Net Neutrality

02/25/2015

FCC to vote to regulate net neutrality Thursday: What it means

2/25/15 By Caitlin Dickson – Yahoo News

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote Thursday on a new set of rules for Internet service providers. And while Democratic Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to regulate the Internet like water, electricity and other public utilities is slated for approval, the months (years, actually) of fighting over net neutrality, both within the FCC and on Capitol Hill, won’t likely end there.

As Thursday’s vote has drawn closer, Wheeler continued to face pressure from within his own party to amend the net neutrality rules. And contrary to a report in The New York Times on Tuesday suggesting that Republican lawmakers once poised to pounce on new FCC rules with counteracting legislation have now accepted defeat, Republican Senator and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune tweeted that the GOP has far from conceded on the hot topic.

Beyond the response on Capitol Hill, the FCC can almost certainly expect a legal challenge to the new rules from the Internet service providers it seeks to regulate. So for all those who’ve avoided the net neutrality conversation, it’s not too late. In fact, there’s no better time to start paying attention.

Sure, net neutrality isn’t exactly riveting date or dinner party fodder. But while friends and neighbors might not be impressed with your ability to rattle off the arguments for and against federally regulated Internet service, the direct impact that Thursday’s vote — and its inevitable fallout — could have on your life and, more important, your wallet make it worth familiarizing yourself with the issue.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/the-fcc-will-vote-to-regulate-net-neutrality-thursday—it-s-time-to-understand-what-that-means-214646803.html

.

UPDATE: FCC adopts net neutrality rules to ban Internet discrimination

2/26/15 Aaron Pressman – YahooNews

Federal regulators moved forward on Thursday with a net neutrality plan to protect openness on the Internet by treating the online world more like heavily regulated telecommunications markets.

New rules from the Federal Communications Commission adopted on a 3-2 vote will prohibit Internet service providers like Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon Communications (VZ) from discriminating against any web site or online service. That means sites like Netflix (NFLX) or Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube won’t have to pay extra fees or face sluggish connections with their users. And new sites and services will be able to reach everyone on the Internet on the same terms as the big players.

For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fcc-adopts-net-neutrality-rules-to-ban-internet-discrimination-163703235.html

 

Pres Obama Net Neutrality

November 10, 2014

Statement by the President on Net Neutrality

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.

The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:

No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.

No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.

Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.

No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/10/statement-president-net-neutrality

.

May 15, 2014

Statement by the Press Secretary on Net Neutrality

The President has made clear since he was a candidate that he strongly supports net neutrality and an open Internet. As he has said, the Internet’s incredible equality – of data, content, and access to the consumer – is what has powered extraordinary economic growth and made it possible for once-tiny sites like eBay or Amazon to compete with brick and mortar behemoths.

The FCC is an independent agency, and we will carefully review their proposal. The FCC’s efforts were dealt a real challenge by the Court of Appeals in January, but Chairman Wheeler has said his goal is to preserve an open Internet, and we are pleased to see that he is keeping all options on the table. We will be watching closely as the process moves forward in hopes that the final rule stays true to the spirit of net neutrality.

The President is looking at every way to protect a free and open Internet, and will consider any option that might make sense.

.

President Obama issues veto threat on attempt to repeal net-neutrality rules

11/08/11 By Brendan Sasso – TheHill

President Obama will veto an attempt to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules if it passes the Senate, the White House said in a news release Tuesday.

“The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of S.J. Res. 6, which would undermine a fundamental part of the nation’s Open Internet and innovation strategy — an enforceable, effective but flexible policy for keeping the Internet free and open,” the White House said.

The House approved a resolution to repeal the rules in April. The Senate version is sponsored by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and has an additional 42 Republican co-sponsors. It has no Democratic co-sponsors.

The Senate is expected to debate the resolution Wednesday and vote Thursday, said a spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The spokesman said the resolution needs only a simple majority to pass and is not subject to a filibuster.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a key centrist vote, told The Hill on Monday evening that he hadn’t decided how he would vote on the measure.

