old battles, Republicans in Congress need to work with us to improve those things about the Affordable Care Act that aren't working as well as they should, and implement policies to strengthen the middle class and create jobs.  (Applause.)

A couple of weeks ago, House Republican leaders handed out a piece of paper to their members and on the top it said, “Agenda 2014.”  I'm not making this up.  Below that, it was blank.  (Laughter.)  It was a blank sheet of paper -- nothing to create jobs or grow the economy or strengthen the middle class.

And I’ve put forward my plans to create new jobs and even the odds for the middle class.  And I’ve put forward plans that gives some Republicans some of the things that they want in exchange for ideas that will create good jobs right now.  And so far, they won’t consider them.

Some people have heard me say my list of top five movies -- “The Godfather,” one and two, have to be on it.  But it turns out Marlon Brando had it easy, because when it comes to Congress, there’s no such thing as an “offer they can’t refuse.”  (Laughter.)  I mean, I just keep on coming back.  (Laughter.)  I'm going to keep on trying, though.  (Laughter.)  I am, because we've got no choice.  (Applause.)

The American people agree with us that jobs, growing the economy should be our number-one priority.  And we've got to make some investments to make that happen.  And we've got to give a better bargain to the middle class and everybody who is working to join the middle class.  And that means building on those cornerstones of what makes for a strong middle class -- good jobs, a good education, a home of your own, health care when you get sick, a secure retirement even if you're not rich.  So we can help manufacturers bring more jobs back to America by investing in American clean-energy technology, and putting people to work building roads and bridges and schools and high-speed broadband networks that attract businesses from around the world.

We can prepare our children and our workers for the global competition that they’ll face -- expanding high-quality preschool education, redesigning our high schools, investing in community colleges and job training, and tackling rising college costs, so that young people can afford it.  We can help responsible homeowners afford a mortgage or refinancing at today’s low rates, help build a rock-solid housing system for decades to come, instead of boom and bust.

We can bring the promise of a secure retirement back to reach for middle-class families, finding new ways to make it easier for workers to save, and strengthening Social Security, and getting immigration reform done so that undocumented workers are paying their fair share of taxes, but they're not living in the shadows -- (applause) -- and we're attracting the best and the brightest from all around the world.

As I was getting a tour of DreamWorks, I didn't ask, but just looking at faces, I could tell there were some folks who are here not because they were born here, but because they want to be here and they bring extraordinary talents to the United States.  And that's part of what makes America special.  And that's part of what, by the way, makes California special, because it's always been this magnet of dreamers and strivers.  And people coming from every direction saying to themselves, you know, if I work hard there I can have my piece of the American Dream.

We're going to continue to make progress on all those fronts.  And, yes, we are going to continue to implement the health care law.  The product is good.  People want it.  And we should not live in a country where people are going bankrupt just because they get sick.  And anybody who is going to keep on pushing against that, they will meet my resistance, because I am willing to fix any problems that there are, but I'm not going to abandon people to make sure that they've got health insurance in this country.  That is not something we're going to do.  (Applause.)  And the good news is, as I said, thousands of Californians are already signing up.

I read a really powerful story over the weekend I just want to mention about uninsured folks in Kentucky who are signing up in droves in one of the poorest counties in the country.  Some of them can't imagine what having health insurance would be like.  And you read these stories and you realize how important it is for folks in Kentucky -- a state, by the way, that did not vote for me -- (laughter) -- and if Kentucky can do it, than every state should be able to do it.

We should be able to expand Medicaid all across the country. There are millions of people who, right now, even under the law, may not get health care that they deserve because their governors have refused to do it just for political reasons -- expanding Medicaid.  Fortunately, California, obviously, is not one of them.  But this is a fight that we're going to keep fighting, because it's worth fighting.  And that's what Mellody referred to.

It's true.  I'm not an ideological guy, but there are some things I really believe in.  And part of what I believe in is that the essence of this country, what makes this place special, is this idea that Hollywood is glorified and held up, but I actually think it’s true that here, more than anyplace else, no matter what you look like, where you come from, what your last name is, who you love, you should be able to make it if you're willing to work hard.  That's what I believe.  (Applause.)

