Eye Opener: Dec. 15, 2009
• Very Cool Link: The post.com geniuses have whipped up "Key Obama Speeches," an interactive archive of just about everything the president has said in public. It's from the same creative team that brought you POTUS Tracker, the Congressional Votes Database and Head Count.
• Cabinet and Staff News: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defends the administration's human rights approach. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Air Force trainers may stay in Iraq beyond 2011. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan join Vice President Biden for a meeting Tuesday about the government's efforts to fight piracy of intellectual property.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY:
• Lithuanian resignation tied to CIA inquiry: The chief of the country's secret service resigned Monday, the apparent casualty of an official investigation into whether the Baltic country allowed the agency to operate a secret prison for terrorism suspects.
• Census ready to start counting: In a news briefing, the bureau director said it recently finished compiling its master address list used to send out forms.
• GAO upends $2.8B defense contract: The auditors upended a contract worth up to $2.8 billion, pulling back an Army award for medium-sized trucks to Oshkosh based on protests from two competing companies.
• Supplying troops in Afghanistan with fuel challenging for U.S.: President Obama's decision to send more troops to the war-torn country will magnify one of the Pentagon's biggest challenges: getting aviation and diesel fuel to U.S. air and ground forces there.
• U.S. offers $85 million to promote efficiency: It's $85 million over the next five years to a $350 million effort by industrialized countries to help spread efficiency and low-carbon energy sources in the developing world.
• Energy Department serving as a venture capital firm: The department hopes to lend or give out more than $40 billion to businesses working on "clean technology," everything from electric cars and novel batteries to wind turbines and solar panels.
• Taking stock, supervisors made out pretty well in 2009: It's been a pretty good year for Uncle Sam's managers and supervisors. They should enjoy it while they can because many of them may not be around much longer.
• .Post approved as new top-level domain for postal organization Web sites: The Switzerland-based Universal Postal Union will operate the .post Internet domain name. The UPU will be responsible for determining the rules under which postal organizations around the world can obtain the new .post Internet address.
• U.S. system for tracking traffic flow is faulted: The department's inspector general says the government has committed more than $50 million to build a sophisticated highway traffic monitoring system that has produced unreliable data and cannot freely share live reports on highway bottlenecks with the public.
• FAA low priorities get $3.5B in grants: Airports have spent $3.5 billion in federal money since 1998 on projects the agency rated as low priority because they do little to improve the most pressing needs in the nation's aviation system.
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