Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking - medTrafficking Hotline

Human Trafficking

It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves.

They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.

Learn more: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking

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HumanRights.gov is the official United States Government (USG) website for human rights related information. The site’s search function links users directly with news, reports and explanatory information from the State Department, USG agencies and other resources, allowing for easy access to publicly available documents. We provide a one-stop site for researching the USG’s involvement in human rights.

For issues related to human trafficking and slavery, please contact the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Office, or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit.

To report international human rights abuses, please contact the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

To report information related to the United States, please contact the Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, or U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement’ Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center

Learn more: http://www.humanrights.gov/

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National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline: 1.888.3737.888

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. It is operated by Polaris Project, a non-government organization working to combat human trafficking. Callers can report tips and receive information on human trafficking by calling the hotline at 1.888.3737.888

The hotline provides data on where cases of suspected human trafficking are occurring within the United States. A national map of calls is updated daily to reflect the sources of calls to the hotline.

To learn more: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/hotline/index.html

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“It [Human Trafficking at home and abroad] ought to concern every person, because it’s a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at the social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name—modern slavery.”

“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it…”

President Barack Obama, September 25, 2012

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FBI says it arrested 150 in three days for child prostitution

7/29/13 David Ingram; Editing by Howard Goller and Bill Trott – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI arrested 150 people across the United States for holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials on Monday called the largest-ever operation of its kind.

The suspects were arrested in 76 U.S. cities and are expected to face state and federal charges related to sex crimes and human trafficking, FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials said at a news conference.

FBI agents and local police recovered 105 children during the operation at truck stops, motels, casinos and other places where they were held against their will for prostitution, officials said.

Children who are most vulnerable to being exploited for sex crimes are between 13 and 16 years old without strong ties to family members, officials said.

“We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it,” said FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko.

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58 thoughts on “Human Trafficking

  1. WH

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:10 AM
    President Obama meets with the House Democratic Caucus.
    Capitol Hill, Washington DC

    11:00 AM
    11:25 AM
    President Barack Obama meets with the Senate Democratic Caucus
    Capitol Hill, Washington DC

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:10 PM
    President Obama welcomes the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with Treasury Secretary Lew.

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Human Trafficking

    It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves.

    They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.

    Learn more: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/human_trafficking

    • April 09, 2013

      The Obama Administration’s Record on Human Trafficking Issues

      Today, the White House will hold a Forum to Combat Human Trafficking to highlight the significant progress this Administration has made to combat human trafficking, including developments since President Obama delivered his seminal speech on the fight to end trafficking in persons at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2012. During that speech, President Obama announced a number of new Administration commitments to combat trafficking at home and abroad. The four elements of this strategy include:

      1) Preventing trafficking by raising awareness among vulnerable populations, leading by example, and educating the public and first responders;
      2) Prosecuting traffickers through strengthened investigations and enforcement tools;
      3) Protecting survivors through comprehensive social services, family reintegration, and immigration services; and
      4) Partnering with civil society, state and local government, the private sector, and faith-based organizations to maximize resources and outcomes.

      This White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking brings together advocates, service providers, researchers and academics, business leaders, faith leaders, leaders in the technology community, law enforcement, and local, state and federal government leaders to discuss strategies for countering trafficking in persons.

      This Forum will highlight key efforts since the President’s September speech.

      • Using Technology to Fight Trafficking
      • Strategic Action Plan for Victims Services
      * Department of State award the inaugural “Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons.”
      • Partnering with Faith-based and Neighborhood Organizations
      • Pro Bono Legal Services Network for Trafficking Victims
      • Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking Activities in the Federal Supply Chain
      • Better Data and Better Allocation of Resources with Domestic Human Trafficking Assessment
      • Reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
      • “T” Visa Regulations
      • Counter-Trafficking in Persons Field Guide for Strengthened Programming.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/09/obama-administration-s-record-human-trafficking-issues

    • FBI says it arrested 150 in three days for child prostitution

      7/29/13 David Ingram; Editing by Howard Goller and Bill Trott – Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI arrested 150 people across the United States for holding children against their will for prostitution, a three-day weekend sweep that officials on Monday called the largest-ever operation of its kind.

      The suspects were arrested in 76 U.S. cities and are expected to face state and federal charges related to sex crimes and human trafficking, FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials said at a news conference.

      FBI agents and local police recovered 105 children during the operation at truck stops, motels, casinos and other places where they were held against their will for prostitution, officials said.

      Children who are most vulnerable to being exploited for sex crimes are between 13 and 16 years old without strong ties to family members, officials said.

      “We are trying to take this crime out of the shadows and put a spotlight on it,” said FBI Assistant Director Ronald Hosko.

  3. Gun manufacturer group to back Obama’s ATF choice

    7/30/13 5:11 PM EDT By REID J. EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

    President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the ATF is getting the support from the trade association that represents the nation’s gun manufacturers.

