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Saturday, August 16, 2014

U.S. INTERIOR DEPARTMENT VIDEO: THIS WEEK AT INTERIOR AUGUST 15, 2014

video

Weekly Address: Everyone Should Be Able to Afford Higher Education

CHANDRA PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO CAUSE OF NEARBY SUPERNOVA

FROM:  NASA 



New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided stringent constraints on the environment around one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades. The Chandra results provide insight into possible cause of the explosion, as described in our press release.   On January 21, 2014, astronomers witnessed a supernova soon after it exploded in the Messier 82, or M82, galaxy. Telescopes across the globe and in space turned their attention to study this newly exploded star, including Chandra.  Astronomers determined that this supernova, dubbed SN 2014J, belongs to a class of explosions called “Type Ia” supernovas. These supernovas are used as cosmic distance-markers and played a key role in the discovery of the Universe’s accelerated expansion, which has been attributed to the effects of dark energy.  Scientists think that all Type Ia supernovas involve the detonation of a white dwarf. One important question is whether the fuse on the explosion is lit when the white dwarf pulls too much material from a companion star like the Sun, or when two white dwarf stars merge.  

 This image contains Chandra data, where low, medium, and high-energy X-rays are red, green, and blue respectively. The boxes in the bottom of the image show close-up views of the region around the supernova in data taken prior to the explosion (left), as well as data gathered on February 3, 2014, after the supernova went off (right).  The lack  of the detection of X-rays detected by Chandra is an important clue for astronomers looking for the exact mechanism of how this star exploded.   The non-detection of X-rays reveals that the region around the site of the supernova explosion is relatively devoid of material. This finding is a critical clue to the origin of the explosion. Astronomers expect that if a white dwarf exploded because it had been steadily collecting matter from a companion star prior to exploding, the mass transfer process would not be 100% efficient, and the white dwarf would be immersed in a cloud of gas.   If a significant amount of material were surrounding the doomed star, the blast wave generated by the supernova would have struck it by the time of the Chandra observation, producing a bright X-ray source. Since they do not detect any X-rays, the researchers determined that the region around SN 2014J is exceptionally clean.

 A viable candidate for the cause of SN 2014J must explain the relatively gas-free environment around the star prior to the explosion.  One possibility is the merger of two white dwarf stars, in which case there might have been little mass transfer and pollution of the environment before the explosion. Another is that several smaller eruptions on the surface of the white dwarf cleared the region prior to the supernova.  Further observations a few hundred days after the explosion could shed light on the amount of gas in a larger volume, and help decide between these and other scenarios.   A paper describing these results was published in the July 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal and is available online. The first author is Raffaella Margutti from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, MA, and the co-authors are Jerod Parrent (CfA), Atish Kamble (CfA), Alicia Soderberg (CfA), Ryan Foley (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Dan Milisavljevic (CfA), Maria Drout (CfA), and Robert Kirshner (CfA). Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/R.Margutti et al.

PHARMA BUSINESS OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO IMPORTING MISBRANDED, ADULTERATED CANCER TREATMENT DRUGS

FROM:  U.S. FEDERAL DRUG ADMINISTRATION 
Turkish man pleads guilty to importing illegal cancer drugs

Sabahaddin Akman, owner of the Istanbul, Turkey, firm Ozay Pharmaceuticals, has pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling misbranded and adulterated cancer treatment drugs into the United States.

Akman pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, in St. Louis, Missouri, where he initially shipped his illegal drugs. The drugs did not meet the FDA’s standards and had not been approved for distribution in the United States.

The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations coordinated a complex, multi-layered international investigation that led to Akman’s arrest in Puerto Rico in January 2014. The investigation identified Akman and his company as a source of Altuzan, the Turkish version of the cancer treatment drug Avastin.

“These criminals exploited our most vulnerable patients when they arranged for their illicit drugs to be brought into the United States and used to treat cancer patients. We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who prey on our ill, susceptible patients,” said Philip J. Walsky, acting director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations. “We commend our colleagues – international, national, state, and local – whose contributions helped bring this case to a successful conclusion.”

Akman, along with his employee, Ozkan Semizoglu, obtained the illicit drugs and then used shipping labels to conceal the illegal nature of the shipments, including customs declarations falsely describing the contents as gifts. They also broke large drug shipments into several smaller packages to reduce the likelihood of seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities.

Along with the FDA and Europol, the international operation involved several German government offices: the Bonn prosecutor; the Federal Criminal Police, the Dusseldorf police, and the German State Criminal Police.  Special agents of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service assigned to the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Office in Ankara, Turkey, and the U.S. Consulate General’s Overseas Criminal Investigations Branch in Istanbul, Turkey also played key roles in the successful resolution of this case.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

FDA APPROVES AVASTIN FOR TREATMENT IN SOME PATIENTS WITH CERVICAL CANCER

FROM:  U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION 
FDA approves Avastin to treat patients with aggressive and late-stage cervical cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new use for Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat patients with persistent, recurrent or late-stage (metastatic) cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer grows in the tissues of the lower part of the uterus known as the cervix. It commonly occurs when human papillomaviruses (HPV), a virus that spreads through sexual contact, cause cells to become cancerous. Although there are two licensed vaccines available to prevent many types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, the National Cancer Institute estimates that 12,360 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,020 will die from the disease in 2014.

Avastin works by interfering with the blood vessels that fuel the development of cancerous cells. The new indication for cervical cancer is approved for use in combination with chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and cisplatin or in combination with paclitaxel and topotecan.

“Avastin is the first drug approved for patients with late-stage cervical cancer since the 2006 approval of topotecan with cisplatin,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “It is also the first biologic agent approved for patients with late-stage cervical cancer and was approved in less than four months under the FDA’s priority review program, demonstrating the agency’s commitment to making promising therapies available to patients faster.”

The FDA reviewed Avastin for treatment of patients with cervical cancer under its priority review program because the drug demonstrated the potential to be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness over available therapy in the treatment of a serious condition. Priority review provides an expedited review of a drug’s application.

The safety and effectiveness of Avastin for treatment of patients with cervical cancer was evaluated in a clinical study involving 452 participants with persistent, recurrent, or late-stage disease. Participants were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel and cisplatin with or without Avastin or paclitaxel and topotecan with or without Avastin. Results showed an increase in overall survival to 16.8 months in participants who received chemotherapy in combination with Avastin as compared to 12.9 months for those receiving chemotherapy alone.

