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Saturday, March 22, 2014

CFTC CHARGES COMPANY, OWNER WITH ILLEGAL, OFF-EXCHANGE TRANSACTIONS

FROM:  COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 
CFTC Charges Florida-Based Gold Distributors Inc. and Its Owner, Jordan Cain, with Engaging in Illegal, Off-exchange Commodity Transactions

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that it filed a civil injunctive enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Defendants Gold Distributors Inc. (GDI) of Hallandale Beach, Florida, and its sole owner, Jordan Cain of Miami, Florida. The CFTC Complaint charges the Defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange financed transactions in precious metals with retail customers.

According to the Complaint, between January 2012 and February 2013, GDI and Cain solicited retail customers by telephone and in person to buy physical precious metals, such as gold and silver, in off-exchange leverage transactions. Customers paid GDI a portion of the purchase price for the metals, and another entity, AmeriFirst Management, LLC (AmeriFirst), financed the remainder of the purchase price, while charging the customers interest on the amount they purportedly loaned to customers, the Complaint alleges.

Retail customers engaging in financed transactions with GDI were told that they were borrowing money to purchase precious metals, according to the Complaint. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank), financed transactions such as those conducted by GDI, are illegal off-exchange transactions unless they result in actual delivery of metal within 28 days. The Complaint alleges that GDI’s customers never took delivery of the precious metals they purportedly purchased.

The Complaint further alleges that when GDI engaged in these illegal transactions it was acting as a dealer for metals merchant AmeriFirst, which the CFTC charged with fraud and other violations in federal court in Florida on July 30, 2013 (see CFTC Press Release 6655-13). As alleged in the CFTC Complaint against AmeriFirst and the Complaint in this case, neither GDI nor AmeriFirst purchased or held metal on the customers’ behalf. The Complaint alleges that Defendants’ customers thus never owned, possessed, or received title to the physical commodities that they believed they purchased. Cain, as the owner, operator and controlling person of GDI, is liable for GDI’s violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations, according to the Complaint.

In its continuing litigation, the CFTC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, restitution for the benefit of defrauded customers, civil monetary penalties, permanent registration and trading bans, and a permanent injunction from future violations of federal commodities laws, as charged.

CFTC Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Nathan B. Ploener, Christopher Giglio, Lenel Hickson, Jr., and Manal M. Sultan.

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S WEEKLY ADDRESS FOR MARCH 22, 2014

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE 

Weekly Address: Rewarding Women's Hard Work and Increasing the Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama highlighted the importance of making sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American – including America’s women. The President reiterated his call for Congress to ensure that women earn equal pay for equal work and increase the minimum wage to $10.10, which would give nearly 28 million Americans the raise they deserve. He underscored his belief that providing opportunity for working women and families is the right thing to do for our economy, because when women succeed, America succeeds.
The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online atwww.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, March 22, 2014.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
March 22, 2014
Hi, everybody.  This week, I visited a community college in Florida, where I spoke with students about what we need to do to make sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American.
More specifically, I spoke about making sure our economy rewards the hard work of women. 
Today, women make up about half of our workforce, and more than half of our college graduates.  More women are now their families’ main breadwinner than ever before. 
But in a lot of ways, our economy hasn’t caught up to this new reality yet.  On average, a woman still earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man does.  And too many women face outdated workplace policies that hold them back – which in turn holds back our families and our entire economy.
A woman deserves to earn equal pay for equal work, and paid leave that lets you take a day off to care for a sick child or parent.  Congress needs to act on these priorities. 
And when women hold most lower-wage jobs in America, Congress needs to raise the minimum wage.  Because no woman who works full-time should ever have to raise her children in poverty.
Now, the good news is that in the year since I first called on Congress to raise the minimum wage, six states have passed laws to raise theirs.  More states, counties, and cities are working to raise their minimum wages as we speak.  Small businesses like St. Louis-based Pi Pizzeria, are raising their wages too – not out of charity, but because it’s good for business.  And by the way, Pi makes a really good pizza.  And in this year of action, I signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their employees a fair wage of at least ten dollars and ten cents an hour. 
But if we’re truly going to reward the hard work of every American, Congress needs to join the rest of the country and pass a bill that would lift the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour.  This wouldn’t just raise wages for minimum wage workers – its effects would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across this country.  It will give businesses more customers with more money to spend, and grow the economy for everybody.  So call up your Member of Congress and let them know it’s time for “ten-ten.”  It’s time to give America a raise. 
A true opportunity agenda is one that works for working women. Because when women succeed, America succeeds.  We do better when everyone participates, and when everyone who works hard has the chance to get ahead.  That’s what opportunity means – and it’s why I’ll keep fighting to restore it. 
Thanks, everybody, and have a great weekend. 

U.S. EXTENDS WARM WISHES TO PEOPLE OF PAKISTAN ON ANNIVERSARY OF LAHORE RESOLUTION

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 
74th Anniversary of the Lahore Resolution
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 22, 2014

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I extend warm wishes to the government and people of Pakistan on the 74th anniversary of the signing of the Lahore Resolution, which laid the foundation for Pakistan’s independence.

Building stronger ties with the people of Pakistan has long been a deep personal commitment of mine. I was privileged to sponsor what became known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill in Congress, which provided significant economic assistance to the people of Pakistan beginning several years ago. And we continue to deepen our partnership with Pakistan today, as both of our nations work to build peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region.

President Obama and I were pleased to welcome Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Washington last year, a visit that highlighted the strength of our relationship and our commitment to partnership. That’s why we reinvigorated our Strategic Dialogue based on shared priorities. And that’s why we will continue to work with Pakistan on areas of mutual interest, from combating the forces of extremism, to bolstering our economies and those of the region, to helping Pakistan address its energy challenges, to increasing access to education.

I have visited Pakistan many times, both as a Senator and as Secretary of State. I have experienced firsthand the extraordinary hospitality and friendship that the people of Pakistan have to offer. Our relationship is strong because our people-to-people ties with Pakistan are growing even stronger through the thousands of professional and academic exchanges that take place between our countries each year.

On this special day, we remember the message of “hope, courage, and confidence” the Quaid-e-Azam delivered to the Pakistani people in his Eid-ul-Azha Message in 1947. Together, we must face our challenges with the same hope and determination.

AFTERMATH OF THE STORM OVER NEW ZEALAND

FROM:  NASA 


A powerful storm passed over New Zealand’s South Island in March 2014 and brought gale-force winds, torrential rains, and flooding to the city of Christchurch. A total of 74 millimeters (3 inches) of rain fell on March 4-5, according to MetService, New Zealand’s national meteorological service. More than 100 homes flooded and more than 4,000 lost power around the country’s third most populous city. Skies had cleared enough by March 6, 2014, for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite to acquire this image showing the aftermath. Coastal communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the risk of damage and danger from flooding. NASA and NOAA are together launching a new opportunity for citizens to work with us on the very important topic of coastal flooding. This coastal flooding challenge is part of NASA’s third International Space Apps Challenge - a two-day global mass collaboration event on April 12-13, 2014. During these two days, citizens around the world are invited to engage directly with NASA to develop awe-inspiring software, hardware, and data visualizations. Last year’s event involved more than 9,000 global participants in 83 locations. This year will introduce more than 60 robust challenges clustered in five themes: asteroids, Earth watch, human spaceflight, robotics, and space technology. The Coastal Inundation In Your Community challenge is one of four climate-related challenges using data provided by NASA, NOAA and EPA. > 2014 International Space Apps Challenge: Coastal Inundation in Your Community > NASA Invites Citizens to Collaborate on Coastal Flooding Challenge Image Credit: NASA - Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

EARLY VENOMOUS SNAKE FOSSILS FOUND IN AFRICA

FROM:  NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 
Snakes Alive! NSF-funded researchers find oldest fossil evidence of modern African venomous snakes

Seasonal habitats may have given rise to active hunters earlier than previously reported

National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded researchers at Ohio University have found the oldest definitive fossil evidence of modern, venomous snakes in Africa. The newly discovered fossil was unearthed in the Rukwa Rift Basin of Tanzania. The research results were published in PLOS ONE.

