2017 Supreme Court Term: A Preview, & More from CRS

The October 2016 term of the US Supreme Court was widely seen as “diminished both with regard to volume and content” compared to prior years. But the upcoming term is likely to be different. “With the Court already accepting over 30 cases, many of which raise difficult questions in various areas of law, the October […]

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Censuring a President, & More from CRS

Last month, a resolution (H.Res. 496) was introduced in the House of Representatives to “condemn and censure” President Trump for “his inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.” No action has been taken on the resolution, which was sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler and 77 Democratic colleagues. The history of such resolutions of censure […]

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NGA Charts New Path in Classification Policy

Changes in classification practices at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) are expected to yield improvements in the quality of national security classification decisions and to lead to reductions in classification at NGA as well as other defense and intelligence agencies. The most important innovation adopted by NGA is a requirement for a written justification for […]

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Syria’s Chemical Weapons, & More from CRS

While most of Syria’s declared chemical weapons facilities have been destroyed, the possibility of undeclared stockpiles has been hard to rule out. UN investigators said they have confirmed the use of chemical weapons in attacks attributed to the Asad regime. Background on the subject was provided by the Congressional Research Service last week in Syria’s […]

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Senate Intelligence Authorization Report Filed

Do the security clearance procedures that are used for granting access to classified information actually serve their intended purpose? To help answer that question, the Senate Intelligence Committee mandated a review of security clearance requirements, including “their collective utility in anticipating future insider threats.” See the Committee’s new report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for […]

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Possible Exits from the Iran Nuclear Agreement

If the Trump Administration decided to terminate U.S. acceptance and implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement, how might it do that? The Congressional Research Service considered the question, without advocating such a move, in a new report. “There are several mechanisms or methods the Administration might use to cease implementing the JCPOA [Iran nuclear agreement] […]

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Disposal of Disaster Debris, and More from CRS

Dealing with the debris left by a major disaster such as Hurricane Harvey is a challenge that requires skilled management to overcome, a new report from the Congressional Research Service explains. “In the aftermath of a major disaster, a potential threat to safety and obstacle to recovery is the presence of significant amounts of disaster debris.” “Improperly […]

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Harvey Response Depends on Congressional Action

Aside from immediate needs for food, shelter, and medical care incurred by Hurricane Harvey, there are important disaster response and recovery tasks that will require prompt attention from Congress, according to an overview from the Congressional Research Service. These tasks include appropriation of supplemental funds and extension of needed authorities. “Special attention will be paid […]

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Finding Aid to NSA History Collection Declassified

The National Security Agency has declassified the finding aid for a collection of thousands of historically valuable NSA scientific and technical records that were transferred to the National Archives (NARA) last year. Up to now the contents of the collection had been opaque to the public. As David Langbart of NARA described the collection to the State Department Historical […]

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