The most common side effects associated with use of Avastin in patients with cervical cancer include fatigue, decreased appetite, high blood pressure (hypertension), increased glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia), decreased magnesium in the blood (hypomagnesemia), urinary tract infection, headache and decreased weight. Perforations of the gastrointestinal tract and abnormal openings between the gastrointestinal tract and vagina (enterovaginal fistula) also were observed in Avastin-treated patients.

Avastin is marketed by South San Francisco, California-based Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.

SEC BRINGS CHARGES IN ALLEGED PUMP-AND-DUMP SCHEME INVOLVING OIL-AND-GAS TECHNOLOGY COMPANY

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against a Houston-based penny stock company and four individuals behind a pump-and-dump scheme that misled investors to believe the company was on the brink of developing revolutionary technology to enable environmentally friendly oil-and-gas production.

The SEC alleges that Andrew I. Farmer orchestrated the scheme by creating a shell company called Chimera Energy, secretly obtaining control of all shares issued in an initial public offering (IPO) in late 2011, and launching an aggressive promotional campaign midway through 2012 to hype the stock to investors.  Chimera Energy issued around three dozen press releases in a two-month period about its supposed licensing and development of technology to extract shale oil without the perceived environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing known as fracking.  However, Chimera Energy did not actually license or even possess the technology it touted and had not achieved the claimed results in commercially developing it.  While the stock was being pumped by the false claims, entities controlled by Farmer dumped more than 6 million shares on the public markets for illicit proceeds of more than $4.5 million.

The SEC suspended trading in Chimera Energy stock in 2012 and prevented Farmer and his associates from dumping additional shares or misleading new investors into their scheme.
In addition to Chimera Energy and Farmer, the SEC’s complaint charges a pair of figurehead CEOs installed by Farmer.  The SEC alleges that Charles E. Grob Jr. and Baldemar Rios approved the misleading press releases and operated Chimera Energy at the minimum level necessary to lend the company a veneer of legitimacy while concealing Farmer’s involvement altogether.  The SEC’s complaint also charges Carolyn Austin with helping Farmer profit from his scheme by dumping shares of Chimera Energy stock in the midst of the promotional efforts.
“Farmer and his accomplices secretly rigged the market for Chimera Energy stock and illegally profited by exaggerating the company’s capabilities and technology,” said David Woodcock, director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office.  “They seized on fracking as a topic of public discourse and aggressively touted an entirely fictitious business to attract unwitting investors.” 
According to the SEC’s complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Houston, Farmer obtained control of all 5 million shares of Chimera Energy stock issued in the IPO by disguising his ownership through the use of nominee shareholders.  Farmer’s name and the nature of his control over the company were not disclosed to investors in any of Chimera Energy’s public filings.  Following the IPO, Farmer directed the press release barrage along with an Internet advertising campaign designed to increase investor awareness of Chimera Energy’s claims.  The initial press release issued by the company on July 30, 2012, sported the headline: CHMR Unveils Breakthrough Shale Oil Extraction Method to Safely and Effectively Replace Hydraulic Fracturing.

The SEC alleges that Chimera Energy disclosed in public filings that an entity named China Inland had granted the company an “exclusive license to develop and commercialize cutting edge technologies related to Non-Hydraulic Extraction.”  The technology that China Inland purportedly licensed to Chimera Energy was described as an “environmentally friendly oil & gas extraction procedure for shale to replace hydraulic fracturing.”  The SEC’s investigation found that the purported acquisition of a license to develop such technology and the license agreement itself are entirely fictitious.  No legitimate entity known as China Inland even exists. 
The SEC’s complaint charges Chimera Energy, Farmer, Grob, Rios, and Austin with securities fraud, registration violations, and reporting violations.  The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and financial penalties, penny stock bars, and officer-and-director bars.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Nikolay Vydashenko and Eric Werner in the Fort Worth Regional Office.  The SEC’s litigation will be led by Matthew Gulde and Mr. Vydashenko.  The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

SEC CHARGES BROKERAGE FIRM WITH TAKING OVER $18 MILLION IN SECRET PROFITS

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged New York-based brokerage firm Linkbrokers Derivatives LLC for unlawfully taking secret profits of more than $18 million from customers by adding hidden markups and markdowns to their trades.

According to the SEC’s order instituting administrative proceedings, certain representatives on Linkbrokers’ cash equity desk defrauded customers by purporting to charge them very low commission fees, but in reality extracting fees that in some cases were more than 1,000 percent greater than represented.  These brokers hid the true size of the fees they were collecting by misrepresenting the price at which they had bought or sold securities on behalf of their customers.  The scheme was difficult for customers to detect because the brokers charged the markups and markdowns during times of market volatility in order to conceal the false prices they were reporting to customers.

Linkbrokers has agreed to pay $14 million to settle the SEC’s charges. The SEC previously charged four former brokers on the cash equities desk at Linkbrokers, and three of them later agreed to settle those charges by consenting to judgments ordering more than $4 million in disgorgement plus interest.

“Linkbrokers employees engaged in a devious and abusive trading scheme orchestrated to steal from the firm’s unsuspecting customers,” said Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit.  “This settlement strips Linkbrokers of its remaining assets and allows those funds to be returned to harmed customers.”

According to the SEC’s order instituting a settled administrative proceeding against Linkbrokers, the scheme occurred from at least 2005 to February 2009 and involved more than 36,000 transactions.  The surreptitiously embedded markups and markdowns ranged from a few dollars to $228,000.  Linkbrokers secured additional illicit profits by stealing a portion of customers’ trades.  When customers placed limit orders seeking to purchase or sell shares at a specified maximum or minimum price, the brokers filled the orders at the customers’ limit price but withheld that information from the customers.  Instead, they monitored the movement in the price of the securities and purchased or sold portions of these positions back to the market, keeping the profit for the firm.  The brokers then falsely reported to the customers that they could not fill the order at the limit price. 

The SEC’s order, to which Linkbrokers consented without admitting or denying the findings, finds that the firm violated Section 15(c)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and requires Linkbrokers to pay $14 million in disgorgement.  Linkbrokers ceased acting as a broker-dealer in April 2013 and will withdraw its registration.

The former brokers who previously agreed to settle the SEC’s charges are Benjamin Chouchane, Marek Leszczynski, and Henry Condron, who each also have pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

The SEC’s litigation continues against the fourth former broker, Gregory Reyftmann.
The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by Market Abuse Unit staff A. Kristina Littman and Darren Boerner, and supervised by Mr. Hawke and Scott A. Thompson, an assistant director in the Market Abuse Unit.  The SEC’s litigation is being handled by G. Jeffrey Boujoukos and John V. Donnelly in the Philadelphia Regional Office.  The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

DEPUTY TO FOUNDER OF DIGITAL CURRENCY SERVICES COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO MONEY LAUNDERING

FROM:  U.S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Deputy to Liberty Reserve Founder Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

Azzeddine El Amine, 47, of San José, Costa Rica, pleaded guilty today to money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business in connection with his role in running Liberty Reserve, a company that operated one of the world’s most widely used digital currency services.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York made the announcement.   The guilty plea was entered by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote of the Southern District of New York.

