Wednesday Morning Federal Newscast – June 2nd

OPM opens care benefits to same-sex partners, Coast Guard replaces on-scene Gulf spill admiral, EMP weapon developed for border security

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees. The final rule in Tuesday’s Federal Register also allows same-sex partners of postal workers and retirees to join. OPM says the 51 comments it received were 3-to-one in favor of the change. The final rule does not include opposite-sex partners, and takes effect on July first.

  • The Coast Guard is replacing the admiral who has been its on-scene coordinator for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The spill’s unified command center says that Rear Admiral Mary Landry will return to duties as leader of the 8th Coast Guard District in New Orleans. There, she’ll focus on preparations for hurricane season. Her replacement is Rear Admiral James Watson, who became the deputy on-scene coordinator three days after the oil rig exploded in April. The Coast Guard says Landry’s replacement had been planned since the response started.
  • The Transportation Department’s deputy CIO is becoming a customer service rep. A source tells Federal News Radio that Jackie Patillo is moving to the Veterans Affairs Department, where her job will be to ensure technology meets VA’s needs. Patillo has been the Transportation Department’s deputy CIO since 2005. She starts her new role next Monday, June 7th.
  • The Federal Communications Commission released results of its national survey yesterday showing 80 percent of broadband users don’t know the speed they are paying for. FCC also wants to compare actual speeds with advertised ones. It is seeking 10,000 volunteers to participate in what it calls a scientific study to test home broadband connection bandwidth.
  • The Justice Department’s Inspector General is saying that department has failed to put together an adequate plan for responding to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction. In a new report, IG Glen Fine says the Justice does not assign a single entity or individual responsibility for managing a response to such an incident. He goes on to say that there are no specific operational response plans for a WMD event in place at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; or the U.S. Marshals Service. The FBI, however, receives good marks for its preparations.
  • A military technology that can stop engines from a distance is under consideration for use by federal border patrol agents. The manufacturer, Applied Physical Electronics of Spicewood, Texas, demonstrated the EMP Suitcase for Texas representatives Michael McCaul and Henry Cuellar. The gadget emits a high amplitude electric field that zaps electronic engine controls on boats or vehicles without harming the people in them. A new version can fit in a suitcase.

  • More news links

    President to deliver status-check speech on economy

    Obama admin. holds meetings on ‘Great Outdoors’

    35 states, D.C. apply for Race to the Top round 2

    US stops refueling tanker planes at key base

    Pre-surgery homework can avert billing surprises


    Coming up today on The DorobekInsider:

    ** You probably saw the ominous headlines over the weekend: the Dow’s worst May since 1940. What did that mean for your TSP?

    ** And the Social Security Administration faced the challenge of reaching out to people across sparcely populated western states. We’ll introduce you to the team that came up with a creative solution and scored a place as a SAMMIES finalist.

    Join Chris from 3 to 7 pm on 1500 AM or on your computer.

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