And there’s certain values that make that a reality.  I have my critics, obviously, but since were here in Hollywood, I want to think about something that the late, great Chicago film critic, Robert [Roger] Ebert said -- and I was fortunate to get to know Roger Ebert and was always inspired by how he handled some really tough stuff.  “Kindness,” he wrote, “covers all of my political beliefs.”  Kindness covers all of my political beliefs.

And when I think about what I'm fighting for, what gets me up every single day, that captures it just about as much as anything.  Kindness; empathy -- that sense that I have a stake in your success; that I'm going to make sure, just because Malia and Sasha are doing well, that's not enough -- I want your kids to do well also.  And I'm willing to help to build good schools so that they get a great education, even if mine are already getting a great education.

And I'm going to invest in infrastructure and building things like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam and the Internet -- (laughter) -- because I'm investing for the next generation, not just this one.  And that's what binds us together, and that's how we've always moved forward, based on the idea that we have a stake in each other’s success.  And that's what drives me.  And that's what will continue to drive me.

I believe that every kid should have opportunity.  I believe our daughters should have the same opportunities as our sons.  I believe that Jeffrey’s kids should be able to aspire to whatever they can dream of, but I also want to make sure that the person who’s cleaning up Jeffrey’s office, that their kid has that same possibility.

And we may have different ideas and different policies on how to do things, but that shouldn’t negate that that core vision is what we're fighting for, and we should be able to sit down together and to keep dreaming and keep working, and to make sure that the American Dream that's been described here in Southern California is sustained for generations to come.

And what’s stopping us is not policy details; it’s not technical issues.  It’s to summon the courage to put politics aside once in a while and remember that we've got more in common than our politics would suggest.  And as long as I've got the privilege of serving as your President, that's what I'm going to keep on making sure that I do -- to put politics aside once in a while and work on your behalf.  (Applause.)

So, thank you, DreamWorks, for what you do.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Jeffrey, for your hospitality.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)  Can't wait to see your next movie.  (Applause.)

Spacelab and 30 years of ESA astronauts

Spacelab and 30 years of ESA astronauts


The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor.

[Note 77: A copy of this proclamation was sent to the executives of the States by the President in a brief form letter (October 3). This form is recorded in the "Letter Book" in the Washington Papers.]

City of New York, October 3, 1789.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee78 requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

[Note 78: The Senate concurred in the House resolve to this effect, September 26.]

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.79

[Note 79: From the original in the writing of William Jackson. It was signed by Washington, who had written in the day "third" in the date.
This was the first national Thanksgiving Day proclamation under the Constitution.]


Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Stanley Electric Co. Ltd. Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing on Automobile Parts Installed in U.s. Cars
Company Agrees to Pay $1.44 Million Criminal Fine

Stanley Electric Co. Ltd., a Tokyo-based company, has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $1.44 million criminal fine for its participation in a conspiracy to fix prices of lamp ballasts installed in cars sold in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, Stanley Electric engaged in a conspiracy to rig bids for, and to fix, stabilize and maintain the prices of, automotive high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp ballasts sold to automakers in the United States and elsewhere.  Stanley Electric has also agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation. The plea agreement is subject to court approval.

The department said that Stanley Electric and its co-conspirators sold or supplied the ballasts at noncompetitive prices to automakers in the United States and elsewhere.  Stanley Electric’s involvement in the conspiracy to fix prices of automotive HID lamp ballasts lasted from as early as July 1998 until at least February 2010.

Stanley Electric manufactures and sells automotive HID headlamps, which contain automotive HID lamp ballasts.  An automotive HID lamp ballast is an electrical device that is essential for the operation of an HID headlamp.  It regulates the electrical current used to ignite and control the electrical arc that generates the intensely bright light emitted by an automotive HID headlamp fixture.