The veto threat is unsurprising: Obama promised to support net-neutrality rules during his 2008 campaign.

For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/192349-obama-threatens-to-veto-resolution-repealing-net-neutrality-rules

PBO on FCC Net Neutrality Ruling

 http://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


White House Summit on Cybersecurity & Consumer Protection

02/12/2015

WH Summit on Cybersecurity & Consumer Protection

Stanford to host White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection

JANUARY 29, 2015 BY 

The White House announced Tuesday that it will host a Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford on Feb. 13, convening major stakeholders to help shape public and private sector efforts to protect consumers and companies from growing network threats.

The all-day event will include senior leaders from the White House and across federal government; CEOs from a wide range of industries including financial services, technology, retail and communications companies; law enforcement officials; and consumer advocates. Stanford faculty members and students currently researching cybersecurity issues will be involved throughout the summit.

“We are honored to host this White House summit at Stanford University and are excited to play a pivotal role in convening experts from government, industry and academia,” said Amy Zegart, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. “Stanford is very engaged in studying cyber-related issues, and we look forward to enhancing this work by sharing our expertise on the cybersecurity issues that are so critical for the United States, its consumers and its businesses.”

Topics at the summit will include “increasing public-private partnerships and cybersecurity information sharing, creating and promoting improved cybersecurity practices and technologies, and improving adoption and use of more secure payment technologies,” the White House said in a statement.

For more: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/january/cyber-security-summit-011415.html

“America’s economic prosperity, national security, and our individual liberties depend on our commitment to securing cyberspace and maintaining an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet. Our critical infrastructure continues to be at risk from threats in cyberspace, and our economy is harmed by the theft of our intellectual property. Although the threats are serious and they constantly evolve, I believe that if we address them effectively, we can ensure that the Internet remains an engine for economic growth and a platform for the free exchange of ideas.”

President Obama

.

Collaborating on Cyber Solutions

The Summit will bring together leaders from across the country who have a stake in this issue — industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who specialize in this field, and students — to collaborate and explore partnerships that will help develop the best ways to bolster our cybersecurity.

From increasing cybersecurity information sharing to improving adoption of more secure payment technologies, here’s a look at the topics that panels at the Summit will address:

  • Public-Private Collaboration on Cybersecurity
  • Improving Cybersecurity Practices at Consumer-Oriented Businesses and Organizations
  • Promoting More Secure Payment Technologies
  • Cybersecurity Information Sharing
  • International Law Enforcement Cooperation on Cybersecurity
  • Improving Authentication: Moving Beyond the Password
  • Chief Security Officers’ Perspectives: New Ideas on Technical Security

.

The Five Things You Need to Know: The Administration’s Priorities on Cybersecurity

Cyberspace touches nearly every part of our daily lives — from the broadband beneath us to the wireless signals around us to the networks that power our hospitals, schools, and our nation. The Obama administration is pursuing five key priorities that will strengthen our approach to cybersecurity threats by:

  1. Protecting the country’s critical infrastructure — our most important information systems — from cyber threats.
  2. Improving our ability to identify and report cyber incidents so that we can respond in a timely manner.
  3. Engaging with international partners to promote internet freedom and build support for an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable cyberspace.
  4. Securing federal networks by setting clear security targets and holding agencies accountable for meeting those targets.
  5. Shaping a cyber-savvy workforce and moving beyond passwords in partnership with the private sector.

Learn more about the Administration’s cybersecurity priorities at WhiteHouse.gov/cybersecurity

.

.2/13/15 FACT SHEET: White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection

2/12/15 FACT SHEET: Executive Order Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing

2/25/15 Presidential Memorandum — Establishment of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center

2/25/15 FACT SHEET: Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center
.

February 13, 2015
White House Summit of Cyber Security and Consumer Protection
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Pres. Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative

01/29/2015

Personal Omics Profile

 

Precision Medicine Initiative

“‘Personalized medicine’ refers to the tailoring of medi- cal treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. It does not literally mean the creation of drugs or medical devices that are unique to a patient but rather the ability to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their sus- ceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment. Preventive or therapeutic interventions can then be concentrated on those who will benefit, sparing expense and side effects for those who will not.”