The lead author, Jacob McCartney, and his coauthors note that these findings demonstrate that elapid snakes, such as cobras, kraits and sea snakes--were present in Africa as early as 25 million years ago.

Elapids belong to a larger group of snakes known as colubrids--active foragers that use a variety of methods, including venom to capture and kill prey.

The team was surprised to discover higher-than-expected concentrations of colubroid snakes, suggesting the local environment was more open and seasonally dry, thus more hospitable to these types of active hunting snakes that don't require cover to ambush prey like boas and pythons do.

They say it also points to a fundamental shift toward more rapid venom delivery mechanisms to exert very different pressures on the local fauna.

-- Dena Headlee, National Science Foundation

EXPORT-IMPORT BANK SIGNS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO CHANNEL $1 BILLION OF SUPPORT TO PHILIPPINES

FROM:  EXPORT-IMPORT BANK 
Ex-Im Bank Signs $1 Billion MOU with Philippine Department of Energy

Washington, DC – Patricia Loui, board of director for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and Raul B. Aguilos, undersecretary for the Department of Energy (DOE) of the Republic of the Philippines, signed a $1 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) at a ceremony in Manila Wednesday.

“The agreement will channel much needed support to the Philippines from the American private sector and thereby boost jobs here at home,” said Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “The arrangement is a win-win for both our nations and evidences our deep ties and cooperation on numerous economic fronts.”

According to the MOU, Ex-Im Bank and the DOE will exchange information with an eye to matching development needs in the Philippines with innovative goods and services offered by American exporters.

More specifically, the MOU targets renewable-energy and LNG projects in the hopes of upgrading and expanding the Philippine energy supply in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda.

“Since 1993, Ex-Im Bank has provided $1.3 billion in energy-sector finance to the Philippines, but we aim to outdo ourselves and target another billion with this memorandum of understanding,” said Director Loui. “Our expertise can contribute both to the renovation of current energy-production facilities and the construction of new ones.”

In 1994, Ex-Im Bank financed the first project-finance transactions in the Philippines for geothermal energy: Cebu Geothermal for $170 million, and Mahanagdong Geothermal project for $211 million.

ACID MANUFACTURER SETTLES NITROGEN OXIDES EMISSIONS CASE

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
North America’s Largest Acid Manufacturer and Its Subsidiaries Agree to Slash Emissions and Reduce Air Pollution

LSB Industries Inc. (LSB), the largest merchant manufacturer of concentrated nitric acid in North America, and four of its subsidiaries have agreed to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by meeting emission limits that are among the lowest for the industry in the nation at plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice announced today.

EPA estimates that the measures required by today’s settlement will reduce NOx emissions by more than 800 tons per year, directly benefitting surrounding communities, which include low-income and minority populations living near the Arkansas and Texas plants.  The companies estimate that it will cost between $6.3 and $11.7 million to implement the measures required by the settlement.

“With today’s settlement, LSB and its subsidiaries are further improving the nitric acid manufacturing process and reducing harmful air pollution across four states,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.  “In response to the Clean Air Act and state law claims, the companies have taken a constructive and cooperative approach by agreeing to implement global operational changes and mitigate past emissions.  These actions raise the bar for compliance in this industry sector.”

“This case is about cleaner air for people living in communities near manufacturing plants,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.  “LSB Industries has committed to dramatic cuts in air pollution and ensuring they are in compliance with the law.  We expect others in the industry to recognize the imperative to adopt reforms and reduce pollution in communities where they operate.”

LSB and its four nitric acid producing subsidiaries will also pay a total penalty of $725,000 to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and applicable Oklahoma state law.  In addition to paying the penalty, the companies must continuously monitor emissions and make any necessary operational improvements such as installing new pollution controls or upgrading current controls to meet the new NOx limits.

The settlement applies to the 10 nitric acid manufacturing plants owned or operated by the following Oklahoma City-based LSB subsidiaries: El Dorado Chemical Co., in El Dorado, Ark. (four plants); Cherokee Nitrogen Co. in Cherokee, Ala. (two plants); El Dorado Nitrogen Co. in Pryor, Okla. (three plants); and El Dorado Nitrogen Co. in Baytown, Texas (one plant).  The complaint, filed concurrently with the settlement, alleges that the Cherokee, El Dorado and Pryor subsidiaries constructed or made modifications to their plants that resulted in increased emissions of NOx without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing pollution controls.  The complaint does not allege any violations regarding the Texas facility.

Today’s action is part of EPA’s national enforcement initiative to control harmful air pollution from the largest sources of emissions, including acid manufacturing facilities.  High concentrations of NOx in the air can irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections such as influenza.  Continued or frequent exposure may cause increased incidence of acute respiratory illness in children.  Further, airborne NOx can significantly contribute to acid rain and lead to the formation of smog.

The companies have also agreed to spend $150,000 to remediate and reforest ten acres of land with acidified soils located near El Dorado, Ark.  NOx emissions, such as those from nitric acid plants, can contribute to soil acidification.  The project will help to minimize erosion, reduce stormwater runoff, improve habitat for wildlife and capture carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

The states of Oklahoma and Alabama are co-plaintiffs in today’s settlement and will receive a portion of the total penalty as follows: $206,250 will be paid to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and $156,250 will be paid to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

LSB, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., is a major producer of nitrogen-based fertilizers, including anhydrous ammonia, urea and ammonium nitrate.  The company owns and operates the largest fleet of concentrated nitric acid rail cars in the United States.  LSB and its subsidiaries produce nitric acid for use in products that include herbicides, metal treatment, explosives and pharmaceuticals.

NIGHT DECK LANDING QUALIFICATIONS ABOARD THE USS MOUNT WHITNEY

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (March 19, 2014)

A MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 conducts night deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) while the ship is underway in the Mediterranean Sea. Mount Whitney, homeported in Gaeta, Italy, is the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship and operates with a combined crew of U.S. Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Collin Turner (Released) 140319-N-PE825-086.

Friday, March 21, 2014

FORMER PRESIDENT RUSSIAN STEEL PRODUCER SUBSIDIARY INDICTED FOR HIDING ASSETS IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 21, 2014
Former President of Russian Steel Producer’s U.S. Subsidiary Indicted for Hiding Assets in Secret Swiss Bank Accounts

Victor Lipukhin, formerly a resident of St. Charles, Ill., was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., for attempting to interfere with the administration of the internal revenue laws and filing false tax returns, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.  The charges relate to Lipukhin hiding millions of dollars in several Swiss bank accounts held at UBS AG.  

According to the indictment, Lipukhin formerly served as president of Severstal Inc. (USA), a subsidiary of AO Severstal, the largest steel producer in Russia.  He lived in St. Charles from at least 2001 through mid-2007.