The department said the company and its co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy through meetings and conversations in which they discussed and agreed upon bids, price quotations and price adjustments and agreed to allocate among the companies certain sales of HID lamp ballasts sold to automobile and component manufacturers.

Including Stanley, 23 corporations have been charged in the department’s investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry.  Those companies have agreed to pay a total of over $1.8 billion in fines.  Additionally, 26 individuals have been charged.

Stanley Electric Co. Ltd. is charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of a $100 million criminal fine for corporations.  The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Oklahoma Child Care Center to Ensure Equal Rights for Children with Disabilities
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement with Camelot Child Development Center of Oklahoma City and Edmond, Okla., under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The settlement resolves allegations that Camelot violated the ADA by prohibiting a child with Down syndrome from field trips, and threatening to expel her, because of her developmental delays.  Because the child is not fully toilet-trained, she wears pull-up diapers and requires help with toileting.  Camelot provides toileting assistance to younger children, but Camelot refused to provide such assistance to the child with Down syndrome during field trips.  As a result, the child could not join in these outings with the other children.  In addition, at one point, Camelot threatened to expel the child because of her need for toileting assistance.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in child care centers.  Under the ADA, child care centers must make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices or procedures when necessary to provide equal access to a child with a disability, unless a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods and services.  Personal services, such as diapering or toileting assistance, may be required for children who need it due to a disability, regardless of age, when such personal services are provided to other children.

Camelot worked cooperatively with the Justice Department throughout the investigation to change its policies to ensure the center will treat children with disabilities fairly and equally.  Under the agreement, Camelot will also pay $3,000 to the family and provide one full year of child care services free of charge to compensate the child and the mother for the harm they have endured as a result of Camelot’s actions.  In addition, Camelot will train its staff on the ADA and develop and implement an anti-discrimination policy.  The department will monitor Camelot’s compliance for three years.

“Equal access to school and after-school programs is essential to children and parents across the country,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “School and after-school programs allow children with disabilities to learn and play with their peers and develop important social skills.  The Civil Rights Division takes disability discrimination in child care settings very seriously and will not allow the exclusion of children with developmental delays.”

“Children are our most valuable resource and must be afforded equal opportunities to grow, learn, and develop,” said U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats.  “The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that a child with a disability has the same access to those opportunities as a child who is not disabled.”


Research models behavior of ultra-cold atoms and polar molecules

Theoretical physicist Ana Maria Rey uses the computer, as well as pencil and paper, to develop mathematical models that describe the behavior of ultra-cold atoms. The idea is to use these systems to learn more about condensed matter physics and quantum mechanics with the goal of inspiring new materials, precision measurements and quantum information.

Using ultra-cold atoms, "we aim to develop synthetic materials that do not exist in nature, but which can help us understand materials that do exist in nature," says National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded scientist Rey, a research assistant professor in the University of Colorado Boulder's Department of Physics and a fellow at JILA, a joint institute of the university and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

"Electrons in solids can exhibit rich behavior, complex behavior, that we do not understand," she adds. "This behavior comes from interactions of many electrons. When the electrons in the solids interact and see other electrons, the laws of quantum mechanics govern how they behave. This is very complicated behavior. This behavior is so complex that even a classical computer cannot solve it."

Rey is a recent recipient of one of this year's prestigious MacArthur fellowships, a $625,000 no-strings-attached award, popularly known as a "genius" grant. These go to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their fields.

She also has received about $500,000 in NSF funding since her arrival at JILA in 2008 for work that includes modeling the behavior of ultra-cold atoms and polar molecules.

Rey and her colleagues create artificial materials by trapping atoms with light. In order to do this, "we have to make them very cold," she explains. "We then use lasers to try to mimic the potential that electrons feel in real solids."

Ultimately, her research could lead to new materials for more effective superconductors, as well as new magnetic behavior that could speed up computer development. One of the eventual goals, for example, is to develop new materials that superconduct at room temperature, rather than only in extreme cold.

"This will help everything, because nowadays you have to cool the materials down, which is very expensive," she says. "If we don't have to cool them down, everything that uses superconductivity can be made much less expensively."

