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Obama to Nominate Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Japan

July 25, 2013 President Obama will nominate Caroline Kennedy as the new ambassador to Japan on Wednesday, according to a report from the Associated Press. Kennedy, whose nomination to the post has been anticipated for some time, was a major supporter of Obama during his run for the presidency. The former first daughter ...

The White House Doesn't Like the House's Data Mining Amendment

July 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House weighed in on an amendment, slated for an imminent vote in the House, that would defund the National Security Agency's bulk phone metadata collection. Spoiler alert: they're against it. Here's the full statement from Press Secretary Jay Carney on the proposed amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, ...

FAA: Please Don't Shoot Down the Drones

July 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Earlier this week, one Colorado town floated the idea of letting its residents buy hunting permits for drones. Now, the FAA has responded to the proposal by telling Americans to please stop thinking about shooting down drones. The proposal itself sounds more like a clever way to get Rand Paul-type ...

The House GOP Won't Defend a Ban on Veterans' Benefits for Gay Couples

July 19, 2013 House Republicans will no longer defend a law that bars married, same-sex couples from receiving veterans' benefits available to married heterosexual couples. On Thursday,Buzzfeed reported that the House, responding to a Thursday deadline in a federal lawsuit challenging the veterans' benefits provision, asked to "withdraw as a party defendant" from ...

MIT Delays the Release of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service File

July 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A couple of weeks ago, it looked like the federal government would (finally) start releasing what amounts to thousands of pages of documents pertaining to the Secret Service's investigation into Aaron Swartz. But on Thursday, MIT stepped in with a motion to delay the release of those documents. Swartz, the ...

House Republicans Vote (Again) Against Obamacare Mandates

July 18, 2013 House Republicans followed up on the Obama administration's decision to delay the implementation of the employer health care mandate for one year by voting to make that decision a law, and to extend that delay to all individuals, too. It's a more limited protest vote than what we're used to ...

NTSB Fires Intern Who Erroneously Confirmed Fake Asiana Pilot Names

July 16, 2013 The National Transportation Safety Board intern who confirmed four fake names as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214 has been let go. The intern prompted an apology from the NTSB on Friday after it turned out he or she confirmed the fake names in response to a media ...

Snowden Wants to Keep the NSA 'Blueprint' Private

July 15, 2013 According to journalist Glenn Greenwald, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has the equivalent of "blueprints" for the NSA in his possession. But you won't be seeing them any time soon. In an interview with the Associated Press, Greenwald said that Snowden has “basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is ...

The National Guard's Furlough Starts on Monday

July 5, 2013 Thousands of full-time National Guard soldiers and airmen will return from America Weekend to a sequestration furlough, with a pay reduction of 20 percent for the next three months. Apparently, the military pay cuts were intended for civilian positions only in the military, but that's not quite how it's going ...

There's a Zombie-Like Security Flaw in Almost Every Android Phone

July 5, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Almost every Android phone has a big, gaping security weakness, according to the security startup who discovered the vulnerability. Essentially, according to BlueBox, almost every Android phone made in the past four years (or, since Android "Donut," version 1.6) is just a few steps away from becoming a virtual George ...