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Monday, September 30, 2013


The People's Republic of China National Day
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 27, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to extend our best wishes and congratulations to the people of China as you celebrate your National Day on October 1.

The relationship between our countries has grown by historic measures since President Nixon’s visit to China forty-one years ago. We have worked together to forge a mature relationship, one that recognizes that economic prosperity is not a zero sum game, that a prosperous China is good for the United States, and a prosperous United States is good for China.

The candid and productive discussions this year at Sunnylands, the Strategic & Economic Dialogue, and the G-20 are meaningful steps in expanding our positive and comprehensive cooperation, including by elevating our shared interest in cooperation on climate change and sustainable energy. Equally important are the strong bonds between our students and scholars, our scientists, and our business communities.

On this 64th National Day, please know that the United States wishes you a joyous holiday celebration with friends and family.

El polo norte de la Luna, visto por SMART

El polo norte de la Luna, visto por SMART


National Day for the Republic of Cyprus
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to offer warm wishes to the people of the Republic of Cyprus as you celebrate your country’s independence on October 1.

I had the good fortune of hosting Foreign Minister Kasoulides of Cyprus in May, and I can tell you: the partnership between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus has never been stronger.

We share a long history of cooperation and a deep friendship based on common values and a commitment to democracy. Together, we are partners in promoting regional stability, furthering economic development, preserving the world’s cultural heritage, combating terrorism, and defending human rights.

I look forward to continuing to deepen the strong ties between our governments and our peoples.

As a good friend of the people of Cyprus, we are hopeful that renewed negotiations between leaders from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities will bring about comprehensive settlement to reunify the island. The United States will continue to support the efforts under U.N. auspices towards the reunification of the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

The United States also stands in solidarity with the people of Cyprus as you move forward in your economic recovery. We are mindful of the difficult choices that you have had to make and the challenges that you face. I am confident that by working together, we can secure a more prosperous future.

On this special day, the United States celebrates the importance of our shared history and extends best wishes for the future.


Nigeria National Day Message
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Nigeria as you celebrate your Independence Day on October 1.

A warm friendship connects the Nigerian and American people, reflecting our shared values of democracy, economic growth, security, and respect for human rights and the rule of law. Our partnership is strong because of our people. As the proverb tells us, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

In the coming years, the United States looks forward to going father with Nigeria as we expand education, jobs and opportunity for our people.

On the 53rd anniversary of your independence, I wish all Nigerians a safe and prosperous future.

Hagel Issues Message to Workforce as Potential Shutdown Looms

Hagel Issues Message to Workforce as Potential Shutdown Looms

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

DOD Contracts for September 30, 2013

Contracts for September 30, 2013



Release of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 27, 2013

This is yet another wakeup call: Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire.

Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate.

Boil down the IPCC report and here’s what you find: Climate change is real, it’s happening now, human beings are the cause of this transformation, and only action by human beings can save the world from its worst impacts.

This isn’t a run of the mill report to be dumped in a filing cabinet. This isn’t a political document produced by politicians.
It’s science.

It builds on the most authoritative assessments of knowledge on climate change produced by scientists, who by profession are conservative because they must deal in what is observable, provable and reviewable by their peers.

If this isn’t an alarm bell, then I don’t know what one is. If ever there were an issue that demanded greater cooperation, partnership, and committed diplomacy, this is it.
What one country does impacts the livelihoods of people elsewhere – and what we all do to address climate change now will largely determine the kind of planet we leave for our children and grandchildren.

With those stakes, the response must be all hands on deck. It’s not about one country making a demand of another. It’s the science itself, demanding action from all of us.
The United States is deeply committed to leading on climate change. We will work with our partners around the world through ambitious actions to reduce emissions, transform our energy economy, and help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of climate change.
We do so because this is science, these are facts, and action is our only option.


Face of Defense: Medic Ensures Prisoners Get Good Treatment
By David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2013 - After treating sick and injured soldiers in Haiti, Somalia, Colombia and twice in Iraq, an Army medic has applied his skills to the nation's only military maximum-security facility.
Master Sgt. Gregorio Villanuevaochoa, operations noncommissioned officer at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., received the Army's Corrections Professional of the Year award, presented by Maj. Gen. David Quantock, commander of Army Corrections Command, for ensuring that prisoners receive quality health care.
Villanuevaochoa saved the Army about $300,000 in contract health care costs through greater efficiencies without cutting staff. He supervises about 60 soldiers, civilians and health care providers.

He also checks up on hundreds of prisoners -- some serving life sentences and some on death row -- to ensure they are all getting proper care and treatment. In addition, he looks out for the health and well-being of the soldiers on his staff.

While he has seen his share of horrific war wounds, Villanuevaochoa said, the most common types he sees at the prison are shoulder, knee and ankle injuries suffered during recreation, when prisoners are allowed to play basketball, football, lift weights and so on.

The medics interact daily with all the prisoners, he explained, seeing them every morning for checkups and on an as-needed basis. The prisoners also have access to all of the doctors who work at nearby Munson Army Health Center: clinical psychologists, optometrists, psychiatrists, podiatrists, social workers, surgeons, dentists, physical therapists and other specialists.

Although the prisoners are being confined because they've done wrong, Villanuevaochoa said, they're also receiving high-quality medical treatment and individual or group behavioral counseling, improving their lives and reducing their chances of recidivism once released. And while work details are a traditional part of corrections, he added, they also have the opportunity to learn a trade or skills in metal or woodworking, tailoring, graphic arts and other specialties.

Villanuevaochoa said he's proud of the Army's new medics, who receive about twice the training he received years ago during an eight-week course. "Today, our combat medics are better trained and qualified," he said. They are truly force multipliers to all units deployed."

He added that all of his soldiers take great pride in being professionals and ensuring good order and discipline are maintained at all times in the facility.



Remarks at the Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Washington, DC
September 27, 2013

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good morning. Thank you all very, very much for joining us here at this counterterrorism forum. We’re very grateful to all of you for taking time. I’m delighted to welcome you to New York for the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. And before we begin, I just want to say a couple of words about the recent attacks in Nairobi and Peshawar.

There’s no way to describe these other than as acts of hatred, cowardly acts that take innocent lives, and they really ought to reinvigorate all of us with respect to the challenges that we face and that we’re discussing here today. In Nairobi, we know that at least 68 innocent men, women, and children are dead, many more injured, including some Americans, and probably many of you sitting here, I know, have citizens of your own countries. In Peshawar, there was a heinous attack on the All Saints Church, long a bastion of interfaith harmony and cooperation, and at least 85 people were killed and another 100 injured.

Now tragically, there is nothing that can erase the bitter feeling that these attacks leave in their wake. The haunting images are going to forever be seared in our minds, and they unfortunately meld with haunting images from too many countries and too many places where people resort to these completely empty, nihilistic acts.

I think the images out of Peshawar of lifeless bodies strewn across a church, and in Nairobi, likewise, people up and down the mall lying lifeless, parents hugging their children for safety, people running in fear. At the same time, we have images of the heroism of rescuers and the collective cry of the Kenyan and the Pakistani people, who say loudly: “This was an attack on our families and our communities.”

The United States stands firmly with the people of Kenya and Pakistan, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and those who wait for the wounds of loved ones to heal.

It is fair to say that unspeakable evil still exists in our world, and dealing with that is the cause that brings all of us here today. We have to remain vigilant, but we have to do more than be vigilant. We have to find a way to prevent, to preempt, to act ahead of these kinds of obscenities. And cowardly attacks like these cannot be allowed to change who we are or shake our resolve to promote peace and justice for all. So I think that these acts call on us to reaffirm our determination to counter violent extremism and promote tolerance everywhere. And that’s what brings us here today.

The more I witness these acts over the course of these years, the more I am struck by their emptiness – people who attack in masks, disappear, kill people, and you wonder what the statement is that they leave behind. Are they offering a school? Are they offering a health clinic? Are they offering education, an opportunity for a better life? It seems there’s an emptiness in these actions, and I think everybody here feels it. So it calls on us to reaffirm our determination to counter violent extremism and to promote tolerance everywhere.