According to allegations contained in the indictment and statements made in related court proceedings, Liberty Reserve was incorporated in Costa Rica in 2006 and billed itself as the Internet’s “largest payment processor and money transfer system.”   Liberty Reserve was created, structured and operated to help users conduct illegal transactions anonymously and launder the proceeds of their crimes, and it emerged as one of the principal money transfer agents used by cybercriminals around the world to distribute, store, and launder the proceeds of their illegal activity.   Liberty Reserve was used extensively for illegal purposes, functioning as the bank of choice for the criminal underworld because it provided an infrastructure that enabled cybercriminals around the world to conduct anonymous and untraceable financial transactions.

El Amine served as a principal deputy to Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky and operated a prominent Liberty Reserve “exchanger” service, through which he shared in Liberty Reserve’s profits with Budovsky.   Before being shut down by the government in May 2013, Liberty Reserve had more than one million users worldwide, including more than 200,000 users in the United States, who conducted approximately 55 million transactions through its system and laundered more than $6 billion in suspected proceeds of crimes, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography and narcotics trafficking.

El Amine was arrested in Madrid, Spain, in May 2013, and pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, one count of conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.   A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled .

This case is being investigated by the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, which worked together as part of the Global Illicit Financial Team.   The Justice Department expresses its appreciation for the assistance provided by various enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad, including the Secret Service’s New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Judicial Investigation Organization in Costa Rica, the National High Tech Crime Unit in the Netherlands, the Spanish National Police, Financial and Economic Crime Unit, the Cyber Crime Unit at the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation and the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kevin Mosley of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Serrin Turner, Andrew Goldstein and Christine Magdo of the Southern District of New York.   Support was also provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

The charges contained in the indictment against El Amine’s co-defendants remain pending and are merely accusations.   Those defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Friday, August 15, 2014

What Triggered This Supernova Explosion?

DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL REQUESTS CLARIFICATION OF RUSSIAN HUMANITARIAN CONVOY

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DEFENSE 
Hagel Speaks With Russian Defense Minister
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone today with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

In a statement summarizing the call, Kirby said Hagel and Shoygu discussed the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

“Specifically, Secretary Hagel requested clarification regarding the Russian humanitarian convoy,” he said.

“Minister Shoygu guaranteed that there were no Russian military personnel involved in the humanitarian convoy,” Kirby said, “nor was the convoy to be used as a pretext to further intervene in Ukraine. He acknowledged that the goods would be delivered and distributed under the International Committee of the Red Cross. Minister Shoygu assured Secretary Hagel that Russia was meeting Ukraine's conditions.”

The two defense leaders discussed the need to have bilateral follow-on meetings of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and agreed to maintain open lines of communication, the admiral said.

U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CONTRACTS FOR AUGUST 15, 2014