She also is developing a comprehensive theoretical framework for an optical-lattice quantum computer based on alkaline earth metals, and she already has proposed solutions for problems associated with storing, addressing, and transporting qubits, which are the quantum equivalent of traditional computing bits.

Among other things, she is attempting to resolve long-standing obstacles to large-scale entanglement between atoms, which quantum computers require both for communication and calculations.

"We want to use atoms trapped in light to create a quantum computer," she says. "The internal levels of the atom are the qubits of the computer. For example, we are proposing atoms in the second column of the periodic table--alkaline Earth elements, such as strontium--which have large number of degrees of freedom to improve computation capabilities."

Such research potentially could produce smaller and faster computers with capabilities that classical computers do not now have. "A classical computer has to do its computations one at a time, but with quantum mechanics, all the computations are done in parallel," she says.

Finally, she also is working on advances in developing an optical atomic clock.

"Atoms are a tool that allows us to measure time in a very precise way," she says. "The energy levels of an atom are like the ticking of a clock. The higher the energy separation between levels, the more ticks you have and the more precise your clock.

"The atomic clock measures time, and to measure time better, we need more atoms," she says. "The more atoms we have, the higher the signal-to-noise ratio, meaning that in principle, the clock is more precise."

One persistent problem, however, is that atoms collide, "and that is bad for the clock," she adds. "What I have done is try to understand the origins of these collisions, and try to control them in order to improve the clock."

-- Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Remarks by the President at Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey

North Portico
1:30 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody, and happy Thanksgiving. 
The office of the presidency -- the most powerful position in the world -- brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities.  This is not one of them.  (Laughter.)  But the White House Turkey Pardon is a great tradition.  And I know Malia loves it -- as does Sasha. 
Generally speaking, Thanksgiving is a bad day to be a turkey.  Especially at a house with two dogs.  So I salute our two guests of honor -- Caramel and Popcorn -- for their bravery. They came all the way from outside Badger, Minnesota to be with us.  They, like my Chief of Staff, are Vikings fans.  (Laughter.) I’m not sure that they know -- (turkeys gobble) -- uh-oh.  (Laughter.)  See.  I'm not sure they know that that my Bears are heading to Minnesota on Sunday, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm going to give them a break.  (Laughter.) 
We are also excited to have students from Badger High School here.  (Applause.)  Where are you guys?  There they are, right there.  And finally, let me say thank you to John Burkel,  chairman of the National Turkey Federation.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  
Now, 80 turkeys on John’s farm competed for the chance to make it to the White House, and stay off the Thanksgiving table. It was, quite literally, the hunger games.  (Laughter.)  and then, after weeks of vocal practice and prepping for the cameras, the two tributes, Caramel and Popcorn went head-to-head together for America’s vote as top gobbler. 
The competition was stiff, but we can officially declare that Popcorn is the winner -- (applause) -- proving that even a turkey with a funny name can find a place in politics.  (Laughter.)   As for Caramel, he’s sticking around, and he’s already busy raising money for his next campaign.  (Laughter.)   
On a more serious note, later today, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will bring a couple less fortunate turkeys to a great organization that works to help out our neighbors here in D.C. who need it most.  And I want to thank Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania, for donating those dressed birds for the fifth year in a row.  This is a reminder that this is a season to not only be thankful for the incredible blessings that we have, but also to remember the neediest and generously serve those who are not as fortunate.
This is a quintessentially American holiday, and during this time we give thanks to our friends and our family, for citizens who show compassion to those in need, and for neighbors who help strangers they’ve never met.  We give thanks for the blessings of freedom and opportunity that previous generations worked so hard to secure for.  And we give thanks for the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform who serve our nation around the world. 
For those of you who are watching, you keep us safe.  You make us proud, and you remind us of our own obligations to build on the work of our predecessors and leave something better for our own kids.
So on behalf of the Obama family, I want to wish everybody a very happy Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, as we gather with our own friends and family, we’ll count ourselves lucky that there’s more to be thankful for than we can ever say, and more to be hopeful for than we can ever imagine.
And now, before these turkeys get away -- with the power vested in me, I want to grant Popcorn a full reprieve.  Come on. (Laughter.)  Popcorn, you have a full reprieve from cranberry sauce and stuffing.  We wish you well.  And we’re going to give Carmel a break as well.
All right?  (Laughter.)  Congratulations, everybody.  (Applause.)   Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.  See you, Popcorn. (Applause.)  Get out of the rain.  (Laughter.)