Lipukhin, a Russian citizen and former lawful permanent U.S. resident, kept between approximately $4,000,000 and $7,500,000 in assets in two bank accounts with UBS in Switzerland from at least 2002 through 2007.  In 2002, he and another individual opened a UBS bank account in the name of Old Orchard, a sham Bahamian entity.  The account was initially funded with over $47,000,000 transferred into the account from a previously maintained UBS account in the Bahamas.  In 2003, the other individual left the account, leaving Lipukhin as the sole owner and signatory.  Lipukhin also maintained another account at UBS in Switzerland in the name of Lone Star, another sham Bahamian entity.  He directed virtually all transactions in the accounts, typically through a Bahamian national who served as the nominee director of the Old Orchard and Lone Star entities to help conceal Lipukhin’s ownership and control.  However, he failed to report his ownership of these accounts and failed to report any income earned in these accounts on his tax returns.

According to the indictment, in order to further conceal his ownership of the undisclosed UBS accounts, Lipukhin utilized fictitious mortgages through an entity called Dapaul Management, controlled by a Canadian attorney, to conceal his purchase of real estate in the United States with funds from the UBS accounts.  This includes his purchase of a historic building at 18 N. Fourth St, in St. Charles, Ill., for $900,000 in the name of Charlestal LLC, a domestic entity controlled by Lipukhin.  He also transferred funds from his UBS accounts to the Canadian attorney for ultimate transfer to a domestic Charlestal bank account in order to conceal the source of the funds, then used the funds in the Charlestal account to pay for various personal expenses and to withdraw cash for personal use.  Finally, Lipukhin impeded the administration of Internal Revenue laws by attempting to prevent an automobile dealer from filing a Form 8300 – which is required for certain cash transactions over $10,000 – with the IRS in order to report Lipukhin’s cash payment to purchase an automobile.

An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, Lipukhin faces a potential maximum sentence of three years imprisonment on each count.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents are required to report income from any source on their tax returns, regardless of whether the source of the income is inside or outside the United States.  Further, U.S. taxpayers who have an interest in, or signature or other authority over, a financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 are also required to disclose the existence of the account on Schedule B, Part III of an individual income tax return.  They must also disclose the existence of the account by filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts with the U.S. Treasury.

Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Keneally of the Tax Division commended the agents from IRS –Criminal Investigation who investigated the case and Trial Attorney Timothy J. Stockwell of the Tax Division, who is prosecuting the case.

U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL PRAISES RESTRAINT OF UKRAINE

DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL 
Hagel Praises Ukrainian Restraint in Call With Defense Minister
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 – In a phone conversation with Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel repeated his praise for the restraint demonstrated by Ukrainian forces in Crimea and commended Tenyukh’s leadership, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

"For his part, Minister Tenyukh updated Secretary Hagel on the situation in Crimea and throughout the country,” Kirby said in a statement summarizing the 35-minute call. Hagel reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine and stressed that officials are actively reviewing Ukraine's request for military assistance materials, he added.

"Both leaders agreed on the need to find a diplomatic, peaceful resolution to this crisis," Kirby said, and Hagel agreed to stay in close contact with Tenyukh going forward.

U.S. "DEEPLY CONCERNED" ABOUT TURKISH GOVERNMENT BLOCKING TWITTER

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE 
Statement by the Press Secretary on Blocking of Twitter in Turkey

The United States is deeply concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens’ access to basic communication tools.  We oppose this restriction on the Turkish people’s access to information, which undermines their ability to exercise freedoms of expression and association and runs contrary to the principles of open governance that are critical to democratic governance and the universal rights that the United States stands for around the world.  We have conveyed our serious concern to the Turkish government, urge Turkish authorities to respect the freedom of the press by permitting the independent and unfettered operation of media of all kinds, and support the people of Turkey in their calls to restore full access to the blocked technologies.

U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CONTRACTS FOR MARCH 21, 2014

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
CONTRACTS

AIR FORCE

ManTech SRS, Technologies, Inc., Arlington, Va., has been awarded a $15,515,683 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00024) to an existing contract (FA8811-10-C-0002) to exercise term one, option one for systems engineering, product assurance, program safety, systems security, risk management, and launch integration management for the Launch and Range Systems Directorate.  Work will be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and is expected to be completed by March 22, 2015.  Fiscal 2013 procurement funds for $13,930,481 and 2014 operations and maintenance funds for $871,635 are being obligated at time of award.   Space and Missile Systems Center/LRK, Los Angeles AFB, Calif., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

ASI Government, Inc., Arlington, Va., (W52P1J-14-D-0018); Engility Corporation, Alexandria, Va., (W52P1J-14-D-0019); Logistics Management Institute, McLean, Va., (W52P1J-14-D-0020); Sysorex Government Services, Inc. *, Herndon, Va., (W52P1J-14-D-0032); Suntiva, LLC*, Falls Church, Va., (W52P1J-14-D-0033); and Zantech IT Services, Inc*., Tysons Corner, Va., (W52P1J-14-D-0034) were awarded a maximum $461,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple-award contract for program management support services for the Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems headquarters, directorates, project/product offices and related organizations.  The contract will provide for the full range of program management support in the functional areas of project/product management; business process reengineering; information systems security; contingency planning; and physical security. Each company will receive a minimum guarantee of $20,000 and compete for task orders under the IDIQ. Funding and performance locations will be determined with each order. The estimated completion date is March 13, 2019. Bids were solicited via the Internet with twenty-four received. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., is the contracting activity.

AAI Corp. Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded a $38,523,230 modification (P00120) to contract W58RGZ-08-C-0023 to purchase five tactical common data link retrofit kits and mobile maintenance facility spares sets for the shadow unmanned aircraft systems for the U.S. Marine Corps.  Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $38,523,230 were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is May 31, 2017.  Work will be performed at Hunt Valley, Md.  Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.

The Mason & Hanger Group, Inc., Lexington, Ky., was awarded a $9,000,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for architectural and engineering services, Army reserve projects nationwide and military projects within the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division mission boundaries.  Funding and performance location will be determined with each order.  Estimated completion date is March 20, 2019.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with thirty-two received.  Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-14-D-0007).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Government Scientific Source, Inc.,** Reston, Va., has been awarded a maximum $333,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for selection of distributor who will make available for purchase medical laboratory supplies and wares.  This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods.  This is a competitive acquisition, and four offers were received.  Location of performance is Virginia with a March 20, 2015 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies.  Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM2DE-14-D-7350).


Raytheon Company, Space and Airborne Systems, McKinney, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $7,420,000 firm-fixed-price contract for system electronic units.  This is a sixteen-month base contract with no option periods.  This is a sole-source acquisition.  Location of performance is Texas with a July 31, 2015 performance completion date.  Using military service is Navy.  Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 Navy working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPRPA1-14-G-001X-1003).

NAVY

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Sudbury, Mass., is being awarded a $45,057,874 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-13-C-5115) for the production of one AN/SPY-1D(V) Transmitter Group and select Missile Fire Control System MK 99 equipment to support Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System in Poland.  Work will be performed in Andover, Mass. (78.3 percent); Sudbury, Mass. (19.3 percent); Canada (1 percent); Moorestown, N.J. (0.9 percent); and Norfolk, Va. (0.5 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2016.  Fiscal 2014 defense procurement contract funds in the amount of $45,057,874 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Chugach Federal Solutions Inc.*, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded a $30,862,237 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for base operations support at various installations in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest area of responsibility (AOR).  The maximum dollar value including the base period and five option periods performance is $275,822,190.  The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, all management and administration, visual services, security operations services, fire and emergency services, facilities management services, facility investment services, medical facility investment services, pest control services, integrated solid waste services, pavement clearance services, base support vehicle and equipment services, environmental services, and utilities services to provide base operations support services.  Work will be performed at various installations in the NAVFAC Northwest AOR including but not limited to, Washington (95 percent), Alaska (1 percent), Idaho (1 percent), Montana (1 percent), Oregon (1 percent), and Wyoming (1 percent), and work is expected to be completed September 2014.  Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance, Navy; fiscal 2014 Navy working capital funds; and fiscal 2014 defense health program contract funds in the amount of $11,239,788 will be obligated at time of award.  Funds in the amount of $6,583,257 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with nine proposals received.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity (N44255-14-D-9000).

Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, is being awarded $17,707,050 for modification 0044-01 to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00164-12-G-JQ66) for 19 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems for U.S. Navy MH-60R/S helicopters.  The system is an airborne, electro-optic, forward-looking infra-red, turreted sensor package that provides long-range surveillance, high altitude target acquisition, tracking, range-finding, and laser designation, and for all tri-service and NATO laser guided munitions.  Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas, and is expected to be completed by March 2016.  Fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement Navy contract funds in the amount of $17,707,050 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, Calif., has been awarded a $30,673,934 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The work will support the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Airborne Launch Assist Space Access program.  Work will be performed in Huntington Beach, Calif. (53 percent); Houston, Texas (13 percent); Redondo Beach, Calif. (13 percent); Santa Maria, Calif. (11 percent); Bothell, Wash. (2 percent); Simsbury, Conn. (5 percent); Titusville, Fla. (2 percent); Joplin, Mo. (1 percent); Ontario, Calif. (1 percent). The estimated completion date is Feb. 20, 2015.  Fiscal 2013 research and development funds in the amount of $22,041,570 are being obligated at time of award. The contracting activity is DARPA, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-14-C-0051).

U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND

American Auto Logistics, Limited Partnership, Park Ridge, N.J., is being awarded a $25,000,000 delivery order modification to previously awarded delivery order DAMT01-03-D-0184-0009 to provide for Department of Defense-sponsored shipments of privately owned vehicles belonging to military service members and DOD civilian employees.  Work will be performed at multiple locations both within and outside of the continental U.S., with an expected completion date of April 30, 2014. Fiscal year 2014 Transportation Working Capital Funds of $25,000,000 are being obligated at the time of modification execution. The contracting activity is the U.S. Transportation Command Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.


*Small Business
**Veteran Owned Small Business

LABOR SECRETARY PEREZ ISSUES STATEMENT ON 2013 VETERANS EMPLOYMENT REPORT

FROM:  U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT 
Statement by US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez on veterans' employment

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued the following statement regarding the release of the 2013 Employment Situation of Veterans report by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics:

"Today's veterans' employment report for 2013 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows an encouraging drop in overall veterans' unemployment from 7 percent in 2012 to 6.6 percent. It included a significant reduction in 2013 unemployment for women veterans from 8.3 percent in 2012 to 6.9 percent in 2013 and a decrease from 9.9 percent to 9 percent for all Gulf War-era II veterans.

"Our nation's veterans and their families have made countless sacrifices on behalf of our nation. Who deserves opportunity more than those who have put their lives on the line defending it?

"Veterans have the skills that employers are looking for. They make our nation's workforce more productive, our companies more profitable and our economy more competitive. Smart businesses recruit veterans because it's in their self-interest, because they know it's a sound investment in their bottom line.
"At the Labor Department, we are working hard to help veterans and military service members as they transition to the civilian workforce. We provide priority services for veterans through more than 2,500 American Job Centers across the country. We have also launched an online tool, My Next Move for Veterans, where veterans and transitioning service members can enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well qualified. We also announced this past summer a new regulation encouraging companies that do business with the federal government to focus on hiring more veterans.
"This report shows that the private and public sectors are making progress on veterans' employment. But much more needs to be done. I urge all employers to renew their commitment to veterans, so that those who served and sacrificed can realize their highest dreams. The best way to honor our veterans is to hire them."

AG HOLDER ANNOUNCES FINDINGS FROM SURVEY OF STUDENT DISCIPLINE PRACTICES

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at J.O. Wilson Elementary School to Announce Findings from Expansive Survey of Student Discipline Practices at America’s Public Schools

~ Friday, March 21, 2014

Thank you, Secretary [Arne] Duncan, for that introduction – and for your outstanding leadership of the Department of Education.  It’s a pleasure to join you and Assistant Secretary [Catherine] Lhamon here at J.O. Wilson Elementary School – as we discuss the challenges facing America’s young people, and the essential steps that today’s public servants and policymakers must take in order to secure equal opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow.  I also want to recognize Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels, and our team from the Civil Right Division’s Educational Opportunities Section, who work tirelessly to combat discrimination in education.

As the Secretary indicated, we come together this morning at a moment of great challenge – but also great opportunity.  The 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection shines a light on many of the obstacles we face in creating constructive, equitable, and supportive learning environments for all of our students.  For the first time in more than a decade, the CRDC paints a comprehensive picture by drawing on information from every public school in the nation.  And this data shows us that we have a long way to go to ensure that every child has access to the kind of programs offered here at J.O. Wilson.  A great deal remains to be done to address the deficit of experience among educators who teach many of our students of color.  And some of the racial disparities in the administration of school discipline that are well-documented among older students actually begin as early as preschool.

For instance, African American students made up just under one in five preschoolers enrolled during the 2011-2012 school year.  But they accounted for nearly half of all preschool students who faced more than one out-of-school suspension.  Nationally, students of color were subjected to suspensions and expulsions at a rate three times higher than that of their white peers.  They were far more likely to face referral to law enforcement or even arrest.  And although this shocking breakdown reflects a disproportionate impact of school discipline on students of color the divide isn’t purely racial.  According to the CRDC, fully three quarters of students who faced disciplinary physical restraint were classified as students with disabilities.

This is astonishing.  It’s unacceptable.  And it’s important to bear in mind, as we begin today’s discussion, that – as Secretary Duncan noted – these are not abstract statistics.  This isn’t a projection, a snapshot, or a rough estimate.  The CRDC covers actual, documented disparities in school discipline policies and practices across the country.  So every data point represents a life impacted, a future potentially diverted or derailed, and a young man or woman who was placed at increased likelihood of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

Now, effective school discipline will always be a necessity.  Schools must support children as they learn expectations about behavior and conduct.  But a routine school discipline infraction should land a student in a principal’s office – not in a police precinct.  That’s why the two of us traveled to Baltimore in January to announce a sweeping new set of guidelines aimed at reducing our overreliance on zero-tolerance discipline policies that transform some schools from doorways of opportunity into gateways to the criminal justice system.  It’s why we’re working, through our Supportive School Discipline Initiative, to disrupt this so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.”  And it’s why this Administration as a whole – led by the Departments of Justice and Education – is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that, as President Obama said in December, “every striving, hardworking, optimistic kid in America has the same incredible chance that this country gave [each of us]” – both in the classroom and far beyond.

As we speak, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is collaborating with school districts and states to ensure that they’re meeting their obligations under federal civil rights laws.  Six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, we’re working tirelessly – in hundreds of individual cases – to dismantle racial segregation wherever it’s found.  We’re fighting to make sure that students with disabilities are appropriately accommodated, not denied school admission, and provided with the same opportunities to communicate, to learn, and to grow as every one of their peers.  We’re vigorously enforcing laws that require school districts to support English Language Learners so they can overcome language barriers and meaningfully participate in school.  And we’re striving to reduce abusive behavior against and among students of every age and grade level – by working to protect them from threats, derogatory language, physical violence, and other forms of discriminatory harassment and bullying.

Going forward, our efforts to promote school safety and effective discipline will be guided and informed by the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative – which is managed by the National Institute of Justice, and will allocate $75 million in funding for large-scale research into the causes of school violence, the most effective ways to address it, and the steps we can take to create a comprehensive, data-driven school safety model that can be tailored to individual needs.

