Google Releases COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports

google mapsIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google published an early release of COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. These reports provide data-driven insights into changes happening due to work from home, shelter in place, and other initiatives to flatten the pandemic curve.

The reports utilize Google Maps technology to identify trends over time by geography while protecting personally identifiable information. At the initial stage, the reports will cover 131 countries and regions. The goal of this project is to help public health officials in combatting COVID-19 by providing aggregated and anonymized data of movement trends. Furthermore, Google aims to provide a more detailed outlook on the essential needs of communities by identifying transportation and destination patterns.

Additionally, Google is collaborating with epidemiologists to better understand and forecast the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, this type of data can provide unique advantage for predicting epidemics, urban and transit infrastructure planning, as well as people’s needs and responses to emergencies.

For more information on related topics visit the HSDL Featured Topic on Pandemics and Epidemics or view other resources related to emergency preparedness.  Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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Author: Julia West

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White House Releases National Strategy to Secure 5G

The White House has released the National Strategy to Secure 5G (Strategy) which outlines the United States’ plan for securing its 5G (fifth generation) communications infrastructure as the technology evolves.

Just as businesses and consumers will look to benefit from 5G technology, so too will criminals and foreign adversaries Globe connectionsbe looking to exploit it for their own ends. According to the Strategy,

Criminals and foreign adversaries will seek to steal information transiting the networks for monetary gain and exploit these systems and devices for intelligence collection and surveillance. Adversaries may also disrupt or maliciously modify the public and private services that rely on communications infrastructure. Given these threats, 5G infrastructure must be secure and reliable to maintain information security and address risks to critical infrastructure, public health and safety, and economic and national security.

The Strategy does not go into specifics, but presents a very high-level overview centering around four lines of effort the U.S. will follow to achieve its goals:

  1. Facilitate Domestic 5G Rollout
  2. Assess Risks to & Identify Core Security Principles of 5G Infrastructure
  3. Address Risks to United States Economic and National Security During Development and Deployment of 5G Infrastructure Worldwide
  4. Promote Responsible Global Development and Deployment of 5G

For more information on topics related to this piece, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Cyber Crime & National Security, Cyber Infrastructure Protection, and Cyber Policy.

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Author: Vincent Milano

HSDL Offers Comprehensive Resources on COVID-19

microscope view of a viewThe Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is at the forefront of providing reliable expert content related to the growing threat of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Our new COVID-19 Special Collection includes over 1,800+ resources from leading public health organizations and government agencies, including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Congressional Research Service, and many others, and is updated daily.

For a more detailed overview of the unfolding pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Timeline event featuring the most recent updates, impact statistics, and related resources.

In addition, new In Focus is now available on COVID-19 Journal Resources containing Open Access and free of charge articles. Please note that some publishers including Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer Nature, have removed paywalls for some COVID-19-related studies. Furthermore, the collection also includes a list of selected websites covering relevant COVID-19 material.

For more information on related topics visit the HSDL Featured Topic on Pandemics and Epidemics or view other resources related to emergency preparedness.  Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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Author: Julia West

In Focus: COVID-19 Journal Resources

New In Focus now available on COVID-19 Journal Resources.

A collection of Journals who have made COVID-19 articles Open Access, or free of charge, as a commitment to making research and data on the disease easily accessible, at least while the pandemic is ongoing.

Additionally, the list contains selected websites that have also made COVID-19-related material openly available.

Please Note: An HSDL account may be required to view some resources.

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Author: Jenna Hillhouse

COVID-19

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  • COVID-19: Current Travel Restrictions and Quarantine Measures [Updated March 17, 2020]

    From the Document: “The United States, along with many countries, is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease, now referred to as COVID-19, which is caused by a novel coronavirus first detected in mainland China’s Hubei Province in late 2019. Cases of COVID-19 have now been detected in several countries, including the United States. To date, the federal government has taken two key actions to deter persons with suspected COVID-19 infection from entering the country or spreading the virus to persons within the United States. First, the federal government has restricted the entry of many non-U.S. nationals (aliens) who recently have been physically present in mainland China, Iran, or much of Europe. Second, the federal government has imposed a quarantine requirement on all persons entering the United States, regardless of citizenship status, who have recently been to those areas. This Legal Sidebar examines the legal authorities underlying these actions, as well as possible legal challenges to their use.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Liu, Edward C.