I am especially pleased to be joined here today by my good friend and collaborator on so many different initiatives, and the co-chair of the Forum, Foreign Minister Davutoglu of Turkey. On the day that I was sworn in as Secretary of State, a suicide bomber in Ankara took the life of a Turkish guard at the U.S. Embassy. His name was Mustafa Akarsu. So we know this is a shared struggle, and Turkey has been and will continue to be a very valued partner in this effort.
I also want to recognize all of our colleagues around the table, and I express my appreciation for the continued commitment to the GCTF. This Forum is an essential forum because it focuses as much on preventing tomorrow’s terrorists as it does on countering today’s.
From Kenya to Pakistan, from Mali to Yemen, the threat that we face is more diffuse, decentralized, and geographically dispersed than ever before, and addressing this threat will require every tool in our arsenal: political, economic, diplomatic, military, and perhaps most importantly, the power of our ideas. In short, it will require a long-term, strategic and comprehensive approach, guided by our respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Getting this right isn’t just about taking terrorists off the street. It’s about providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment. In country after country, you look at the demographics – Egypt, the West Bank – 60 percent of the young people either under the age of 30 or under the age of 25, 50 percent under the age of 21, 40 percent under the age of 18 – all of them wanting jobs, opportunity, education, and a future.

So this is about building institutions that provide security and liberty for citizens, and it’s about challenging the narrative of violence that is used to justify the slaughtering of innocent people. To make progress in advancing this agenda, we came together two years ago to launch the Global Counterterrorism Forum. And this is our go-to international venue for civilian-led counterterrorism cooperation. And in recent years, we actually have made important strides.
Together, we’ve developed practical guides for our counterterrorism officials on critical issues, from rehabilitating and reintegrating convicted terrorists to developing the first-ever set of international good practices for cracking down on kidnapping for ransom as a terrorist fundraising tactic. We’ve mobilized more than $200 million to support training and other capacity-building initiatives in countering violent extremism and in strengthening the rule of law.
And today, I’m pleased to announce that the United States plans to commit an additional $30 million to address these priorities. We’ve also set in motion two training centers: the world’s first International Center for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism in Abu Dhabi, and the International Institute of Justice and the Rule of Law, which will be launched in Malta next year.
I am genuinely excited about these prospects, these initiatives. And I look forward to our meeting later today where we’re going to adopt three new practical guides and make a very special announcement, and that is that work will soon begin to develop the first ever global fund to support grassroots efforts at countering violent extremism in all of its forms.
So, my friends, we face a common threat in terrorism, whether it’s in a church in Peshawar or at a mall in Nairobi, and our charge is clear: We need to prove to the world that what we build together, and the power of our ideas, is far more powerful than what the terrorists seek to destroy. One of the victims from the attacks in Nairobi was Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor. In a moment of despair, he once wrote, “I have no kin and no brother. Death has made war upon our house.”

In the attacks of the past week, death has made war upon our collective house, but the victims and their families are not alone. They’re not without kith and kin. They have the steadfast support of the United States and its partners and the allies who are around this table here today. And that is why this forum is so important. And that is why the United States will remain committed to working with all of you as we build a future of hope together.
It’s my privilege now to introduce Foreign Minister Davutoglu. The floor is yours.

FOREIGN MINISTER DAVUTOGLU: Thank you, John. Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I also would like to reiterate our strong condemnation of the terrorist attacks occurred in Kenya, Pakistan, Yemen, and Iraq. In Nairobi, among others, Turkey was also affected. A Turkish citizen, Elif Yavuz, who was working there for a humanitarian purpose, was murdered. This was a cowardly attack. Likewise, I would like to pay tribute to the Canadian diplomat who was killed there as well.
Needless to say, all these attacks in these friendly nations we condemn, and we show full solidarity with all these friendly nations and peaceful countries. I would like to express my sincere thanks, John, to you as well for your expression of condolences for the death of the Turkish guard, Mustafa Akarsu, who lost his life during the attack to the American Embassy in Ankara last February. In these similar challenges, necessitates closer cooperation against ever-growing scourge of trans-border boundary terrorism.

At the inaugural meeting of Global Counterterrorism Forum, which was held two years ago in New York, we declared that this forum was established to act as a platform to share unique experiences and channel nation contributions into joint civilian-led counterterrorism efforts in close coordination with the United Nations. I believe we can state that today, thanks to our collective endeavors, we have covered significant ground, particularly in identifying areas and gaps that require enhanced cooperation and priority focus as well as addressing some of these.

These joint efforts which have built up within the five working groups of the GCTF began to yield concrete and visible results. First and foremost, we are pleased to observe that the multi-agency dialogue among experts that are involved in counterterrorism intensified and deepened. In that regard, we are pleased to note that capacity of GCTF to serve as a network of networks of counterterrorism experts and practitioners grow.

Secondly, we note with satisfaction that our cooperation through GCTF enables us to address a wide range of aspects of counterterrorism that have been endorsed by the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. These include, among others, countering violent extremism and radicalization, enhancing investigations of terrorist crimes, empowering victims of terrorism, capacity building for counterterrorism finance, as well as strengthening rule of law in the fight against terrorism.

I would like to thank the UN officials present today for their engagement in the Forum’s activities and once more underline the importance we attach to sustaining the synergy between the UN and the Forum. The GCTF facilitated, amplified discussions in countless workshops and seminars that were held by UN counterterrorism organs, regional and national bodies in different parts of the world, such as Bogota, Addis Ababa, Brussels, Rabat, Manila, Oran, Nairobi, Riyadh, and Geneva. This geographic threat, combined with the single focus on counterterrorism and the flexible approach which we encourage has given the GCTF a cutting edge. The good practices documents, which we endorsed in our previous meetings in Istanbul and Abu Dhabi, and the ones that are before us today, are tangible results of these multifaceted discussions. We can state that these documents reveal our collective wisdom and capacity. Further, with these documents, we testify to our sincerity for sharing our experience.
In my capacity as the co-chair with my dear colleague John Kerry, I thank all contributors who enabled this frank exchange. I would also like to acknowledge here the contributions of the Hedayah Center since its foundation last year as the first international center for countering violent extremism in Abu Dhabi. We believe it is now well positioned to complement national and international efforts to explain and prevent the phenomenon of violent extremism. We call all GCTF members to make use of this center.

While we welcome all these achievements of the GCTF that are complementary to our efforts in other fora, we also – to acknowledge that the global threat from terrorism is constantly and unpredictably evolves. Unfortunately, it does not seem to diminish. Some statistical data indicates that terrorist incidents around the globe quadrupled in the decade since 9/11. The developments in the past year revealed that the threat from terrorism disseminates geographically. Furthermore, the groups involved in terrorism benefit from the violent and turbulent conflicts for recruitment and disseminating their sick narratives. New trends such as the threat from self-radicalized individuals, growing exchange among locally active terrorist groups, and the increasing the number of attacks on economically or otherwise sensitive infrastructure requires dexterity in our responses.

These facts compel us not to only enhance coherence, complementarity, and agility of our existing counterterrorism measures, but also to develop new approaches and tools. While new approaches do not necessarily mean ignoring the lessons we had learned, they require political will, structural capacity, and most importantly, support of our people who trust us, the governments to provide for their security. I am confident that our cooperation in the GCTF could harness this support. In that regard, we believe the initiative of our U.S. co-chair regarding the establishment of a Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience is an exemplary effort. I believe our cooperation within the GCTF brings us closer in taking concrete action against the scourge of terrorism and remaining true to our common values while pursuing our national and international interest.

I take this opportunity to once again underline Turkey’s full commitment to the GCTF. In our capacity as the co-chair, we are dedicated to strengthen the international cooperation for countering terrorism in all its form and manifestation. To this end, we shall continue our efforts to encouraging initiatives by all of our GCTF partners, and facilitating a flexible, open-minded dialogue. We look forward to sustain our efforts for another term as co-chair with your valuable support, and thank you very much.

Now I have the pleasure to give the floor again back to Secretary Kerry for his remarks on the establishment of the Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience. The floor is yours, John.