This important new initiative will complement work that’s already underway through the Department’s landmark Defending Childhood Initiative and the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention –  which are rallying federal leaders, state officials, educators, private organizations, and community groups to better understand, address, and prevent young people's exposure to violence.  Across the country, these and other broad-based programs are showing tremendous promise in improving our response to this pernicious phenomenon.  And thanks to the innovative, Administration-wide “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative that President Obama announced last month, we’re poised to rally a broader coalition to do even more.

It’s no exaggeration to say that America’s future will be defined, and our progress determined, by the doors we open and the support we offer to our nation’s young people.  From bolstering early childhood education to promoting youth literacy; from increasing mentorship to reducing juvenile violence; from extending access to social services to expanding employment opportunities – I’m convinced that, so long as we work together, we’ll be able to empower millions of students to pursue their dreams, to achieve their full potential, and to forge the better, brighter futures they deserve.

Now, I recognize – as you do – that achieving these goals will not be easy, and progress will not take hold overnight.  But with the continued dedication of this Administration and its partners; with the engagement of advocates across the country; and with the passion of young people like the students here at J.O. Wilson – I am confident in where this work will take us.  I thank you all, once again, for the opportunity to be here today.  And I look forward to all that we will accomplish together.


ISIDRO LEON-YORK AWARDED 2013 IQBAL MASIH AWARD FOR ELIMINATION OF CHILD LABOR

FROM:  U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT 
Nicaraguan coffee producer Isidro León-York awarded US Labor Department's
Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor

ASHINGTON — Carol Pier, deputy undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs, announced Isidro León-York of Nicaragua as the recipient of the department's 2013 Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor. U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Phyllis M. Powers presented the award to Mr. León-York at a ceremony today in Managua.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez selected León-York in recognition of his efforts to eliminate child labor from the production of coffee, which includes the prohibition of child labor on his own coffee farm that employs over 760 workers. León-York uses a portion of his farm's profits to fund a school for the children of workers there and has committed to provide his workers and their families with decent wages, food and health care. He is also helping expand a public-private partnership called Educational Bridges, which provides education to children of coffee workers and prevents child labor during the coffee harvests.

León-York has been a prominent advocate for child labor reduction efforts in Nicaragua's coffee sector, supporting a network of coffee growers and seeking to gain commitments from other coffee plantation owners to eliminate the use of child labor in the sector. León-York is the first award recipient to come from the private sector.

In announcing the award, Pier said, "Every day, millions of children around the world toil under dangerous and exploitative conditions, producing agricultural goods for the marketplace. Isidro León-York exemplifies the positive role that the private sector can play combatting harmful child labor. This award is a tribute to all those private-sector leaders, who like Mr. León-York, have embraced this role as a better way of doing business."

Congress established the Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor in 2009 to recognize exceptional efforts by an individual, company, organization or national government to end the worst forms of child labor.

This non-monetary award honors the spirit of Iqbal Masih, a Pakistani child sold into bonded labor as a carpet weaver at age four. He escaped his servitude and became an outspoken advocate for children's rights, drawing international attention in his fight against child labor. Masih was killed in Pakistan at age 12 in 1995.
Since 1995, the Labor Department has supported global efforts to combat exploitative child labor internationally.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT FOR WEEK ENDING MARCH 21, 2014

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT
          SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending March 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 320,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 315,000. The 4-week moving average was 327,000, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 330,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2 percent for the week ending March 8, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjustedinsured unemployment during the week ending March 8 was 2,889,000, an increase of 41,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,848,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,897,250, a decrease of 16,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,914,000.
UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 285,316 in the week ending March 15, a decrease of 16,995 from the previous week. There were 300,951 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent during the week ending March 8, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,247,226, a decrease of 30,757 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.7 percent and the volume was 3,461,493.
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 1 was 3,350,028, a decrease of 100,729 from the previous week. There were 5,369,007 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.
No state was triggered "on" the Extended Benefits program during the week ending March 1.
Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,057 in the week ending March 8, a decrease of 102 from the prior week. There were 1,968 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 59 from the preceding week.
There were 19,115 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending March 1, a decrease of 1,697 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 27,878, a decrease of 1,597 from the prior week.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 1 were in Alaska (5.5), New Jersey (4.0), Rhode Island (4.0), Connecticut (3.9), Connecticut (3.8), California (3.7), Montana (3.6), Wisconsin (3.5), Illinois (3.4), and Massachusetts (3.4).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 8 were in Pennsylvania (+1,961), Washington (+982), Wisconsin (+830), Arkansas (+745), and Illinois (+590), while the largest decreases were in New York (-17,548), Michigan (-1,971), California (-1,262), Connecticut (-1,079), and New Hampshire (-783).

U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CONTRACTS FOR MARCH 20, 2014

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT
CONTRACTS
 
ARMY
 
AECOM Technical Services Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., (W912DQ-14-D-3000); CH2M Hill Constructors Inc., Englewood, Colo., (W912DQ-14-D-3001); Environmental Chemical Corp., Burlingame, Calif., (W912DQ-14-D-3002); SAIC-CDM Solutions LLC, Denver, Colo. (W912DQ-14-D-3003); Sevenson Environmental Services Inc., Niagara Falls, N.Y., (W912DQ-14-D-3004); and Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Inc., Centennial, Colo., (W912DQ-14-D-3005) were awarded a $120,000,000 multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity task order contract for environmental remediation and long term response action for the Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division, and the Environmental Protection Agency Region 2.  Funding and performance location will be determined with each order.  Estimated completion date is March 19, 2019.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with 11 received.  Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Mo., is the contracting activity.
 
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Inc, St. Petersburg, Fla., was awarded a $20,575,038 modification (P00009) to contract W52P1J-12-C-0026 to procure M1002 new production cartridges for 120mm tank training ammunition.  Fiscal 2012 other procurement funds in the amount of $93,147; fiscal 2013 other procurement funds in the amount of $292,299 and fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $20,189,592 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is May 31, 2016. Work will be performed in St. Petersburg, Fla. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., is the contracting activity.
 
Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, Plymouth, Minn. was awarded a $19,225,386 modification (P00015) to contract W52P1J-12-C-0027 to procure M1002 new production cartridges for 120mm tank training ammunition.  Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $19,225,386 were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is Jan 31, 2016.  Work will be performed in Plymouth, Minn. Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
 
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $10,523,125 modification (P00078) to contract W58RGZ-10-C-0068 for five remote ground data terminals, five local ground data terminals, and initial related spares for the Gray Eagle Unmanned Air Vehicle System.  Fiscal 2012 other procurement funds in the amount of $10,523,125 were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is Nov. 30, 2018.  Work will be performed in Poway, Calif.  Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.
 
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
 
Allergan USA Inc., Irvine, Calif., has been awarded a maximum $37,242,251 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for various pharmaceutical surge, re-supply, and sustainment products.  This is a one-year base contract with seven one-year option periods.  This is a competitive acquisition, and fourteen offers were received.  Location of performance is California with a March 20, 2015 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 warstopper funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPME2D0-14-D-0004).
 
NAVY
 
Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded $23,651,848 for cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order 0052 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-10-G-0006) for the procurement of 63 ECP-6279 retrofit kits in support of F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft.  Work will be performed in Forest, Miss. (80 percent) and El Segundo, Calif. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2016.  Fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement, Navy funds in the amount of $23,651,848 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
 
Centurum Information Technology Inc., Marlton, N.J., is being awarded an $18,158,832 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide depot-level repair and restoration support to include fabrication, manufacturing, re-manufacturing, restoration, repair, overhaul, and calibration involving electro-mechanical and mechanical units both ground and airborne, assemblies, subassemblies, and test equipment.  Support will also include worldwide technical support to the fleet, shore facilities, and government agencies.  This two-year contract includes a one-year option period which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $27,618,466.  Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and work is expected to be completed March 19, 2016.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy funds in the amount of $100,000 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured with open competition via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center e-Commerce website and the Federal Business Opportunities website, with four offers received with one selected for award.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-14-D-0041).
 
