FBI Field Offices Collect Food Donations for Unpaid Employees

Government Executive | January 22, 2019

FBI Field Offices Collect Food Donations for Unpaid Employees
Thomas O’Connor, the FBI special agent who is volunteer president of the FBI Agents Association, said on Tuesday that it’s not normal for him to be sitting in front of news cameras. But nor is it “normal” for chunks of the government to be shut down so that the group’s nearly 14,000 members, among others, are not collecting paychecks. So the association took the rare step of collecting anonymous, volunteer statements from special agents nationwide documenting the harms that the funding freeze has inflicted on investigations, travel, training, payments to confidential sources and employee benefits.

Spotlight

In 1970, Congress created the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). Congress has given Amtrak priority to use track systems owned by the freight railroads for passenger rail travel, at rates agreed to by the parties or, in case of a dispute, set by the Surface Transportation Board. And in 2008, Congress gave Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) joint authority to issue “metrics and standards” addressing the performance and scheduling of passenger railroad services, see §207(a), 122 Stat. 4907, including Amtrak’s on-time performance and train delays caused by host railroads.


Other News

SparkCognition Deploys AI-Based Predictive Analytics on bp Facilities

SparkCognition | August 03, 2020

SparkCognition, the world's leading industrial artificial intelligence (AI) company, is pleased to announce the expansion of their relationship with bp, an integrated global energy business, to deploy AI predictive analytics in service of improving reliability and reducing carbon footprint in their operations. SparkCognition's SparkPredict®️ analytics solution is currently deployed on Atlantis and ETAP, two of bp's production facilities, enabling bp to predict impending equipment failures and process vulnerabilities. Using SparkPredict, bp will be able to take action before events occur and improve maintenance activities for critical subsystems across its assets. Fewer outages means less flaring, and therefore less carbon emissions. Through the new expansion, additional facilities will be added in 2020 and 2021.

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Judge Grants Pentagon’s Request for Corrective Action on JEDI Cloud Contract

The Defense Department | April 17, 2020

Federal Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith Friday granted the Defense Department’s March request for a 120-day stay to take corrective action on parts of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, which it awarded to Microsoft in October. Amazon Web Services, which protested the award, had asked the judge in previous motions to force the Pentagon to take more expansive correction action, accusing the government of attempting to “gerrymander” revisions to the procurement. In the order, which is under seal, Campbell-Smith grants the Defense Department’s motion for remand so that “it may reconsider the aspects of the procurement challenged in this protest action,” though the 120-day remand could be lengthened or shortened upon motion and subsequent judge’s decision.

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Trump administration moves to revoke China Telecom's US licenses on security grounds

CSO | April 15, 2020

Highlighting the diminished opportunities for Chinese telecom and technology providers in the US, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that the Trump Administration would seek to revoke and terminate the licenses of mobile operator China Telecom. China Telecom is authorized to provide communications, data, television and business services in the US as a facilities-based common carrier. It obtains spectrum licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under what is called international Section 214 authorizations.

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US government agrees on $25bn bailout for airlines as pandemic halts travel

The Guardian | April 14, 2020

The US government agreed a $25bn bailout for the beleaguered airline industry on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic brings travel to a virtual standstill. Passenger airline companies are receiving direct aid as part of the $2.2tn Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Cares Act) economic relief package passed last month in order to allow them to continue paying salaries and benefits to employees in the coming months. Details of the aid package are expected later on Tuesday. With the coronavirus now spread across more than 100 countries and every continent except for Antarctica, air travel has all but ground to a halt.

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Spotlight

In 1970, Congress created the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). Congress has given Amtrak priority to use track systems owned by the freight railroads for passenger rail travel, at rates agreed to by the parties or, in case of a dispute, set by the Surface Transportation Board. And in 2008, Congress gave Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) joint authority to issue “metrics and standards” addressing the performance and scheduling of passenger railroad services, see §207(a), 122 Stat. 4907, including Amtrak’s on-time performance and train delays caused by host railroads.

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