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation has written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) backing the confirmation of B. Todd Jones to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    In the letter, Lawrence Keane, the NSSF’s general counsel, writes that the organization has been at odds with Jones during his two-year tenure as acting ATF director but supports the effort to place him in the position permanently.

    “While we have at times strongly disagreed with the policy and regulatory positions and interpretations ATF has taken during Mr. Jones’ tenure as acting director, we have never found Mr. Jones himself to be disagreeable,” Keane writes in the letter, which is dated Wednesday.

    Jones has served as the ATF’s acting director since 2011. Obama nominated him to be the permanent director in January as part of his response to the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    Support for Jones from the Newtown-based trade association comes after the National Rifle Association informed Senate leadership and law enforcement groups that it would remain neutral on Jones’s confirmation.

    The Senate is expected to vote on cloture for the Jones nomination Wednesday. The vote on Jones comes after the Senate allowed votes on Labor Secretary Tom Perez, EPA administrator Lisa McCarthy and members of the National Labor Relations Board as part of a deal to preserve the filibuster.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has vowed to delay Jones’s confirmation vote until an investigation into whistleblower complaints from his tenure as the U.S. attorney for Minnesota. The Senate has not confirmed an ATF director since the position became confirmable in 2006.

    • Reid files cloture on Obama’s nominees to ATF, United Nations

      7/29/13 04:10 PM ET By Ramsey Cox – TheHill

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture Monday on President Obama’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

      Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared the nomination of B. Todd Jones to head the ATF on a party-line 10-8 vote.

      The bureau hasn’t had a leader for seven years.

      “Enough is enough,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said on the Senate floor Monday. “I’m very glad we’re moving forward on this nomination. … They deserve a full-time leader.”

      Jones currently serves as the Minnesota U.S. attorney. Democrats have complained that Republicans have opposed a leader of the ATF because of the National Riffle Association’s powerful gun-lobby.

      Democrats will need at least six Republicans to join with them to end debate on Jones’s nomination. The cloture vote hasn’t been scheduled yet, but if cloture is invoked there would then be eight hours of debate before a final vote.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/314139-reid-files-cloture-on-obamas-nominees-to-atf-united-nations

  4. UConn Women To Make Another White House Visit On Wednesday

    July 29, 2013 By JOHN ALTAVILLA, – The Hartford Courant

    Waiting for her chance to meet the president of the United States in the summer of 2012, Baylor’s 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner could see her teammate Shanay Washington having trouble with one of life’s fundamentals.

    There to be honored for winning the 2011-12 NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship, Washington, then a sophomore, extended her hand to President Barack Obama and everything ground to a halt.

    “She was so nervous she forgot her own name,” Griner said. “I was like [thinking to herself], ‘Yo girl, say your name.’ Me, I was just like, ‘What’s up, Mr. President?’ I was trying to explain to her that [Obama] is just a person like us. It was a lot of fun.

    “When I got there, I asked him, ‘Mr. President, can we hoop some?’ He said, ‘No, we’re not hooping today. I’m not letting you block my shot.’ And I said, ‘I’m glad you know that, because I would.'”

  5. President Obama Welcomes the 2015 Special Olympics World Games to Los Angeles

    Published on Jul 30, 2013

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sign on as Honorary Chairs of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – Los Angeles 2015.

  6. Hey CR, thank you for this wonderful thread. I am so happy that PBO is calling attention to this. It is an epidemic. You have a lot of nice things to read today, as usual.

    • Hey COS! I am so glad that the FBI is doing a great job in catching those responsible for child prostitution.

  7. I agree CR. AG Holder is doing a great job. I am so happy that he decided to stay on for PBO’s 2nd term.

  8. Companies in U.S. Added More Workers in July Than Forecast

    Jul 31, 2013 5:30 AM PT By Lorraine Woellert – bloomberg

    Companies in the U.S. boosted payrolls in July by the most this year as employers grew more optimistic demand will pick up in the second half of the year.

    The 200,000 increase in employment was more than projected and followed a revised 198,000 gain in June that was higher than initially estimated, according to data today from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey. The median forecast of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a July advance of 180,000.

    Job gains, higher stock prices and rising home values are shoring up Americans’ confidence, helping counter the effects of this year’s government spending cuts and giving a boost to U.S. growth. Federal Reserve policy makers, wrapping up a two-day meeting today, are evaluating progress on growth and employment as they consider whether to trim their record monetary stimulus.

    “The job market has admirably weathered the fiscal headwinds, tax increases and government spending cuts,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc., in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “This bodes well for the next year when those headwinds are set to fade.”

    Stock-index futures fluctuated as investors awaited the Fed’s policy announcement. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September was little changed at 1,684.7 at 8:28 a.m. in New York.

    Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 140,000 to 215,000. June’s figure was revised from a previously reported increase of 188,000.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/companies-in-u-s-added-more-workers-in-july-than-forecast-1-.html

  9. Economy in U.S. Expands More Than Forecast on Inventories

    Jul 31, 2013 5:55 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    The economy in the U.S. grew more than projected in the second quarter, reflecting an unexpected pickup in inventory building as consumer spending cooled. Growth in the previous three months was revised down.

    Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 1.7 percent annualized rate, after a 1.1 percent gain the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1 percent advance for last quarter. Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, climbed 1.8 percent after increasing 2.3 percent.

    Job gains and rising home prices are shoring up Americans’ confidence and lifting automobile sales and production, making it likely the U.S. will pick up once government spending cuts and tax increases pose less of a restraint. The report also showed inflation is falling further below the Federal Reserve’s goal as official wrap up a two-day meeting today to determine whether to trim monthly bond purchases aimed at spurring growth.

    “The outlook for the second half is that growth gets stronger as the fiscal drag fades,” said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, who predicted 1.8 percent growth. “We have an economy that’s recovering from almost stagnating in the fourth quarter of last year. The consumer is looking resilient, though a bit weaker.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/economy-in-u-s-expands-more-than-forecast-as-inventories-grow.html

    • Comprehensive GDP Revision and Advance Estimate for the Second Quarter of 2013

      Alan Krueger July 31, 2013 09:30 AM EDT

      This morning the Bureau of Economic Analysis released a comprehensive revision to the National Income and Product Accounts, covering the full history of data since 1929. The revision showed that the recovery from the Great Recession has been slightly faster than previously reported, with real gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by a cumulative 8.5% from 2009:Q2 to 2013:Q1, compared to the previous estimate of 8.1% growth over that period. Including the advance estimate for 2013:Q2, real GDP has risen by 9.0% since the business-cycle trough in 2009:Q2 (see chart). In addition, real GDP surpassed its pre-recession peak in 2011:Q2, two quarters sooner than was reported prior to the revision, and is 4.4% higher than it was at the business-cycle peak in 2007:Q4.

      The revision also showed that while the contraction during the Great Recession was slightly less severe than previously reported, it remains the largest decline since quarterly data became available in 1947. Cumulatively, real GDP fell by 4.3% during the recession, less than the 4.7% drop previously reported. The steep drop in economic activity caused by the recession makes it imperative that more work is done to raise economic growth and speed job creation.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/31/comprehensive-gdp-revision-and-advance-estimate-second-quarter-2013

  10. 10:10 AM ET
    President Obama meets with the House Democratic Caucus.
    Capitol Hill, Washington DC

  11. July 30, 2013

    Statement by the President on the Confirmation of the National Labor Relations Board

    I welcome today’s confirmation of Nancy Schiffer, Kent Hirozawa, Mark Pearce, Harry Johnson III, and Philip Miscimarra to the National Labor Relations Board. A critical part of our effort to strengthen the middle class is ensuring that every American who works hard has a chance to succeed. That means providing wages people can live on, safe working conditions and real opportunities to get ahead. Every day, the NLRB is focused on the concerns of working Americans, from eliminating unfair labor practices to upholding the right of employees to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers. I applaud the Senate for putting in place a full board and look forward to working together on other steps we can take to grow our economy.

    • The ‘Supreme Court of labor law’ can finally function again

      Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:36 AM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      I imagine a lot of folks who voted for President Obama last fall are feeling a little frustrated right now. It’s not that the president is pursuing a misguided agenda or breaking campaign promises, but the frustration likely comes with the realization that the “fever” among congressional Republicans did not break on Election Day 2012 and radicalized GOP lawmakers will make legislating all but impossible for the foreseeable future.

      And so long as Republicans won’t compromise, there’s not a whole lot Obama can do about it.

      But the news for the president’s allies isn’t all bad — Congress may be a laughingstock for the ages, but Obama can still make progress on progressive goals. Take the NLRB, for example.

      After a contentious fight over some of President Obama’s nominees, the Senate confirmed five members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

      On Tuesday, the Senate voted to clear all five nominees — Harry Johnson III, Philip Miscimarra, Nancy Schiffer, Kent Hirozawa and Mark Pearce.

      The Senate was acting against a deadline — over the August recess, the NRLB chair’s term will end, without confirmation of new members, the board would not have the quorum needed to function. As of yesterday, that’s no longer an issue.

      Following the confirmation votes, the NRLB will have no vacancies for the first time in over a decade.

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/31/19796681-the-supreme-court-of-labor-law-can-finally-function-again?lite

  12. Consumer Groups On The Lookout For Immigration Scams

    July 31, 2013 4:00 AM by HANSI LO WANG -NPR

    Summary: On Capitol Hill, an immigration overhaul looks unlikely this summer, but scam artists have been luring unsuspecting immigrants with the possibility of gaining legal status. Local consumer protection agencies are trying to prevent immigrants from becoming fraud victims.