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
CONTRACTS
ARMY
American Contractor And Technology, Inc.,* Pensacola, Florida (W9127Q-14-D-0001); Can't Be Beat Fence And Construction, LLC,* Bay St Louis, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0002); Core Engineering and Construction, Inc.,* Winter Park, Florida (W9127Q-14-D-0003); Double H Contracting, LLC,* Poplarville, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0004); Drace Construction Corp.,* Ocean Springs, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0005); Fairley Construction Co., Inc.,* Petal, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0006); Flagstar Construction Company, Inc.,* Brandon, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0007); Gottfried Contracting, LLC.,* Covington, Louisiana (W9127Q-14-D-0008); The Green-Simmons Company Inc.,* Pensacola, Florida (W9127Q-14-D-0009); Gulf Pacific Contracting LLC,* Bonifay, Florida (W9127Q-14-D-0010); Hanco Corp.,* Hattiesburg, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0011); Hernandez Consulting LLC,* New Orleans, Louisiana (W9127Q-14-D-0012); Holliday Construction LLC,* Poplarville, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0013); J & J Contractors, Inc,* Collinsville, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0014); J & S Construction Company, Inc.,* Cookeville, Tennessee (W9127Q-14-D-0015); J. O. Collins Contractor, Inc.,* Biloxi, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0016); J. W. Puckett & Company, Inc.,* Gulfport, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0017); Jay-Van Co.,* Hattiesburg, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0018); Johnson-Laux Construction, LLC,* Orlando, Florida (W9127Q-14-D-0019); Larry J. Sumrall Contractors, Inc.,* Laurel, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0020); Laws Construction LLC,* Madison, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0021); LHT Services, Inc.,* Gretna, Louisiana (W9127Q-14-D-0022); Mac's Construction Co. Inc.,* Hattiesburg, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0023); Multi-Con, Inc.,* Jackson, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0024); Northwind Engineering, LLC,* 105 Main St, Shelocta, Pennsylvania (W9127Q-14-D-0025); OAC Action Construction Corp.,* Miami, Florida (W9127Q-14-D-0026); Orocon Construction, LLC,* Biloxi, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0027); RAF Contracting Inc.,* Columbus, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0028); RDT Semper Tek JV,* Florence, Alabama (W9127Q-14-D-0029); ReflecTech, Inc.,* Picayune, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0030); Southeast Cherokee Construction, Inc.,* Montgomery, Alabama (W9127Q-14-D-0031); Stewart Development, LLC.,* Hattiesburg, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0032); Tony Watson Electric, Inc.,* Brandon, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0033); Tradesmen Group, Inc.,* Plain City, Ohio (W9127Q-14-D-0034); Tri-Star Mechanical Contractors, Inc.,* Batesville, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0035); Universal Services, LLC.,* Leakesville, Mississippi (W9127Q-14-D-0036); and W. B. Construction and Sons, Inc.,* Deridder, Louisiana (W9127Q-14-D-0037), were awarded a $555,000,000 firm-fixed-price, multiple award task order contract (37 contracts, $15 million each) for maintenance, repair, construction, and design and building services for the Mississippi National Guard. Funding and work location will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 14, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 49 received. National Guard Bureau, Jackson, Mississippi, is the contracting activity.
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Andover, Massachusetts was awarded a $109,078,477 firm-fixed-price level-of-effort foreign military sales (Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine) contract with options for engineering services for the Patriot System Tracking Radar. Work will be performed in Andover, Tewksbury, and Burlington, Massachusetts; El Segundo, California; El Paso, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Pelham, New Hampshire; and White Sands, New Mexico, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2015. One bid was solicited and one received. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance (Army) funds ($58,886), fiscal 2014 research, development, test, and evaluation funds ($5,287,374), and fiscal 2014 and 2010 other procurement funds ($76,462,599) are being obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-14-C-0093).
Raytheon Co., Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded a $59,486,000 modification (P00014) to foreign military sales (Taiwan) contract W31P4Q-11-C-0317 for advice and assistance in the training, planning, fielding, deployment, operation, maintenance, and sustainment of the Patriot Air Defense System, associated equipment, and logistics support elements. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $59,486,000 were obligated at the time of
the award. Estimated completion date is Dec. 31, 2017. Work will be performed in Taiwan. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
Joseph B. Fay Co., Tarentum, Pennsylvania, was awarded a $58,578,541 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of the Charleroi Locks and Dam river chamber completion, monoliths M-22 to M-27, Monongahela River, Pennsylvania. Work will be performed in Monesson, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2018. Bids were solicited via the Internet with four received. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $58,578,541 are being obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (W911WN-14-C-0003).
Global Engineering & Construction, LLC*, Renton, Washington (W91278-14-D-0068); John J. Kirlin Special Projects, LLC, Rockville, Maryland (W91278-14-D-0069); J&J Worldwide Services, Austin, Texas (W91278-14-D-0070); and Pioneer Contracting Co., Ltd*, Wahiawa, Hawaii (W91278-14-D-0071), were awarded a $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award task order contract for healthcare facility repair and construction for the Pacific Regional Medical Command with an estimated completion date of Aug. 14, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 11 received. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
Exelis Systems Corp., Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded an $18,170,444 fixed-price-incentive contract, with options, for information management/information technology enterprise services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Work will be performed in Vicksburg, Mississippi, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 14, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $18,170,444 are being obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, Mississippi is the contracting activity (W91WMC-14-C-0001).
Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $9,501,000 multiyear contract for maintenance dredging, Delaware River. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2014. Bids were solicited via the Internet with two received. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $1,000,000 are being obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (W912BU-14-C-0026).
AIR FORCE
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, has been awarded a $240,653,315 primarily firm-fixed-price modification (PZ0001) for FA8620-13-C-3018 for three Block 30M RQ-4B Global Hawk air vehicles, each containing an Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite and an Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP), plus two additional ASIP sensors as retrofit kits. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $354,870,536. The contract modification is for the definitization of the advance purchase agreement. Work will be performed at San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2017. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $240,653,315 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/WIG (Global Hawk Program Office), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity.
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Austin, Texas, has been awarded a $22,964,268 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-requirements contract (FA3047-13-D-0019) to exercise Option Year One for food service to 13 dining facilities, one flight kitchen, and two warehouses. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, Texas; the Lackland Training Annex; and Camp Bullis, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds will be obligated on individual task orders. 502nd Contracting Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity.
Harris RF Communication, Rochester, New York, has been awarded a $19,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of approximately 1,500 AN/PRC-152A radios and accessories. Work will be performed at Rochester, New York; the estimated completion date is June2019. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2012 other procurement funds in the amount of $248,900 and fiscal 2013 other procurement funds in the amount of $1,274,640 will be obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/WISK, Battlefield Airmen, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8629 -14-D-2407).
Alion Science and Technology Corp., Burr Ridge, Illinois, has been awarded a $14,009,069 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order (0075) on the Advanced Materials, Manufacturing, and Testing Information Analysis Center (AMMTIAC) indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee sole-source (FA4600-06-D-0003) for advanced materials, components and systems for Anti-Tamper Systems Engineering, Test and Evaluation. AMMTIAC shall provide technical, engineering and expertise to perform research, development, test and evaluation utilizing emerging materials, components, and systems for technology protection. The work will be performed at Bloomington, Indiana, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 29, 2016. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $43,600 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Installation Contracting Agency/KD, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is the contracting activity.
NAVY
Carothers Construction Inc., Oxford, Mississippi (N69450-14-D-1266); Archer Western Construction, LLC,* Chicago, Illinois (N69450-14-D-1267); Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors, Birmingham, Alabama (N69450-14-D-1268); Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Orlando, Florida (N69450-14-D-1269); and M.A. Mortenson Construction Co., Minneapolis , Minnesota (N69450-14-D-1270), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award design-build construction contract for construction projects located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value including the base period and two option years for all five contracts combined is $240,000,000. The work to be performed provides for primarily general building type projects (new construction, renovation, alteration, demolition, and repair work) including industrial, airfield, aircraft hangar, aircraft traffic control, infrastructure, administrative, training, dormitory, and community support facilities for Department of Defense activities. Carothers Construction Inc. is being awarded task order 0001 at $34,399,000 for the design and construction of an aircraft maintenance hangar at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by September 2016. All work on this contract will be performed primarily in the NAVFAC Southeast AOR, including but not limited to North Florida and South Georgia. The term of the contract is not to exceed 36 months, with an expected completion date of August 2017. Fiscal 2013 military construction (Navy) and fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $34,419,000 are being obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 36 proposals received. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity.
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $232,794,734 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to the previously awarded F-35 Lightning II Low Rate Initial Production Lot VI contract (N00019-11-C-0083). This modification provides for non-recurring sustainment activities, to include procurement of 19 training devices and 69 items of complex support equipment. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (96 percent); Owego, New York (2 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2017. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement (Navy and Air Force) funds and international partner funds in the amount of $232,794,734 will be obligated at time of award, $190,999,120 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
GE Power Conversion USA, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is being awarded a $58,400,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design/bid/build services for an energy recirculation system at the Naval Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Building 633. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by January 2017. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation and fiscal 2014 military construction (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $45,390,580 are being obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with two proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N40085-14-C-5202).
Leo A. Daly Company, Atlanta, Georgia, is being awarded a maximum amount $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineering contract for complete architect and engineering services in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for preparation of design/build request for proposals and other design services. Task order 0001 is being awarded at $434,120 to develop plans and specifications for the construction of a new Explosive Ordinance Disposal Facility at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by October 2015. All work on this contract will be performed at various activities in the NAVFAC Southeast AOR. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of August 2019. Fiscal 2010 military construction (planning and design) contract funds in the amount of $434,120 are being obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 38 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity (N69450-14-D-0025).
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair, San Diego, California, is being awarded a $13,684,941 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee/incentive-fee contract (N00024-11-C-4408) for the USS Howard (DDG 83) fiscal 2014 selected restricted availability (SRA). A SRA includes planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that will update and improve the ship's military and technical capabilities. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by February 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance (Navy) and working capital fund contract funding in the amount of $13,684,941 will be obligated at the time of award. Contract funds in the amount of $12,793,832 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.
Drace Anderson Joint Venture*, Gulfport, Mississippi, is being awarded $12,536,888 for firm-fixed-price task order 0002 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N6950-13-D-1762) for construction of an aircraft crash/rescue and fire station headquarters at Naval Air Station, Key West. The work to be performed provides for construction of a new facility for combined aircraft crash, rescue and structural fire operations with pile foundation, reinforced concrete floors and concrete panel/block walls. The facility will include administrative areas; single-occupancy rooms for firefighters; male and female restrooms and showers; kitchen, break room and apparatus storage areas. The project will provide all utility connections to the new facility. Following the construction of the new facility, the existing hangar A-132 shall be demolished. Work will be performed in Key West, Florida, and is expected to be completed by January 2016. Fiscal 2014 military construction (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $12,536,888 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity.
Tetra Tech, Inc., Arlington, Virginia, is being awarded $11,905,740 for firm-fixed-price task order FZ02 under a previously awarded natural resources multiple award contract (N62470-13-D-8016) for desert tortoises pre-translocation analyses at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms. The work to be performed provides for the pre-translocation analyses including clearance-level surveys; health assessments; apply radio transmitters; perform radio telemetry monitoring and activity movement analyses; establish long term monitoring plots; and evaluate the initial density, demography, habitat and disease status of desert tortoises at these plots. The contractor shall also construct barrier fences, repatriation pens, and holding pens for the desert tortoises. The task order also contains three unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase the cumulative task order value to $23,633,220. Work will be performed in Twentynine Palms, California, and is expected to be completed by May 2016. Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) contract funds in the amount of $11,905,740 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.
United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is being awarded a $7,822,454 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-14-C-0026) for the maintenance and installation of nine engineering change proposals for the upgrade retrofits of 11 F-135B engines. Work will be performed in Middletown, Connecticut, and is expected to be completed in July 2015. Fiscal 2013 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $7,822,454 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair, San Diego, California, is being awarded a $7,397,159 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00024-08-C-4405) for the USS Ardent (MCM 12) fiscal 2014 selected restricted availability (SRA). A SRA includes planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that will update and improve the ship's military and technical capabilities. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by March 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance (Navy) and working capital funding in the amount of $7,397,159 will be obligated at the time of award. Contract funds in the amount of $7,339,333 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
US Foods – La Mirada Division, La Mirada, California, has been awarded a maximum $36,666,667 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for prime vendor food and beverage support. This contract was a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. This is a bridge contract. Location of performance is California, with a Dec. 5, 2014, performance completion date. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-14-D-3038).
Sysco Hampton Roads, Suffolk, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $30,500,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for prime vendor food and beverage support. This contract was a sole-source acquisition. This is a bridge contract. Location of performance is Virginia, with a Dec. 14, 2014, performance completion date. Using services are Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-14-D-3031).
Science Applications International Corporation,* Fairfield, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $10,500,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for prime vendor maintenance, repair and operations support. This contract was a sole-source acquisition. This is a bridge contract. Location of performance is New Jersey, with a Dec. 17, 2014, performance completion date. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8E3-14-D-0908).
DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY
Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, has been awarded a $6,577,033 modification (P00013), exercising the second option to an eight-month base contract (HR0011-13-C-0023) and a 21-month Phase 2/Option 1. The second option serves as Phase 3 to the Dialysis-Like Therapeutics (DLT) Integration program. This is a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. Exercise of the option brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $15,555,013 from $8,977,980. Work will be performed in Columbus, Ohio, with an expected completion date of Jan. 29, 2016 (end date of Phase 3). Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,092,251 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
*Small business

