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Eye Opener: Aug. 28, 2009

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

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AFGE Elects Officers: At their convention in Reno, Nev., union members reelected John Gage to his third term as leader of the nation's largest federal employees union. Members also elected J. David Cox as National Secretary Treasurer and Augusta Thomas as the new national vice president for women's and fair practices.

Cabinet and Staff News: An ID theft ring ensnared Mr. & Mrs. Ben Bernanke. Janet Napolitano predicts bipartisan cooperation on immigration. CDC Chief Dr. Thomas Frieden disputes White House prediction of possible 90,000 swine flu deaths.

Bush-Era Policy Kept To Search Travelers: The Obama administration will largely preserve Bush-era procedures allowing the government to search -- without suspicion of wrongdoing -- the contents of a traveler's laptop computer, cellphone or other electronic device, although officials said new policies would expand oversight of such inspections.

NTSB: Controller Didn't Warn Plane in Midair Crash: An air traffic controller should have warned the pilot of a small plane about aircraft in its path before it collided with a sightseeing helicopter over New York's Hudson River in a crash that claimed nine lives, federal officials said Thursday in making safety recommendations.

Holder's Decision To Probe CIA Hints At New Dynamic: About five weeks ago, faced with a crucial decision on how to react to brutal CIA interrogation practices, the attorney general concluded that it would be all but impossible to follow President Obama's mandate to move forward, rather than investigate divisive episodes from the Bush war on terror.

Air Force Dangles Bonuses to Keep Contracting Officers: The $20,000 bonuses, paid annually for four years, are being offered to commissioned officers with six to 14 years of experience as contracting officers.

Court Upholds Rule Requiring Contractors to Use E-Verify: Judge Alexander Williams of the U.S. District Court for Maryland said in an Aug. 25 ruling that DHS didn’t break the law when it mandated that contractors use the system to check the employment status of their workers.

FDIC: Bank Losses Drain Deposit Fund: The agency reported that the banking industry lost $3.7 billion in the second quarter amid a surge in bad loans made to home builders, commercial real estate developers and small and midsize businesses.

Day of Delays for NASA: At both Cape Canaveral in Florida and at a ground test in Utah.

VA Says 600 Vets Mistakenly Told They Had Fatal Disease: As a result of the panic the letters caused, the agency plans to create a more rigorous screening process for its notification letters and is offering to reimburse veterans for medical expenses incurred as a result of the letters.

FTC to Ban Most Telemarketing 'Robocalls': The new rule prohibits robocalls whether or not consumers previously have done business with the seller. Penalties are up to $16,000 a call.

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 28, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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