SECRETARY KERRY: Ahmet, thank you very much. I’m going to be very brief because we want to get to the discussion as rapidly as we can. But I couldn’t help but be sort of thinking, as I listened to Ahmet talking and as we were contemplating sort of why we’re here, there’s a real irony today which is that if you think of the past centuries, many, many, many more people were killed in major wars, and that’s transitioned. There obviously is less proclivity for big nations and people to engage in those kinds of wars, but it’s been replaced by the scourge of terrorism which rips at the capacity of governance and creates more states on the edge of perhaps failing.

So it’s a different kind of challenge, and it’s why we believe we need to intensify our efforts to try to address the underlying factors that lead vulnerable individuals down the path towards violence, random violence. And I think everybody here would agree that the radicalization that leads to that is often fueled by conditions at the local level. So for our efforts to be effective, they’ve got to be driven by local knowledge, they’ve got to be responsive to concerns of local communities, and we know from experience that these efforts are most likely to be sustainable when they are owned and implemented by local civil society and government partners.
Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and as the attacks in Kenya and Pakistan remind us, local communities are on the front lines of this challenge. Therefore, we believe they would welcome the opportunity to be on the front lines of a solution. So we need to be prepared to respond to each situation differently, to tailor each program in response to the conditions that empower terrorism, and I think what we’re trying to do here in this initiative can do that.
We all recognize the importance of increasing financial support for this kind of essential work. It’s labor intensive. Here’s the challenge: We lack an international vehicle to identify credible local organizations to develop, monitor, and evaluate programs, and then channel funds to local projects that are competent that target vulnerable groups and individuals. So by harnessing our efforts around the global fund – a global fund – we think we can solve that problem, or at least address it, and empower local actors to be able to define a path forward. We’ve already seen the impact that global funds can have in tackling some of the toughest challenges we face. The fight against AIDS is an example. That’s why I am very pleased to announce today that we will begin work on a new Global Fund on Community Engagement and Resilience. And the mission, I think, is as clear as it is compelling: to leverage public and private funding to support local community-driven efforts to counter violent extremism.

I think we’re here because of one word: community. Resilient communities, effective communities, sustainable communities – that’s what the fund is going to try to offer. And it will put local communities who are most at risk in the driver’s seat and give them the tools that they need to do something about it. We’ll talk about grants that provide life skills, vocational training, at youth risk – to youth who are at the risk of recruitment.

And there are models of this, incidentally. Different countries have engaged in different efforts to retrieve people from terror cells. There’s certain kinds of education and family reunification initiatives that have been attempted by certain countries. So we’re talking about delivering even new school curricula that teach tolerance, problem solving, civic activism. We’re talking about working with local leaders, religious figures, social workers, and women on community engagement and techniques by creating social networks that educate youth about the dangers of extremist ideologies.

I want to emphasize there are many different initiatives individually. I know that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is engaged in an interfaith initiative which is an important component of this kind of thing. It can be a sort of support structure for this kind of effort. But nothing brings all of these efforts together and focuses our energies the way that we ought to. The United States will remain committed to this kind of initiative, and it – but we need to provide strategic direction and additional support so that we can actually bring these efforts to the scale that the problem demands.

We look forward to working to develop it, and I’m very pleased that here with us today, Tony Blair and his – and the Blair Faith Foundation, which have been engaged in this kind of initiative. And I’m pleased that Tony has been able to be here today and share some thoughts with us. He’s been a great friend to our country, to many of you here, and more personally, he’s somebody that I’ve been able to spend some time with as we’ve been working on the Mideast peace process and I value his friendship enormously.
So Tony, the floor is yours and then we’ll turn it back to Ahmet Davutoglu who will lead us in a discussion regarding this kind of initiative.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Tuvalu Independence Day
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 27, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Tuvalu on the 35th anniversary of your independence on October 1.

The United States and Tuvalu are working together on issues of great importance, such as climate change and fostering security and development within the Pacific region. It is a priority for us to continue our joint efforts on the environmental, social and economic matters that greatly impact Tuvalu.

I send all the people of Tuvalu my best wishes for peace, progress and prosperity in the coming year.

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update



On September 25, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York against ImageXpres Corporation (“ImageXpres”), a publicly traded microcap company based near Rochester, New York, its President and CEO, John Zankowski and its CFO, Kevin Zankowski. The Commission’s complaint alleges that ImageXpres, John Zankowski and Kevin Zankowski violated the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) by engaging in a scheme to misrepresent the financial performance of ImageXpres.  Through material misstatements in press releases, unaudited financial statements and other public documents, they falsely portrayed ImageXpres as an increasingly profitable small technology company with growing sales when, in fact, it was a failing start-up venture that had little revenue and lacked the financial means to commercially produce the digital products it claimed to be selling to national retail customers. All three defendants have agreed to a proposed settlement of the Commission’s action on the terms described below.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that over a multi-year period, ImageXpres made numerous materially false and misleading statements about its operations and revenue in the company’s press releases, financial statements and other documents that the Zankowskis prepared and disseminated to the public.  Beginning with the year ended December 31, 2008 and continuing through the second quarter of 2011, ImageXpres reported substantial sales revenue and dramatic revenue growth in numerous press releases and financial statements even though it lacked the financial resources to produce on a commercial scale the products that it touted and failed to secure the customer orders that it claimed to have received.  For example, ImageXpres reported revenue growth rates in excess of 300 percent during this period for some products in spite of the absence of virtually any bona fide sales of those products. Despite the Zankowskis’ efforts to portray ImageXpres as an increasingly profitable small technology company, ImageXpres is essentially dormant now with little or no capital.

Simultaneous with the filing of the Commission’s complaint, ImageXpres, John Zankowski, and Kevin Zankowski have consented, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, to the entry of final judgments: (i) permanently enjoining each of them from future violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5; (ii) barring John Zankowski and Kevin Zankowski from acting as officers or directors of a public company and from participating in an offering of penny stock; and (iii) imposing civil monetary penalties of $50,000 against John Zankowski and $25,000 against Kevin Zankowski. The proposed settlement is subject to the Court’s approval.

The staff’s investigation was conducted by Charu A. Chandrasekhar, George N. Stepaniuk and Elzbieta Wraga and was supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa.


CFTC Charges ICAP Europe Limited, a Subsidiary of ICAP plc, with Manipulation and Attempted Manipulation of Yen Libor
ICAP Europe Limited Ordered to Pay a $65 Million Civil Monetary Penalty

Statement of Chairman Gary Gensler on Settlement Order against ICAP
September 25, 2013

Washington, DC — Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler today made the following statement on the CFTC’s enforcement action that requires ICAP Europe Limited to pay a $65 million penalty for unlawful conduct related to LIBOR for yen:

“Today’s Order against ICAP once again shows how LIBOR, a critical benchmark interest rate not anchored in sufficient transactions, has been readily rigged. Unfortunately, this is yet another reminder of why we have to coordinate internationally to transition to an alternative to LIBOR to best restore the integrity to markets.

“Today’s Order also highlights the importance of Congress’ reforms through the Dodd-Frank Act to bring oversight to swaps trading platforms.  Required registration of swap execution facilities becomes a reality next week, finally closing exemptions that had allowed for unregistered, multilateral swaps trading platforms."

“Champagne and Ferraris”

Statement of CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton on the ICAP Order

September 25, 2013

Here we are, sadly, with traders again behaving badly. Another bust, another one bites the dust.

In this instance, ICAP brokers attempted to falsely report Libor rates in order to advantage another trader. This was insolent conduct impacting a benchmark rate that influences almost anything consumers buy on credit.  These benchmarks are just too important to become a playground for some big-talking bad guys.

Email exchanges exhibit total disregard for proper protocols. In one case, champagne was promised for a favorable fixing.  Some sought increased kickbacks or free meals—a curry meal for currying favors.  One even mentioned (perhaps in jest) a Ferrari as payment for the favors.  “They are making fortunes with these high fixings,” said one communication.

The attempts to manipulate Libor have been a black eye for our global financial system.  It’s good that we have made progress at cleaning up this monstrous mess.  I congratulate our Division of Enforcement for cracking yet another of these cases and appreciate the cooperative working relationship we have had with the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K.

Let's hope other would-be crooks learn a lesson here and stay clear of future violations.

