December 2, 2022

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Mexican man charged with assaulting federal officer

11 min read
A 44-year-old non-U.S. citizen illegally residing in Laredo has been charged with assaulting a Border Patrol (BP) agent and unlawfully transporting illegal citizens within the United States

More from: February 23, 2022

  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock At a Joint Press Availability
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  • Tajikistan Independence Day
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  • [Protests of Army Corps of Engineers Contract Award for Environmental Remediation Services]
    In U.S GAO News
    A firm protested an Army Corps of Engineers contract award for environmental remediation services, contending that the: (1) Corps’ evaluation of the bids was unreasonable and inconsistent with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria, making the selection decision flawed; and (2) Corps improperly failed to perform a cost-technical tradeoff analysis. GAO held that the: (1) Corps reasonably gave the awardee’s proposal an excellent technical rating in areas where the proposal met most of the criteria for an excellent rating; (2) protester untimely filed more than 10 days after it knew the basis of protest several issues raised in its supplemental protest; and (3) Corps’ consideration of price and technical factors in the selection decision was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria. Accordingly, the protests were denied.

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  • Under Secretary Hale’s Call with Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi
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  • Five Alleged MS-13 Members Charged Federally for Their Participation in a Violent Racketeering Conspiracy Including Eight Murders and Four Attempted Murders
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury returned an eleventh superseding indictment Monday, charging five men in connection with a conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise known as La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. The eleventh superseding indictment adds a new defendant charged with a racketeering conspiracy related to his membership in MS-13, including a double homicide and drug trafficking.

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  • Cabo Verde National Day
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  • Capital One CEO to Pay Civil Penalty for Violating Antitrust Pre-Transaction Notification Requirements
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, against Richard D. Fairbank, the CEO of Capital One Financial Corporation, for violating the pre-transaction notification and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 (HSR Act) when he acquired voting securities of Capital One in 2018. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement, subject to approval by the court, under which Fairbank has agreed to pay a $637,950 civil penalty to resolve the lawsuit.

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  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu
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  • Former Colorado Judge Sentenced for Obstructing Federal Investigation of Drug Trafficking Organization
    In Crime News
    A former Colorado state court judge was sentenced Wednesday in the District of Colorado to a year and one day in prison for obstructing a federal task force investigation of a large-scale cocaine trafficking organization.

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  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid Before Their Meeting
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  • Visa Restrictions on Tanzanians for Undermining the Democratic Process and Human Rights
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    In Justice News
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  • Disaster Recovery: Better Data Are Needed to Ensure Equitable Delivery of HUD Block Grant Funds to Vulnerable Populations
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Recent Federal Register notices for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds direct grantees to demonstrate how their programs will promote housing for vulnerable populations. Grantees generally have been required to spend 70 percent of their funds on low- and moderate-income people. Draft action plans that grantees submit to HUD are to describe how grant funds will be used and the populations to be served, including vulnerable populations such as racial minorities, the elderly, or persons with disabilities. HUD provides tools, such as strategies for reaching people with limited English proficiency, to help grantees serve these populations. When reviewing grantees’ draft plans, HUD officials told GAO they typically require revisions to clarify the populations defined as vulnerable, how funds will help them, and how grantees will reach out to traditionally underserved populations. HUD officials also noted that vulnerable populations can be difficult to define because they may vary locally and regionally based on factors such as geography, housing stock, and policy. They described plans to define vulnerable populations in upcoming Federal Register notices. Grantees we reviewed seek to assist vulnerable populations, but HUD does not collect and analyze key demographic data needed to fully assess the extent of CDBG-DR assistance to these populations. HUD requires grantees to collect selected data (race and ethnicity and the gender of single-headed households) on activities that directly benefit households or individuals (such as housing). However, HUD requires grantees to report these data only for those actually served and not for all applicants. The six grantees GAO reviewed gather additional demographic information on both applicants and those served, including age, disability status, and primary language. A 2021 Executive Order cited the need for better data and transparency on assistance to vulnerable populations, noting that a lack of data impedes efforts to measure and advance equity. By collecting, analyzing, and publicly reporting these additional demographic data, HUD and grantees could better assess whether they effectively reach the populations CDBG-DR activities are intended to serve. Vulnerable populations may experience several challenges accessing CDBG-DR assistance, according to grantees and organizations GAO interviewed and studies GAO reviewed. These include language barriers (individuals with limited English proficiency may need translation services), limited access to transportation (to get to assistance centers), and program requirements (individuals may not be able to produce or complete the documentation required). Some grantees said they addressed these challenges by acquiring translation services and developing outreach plans for vulnerable populations. Why GAO Did This Study Large-scale disasters, such as the 2017 hurricanes, have resulted in catastrophic damage, and vulnerable populations can face particular challenges in recovering from a disaster. Since 1993, Congress has provided over $90 billion in supplemental appropriations through CDBG-DR to help affected areas recover. This testimony discusses (1) HUD’s approach to assisting vulnerable populations, (2) grantees’ actions to assist vulnerable populations, and (3) challenges grantees and vulnerable populations face in implementing and using CDBG-DR. It is based on a report GAO issued in November 2021 (GAO-22-104452). For that report, GAO reviewed documentation from HUD and six grantees (the four largest 2017 CDBG-DR grantees—Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—and Louisiana and New Jersey, which are further along in implementation). GAO also interviewed HUD officials, grantees, and organizations representing vulnerable populations.