Bulltrack-Watts A Joint Venture*, Marysville, Calif., is being awarded $13,349,723 for firm-fixed-price task order KB01under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N40192-10-D-2801) for the design and construction of a dehumidified supply storage facility at Polaris Point, Naval Base, Guam.  The warehouse shall also include support areas for office spaces, rest rooms and utility rooms.  The structural system for the facility shall be a reinforced concrete structure with overhead roll-up doors and man-doors providing access into the warehouse.  The work will also provide paved driveways around the warehouse, new parking spaces and secure bicycle racks, stormwater collection and management system, and mechanical systems to include warehouse dehumidification, administrative area air conditioning, and general ventilation.  The task order also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised would increase cumulative task order value to $13,650,996.  Work will be performed in Santa Rita, Guam, and is expected to be completed by March 2016.  Fiscal 2010 and 2014 military construction, Navy contract funds in the amount of $13,349,723 are being obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Four proposals were received for this task order.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.
 
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded $9,650,433 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0051 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N68335-10-G-0012) for the procurement of major structural repair and maintenance equipment for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft.  Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in September 2016.  Fiscal 2013 aircraft procurement, Navy funds in the amount of $9,650,433 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.
 
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $8,500,000 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0004) to procure additional long lead-time efforts required for the incorporation of a drag chute in the Joint Strike Fighter conventional take off and landing air systems for the government of Norway.  Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (55 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (15 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (10 percent); Orlando, Fla. (5 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); Baltimore, Md. (5 percent); and Cameri, Italy (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2015.  International partner funds in the amount of $8,500,000 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
 
Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded $7,603,530 for firm-fixed-price task order 0048 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N62470-10-D-3000) for leak detection testing for Navy, Marine Corps and Defense Logistics Agency Energy Facilities.  The work to be performed provides for services for environmental and engineering assessments at Department of Defense fuel systems including preparing program management documentation, environmental compliance reports and plans, release detection, optimization, and pollution prevention reports in support of DLA Energy fuel facilities, and other facilities of interest to the government at various worldwide locations and in accordance with applicable regulatory guidance.  Work will be performed at various Navy and DoD installations worldwide, and is expected to be completed by March 2016.  Fiscal 2014 Navy working capital contract funds in the amount of $7,603,530 are being obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  One proposal was received for this task order.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.  
 
QinetiQ North America, Waltham, Mass., is being awarded a $6,779,411 modification to previously awarded contract (N00174-13-D-0007) for the procurement of Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) MK2 post-production support.  The MTRS MK2 provides military explosive ordnance disposal technicians with a man transportable capability to remotely perform reconnaissance.  Work will be performed in Waltham, Mass., and is expected to be completed by July 2016.  No funds are being obligated at the time of award and contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity.
 
Viasat Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., is being awarded a $6,707,025 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of spares, repairs and satellite support for the ArcLight Mobile Satellite Communication System in support of special projects aircraft and the EP-3 aircraft.  The ArcLight Mobile Satellite Communication System is a high frequency data link for airborne applications that provides a means to transmit data between aircraft, command posts and other military organizations that have access to the system.  Work will be performed in Carlsbad, Calif., and is expected to be completed by March 2019.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy funding in the amount of $12,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with FAR 6.302-1(a)(2)(iii) - only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.  The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-14-D-WT25).
 
WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS SERVICES
 
HSU Construction, Rockville, Md., (HQ0034-14-D-0004); Athena Construction Group, Dumfries, Va., (HQ0034-14-D-0005); APC Construction, New Orleans, La., (HQ0034-14-D-0006); Cherokee CRC, LLC., Tulsa, Okla., (HQ0034-14-D-0007); FEI Construction Co., Washington, D.C., (HQ0034-14-D-0008), are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for design-build or design-bid-build general building construction for various locations under the cognizance of the Washington Headquarters Services area of responsibility.  The aggregate not-to-exceed amount for these multiple award contracts combined is $60,000,000.  The five companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order as they are issued.  Funding and performance location will be determined with each order.   Work will be performed in the WHS area of responsibility.  The expected completion date is March 19, 2019.  Fiscal 2014 Pentagon Reservation Maintenance Revolving Fund contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are being obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via FedBizOpps, with 12 proposals received.  Washington Headquarters Services is the contracting activity.
 
*Small Business

U.S. TUBERCULOSIS TRENDS

FROM CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

1. Trends in Tuberculosis — United States, 2013

Data indicate that cases and rates of TB disease continue to fall in the U.S.; however, a higher burden in some populations – such as foreign-born individuals and racial/ethnic minorities – keeps TB elimination out of reach. Preliminary data from the CDC National TB Surveillance System show a total of 9,588 cases were reported in the U.S. in 2013, marking a 4.2 percent decline in the 2012 rate (from 3.2 to 3.0 cases per 100,000 population). Despite overall progress, the TB rate for foreign-born individuals is 13 times higher than among individuals born in the U.S., and the proportion of TB cases in the foreign-born group continues to increase. Racial disparities persist. Hispanics, blacks and Asians face higher TB rates—7, 7 and 26 times higher, respectively—than whites. Persons infected with HIV and people who are homeless are also especially vulnerable to TB. Although the proportion of drug-resistant cases remains relatively small, drug resistant TB is a concern because it is difficult and costly to treat and more often fatal. In 2012, multidrug-resistant TB accounted for 1.2 percent of cases (86 cases). Two cases of extensively-drug-resistant TB were reported in 2013. The authors note that eliminating TB in the U.S. requires continuing to address TB in affected populations and improvements in awareness, testing and treatment of TB disease.

2. Implementation of New TB Screening Requirements for U.S.-Bound Immigrants and Refugees — 2007–2014

Updated CDC recommendations for overseas tuberculosis screening of immigrants and refugees has resulted in better diagnosis of TB before individuals arrive in the United States. CDC reports the completion of implementation of new tuberculosis screening and treatment requirements for US-bound immigrants and refugees. Implementation of these requirements has resulted in twice as many cases of tuberculosis being diagnosed and treated before immigrants and refugees arrive in the U.S. compared with the previous screening program. Since the new requirements were implemented, reports of cases of foreign-born tuberculosis have declined. In addition, the increase in persons diagnosed and treated overseas is projected to result in a savings of more than $15 million in US health care costs.


DOJ OFFICIAL SPEAKS AT GLOBAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COMPLIANCE CONGRESS

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman Speaks at the Global Anti-corruption Compliance Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. ~ Thursday, March 20, 2014
                                         Remarks As Prepared for Delivery


I was honored to speak at this conference last year, and I am delighted to be here for a second year in a row.

When I spoke with you last year, I told you that fighting global corruption was, and would continue to be, a core priority of the Department of Justice.   That remains as true now as it was a year ago.   But now, more than ever, we are fighting global corruption on multiple fronts and in real time.   We are going after corrupt individuals and corporations using all of the investigative and legal tools at our disposal.   We are making clear to companies the benefits of cooperation and transparently identifying the reasons behind our corporate resolutions.   We are seeking criminal and civil forfeiture to seize proceeds of corruption.   And we are enlisting even more support from foreign law enforcement.   This multi-faceted approach has made a difference, and it has markedly advanced our efforts to root out, punish and deter foreign corruption.