Note: Ponzimonium: How Scam Artists are Ripping Off America, is now available in a FREE EBOOK edition.


DOD Taking Prudent Steps in Face of Government Shutdown
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2013 - The Defense Department is taking prudent steps to plan for a possible government shutdown Oct. 1, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a memo signed today.

The deputy secretary believes there is still time for Congress to enact legislation to avoid a shutdown. "The administration is willing to work with Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full year 2014 appropriations," he said.

Still the threat of a shutdown remains and department leaders must prepare in case a lapse in appropriations occurs. If a funding lapse occurs it will affect the entire government.

Carter explained how a funding lapse would affect Defense Department personnel. DOD leaders took their guidance from the U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department. "We have worked to determine which of our activities may continue under these legal requirements," Carter wrote. "Similarly, we have worked to determine which of our employees would continue to report to work in the event of a lapse in funding, and which employees would be placed on furlough."

These determinations may change if the lapse in appropriations lasts for a long time, he said.

"All military personnel would continue in a normal duty status; however, a large number of our civilian employees would be temporarily furloughed," Carter said.

"The categorization of employees and whether or not someone is furloughed is not a reflection on the quality of their work, nor of their importance to our agency," Carter said. "It is merely a reflection of the legal requirements that we must operate under should a lapse occur."

Commanders and supervisors will give specifics to employees, but these conversations are not the formal notification of a furlough. "Official furlough notices will only be issued on October 1st if a lapse in funding has occurred," Carter wrote.

The deputy secretary said the uncertainty has put the DOD workforce in a difficult position. "Should a lapse occur, it could impose hardships on many employees, as well as the people that we serve every day," he said.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

President Issues Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day Proclamation

President Issues Gold Star Mother's and Family's Day Proclamation

SecNav Announces Investigation

SecNav Announces Investigation

DOD Honors Top Employers of Guard, Reserve Members

DOD Honors Top Employers of Guard, Reserve Members

Weekly Address: Averting a Government Shutdown and Expanding Access to Affordable Healthcare | The White House

Weekly Address: Averting a Government Shutdown and Expanding Access to Affordable Healthcare | The White House


Negotiations Continue on Agreement to Chart Future US-Afghan Partnership
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 - The commander of U.S. Central Command expressed confidence that the bilateral security agreement being negotiated between the United States and Afghanistan will ensure the strong partnership forged over the past 12 years continues to grow beyond 2014.

"While we are preparing to transition out of that country, we are not disengaging or turning our backs on them," Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III said in an email interview with American Forces Press Service.

"On the contrary, we intend to stay engaged and continue to support them as they build and enhance their capability in the coming years," he said. "We have been very clear that we desire a long-term relationship with our Afghan partners."

Austin emphasized Afghanistan's importance as a partner in a critical region of the world, particularly in light of its relationship with and proximity to Pakistan.

"The fact remains that while we are transitioning from Afghanistan, we're not abandoning that country or the region," he said. "Indeed, we cannot abandon the region given our vital interests in that complex, volatile and important part of the world."

Of particular concern, Austin said, is the presence of groups and organizations that would seek ungoverned spaces to train and project terrorism and extremism.

"These organizations pose a threat to our homeland and our interests around the globe," he said. "We must therefore guard against them and the ungoverned spaces they seek in parts of Afghanistan and elsewhere where they may thrive if left unchecked."

The U.S. intent is to maintain a small force on the ground in Afghanistan after Dec. 31, 2014, said Austin, noting that the force's follow-on mission, as envisioned, would be to continue advising, training and assisting Afghan National Security Forces and help them build both capability and confidence.

"However, this is wholly dependent upon us achieving a bilateral security agreement," Austin emphasized. "Simply put, we will not allow U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan without [one]."

While expressing confidence that such an agreement will be reached, Austin said he's anxious to get it done as quickly as possible.

"The fact that we don't yet have concurrence complicates our ability to plan our way ahead," he said.

Resolution of the post-2014 U.S. presence in Afghanistan also will help ease concern among some regional partners that the drawdown will leave a vacuum that opens the door to destabilizing influences, Austin said.

Austin recognized the strong ties built between U.S. and Afghan forces over more than a decade of combined operations.

"Our troops have served side-by-side under incredibly difficult circumstances," he said. "Together we've learned valuable lessons and built steadfast relationships."

The United States has invested heavily in both blood and national treasure to help provide the Afghan people increased security and opportunity, he said.

"Given their strategic importance and the tremendous investment we have made on behalf of the people and country of Afghanistan over the past 12-plus years, it goes without saying that we have every intention of maintaining this important military-to-military relationship well into the future," Austin said.

"Continuing to strengthen this partnership will remain one of my top priorities," he added.

Austin noted the key role the United States plays in helping not only Afghanistan, but also other regional partners, build capacity so they can improve security, not just within their borders, but across the region.

"Therefore, we will remain present and engaged, primarily through foreign military sales, bilateral and multilateral training exercises and other engagements," he said. "Ultimately, our goal is to do all that we can to promote greater security, stability and prosperity throughout the region."


Airman Embraces Diversity During Hispanic Heritage Month
By Air Force Senior Airman Aubrey White
4th Fighter Wing

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C., Sept. 25, 2013 - "Diversidad estimula la creatividad, facilitando el desarrollo de ideas y soluciones para resolver desafíos complejos. La creatividad es impulsada por nuestras características únicas, apoyadas por experiencias personales, antecedentes sociales y culturales, y nuestra fortaleza educativa y filosófica. Estas características facilitan múltiples puntos de vista, ideas y soluciones; y es lo que nos permite superar cualquier reto."

Translation: "Diversity enables creativity, facilitating the development of ideas and solutions to resolve complex challenges. Creativity is driven by our unique characteristics, supported by personal experiences, social and cultural backgrounds, and educational and philosophical strengths. These characteristics enable multiple perspectives, ideas and solutions, allowing us to overcome any challenge," said Air Force Maj. Nelson AvilesFigueroa, commander of the 4th Communications Squadron here.

As a young man who grew up on the island of Puerto Rico, AvilesFigueroa embraces the values that made him the airman he is today.

"Honesty, humility, loyalty and a hard-working mentality, all values deeply embedded in my culture, make me a better airman," he said. "That foundation has helped me progress in my career and most definitely helped me become the airman I am today."

AvilesFigueroa said he is proud to be Puerto Rican. He employs Hispanic Heritage Month, he said, as a time to reflect on where his career began.

His journey to serve in the Air Force started after he graduated from the University of Puerto Rico. With a degree in mathematics and a wife and two children to care for, he felt his only options for a stable income were to become a math teacher or join the military.

"I grew up in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and although Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, we don't speak English," he recalled. "My first words in English were actually at Basic Military Training, when the military training instructor was in front of me, yelling at me, as I was trying to digest everything."

Although he somewhat understood simple terminology and instructions, AvilesFigueroa said he had the pleasure of meeting a bilingual Hispanic trainee from New York who was eager to help him.

"BMT was all about teamwork and determination," he said. "When the language barrier made things 'interesting' for me, he translated the more complex instructions and actions [so] I dedicated all of my limited free time during BMT to improving my English skills."

AvilesFigueroa said his determination was essential to completing basic military training in hopes of providing a better life for his family. His family is what drives him to be successful, he said, and he couldn't let them down.

Upon completion of BMT and technical school, AvilesFigueroa entered the communications career field as a radar maintainer. His first assignment was at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., where AvilesFigueroa said he and his family were completely out of their comfort zone.

With a new lifestyle, he found a new way to connect to the people around him using his culture.

"[Hispanic Heritage Month] is an opportunity for me to share my heritage with my co-workers," he said. "I use this month to educate peers about Puerto Rico and about what being Puerto Rican means. A lot of people actually don't know that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, or how our economy developed, so I use this opportunity just to share a little bit about the uniqueness of our culture."

He believes it's also important for other airmen to share their heritage because the diversity they bring to the Air Force is integral in finding solutions to daily challenges.

AvilesFigueroa plans to be involved with as many aspects of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations on base as possible and encourages all to use this time to reflect on the significance of diversity.