    2020-03-17

  • Global Economic Effects of Covid-19: In Brief [Updated March 17, 2020]

    From the Overview: “Since the World Health Organization (WHO) first declared Covid-19 a world health emergency in January 2020, the virus has been detected in over 100 countries and almost all U.S. states. The infection has sickened more than 150,000 people, with fatalities. On March 11, the WHO announced that the outbreak was officially a pandemic, the highest level of health emergency. During that time, it has become clear that the outbreak is negatively impacting global economic growth. The virus is affecting a broad swath of economic activities, from tourism, medical supplies and other global value chains, consumer electronics, and financial markets to energy, food, and a range of social activities, to name a few. Without a clear understanding of when the effects may peak economic forecasts must necessarily be considered preliminary. Efforts to reduce social interaction to contain the spread of the virus are disrupting the daily lives of most Americans.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Jackson, James K., 1949-; Schwarzenberg, Andres B.; Weiss, Martin A.

    2020-03-17

  • Workplace Leave and Unemployment Insurance for Individuals Affected by COVID-19 [Updated March 16, 2020]

    From the Document: “This Insight provides a brief overview of the current availability of job-connected assistance to individuals, which may be relevant to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically, this product discusses workplace leave, paid and unpaid, that may be available to workers affected by the virus, as well as unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. It also discusses policy options to amend or expand existing UI programs to be more responsive to the effects of COVID-19.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Whittaker, Julie M.; Donovan, Sarah A.; Isaacs, Katelin P., 1980-

    2020-03-16

  • Financial Industry and Consumers Struggling to Pay Bills During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak [March 16, 2020]

    From the Document: “A growing number of cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been identified in the United States, significantly impacting many communities. For background on the coronavirus, see CRS In Focus IF11421, ‘COVID-19: Global Implications and Responses’, by Sara M. Tharakan et al. This outbreak may continue to cause disruptions as federal, state, and local governments limit public gatherings, close schools, and encourage workers to telework to contain the coronavirus’s spread. While this situation is evolving rapidly, the economic impact may be large due to illnesses, quarantines, and other business disruptions. Consequently, many Americans may lose income and face financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak. Some workers may need to take time off work if they or their families fall ill. In addition, layoffs or reduced hours may impact workers in particular industries affected by the outbreak, such as the travel, restaurant, and entertainment industries. To address these concerns, on Saturday, March 14, the House passed H.R. 6201, which, among other things, expands sick leave access, unemployment insurance, and food assistance benefits. Even if this bill is enacted, some families may continue to feel the economic impact. This Insight focuses on possible policy options relating to the financial services industry for consumers who may have trouble paying their bills due to the outbreak.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Cooper, Cheryl R.

    2020-03-16

  • COVID-19: The Potential Role of TANF in Addressing the Economic Effects [March 16, 2020]

    From the Document: “The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant provides grants to the 50 states, District of Columbia, American Indian tribes, and certain territories with the broad purpose of ameliorating and addressing root causes of childhood economic disadvantage. Some of the flexibility the block grant affords to states has been used, and augmented by federal legislation, to address the fallout from Hurricane Katrina and the deep economic recession of 2007-2009. TANF is currently funded on a short-term basis, with funding set to expire on May 22, 2020.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Falk, Gene

    2020-03-16

  • COVID-19: Potential Role of Net Operating Loss (NOL) Carrybacks in Addressing the Economic Effects [March 16, 2020]

