Press Releases

 

Thursday
Jun252009

Help stop online exploitation... 

The internet is now a virtual mall for selling young women and men.

 

Victims of human trafficking and prostitution in America are caught in a world they did not make or choose. They are trapped in lives of constant violence, abuse and fear. Today, the majority of human trafficking and prostitution crimes in the United States are happening on the internet – which means the criminals selling these young people have infiltrated every neighborhood in America. In fact, they come directly into your home through your computer.

 

Right now, you can send a clear message to the internet companies involved in this kind of exploitation. Tell them you want online human trafficking and prostitution to stop today.

 

To get started, just go to StopOnlineExploitation.org. There, you’ll be able to automatically send written messages directly to the offices of your state’s Attorney General, elected officials and the CEO’s of companies offering commercial exploitative services of young people on their websites. You will also learn much more about the increasing commercial abuse of victims via the internet and everything you can do to bring it to an end.

 

If you would like to join us in this important work, you can get started immediately. Go to StopOnlineExploitation.org right now.

 

Thank you,

The Stop Online Exploitation Campaign

 

The Stop Online Exploitation Campaign is a growing coalition of human rights organizations - along with caring, private businesses and citizens - with one thing in common: We want online access to human trafficking and prostitution to stop immediately. That is why we have built the technology that allows you to easily send letters of concern directly to Craigslist, other operators of prostitution websites, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., your State’s Attorney General, and your Federal Representatives, demanding that they take appropriate action to protect more people from abuse and possible violence.

 

Thursday
Jun252009

Daily News from the Veterans Today Network 

Review Gulf War Illness
by Mike Bailey, Staff Writer


I have an unique view of the chemical exposure's of Kamisayah, Iraq in March 1991. I was not present for the exposures, despite being activated for the First Gulf War, I am however the only man that was in the First Gulf War, that was also part of the group chosen as the "control group" the enlisted men of the Army's Medical Volunteer program that ran from 1955 thru 1975 at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. I was selected a med-vol in May 1974 and was sent to Edgewood Arsenal on June 25 1974 where I remained until August 22, 1974.
Read More >

 

Today's Featured Stories...
Top 10 Veterans News from Around the Country 6-24-09
House Votes to Improve Care for Women Veterans
House Passes Historic Bill to Secure Timely Funding for Veterans' Health Care
Tribute to U.S. Marine Veteran Ed McMahon
Where have you gone Willie and Joe?
Stew's News - Top 10 Veterans News Stories of the Day

Thursday
Jun252009

Statement from the President on signing the Supplemental Appropriations Act 

The President released a statement today after signing HR 2346 in the Oval Office:

 

“I want to thank the Members of Congress who put politics aside and stood up to support a bill that will provide for the safety of our troops and the American people. This legislation will make available the funding necessary to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end, defeat terrorist networks in Afghanistan, and further prepare our nation in the event of a continued outbreak of the H1N1 pandemic flu.”

Thursday
Jun252009

On Day Two of Clean Energy Week, Secretaries Locke and Solis Travel to Michigan, Tennessee and Arkansas to Discuss Clean Energy Initiatives 

Solis announces $500 million in grants to train workers for green jobs

 

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, on the second day of Clean Energy Week, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis traveled to Michigan, Tennessee and Arkansas to discuss clean energy initiatives and highlight the President’s commitment to sign comprehensive energy and climate legislation. In Memphis, following a tour of the Sharp Solar facility, Secretary Solis announced five grant competitions, totaling $500 million, to fund projects to train workers for green jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

 

Grants awarded through these competitions will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Four of the grant competitions Solis announced today will provide funding to train workers through national, state and community outlets: Energy Training Partnership Grants; Pathways Out of Poverty Grants; State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grants; and Green Capacity Building Grants. The fifth, for State Labor Market Information Improvement Grants, will fund state workforce agencies that will help direct individuals to careers in green industries.

 

“Emerging green jobs are creating opportunities for workers to enter careers that offer good wages and pathways to long term job growth and prosperity,” said Solis. “Workers receiving training through projects funded by these competitions will be at the forefront as our nation transforms the way we generate electricity, manufacture products and do business across a wide range of industries.”

 

In Memphis, Solis also made a stop at HOPE VI public housing and then traveled to West Memphis, Arkansas to visit the Arkansas Delta Wired Grant program at the Mid-South Community College campus and tour the Workforce Technology Center, a facility that provides green jobs training.