New Van Buren Border Crossing Supports Security and Commerce
Federal and local officials commemorate opening of Van Buren Land Port of Entry
September 25, 2013

BOSTON -- Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) were joined by U.S. Senators Susan Collins, Angus King and Congressman Michael Michaud in Washington, DC, to officially open the state-of-the-art land port of entry facility in Van Buren, Maine. GSA and CBP worked with national and local firms to design this new facility that uses modern technology to enhance border security, speed the flow of commerce, and save energy. Officials in Washington, DC joined the event via video teleconferencing technology and kicked off the ribbon cutting in Van Buren, Maine.

“Land ports of entry are important investments in the nation’s infrastructure that also support commerce and ensure safety,” said Dan Tangherlini, GSA Administrator. “The Van Buren Land Port of Entry restores and enhances an essential border crossing facility in this region and provides Customs and Border Protection the tools it needs to serve the American people.”

“Following the devastating floods in 2008, I toured the temporary facilities in Van Buren and recognized the need to modernize them to meet the challenges of securing the border while supporting a robust exchange of visitors between the U.S. and Canada,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins. “I am pleased to join so many in celebrating this new state-of-the-art facility, which sets a standard that will benefit the people and businesses of this region for years to come. With this modern facility and the continued dedication of those who work here, our new front door will be both secure and welcoming.”

“The new Van Buren Port of Entry is an extraordinary facility that will not only enhance our nation’s border security, but also encourage and promote trade, commerce, and cross-border relationships,” U.S. Senator Angus King said. “I applaud the collaborative work of the General Services Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and all of the national and local firms involved throughout the design and construction process. Without question, this state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly facility will greatly benefit Maine and the nation for years to come.”

Located on a 22-acre site on the northeastern border of Maine, the 44,000 square foot facility screens and welcomes travelers, workers, and commercial trucks to and from Canada. The new facility now provides the region with a full service commercial screening station, which will support commercial vehicle traffic. This facility marks the return of a fully functioning border crossing to the region after the previous facility was significantly damaged in a 2008 flood. CBP had been operating out of trailers since the flood. GSA began the $46 million construction project in 2011, which was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project was completed on time and on budget this year. CBP now has a new facility that will support their vital mission to secure the nation’s borders. .

“President Obama has asked federal employees to help build the government of the 21st century,” remarked Robert Zarnetske, GSA New England Regional Administrator. “Successful projects like these not only satisfy a critical need in securing our borders but also help grow local economies. The government of the 21st century seizes the opportunity to help communities by connecting national objectives with local skills and opportunities.”

“While it seems like quite some time now since the floods compromised the port here, this facility was worth the wait. Simply updating or repairing it wouldn’t have given this area the safe and state-of-the-art port of entry it deserved. That’s why I pushed so hard to have this new facility built. I’m confident this new Van Buren Land Port of Entry will serve our community well for many years to come. Not only does it provide a safe working environment for all personnel, it’s also a green facility. And most importantly, it will help improve security while facilitating commerce and reducing congestion for people and goods travelling across our border,” said Rep. Mike Michaud.

The facility also uses sustainable technology and design features to cut energy and utility costs and save taxpayer dollars. The sustainability features of this facility include: energy-efficient construction using insulated pre-cast concrete panels; a ground-sourced geothermal heating and cooling system with nearly fifty 400’-deep geothermal wells; radiant floor heating; a solar hot water heating system which provides hot water to building sinks and showers; solar tubes which provide daylight to interior rooms; energy-efficient lighting (including LED); and a 1,250kW generator which provides backup power in case of power outages. These energy efficient features are expected help the facility achieve a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“This project created contracting opportunities and jobs in this region. GSA’s private sector partners included the award winning Julie Snow Architects, Inc., J&J Contractors, Inc., and Robert Siegel Architects. In addition, there were 27 Maine based companies that helped complete this project.

Friday, September 27, 2013


President Obama Makes a Statement | The White House

President Obama Makes a Statement | The White House

DOD Contracts for September 27, 2013

Contracts for September 27, 2013

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update: Protecting Soldiers

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update


Palau Independence Day
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 27, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Palau on the 19th anniversary of your independence on October 1.

As you celebrate this day, the United States looks back with you in pride on our history of friendly and productive relations. We also look forward to continued partnership on issues such as the protection of fragile marine habitats, sustainable economic development, and the fulfillment of human rights.

The United States is committed to peace and prosperity for Palau and the Pacific Region, and we join you in the spirit of friendship and cooperation. I send all the people of Palau my best wishes for a year of peace, progress, and prosperity.


Alexander: Cybercom Activates National Mission Force HQ
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 - U.S. Cyber Command has activated the headquarters for its Cyber National Mission Force, the one of its three forces that would react to a cyber attack on the nation, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, Cybercom's commander, said at the National Press Club today.

The other two forces are the Cyber Combat Mission Force that is assigned to the operational control of individual combatant commanders, and the Cyber Protection Force that helps operate and defend the Defense Department's information environment.

Speaking at the 4th Annual Cybersecurity Summit, the general, who is also director of the National Security Agency, said Cybercom teams are now fully operational and working side by side with NSA to defend the nation.

"We will ensure that we have the best force anywhere in the world," Alexander said.

Federal, military and industry officials listened as the general detailed five aspects of cybersecurity that NSA and Cyber Command are working to improve.

"Look at what's happened in the past year," Alexander said. "Over 300 distributed denial-of-service attacks on Wall Street. We saw destructive attacks in August 2012 against Saudi Aramco and RasGas [Co. Ltd.]."

There've also been "destructive" cyberattacks against South Korea, he added.

"What that says to me is that this is going to pick up. It's going to get worse and we have to get a number of things done to protect this country," Alexander said.

The top priority, he said, is a trained and ready force.

"The best [force] in the world -- that's what the American people expect of our military and of our intelligence community and that's what we're doing. Why? In this area, technical skills really matter," the general said. "So we're engaged in a multiyear effort with the services to train our forces."

The Army, Navy and Marines trained about a third of the force in 2013 and they will train a third in 2014 and another third in 2015, he said.

"That's a huge step forward and the service chiefs have stood up and pushed those forces forward despite sequestration and despite all the battles that are going on in the Pentagon," Alexander said. "They've stood up and they've all agreed that this is a threat that we have to address for the good of the military and our nation."

Cybercom also is conducting exercises such as Cyber Guard and Cyber Flag, the general said. These include the combatant commands, the National Guard, the reserves and interagency participation to develop the tactics, techniques and procedures and working relationships needed to conduct operations in cyberspace.

"Cyber Command provides cyber support elements to every combatant command today," Alexander said. "We're refining our operational concepts and our command and control. And I think ... coming up with the operational concepts and the command and control is absolutely vital to the future.'

The second area critical to cybersecurity, especially in the Defense Department, is to move from the legacy information technology architecture in use today to a defensible architecture, the general said.

In fact, the Defense Information Systems Agency, working with Cybercom, NSA and the services, is beginning to implement a Joint Information Environment that will eventually upgrade the DOD legacy system.

"I think the cloud architecture that's been pushed forward for the Joint Information Environment and the intelligence community's IT environment is where our nation needs to be," Alexander said. "A thin [or very minimalized] virtual cloud environment offers some great capabilities for the future."

In such an environment, he explained, patching for many computers could be done at network speed with 100-percent accuracy, essentially fixing an entire network within minutes.

"You could remove humans from the loop in that [operation] and put them where you need them -- protecting the networks," the general said.

In this environment, he said, "we can break down each system we see being scanned by an adversary and put it in a new place. You can jump networks, you can jump databases, and you can jump your phone system, [making] it very difficult for adversaries to exploit them."

Shared situational awareness is a third area of critical importance to the nation, Alexander said, describing it as a common way for people to understand events that happen in cyberspace.

"Ask the IT people to draw you a picture of a recent exploit into your network," the general said. He then drew examples in the air to demonstrate the likely confusion that would ensue with no common framework.

"How does it look? How are we going to fix it?" he asked.

Such a framework will be even more important, the general said, when "forces in cyberspace must ask questions like, 'Where is the adversary coming from? Where are they getting into the country? What is Cyber Command's role? What is NSA's role? How do our allies see that? How do we work together?'"

