Tuesday - January 26, 2021
Federal Independent Agencies

News releases, reports, statements and associated documents from federal independent agencies.

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USCIRF Troubled by Escalating Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Algeria
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued the following news release:

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is troubled by reports of escalating repression targeting the Ahmadiyya community in Algeria in recent weeks.

"New convictions and harsh sentences against Ahmadi Muslims in Algeria demonstrate systematic and ongoing persecution on religious grounds," said USCIRF Vice Chair Anurima Bhargava. "The U.S. government should urge the Algerian government to act swiftly to reverse this disturbing trend."

Over the past ... Show Full Article

New York Fed: Household Survey Shows Sustained Rebound in Year-Ahead Spending Growth Expectations
NEW YORK, Jan. 26 -- The Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued the following news release:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data released the December 2020 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) Household Spending Survey, which provides information on individuals' experiences and expectations regarding household spending. The survey shows a continuation of relatively modest monthly household spending growth compared to pre-pandemic levels. While the share of respondents who reported making a large purchase during the past four months has increased for most spending ... Show Full Article

National Transportation Safety Board: Failed Brake System Caused Fatal Wyoming Train Collision
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 -- The National Transportation Safety Board issued the following news release:

The National Transportation Safety Board determined Monday that an airbrake failure caused the fatal, Oct. 4, 2018, collision between two Union Pacific trains in Granite Canyon, Wyoming.

The collision occurred when the air brakes on an eastbound UP freight train failed while descending a hill. The NTSB determined an air flow restriction in the brake pipe caused the air brake system to fail, and the end-of-train device failed to respond to an emergency brake command. The striking train collided with ... Show Full Article

Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Warming Seas Are Accelerating Greenland's Glacier Retreat
PASADENA, California, Jan. 26 -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued the following news:

Scientists with NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland mission are probing deep below the island's warming coastal waters to help us better predict the rising seas of the future.

Greenland's melting glaciers, which plunge into Arctic waters via steep-sided inlets, or fjords, are among the main contributors to global sea level rise in response to climate change. Gaining a better understanding of how warming ocean water affects these glaciers will help improve predictions of their fate. Such predictions could ... Show Full Article

GSA Names Key Senior Advisors to Focus on COVID-19 Relief and Executive Actions
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 -- The General Services Administration issued the following news release on Jan. 25:

The U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) Acting Administrator Katy Kale named Zoe Garmendia as the Senior Advisor to the Administrator on COVID and Josh Sawislak as the Senior Advisor to the Administrator focusing on implementing executive actions.

"We are thrilled to have Zoe Garmendia and Josh Sawislak on board to support GSA's coordinated response to President Biden's critical executive actions, particularly to fight the pandemic," said Acting Administrator Katy Kale.

Garmendia ... Show Full Article

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis: Scanning the Early Childhood Development Landscape in South Dakota
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, Jan. 26 -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis issued the following article by Ben Horowitz, senior project manager for community development and engagement and Kayla Williams, intern for community development and engagement:

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Most of South Dakota's infants, toddlers, and preschoolers live in homes where all the adults are in the workforce./1 Tens of thousands of households across the state thus face a simple question nearly every day: Who will care for children while the grown-ups are at work?

Their answers are determined in part by the state's early childhood ... Show Full Article

EPA Extends Public Review of Proposed Cleanup Plan to Address Soil & Groundwater Contamination
NEWARK, New Jersey, Jan. 26 -- The Environmental Protection Agency issued the following news release:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment period to February 19, 2021 on its proposed cleanup plan for the Riverside Industrial Park Superfund site on the bank of the Passaic River in Newark. The proposed plan includes a combination of technologies and methods to address the cleanup of contaminated soil, soil gas (gas trapped in the soil), groundwater, sewer water and waste at the site.

The Riverside Industrial Park Superfund site is located on a 7.6-acre ... Show Full Article