    From the Document: “A number of industries may suffer losses in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The travel and tourism industry, and restaurant industry, appear particularly susceptible at the moment due to an uptick in canceled reservations and a reduction in bookings. Other industries are likely to be impacted as well by a drop-off in consumer spending and a resulting reduction in profits, with the impacts likely increasing if COVID-19 continues to spread. Before 2018, businesses with losses could ‘carry back’ net operating losses (NOL) and use them to receive a refund for past taxes paid. On several occasions, Congress temporarily extended or enhanced the carryback rules to assist businesses in times of general economic weakness, or in response to natural disasters. Recent changes enacted in the 2017 tax revision (P.L. 115-97), commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), however, eliminated the ability to carry back losses. This Insight discusses how allowing NOL carrybacks could potentially assist businesses impacted by economic weakness associated with COVID-19.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Keightley, Mark P.

    2020-03-16

  • Tax Credit for Paid Sick and Family Leave in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) [March 16, 2020]

    From the Document: “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) includes an employer tax credit for the paid sick and family leave required as part of this legislation. This tax credit is intended to help businesses with the cost of providing paid leave to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Sherlock, Molly F.

    2020-03-16

  • Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 116th Congress [Updated March 16, 2020]

    From the Document: “The 116th Congress has begun to consider benefits related to two unemployment insurance (UI) programs: Unemployment Compensation (UC) and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Congress may consider modifications to these two programs within the federal-state UI system to provide weekly income replacement for individuals unavailable to work or unemployed as a result of COVID-19.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Whittaker, Julie M.; Isaacs, Katelin P., 1980-

    2020-03-16

  • Telework in Executive Agencies: Background, OPM Guidance, and 116th Congress Legislation Following Coronavirus [Updated March 16, 2020]

    From the Background: “The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, enacted on December 9, 2010 (P.L. 111-292, 124 Stat. 3165), and codified at Chapter 65 of Title 5 of the ‘United States Code’, authorizes telework in executive agencies, defines ‘teleworking’, and establishes requirements for telework programs. The law (at 5 U.S.C. §6504(d)(1)) requires that the telework policy of each executive agency ‘incorporate telework into the continuity of operations [COOP] plan of that agency.’ A COOP plan ensures that essential functions continue to be performed during disruption of normal operations. Furthermore, Section 6504(d)(2) requires that ‘[d]uring any period that an executive agency is operating under a continuity of operations plan, that plan shall supersede any telework policy.'”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Schwemle, Barbara L.

    2020-03-16

  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Poses Challenges for the U.S. Blood Supply [March 13, 2020]

    From the Document: “The current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak may pose significant challenges for the United States’ blood supply. Mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as closures of schools and workplaces, have led to blood drive cancellations, resulting in a critical blood supply shortage in the Pacific Northwest (specifically, western Washington and Oregon). School closures, event cancellations, and other mitigation strategies in other areas of the country may provide challenges for maintaining a sufficient blood supply. The management and distribution of the U.S. blood supply is largely coordinated by private organizations, with some oversight by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congress may consider how best to address critical storages, such as through HHS or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over blood safety and donation guidance.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Sussman, Jared S.

    2020-03-13

  • COVID-19 and Broadband: Potential Implications for the Digital Divide [March 13, 2020]

    From the Document: “According to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, approximately 21.3 million Americans lack a broadband connection speed of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download/3 Mbps upload, which is the FCC’s benchmark for high-speed broadband. In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, federal, local, and state governments, in addition to large and small businesses, are considering remote working or distance learning options to help abate the spread of the virus. As these decisions are made, some portion of the population will likely have the option and the capability to shift activities online, while others will not. COVID-19 mitigation efforts will likely reveal discrepancies in broadband availability and accessibility–termed the digital divide–across the United States.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Rachfal, Colby Leigh

    2020-03-13

  • COVID-19: Social Insurance and Other Income-Support Options for Those Unable to Work [Updated March 12, 2020]

    From the Overview: “There is uncertainty about how the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) may spread in the United States; what measures federal, state, or local governments may take to mitigate the spread; and the possible effect on individual income security from both. This In Focus provides an overview of existing federal and state government social insurance programs or options that may be implemented relatively quickly to provide financial assistance for those unable to work due to COVID-19 from (1) their own illness; (2) exposure leading to quarantine; (3) illness of a close family member or school closures that may require long-term caregiving; or (4) unemployment resulting from business closures.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Haltzel, Laura; Isaacs, Katelin P., 1980-; Morton, William R. . . .