The answer is, he said, "nobody sees it today. We don't have the shared situational awareness we need and this is going to be a key capability for the future."

As a result, Alexander said, Cybercom, NSA and the Defense Department are developing a common operational picture and will share it with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, with all the combatant commands, and with some U.S. allies.

The fourth area that's critical in cybersecurity is that government must work with industry, the general said.

"Industry owns and operates 85 percent to 90 percent of our networks," Alexander said. But the government, led by the president, he added, has to be responsible for defending the country from attack and for attacking back.

"We have to share what we know about [cyber] threats and [industry] has to tell us what they see. This is where the Internet service providers are critical. Not just here but with our allies and others," the general said.

"But we have to work with industry because we can't see the threat," he added. "And if we can't see it we can't respond to it."

Government and industry must come together and figure out how that will work, Alexander said, adding that industry is critical to defending the United States in cybersecurity, and U.S. allies are critical partners in this.

"If we can't share information with industry," he said, "we won't be able to stop it."

The fifth area that's critical to the United States in cybersecurity involves authorities, Alexander said.

"We need to work with Congress on additional legislation regarding cybersecurity and private industry -- specifically, how we will share information and how we will provide liability protection to them," he said. "Those are the key issues that have to come out of this."

Rules of engagement also must be clarified, the general said, including what is expected of Cybercom.

"This is a difficult topic," he said. "We don't want NSA and Cyber Command doing something irresponsible. On the other hand, we don't want NSA and Cyber Command waiting for the authorities while Wall Street is taken down in [a] cyber[attack]. So we have a dilemma. How do we work that?"

He said officials at Cyber Command and NSA are working within the Defense Department and the interagency to study the authorities and processes needed.

"It very closely follows what you would expect us to do if this were a missile attack on our country," Alexander said. "How do we go through those authorities? How do we set up the conference calls? How do we go to the secretary of defense and the president and get the authorities we need and give them the options?"

He added, "We're working our way through that and I think the government has done a great job moving that forward."


Rotational Force in Australia Paves Way for Big Growth in 2014
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2013 - With the second rotation of U.S. Marines wrapping up its six-month deployment to Darwin, Australia, later this month, the senior Marine commander on the ground said all systems are go for the next rotation to increase five-fold when it arrives next spring.

Marine Rotational Force – Darwin was the first new rotational arrangement in the Asia-Pacific region designed to bolster U.S. theater engagement in support of the defense strategic guidance released in January 2012.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced during a joint news conference with President Barack Obama in November 2011 that Australia would host the rotational units. The intent, they said, was to build a rotational presence up to a 2,500-member Marine Air-Ground Task Force that would exercise with the Australian Defence Force and train regional militaries.

Earlier this month, Obama and Tony Abbott, who was sworn in last week as Australia's new prime minister, confirmed their commitment to the agreement. Obama said the full contingent of Marines will begin rotations during the 2016-2017 timeframe.

In building toward that goal, the first rotation of about 200 Marines from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, deployed to Australia in April 2012, just months after the United States and Australia announced the initiative, Marine Lt. Col. Matthew Puglisi, officer in charge of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin told American Forces Press Service in a telephone interview.

"We had approximately three months to conduct deliberate planning in order to develop a concept of operations that would support unilateral and bilateral training in the region," he said. "It was a very short planning cycle, but a great deal of work was done to ensure mission success."

Based at Australia's Robertson Barracks outside Darwin, the inaugural rotation laid important groundwork for follow-on rotations, he said. While working through the logistical and administrative requirements and launching new training programs, they immediately began forging new relationships with their Australian hosts, he said.

Initially the training focused on basic, company-level sustainment training. But mid-way through the rotation, the Marines began their regional outreach during the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training 2012 exercise, hosted by Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Puglisi emphasized the importance of the rotational force in helping regional partners build capacity and as a quick-reaction force to regional crises.

"The proximity of the Northern Territory to Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Indian Ocean enables Marines to more effectively train, exercise and operate with partners across the region," he said. It also positions them, if needed, "to respond more rapidly to humanitarian and natural disasters and crises throughout the region."

The second rotation of about 250 Marines arrived in Australia in April, building on initial progress with more bilateral activities in Australia and platoon-level engagements in New Zealand and Tonga, Puglisi reported.

"They had a very challenging and aggressive training and exercise employment plan," he said, concentrating on small-unit infantry exercises and assessments of local range capabilities.

Among the highlights was a deployment to Australia's 3,300-square-mile Bradshaw Field Training Area, a premier training environment about 400 miles from Darwin. There, the rotational Marines, joined by about 750 members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted Exercise Koolendong 2013 with the Royal Australian Regiment's 5th Battalion.

The training, the first of its kind for Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, included maneuver, mounted and dismounted operations, a vertical assault scenario and a six-day live- fire exercise. It served as a "proof of concept" that affirmed the range's capacity to support battalion-sized, live-fire events, Puglisi said, broadening the opportunities for future Marine rotations.

As the second rotation of Marines leaves Australia next week, they have set the conditions for a far larger rotation to arrive next spring, Puglisi said. A battalion-sized Marine Air-Ground Task Force of about 1,150 Marines is expected to deploy to Darwin, complete with an infantry battalion, logistics and aviation detachment.

Most of those Marines will be based at Robertson Barracks, but a 130-member aviation support contingent and four medium-lift helicopters will operate from Royal Australian Air Force's Base Darwin, Puglisi said. Planners are evaluating what other temporary structures might be needed to accommodate the incoming rotation, he said.

Despite some logistical growing pains, Puglisi said he's excited about the growth of the rotational force. "Progressing to this larger six-month rotation will provide increased opportunities for combined training and deepening interoperability," he said.

The intention all along has been to build the force incrementally and to incorporate lessons as they are learned, Puglisi said. "It's best to take a measured and deliberate approach to this initiative, and we want to make sure we get the plan right," he said. "It's much easier to make adjustments mid-stream with smaller numbers."

As the Marines provide an increased U.S. presence forward and increase their engagements with regional partners, Puglisi said they're returning to their roots as an expeditionary force.

"We are an expeditionary force, and we can operate anytime and in any place," he said. "This is something in our toolbox. So we just look at this as an extended exercise period. We go to different places, rotate through, conduct training and then leave. That is the Marine Corps way."

The takeaway, he said, is increased interoperability between U.S. and Australian forces and new relationships developed during the rotations.

"This is about getting to know our Australian counterparts. It is sharing those tactics, techniques and procedures and developing those lifelong relationships," Puglisi said. "We have been in combat operations together for years now, and we will continue to train together knowing that we will definitely see each other again in the future."

Noting the century-long bonds between the two countries, Puglisi said the United States and Australia share a commitment to a stable and secure Asia-Pacific.

"We share the same interests here in the region and globally," he said. "That has an important impact in terms of security in the region."



$9.7 million in continued funding to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities announced by US Labor Department

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced a total of $9,721,837 in continued funding for organizations managing consortia that develop models, provide technical assistance and share best practices to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

"We must provide every opportunity for people with disabilities — and more fully integrate them into the workforce and into the economic life of the nation," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These grants will help better connect people with disabilities with employers who can greatly benefit from their skills and experience."

The recipients and the amount of funding they are receiving are:
The Add Us In initiative will receive a total of $2,774,116. The eight recipients who are participating in this initiative are: 1) the National Organization on Disability in New York, N.Y.; 2) the WorkPlace in Bridgeport, Conn.; 3) the TransCen Inc. in Rockville, Md.; 4) the University of Illinois in Chicago, Ill.; 5) the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Mo.; 6) the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.; 7) the Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles, Calif.; and 8) the World Institute on Disability in Berkeley, Calif. The goal of the Add Us In initiative is to identify and develop strategies to increase the capacity of small businesses, including those in underrepresented and historically excluded communities, to employ youth and young adults with disabilities.
The West Virginia University Research Corporation in Morgantown, W.Va., is receiving $2,499,901 to operate the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). JAN is a free and confidential consulting service that provides individualized worksite accommodation solutions and technical assistance spanning the complete range of disabilities and job functions to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability-related legislation. It also provides information about self-employment and small business ownership opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The National Technical Assistance, Policy, and Research Center for Employers on Employment of People with Disabilities at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., will receive $1,299,250. This consortium will continue its efforts in managing a consortium charged with: conducting research, assisting the department in developing and promoting employer-focused policies, disseminating information and providing technical assistance to employers and employer organizations.
The Institute for Educational Leadership in the District of Columbia is receiving $1,099,997 for the National Technical Assistance and Demonstration Center on Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Employment. These funds will be used to continue the center's work building capacity within and across youth service delivery systems to improve employment and postsecondary education outcomes for youth with disabilities. The center will have three areas of focus going forward: 1) career exploration, management and planning; 2) youth development and leadership; and 3) professional development.

