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Shutdown update: Democratic and Republican congressional leaders were expected to attend a briefing on border security at the White House today, as the government remains partially shut down. House Democrats said they plan to pass legislation to end the shutdown after they take control tomorrow, but the White House called that plan a non-starter. (Federal News Network)
Conservation advocates said the partial shutdown has already started taking a toll on national parks. Overflowing trash bins, unmaintained restrooms and illegal off-roading are among the problems. Unlike in previous shutdowns, the Trump Administration has opted to leave the parks open, even though most of their staff are furloughed. But officials said they still might close off areas that are starting to pose threats to human health and safety. (Federal News Network)
One agency that is open for business has issued new guidance for cybersecurity. Health and Human Services sent out a number of voluntary cybersecurity practices for the healthcare industry, aimed at protecting patient information. Two years in preparation, it was mandated by the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. Creation of the 36-page guide was chaired by Eric Decker, chief privacy and security officer at the University of Chicago Medicine, and Julia Chua, risk management lead in the HHS office of the chief information officer. (Department of Health and Human Services)
The Defense Department’s top spokeswoman has stepped down. Dana White has departed just as former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stepped down. The Pentagon said Charles Summers is taking over as Acting Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. He was the White House’s top deputy, and also served as an officer in the Navy Reserve.
A Marine has been shot and killed inside the Marine Corps Barracks in DC. Police told WTOP the shooting appeared to have been an accidental discharge. The Marine Corps has withheld the servicemember’s name for the time being, and said the service’s top priority is taking care of the Marine’s family and friends. (WTOP)
The Pentagon’s chief information officer has been given some new authority as part of the2018 Defense Authorization Act that took effect on Tuesday. From now on, the CIO will have to be Senate confirmed. He or she will also take on the responsibility of reviewing all of the military services IT related budgets to make sure their spending plans are adequate. The CIO will also have to publish new IT standards that all of the services and Defense agencies will have to follow in their procurements. (Federal News Network)
The Veterans Affairs Department has announced a new partnership with the American Physical Therapy Association, in an effort to provide more physical therapy resources for veterans. The agreement will promote non-pharmacological treatment options for pain, suicide prevention, and to help with VA’s National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
You may start seeing more “friendly” looking dogs at the airport. The Transportation Security Administration is in the process of swapping out pointy-ear dogs for floppy-ear ones. A spokesperson told the Washington Examiner that floppy eared K-9’s put passengers more at ease and don’t scare children as much. (Washington Examiner)