Toyon Research Corp.**, Goleta, Calif. (N68936-14-D-0001), and Integrity Applications Inc.**, Chantilly, Va. (N68936-14-D-0002), are each being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the development and fielding of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting systems to improve warfighter situational awareness and weapon delivery capabilities.  The estimated aggregate ceiling for both contracts is $42,282,088, with the companies having an opportunity to compete for individual delivery orders.  Work will be performed in Goleta, Calif., and Chantilly, Va. and work is expected to be completed in November 2018.  Funds are not being obligated at time of award.  Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued.  This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals as a 100 percent small business set-aside; seven offers were received.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $32,388,530 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-2205) for lifecycle engineering and support services for LPD 17 class integrated shipboard electronic systems.  The following services will be provided:  lifecycle engineering and support services, including post-delivery planning, logistics and engineering, homeport technical support, integrated product data environment, data maintenance, equipment management, systems integration and design engineering, software support, research engineering, obsolescence management (both technical and logistics), material readiness support, emergent repair planning, training and logistics support; Planning Yard support of integrated electronic systems, including fleet modernization planning, ship alteration development and installation, material management, configuration data management, research engineering, logistics documentation, and other logistics and executing activity coordination, and management; performance-based logistics support, including providing sustaining engineering and obsolescence management support for unique LPD 17 class integrated shipboard electronic systems.  Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (98 percent), and Norfolk, Va. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2014.  Fiscal 2005 and 2012 shipbuilding and conversion, Navy; fiscal 2014 shipbuilding and conversion, Navy and fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy funds in the amount of $6,229,134 will be obligated at time of award.  Contract funds in the amount of $1,814,508 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Helix Electric Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $24,788,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Dry Dock 8 electrical distribution upgrade at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  The work to be performed provides for the upgrade of existing shore power to support the new class of aircraft carriers.  Specifically, this project involves installation of an electrical distribution system, a system capable of providing shore power and industrial power at the dry dock.  The contractor will also be responsible for removal and disposal of the existing power system.  The project includes provisions to support the shore power requirements of the adjacent future pier replacement and provides for all electrical, civil, structural and mechanical work associated with the electrical upgrades.  The contract also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $24,973,000.  Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va., and is expected to be completed by December 2015.  Fiscal 2013 military construction, Navy contract funds in the amount of $24,788,000 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with seven proposals received.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-14-C-8106).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Aerospace Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $13,857,607 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for logistics services in support of the MQ-8B/C Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle.  This work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md. (70 percent), and Pt. Mugu, Calif. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2014.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy funds in the amount of $13,857,607 are being obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10U.S.C. 2304 (c) (1).  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0012).

Rockwell Collins Inc., Richardson, Texas, is being awarded a $10,834,820 fixed-firm-price contract for sustaining engineering services in support of the E-6B Mercury aircraft.  This contract includes sustaining engineering services for the Mission Avionics System, the Long Trailing Wire Assembly, the Short Trailing Wire Assembly, the High Power Transmit Set and the Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion Phase 4 system.  Work will be performed in Richardson, Texas (60 percent) and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Okla. (40 percent) and is expected to be completed in November 2014.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy contract funds in the amount of $2,033,000 are being obligated on this award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0027).