    Talk about immigration reform on Capitol Hill this summer has raised the hopes of many unauthorized immigrants around the country.

    It’s also raised the fears of consumer advocates worried about scam artists who promise immigrants they can help them secure legal status.

    Eduardo Flores, an unauthorized immigrant from Honduras, wasn’t promised immigration documents, but he did place his trust and $4,000 with a man who said he was an immigration attorney.

    A construction worker who installs air conditioning units, Flores lives in Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., with his wife, two daughters and his mother-in-law in a two-bedroom apartment. In 2011, Flores, trying to help a friend, called up Luis Ramirez, whom his wife had heard on Spanish-language radio.

    Ramirez, who was not a licensed attorney, told Flores he could help bail his friend out of jail with $4,000. Flores gave him the money. But Ramirez never posted the bail, and Flores’ friend was eventually deported.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=207209850

    • Champions of Change: Tech Inclusion

      Published on Jul 31, 2013

      The White House honors individuals dedicated to expanding technology and communicating its importance. July 31, 2013.

    • July 31, 2013

      Remarks by the President Honoring the 2013 NCAA Champion UConn Huskies

      East Room

      2:25 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Everybody have a seat. Everybody have a seat. Welcome to the White House, everybody. Congratulations to the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies. (Applause.) Congratulations to Coach Auriemma on your record-tying eighth national championship. (Applause.) I see this guy too much. (Laughter.) Keep in mind, a lot of Presidents don’t even get eight years in the White House. (Laughter.) He’s spent more time than some Presidents in the White House. (Laughter.) And he’s not term-limited, so he can just keep on going.

      We’ve got UConn President, Susan Herbst is here. (Applause.) Where did she go? There she is up here. I wasn’t sure where she was sitting. We’ve got some outstanding Huskies fans in the house, including several proud members of your congressional delegation. So give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      Probably the most important person here is not Coach Geno, but Coach Geno’s mom, who is here. So please give her a big round of applause — (applause) — who is so proud. And she’s gorgeous. And that’s where you got a good head of hair. (Laughter.) So I have to say to the Huskies, I’ve missed you guys. It’s been, what, a couple years? Seniors Heather Buck, Caroline Doty made the trip to the White House in 2009. So this is an old hat for them. Kelly Faris joined them in 2010. Back then, they were in the middle of a 90-game winning streak.

      I reminded Geno at the time, when I called him, that over the first 23 months I was in office he didn’t lose once. He just pointed out to me that when they won the championship, I went on to win reelection. So he thinks we’ve got a good thing going here. (Laughter.)

      Now, most years, I think for most teams, being a champion isn’t about dominating the way that you did back then. It’s about being at your best when the stakes are highest. And that’s what made this team so special.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/07/31/remarks-president-honoring-2013-ncaa-champion-uconn-huskies

  13. “The Kindle Singles Interview” with President Obama

    Kori SchulmanJuly 31, 2013 01:28 PM EDT

    Yesterday, President Obama visited the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee to discuss his plan to create jobs and grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down. Just before speaking to a crowd of Amazon employees, the President sat down for a “Kindle Singles Interview,” a new long-form interview series for Amazon’s e-reader.

    During the conversation with Kindle Singles editor David Blum, the President explained how his past has informed his policies as President, and discussed his plans to spur growth for middle-class families and create more ladders of opportunity. You can download the interview now at http://www.amazon.com/kindlesingles.

    The Kindle Singles Interview with President Obama is available on Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, Blackberry, PC and Mac. Get the reading apps at http://www.amazon.com/kindleapps.

  14. Student loan bill passes House, heads to Obama

    7/31/13 06:22 PM ET By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

    The House on Wednesday approved legislation that would lower interest rates on federally backed student loans.

    The vote ended a months-long fight with the Senate and sent the legislation to the White House. President Obama has said he would sign the bill.

    Members passed the Senate-approved the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, H.R. 1911, in a 392-31 vote. Only six Republicans and about two dozen Democrats voted against it.

    Under the legislation approved by Congress, the rate for most student loans would be set at the 10-year note plus 2.05 percent, and it would be capped at 8.25 percent.

    Passage ends a debate over the federal government’s control over student loan rates that started in 2007, when the Democratic Congress lowered the rate from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent. That reduction was temporary, however, and in the last few years, Congress has had to wrestle with how to extend the low rate and how to pay for it.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/314851-student-loan-bill-passes-house-heads-to-white-house

    • Senate Dems approves Obama’s ATF nominee, thanks to a switch and a long, long delay

      July 31, 2013 – 6:50 PM ALAN FRAM , Associated Press

      WASHINGTON — The Senate voted in dramatic fashion Wednesday to approve one of President Barack Obama’s nominees. For Democrats to prevail, all it took was a last-ditch vote switch by one senator, a flight back from North Dakota by another and an afternoon roll call that stretched into the evening.

