Monday federal headlines - November 18, 2013

Monday - 11/18/2013, 8:32am 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.

  • Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a new job. The Warburg Pincus equity firm announced that he will serve as president and managing director starting March 1. Geithner played a critical role in leading the government's response to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. He was succeeded by current Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. (Associated Press)

  • At NASA, today marks the culmination of a 10-year project to launch another robot to Mars. The MAVEN spacecraft will explore the red planet's upper atmosphere. NASA says it's on time, on budget and ready for liftoff. (Federal News Radio)

  • Fresh from announcing a deal with Amazon to deliver packages on Sundays, the Postal Service had grim news. In the last year it lost $5 billion. $1 billion was from operations. The rest was from having to pre-pay future retiree health care costs. Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett says USPS is in a precarious financial position. He says the Postal Service has $20 billion in assets now, but $60 billion in liabilities. First class mail volumes continue to drop. (Federal News Radio)

  • Illegal immigrants who are related to U.S. service members are getting a reprieve. The Homeland Security Department says its Citizenship and Immigration Services will stop deportations of spouses, children and parents of military members and veterans. Instead, it will let them "parole in place." That means those immigrants could stay in the United States while they apply for legal residency. DHS says the new policy will aid military preparedness and show the nation's commitment to its veterans. (Associated Press)

  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is joining GOP senators in advocating for a commission to reduce the federal footprint. Their new Senate bill mimics one in the House. It takes a cue from BRAC, the Base Realignment and Closure process for defense properties. The measure would create a commission to evaluate federal properties and recommend closures and mergers to the President and Congress. Then agencies would have three years to carry out the recommendations. The bill would require $9 billion in savings over ten years. (Sen. Mark Warner)

  • The Senate this week is set to consider an annual defense policy bill that would radically change how the military deals with cases of sexual assault. The amendment would strip commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions. It would require use of outside lawyers to prosecute the cases. That second provision is the more controversial. It doesn't quite have enough support to pass. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has convinced just fewer than 50 members. Opponents say the military should try its own cases, but be held more accountable. (Associated Press)

  • The military says it has airlifted nearly 5,000 survivors from typhoon- devastated regions of the Philippines. Pacific Command says the military has brought in more than 1,200 relief workers since Haiyan struck. Over the weekend, U.S. forces delivered more than 66,000 pounds of food and emergency supplies. Marines first arrived on site within hours of the typhoon striking. It's a visible sign of the relationship the United States has with the Philippines. Military leaders say teams in the Philippines are also reaping benefits. They are improving their skills by putting their crisis- response planning into action. (Defense Department)

  • Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond was unrepentant when sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was convicted for illegally accessing computer systems of law enforcement agencies and government contractors. The Chicago computer whiz told the judge he knew he was breaking the law but claimed it was civil disobedience. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska cited Hammond's written desire to cause bankruptcy and collapse as proof his motives were malicious. Hammond was associated with the hacking group known as Anonymous. (Associated Press)