    2020-03-12

  • Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: Fy2020 Budget and Appropriations [Updated March 12, 2020]

    From the Document: “Each year, Congress considers 12 distinct appropriations measures, including one for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS), which includes funding for U.S. diplomatic activities, cultural exchanges, development and security assistance, and U.S. participation in multilateral organizations, among other international activities. On March 11, 2019, the Trump Administration submitted to Congress its SFOPS budget proposal for FY2020, which totaled $42.72 billion in discretionary funds ($42.88 billion when $158.9 million in mandatory retirement funds are included), reflecting adherence to discretionary funding caps, as determined by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA; P.L. 112-25).”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Gill, Cory R.; Morgenstern, Emily M.; Lawson, Marian Leonardo

    2020-03-12

  • Disrupted Federal Elections: Policy Issues for Congress [March 12, 2020]

    From the Introduction: “Super Typhoon Yutu struck the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) approximately 10 days before Election Day 2018. That election included one federal contest, for U.S. House Delegate. Governor Ralph DLG. Torres issued an executive order postponing the general election from November 6 to November 13. The order also postponed early voting. This episode appears to be the only case of a postponed federal general election in modern history. As discussed below, other election disruptions are more common. This CRS [Congressional Research Service] In Focus briefly introduces historical and policy issues that could be relevant for congressional oversight, legislation, or appropriations related to what this product calls ‘disrupted elections’. This term means events such as natural disasters, other emergencies, or cyber attacks that could substantially delay or prevent normal voting, election administration, or campaigning.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Garrett, R. Sam, 1977-

    2020-03-12

  • Oversight Provisions in H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act [March 12, 2020]

    From the Document: “President Donald Trump signed H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, on March 6, 2020. It provides a total of $8.3 billion in supplemental funding to support the response of the United States to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Prior to the passage of H.R. 6074, Congress had already begun to oversee the federal government’s response to COVID-19 with committee hearings in both the House and the Senate. Other committees are planning additional hearings in the coming weeks, and the Trump Administration has also been providing regular briefings. This voluntary flow of information among Congress, senior Administration leaders, and frontline experts will facilitate Congress’s response to COVID-19. If lines of communication remain open, voluntary information sharing may prove to be sufficient to meet Congress’s needs and expectations for oversight. However, H.R. 6074 makes explicit a number of requirements regarding both the type and frequency of information Congress will receive.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Wilhelm, Ben

    2020-03-12

  • COVID-19: Potential Economic Effects [March 11, 2020]

    From the Document: “This Insight discusses the potential economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the U.S. economy. For background on the coronavirus, see CRS In Focus IF11421, ‘COVID-19: Global Implications and Responses’, by Sara M. Tharakan et al.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Labonte, Marc

    2020-03-11

  • Tax Cuts as Fiscal Stimulus: Comparing a Payroll Tax Cut to a One-Time Tax Rebate [March 11, 2020]

    From the Document: “The Trump Administration and certain Members of Congress have expressed interest in a temporary payroll tax reduction as a fiscal stimulus response to economic concerns resulting from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Other lawmakers have emphasized that, with respect to tax-relief proposals, ‘everything’s on the table.’ This sentiment reflects potential uncertainty in both the current economic outlook and what tax policy options might be most effective as the coronavirus outbreak evolves. An alternative to a temporary payroll tax reduction that might be considered, and has been used in the past, is a lump-sum tax rebate. Temporary payroll tax cuts and lump-sum tax rebates have been used in response to past periods of economic weakness. In 2011 and 2012, employee payroll taxes were reduced by two percentage points, providing tax relief to any individual with earned income. General fund revenue was transferred to Social Security trust funds to ensure that those funds were not affected by the payroll tax cut.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Sherlock, Molly F.; Marples, Donald J.