NASA VIDEO | ARISE ARTIC MISSION TAKES SHAPE

SECRETARY KERRY'S STATEMENT ON NOURI AL-MALIKI TO HAND OVER POWER IN IRAQ

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT   

Maliki Steps Aside and Supports Al-Abadi

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 14, 2014




We commend the important and honorable decision by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to support Prime Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi in his efforts to form a new government and develop a national program in line with Iraq’s constitutional timeline. This milestone decision sets the stage for a historic and peaceful transition of power in Iraq.

We urge Mr. Abadi and all Iraqi leaders to move expeditiously to complete this process, which is essential to pulling the country together and consolidating the efforts of Iraq’s many diverse communities against the common threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Consistent with our Strategic Framework Agreement, the United States stands ready to partner with a new and inclusive government to counter this threat, and we will encourage other countries in the region and international community to do the same.

ASIA-PACIFIC REBALANCE CONTINUES

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
Asia-Pacific Rebalance Remains Central to Strategy, Spokesman Says
By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2014 – Despite recent events in the Middle East, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Defense Department remain dedicated to the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters today.

“Given the fact that there's a lot going on in the world, that we're still making these visits and still having these discussions, speaks volumes about how important we believe the Asia-Pacific theater is,” he said at a Pentagon news conference.
With more than 350,000 American troops based in the Pacific -- including the majority of Navy assets -- and with five of the seven U.S. treaty alliances there, DoD is very committed to the region, Kirby said.

“It doesn't mean that we take our eye off the ball of the rest of the world,” he said. “We know we have security commitments around the world in the Middle East, in Africa [and] in Europe, and we continue to work mightily on those commitments. And there's been no slackening in that regard.”

But, Kirby noted, if sequestration remains the law of the land, “it's going to be harder and harder for us to meet those commitments.” Unless Congress acts to change the law, sequestration spending cuts will return in fiscal year 2016.
“The defense strategy that we put forward, which allows us to conduct this rebalance and still focus on those parts of the world, will be put in jeopardy” under sequestration, Kirby said.

Hagel returned yesterday from a trip that included a stop in India, where he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss the importance of continuing robust defense cooperation.
“It was a very successful visit. … There are opportunities here for co-development and co-production that we hope will come to fruition here in the future, particularly with the Javelin anti-tank missile, shows great promise,” Kirby said. “But we were warmly received by Indian officials, came away from it feeling very, very positive. In fact, the secretary was talking about that this morning to the staff about the trip and feeling very, very encouraged by it.”
The department is looking forward to continuing to develop the defense relationship with India’s new government, he said.

“We had a great set of discussions. We believe the relationship is on a good, strong path forward, and that's the secretary's focus -- it’s on the future,” he added.

STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL'S REMARKS ON OUTER SPACE SECURITY

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 

Ensuring the Long-Term Sustainability and Security of the Space Environment

Remarks
Frank A. Rose
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
U.S. Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium
Omaha, Nebraska
August 13, 2014




Introduction
Good afternoon. Thank you for your kind introduction, General. I would also like to thank Admiral Haney and his staff for hosting this conference and inviting me to speak today. The topic of this panel speaks to a vital interest of the United States, as well as the entire global community: ensuring the long-term sustainability, stability, safety, and security of the space environment.
This audience is not one that needs to be convinced of the importance of the space environment to our national security. We all know very well that space assets are integral to our national security, as well as that of our allies and coalition partners. While many in the international community understand both the benefits that our space activities bring to our economies and society, and the increasing fragility of the environment due to orbital debris and counterspace threats, our efforts to educate the international community must continue, and must emphasize the importance of supporting initiatives for encouraging responsible behavior that will mitigate these threats.

In my remarks today, I would like to cover three aspects of our work at the Department of State on ensuring the sustainability of the space environment: first, the threat to outer space systems from debris generating Anti Satellite or ASAT tests; second, the importance of continued access to outer space to the international community; and third, the role of international efforts in maintaining the long-term sustainability and security of the space environment.

Threats to Outer Space

When I heard the topic of this panel months ago, I was very glad to speak to the challenges of establishing standards of behavior in outer space. However, in the last month, the topic of this panel became even more important. On July 23, the Chinese Government conducted a non-destructive test of a missile designed to destroy satellites in low Earth orbit. Despite China’s claims that this was not an ASAT test; let me assure you the United States has high confidence in its assessment, that the event was indeed an ASAT test.

And China is not the only one pursuing these capabilities. As Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted in his February 2014 congressional testimony, "Russian leaders openly maintain that the Russian armed forces have antisatellite weapons and conduct antisatellite research."

The United States believes that these activities, which include the continued development and testing of destructive anti-satellite systems, are both destabilizing and threaten the long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment. A previous destructive test of the Chinese system in 2007 created thousands of pieces of debris, which continue to present an ongoing danger to the space systems—as well as astronauts—of all nations, including China.
Debris-generating ASAT weapons present a host of threats to the space environment that threaten all who benefit from outer space: the civil, commercial, military and scientific space endeavors of all nations. On the security side, ASAT weapons directly threaten individual satellites and the strategic and tactical information they provide, and their use could be escalatory in a crisis. They also present a threat to key assets used in arms control monitoring, command and control and attack warning. The destructive nature of debris-generating weapons has decades-long consequences as well: they can increase the potential for further collisions in the future, which only create more debris. A debris forming test or attack may only be minutes in duration, but the consequences can last decades threatening all space systems. It is for these reasons that the United States believes testing debris-generating ASAT systems threaten the security, economic well-being, and civil endeavors of all nations.

Importance of the Space Environment

Since the dawn of the space age, the global community has been inspired by humanity's space endeavors and reaped the benefits of the use and exploration, of outer space. Many may take these benefits for granted so we must ask ourselves: "What will the consequences be if the space environment were to become unusable?"

The use and exploration of space and the information we derive from these activities permeate almost every aspect of our daily lives. We are safer, healthier, and more knowledgeable—not to mention more connected—due to humanity’s creativity, ingenuity, and willingness to transcend the difficulties mankind faces in harnessing outer space. All nations and peoples have seen a radical transformation in the way we live our daily lives and in our understanding of our planet and the universe. Today there are more than sixty nations and many nongovernmental entities that are space-faring; furthermore, nearly all nations benefit from space capabilities.

But space, a domain that no nation owns but on which all rely, is becoming increasingly congestedfrom orbital debris, and contested from man-made threats—such as debris-generating ASAT systems—that may disrupt the space environment, upon which we all depend. The world’s growing dependence on the globe-spanning and interconnected nature of space capabilities mean that irresponsible acts in space by one entity can have damaging consequences for all. Therefore, it is essential that all nations work together to adopt approaches for responsible activity in space —such as ceasing developing and testing destructive ASAT systems—in order to preserve this domain for future generations.
So, what do we do to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space environment?

Multilateral Efforts toward a Stable and Sustainable Space Environment

Given the current era where dozens of States and nongovernmental organizations are harnessing the benefits of outer space, we have no choice but to work with our allies and partners around the world to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space environment. We also must speak clearly and publicly about what behavior the international community should find both acceptable and unacceptable. Over the past few years, the United States has worked to support a number of multilateral initiatives that seek to establish “rules of the road” for space that are both in the national security interests of the United States, and will further the long-term stability and sustainability of the space environment.

Just last year, I served as the United States expert on a United Nations-sponsored Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) study of outer space transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs). The GGE report which was published in July of last year and was agreed to by China and Russia, endorsed voluntary, non-legally binding TCBMs to strengthen stability in space. The GGE recommended that States implement measures to promote coordination to enhance safety and predictability in the uses of outer space. The GGE also endorsed “efforts to pursue political commitments, for example, a multilateral code of conduct, to encourage responsible actions in, and the peaceful use of, outer space.”

This International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities is another important multilateral initiative. Among the Code’s commitments for signatories is to refrain from any action which brings about, directly or indirectly, damage, or destruction, of space objects and to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, the creation of space debris, in particular, the creation of long-lived space debris. The Code could also help solidify safe operational practices, reduce the chance of collisions or other harmful interference with nations’ activities, reduce the rate of growth of debris, contribute to our awareness of the space environment through notifications, and strengthen stability in space by helping establish norms for responsible behavior in space.
Lastly, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) is also doing important work to move forward in the development of new international long-term sustainability guidelines.

These multilateral diplomatic initiatives contribute greatly to defining acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in space and therefore are key components of the United States deterrence strategy. In addition, if we are serious about maintaining the space environment for future generations, we must support such measures that promote positive activities in space and further the creation of norms which dissuade countries from taking destabilizing actions such as the testing of debris-generating ASAT systems. By working with the international community, we can, and must, advance the long-term sustainability and security of the outer space environment for all nations.

With that, I would like to thank you for your time and stop there in order to leave time for questions.

WHITE HOUSE READOUT: PRESIDENT'S CALLS WITH PRESIDENT SIRLEAF OF LIBERIA, PRESIDENT KOROMA OF SIERRA LEONE

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE 

Readout of the President’s Calls to President Sirleaf of Liberia and President Koroma of Sierra Leone

President Obama spoke by phone today with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and separately with President Ernest Bai Koroma regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In his conversations with both leaders, the President underscored the commitment of the United States to work with Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other international partners to contain the outbreak and expressed his condolences for the lives lost. The leaders discussed ongoing mitigation measures, including those directed through the Monrovia-based U.S. Disaster Assistance Response Team and deployed personnel in both Liberia and Sierra Leone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The President further noted that, while their participation was missed, he appreciated President Sirleaf and President Koroma’s decisions to forgo last week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. to tend to the outbreak.