The National Disability Institute in the District of Columbia is receiving $1,098,573 to operate the National Center on Leadership for Employment and Advancement of Citizens with Disabilities (LEAD Center). These funds will support the LEAD Center's ongoing efforts to conduct policy and research initiatives focused on improving employment outcomes, including job retention, for job seekers with disabilities. Additionally, these resources will enable the LEAD Center to continue developing policies and guidance on best practices.
The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) in Arlington, Va., is receiving $950,000 to operate ODEP's Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology Center (PEAT), formerly known as the Accessible Technology Action Center. PEAT facilitates and promotes the use of accessible technology in the hiring, employment, retention and career advancement of individuals with disabilities.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities.


SEC Charges Former President of California-Based Investment Firm with Fraud

On September 24, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the former president of a purported private equity real estate firm based in San Bernardino, Calif., with defrauding nearly 500 investors who purchased promissory notes under the false premise that they were secured by specific properties or other collateral.

The SEC alleges that Larry Polhill used his company American Pacific Financial Corporation (APFC) to buy and sell real estate and distressed assets, and he offered investors the opportunity to invest in the company through unregistered notes that would yield them interest payments of 5 to 17 percent per year. However, the collateral that Polhill and APFC claimed made the investments secure was often non-existent or otherwise impaired. The properties underlying the investments were sometimes even sold without notice to investors. When APFC eventually filed for bankruptcy, it named the investors as unsecured creditors who were owed nearly $160 million. None of Polhill's investment offerings were registered with the SEC.

Polhill agreed to settle the SEC's charges and be barred from acting as the officer or director of any public company. The settlement is subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, which would decide monetary sanctions at a later date.

According to the SEC's complaint, in addition to promissory notes, investors also could invest in APFC-sponsored funds that pooled investor money to make loans to APFC. The company made regularly scheduled interest payments to investors in the notes and the funds from the mid-1980s to 2007. As a result, its investor base continually grew and the company began making larger and larger investments in distressed assets by buying numerous companies out of bankruptcy. While a few of APFC's investments were successful, the vast majority failed unbeknownst to investors. Consequently, the assets held by APFC that were securing the notes and loans held by investors decreased in value. In early 2008, APFC ceased making its scheduled payments to most investors, but continued to issue newsletters, pay preferred investors, and engage in other activities designed to create a false sense of security about the investments in the company.

The SEC alleges that Polhill made several material misrepresentations to investors. Specifically, he told investors that the notes were secured by collateral when no such security interest existed. He failed to disclose that the collateral securing some investors' notes already had been pledged to other lenders. Polhill represented that he would notify investors if their collateral went into default when that was often not the case. For instance, one investor's note specifically stated it was secured by property located in Hesperia, Calif., that was owned by APFC and pledged as collateral. However, APFC sold the collateral in 2004, and neither Polhill nor APFC informed the investor that his collateral had been sold and there was no longer any asset securing the note.

The SEC's complaint charges Polhill with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act. Polhill has consented to the entry of an order that permanently enjoins him from violating these laws and permanently bars him from acting as an officer or director of any public company.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Marc Blau, Sara Kalin, and Peter Del Greco of the Los Angeles Regional Office. The SEC's litigation will be led by Lynn Dean.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Air Force Chief of Staff Begins Visit to China

Air Force Chief of Staff Begins Visit to China

President Obama Speaks on the Affordable Care Act | The White House

President Obama Speaks on the Affordable Care Act | The White House

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University Awarded $748,126 Grant to Develop Cloud, Web Computing for People with Disabilities

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University Awarded $748,126 Grant to Develop Cloud, Web Computing for People with Disabilities

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update



Special Court of Sierra Leone Appeals Chamber Upholds Conviction of Charles Taylor

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 26, 2013

Special Court of Sierra Leone Appeals Chamber Upholds Conviction of Charles Taylor
Today’s ruling upholding the conviction of former Liberian President Charles Taylor marks a milestone for the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and for international criminal justice.
In holding Charles Taylor accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court of Sierra Leone has brought a measure of justice to the people of Sierra Leone, and helped to cement the foundation on which reconciliation can proceed.
This fight against impunity for the worst crimes known to humankind is personal for me.
The last piece of legislation I helped to pass as a Senator expanded and modernized the State Department’s War Crimes Rewards Program.

As I was awaiting confirmation to become Secretary of State, the bill came to President Obama’s desk and he signed it into law.

We need tools like this to help ensure that criminals like Charles Taylor answer for their crimes.
I am proud of the role that the United States played in drafting and negotiating UN Security Council Resolution 1315 (2000), which paved the way for the Special Court that convicted Taylor and has now brought its trials and appeals to a close.

The United States has been a strong supporter of the Court and its work for a simple reason: We refuse to accept a world where those responsible for crimes of this magnitude live in impunity.

DOD Contracts for September 26, 2013

Contracts for September 26, 2013

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update: Top Tech: Multi-Ply Heterogeneous Armor

U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update


Monday, September 23, 2013
Former President of Qualcomm’s Global Business Operations Indicted for Insider Trading

Executive Jing Wang Used Offshore Entities and Secret Brokerage Accounts to Conceal and Disguise Illicit Profits
Jing Wang, 51, of Del Mar, Calif., a former Executive Vice President and President of Global Business Operations for Qualcomm Inc., was charged with insider trading in shares of both Qualcomm and Atheros Communications Inc. using a secret brokerage account and an offshore shell company in the British Virgin Islands.  Wang was also charged with conspiring with his brother, co-defendant Bing Wang, 53, and his former stock broker to obstruct an ongoing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation and laundering the proceeds of his insider trading using a second offshore shell company and secret brokerage account.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California made the announcement.

“Insider trading is an insidious crime.  It undermines ordinary investors’ faith in our financial markets, and the Justice Department has zero tolerance for it,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “Today’s charges show that you cannot trade on inside information, pocket the profit, and expect to get away with it.  The Criminal Division has had a terrific partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in this important investigation, and through partnerships like these throughout the country, we will continue to root out fraud in our markets at every level.”

“When there are two sets of rules – one for the powerful insiders and one for everybody else – the public quickly loses confidence in the stock market,” said U.S. Attorney Duffy. “We intend to restore confidence in our markets by making sure that everyone is playing by the same rules.”

Jing Wang was taken into custody by the FBI earlier today on these charges and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of California this afternoon.  A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Bing Wang, who is believed to be a citizen and resident of China.  Both men are charged in an indictment with conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Jing Wang was also charged with securities fraud, money laundering and obstruction of official proceedings, which each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence.

The former stock broker, Gary Yin, was charged with conspiracy in a criminal information filed today in the Southern District of California and is expected to make his initial appearance on Sept. 24, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in federal court in San Diego.

According to the indictment, Jing Wang used his Merrill Lynch broker, Yin, to create an offshore entity, Unicorn Global Enterprises, in the British Virgin Islands and to open a brokerage account for Unicorn at Merrill Lynch.  Jing Wang provided documents to Yin to create the false impression that his brother, Bing Wang, controlled the account, when in fact Jing Wang was the true owner of the account.  This allowed Jing Wang to conceal his true ownership and control of the assets in the account and to avoid reporting to U.S. tax authorities.  Significantly, it also allowed Jing Wang to disguise his involvement secreting tens of thousands of dollars for use in China.

The indictment alleges that after the creation of the Unicorn account, Jing Wang was named an Executive Vice President of Qualcomm and fell within the company’s insider trading restrictions for officers.  As an officer, Wang was exposed to Qualcomm’s confidential business information, and was repeatedly notified that he was not permitted to use material, non-public information to engage in stock transactions.

