Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu After Their Meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel

04/29/2018
Tel Aviv, Israel

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Good afternoon. Secretary Pompeo, Mike, it’s wonderful to welcome you. This is your first visit to Israel as Secretary of State. I think it’s significant that you chose, as did the President, to include Israel on this important itinerary. I think it’s symbolic of our friendship, which is deep, and getting even deeper and stronger. We’ve known each other for some time, I followed your activities in Congress and then as CIA, now as Secretary of State. You’re a true friend of Israel, a true friend of the Jewish people, and I look forward to working with you in your new role. We’ve just had very productive, very focused conversations on our common interests and how to defend our common value.

I want to thank again President Trump for his historic decision on recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. We look forward to welcoming the American delegation to celebrate the relocation of the embassy with you, Ambassador Friedman. I must tell you that the bold decision by President Trump has prompted other countries – there are quite a few now who are planning to move their embassy to Jerusalem as well. It says something about American leadership and about the forthright way in which simple truths are being put forward and the effect this has on the international scene.

Mr. Secretary, I think the greatest threat to the world and to our two countries and to all countries is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons, and specifically, the attempt of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. We’ve had a very productive talk today on this subject as well. I appreciate the President’s leadership and your position on stopping Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons. I appreciate the President’s and your position on stopping Iran’s aggression in the region. That aggression has grown many-fold since the signing of the Iranian deal. If people thought that Iran’s aggression would be moderated as a result of signing the deal, the opposite has happened, and Iran is trying to gobble up one country after the other. Iran must be stopped. Its quest for nuclear bombs must be stopped. Its aggression must be stopped. And we’re committed to stopping it together.

I was very much encouraged, once again, by the steadfast support of the United States for Israel and for this common effort, which encompasses many other countries, as you know – as you well know, Mr. Secretary. But our bond is special. It’s based on shared values of democracy, freedom, the quest for security and peace, and I can say that today America and Israel are closer than ever before. And I have no doubt that our alliance will grow even closer in the years ahead.

So I want to welcome you back to Israel, Mr. Secretary. It’s a pleasure to see you and I wish you the best of luck in your important mission. Thank you.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Well, good afternoon. It is a great honor to be here on my first trip as Secretary of State. I’ve been the Secretary for a handful of hours. As I was saying earlier, I haven’t been to my office yet.

As you said, this relationship’s never been stronger, and I think we should both be proud of that. We had fantastic conversations today on difficult issues facing each of us. We are incredibly proud to be opening the new embassy on May 14th, well ahead of the original timetable. This step comes as Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary of independence and 70 years of recognition as steadfast support for Israel from the American people as well. By recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seat of its government, we’re recognizing reality. I also stress, as President Trump has said in December, the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to negotiations between the parties, and we remain committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future for both Israel and the Palestinians.

Many of our conversations today, Mr. Prime Minister, as you said, centered on Iran. Strong cooperation with close allies like you is critical to our efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing and malign activity throughout the Middle East and indeed throughout the world. We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region, and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains. The United States is with Israel in this fight and we strongly support Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself.

Regarding the JCPOA, President Trump’s been pretty clear. This deal is very flawed. He’s directed the administration to try and fix it, and if we can’t fix it, he’s going to withdraw from the deal. It’s pretty straightforward. Unlike the past administration, President Trump has a comprehensive Iran strategy that is designed to counter the full array of threats emanating from Tehran.

As part of the President’s comprehensive Iran strategy, we are also working to counter the broad set of non-nuclear threats: Iran’s missile systems, its support for Hizballah, the importation of thousands of proxy fighters into Syria, and its assistance to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. We look forward to working closely with strong allies like Israel in countering these threats and rolling back the full range of Iranian malign influence.

Regarding Syria, where the barbaric Assad regime is propped up by Iran, the United States’ top priorities are to defeat ISIS, de-escalate violence, deter the use of chemical weapons, and ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and support an ultimate political resolution to the conflict. Our strategy to do that remains unchanged. We strongly support the UN-led efforts in Geneva to bring an end to the Syrian conflict, which has gone on for far too long.

We know there are many challenges ahead and we look forward to being your partner in resolving each of them. The United States and Israel I know together can achieve that. It’s great to be back.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Thank you.

FDA WARNS ABOUT STEM CELL THERAPIES FROM UNSCRUPULOUS PROVIDERS

Doris Tyler lay on the examining table as the doctor stuck a long, thin tube into her belly. The doctor pulled back a plunger, and the syringe quickly filled with yellow blobs tinged with pink.