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BRIBING PUERTO RICO SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE IN HOMICIDE CASE

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Puerto Rico Businessman Pleads Guilty to Bribing a Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge

A Puerto Rico businessman pleaded guilty today to bribing Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge Manuel Acevedo-Hernandez, who presided over the businessman’s vehicular homicide trial and acquitted him of all charges.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico and Special Agent in Charge Carlos Cases of the FBI’s San Juan Division made the announcement.

According to court documents, Lutgardo Acevedo-Lopez, 39, was a certified public accountant in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.   On June 30, 2012, a car driven by Acevedo-Lopez collided with another car, resulting in the death of the other car’s driver.   Acevedo-Lopez was charged with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the incident.   Acevedo-Hernandez, a supervisory superior court judge in the Aguadilla judicial region of Puerto Rico, presided over the case and acquitted Acevedo-Lopez of all charges.

In his plea agreement, Acevedo-Lopez admitted that he bribed Acevedo-Hernandez to use his official position as a judge for Acevedo-Lopez’s benefit.   Specifically, Acevedo-Lopez admitted that he used an intermediary to bribe Acevedo-Hernandez by paying taxes owed by Acevedo-Hernandez, paying for the construction of a garage for Acevedo-Hernandez, and providing Acevedo-Hernandez with a motorcycle, clothing and accessories, including cufflinks and a watch.   In exchange, Acevedo-Hernandez acquitted Acevedo-Lopez of all charges.

Acevedo-Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2014 before Chief U.S. District Judge Aida M. Delgado-Colón in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Charges remain pending against Acevedo-Hernandez, who was charged with bribery-related offenses in an indictment unsealed on May 28, 2014, in the District of Puerto Rico.   The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Division and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Peter Mason of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Henwood and Jose Capo of the District of Puerto Rico.

U.S. SENDS BEST WISHES TO PEOPLE OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 

India Independence Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 14, 2014


On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the people of the Republic of India as you celebrate your Independence Day on August 15.
When more than half a billion Indian men and women went to the polls last spring, you were a part of the largest democratic exercise in human history. You showed the world how a diverse people, comprised of citizens from different faiths, speaking many different languages, can determine a common future. And you demonstrated once again the power of India’s example and the power of the core values connecting our two peoples.

I saw first-hand India’s dynamism and the vital importance of deepening the ties between our nations when I travelled to New Delhi last month for our 5th annual Strategic Dialogue. I met students, researchers, and professors at the Indian Institute of Technology who were developing clean energy technologies. I spoke with Indian business leaders about opportunities for American companies to participate in India’s economic revitalization. I joined colleagues from across the State Department and the Obama Administration in a series of in-depth conversations with our Indian counterparts on issues from security, to energy, to educational exchange.

On each of those issues, and in all my conversations, this truth was crystal clear: our partnership has never mattered more.

In this century India and the United States have a common responsibility: to prove that democracies can deliver for their citizens. With the shared prosperity we create for one another and for the world, we can prove to the world the power of our shared ideals.

As India celebrates Independence Day, we celebrate with you. We reflect upon the possibilities of the shared future that India and the United States will shape together.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

U.S. SENDS BEST WISHES TO PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN ON THEIR INDEPENDENCE DAY

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 

Pakistan Independence Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 14, 2014





On behalf of the President of the United States and the American people, I send best wishes to the people and government of Pakistan as you celebrate your Independence Day on August 14.

Building stronger ties with the people of Pakistan has long been a personal commitment of mine. In the Senate, I was privileged to sponsor what became known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill, which continues to provide support for a more stable, peaceful, and prosperous Pakistan.

As Secretary of State, I’ve been pleased to work to strengthen this relationship. Since Pakistan’s historic elections last May, the United States and Pakistan have enjoyed great cooperation across the entire spectrum of issues – from energy to security to education.
Our two nations have long understood that education is the most important road to prosperity for the next generation. In keeping with that commitment, the United States now invests more in our Fulbright program in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world.

Our security partnership also remains critical. Stability in Pakistan and the region underpins all of our other shared efforts. We support efforts by Pakistan’s civil society and government to stand up against extremists. We stand by your side in the struggle to develop a Pakistan where Pakistanis have a say and a stake in the nation’s success.

The United States will continue to invest with Pakistan in our shared security and shared prosperity for one simple reason: because the partnership between our two democracies is essential to the prosperity and security of the region and the world.

In the years to come, I look forward to continuing to build upon and strengthen our important relationship.

U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CONTRACTS FOR AUGUST 14, 2014