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  • Federal Jury Convicts Former Reality Television Personality for Downloading and Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material
    In Crime News
    A federal jury convicted an Arkansas man today for receiving and possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

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  • Critical Infrastructure Protection: TSA Is Taking Steps to Address Some Pipeline Security Program Weaknesses
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Protecting the nation’s pipeline systems from security threats is a responsibility shared by both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and private industry stakeholders. Prior to issuing a cybersecurity directive in May 2021, TSA’s efforts included issuing voluntary security guidelines and security reviews of privately owned and operated pipelines. GAO reports in 2018 and 2019 identified some weaknesses in the agency’s oversight and guidance, and made 15 recommendations to address these weaknesses. TSA concurred with GAO’s recommendations and has addressed most of them, such as clarifying portions of its Pipeline Security Guidelines improving its monitoring of security review performance, and assessing staffing needs. As of June 2021, TSA had not fully addressed two pipeline cybersecurity-related weaknesses that GAO previously identified. These weaknesses correspond to three of the 15 recommendations from GAO’s 2018 and 2019 reports. Incomplete information for pipeline risk assessments. GAO identified factors that likely limit the usefulness of TSA’s risk assessment methodology for prioritizing pipeline security reviews. For example, TSA’s risk assessment did not include information consistent with critical infrastructure risk mitigation, such as information on natural hazards and cybersecurity risks. GAO recommended that TSA develop data sources relevant to pipeline threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences of disruptions. As of June 2021, TSA had not fully addressed this recommendation. Aged protocols for responding to pipeline security incidents. GAO reported in June 2019 that TSA had not revised its 2010 Pipeline Security and Incident Recovery Protocol Plan to reflect changes in pipeline security threats, including those related to cybersecurity. GAO recommended that TSA periodically review, and update its 2010 plan. TSA has begun taking action in response to this recommendation, but has not fully addressed it, as of June 2021. TSA’s May 2021 cybersecurity directive requires that certain pipeline owner/operators assess whether their current operations are consistent with TSA’s Guidelines on cybersecurity, identify any gaps and remediation measures, and report the results to TSA and others. TSA’s July 2021 cybersecurity directive mandates that certain pipeline owner/operators implement cybersecurity mitigation measures; develop a Cybersecurity Contingency Response Plan in the event of an incident; and undergo an annual cybersecurity architecture design review, among other things. These recent security directives are important requirements for pipeline owner/operators because TSA’s Guidelines do not include key mitigation strategies for owner/operators to reference when reviewing their cyber assets. TSA officials told GAO that a timely update to address current cyber threats is appropriate and that they anticipate updating the Guidelines over the next year. Why GAO Did This Study The nation’s pipelines are vulnerable to cyber-based attacks due to increased reliance on computerized systems. In May 2021 malicious cyber actors deployed ransomware against Colonial Pipeline’s business systems. The company subsequently disconnected certain systems that monitor and control physical pipeline functions so that they would not be compromised. This statement discusses TSA’s actions to address previous GAO findings related to weaknesses in its pipeline security program and TSA’s guidance to pipeline owner/operators. It is based on prior GAO products issued in December 2018, June 2019, and March 2021, along with updates on actions TSA has taken to address GAO’s recommendations as of June 2021. To conduct the prior work, GAO analyzed TSA documents; interviewed TSA officials, industry association representatives, and a sample of pipeline operators selected based on type of commodity transported and other factors; and observed TSA security reviews. GAO also reviewed TSA’s May and July 2021 Pipeline Security Directives, TSA’s Pipeline Security Guidelines, and three federal security alerts issued in July 2020, May 2021, and June 2021.