Our fight against foreign corruption is critical for so many reasons.   The corrosive effects of transnational corruption are felt not just overseas, but also here in the United States.   Although we may not experience as acutely, or as personally, some of the consequences of foreign bribery – such as hospitals or roads that go unbuilt because infrastructure funds are siphoned off by a corrupt official – the negative effects of foreign corruption invariably and directly are felt here at home.

For one, given the global nature of our economy, when corruption takes hold overseas, American companies are harmed.   They are denied the ability to compete in a fair and transparent marketplace.   Instead of being rewarded for their efficiency, innovation and honest business practices, U.S. companies suffer at the hands of corrupt governments and lose out to corrupt competitors.

But, foreign corruption also creates another very real danger for the United States that I think bears emphasis.   Very simply, corrupt countries are less safe.  When public officials are more interested in their own personal wealth than the prosperity of the citizens they are supposed to serve, people lose faith in political institutions; and, when there is no respect for the rule of law, civilized society falters and opportunities are created for organized criminal groups and terrorist networks.   As the head of the Criminal Division, I am acutely aware of the opportunities corrupt regimes provide for criminals of all stripes, and the very real dangers they present for us in the United States.   Indeed, I know from the work that the Criminal Division does – from human trafficking, to cybercrime, to child exploitation and narcotics trafficking – that transnational criminal networks rely on international corruption to gain an advantage and evade the justice system.   They often choose to operate in countries governed by corrupt officials because they know that those officials are willing to turn a blind eye to their crimes.   Corrupt regimes can be bought off by criminal syndicates; they are less likely to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement; and they create safe havens for organized criminals by giving them a secure base from which they can orchestrate massive criminal activity.

For all of these reasons, fighting foreign corruption is not just a choice we have made; it is a necessity.   By now, the Justice Department’s commitment to fighting foreign corruption is clear – not because I am telling you so or because my predecessors have, but because our record of successful foreign bribery prosecutions speaks for itself.   In just the last year, since the beginning of 2013, the department has entered into nine corporate resolutions in foreign bribery cases – including three of the top ten FCPA resolutions ever reached.   Together, those nine resolutions resulted in over $730 million in criminal penalties and forfeitures.   We have also this past year announced charges against 18 individuals – from CEOs of companies, to general counsels, to brokers and traders at financial institutions.   And, we have launched and continued other major investigations that touch numerous industries and span the globe.

These efforts and these successes are the product of the skill, hard work and determination of the talented prosecutors in our Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit, working in tandem with federal prosecutors across the country at many of the 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices.   Together, with our partners at the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, IRS-Criminal Investigations, the SEC and our foreign law enforcement and regulatory colleagues, we are pursuing more cases than ever before.

Notably, we also identified in the FCPA Resource Guide several instances in which we declined to prosecute companies that had detected corrupt conduct, voluntarily disclosed it and fully remediated the problem.   Our decision not to prosecute in those instances demonstrates that strong compliance programs and efforts to prevent corrupt conduct will be recognized and credited.   However, when companies fail to implement or enforce robust compliance programs, and they then violate the law, we will not hesitate to hold them – and their executives – to account.

This was highlighted just yesterday when Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese trading company, pleaded guilty in federal district court in Connecticut and agreed to pay an $88 million fine in connection with its involvement in a scheme to pay bribes to Indonesian officials in exchange for assistance in securing a valuable contract for the company and its consortium partner to provide power-related services in Indonesia.   This is one of only a handful of parent-level guilty pleas in an FCPA prosecution by the department.   And the resolution papers make clear why.   As the resolution papers set out, the criminal conduct was extremely serious; not surprisingly, Marubeni did not have an effective compliance and ethics program at the time of the offense; it did not voluntarily disclose the conduct at issue to the department; it failed to properly remediate the conduct; and it refused to cooperate with the department in its investigation even though Marubeni was under a deferred prosecution agreement with the Criminal Division in connection with other FCPA violations.   Under those circumstances, a guilty plea by the parent company was the fair and appropriate result – a result that should cause other companies to pay closer attention to the misconduct of their employees, the seriousness with which they try to solve a foreign bribery problem when they detect one, and their decision whether or not to cooperate with the government.

In addition to the corporate resolutions we entered into last year, since the beginning of 2013, the department has announced charges against 18 individuals in connection with their participation in foreign bribery schemes or related criminal conduct – charges that resulted from least seven separate investigations.   This upward trend in the prosecution of individuals is an important one.

We have been successful in our efforts to prosecute individuals in part because we are using all of the law enforcement techniques that are at our disposal.   Our commitment to aggressively utilizing all our tools was vividly demonstrated in our prosecution of a French citizen, Frederic Cilins, who pleaded guilty just last week.   Cilins admitted to obstructing an investigation into whether a mining company and its affiliates, for whom Cilins had worked, paid bribes to win lucrative mining rights in the Republic of Guinea.   The evidence against Cilins was, in large part, obtained through the use of a cooperating witness, a wiretap, body wires and surveillance.   Cilins was caught on tape by the FBI agreeing to pay substantial sums of money to induce a witness to the bribery scheme to give Cilins documents to destroy that Cilins knew had been requested by the FBI.   Cilins was recorded telling the witness, who, unbeknownst to Cilins, was cooperating with the FBI, to “destroy everything, everything, everything,” that “we need to urgently, urgently, urgently destroy all of this” and even that “it’s necessary to find a place to destroy, destroy them completely; to burn them.”

As the Cilins prosecution and guilty plea demonstrate, our FCPA investigations are no longer dependent on our ability to look back at misconduct and to piece together what may have happened years before.   Rather, we are working in real time to find and stop ongoing corrupt activity.   Prosecutions like that of Cilins means that those who are committing acts of foreign bribery right now should be acutely aware that the middleman they are engaging could be an undercover agent, that the telephone calls they are making may be being recorded pursuant to a court order, and that the public official they are bribing may be cooperating with U.S. law enforcement.

The Cilins case also illustrates that we are attacking foreign corruption by charging individuals and companies using a wide range of federal criminal statutes.   We are using the FCPA, of course, but we are also charging, where appropriate, wire fraud, Travel Act violations, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

And, we are not only prosecuting the bribe givers, we are prosecuting the bribe takers as well.   As an example, in May of last year, we charged a senior official from Venezuela’s state-owned economic development bank with accepting over $5 million in bribes from a U.S. broker-dealer to which she had agreed to direct trading business, and with laundering her bribe money through U.S. banks.   In November, that official pleaded guilty to several charges, including money laundering and Travel Act violations, and she agreed to forfeit the proceeds of her criminal conduct.   This comprehensive, flexible and nimble approach to fighting foreign corruption ensures that all who are involved in the criminal conduct are held to account, whether the FCPA covers them or not.

Aside from criminal prosecutions, we are using our civil authorities to strip corrupt officials of the proceeds of their conduct – and thus depriving them of the very profits that are driving the corrupt conduct in the first place.   Several years ago, the Department of Justice created the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative to recover corruptly obtained monies that are hidden across the globe.   Through the Kleptocracy Initiative, prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section (or AFMLS) work to identify the proceeds of foreign corruption, seize them, and, where possible, repatriate the recouped funds for the benefit of the people harmed by the corrupt officials.

Just a few weeks ago, as the world was transfixed watching the events in Ukraine unfold, the U.S. government quickly deployed to Ukraine an interagency team to work with Ukrainian authorities and other international partners to help trace and freeze governmental assets that may have been stolen from Ukraine.  The team included prosecutors from AFMLS and agents with the FBI – the Justice Department’s experts in kleptocracy, corruption, and financial analysis – who were tasked with advising Ukrainian officials on document recovery, asset tracing and U.S. legal procedures related to the recovery of assets.   That U.S. team is also partnering with other foreign governments that have sent teams to Kyiv in order to assist, including a team from the United Kingdom.   To me, the fact that anti-corruption prosecutors and law enforcement agents were part of the immediate and visible U.S. and global response to the unfolding events in Ukraine made clear, if it wasn’t already, that having a robust capacity within the Justice Department to fight foreign corruption matters.

