All Along the Fractures

10/07/2015: NASA Image of the Day

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter often takes images of Martian sand dunes to study the mobile soils. These images provide information about erosion and movement of surface material, about wind and weather patterns, even about the soil grains and grain sizes.

Government at Work - The White House

Press Briefing

10/06/2015: White House Press Briefings

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

Prepare Your Family for the Local Impacts of Climate Change

09/30/2015: White House Video

Climate change is a global challenge, but its effects are felt locally. Alice Hill, Senior Director for Resilience Policy under President Obama, explains how you can prepare your family for the natural disasters that we'll see as climate change continues to impact our communities and our nation.

Weekly Address: Congress Should Do its Job and Pass a Serious Budget

10/03/2015: President Obama's Weekly Address

In this week's address, the President emphasized that we need to do everything we can to strengthen economic growth and job creation.

Government at Work - Today

Daily Schedule

10/06/2015: US House of Reps

The House meets at 10:00 a.m. for Morning Hour 
Legislative Business begins at Noon

Fifteen One Minutes per side 

H.R. 3192 - Homebuyers Assistance Act, Rules (Sponsored by Rep. French Hill / Financial Services Committee)

Closed Rule, One Hour of Debate
Rule Y N
Passage Y N

H. Res. 461 - Establishing a Select Investigative Panel of the Committee on Energy and Commerce (Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx / Rules Committee)
One Hour of Debate
P.Q. Y N
Adoption Y N

Special Orders: Republicans have the first hour

Government at Work - Alerts

FDA's MedWatch Safety Alerts for Consumers: August 2015

10/06/2015: Health Information Update from the Food and Drug Administration

FDA is warning consumers about left ventricular assist devices, faulty mammograms, DPP-4 inhibitors, and Picato gel.

Sewer Authority Mitigation Plan Reduces Risk of Environmental Disaster

10/07/2015: FEMA Region 2

EATONTOWN, N.J. - Among the most devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey was the storm’s impact on sewage treatment facilities along the coast.

During and after the storm, sewage plants and pump stations were inundated by flood waters and without power for as long as three days, resulting in the discharge of some two billion gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage into New Jersey waterways (New York Daily News, 4/30/2013).


Tunisia Travel Alert

09/29/2015: International Travel Alerts

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the risks of travel to Tunisia and recommends that U.S. citizens in Tunisia maintain a high level of vigilance in light of recent terrorist attacks on sites frequented by tourists.

The Tunisian government has shown its commitment to addressing security concerns and has visibly augmented its security presence at tourist locations, but challenges persist, including the possibility of further attacks on foreign tourists and Tunisian and western interests.  This Travel Alert expires on December 31, 2015.  

U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution in Tunisia when frequenting public venues that are visited by large numbers of foreigners, such as:  hotels, shopping centers, tourist sites, and restaurants.  Two recent attacks targeting tourists killed a number of foreign nationals: March 18, 2015, at the Bardo Museum in Tunis; and June 26, 2015 near Sousse at the Riu Imperial Marhaba and Riu Bellevue Park hotels.  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for both attacks.  U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility of kidnapping.  On July 4, President Caid Essebsi declared a 30-day state of emergency that grants security forces more authority to maintain civil order, enabling the government to focus on combating terrorism.  This state of emergency was extended on August 3 for an additional 60 days, expiring October 2.  The Minister of Interior has stated that the state of emergency will assist in securing hotels and tourist areas. 

Terrorist organizations have also targeted Tunisian security forces and government installations.  The Tunisian government officially designated the group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T), a group with known anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiments, as a terrorist organization on August 27, 2013.  The Tunisian government continues security force operations against AAS-T, ISIL, and al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Protests, demonstrations, and civil unrest can occur with little warning throughout the country.  U.S. citizens should avoid large crowds and demonstrations, as even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful have the potential to become unpredictable.  When the last significant protests took place in Tunisia in the summer of 2013, they were non-violent and not directed against U.S. citizens or foreigners.  U.S. citizens should be aware of anti-U.S. and anti-Western sentiment held by several groups in country.  U.S. citizens should also be alert and aware of their surroundings.  Travelers should monitor local events, report suspicious activity to the local police, and take appropriate steps to bolster personal security.

Travelers contemplating trips to the interior of the country should assess local conditions and routes when making travel plans.  In particular, all travel south of the designated military zone in the south must be coordinated in advance with Tunisian authorities.  Also, travel to either border should be avoided, if possible, given the periodic security incidents along the border regions, including the Mount Chaambi region near the Algerian border where security operations continue against armed extremists.  The Tunisian National Guard encourages persons traveling into the desert to register their travel beforehand.  For details on how and where to register, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s desert travel page.  No special authorization is required to travel to the desert as far south as Remada.  The desert south of Remada is designated as a military zone by the Government of Tunisia.  If travelers wish to enter the military zone, for example to travel to Borma, a special authorization is required.  Please visit the U.S. Embassy’s desert travel page.

