James Webb Space Telescope's Golden Mirror

04/29/2016: NASA Image of the Day

Inside the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the golden James Webb Space Telescope is viewed from overhead with its secondary mirror booms stowed. In the next few months, engineers will install other key elements, and take additional measurements to ensure the telescope is ready for space.

Government at Work - The White House

4/28/16: White House Press Briefing

04/28/2016: White House Press Briefings

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing

President Obama Explores America's Newest National Monument

04/13/2016: White House Video


"I want young girls and boys to come here, 10, 20, 100 years from now, to know that women fought for equality, it was not just given to them.” —President Obama designating the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument on #EqualPayDay go.wh.gov/Belmont-Paul

Weekly Address: Building a Fairer and More Effective Criminal Justice System

04/23/2016: President Obama's Weekly Address

In this week's address, the President discussed his continued efforts to build a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system.

Government at Work - Today

Daily Schedule

04/28/2016: US House of Reps

The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for Legislative Business

H.R. 4901 - SOAR Reauthorization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

Structured Rule, One Hour of Debate
Passage Y N

Special Orders: Republicans have the first hour 

Government at Work - Alerts

How to Dispose of Unused Medicines

04/25/2016: Health Information Update from the Food and Drug Administration

Don't let unused or expired medicines collect in your home. Learn about community take-back programs, including the annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and other ways to dispose of unused drugs safely.

Disaster Recovery: How Texans Can Volunteer and Help Texas Survivors

04/29/2016: FEMA Region 6

AUSTIN, Texas — In the face of disaster, Texans always come together with courage, compassion and unity to ask, “How can I help?”

If you want to volunteer for disaster work, there are many tasks that can aid in recovery – cleaning-up and rebuilding are two of the biggest. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests that volunteering through a local voluntary organization may be the best way to find meaningful volunteer work after the disaster.


Laos Travel Alert

03/30/2016: International Travel Alerts

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to shooting attacks targeting vehicles traveling the “new road” northwest of Kasi in Luang Prabang Province at about 9:00p.m. on March 23, 2016.

A charter bus and a pickup truck were both hit by automatic weapons fire on this heavily traveled route between the towns of Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, two of Laos’ most popular tourist destinations. One person was killed, and six wounded.

Due to this incident, U.S. Embassy Vientiane has restricted official travel by Embassy staff on the “new road” between the Kasi junction and the Road 4 junction. Both roads connecting the towns of Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng are now subject to Embassy travel restrictions. This Travel Alert supersedes the March 7, 2016, Travel Alert concerning Road 13 and Xaisomboun province and it expires on June 30, 2016.

The Embassy restricted official travel along Road 13 from Km 220 north of Kasi in Vientiane Province to Km 270 at the Phou Khoun junction in Luang Prabang Province following similar shooting attacks on vehicles in recent weeks. The Embassy also restricts official travel to Xaisomboun Province in its entirety because of the unpredictable nature of violence in the area and the lack of official information regarding possible motives or a Lao government response.

The Embassy still permits its personnel to travel between Vientiane and Vang Vieng on Road 13, and to travel to the town of Luang Prabang by air. Travel by road from the town of Luang Prabang northward is also not affected by these restrictions. Nevertheless, U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Laos should take precautions, remain vigilant about their personal security, and be alert to local security developments.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Laos, located at Thadeua Road Km 9, Ban Somvang Tai, Hatsayfong District, at +856-21-48-7000, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. weekdays, excluding U.S. and Lao holidays. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is also +856-21-48-7000. Non-emergency services are provided by appointment only.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Government at Work - Archives

Daily Schedule

04/28/2016: US House of Reps

The House will meet at 9:00 a.m. for Legislative Business

H.R. 4901 - SOAR Reauthorization Act (Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz / Oversight and Government Reform Committee)

Structured Rule, One Hour of Debate
Passage Y N

Special Orders: Republicans have the first hour 

Time to Turn off THOMAS: July 5, 2016

04/28/2016: Library of Congress

One of my favorite THOMAS related posts was of the THOMAS Starting Point, which featured the homepage of the site when it launched on January 5, 1995.  It seems only fitting to share the photo from the post while announcing the THOMAS Ending Point of July 5, 2016. I have talked frequently about THOMAS on In Custodia Legis […]

Government at Work - Issues

Two Sides of the Foreign Assistance Coin

04/28/2016: State Department Blog

The world we live in today is more interconnected than ever before -- though we may not share soil or language, religion or currency, we are neighbors in this global community.

Climate, Environment, and Conservation: Remarks at the Informal High-Level Event on Promoting the Early Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

04/22/2016: Climate, Environment, and Conservation

Remarks at the Informal High-Level Event on Promoting the Early Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

John Kerry
Secretary of State
New York City
April 22, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Secretary-General – and congratulations, Mr. Secretary-General, on a very important day – and heads of state, Mr. Presidents and prime ministers and Your Excellencies, fellow ministers, in keeping with the spirit of trying to move it along, I’m going to throw away my comments here and disappoint somebody very much on my staff. (Laughter.) But we all know what this is about.

I understand that as of this afternoon, countries representing nearly 50 percent of global emissions are prepared to announce they will join this year, and I’m pleased to say the United States absolutely intends to join this year. There’s no question about it. In addition to that – (applause) – I’ll just say very quickly, Mr. Prime Minister, as I said earlier today, we have to do so much more than the Paris has actually asked us to do, and I think everybody understands that.

The key to this, frankly, is going to be the innovation, the private sector. I don’t think governments are going to solve this problem. Governments are going to create a framework, governments are going to invite people, and governments can facilitate the allocation of capital, the investment, the – get the regulations right, get out of the way with bureaucracies, make it happen. But if the private sector has a chance to move here, there is a modern-day – I don't know what the equivalent is in everybody’s country, but for the United States, there is another Thomas Edison of the 21st century or a Steve Jobs, a Bill Gates – somebody is going to come up with the battery storage or the high level of efficiency and low level of cost for solar. We’re going to transition.

And to me, what this agreement accomplishes is really – it sends a signal to everybody that we’re committed; all these nations are looking for the clean energy path. So trillions of dollars are going to be invested. I would just say to all my friends who worry about the competition with economy, in the 1990s in Massachusetts in the country – we had the greatest growth in our nation since the 1920s when we had no income tax. We had the greatest growth. Billionaires were created, many millionaires, in a technology revolution with a market that had only a trillion people with 1 billion users – I mean a trillion – a trillion-dollar market with 1 billion users.

The energy market is already a 6 billion, 5 billion user, going up to 9 billion, and it’s going to be the largest market in the history of human beings. So you’re already seeing money move there, and if we just make our decisions and stick with it, that’s our best chance of hitting 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees centigrade. So the United States will do everything in our power to encourage countries. We’re already working with them, we’re trying to show them how we can help with technology transfer, things we can do, and we look forward to working with every nation here in order to achieve this goal.

Thank you. And I apologize ahead of time for having to leave a little bit early, but like all of us, when we get to the United Nations, there’s so many good meetings here, we have to go to them. So thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. (Applause.)