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $9,720,715 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0005) to exercise an option for the procurement of 210 HARM AGM-88B/C Guidance Sections for the U.S. Air Force (190) and the Government of Germany (20); 25 HARM AGM-88BC Control Sections for the U.S. Air Force (20) and the Government of Germany (5), including associated technical data.  Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in August 2015.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Air Force and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $8,280,290 will be obligated at time of award, $7,222,105 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force ($8,662,530; 89 percent) and the Government of Germany ($1,058,185; 11 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Drew Marine USA, Inc., Whippany, N.J., is being awarded a $9,202,490 modification under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with firm-fixed-price delivery orders (N00033-12-D-8000) to exercise a one-year option for the worldwide supply, delivery and services for shipboard chemical treatment; foam testing, supply and disposal; industrial gases; and refrigerants for all U.S. naval ships of Military Sealift Command (MSC) and any other vessel specifically identified by MSC.  Work will be performed worldwide and is expected to be completed November 2014.  If all options are exercised this effort will continue through November 2016.  Fiscal 2014 working capital contract funds in the amount of $9,202,490 are being obligated, and funds will expire at the end of that fiscal year.  The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00033-12-D-8000).

The Hana Group Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded a $6,803,449 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00178-07-D-5082) to exercise option three for range and business/financial support services.  Work will be performed at Kauai, Hawaii, and work is expected to be completed Dec. 1. 2014.  If all options are exercised, work will be completed by Dec. 1, 2015.  This modification increases the value of the basic task order to a new total value of $27,096,766.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy funds in the amount of $633,150 will be obligated at the time of award, and funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured using the Navy Sea Port e-procurement portal, with four offers received in response to this solicitation.  The NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.


Defense Contract Services Inc.*, Leander, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $20,790,000 firm-fixed-price contract for non-personal services to perform the operation and maintenance for fuels service center and manage all programs and actions required to support the fuels management flight located on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.  This contract is a competitive acquisition, and 14 offers were received.  Locations of performance are Texas and California with a Dec. 31, 2025 performance completion date.  This is a 12-year base contract with one four-year option period.  Using military service is Air Force.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-14-C-5402).

Dixie Chemical Company Inc.**, Houston, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $15,179,076 firm-fixed-price contract for production, storage, and distribution of various types of high density, synthetic hydrocarbon type propellants.  This contract is a competitive acquisition, and three offers were received.  Location of performance is Texas with a Nov. 30, 2018 performance completion date.  This is a five-year base contract with no option year periods.  Using military services are Navy, Air Force, federal civilian agencies and defense contractors.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, San Antonio, Texas, (SPE601-14-D-1502).

Bethel Industries, Inc.**, Jersey City, N.J., has been awarded a maximum $13,967,796 modification (P00014) exercising the first one-year option period on a one-year base contract (SPM1C1-13-D-1015) with four one-year option periods for combat utility uniform trousers.  This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract.  Locations of performance are New Jersey and Mississippi with a Dec. 4, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military service is Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Short Bark Industries Inc.***, Vonore, Tenn., has been awarded a maximum $10,835,538 modification (P00009) exercising the first one-year option period on a one-year base contract (SPM1C1-13-D-1005) with four one-year option periods for combat utility uniform blouses.  This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract.  Locations of performance are Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and Mississippi with a Dec. 4, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military service is Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Refinery Associates of Texas Inc.**, New Braunfels, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $8,435,714 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for fuel.  This contract is a competitive acquisition, and seventeen offers were received.  Locations of performance are Texas and United Arab Emirates with a Jan. 30, 2015 performance completion date.  This is a two-year base contract with no option year periods.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-14-D-0453).

Kandor Manufacturing Inc.****, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $6,690,641 modification (P00009) exercising the first one-year option period on a one-year base contract (SPM1C1-13-D-1014) with four one-year option periods for combat utility uniform blouses.  This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract.  Locations of performance are Puerto Rico and Mississippi with a Dec. 4, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military service is Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2015 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.