At just about the same time as those prosecutors and agents were deployed to Ukraine two weeks ago, we announced the largest kleptocracy forfeiture action in the department’s history against property owned by former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha, one of the most notorious kleptocrats in memory, who embezzled billions from the people of Nigeria while millions lived in poverty.   We froze more than $450 million of his corrupt proceeds, and filed a civil forfeiture complaint seeking more than $550 million in ill-gotten riches, that Abacha and his conspirators had hidden around the world – including in bank accounts and investment portfolios in Bailiwick of Jersey, France and the United Kingdom.   Those actions – which were taken with the full cooperation of law enforcement authorities around the world who assisted us in enforcing U.S. arrest warrants for the assets – sent a powerful message: that we are equipped and determined to confiscate the ill-gotten riches of corrupt leaders who drain the resources of their countries.

Whether through our FCPA prosecutors in our Fraud Section, our kleptocracy unit at AFMLS, or our rule of law programs that allow us to train our counterparts on anti-bribery efforts, our fight against foreign bribery is built into the structure, function and priorities of the Criminal Division and the Justice Department.

Today happens to be my last day as head of the Criminal Division.   As I prepare to leave, I am certain – just as my predecessors were – that my successors will carry on that fight.   And, I know that to be true because fighting global corruption has become, over several years, a baseline imperative for law enforcement.   It is as much a part of the fabric of the department’s enforcement efforts as is fighting violent crime, white collar crime, and organized crime.   And, for good reason: it matters.

I am so proud that the Criminal Division has been at the forefront of the fight against international corruption.   We have devoted considerable resources to this critical mission and we have seen tangible benefits from our hard work.   But the fight is not over.   We intend to keep up our multi-front assault by using the latest investigative techniques, utilizing our full range of statutes, seeking criminal and civil forfeiture and building on our record of strong collaboration with our foreign counterparts.   In this way, we will hold the perpetrators of corruption to account and continue to advance our efforts to stamp out corruption across the globe.

It has been a privilege to speak with you once again.  Thank you so much for having me here.

JAPANESE TRADING COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO FOREIGN BRIBERY CHARGES

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Marubeni Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty to Foreign Bribery Charges and to Pay an $88 Million Fine

Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese trading company involved in the handling of products and provision of services in a broad range of sectors around the world, including power generation, entered a plea of guilty today for its participation in a scheme to pay bribes to high-ranking government officials in Indonesia to secure a lucrative power project.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson of the District of Connecticut and Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

“Marubeni pleaded guilty to engaging in a seven-year scheme to pay – and conceal – bribes to a high-ranking member of Parliament and other foreign officials in Indonesia,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “The company refused to play by the rules, then refused to cooperate with the government’s investigation.  Now Marubeni faces the consequences for its crooked business practices in Indonesia .”

“For several years, the Marubeni Corporation worked in concert with a Connecticut company, among others, to bribe Indonesian officials in order to secure a contract to provide power-related services in Indonesia,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.  “Today’s guilty plea by Marubeni Corporation is an important reminder to the business community of the significant consequences of participating in schemes to bribe government officials, whether at home or abroad.”

“Companies that wish to do business in the United States or with U.S. companies must adhere to U.S. law, and that means bribery is unacceptable,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave.  “The FBI continues to work with our international law enforcement partners as demonstrated in this case to ensure that companies are held accountable for their criminal conduct.  I want to thank the agents, analysts and prosecutors who brought this case to today’s conclusion.”

Marubeni entered a plea of guilty to an eight-count criminal information filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, charging Marubeni with one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and seven counts of violating the FCPA.   Marubeni admitted its criminal conduct and has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $88 million, subject to the district court’s approval.  Sentencing has been scheduled for May 15, 2014.

As part of the plea agreement, Marubeni has agreed to maintain and implement an enhanced global anti-corruption compliance program and to cooperate with the department’s ongoing investigation.   The plea agreement cites Marubeni’s decision not to cooperate with the department’s investigation when given the opportunity to do so, its lack of an effective compliance and ethics program at the time of the offense, its failure to properly remediate and the lack of its voluntary disclosure of the conduct as some of the factors considered by the department in reaching an appropriate resolution.

Frederic Pierucci, who was the vice president of global boiler sales at Marubeni’s consortium partner, pleaded guilty on July 29, 2013, to one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA and one count of violating the FCPA.   David Rothschild, a former vice president of regional sales at the consortium partner, pleaded guilty on Nov. 2, 2012, to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.   Lawrence Hoskins, a former senior vice president for the Asia region for the consortium partner, and William Pomponi, a former vice president of regional sales at the consortium partner, were charged in a second superseding indictment on July 30, 2013.   The charges against Hoskins and Pomponi are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

According to court filings, Marubeni and its employees, together with others, paid bribes to officials in Indonesia – including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and high-ranking members of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company in Indonesia – in exchange for assistance in securing a $118 million contract, known as the Tarahan project, for Marubeni and its consortium partner to provide power-related services for the citizens of Indonesia.   To conceal the bribes, Marubeni and its consortium partner retained two consultants purportedly to provide legitimate consulting services on behalf of the power company and its subsidiaries in connection with the Tarahan project.   The primary purpose for hiring the consultants, however, was to use the consultants to pay bribes to Indonesian officials.

As admitted in court documents, Marubeni and its co-conspirators retained the first consultant in the fall of 2002.   However, in the fall of 2003, before the Tarahan contract had been awarded, Marubeni and its co-conspirators determined that the first consultant was not bribing key officials at PLN effectively.   One e-mail between employees of the power company’s subsidiary in Indonesia described a meeting between Marubeni employees, employees of its consortium partner, and PLN officials during which the PLN officials expressed “concern” that if Marubeni and its consortium partner win the project, whether the agent would give the officials “rewards” that they would consider “satisfactory,” or “only give them pocket money and disappear.   Nothing has been shown by the agent that the agent is willing to spend money.”   Shortly thereafter, a Marubeni employee sent an e-mail to other employees at Marubeni and its consortium partner stating that “unfortunately our agent almost did not execute his function at all, so far.   In case we don’t take immediate action now now [sic], we don’t have any chance to get this project forever.”

As a result, Marubeni and its consortium partner decided to reduce the first consultant’s commission from three percent of the total contract value to one percent, and pay the remaining two percent to a second consultant who could more effectively bribe officials at PLN.   In an e-mail between two employees of Marubeni’s consortium partner, they discussed a meeting between Marubeni, an executive from the consortium partner, and the first consultant, stating that the first consultant “committed to convince [the member of Parliament] that ‘one’ [percent] is enough.”

Marubeni and its co-conspirators were successful in securing the Tarahan project and subsequently made payments to the consultants for the purpose of bribing the Indonesian officials.   Marubeni and its co-conspirators paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the first consultant’s bank account in Maryland to be used to bribe the member of Parliament. The consultant then allegedly transferred the bribe money to a bank account in Indonesia for the benefit of the official.

This case is being investigated by FBI agents from the Washington Field Office, with assistance from the Resident Agency of the FBI in Meriden, Conn.   Significant assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.   In addition, the department greatly appreciates the significant cooperation provided by its law enforcement colleagues in Indonesia at the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission), the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland and the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Daniel S. Kahn of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Novick of the District of Connecticut.