      Five hours after the balloting started, the Senate voted to end Republican delaying tactics against B. Todd Jones, Obama’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It then voted in a comparatively instantaneous 29 minutes for his final confirmation, 53-42.

      A defeat would have been a setback for Obama, who is trying to plug gaps in his second-term administration’s lineup, and dealt a blow to the recent cooperation between the two parties over allowing votes on the president’s nominees.

      The lengthy roll call and the theatrics accompanying it nearly obscured that Jones’ approval marked a rare congressional victory for gun-control forces. His confirmation came three months after the Senate rejected Obama’s drive to expand background checks for firearms buyers.

      Obama nominated Jones weeks after the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 first-graders and six staffers. Jones, a former Marine, has been acting ATF director since 2011.

      Gun control advocates backed Jones’ nomination, saying he would strengthen an agency long weakened by congressionally imposed restraints. With a national registry of gun owners forbidden by federal law, authorities face constraints when they want to trace firearms used in crimes.

      For most of Wednesday afternoon, the Senate idled in neutral waiting for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to fly back from her home state, where aides said she had taken ill. She then cast the 60th vote needed to end a GOP procedural blockade aimed at derailing Jones’ nomination.

      But to get the 59th vote, Democrats earlier had to persuade Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to switch her initial vote.

      For more: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/217709231.html

      • July 31, 2013

        Statement by the President on the Confirmation of Todd Jones as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

        Todd Jones is a tough and tested law-enforcement professional with decades of experience, and his confirmation to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is both welcome and long overdue. For nearly seven years, Senate Republicans had refused to confirm an ATF director – not because they thought the nominees weren’t qualified, but because they put politics ahead of the agency’s law enforcement mission.

        I applaud Senator Reid, Senator Leahy, Senator Klobuchar, and the bipartisan group of senators who broke through that gridlock to give Todd Jones the up or down vote he deserved. But while Todd’s confirmation will help ATF apply the tools it needs to protect our communities from dangerous criminals and reduce gun violence, we can’t stop there. I will continue to stand with the majority of Americans who support common-sense reforms to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals. And I will continue to do everything in my power to keep our children and our communities safe.

        • August 30, 2013
          10:15 AM ET
          Vice President Biden ceremonially swears in Todd Jones as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  15. WH

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    12:45 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:15 PM
    President Obama meets with a group of bipartisan members of Congress.

    3:00 PM
    3:45 PM
    President Obama hosts a bilateral meeting with Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:55 PM
    President Obama hosts a reception for the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  16. July 25, 2013

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen

    On Thursday, August 1, President Obama will host Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi at the White House. The visit will highlight the strength of the U.S.-Yemeni relationship and underscore the United States’ ongoing support for Yemen’s political transition. The President looks forward to discussing with President Hadi U.S. efforts to enhance democratic governance and support economic development in Yemen, further strengthen our counter-terrorism partnership, and enable the return of Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have been designated for transfer.

  17. Raiders of ‘Hitler’s gas station’ reunite in Ohio

    7/31/13 DAN SEWELL -AP

    CINCINNATI (AP) — All these years later, some surviving veterans still think the raid on “Hitler’s gas station” was a great plan. However, not all worked out as expected, and the result was a fierce World War II battle marked by bravery and sacrifice.

    The 70th anniversary Ploesti Raid reunion this week at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force commemorates an Aug. 1, 1943, assault by waves of B-24 bombers on oil refineries in Romania that provided much of the fuel for the Nazi war machine. Five Medals of Honor were among the many awards given for what U.S. military histories call the most decorated action of the war.

    U.S. commanders “emphasized the importance of completing the mission; in their estimate, it would shorten the war in Europe by six months,” Dale Hulsey, 91, of Fort Worth, Texas, recalled Wednesday, after reunion participants viewed a restored B-24 at the museum near Dayton.

    “They tried to knock the thing out in one mission, but everything went wrong,” said Bob Rans, a Chicago native who lives near Tampa at age 92, with vivid memories of being bathed in gasoline as a wall of flame roared toward him.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/raiders-hitlers-gas-station-reunite-ohio-141807620.html

  18. Motor Vehicle Sales

    Released On 8/1/2013 For Jul, 2013

    Prior Consensus Consensus Range
    Domestic Vehicle Sales 12.6 M 12.4 M 12.4 M to 12.5 M
    Total Vehicle Sales 16.0 M 15.8 M 15.6 M to 16.0 M

    Market Consensus before announcement
    Sales of total light motor vehicles in June moved higher, up 4.2 percent in June to a recovery best annual rate of 16.0 million units. June’s strength was split evenly between cars and trucks and also between imports and domestic-made, with the latter coming in at a 12.6 million rate. These results are impressive and point to the strength of the consumer and to a third straight big gain for the motor vehicle component of the monthly retail sales report which surged 1.8 percent in May.

