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Shows & Panels
Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews below.
Monday morning federal headlines - Oct. 15, 2012
Monday - 10/15/2012, 8:23am EDT
- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is demanding answers about a deal between the Obama
administration and contractors. At issue is a plan to compensate defense
contractors if they end up laying off workers because of program cuts after
sequestration. In turn, the contractors have agreed not to warn employees of
impending layoffs, as they are normally required to do by federal law. Issa has
asked contractors if they've consulted counsel. He has asked the White House
whether the whole thing is legal in the first place. Sequestration budget cuts are
scheduled for Jan. 2. (Federal News Radio)
- The military's research arm DARPA is taking the long view once again now that
the United States is withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. The agency's new
director Arati Prabhakar said it will push "radical transformations" in defense
technology. She made her first public speech since becoming DARPA's leader at a
breakfast of defense industry executives Friday. NextGov reports Prabhakar is pushing
DARPA to focus on cybersecurity, data analysis and biological research. Prabhakar
said the United States has lost some of its edge in tech innovations and has to
reckon with the fact that some of the best technology is globally available.
- Landowners along the U.S.-Mexico border are accusing the federal government of
ripping them off. The government has seized their land to build a fence. One Texas
farmer said federal officials offered him about $1,600 for part of his backyard.
Then he learned his neighbor received 40 times that amount for a similar parcel.
And another one got $1 million after hiring an attorney to negotiate for him. The
disparities raise questions about why the Justice Department treats landowners
differently. Federal attorneys told the Associated Press the initial offers are
starting points, that let the government start construction. Most of the fence is
now done, but the government is still negotiating for surrounding land.
(Federal News Radio)
- The Justice Department said it
was acknowledging law and tradition in letting Indian tribes possess eagle
feathers. For everyone else, possessing eagle feathers remains a federal crime.
bald and golden eagles are protected species. But for some Indians, the birds and
therefore their feathers have spiritual significance. Now tribe members will be
allowed to keep and wear or otherwise use feathers they find. But they can't
disturb nests. Nor can they legally kill eagles, except in limited circumstances
with a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service. Trafficking in bird parts other
than feathers is also still against the law. (Federal News Radio)
- The Merit Systems
Protection Board has completed the first major rewrite of its regulations in
more than 30 years. The board's goal was to incorporate experience and case law
occurring since Congress created the board in 1978. Chairwoman Susan Grundmann
told Federal News Radio constant tweaking over the years created consistency and
workability problems. The rewrite has taken two years. New rules take effect
Nov.13. One rule, though, is still to get its overhaul. That's the one dealing
with burden of proof establishing the board's jurisdiction in a given case.
(Federal News Radio)
- Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner became the first skydiver to break the
speed of sound in a 24-mile-high jump from a balloon on Sunday, reaching 833.9 mph
in a free fall that lasted some 9 minutes. Landing on his feet in the New Mexico
desert, the man known as "Fearless Felix" lifted his arms in victory to the cheers
of onlookers and friends.
Associated Press/Red Bull Stratos, Balazs Gardi - In this photo provided by Red Bull Stratos, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria celebrates after successfully completing the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, N.M., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert minutes about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,097 feet, or roughly 24 miles, above Earth. (AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, Balazs Gardi)