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Friday, August 22, 2014

Project Seeks To Colonize the Red Planet - SPIEGEL ONLINE

It might become the mother of all reality shows. Fully 704 candidates are soon to begin competing for a trip to Mars to establish a colony there. Broadcasting rights are to fund the mission, but a return ticket is not part of the deal.



Project Seeks To Colonize the Red Planet - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Hoeven Announces More Than $250,000 Grant for North Dakota School Lunch Programs

Senator John Hoeven News Release:

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $255,948 in 2014 Team Nutrition Grants to North Dakota. North Dakota can use the grant to implement the school meals program designed to encourage students to select healthy meals.
“We have been working to provide permanent flexibility in the school lunch program to make it work for our students, school nutritionists and school districts as we know a one-size-fits-all standard for school lunches does not meet the needs of our students and schools,” said Hoeven. “This USDA grant will help our state’s schools develop unique plans that will help bolster healthy eating habits for our students, and I will continue to work to provide our schools the flexibility they need to implement the program, particularly with regard to the sodium and whole grains standards.”
USDA has implemented the Team Nutrition Training Grants for Healthy Meals as one of the systems established to support the implementation of the agency’s nutrition requirements and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in meals served to schools and child care institutions. The grants are directed to state agencies so individuals states can develop plans to implement Team Nutrition’s goal of supporting healthy eating and physical activity habits in children.
Hoeven sponsored the Sensible School Lunch Act to provide school districts with greater flexibility to meet the nutritional needs of all students after hearing from North Dakota students who were left feeling hungry due to new, strict school nutrition standards enacted at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. The rule attempted to curb obesity by strictly limiting calories, protein and grains for all students without any flexibility to meet the needs of athletes or others whose dietary needs do not fit the guidelines.
In December 2012, USDA made temporary changes to the School Lunch Program in response to a letter led by Hoeven and Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas and signed by other senators. In response to the senators’ request, the USDA lifted its strict limit on grains and starches as well as protein to give schools more flexibility. The upper cap on total calories remains in place. However, the modification was provided only through the 2013-2014 school year.
Hoeven and Pryor then introduced bipartisan legislation to make these changes permanent. The senators’ legislation, the Sensible School Lunch Act, had broad, bipartisan support and the backing of the national School Nutrition Association. In response to their legislation, the USDA made the changes permanent administratively in early January 2014.

Hoeven Encourages North Dakota Students to Apply for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Senator John Hoeven News Release:

Aug 22 2014

Hoeven Encourages North Dakota Students to Apply for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Educational Program Gives High School Students Chance to Spend Week in Washington Observing Federal Government in Action

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) is currently accepting nominations from high school students interested in participating in the program’s 53rd annual Washington Week. The senator encourages North Dakota high school students interested in public service and government to apply for the program, which brings students from across the country to the nation’s capital to participate in a week-long study of the United States government. Student delegates receive an all-expense paid trip and a $5,000 college scholarship. The application date for the State of North Dakota is October 17, 2014.
“I am pleased to encourage North Dakota high school students to apply to participate in the historic and prestigious United States Senate Youth Program that is held each year in Washington, D.C.,” said Hoeven. “This program offers two of North Dakota’s brightest students the unique opportunity to represent our state as they meet with their peers from across the country to gain a firsthand look at our democratic system of government, expand their knowledge and cultivate the skills that will serve them well in their future studies and professional endeavors.”
The USSYP will be held March 7 – 14, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The student delegates will visit Capitol Hill, the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Supreme Court and other historic sites in Washington, and meet with senators, cabinet officers, government leaders and other policymakers. 
Two delegates will be chosen from each state. The program’s strongest candidates are students with outstanding leadership abilities, a firm commitment to public service and high academic standing. The delegate selection is administered by each state’s chief school officer in cooperation with high school principals. Interested students should contact their local high school principal or the state-level selection administrator, Patricia A. Laubach, at plaubach@nd.gov or (701) 328-4525.
Delegates must be high school juniors or seniors and elected student officers for the 2014 – 2015 academic year, and they must reside in the state where they attend school. Eligibility considerations may also be made for student representatives elected or selected by a panel, commission or board to district, regional or state-level civic or educational organizations. Delegates must also be permanent residents of the United States. 
More than 5,000 students have participated in the USSYP since its founding in 1962. Several have gone on to become government officials, including members of Congress, military leaders and foreign ambassadors. This year, Bethany Berntson and Tyler Toepke-Floyd were selected to represent North Dakota during the 52nd USSYP. More information is available at www.ussenateyouth.org.

Liberals More Likely To Back Hiring Foreign Workers Instead Of Americans | The Daily Caller

Liberals are up to three times more likely than conservatives to support the hiring of foreign workers in place of American workers, according to a new survey by pollster Kellyanne Conway.
Thirty-four percent of liberals, and 26 percent of Democrats, said either that immigrants should be preferred over Americans for jobs, or that they did not know if anyone should be preferred.


Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/20/pollster-makes-the-case-for-a-populist-gop-immigration-message/#ixzz3B9tDHmJn




Liberals More Likely To Back Hiring Foreign Workers Instead Of Americans | The Daily Caller

Alexander Condemns ISIS Following Beheading of American Journalist

Senator Lamar Alexander Press Release:

Posted on August 21, 2014

NASHVILLE, Aug. 21, 2014 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement regarding the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist in Iraq, and condemning the violent attacks and persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS):

“The beheading of James Foley, an innocent American journalist, by ISIS fanatics is a tragic, monstrous action of the worst possible nature.  The Obama administration needs to condemn and demonstrate that this type of intimidation and persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East will not be tolerated and will be met by the strongest appropriate response possible.”  
Last month, in response to the persecution of Iraq’s religious minorities, Alexander cosponsored a resolution by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to call for immediate action to address the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution by the Islamic State.

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Congresswoman Hartzler and Missouri's U.S. Senators offer Army enthusiastic support for Fort Leonard Wood

From Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler:

Congresswoman Hartzler and Missouri's U.S. Senators offer Army enthusiastic support for Fort Leonard Wood

Aug 22, 2014 Issues: Defense and National Security
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, joined by Missouri U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, has sent a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh and General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, extolling the importance of Fort Leonard Wood. The letter is part of a preemptive effort to fight potential operations and personnel cuts during the Army’s Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA).
“Fort Leonard Wood (FLW) is home to the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCoE), which trains more than 80,000 soldiers and civilians each year,” states the letter. “The MSCoE provides Basic Combat Training for 1 in 5 new soldiers entering the Army, as well as newly commissioned officers.”
The letter cites the benefits of a vibrant Fort Leonard in the Waynesville/St. Robert area.
“Not only is the area attracting more people, local Missourians and military families are staying in the area, as more than 60 % of military retirees choose to make FLW and surrounding communities their permanent home,” the letter continues. “This is a testament to steps taken by FLW, surrounding communities, and the State of Missouri to improve area services, infrastructure, employment opportunities, and cultural and recreational offerings.”
Hartzler and the Senators acknowledge in their letter that Fort Leonard Wood and the adjacent communities have already suffered a huge hit:
“We note FLW took on a highly disproportionate cut relative to its permanent party size in the first PEA and we believe any further cuts to FLW will not only damage the local community and the State as a whole economically, but will seriously jeopardize the Army’s ability to train and educate the finest soldiers in the U.S. Army,”
“We are of the opinion that Fort Leonard Wood is one of the finest Army posts in the country,” Hartzler said. “We appreciate the opportunity to express our support to the Army for this outstanding military installation.”
Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District, home to Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

Weekly Column: On the Road in Ohio

Senator Rob Portman Weekly Column:

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to travel across our state and meet with Ohioans from all walks of life, from veterans to teachers to business owners, workers, farmers and families. They told me about the problems they are facing in their lives and what Washington can do to help. And while I was happy to see how much progress we are making in the Buckeye State, it was also apparent to me that the federal government isn't living up to its responsibilities—either by holding back progress through inefficient practices, or by not doing enough in the places action is needed.
This month started with a water crisis in Toledo resulting from toxins caused by harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. This is an issue I've been working on for several years. I recently authored the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. Even in this time of divided government and gridlock, I was able to guide this legislation through the Senate and the House, and in June, President Obama signed it into law. For the first time ever, this legislation ensures federal agencies prioritize monitoring and mitigation efforts of harmful algal blooms in fresh water bodies such as Lake Erie.
I am hopeful that my legislation will help to ensure that events like the one we saw in Toledo become a thing of the past. Of course, for folks who were out of water during the recent crisis, they needed help immediately. So my staff and I loaded up the back of our cars with bottled water and headed to the city. When we arrived, I was moved by the hundreds of other Ohioans who had come to Toledo to do what they could, no matter how small, for their friends and neighbors.
While algae poses a threat to our freshwater economy that we must address, Ohio's manufacturing sector is thriving. Over the past few weeks, I've held townhalls with employees from companies around our state, including Navistar, Honda, and Arcelor Mittal Steel. At each one, I heard a similar message. Ohio workers can compete with anyone, anywhere on a level playing field. What they need from Washington is better representation on the world stage and less red tape from DC. That means opening up new markets to our goods. When products stamped Made in America are sold in stores from Beijing to Berlin, American workers benefit. We also need to make sure that the regulations Washington is imposing are worth their costs. I have introduced bipartisan legislation that would require a more comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of proposed new rules to ensure that the federal government doesn't hold back job creators.
Lastly, I had the distinct privilege recently of honoring fifteen airmen, sailors, and soldiers who gave their lives in conflicts ranging from World War I to the Vietnam War as they finally received the military funeral they had earned. I joined members of the Missing in America Project—an organization dedicated to ensuring that veterans whose remains go unclaimed receive a proper burial—at a ceremony at the Dayton National Cemetery to ensure these brave men are never forgotten. To help with this cause, I have introduced the Honor Those Who Served Act of 2014, which would expand the definition of persons eligible to request headstones or markers furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs for unmarked graves for our nation's veterans.
As a state and a nation, we face challenges. But in my role as your United States senator, I am fortunate to see examples, every day, of Ohioans who are addressing those challenges and making the world a better place. I will continue to do my part to ensure that the federal government is an ally, rather than a stumbling block, in their efforts.