    2020-03-11

  • National Biodefense Strategy: Opportunities and Challenges with Early Implementation Statement of Christopher P Currie, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Statement of Mary Denigan-Macauley, Director, Health Care, Testimony Before the Committee on Oversight and Reform, House of Representatives

    From the Testimony: “We are pleased to be here today to discuss our recently issued work on the National Biodefense Strategy. Catastrophic biological threats highlight the inextricable link between security and public health concerns. These threats–whether naturally-occurring, intentional, or accidental–have the potential to cause loss of life and sustained damage to the economy, societal stability, and global security. The vast and evolving biological threat landscape includes threats of naturally-occurring infectious diseases, bioterrorism, and safety and security lapses at facilities that house biological threat agents. For example, the unpredictable nature of naturally-occurring disease, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), poses a threat to humans. As of March 5, 2020, COVID-19 has spread from China to nearly 80 countries, including the United States, which has over 150 cases and nearly a dozen deaths associated with the virus. This novel virus poses a public health and economic threat, and may eventually be declared a pandemic, as seen with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Infectious diseases, such as coronaviruses, can be transmissible from animals to humans, demonstrating how our relationships with animals may increase the risk of disease transmission among people, pets, livestock, and wildlife.”

    United States. Government Accountability Office

    Currie, Chris P.; Denigan-Macauley, Mary

    2020-03-11

  • Saudi Arabia [Updated March 11, 2020]

    From the Document: “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant global influence through its administration of the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large oil reserves. Saudi leaders’ domestic and foreign policy decisions are fueling calls from some U.S. leaders for a reassessment of longstanding bilateral ties. The Al Saud have sought protection, advice, technology, and armaments from the United States, along with support in developing their country’s natural and human resources and in facing national security threats. U.S. leaders have valued Saudi cooperation in security and counterterrorism matters and have sought to preserve the secure, apolitical flow of the kingdom’s energy resources and capital to global markets. The Trump Administration seeks to strengthen U.S.-Saudi ties as the kingdom implements new domestic and foreign policy initiatives, while some in Congress call for change.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Blanchard, Christopher M.

    2020-03-11

  • Development and Regulation of Domestic Diagnostic Testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions [March 9, 2020]

    From the Document: “On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Illnesses have since been linked to a disease caused by a previously unidentified strain of coronavirus, designated Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19. Despite containment efforts in China, the United States, and elsewhere, by late February there were indications that the COVID-19 outbreak may have entered a new phase, with community spread occurring or suspected in several countries other than China, including in the United States.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Sarata, Amanda K.

    2020-03-09

  • Potential Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Zhejiang Province, China, 2020

    From the Abstract: “[This report details] a 2-family cluster of persons infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in the city of Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China, during January 2020. The infections resulted from contact with an infected but potentially presymptomatic traveler from the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province.”

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)

    Tong, Zhen-Dong; Tang, An; Li, Peng . . .

    2020-03-09

  • Workplace Leave and Unemployment Insurance for Individuals Affected by COVID-19 [March 6, 2020]

    From the Document: “This Insight provides a brief overview of the current availability of job-connected assistance to individuals, which may be relevant to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Specifically, this product discusses workplace leave, paid and unpaid, that may be available to workers affected by the virus, as well as unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. It also discusses policy options to amend or expand existing UI programs to be more responsive to the effects of COVID-19.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Whittaker, Julie M.; Donovan, Sarah A.; Isaacs, Katelin P., 1980-

    2020-03-06

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for COVID-19 [March 6, 2020]

    From the Document: “The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak may have significant economic implications for businesses and nonprofit organizations including negative impacts on imports, global supply chains, and tourism. Furthermore, if COVID-19 becomes widespread or prolonged it may slow global growth, and some businesses may be forced to furlough or lay off workers. This Insight considers whether the Small Business Administration (SBA) could provide economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) to eligible businesses and organizations that have suffered substantial loss as a result of COVID-19.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Lindsay, Bruce R.