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar/

  19. Challenger Job-Cut Report

    Released On 8/1/2013 7:30:00 AM For Jul, 2013

    Prior Actual
    Announced Layoffs – Level 39,372 37,701

    challenger-job-cuts-jul-2009-jul-2013

    The Challenger Job-Cut Report could serve as a leading indicator for new jobless claims. However, not all layoff announcements result in near term job losses. For instance, companies often announce layoffs that will result in job losses but not immediately. Companies would simply not replace workers who quit voluntarily.
    Data Source: Haver Analytics

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar/

  20. Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall to Lowest Level in Five Years

    Aug 1, 2013 5:35 AM PT By Lorraine Woellert – bloomberg

    Claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped to the lowest level in more than five years, extending swings typical for the month of July.

    Applications for unemployment insurance payments declined by 19,000 to 326,000 in the week ended July 27, the fewest since January 2008, from a revised 345,000 the prior week, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 345,000. A government analyst said no states were estimated, and the data were still being influenced by the auto plant shutdowns that play havoc with the figures at this time of year.

    Businesses have been operating with tight workforces as they wait for signs of a sustained pickup in consumer demand. A slowdown in firings might signal that employers are becoming more confident in the recovery and preparing to grow payrolls, which would encourage household spending, the biggest part of the economy.

    “The labor market is still improving,” Aneta Markowska, chief U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, said before the report. ”It underscores the resiliency of this economy and the underlying momentum in the private sector.”

    Stock-index futures added to earlier gains after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in September climbed 0.8 percent to 1,693.6 at 8:31 a.m. in New York after a report showed China’s manufacturing unexpectedly grew in July and investors watched corporate earnings.

    Claims estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 333,000 to 365,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure to 345,000 from an initially reported 343,000.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-01/jobless-claims-in-u-s-decline-to-lowest-level-in-five-years.html

    • White House Briefing with Council of Korean Americans

      Published on Aug 1, 2013

      The White House Office of Public Engagement and the Council of Korean Americans host a briefing on issues of concern to the Korean American community, including immigration reform, the Affordable Care Act, innovation, and foreign policy.

  21. PMI Manufacturing Index

    Released On 8/1/2013 8:58:00 AM For Jul, 2013

    Prior Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    Level 51.9 53.1 52.1 to 53.5 53.7

    Highlights
    July was a good month for Markit Economics’ US manufacturing sample which, in the final July report today, confirms strength in the mid-month report. The final PMI comes in at 53.7 vs the flash mid-month reading of 53.2 both of which are meaningfully above June’s final reading of 51.9. Any reading over 50 indicates monthly growth with the higher the reading, the greater rate of growth.

    New orders are a special positive in the report, at 55.5 for a more than 2 point gain from June. Export orders are up, which is especially good news given prior weakness in foreign markets, as are total backlog orders. Output is up as is employment.

    The price side shows increasing pressure for inputs, tied to fuel prices, but easing pressure for outputs, which is a negative for margins and also perhaps for Federal Reserve policy makers who are concerned that inflation is too low right now.

    Inventory readings are showing draws but are not likely a concern given the rise in output and the rise in order readings, both which point to the need for restocking.

    The manufacturing sector has been on the rebound this summer following a soft spring. Watch for the closely watched ISM report later this morning on the Econoday calendar.

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar/

  22. Consumer Comfort in U.S. Rises to Five-Year High on Economy View

    Aug 1, 2013 6:45 AM PT By Alexandria Baca – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence climbed last week to the highest level in more than five years as Americans became less pessimistic about the economy.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 27 in the period ended July 28, the strongest reading since January 2008, from minus 27.3 a week earlier. The margin of error for the headline figure is 3 percentage points. Measures of personal finances and buying climate were also little changed.

    Rising residential property values and sustained gains in the labor market have helped improve consumers’ sentiment, which may spur greater spending in the second half of 2013. The figures signaled households are looking past rising borrowing costs as the expansion continues and gasoline prices at the pump retreat from four-month highs.

    “Sustainable, albeit modest growth in the labor market and the economy likely bolstered consumer spirits,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “The key to sustained improvement is acceleration in hiring and an improved wage environment, something that has been a significant challenge during the current business cycle.”

    Another report today showed fewer workers filed for unemployment benefits last week. Initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 326,000, the lowest level in more than five years, in the period ended July 27, the Labor Department said.

