Thursday Afternoon Federal Newscast - April 29

Thursday - 4/29/2010, 2:00pm EDT

The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Putting a bigger stamp on the Federal Reserve, President Barack Obama on Thursday chose Janet Yellen as vice chairwoman of the central bank and filled two other vacancies on the board, which has enormous power over Americans' pocketbooks. The nominations are subject to Senate approval. If the Senate confirms all three nominees, Obama will have appointed five of the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board. His moves come as the Fed, whose decisions influence economic activity, employment and inflation, is facing political and economic challenges.

  • The President also said on Thursday he plans to nominate Tracie Stevens as Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission at the Department of the Interior, and Malcolm D. Jackson as Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information at the Environmental Protection Agency, a press release states.

  • The U.S. military's ban on women serving on submarines passed quietly into history Thursday morning. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates notified lawmakers in mid-February that the Navy would be lifting the ban, unless Congress took some action against it. And Navy spokesman Lt. Justin Cole said Thursday morning that the deadline for Congress to act passed at midnight. The Navy plans to start by assigning three female officers each in eight different crews of guided-missile attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines. That involves two submarines on the east coast and two on the west coast. Officials said that since more living space is available aboard those subs, it won't require modification to the vessels, allowing the Navy to move faster to include women.

  • Is the CIA's secret program of drone strikes against terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen a case of illegal assassinations or legitimate self defense? That was a central question Wednesday as the program came under fire from several legal scholars who called for greater oversight by Congress, arguing the attacks may violate international law and put intelligence officers at risk of prosecution for murder in foreign countries. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have defended the use of attacks from unmanned aircraft. But they have also tiptoed around the issue because the CIA program -- which has escalated in Pakistan over the past year -- is classified and has not yet been acknowledged publicly by the government.

TOMORROW MORNING ON FEDERAL NEWS RADIO

Coming up on the Federal Drive

** The Government Information Security Leadership Awards (GISLA) Program is now accepting nominations, we'll tell you how you can get involved.

** Tech jobs could be leading the way out of the economic downturn. Tech America joins us to talk about their new Cyber States study.