    2020-03-06

  • COVID-19: Social Insurance and Other Income-Support Options for Those Unable to Work [March 6, 2020]

    From the Overview: “There is uncertainty about how the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) may spread in the United States; what measures federal, state, or local governments may take to mitigate the spread; and the possible effect on individual income security from both. This product provides an overview of existing federal and state government social insurance programs or options that may be implemented relatively quickly to provide financial assistance for those unable to work due to COVID-19 from (1) their own illness; (2) exposure leading to quarantine; (3) illness of a close family member or school closures that may require long-term caregiving; or (4) unemployment resulting from business closures.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Haltzel, Laura; Isaacs, Katelin P., 1980-; Morton, William R. . . .

    2020-03-06

  • Defense Production Act (DPA) and COVID-19: Key Authorities and Policy Considerations [March 6, 2020]

    From the Document: “As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak develops, the United States faces drug and medical supply scarcities due to disrupted supply chains and increased demand. In response, the President may exercise emergency authorities under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA; 50 U.S.C. §§4501 et seq.) to address supply shortages and economic development impacts, and may have begun the process of doing so. This Insight considers DPA authorities that may be used to address domestic essential goods and materials shortages caused by the outbreak, and explores potential policy considerations for Congress. For more information on the health and epidemiological aspects of COVID-19, see CRS products R46219 and IF11421.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Cecire, Michael H.; Peters, Heidi M.

    2020-03-06

  • COVID-19: Current Travel Restrictions and Quarantine Measures [March 5, 2020]

    From the Document: “The United States, along with many countries, is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease, now referred to as COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], which is caused by a novel coronavirus first detected in mainland China’s Hubei Province in late 2019. Cases of COVID-19 have now been detected in several countries, including the United States. To date, the federal government has taken two key actions to deter persons with suspected COVID-19 infection from entering the country or spreading the virus to persons within the United States. First, the federal government has restricted many non-U.S. nationals (aliens) who recently travelled to mainland China or Iran from entering the United States. Second, the federal government has imposed a quarantine requirement on all persons entering the United States, regardless of citizenship status, who have recently been to mainland China. This Legal Sidebar examines the legal authorities underlying these actions, as well as possible legal challenges to their use.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Liu, Edward C.

    2020-03-05

  • EMR-ISAC: InfoGram, Volume 20 Issue 10, March 5, 2020

    The Emergency Management and Response Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s (EMR-ISAC) InfoGram is a weekly publication of information concerning the protection of critical infrastructures relevant to members of the Emergency Services Sector. This issue includes the following articles: “Past FEMA PrepTalks speak to current coronavirus emergency”; “Upcoming BMAP [Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program] administrator trainer, community liaison courses”; “Active Shooter Training for Houses of Worship”; “Why you should take the time and dox yourself”; “States and feds must help local cybersecurity efforts”; “Your smartphone has more bacteria than a toilet seat”; “Google, Microsoft giving away conferencing tools for limited time”; and “For better cybersecurity, new tool fools hackers into sharing keys.”

    Emergency Management and Response-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (U.S.)

    2020-03-05

  • Payroll Tax Cuts as an Economic Stimulus Response to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) [March 5, 2020]

    From the Document: “The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has increased concerns that the U.S. economy could be affected as part of a global economic downturn. A range of fiscal and monetary policy tools have been used to address prior times of economic weakness. One option for fiscal stimulus is a temporary payroll tax cut for employees. This option was used to address economic weakness in 2011 and 2012. On March 2, 2020, President Trump and others expressed interest in a one-year payroll tax cut to help bolster the economy.”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Marples, Donald J.; Sherlock, Molly F.