    Stocks rose following the figures and after the Federal Reserve vowed to maintain stimulus. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.9 percent to 1,700.56 at 9:35 a.m. in New York.
    Payrolls at U.S. companies climbed by 200,000 workers in July, the most this year, following a revised 198,000 gain the prior month, figures from the Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed yesterday.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-01/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-rises-to-five-year-high-on-economy-view.html

  23. Manufacturing in U.S. Accelerates More Than Forecast

    Aug 1, 2013 7:42 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

    Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years as orders and production jumped, indicating more factories were growing optimistic about the second half of the year.

    The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index increased to 55.4, the strongest since June 2011 and exceeding the highest projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists, after 50.9 in the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed today. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, and the median forecast of 84 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance to 52.

    Sustained demand for automobiles and for materials tied to the recovery in housing are keeping assembly lines busy even as global markets struggle to improve. Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the economy, may also find relief in the second half of the year as the headwinds associated with cuts in the federal budget and higher income taxes dissipate.

    “It looks like we’re starting the third quarter off on a fairly solid note,” said Sam Bullard, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Manufacturing is holding in relatively well.” The figure underscores “the Fed’s forecast that we’re likely to see a tick up in the second half of the year.”

    Stocks extended gains after the figures, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbing 1.1 percent to 1,703.93 at 10:40 a.m. in New York.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-01/u-s-ism-manufacturing-index-increased-to-55-4-in-july-from-50-9.html

  24. 3:45 PM ET
    President Obama hosts a bilateral meeting with Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi

    • President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen

      Published on Aug 1, 2013

      President Obama and President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen speak to the press after a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. August 1, 2013.

    • August 01, 2013

      Joint Statement by the United States and Yemen

      In their meeting today at the White House, President Barack Obama and President Abdo Rabu Mansour Hadi of Yemen affirmed their desire to broaden and strengthen the U.S.-Yemen relationship. President Obama reiterated the United States’ support for the stability, security, prosperity, and unity of Yemen. He also commended the Yemeni government and people for their commitment to an inclusive democratic transition and the progress they have made thus far. President Hadi thanked President Obama for the United States’ steadfast support to Yemen during this critical moment in its history. He also commended the President’s efforts to advance peace, security, and opportunity in the Middle East. The two Presidents pledged to continue working together to help the Yemeni people realize their aspirations for strengthened governance, security, and the rule of law; protection of universal human rights; and enhanced economic opportunity. Presidents Obama and Hadi reaffirmed their commitment to a strong and enduring counterterrorism and security partnership and agreed to cooperate closely to enable the return of Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have been designated for transfer.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/joint-statement-united-states-and-yemen

  25. August 01, 2013

    President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate John Koskinen as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate John Koskinen as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

    President Obama said, “John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform. With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances. Every part of our government must operate with absolute integrity and that is especially true for the IRS. I am confident that John will do whatever it takes to restore the public’s trust in the agency.”

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/president-obama-announces-his-intent-nominate-john-koskinen-commissioner

  26. 5:55 PM ET
    President Obama hosts a reception for the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.

    • President Obama Recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee with White House Reception August 1, 2013.

      AUGUST 01, 2013 lawyerscommittee.org

      Washington, D.C., -The White House announced that President Obama will commemorate the 50thAnniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law with a reception to be held today in the East Room. Lawyers’ Committee founding members, board members and current leadership will join the President, civil rights leaders, members of Congress and the Obama administration, as well as other distinguished guests for this special occasion.

      In recognition of the White House announcement, the Lawyers’ Committee has issued the following statement:

      “We are honored and privileged that President Obama has chosen to commemorate the 50thAnniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law at the White House – the very site of the founding of the Lawyers’ Committee five decades ago. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued a national call to action for lawyers to provide pro bono legal services and resources to address the racial discrimination that plagued our country.

      The Lawyers’ Committee remains steadfast in its mission to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law for all Americans. The Lawyers’ Committee’s mission is to use the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity.

      As we celebrate this momentous occasion and acknowledge that much progress has been made, we must also recognize that the role and mission of the Lawyers’ Committee remains as vital and as pertinent today as it did 50 years ago. During the 2012 election, the Lawyers’ Committee worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Justice to prevent suppressive voting laws from going into effect in Texas, South Carolina and Florida.

      The last term of the Supreme Court, with the rulings on affirmative action in the Fisher v. University of Texas case and voting rights in the Shelby v. Holder case, served as a stark reminder that the job of the Lawyers’ Committee and its affiliates nationwide is far from done. Most recently, the Trayvon Martin case exemplifies the need still to address institutional racism in our criminal justice system.

      As we honor the legacy of President Kennedy and this important milestone, we wish to thank President Obama for his continued leadership in efforts to achieve inclusion, racial justice and equal opportunity for all Americans. We look forward to continuing the mission of the Lawyers’ Committee in combating racial discrimination as long as it continues to exist.”