The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., has been awarded a $15,500,000 firm-fixed-price modification (P00021) to firm-fixed-price contract (FA8634-12-C-2651) for the procurement of disorientation recovery function capability on the F-15SA aircraft for the Royal Saudi Air Force.  Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and will be completed by Feb. 2, 2015.  Foreign military sales funds for Saudi Arabia in the amount of $2,365,121 are being obligated at time of award.  The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Honeywell International Inc., Clearwater, Fla., has been awarded a $9,997,263 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Pendulous Integrating Gyroscopic Accelerometer (PIGA, a component on the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile).  Honeywell will repair PIGA float assemblies which is an ongoing repair effort.  This effort will produce 96 PIGA floats that will be reinserted within the PIGA float assembly repair line.  The PIGA float is an extremely complex, critical precision sub-assembly that is the heart of the PIGA instrument.  Work will be performed in Clearwater, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2015.  This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $8,234,569 are being obligated at time of award.  Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center/PZBF, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8204-14-C-0002).


General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded a $6,950,520 contract modification (P00025) for contract W56HZV-11-C-C002.  Modification is for an equitable adjustment resulting from the impact of a government stop-work order under the Ground Combat Vehicle Technology Development Phase contract.  Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is June 4, 2014.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with three received.  Work location is Sterling Heights, Mich.  Army Contracting Command (Tank and Automotive), Warren, Mich., is the contracting agency.

City of Monterey, Monterey, Calif., was awarded a $7,024,196 cost contract with options for base operations support services.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $3,780,100 were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is Nov. 30, 2014.  One bid was solicited and one received.  Work location is Monterey, Calif.  Army Contracting Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting agency (W9124J-14-D-0001).


American Auto Logistics, Limited Partnership, Park Ridge, N.J., is being awarded a $69,000,000 delivery order modification 04 to previously awarded delivery order DAMT01-03-D-0184-0009 to provide Department of Defense-sponsored shipments of privately owned vehicles belonging to military service members and transportation of DOD-sponsored shipments of POVs for DOD civilian employees.  Work will be performed at multiple locations both within and outside of the continental U.S., through March 21, 2014.  Fiscal year 2014 Transportation Working Capital Funds of $69,000,000 are being obligated at the time of modification execution. The contracting activity is the U.S. Transportation Command Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

AAR Airlift Group, Inc., Palm Bay, Fla., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for dedicated fixed wing services in the Central Africa Region (Uganda, Central Africa Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan).  Performance is from Dec. 28, 2013 to Oct. 27, 2015.  Funds will be obligated on individual task orders and are Army operations & maintenance funds.  This contract was a competitive acquisition, and four proposals were received.  The contracting activity is the U.S. Transportation Command Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., (HTC711-14-D-R026).

*Veteran Owned Small Business
**Small Business
***Small InHubZone, Woman Owned Business
****Small Disadvantaged Business


State Department Debars Former Honeywell International Employee for Export Violations
Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 27, 2013

The State Department issued an order administratively debarring LeAnne Lesmeister, former compliance officer at Honeywell International, Inc. (Honeywell), from participating in any activities that are subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)(22 C.F.R. parts 120-130) for violations of the Arms Export Controls Act (AECA)(22 U.S.C. § 2778) and the ITAR.

Honeywell voluntarily disclosed to the Department numerous ITAR violations carried out by Ms. Lesmeister, its senior export compliance officer in Clearwater, Florida, between 2008 and 2012. Ms. Lesmeister, who had worked in export compliance at Honeywell for twenty-seven years, used her position to circumvent Honeywell’s export compliance program in the fabrication of various export control documents that Ms. Lesmeister presented as Department of State authorizations. Relying on these falsified authorizations, Honeywell exported defense articles, including technical data, and provided defense services to various foreign persons without Department approval in violation of the AECA and ITAR.

The State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs performed an extensive compliance review of the disclosed violations. The results of that review indicated no direct harm to U.S. foreign policy or national security. The nature of the violations, however, prompted the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Trade Controls in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs to formally charge Ms. Lesmeister with twenty-one violations of the AECA and ITAR in connection with her creation and use of Department authorizations, containing false statements or omitting and misrepresenting material facts for the purpose of exporting, retransferring, or furnishing defense articles, technical data, or defense services, and causing the unauthorized export of technical data and provision of defense services.