    2020-03-05

  • COVID-19: Global Implications and Responses [Updated March 5, 2020]

    From the Overview: “As of March 4, 2020, the novel coronavirus that began sickening patients in Wuhan, China, in early December 2019 had spread to over 75 countries, including the United States. Daily new cases and deaths related to the virus outside China now exceed those reported in China, where the epidemic appears to be coming under control. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the new virus ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’ (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease that it causes ‘coronavirus disease 2019’ (COVID-19). WHO has declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and raised its global risk assessment to ‘Very High.’ It has refrained from labeling the outbreak a ‘pandemic,’ however. Doing so, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said, could ‘signal that we can no longer contain the virus, which is not true.’ On March 5, Tedros told countries, ‘This is not the time to give up.’ Rather, ‘This is a time for pulling out all the stops.'”

    Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

    Tharakan, Sara M.; Gottron, Frank; Lawrence, Susan V. . . .

    2020-03-05

  • Community Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Shenzhen, China, 2020

    From the Abstract: “Since early January 2020, after the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in Wuhan, China, ≈365 confirmed cases have been reported in Shenzhen, China. The mode of community and intrafamily transmission is threatening residents in Shenzhen. Strategies to strengthen prevention and interruption of these transmissions should be urgently addressed.”

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)

    Liu, Jiaye; Liu, Yingxia; Liao, Xuejiao . . .

    2020-03-03

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Author: Jodi Stiles

State Department Releases Reports on Human Rights Practices

Man waving American flagThis week, the U.S. Department of State released the newest edition of its annual publication, the 2019 issue of “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices“.  Each year, the State Department provides an update regarding human rights on all countries which receive assistance from the United States, as well as all United Nations member states. In the Preface, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comments that, “The 44th annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices provide carefully researched, factual, and objective information on actions foreign governments are taking – or not taking – to demonstrate observance of and respect for internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.  By publishing these reports, we reaffirm the United States’ longstanding commitment to advancing human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The report is searchable by country, and also has a function to build a custom report. This year’s publication also includes appendices of Notes on Preparation of the Country Reports and Explanatory Material, Reporting on Workers Rights, Additional Resources, FY 2019 Foreign Assistance Actuals, UN General Assembly’s Third Committee Country Resolution Votes 2019, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Need help finding something?  Ask one of our librarians for assistance!

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Author: Kendall Scherr

Report from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission

Cybersecurity image - from CHDS imagesLast year, the National Defense Authorization Act created the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission to address the continually evolving cyber landscape and strategic dilemma facing the United States. Specifically, the Commission was asked the two following questions: (1) What strategic approach will defend the United States against cyberattacks of significant consequences? (2) And what policies and legislation are required to implement that strategy?

In the recently released report, the short answer is “layered cyber deterrence” via a three-pronged method:

  • Shape behavior by collaborating with allies to “promote responsible behavior in cyberspace”.
  • Deny benefits and increase the costs to actors who abuse cyberspace and the cyber ecosystem.
  • Impose costs by maintaining a readiness and capability to retaliate against adversaries who target American interest in cyberspace.

The Commission argues that the entire foundation of implementing a successful layered cyber deterrence rests on reform within the U.S. government. Currently, the government is ill-equipped and not organized in a way that allows for quick and agile cybersecurity threat response. Specifically, the Commission suggests that Congress should establish the House Permanent Select and Senate Select Committees on Cybersecurity, and also establish a Senate-confirmed National Cyber Director. Congress can further assist in the implementation of layered cyber deterrence by strengthening the resources and authority of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

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Author: Kendall Scherr

Policing Protests: A Guide for Police

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation has released Policing Protests Lessons from the Occupy Movement, Ferguson & Beyond: A Guide for Police which details best practices for law enforcement handling protest movements.

