Monday morning federal headlines - Feb. 4, 2013

Monday - 2/4/2013, 11:11am EST

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Today, new Secretary of State John Kerry introduces himself to department employees. He spent the weekend speaking to leaders around the world. Friday, headquarters employees gathered to say goodbye to former Secretary Hillary Clinton. Kerry spoke with Israeli President Shimon Peres Saturday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday. He also phoned with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry talked to his counterparts in Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Canada and Mexico. And he lunched with George Shultz, secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. (Federal News Radio)

  • The Federal Aviation Administration is struggling to implement new safety rules, the Transportation Inspector General has found. Faced with industry opposition, regulators are late in carrying out sweeping new aviation safety laws. They were enacted after the last fatal U.S. airline crash nearly four years ago. The IG found the FAA is late with new rules for pilot experience and training. And it has had trouble establishing a national database of pilot performance. The FAA said it has delivered seven reports to Congress and initiated nine rule-making projects under the new law. (Federal News Radio)

  • National Transportation Safety Board head Deborah Hersman is a leading candidate to succeed Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary. The Wall Street Journal reports, the White House hasn't made a final decision. But Hersman tops the list right now. She's received bipartisan praise for her handling of NTSB. She's speeded up investigations and pushed for tougher rules on pilot fatigue. Hersman is a former congressional staff member who worked for both Democrats and Republicans. She was appointed to the five-member board in 2004 by President George W. Bush, and re-appointed by President Obama. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • All eyes were on Hillary Rodham Clinton Friday as she said goodbye to the State Department after four years as secretary. Two other, at times controversial, leaders picked the day to make their resignations official. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan are stepping down later this month. The Energy Department's investments in experimental technology made Chu a target of some lawmakers. Others took Sullivan to task last year for a prostitution scandal that happened on his watch. Elsewhere, Director David Kappos said goodbye last week to the Patent and Trademark Office. And Reuters reports at the EPA the current assistant administrator of Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy is a leading candidate to replace Administrator Lisa Jackson. (Federal News Radio/Reuters)

  • The federal government shed 5,000 jobs last month, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. It may not seem like much in a total workforce of 2.8 million people, and it could still be worse. Analysts at George Mason University say sequestration could force cuts of up to 280,000 federal jobs. The national jobless rate remained essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent. But Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Alan Krueger writes in a White House blog post the report shows Congress needs to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy. (BLS)

  • You might see young people tagging along to meetings with your agency's chief information officer in the next few weeks. It's the beginning of the 2013 IT job shadow season. The decade-old initiative helps high school students understand what a federal IT management job might be like. Matt Perry, the CIO of the Office of Personnel Management, is leading this year's IT Shadow Day initiative. The season runs through May 1. CIOs can sign up at Max.gov. (CIO.gov)