This administrative debarment is the result of the Department’s first institution of an administrative proceeding by referral of a charging letter before an Administrative Law Judge for consideration pursuant to ITAR § 128.4. The referral and debarment followed Ms. Lesmeister's failure to answer the formal charges.

Acknowledging the serious nature of the violations, Honeywell cooperated fully with the Department’s review and implemented remedial measures to resolve the conditions that allowed the misconduct of one employee, in a position of authority, to bring about significant export compliance violations.

This administrative proceeding highlights the range of potential penalties that may be imposed by the Department on entities or individuals for ITAR violations. Individuals, if found culpable, may not be shielded by their employers for their independent violations. Those persons tasked with an entity’s export responsibilities, should be vigilant in their compliance with all export control regulations.

Under the terms of the administrative debarment, Ms. Lesmeister will be prevented from participating directly or indirectly in any activities that are subject to ITAR for a period of three years and until an application for reinstatement is submitted and approved by the Department. The Department determined that civil penalties were not appropriate at this time.


2003 Double Homicide Suspect Who Fled to Argentina 
Extradited Back to Miami by U.S. Marshals
Miami, FL – Hugo Ramon Quesada, a man wanted on homicide charges by the Miami Dade Police Department arrived back in the U.S. today after being extradited from Argentina.

Deputy U.S. Marshals flew to Argentina earlier this week and took custody of Quesada and returned him to Miami today at 6:10 a.m. Quesada was turned over to the custody of the Miami Dade Police Department upon arrival at the Miami International Airport. In August 2003, an arrest warrant was issued by the Miami Dade Police Department that charges Quesada with two counts of first degree murder, and one count of attempted murder.

On Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003, Quesada went to the home of his wife, Martiza Quesada in Miami and allegedly murdered her. Quesada is alleged to have also killed his wife’s stepfather Emilio Xiques at the same residence and placed his body in a tool shed in the yard. According to police reports, Quesada then drove to his wife’s mother’s home in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami and told her he had just killed her daughter and her husband. Quesada is accused of then stabbing his wife’s mother in the back and fleeing the residence, leaving her for dead. Quesada’s mother-in-law was critically wounded but survived the attack and was able to provide police with the identity of her attacker. Quesada fled the crime scene in a white vehicle rented by Maritza Quesada and was never seen again.

Miami Dade Police homicide detectives named Quesada as a suspect, but soon realized that Quesada fled the United States and returned to his home country of Argentina. On Aug. 19, 2003, Miami Dade police detectives requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals to track down Quesada in Argentina in hopes of returning the suspect back to Miami to face criminal charges. During the next three years, Deputy U.S. Marshals and ICE/HSI agents assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force began interviewing numerous family members and associates of Quesada in Miami to determine where the fugitive was hiding in Argentina.

Hard work and determination finally paid off when Deputy Marshals and ICE/HSI agents in Miami developed information in July 2006 on a location where Quesada was hiding out in Argentina. Deputy Marshals and HSI agents forwarded this information to Interpol Inspectors in Argentina. Deputy Marshals also requested the State Attorney’s Office in Miami to pursue a Provisional Arrest Warrant through the Department of Justice/Office of International Affairs in Washington, D.C.

On Nov. 2, 2006, Quesada was arrested by the Federal Police of Argentina (Interpol) in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the outstanding Provisional Arrest Warrant from the United States. At the time of his arrest, Quesada was utilizing the identity of his brother-in-law in an attempt to avoid capture. Quesada began fighting the extradition process to avoid being returned to the South Florida to face homicide charges.

On Aug. 21, the Supreme Court of Buenos Aires in Argentina approved the extradition of Quesada to be returned back to the United States. On Oct. 24, the Government of Argentina formally approved the extradition. Quesada arrived this morning escorted by U.S. Marshals and was turned over to Miami Dade Police homicide detectives.

This arrest and successful extradition has been the result of the combined efforts of: the Miami Dade Police Department, the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office, agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/ ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Police of Argentina assigned to Interpol, Department of Justice Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Marshals Service.