Among the inside information learned by Jing Wang because of his senior position was the fact that in the first quarter of 2010, Qualcomm was poised to announce an increased quarterly dividend and a stock repurchase program.  On March 1, 2010, Jing Wang allegedly acted on this material, non-public information and directed Yin to purchase as much Qualcomm stock as possible in the Unicorn account before the information became public.  After the close of trading on March 1, 2010, Qualcomm issued a press release announcing the dividend increase and stock repurchase program, and the company’s stock appreciated approximately 10 percent in value.

According to the indictment, Jing Wang next allegedly engaged in insider trading when he learned that Qualcomm was interested in purchasing Atheros.  On Dec. 1, 2010, acting on this information, Jing Wang met with Yin and instructed him to sell all Qualcomm shares in the Unicorn account.  Jing Wang then told Yin to make preparations to purchase Atheros with the funds in the account, but to wait for further confirmation.  Jing Wang’s broker proceeded to liquidate all of the illegally held Qualcomm stock in the Unicorn account, resulting in ill-gotten gains of approximately $94,709 from the earlier insider trading.

On Dec. 6, 2010, while attending a meeting of Qualcomm’s Board of Directors in Hong Kong, Jing Wang learned that the board had authorized Qualcomm to make a non-public offer to purchase Atheros for $45 per share.  Later that same day, Jing Wang allegedly called Yin in San Diego and instructed him to use all available funds in the secret Unicorn account to purchase Atheros stock.  The broker followed Jing Wang’s instructions and purchased 10,800 shares at approximately $34 per share, for a total of $366,766.

Qualcomm’s offer to purchase Atheros remained confidential until an article appeared in the Dealbook section of the New York Times’ website on Jan. 4, 2011, and Qualcomm made an official announcement of the deal on Jan. 5, 2011.  Between the close of trading on Jan. 3, 2011, and the close of trading on Jan. 5, 2011, the price of Atheros stock jumped from approximately $37 to $44.50 – an increase of  approximately 20 percent.

The indictment alleges that Jing Wang engaged in a third incident of insider trading on Jan. 25, 2011, when he learned that Qualcomm was about to release record financial results.  Immediately prior to announcement of those earnings, Jing Wang directed Yin to sell all the Atheros stock in the Unicorn account and purchase Qualcomm stock.  The broker sold all of Jing Wang’s illegally purchased Atheros stock for $44.60 per share, and used all of the proceeds to purchase Qualcomm stock at $50.87 per share.  The following day, after Qualcomm announced the record earnings results, Qualcomm’s stock price increased by approximately $4 per share.  All told, Jing Wang illegally gained approximately a quarter of a million dollars from these three illegal transactions.

The indictment and criminal information further allege that in order to conceal his insider trading, Jing Wang conspired with Yin and his brother, Bing Wang, to conceal Jing Wang’s control of the Unicorn account and his illegal purchases of Qualcomm and Atheros stock.  Yin and Bing Wang agreed to assist Jing Wang, and the three defendants engaged in a number of activities to obstruct any investigation of the trades, as well as to conceal Jing Wang’s control of the Unicorn account.  These obstructive acts included concocting a false cover story that would blame Bing Wang for the illegal trades in Qualcomm and Atheros, concealing Jing Wang’s actual control of the Unicorn account from Merrill Lynch, and transferring the proceeds of Jing Wang’s insider trading to another offshore entity nominally owned by Jing Wang’s mother.

For example, in carrying out the obstruction, the indictment alleges that in January 2012, Jing Wang forged the signature of his mother and used her identification documents to create another British Virgin Islands entity called Clearview Resources Ltd.  At Jing Wang’s instruction, Yin created a Merrill Lynch account for Clearview and attempted to further distance Jing Wang from the transactions by transferring all of the money in the Unicorn account to the Clearview account in a series of structured transactions.

Another example of obstructive conduct alleged in the indictment took place in March 2012, when Jing Wang met with Yin and explained that the SEC was investigating Qualcomm. At that time, Jing Wang told Yin he was worried that his control of the Unicorn account and insider trading would be discovered.  By that time, the SEC had already issued a subpoena to Jing Wang calling for him to produce information about any brokerage accounts he controlled.  Jing Wang pressed Yin to stick to the false cover story he had created earlier – that his brother, Bing Wang, had made the illegal trades.  Soon afterwards, Jing Wang gave Yin a number of Merrill Lynch documents related to his Unicorn account and directed Yin to take the documents to China, give them to Bing Wang, and help his brother use them to corroborate the false cover story.  Yin agreed, and during two trips to China in 2012, Yin met with Bing Wang, provided him with Unicorn documents removed from the United States, and rehearsed the false cover story.  The indictment further alleges that after these meetings, Bing Wang and Yin sent emails to each other containing false and misleading statements in order to make it appear that Bing Wang actually controlled the Unicorn and Clearview accounts.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation.  The SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office also provided assistance, and the SEC today filed a civil complaint against Jing Wang and Yin in federal court in San Diego.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney James McDonald of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric J. Beste, John Parmley and Timothy Perry of the Southern District of California



SEC Charges Former Technology Company Executive for Role in Rajaratnam Insider Trading Scheme

On September 20, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former executive at a Massachusetts-based technology firm for illegally tipping non-public information about the company’s financial predicament as part of the insider trading scheme operated by now-imprisoned Galleon Management hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.

The SEC alleges that Kieran Taylor, who was the senior director of marketing for Akamai Technologies, illegally tipped his close friend – hedge fund portfolio manager Danielle Chiesi – with confidential information about the company’s plans to lower its revenue guidance for 2008.  Chiesi in turn tipped Rajaratnam with the non-public information so they and others could trade ahead of the negative news and make millions of dollars in illegal profits.  Taylor also traded on the non-public information by selling 2,500 shares of Akamai stock that he held in a personal brokerage account to avoid losses of $20,635.

Taylor, who lives in New York, New York, has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying more than $145,000 and being barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.  The settlement is subject to court approval.

According to the SEC’s complaint against Taylor filed in federal court in Manhattan, he obtained confidential information in July 2008 from internal company sources indicating that Akamai would fall short of previous revenue projections it made publicly.  Akamai was planning to update its revenue guidance for 2008 when it announced its second quarter financial results on July 30.  Based on this inside information, Taylor sold his Akamai stock in the days leading up to the announcement.  Taylor also tipped Chiesi, a lifelong family friend who was then a portfolio manager at hedge fund advisory firm New Castle Funds.  Chiesi then prompted New Castle to short sell Akamai stock.

According to the SEC’s complaint, the inside information leaked by Taylor continued to make its way around the Rajaratnam insider trading circle. Chiesi tipped other hedge fund managers including Rajaratnam with the inside information so Galleon Management and other firms could short Akamai stock.  Chiesi called Rajaratnam and relayed what she had learned from Taylor, noting that Akamai was “going to guide down a lot” at the company’s upcoming quarterly earnings announcement.  Chiesi similarly provided Taylor’s Akamai information to another friend, Steven Fortuna of the hedge fund advisory firm S2 Capital.  Chiesi, Rajaratnam, and Fortuna collectively shorted hundreds of thousands of shares of Akamai stock based on the non-public information illegally tipped by Taylor.  Their hedge funds consequently reaped approximately $10 million in illicit profits. 

The SEC charged Rajaratnam and Chiesi with insider trading in October 2009, and Fortuna was charged with insider trading a month later.  The SEC has charged a total of 34 firms and individuals in its Galleon-related enforcement actions, which have exposed widespread and repeated insider trading by numerous hedge funds as well as traders, investment professionals, and corporate insiders located throughout the country.  The insider trading occurred in the securities of more than 15 companies for illicit profits totaling more than $96 million.
The SEC’s complaint charges Taylor with violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933.  Taylor agreed to pay $20,635 in disgorgement, $4,190.26 in prejudgment interest, and a $120,635 penalty.  Without admitting or denying the charges, Taylor also agreed to be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years, and to be permanently enjoined from future violations of these provisions of the federal securities laws.