 

In the Detroit area, Secretary Locke held a town hall at the United Solar Ovonic manufacturing plant. He was joined by workers and local business owners to discuss the challenges they face and the administration’s efforts to help them meet those challenges.

 

"We are committed to revitalizing American manufacturing and a big part of how we do that is building solar panels, wind turbines and advanced batteries," Locke said. "The Commerce Department will directly assist the small and medium-size businesses across America that are at the vanguard of America’s renewable energy future."

 

Today, the White House also released a video featuring Council on Environmental Quality Special Adviser for Green Jobs Van Jones visiting a weatherization project and discussing green jobs for a green future. Watch the video here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/

 

Other events happening during Clean Energy Week include:

 

Thursday, June 25

 

 

Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will attend the Green Building and Energy Efficient Development Conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss incentives for green construction practices and technologies.

 

2:00pm ET

Washington Plaza Hotel; The Federal Room; 10 Thomas Circle NW

Washington, D.C.

 

 

Department of Energy

Energy Secretary Steven Chu will visit San Francisco to discuss Recovery Act funding for clean energy projects during speech to the Edison Electric Institute Annual Convention.

 

2:45pm PT

San Francisco Marriot; 55 Fourth Street

San Francisco, CA

 

 

Thursday
Jun252009

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES STREAMLINED COLLEGE AID APPLICATION 

Improvements aimed at increasing college access for low- and middle-income students

 

The Obama Administration today announced a shorter, simpler, and more user friendly Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that will make it easier to apply for college financial aid. The changes--some of which are already in place while others will be phased in over the next few months--are designed to increase postsecondary enrollment, particularly among low- and middle-income students.

 

“President Obama has challenged the nation to once again have the highest percentage of college graduates in the world,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “To do that, we need to make the college-going process easier and more convenient, and to send a clear message to young people as well as adults that college is within their reach. Simplifying the financial aid process is an important step toward reaching that goal.”

 

At his first White House press corps briefing, Secretary Duncan outlined the Administration’s plan for streamlining the FAFSA.

 

  • Since May 2009, the Education Department has provided instant estimates of Pell Grant and student loan eligibility, rather than forcing applicants to wait weeks. Links to graduation rates and other college information are also provided;
  • Available summer 2009, enhanced skip-logic used in the new web-based FAFSA will reduce user navigation for many applicants by more than half;
  • Starting in January 2010, students applying for financial aid for the spring semester will be able to seamlessly retrieve their relevant tax information from the IRS for easy completion of the online FAFSA. The Department of Education and the IRS will be working together to examine the possibility of expanding this option to all students in the future.

 

 

  • The Administration will also introduce legislation seeking statutory authority from Congress to eliminate financial information from the aid calculation formula that is not available from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This will remove 26 financial questions from the FAFSA form that have little impact on aid awards and can be difficult to complete. Only questions that rely upon information that applicants must already provide to the IRS would remain.

 

The simplified FAFSA is one of several recent steps taken by the Obama Administration to improve access to higher education and make it more affordable. Highlights of the Obama Administration’s Agenda for College Affordability include:

 

  • Expanding Pell Grants and College Tax Credits: The Recovery Act increased Pell Grants by $500 to $5,350 for 2009-2010 and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a new $2,500 tax credit for four years of college tuition. The President’s 2010 Budget proposal would make these policies permanent and ensure the Pell Grant continues to grow steadily by making it an entitlement. Together, they provide approximately $200 billion in college scholarships and tax credits over the next decade.

 

  • Modernizing and Expanding the Perkins Loan Program: The President’s 2010 Budget proposes to make this vital program available to over 2,600 additional schools and an estimated 2.7 million additional students each year. By providing an additional $5 billion in Perkins Loans and continuing the low five percent interest rate, President Obama hopes that the neediest of students will have access to federal financial resources they did not have before.

 

  • Creating a New College Access and Completion Fund: In his 2010 budget proposal, President Obama proposes a five-year, $2.5 billion fund to build federal-state-local partnerships aimed at improving college access and completion, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These funds would be used to evaluate programs aimed at increasing college enrollment and graduation, and to grow and bring to scale programs that are proven to be successful.

 

  • To help families in special circumstances during these challenging economic times, the Department sent a letter in early April to financial aid administrators reminding them of their authority to make adjustments, on a case-by-case basis, to address circumstances, such as unemployment, not reflected on the original application.

 

“Simplifying the FAFSA is another significant action in our quest to keep a college degree within the reach of every person who aspires to higher education,” Duncan said.

 

More information on federal financial aid for college is available at http://studentaid.ed.gov.