      “The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2013 as we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending; community development; employment; voting; education and environmental justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit http://www.lawyerscommittee.org. “

  27. July 31, 2013

    Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice At USAID’s Saving Lives at Birth Event

    Washington, D.C.

    Good afternoon everyone. Thank you, Raj, for that kind introduction and for inviting me to be part of this wonderful event. You are doing an outstanding job as USAID Administrator. And I want especially to commend the dedicated staff of USAID for your commitment to our country and to our world. You’ve all done a remarkable job advancing the President’s vision to elevate development alongside diplomacy and defense as an equal pillar of our national security strategy.

    Of course, I also want to join Raj in thanking our partners who have worked with USAID over the past three years to make the Saving Lives at Birth initiative a real success. So thank you to the Government of Norway, Grand Challenges Canada, and the UK’s Department for International Development, and of course the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    As Raj said, this is, in fact, my first public speaking engagement as National Security Advisor. When I was at the UN I had to speak almost every day, and in this job I don’t get out much. (Laughter)

    But I wanted to come here today because it’s important that we underscore that economic development and saving lives matters greatly – it matters to the United States, it matters to President Obama, and it matters to me personally.

    That’s because right now, somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, a young, probably terrified woman is going into labor. As any mother can tell you, and as I can tell you, it’s never easy. And it’s always at least a little bit scary—even when you’re blessed to enjoy the wonders of modern medicine. But this woman is giving birth in a remote village with very limited resources. Electricity is spotty, if it exists at all. Any equipment is outdated and rudimentary. There are no trained doctors, nurses or even probably midwives to assist her delivery. Before she’s even started to push, she’s 136 times more likely to die giving birth than if she were living in a developed country.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/07/31/remarks-national-security-advisor-susan-e-rice-usaid-s-saving-lives-birt

  28. August 01, 2013

    Readout of the President’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

    President Obama called Prime Minister Netanyahu today to commend his leadership and courage in resuming final status negotiations with the Palestinians. The President underscored that while the parties have much work to do in the days and months ahead, the United States will support them fully in their efforts to achieve peace. The two leaders agreed to continue the close coordination between the United States and Israel on this and other regional issues.

  29. August 01, 2013

    Readout of the President’s call with Palestinian Authority President Abbas

    President Obama called Palestinian Authority President Abbas to commend him for his leadership and courage in resuming final status negotiations with Israel. The President reaffirmed that the United States stands ready to support the parties in achieving a just and lasting peace based on the two state solution, and will continue to work closely with the Palestinian Authority to achieve this goal.

  30. August 01, 2013

    FACT SHEET: Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security

    Today, the President signed an Executive Order to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to workers and communities. Chemicals and the facilities that manufacture, store, distribute and use them are essential to our economy. However, incidents such as the devastating explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas in April are tragic reminders that the handling and storage of chemicals present serious risks that must be addressed. While the cause of the Texas explosion is under investigation, we can take some common sense steps now to improve safety and security and build on Federal agencies’ ongoing work to reduce the risks associated with hazardous chemicals.

    The Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security directs the Federal Government to:

    improve operational coordination with state and local partners;
    enhance Federal agency coordination and information sharing;
    modernize policies, regulations and standards; and
    work with stakeholders to identify best practices.

    * Improving Operational Coordination with State and Local Partners
    * Enhancing Federal Coordination and Information Sharing
    * Modernizing Policies, Regulations and Standards
    * Working with Stakeholders to Identify Best Practices
    * Background on Federal Programs for Chemical Facility Safety and Security

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/fact-sheet-executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-securi

    • Obama Orders Tighter Rules on Fertilizer Plants

      Aug 1, 2013 11:30 AM PT By Mark Drajem & David Mildenberg – bloomberg

      President Barack Obama ordered the drafting of tighter rules for the handling and storage of ammonium nitrate, the chemical responsible for a deadly explosion in April at a Texas fertilizer plant, as part of a plan to improve safety.

      Explosions such as the one that killed at least 14 people in West, Texas, are “tragic reminders that the handling and storage of chemicals present serious risks that must be addressed,” according to a White House fact sheet issued today along with an executive order. The announcement came as the administration faces growing pressure from lawmakers of both parties and safety advocates to beef up federal oversight of chemical facilities, refineries and fertilizer depots.

      “This is a step in the right direction,” Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security committee, said at a hearing after the White House announcement. “The West facility was a disaster waiting to happen, but as dangerous as West was, the Department of Homeland Security had no knowledge of it.”

      A series of fatal explosions this year have highlighted the risks posed by these facilities, common in agricultural areas. In addition to the 14 killed in the April blast in Texas, a subsidiary of Williams Cos. (WMB) had a chemical plant explode in Louisiana in June.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-01/obama-issues-order-tightening-chemical-safety-after-texas-deaths.html

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