American Society for Clinical Pathology

.

Precision Medicine: Improving Health and Treating Disease

Last night, at his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama announced that he is launching a new precision medicine initiative that will help deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.

Many of you may be wondering: What exactly is “precision medicine,” and how can it transform medicine as it is practiced today?

Today, most medical treatments have been designed for the “average patient.” In too many cases, this “one-size-fits-all” approach isn’t effective, as treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others. Precision medicine is an emerging approach to promoting health and treating disease that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles, making it possible to design highly effective, targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases. In short, precision medicine gives clinicians new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.

This approach is already saving lives. Bill Elder, one of the First Lady’s guests at the State of the Union last night, was eight years old when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, at a time when patients typically lived until only early adulthood. But in 2012, as a result of a collaborative effort between a patient organization, researchers, and a pharmaceutical company, a new drug was developed that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis in about 4% of patients—those with a particular genetic mutation. Bill was among the 4 percent, and as a result, now looks forward to a long, full life and career as a primary care doctor. His story is a testament to the promise of precision medicine.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/01/21/precision-medicine-improving-health-and-treating-disease

.

“Twenty-first century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development.  I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.  
 
In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable.  So tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.  We can do this.”

1/20/15 President Barack Obama in his  State of the Union Address

.

.

National Institutes of Health – Precision Medicine

Friday, January 30th
President Obama hosts patients, clinicians, researchers, leaders in government and industry
to announce details of his Precision Medicine Initiative

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Pre-SOTU: Pres Obama on 21st Century Digital Infrastructure & Cybersecurity

01/10/2015

Cyber

President Obama recognizes that technology is an essential ingredient of economic growth and job creation. Ensuring America has 21st century digital infrastructure—such as high-speed broadband Internet access, fourth-generation (4G) wireless networks, new health care information technology and a modernized electrical grid—is critical to our long-term prosperity and competitiveness.

President Obama is committed to ensuring America has a thriving and growing Internet economy. The Internet has become a global platform for communication, commerce and individual expression, and now promises to support breakthroughs in important national priorities such as health care, education and energy. Additionally, the Internet and information technology can be applied to make government more effective, transparent and accessible to all Americans.

.

FACT SHEET: Safeguarding American Consumers & Families

Today, President Obama will build on the steps he has taken to protect American companies, consumers, and infrastructure from cyber threats, while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties.  These actions have included the President’s 2012 comprehensive blueprint for consumer privacy, the BuySecure initiative—launched last year— to safeguard Americans’ financial security, and steps the President took earlier this year by creating a working group of senior administration officials to examine issues related to big data and privacy in public services and the commercial sector.

In an increasingly interconnected world, American companies are also leaders in protecting privacy, taking unprecedented steps to invest in cybersecurity and provide customers with precise control over the privacy of their online content.  But as cybersecurity threats and identity theft continue to rise, recent polls show that 9 in 10 Americans feel they have in some way lost control of their personal information — and that can lead to less interaction with technology, less innovation, and a less productive economy.

At the Federal Trade Commission offices today, President Obama will highlight measures he will discuss in the State of the Union and unveil the next steps in his comprehensive approach to enhancing consumers’ security, tackling identity theft, and improving privacy online and in the classroom.  These steps include:

President Obama Proposes that Congress passes into law:

Learn more:

“In this interconnected, digital world, there are going to be opportunities for hackers to engage in cyber assaults both in the private sector and the public sector.  Now, our first order of business is making sure that we do everything to harden sites and prevent those kinds of attacks from taking place…But even as we get better, the hackers are going to get better, too.  Some of them are going to be state actors; some of them are going to be non-state actors.  All of them are going to be sophisticated and many of them can do some damage.

This is part of the reason why it’s going to be so important for Congress to work with us and get an actual bill passed that allows for the kind of information-sharing we need.  Because if we don’t put in place the kind of architecture that can prevent these attacks from taking place, this is not just going to be affecting movies, this is going to be affecting our entire economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant.”

