Recent CRS reports

Recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports from Open CRS:

Tsunami Detection and Warnings for the United States, RL34506 (pdf, 18pp/436kB), Sept. 25, 2008

This report discusses several components of tsunami warning in the U.S., among them:
  • National Tsunami Warning Program (NTWP) consists of two tsunami warning centers located in Palmer, AK, and Ewa Beach, HI
  • National Tsunami Hazards Mitigation Program (NTHMP) provides education and outreach through the TsunamiReady program
  • Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) buoys; 39 DART buoys form the U.S. tsunami early warning network
  • Global Seismographic Network (GSN) and Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) identify earthquakes for possible onset of tsunamis

Do Not Mail Initiatives and Their Potential Effects: Possible Issues for Congress, RL34643 (pdf, 29pp/176kB), Sept. 24, 2008

Since 2007, according to CRS, 19 states have introduced legislation to create Do Not Mail registries to curb the delivery of junk mail. Here CRS examines possible effects of state registries on the environment, the economy, constitutional issues.

The report includes a table of 12 states that had DNM legislation pending in 2008, Hawaii being one of them. Hawaii's SB908 and HB2592, were introduced in 2007 and 2008, respectively, "to establish a state 'Do-not-mail' registry permitting residential residents--but not commercial entities--to opt-out of receiving certain unsolicited mail." Both bills died.

Food and Agricultural Imports from China, RL34080 (pdf, 24pp/152kB), Sept. 26, 2008

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview, RS22713 (pdf, 6pp/76kB), Sept. 22, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Dept. of Agriculture (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have primary responsibility for the nation's food regulatory system. The first report discusses last month's melamine-contaminated milk crisis in China and its implications for exports, bilateral efforts to address Chinese food safety in U.S. imports, and Congressional bills related to food import safety.

The second report is an overview of consumer (toys, tires) and food products that have caused U.S. concerns, Chinese initiatives to improve product safety, bilateral agreements to address health and safety issues, and economic implications such as protectionism and foreign investment in China.

Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
, RS22444 (pdf, 6pp/76kB), Sept. 16, 2008

Network neutrality is generally the concept of ensuring "unfettered access to the Internet" by regulating owners of Internet networks. CRS notes that the two most common discriminatory actions against net neutrality are "the network providers’ ability to control access to and the pricing of broadband facilities, and the incentive to favor network-owned content, thereby placing unaffiliated content providers at a competitive disadvantage." The report covers actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in regulating broadband and Congressional debate and legislation.

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