The document touches on the history of political protest in the United States, noting “the rapid emergence of the Occupy movement made it clear that police organizations around the nation had very different levels of experience with and preparedness for such events.”

Key lessons learned stress the importance of education, facilitation, communication, and differentiation when it comes to policing protests.

For more information on the topics addressed including protest movements and policing visit the HSDL.  Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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Author: Emily Christian

Far-Right Terrorism: Analyzing Roots and Motivations

Black automatic assault rifle against a colorful background riddled with bullet holes while the red section of the background "bleeds"The Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society released a new report analyzing the nature of contemporary far-right terrorism. Significantly, this type of extremism appears to be on the rise with a significant increase in far-right terrorist attacks across the Western world since 2016-17. Furthermore, as the authors suggest, the “global, ideologically diverse, and unpredictable” nature of far-right extremist movements presents numerous challenges to counter-terrorism efforts.

The report, Far-Right Terrorist Manifestos: A Critical Analysis, focuses primarily on reviewing material produced by would-be perpetrators of mass attacks. Online publication of pre-attack manifestos is becoming common among individuals seeking to commit violence. Each manifesto contains a variation of the author’s justification for the planned attack, as well as a personal interpretation of the world’s problems. As such, the report provides a qualitative analysis of theoretical motivations behind this violence.

Each document therefore seeks to offer an explanation – albeit an unpalatable one – for not just its author’s own actions, but also the rapid demographic changes occurring in many Western societies. Replacement theories on the far right clearly matter.

In addressing the urgent need to stem the growth of far-right extreme ideologies worldwide, the report provides a list of policy recommendations, including:

  • Expand prevention efforts by developing an effective community relations strategy with an emphasis on social cohesion;
  • Public authorities and law enforcement must engage with white working-class communities;
  • Develop a more inclusive economy by focusing on comprehensive public investment in skills development and job placement;
  • Elevate international focus on white far-right terrorism to the United Nations and require a co-ordinated international response;
  • Politicians need to recognize the contemporary demographic changes in some Western countries; and
  • Methods of publicising or justifying violent extremism might change as technology advances and the counter-measures come info effect.

For more information on the topics addressed, visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Domestic (U.S.) TerrorismSuicide Bombers, and Lone Wolf Terrorism. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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Author: Julia West

Democracy Under Assault: Global Deterioration in Basic Rights and Freedoms

Man waving American flagFreedom House released a new report highlighting an alarming decline of democracies around the globe. According to the report, Freedom in the World 2020: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy,  the setbacks are apparent not only in authoritarian states, but also among countries that traditionally protect basic rights and freedoms. Significantly, the data suggests that 2019 is yet another year of decline in global freedom, with 64 countries experiencing deterioration in their political rights and civil liberties.

The report offers the following Key Findings:

  • The percentage of Free countries declined consistently over the last decade;
  • The gap between deterioration of political and civil liberties in relation to gains widened;
  • Largest gains and declines appear in Africa with Benin, Mozambique, and Tanzania suffering setbacks while Sudan, Madagascar, and Ethiopia experiencing progress;
  • Most established democracies continue to experience declines in pluralism and good governance;
  • Mass protests exposed public desire for basic freedoms, however, police and pro-governmental repression yielded mixed results;
  • Authoritarian powers continue to expand their global influence through proxies, election interference, and expanding censorship.

The overall effect of these developments results in significant decay of democratic powers coupled with “the unchecked brutality of autocratic regimes.” Specifically, to stem this dangerous trend, democracies should [1] strengthen and protect core democratic values and principles; [2] address threats of manipulation by authoritarian actors; [3] defend and expand democracy around the world via alliances and foreign assistance. Furthermore, the report provides a set of recommendations for the private sector, emphasizing human rights, privacy, and cybersecurity.

For more information, visit the HSDL Featured Topics or our In Focus topic on Mass Gatherings, Electronic Surveillance, Cyber Policy, and Cyber Infrastructure Protection. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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Author: Julia West