 – President Obama, December 19, 2014

.

Monday, January 12
President Obama delivers remarks on tackling identity theft and improving consumer and student privacy
Federal Trade Commission, Washington DC

Tuesday, January 13
President Obama delivers remarks on cybersecurity, including ways of getting the private sector and federal government to voluntarily share more cybersecurity information.
National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Washington DC

Wednesday, January 14
President Obama delivers remarks on making affordable, high-speed Internet available nationwide
Cedar Falls Utilities, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Thursday, January 15
Vice President Biden holds a roundtable discussion on training Americans to join the cybersecurity workforce
Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


2015 Intl Year of Light & Light-based Technologies

01/01/2015

2015 Intl Yr of Light

THE UNITED NATIONS PROCLAIMS AN INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF LIGHT IN 2015

.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68th Session has today during its 71st Plenary Meeting proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Indeed, the resolution was adopted as part of a more general Agenda item on Science and technology for development. This International Year will bring together many different stakeholders including UNESCO, scientific societies and unions, educational and research institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners to promote and celebrate the significance of light and its applications during 2015.

.

Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society. For centuries light has transcended all boundaries, including geographic, gender, age and culture, and is a tremendous subject to motivate education. It is critical that the brightest young minds continue to be attracted to optics and photonics in order to ensure the next generation of engineers and innovators in this field.

For more: http://spie.org/Documents/AboutSPIE/PDF/IYL2015-proclamation.pdf

.
The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015 (IYL 2015) is a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind. IYL 2015 opening ceremonies will be held 19-20 January 2015 in Paris.

Learn more: http://www.light2015.org/Home.html

Why Light Matters

WHAT IS PHOTONICS

Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photons, which are particles of light. Photonics underpins technologies of daily life from smartphones to laptops to the Internet to medical instruments to lighting technology. The 21st century will depend as much on photonics as the 20th century depended on electronics. This page will contain links and resources to let you learn about photonics and understand its impact on the world.
Read on http://www.light2015.org/Home/WhyLightMatters/What-is-Photonics.html

Energy

The energy from our sun that reaches the Earth can be converted into heat and electricity, and governments and scientists worldwide are working to develop affordable and clean solar energy technologies. Solar energy will provide a practically-inexhaustible resource that will enhance sustainability, reduce pollution and lower the cost of mitigating climate change. This page will contain links and resources to let you learn about the various technologies underlying solar energy, and its benefits for the world and our planet.
Read on http://www.light2015.org/Home/WhyLightMatters/Energy.html

Economic Impact

Businesses in the field of photonics and light-based technologies work on solving key societal challenges, such as energy generation and energy efficiency, healthy ageing of the population, climate change, and security. Photonic technologies have major impact on the world economy with a current global market of €300 billion and projected market value of over €600 billion in 2020. Growth in the photonics industry more than doubled that of the worldwide GDP (gross domestic product) between 2005 and 2011. This page will contain links and resources to let you learn about the important role that photonics plays in driving economic growth internationally.
Read on http://www.light2015.org/Home/WhyLightMatters/Economic-Impact.html

Light in the Built Environment

Lighting represents almost 20% of global electricity consumption (International Energy Agency). The future development of society in both developed countries and emerging economies around the world are intimately tied up with the ability to effectively light our cities, homes, schools and recreation areas. This page contains links and resources to let you learn about the innovative lighting solutions that will guide the future of the world.
Read on http://www.light2015.org/Home/WhyLightMatters/Light-in-the-Built-Environment.html

Connecting the World

Social media, low cost telephone calls, video conferencing with family and friends – these are three examples of how the internet allows people around the world to feel connected in a way that has never before been possible in history. And all of this technology is because of light! This page will contain links and resources that will let you understand how it is ultrashort light data pulses propagating in tiny optical fibers the width of a human hair that have created the modern communications infrastructure and the internet that we all use every day.
Read on http://www.light2015.org/Home/WhyLightMatters/Connecting-the-World.html

.