FROM:   U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
CONTRACTS
NAVY
The Boeing Co., Seattle, Washington, is being awarded a $295,643,284 advance acquisition contract for the procurement of long-lead items for the manufacture and delivery of 12 Lot II Full Rate Production P-8A aircraft for the U.S. Navy (8) and the government of Australia (4). Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington (82.6 percent); Baltimore, Maryland (6.2 percent); Greenlawn, New York (4.2 percent); the United Kingdom (3.5 percent); and North Amityville, New York (3.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2018. Fiscal 2014 advanced procurement aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $152,043,495 and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $55,800,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchase for the U.S. Navy ($152,043,495; 51 percent) and the government of Australia ($143,599,789; 49 percent) under a cooperative agreement. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0067).
Bell/Boeing Joint Program Office, California, Maryland, is being awarded $15,170,182 for modification 0006 under previously awarded cost-plus-incentive fee, indefinite-delivery requirements contract (N00019-09-D-0008) for repair of various parts on the V-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (80 percent), and Ridley Park, Pennsylvania (20 percent). Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2017. Fiscal 2014 Navy working capital funds in the amount of $15,170,182 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. One company was solicited for this non-competitive requirement in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c) (1). Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.
AIR FORCE
ATAP Inc.,* Eastaboga, Alabama (FA8517-14-D-0009); Advanced Technology Systems Company,* McLean, Virginia (FA8517-14-D-0010); Boneal Inc.,* Means, Kentucky (FA8517-14-D-0011); Charleston Logistics LLC.,* Charleston, South Carolina (FA8517-14-D-0012); and Tec-Masters Inc.,* Huntsville, Alabama (FA8517-14-D-0013), are being awarded $231,000,000 maximum firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract under the Third Party Logistics (3PL) Follow-on Service Acquisition. The purpose of the multiple awarded 3PL IDIQ contract is to provide services necessary to source, acquire and ensure delivery of a broad range of support equipment items, on demand, to the warfighter. The preponderance of the work is services necessary to manage and leverage the supply chain for the scope of this contract which encompasses approximately 3,000 national stock numbers. This award is the result of a 100 percent small business set-aside acquisition. A total of five offers were received. The contract has a basic ordering period of three years from date of award with two, two-year performance incentive options for a total period of performance of seven years. Work will be performed predominantly at the contractors' locations mentioned above and is expected to be completed by Aug. 15, 2021. Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $868,696, Consolidated Sustainment Activity Group working capital funds in the amount of $56,192 and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $742,183 are being obligated at time of award. Twenty-five percent of this contract will support foreign military sales; the first orders are for Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Indonesia and Thailand. This is not a multiyear contract. The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate/PZAAC, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity.
Cherokee Nation Red Wing LLC.,* Tulsa, Oklahoma (FA8517-14-D-0014); International Logistics Group LLC.,* Warner Robins, Georgia (FA8517-14-D-0015); and Precision Air Inc.,* Manning, South Carolina (FA8517-14-D-0016) are being awarded a $57,000,000 maximum firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract under the Third Party Logistics (3PL) Follow-on Service Acquisition. The purpose of the multiple awarded 3PL IDIQ contract is to provide services necessary to source, acquire and ensure delivery of a broad range of support equipment items, on demand, to the warfighter. The preponderance of the work is services necessary to manage and leverage the supply chain for the scope of this contract which encompasses approximately 3,000 national stock numbers (NSNs). This award is the result of an 8(a) competitive acquisition and a total of four offers were received. The contract has a basic ordering period of three years from date of award with two, two-year performance incentive options for a total period of performance of seven years. Work will be performed predominantly at the contractors' locations mentioned above and is expected to be completed by Aug. 15, 2021. This is not a multiyear contract. Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $556,915 and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $22,959 are being obligated at time of award. Twenty-five percent of this contract will support foreign military sales; the first orders are for Korea and Chile. The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate/PZAAC, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity.
UES Inc., Dayton, Ohio, has been awarded a $9,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Mechanical Systems Performance Evaluation III. Contractor will conduct basic, applied, and advanced research and development relating to critical turbine engine mechanical system technology targeted for high performance, highly efficient and adaptive turbine engines being developed under the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine and the Adaptive Engine Technology Development programs. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 13, 2022. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and one offer was received. Fiscal 2014 Air Force research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $301,081 for Task Order 0001 are being obligated at time of award. Multiyear is not applicable. Air Force Research Laboratories Wright Research Site Aerospace Systems Contracting Branch for Turbine Engines (AFRL/RQKPB), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-14-D-2348 and Task Order 0001).
Ace Technology Partners LLC, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, has been awarded a $7,047,715 firm-fixed-price contract for Fidelis eXtrusion Prevention System (XPS) standard maintenance and software. Work will be performed at Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 29, 2017. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition; 26 offers were solicited and five offers were received. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $7,047,715 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/HNCK, Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA8732-13-D-0014 RV01).
Boeing Aerospace Operations Inc., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has been awarded a $6,666,319 modification (P00148) to a firm-fixed-price, time and material, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-plus-incentive-fee, and cost-reimbursable contract (FA8106-07-C-0001) for a VC-25 Nitrogen Generation System Study to comply with FAA Final Rule FAA-2005-22997. The total cumulative face value of the contract, including the referenced modification is $316,942,806. The contract modification is for engineering services to provide recommended options, risk items and other special conditions associated with the installation of a Nitrogen Generation System in the VC-25A aircraft. Work will be performed at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Long Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by May 11, 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,666,319 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/WLKLA, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity.
ARMY
General Dynamics - OTS Inc., Garland, Texas was awarded a $38,526,856 modification (P0002) to foreign military sales contract (Canada, UAE) W52P1J-13-D-0050 to acquire Mark (MK) 80 General Purpose Bomb Body series: MK82-1= 1,662 each; MK82-6= 12,187 each; MK84-4= 736 each; MK84-10= 3,544 each. Fiscal 2012, 2013, and 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $38,507,104 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is July 31, 2016. Work will be performed in Garland, Texas. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois is the contracting activity.
Spectra Technologies LLC,* Camden, Arizona was awarded a $29,734,914 firm-fixed price contract to procure M303 blasting demolition kits. Funding and work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of Aug. 13, 2019. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey is the contracting activity (W15QKN-14-D-0017).
Voith Hydro Inc., York, Pennsylvania was awarded a $21,920,646 firm-fixed-price contract with options for major rehabilitation of turbine units 1 and 2 at Denison Dam Power Plant, Denison, Texas and to design, manufacture, shop test and install two Francis turbine runner assemblies, including spare parts, tools and lifting devices. Work will be performed in Denison, Texas with an estimated completion date of Nov. 11, 2017. Bids were solicited via the Internet with five received. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $21,920,646 are being obligated at the time of the award. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa, Oklahoma is the contracting activity (W912BV-14-C-0022).
TCC-NLC JV,* Fife, Washington (W911KB-14-D-0025); Ancor Inc.,* Anchorage, Alaska (W911KB-14-D-0026); and Orion Construction Inc.,* Wasilla, Alaska (W911KB-14-D-0027) were awarded a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract with options for facility repair and renewal at various military installations in Alaska. Funding and exact work location will be determined with each order with an estimated completion date of Aug. 14, 2017. Bids were solicited via the Internet with seven received. Army Corps of Engineers, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska is the contracting activity.
BMI Defense Systems Inc.*, Bryan, Texas was awarded a $12,219,736 modification (P0002) to contract W56HZV-13-D-0109 to acquire 5,064 Gunners Accessory Package (GAP) 2.0 kits supporting the cross platform Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) program. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $12,219,736 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is Mar. 30, 2016. Work will be performed Bryan, Texas. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan is the contracting activity.
Alutiiq Manufacturing Contracts LLC,* Fife, Washington was awarded an $11,478,761firm-fixed-price contract with options to repair the main apron access and alert pavements. Work will be performed at Buckley AFB, Colorado with an estimated completion date of Oct. 20, 2015. Bids were solicited via the Internet with three received. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $11,478,761 are being obligated at the time of the award. National Guard Bureau, Selfridge ANGB, Michigan is the contracting activity (W90FYQ-14-C-0001).
Life Technology Corp., Carlsbad, California was awarded a $9,100,000 modification (P00002) to contract W81XWH-12-D-0038 to acquire reagents and consumable supplies for the DNA Identification Laboratory at the Armed Forces Medical Examiners System, Dover AFB, Delaware. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is Aug. 14, 2015. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity Frederick, Maryland is the contracting activity.
*Small business