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Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

CRS report – Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, Christopher M. Blanchard Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, February 5, 2016.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant global influence through its administration of the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large oil reserves. Close U.S. – Saudi official relations have survived a series of challenges since the 1940s. I n recent years, shared concerns over Sunni Islamist extremist terrorism and Iranian government policies have provided a renewed logic for continued strategic cooperation. Political upheaval and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa appear to have strained bilateral ties, but the full effect  has yet to be determined. Amid regional turmoil, Obama Administration officials have referred to the Saudi government as an important regional par tner, and U.S. arms sales and related security cooperation programs have continued with congressional oversight. Since October 2010, Congress has been notified of proposed sales to Saudi Arabia of fighter aircraft, helicopters, naval vessels, missile defense systems, missiles, bombs, armored vehicles, and related equipment and services, with a potential value of more than $100 billion. Since March 2015, the U.S.-trained Saudi military has used U.S. – origin weaponry, U.S. logistical assistance, and shared int elligence to carry out strikes in Yemen. Some Members of Congress have expressed skepticism about Saudi leaders’ commitment to combating extremism and the extent to which they share U.S. policy priorities.  Nevertheless,  U.S.-Saudi counterterrorism ties reportedly remain close, and Saudi forces have participated in some coalition strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria since 2014…”

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations

CRS Report – Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations. Paul K. Kerr, Analyst in Nonproliferation. February 8, 2016. “Several U.N. Security Council resolutions required Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) investigation of its nuclear activities, suspend its uranium enrichment program, suspend its construction of a heavy-water reactor andContinue Reading

Jobs With the Best (and Worst) Job Security – 24/7 Wall Street

“The U.S. unemployment rate reached 10% in October 2009, the highest since 1983, and the peak since the Great Recession ended in June 2009. Since then, unemployment has fallen steadily to its current level of 4.9%. Not all the nation’s industries have recovered at the same pace. Increased job opportunities and wage hikes have beenContinue Reading

A Worldwide Survey of Encryption Products

“In this paper, [available for download as part of the Berkman Publication Series on SSRN at:] which is modeled on a similar effort in 1999 by researchers from George Washington University, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier and collaborator Kathleen Seidel together with Harvard College student Saranya Vijayakuma identify and survey 865 encryption products from 55Continue Reading

Report Finds Possible Health Effects Associated with Formaldehyde in Select Laminate Flooring

“The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) analysis of data from an investigation led by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that formaldehyde levels observed in select laminate wood flooring products could cause short-term irritation forContinue Reading

CDC Highlights Programs that Reduce U.S. Health Disparities

“A supplement to the CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlights programs that reduce disparities by race/ethnicity, geography, disability, and/or sexual orientation across a range of different health conditions. “Reducing and eliminating health disparities is fundamental to building a healthier nation,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D.,Continue Reading

Approaches to Making Federal Highway Spending More Productive

Federal spending on highways does not correspond very well with how the roads are used. “CBO examines three approaches lawmakers could consider to make highway spending more productive: “Federal spending on highways (or, synonymously, roads) totaled $46 billion in 2014, roughly a quarter of total public spending on highways. About 95 percent of that amountContinue Reading

Demographic and Economic Profiles of South Carolina’s Electorate

“In advance of the South Carolina primaries on Feb. 20 and Feb. 27, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include: Voting-age population and estimate of eligible voters (i.e., citizens age 18 and older). Breakdown of voting-age population by raceContinue Reading

Women Also Know Stuff

Women Also Know Stuff: “So often while planning a conference, brainstorming a list of speakers, or searching for experts to cite or interview, it can be difficult to think of any scholars who aren’t male. We’ve all been there… you just know that a woman has got to be studying that topic… but who? This site isContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Biosurveillance, FDIC Audit, GAO Performance, Immigrant Investor Program, Rare Earth Materials, Veterans’ Health Care

Biosurveillance: Ongoing Challenges and Future Considerations for DHS Biosurveillance Efforts, GAO-16-413T: Published: Feb 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2016. Financial Audit: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Funds’ 2015 and 2014 Financial Statements, GAO-16-300: Published: Feb 11, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 2016. GAO: Summary of Performance and Financial Information, Fiscal Year 2015, GAO-16-4SP: Published: FebContinue Reading

Law Schools and the University

Rasmussen, Bob, Law Schools and the University (February 9, 2016). Syracuse Law Review, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: “This piece, written for a symposium celebrating Rick Matasar’s scholarship, charts a course for law schools over the coming years. In particular, it suggests that law schools need to adjust to the changing environment inContinue Reading

How Litigants Evaluate the Characteristics of Legal Procedures: A Multi-Court Empirical Study

Shestowsky, Donna, How Litigants Evaluate the Characteristics of Legal Procedures: A Multi-Court Empirical Study (February 9, 2016). UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 49, 2016; UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 477. Available for download at SSRN: “This Article presents findings from the first multi-court field study examining how civil litigants evaluate the characteristicsContinue Reading