IYL2015 FaceBook
IYL2015 Twitter
IYL2015 Google+
IYL2015 YouTube
IYL2015 Instagram

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


President Obama 2014 Year In Review

12/18/2014

YEAR IN REVIEW: Creating Economic Opportunity for All Americans in 2014

December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama took office in the depths of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Six years later, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, and the decisive actions he took early on – to bring the economy back from the brink, to save the auto industry, and to build a new foundation for middle-class growth – we’ve made real progress.

The economy grew at a combined 4.2% pace in the second and third quarters of this year, the strongest six-month period of growth in more than a decade.  American businesses have added new jobs for 57 consecutive months, the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record, for a total of 10.9 million new jobs. The pickup in the pace of job growth this year has come in industries with higher wages.  And wages across the economy are rising – a very welcome sign for millions of American families.

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones:

The President pledged that 2014 would be a year of action and he has spent the last 12 months working with Congress where he could and taking action on his own where needed to revitalize the economy. He also worked closely with leaders from businesses, nonprofits, education, and communities to expand opportunity for more American families. These efforts have helped contribute to economic progress in a number of ways. Some critical efforts include:

Supporting Job Creation Through Manufacturing and Exports

Manufacturing job growth doubled this year – to about 15,000 jobs per month compared to 7,000 jobs per month last year. In total, since February 2010, the United States has directly added 764,000 manufacturing jobs, with the sector expanding employment at its fastest rate in nearly two decades. And the United States’ renewed competitiveness in manufacturing is bringing production back, with 54 percent of U.S.-based manufacturers surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group actively considering bringing production back from China to the United States, up from 37 percent only 18 months prior. The Administration has helped support these efforts by taking steps including:

  • Launching New Hubs as Part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
  • Supporting Efforts to Foster Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Investment in the United States
  • Growing Our Investments in Advanced Manufacturing Research
  • Another Year of Record-Breaking Exports
    • The Made in Rural America Initiative Leads to a Boost in Small Rural Manufacturing Exports and Other Companies
    • Intensifying and Broadening Our Export Promotion
    • The Advocacy Center at the Department of Commerce Enjoyed a Record-Breaking Year in Helping U.S. Firms Win Contracts Abroad to Create Jobs at Home

Taking Action to Raise the Minimum Wage

Following President Obama’s call on Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10, states, cities and counties, and business leaders have taken action on their own to increase wages across the country. And on February 12, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, requiring that workers on new Federal contracts be paid $10.10 an hour.

  • 14 States Passed Minimum Wage Increases – and 7 Million Workers Are Set to Benefit From Increases Passed Since the President’s Initial Call in 2013
  • Cities and Counties Have Also Taken Steps to Raise Wages
  • Businesses – Both Large and Small – Are Taking Action
  • President Obama’s Action will Ensure that All Employees of Federal Contractors are Paid at Least $10.10 an HourSupporting Job Skills and Employment Opportunities

Working with Congress, businesses, states and cities and non-profits, the President has taken action to make sure our job-training system is preparing and connecting Americans to the jobs that employers are looking to fill. From an across-the-board review of our job-training system to new grants that support apprenticeships and help connect the long-term unemployed to work, the President and his Administration have used every tool available to train Americans with the skills they need, and connect them with businesses that are looking for skilled workers.

  • Reforming Our Job-Training System to Make It Demand Driven
  • Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work: President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are out of work, including the long-term unemployed, find jobs or get the skills they need so they can succeed in the labor force. Since that call to action, long-term unemployment has declined by 1.1 million and progress has been made on all three fronts, including:
    • $170 million in grants awarded in October to programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.
    • A new set of best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed signed by over 200 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process.
    • Toolkits created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and with the input of about 100 White House Best Practice signatories to help more employers implement the best practices.
    • Finally, following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.
  • $450 Million in Grants to Nearly 270 Community Colleges Partnering with More than 400 Employers Nationally
  • Investing in a Competitive Workforce Through Apprenticeships

Providing High-Quality Education to America’s Students

Ensuring that all Americans are prepared for the jobs of the future and strengthening middle-class security, starts with a strong education system.  The President has taken a number of steps over the past year to expand access to high-quality early childhood education, connect every student to high-speed Internet, and make college more affordable.