Tunisia shares borders with Algeria and Libya.  Developments in Libya continue to affect the security situation along the border areas, and the Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya.  Due to tighter security, backups of several hours can occur on the Tunisian side of the border.  The Ras Jedir and Dehiba border crossings with Libya may be closed occasionally, and access to both crossings is strictly controlled by Tunisian security forces.  Travelers should consult local authorities before travelling to the Libyan border, and should read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Libya, as well as the Department of State’s Country Specific Information and other international travel safety and security information for Libya and Algeria.  Travelers should consult local authorities before travelling to the Algerian border and read the Department of State’s Travel Warning for Algeria.  Some crossings may be closed occasionally and access is strictly controlled by Tunisian and Algerian security forces.

Government security forces, including the army, police, and National Guard, are visibly present throughout Tunisia.  Under the state of emergency, the Ministry of Interior is granted broad powers and may ban rallies and demonstrations.  The Minister of Interior, as well as local governors, have the prerogative to put any individual under house arrest, if considered a threat to national and public security; and to search houses and conduct other activities without requiring prior judicial authorization.  Security personnel, including plain clothes officials, may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance.  It is against Tunisian law to photograph government offices and other security facilities.  Suspicious incidents or problems should be reported immediately to Tunisian authorities and the U.S. Embassy.  Travelers should remain alert to local security developments and heed directions given by uniformed security officials.  U.S. citizens are urged to always carry a copy of their passport as proof of nationality and identity and, if moving about alone, a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Tunisia.

The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. Embassy personnel assigned abroad sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under security restrictions which vary by country of assignment. Embassy Tunis travel regulations require advance notification to Embassy security officials of travel outside greater Tunis.   These measures occasionally prevent the movement of U.S. Embassy officials and the provision of consular services in certain areas of the country.

Unless otherwise indicated in a public announcement, the U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens Services by appointment.  U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment.  The Embassy will notify U.S. citizens as quickly as possible of any closing and the types of emergency consular services that will be available.  Visit the Embassy website to check the latest changes to Embassy hours or services. 

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Tunisia.
  • 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 Tunisia located at North East Zone Berges du Lac, North of Tunis 2045 La Goulette, at +216 71 107 000, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +216 71 107 000.
  • 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

Now over 1,000,000 Items to Search on Communications and More Added

10/07/2015: Library of Congress

This has been a great year as we continue our push to develop and refine  There were email alerts added in February, treaties and better default text in March, the Federalist Papers and more browse options in May, and accessibility and user requested features in July.  With this October update, Senate Executive Communications from […]

Now over 1,000,000 Items to Search on Communications and More Added

10/07/2015: Library of Congress

This has been a great year as we continue our push to develop and refine  There were email alerts added in February, treaties and better default text in March, the Federalist Papers and more browse options in May, and accessibility and user requested features in July.  With this October update, Senate Executive Communications from […]

Government at Work - Issues

USAID Salutes Nobel Laureates Whose Discoveries Help Fight Malaria, River Blindness, and Elephantiasis

10/07/2015: State Department Blog

This year’s Nobel laureates in medicine developed therapies that revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases caused by parasites.

Climate, Environment, and Conservation: On the Release of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/Climate Policy Initiative Report on Climate Finance

10/07/2015: Climate, Environment, and Conservation

On the Release of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/Climate Policy Initiative Report on Climate Finance

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 7, 2015

In 2009, developed countries committed to mobilize financial flows to mitigate climate change and protect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities from its worst impacts. Today’s report from the OECD and CPI shows developed countries are well on our way to meeting the goal we set to jointly mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources, both public and private.

This independent report shows that in 2014, six years before the deadline outlined in our goal, climate finance from developed to developing countries reached $62 billion. This significant progress toward the $100 billion goal will help build confidence that climate finance is flowing and continues to increase.

The scale of the climate change challenge demands an effective global partnership that leverages resources from all available channels – public and private, bilateral and multilateral – to assist those most in need. The United States has consistently been a leader in efforts to mobilize climate finance for poor and vulnerable countries, including through our pledge of $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund in November 2014, and providing almost $2.7 billion in public bilateral climate finance in 2014.

While we are making good progress, continued collaboration on climate finance will be absolutely critical. The report indicates encouraging progress, but we have considerable work ahead. As the World Bank and International Monetary Fund gather for their annual meetings in Lima, Peru this week, the United States looks to the multilateral development banks to set ambitious targets for scaling up mitigation and adaptation finance. These multilateral institutions have played—and will continue to play—a major role in helping countries meet the challenges of climate change.

Entercom Required to Divest Three Denver Radio Stations as Part of Lincoln Acquisition

07/15/2015: Department of Justice Antitrust

Entercom Communications Corp. (Entercom) will be required to divest three radio stations in Denver, in order to proceed with its acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media Company (Lincoln).