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  • DOD Civilian Personnel: Greater Oversight and Quality Assurance Needed to Ensure Force Health Protection and Surveillance for Those Deployed
    In U.S GAO News
    As the Department of Defense (DOD) has expanded its involvement in overseas military operations, it has grown increasingly reliant on its federal civilian workforce to support contingency operations. The Senate Armed Services Committee required GAO to examine DOD’s policies concerning the health care for DOD civilians who deploy in support of contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. GAO analyzed over 3,400 deployment-related records for deployed federal civilians and interviewed department officials to determine the extent to which DOD has established and the military services and defense agencies (hereafter referred to as DOD components) have implemented (1) force health protection and surveillance policies and (2) medical treatment policies and procedures for its deployed federal civilians. GAO also examined the differences in special pays and benefits provided to DOD’s deployed federal civilians and military personnel.DOD has established force health protection and surveillance policies to assess and reduce or prevent health risks for its deployed federal civilian personnel, but it lacks procedures to ensure implementation. Our review of over 3,400 deployment records at eight component locations found that components lacked documentation that some federal civilian personnel who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq had received, among other things, required pre- and post-deployment health assessments and immunizations. These deficiencies were most prevalent at Air Force and Navy locations, and one Army location. As a larger issue, DOD lacked complete and centralized data to readily identify its deployed federal civilians and their movement in theater, further hindering its efforts to assess the overall effectiveness of its force health protection and surveillance capabilities. In August 2006, DOD issued a revised policy which outlined procedures that are intended to address these shortcomings. However, these procedures are not comprehensive enough to ensure that DOD will know the extent to which its components are complying with existing health protection requirements. In particular, the procedures do not establish an oversight and quality assurance mechanism for assessing the implementation of its force health protection and surveillance requirements. Until DOD establishes a mechanism to strengthen its force health protection and surveillance oversight, it will not be effectively positioned to ensure compliance with its policies, or the health care and protection of deployed federal civilians. DOD has also established medical treatment policies for its deployed federal civilians which provide those who require treatment for injuries or diseases sustained during overseas hostilities with care that is equivalent in scope to that provided to active duty military personnel under the DOD military health system. GAO reviewed a sample of seven workers’ compensation claims (out of a universe of 83) filed under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act by DOD federal civilians who deployed to Iraq. GAO found in three cases where care was initiated in theater, that the affected civilians had received treatment in accordance with DOD’s policies. In all seven cases, DOD federal civilians who requested care after returning to the United States had, in accordance with DOD’s policies, received medical examinations and/or treatment for their deployment-related injuries or diseases through either military or civilian treatment facilities. DOD provides certain special pays and benefits to its deployed federal civilians, which generally differ in type and/or amount from those provided to deployed military personnel. For example, both civilian and military personnel are eligible to receive disability benefits for deployment-related injuries; however, the type and amount of these benefits vary, and some are unique to each group. Further, while the survivors of deceased federal civilian and military personnel generally receive similar types of cash survivor benefits, the comparative amounts of these benefits differ.

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  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with the C5+1
    In Crime Control and Security News
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