  • Committing to Affordable Higher Education
    • Expanding Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
    • The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity
    • Protecting Students from Unaffordable Debts at Career College Programs
  • Committing to Early Education: Throughout 2013 and 2014, the President challenged states, business leaders, and Congress to help more children gain access to the early education they need to succeed in school and in life.  On December 10, 2014, the President convened philanthropists, educators, community leaders and others to announce a collective investment of over $1 billion for early childhood education.  Federal commitments of $750 million will support early learning for over 63,000 children while corporate and philanthropic leaders’ independent commitments of $330 million will expand the reach and enhance the quality for thousands more.
  • ConnectED to the Future:  In June 2013, President Obama visited Mooresville, NC to announce the ConnectED Initiative, which aims to ensure 99% of American students will have access to next-generation broadband in the classroom by 2017, and called for private sector leaders and the FCC To help connect our students. Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries, providing a $2 billion down payment and passing a proposal that provides recourses needed to meet the President’s ConnectED goals.  Additionally, private-sector companies have committed more than $2 billion in resources to schools to supplement federal actions and help support cutting-edge technologies across a greater number of schools and homes. On November 19, 2014, The President hosted school leaders and educators to push this effort forward and make all schools “Future Ready”.  More than 1,200 superintendents joined the Administrations Future Ready District Pledge to set a vision for digital learning across America.  Combined, this pledge will already reach 10 million students across 16,000 schools.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/year-review-creating-economic-opportunity-all-americans-2014

.

UPDATE:

12/23/14 Financial Headlines:

Dow Busts Through 18,000 on Hot GDP and a Patient Fed

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.6 Percent in October

Consumer Sentiment Ends 2014 at Seven-Year High in Michigan Poll

Economy Grows by 5% Most in a Decade on U.S. Consumer-Spending Gain

Pres Obama Year of Action

2014 the Year of Action

In his 2014 State of the Union, the President said that 2014 would be a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans. He’s making good on that promise (despite that Congress did not help, labeling them the ‘Worst Congress ever’.

What does a “year of action” mean, exactly?
The President will continue to work with Congress wherever he can to keep our economy moving forward and creating jobs. But in the meantime, he’s also going to do everything he can on his own to fight for middle-class families every single day.

And he’s been busy. Using his pen and his phone, the President has helped create new manufacturing jobs, expand apprenticeships, and job training, make student loan payments more affordable, support equal pay and workplace flexibility, cut carbon pollution, and rally support across the country while raising the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts. And that’s not all.

Here’s an update on the more than 40 actions he’s taken since January to do just that.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action

.

List of President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions to Help Americans – ProPresObama compilation

Pres Obama US - Cuba Relations

and on 12/17/14 President Obama Charts a New Course on US – Cuba Relations

Moving-America-Forward_Democrat-party

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Global Economic Investment in U.S.A.

07/10/2014

SelectUSA - U.S. Business Investment

WINNING BUSINESS INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES

The Executive Office of the President of the United States of America and the U.S. Department of Commerce

May 2014

The United States is an increasingly attractive location for business investment from global companies. In AT Kearney’s 2013 FDI Confidence Index, the United States surged past countries like China, Brazil and India to become the country with the top FDI prospects globally, as ranked by 302 companies representing 28 countries and multiple industry sectors.1 This marks the first time that the US occupied the #1 spot in the survey since 2001.2 In a survey of U.S. manufacturers with production abroad late last year, BCG found that the majority (54 percent) are looking at re-shoring to the United States, up from 37 percent in 2012. 3

More and more companies are choosing to locate here after weighing the United States’ competitive advantages, including our:

  •  Skills and productivity: The U.S. workforce is among the most skilled and productive globally – more than 30 percent more productive than Germany’s and nearly twice as productive as South Korea’s.4
  • Innovation: The United States is the global leader in patents, producing nearly 30 percent of all patents worldwide, and has 15 of the top 25 leading research universities.5 Not surprisingly, the United States also has over a third of the world’s total R&D investment, more than any other country.6
  • Energy: With a century of reserves, natural gas costs one third as much here as it does in Asia and our low energy costs overall are estimated to save U.S. manufacturers nearly $130 billion annually compared to Europe.7
  • Access to markets: Locating in the United States provides unparalleled access to the largest consumer market in the world and rapid access to global markets, with the United States having free trade agreements with 20 other countries and the most rapid export clearances of the 185 countries surveyed by the World Bank.8

As the United States becomes increasingly competitive for investment, more global companies, including companies that are foreign-owned, are investing in and creating jobs in America. Business fixed investment from companies choosing to grow and invest in the United States accounts for more than 20 percent of the rebound in real GDP since mid-2009.

US Exports 1997-2011US Share of FDI Inflows 2002-2012

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Source: Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

Economy Activity Majority-Owned US. Affliates of Foreign Companies, 2011

SelectUS Investment Success

SelectUSA 2014 Global Events

For the entire report: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/winning_business_investment_in_the_united_states.pdf
.

2014 A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index:

U.S. Increases its Lead; an Overridingly Positive Outlook Develops for Global Economy

China holds at #2, Canada rises to #3, Europe sees high level of confidence

6/2/14 A.T. Kearney

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/

Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney today released its 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI), an in-depth view of forward-looking investment sentiment. In this year’s ranking, the U.S. not only maintains its first place position from last year, but also increases the lead it had in the 2013 study, which was referenced in the recent White House report, Winning Business Investment in the United States. The findings bode well not only for the U.S., but for the global economy: Nearly four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago. Since its inception, the study has consistently pointed toward top global choices for foreign direct investment, with the top 10 most attractive FDI destinations receiving a majority share of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey.

In January 2014, President Barack Obama referred to the prior FDICI findings in his State of the Union address, saying, “For the first time in over a decade, business leaders have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.” With an unprecedented swing in positive outlook by global executives surveyed in the 2014 FDICI, half of the respondents indicated that they have a more positive outlook on the U.S. than two years ago. No country has ever recorded a higher positive outlook from investors in the history of the Index. Driven by overriding factors such as the increasingly strong prospect of U.S. energy independence, leading executives continue to plan increased investments in the U.S.

For more: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/2014-t-kearney-fdi-confidence-130000383.html

.

Trade Gap in U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast on Record Exports

Jul 3, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers.

The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion. Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines.

Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

Other reports today showed payrolls rose by 288,000 in June and the jobless rate fell to 6.1 percent, according to figures from the Labor Department.

Trade estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gaps of $41 billion to $48 billion. The April reading was revised from a previously reported $47.2 billion deficit.

Exports climbed to $195.5 billion from $193.5 billion in April.

Imports decreased 0.3 percent to $239.8 billion as demand for petroleum dropped to the lowest level since November 2010. Excluding petroleum, imports rose to a record as Americans bought more autos and parts, industrial machines and drilling equipment.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-03/trade-gap-in-u-s-shrinks-more-than-forecast-on-record-exports.html

 

March 21, 2014, 2:57 a.m. EDT

Fitch Ratings affirms U.S. AAA ratings, outlook stable

MADRID (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.’s AAA long-term foreign and local currency credit ratings with a stable outlook on Friday, a move that removed the negative outlook that had been in place since Oct. 15, 2013. “The federal debt limit was suspended in mid-February in a timely manner and in a way that avoided casting uncertainty over the full faith and credit of the US, in contrast to the crises in August 2011 and October 2013,” said Fitch in a statement. Fitch said U.S. gross general government debt should peak at 100% of GDP in 2014 before falling slightly for four years. That’s below the 110% threshold previously identified as incompatible with a AAA rating. It also sees federal government debt at 72.5% of GDP for 2014. Fitch said the U.S. has greater debt tolerance than its peers, due to the dollar and the country’s benchmark fixed-income asset. However, Fitch said after the suspension of the debt limit ends in March 2015 there is a “risk of renewed brinkmanship” that could undermine the dollar, and external liabilities are high.

 .

A guide through rough trade waters from U.S. Commercial Service

Say you work for a small or medium-sized company. You want to sell pretzels in Vietnam. Or electric power cable in China. Or lipstick in Denmark.

How to go about it?

Maybe you’re ignorant. Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you just want a leg up.

Chances are you will eventually find your way to the local outpost of a federal agency known as the United States Commercial Service.

In an era of tax-slashing and bureaucrat-bashing, this network of 1,500 professionals, based in 221 cities around the world, earns kudos from business executives for the practicality and sophistication of its commercial diplomacy.

Whether tucked away in office parks, or working behind the walls of palatial embassies, they are the ground forces in President Barack Obama’s ambitious push to double U.S. exports over five years.

Commercial service specialists tend to focus on smaller players. With 95 percent of the world’s customers living outside the U.S., according to the Commerce Department, exporting is often the key to expansion, as well as a major job engine in any local economy.

“Doing business outside the U.S. is so different,” said Richard Swanson who oversees Commercial Service offices in California, Nevada and Hawaii. “The biggest hurdle is fear of the unknown.

“But we’re here to mitigate the risks. We have experts in every global market, and in every sector from aerospace to medical devices to franchising.”

“When you are a small- to medium-sized brand, it is impossible to have a network in every country,” Chorna said. “The commercial service has databases of people interested in importing — whether its widgets or franchise brands. It is a fantastic resource.”

  • Trade counseling: The service helps exporters create a business plan for entry into targeted markets.
  • Matchmaking: The Gold Key service matches exporters with pre-qualified distributors and potential buyers in a foreign country, and sets up appointments to meet them.
  • Due diligence: The International Company Profile offers background research on potential foreign partners
  • Advocacy: The Advocacy Center helps exporters bid on public-sector contracts with overseas governments.
  • Trade shows: The service helps set up exhibits for exporters in U.S. pavilions at foreign trade shows, and introduces them to prescreened buyers.
  • Trade missions: On missions led by senior U.S. officials, companies can meet with prospective customers and government officials.
  • Market intelligence: Research reports, country commercial guides and business advisory services offer insights on opportunities, trends and challenges in specific markets.
  • Featured U.S. exporter: Lists products in online directories featuring U.S. export products and services on U.S. Commercial Service websites around the world.

More information: www.trade.gov/cs

.

Factories Keep Humming in U.S. Even Amid Global Slowing: Economy

Manufacturing growth in the U.S. barely skipped a beat in November, holding near the strongest pace in three years, as the world’s largest economy rose above a global slowdown.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index was little changed at 58.7 last month, the second-strongest level since April 2011, compared with 59 in October, the Tempe, Arizona-based group reported today. Readings greater than 50 indicate expansion.

Orders over the past four months have been the strongest in a decade as growing demand from American clients makes up for any letdown among foreign customers. Figures yesterday showing retailers struggled to lure shoppers during the first weekend of the holiday season raise concern that the pace of growth will be difficult to sustain heading into 2015.

“Whatever is happening abroad, this sector seems to be shrugging it off,” said Guy Berger, a U.S. economist at RBS Securities Inc. in StamfordConnecticut, who projected a reading of 58.5. “There’s still a fair amount of momentum in the U.S. manufacturing sector.”

American producers keep powering ahead at the same time their global competitors slow. Manufacturing in GermanyFrance and Italy unexpectedly contracted last month, according to purchasing managers’ gauges. An index of Chinese manufacturing fell as mandatory plant shutdowns during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum aggravated a pullback in the economy.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-01/manufacturing-in-u-s-expanded-more-than-projected-in-november.html

.

White House Resources for Business in America

Made_In_America_flag_sml

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 310 other followers