“Look at that beautiful fat coming out. Liquid gold!” one of the clinic’s staff exclaimed in a video of the procedure provided to The Washington Post.

Hidden in that fat were stem cells with the amazing power to heal, the Stem Cell Center of Georgia had told Tyler. The clinic is one of hundreds that have popped up across the country, many offering treatments for conditions from Parkinson’s disease to autism to multiple sclerosis. WASHINGTON POST

Stem cells have been called everything from cure-alls to miracle treatments. But don’t believe the hype. Some unscrupulous providers offer stem cell products that are both unapproved and unproven. So beware of potentially dangerous procedures—and confirm what’s really being offered before you consider any treatment.

The facts: Stem cell therapies may offer the potential to treat diseases or conditions for which few treatments exist. Sometimes called the body’s “master cells,” stem cells are the cells that develop into blood, brain, bones, and all of the body’s organs. They have the potential to repair, restore, replace, and regenerate cells, and could possibly be used to treat many medical conditions and diseases.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that some patients seeking cures and remedies are vulnerable to stem cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful. And the FDA is increasing its oversight and enforcement to protect people from dishonest and unscrupulous stem cell clinics, while continuing to encourage innovation so that the medical industry can properly harness the potential of stem cell products.

To do your part to stay safe, make sure that any stem cell treatment you are considering is either:

  • FDA-approved, or;
  • Being studied under an Investigational New Drug Application (IND), which is a clinical investigation plan submitted and allowed to proceed by the FDA.

Stem Cell Uses and FDA Regulation

The FDA has the authority to regulate stem cell products in the United States.

Today, doctors routinely use stem cells that come from bone marrow or blood in transplant procedures to treat patients with cancer and disorders of the blood and immune system.

With limited exceptions, investigational products must also go through a thorough FDA review process as investigators prepare to determine the safety and effectiveness of products in well-controlled human studies, called clinical trials. The FDA has reviewed many stem cell products for use in these studies.

As part of the FDA’s review, investigators must show how each product will be manufactured so the FDA can make sure appropriate steps are being taken to help assure the product’s safety, purity, and strength (potency). The FDA also requires sufficient data from animal studies to help evaluate any potential risks associated with product use. (You can learn more about clinical trials on the FDA’s website.)

That said, some clinics may inappropriately advertise stem cell clinical trials without submitting an IND. Some clinics also may falsely advertise that FDA review and approval of the stem cell therapy is unnecessary. But when clinical trials are not conducted under an IND, it means that the FDA has not reviewed the experimental therapy to help make sure it is reasonably safe. So be cautious about these treatments.

About FDA-approved products derived from stem cells

The only stem cell-based products that are FDA-approved for use in the United States consist of blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic progenitor cells) derived from cord blood.

These products are approved for limited use in patients with disorders that affect the body system that is involved in the production of blood (called the “hematopoietic” system). These FDA-approved stem cell products are listed on the FDA website. Bone marrow also is used for these treatments but is generally not regulated by the FDA for this use.

Safety Concerns for Unproven Stem Cell Treatments

All medical treatments have benefits and risks. But unproven stem cell therapies can be particularly unsafe.

For instance, attendees at a 2016 FDA public workshop discussed several cases of severe adverse events. One patient became blind due to an injection of stem cells into the eye. Another patient received a spinal cord injection that caused the growth of a spinal tumor.

Other potential safety concerns for unproven treatments include:

  • Administration site reactions,
  • The ability of cells to move from placement sites and change into inappropriate cell types or multiply,
  • Failure of cells to work as expected, and
  • The growth of tumors.

Note: Even if stem cells are your own cells, there are still safety risks such as those noted above. In addition, if cells are manipulated after removal, there is a risk of contamination of the cells.

FDA Actions on Unapproved Stem Cell Products

When stem cell products are used in unapproved ways—or when they are processed in ways that are more than minimally manipulated, which relates to the nature and degree of processing—the FDA may take (and has already taken) a variety of administrative and judicial actions, including criminal enforcement, depending on the violations involved.

In August 2017, the FDA announced increased enforcement of regulations and oversight of stem cell clinics. To learn more, see the statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the FDA website.

And in March 2017, to further clarify the benefits and risks of stem cell therapy, the FDA published a perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA will continue to help with the development and licensing of new stem cell therapies where the scientific evidence supports the product’s safety and effectiveness.

Advice for People Considering Stem Cell Therapies

Stem cell products have the potential to treat many medical conditions and diseases. But for almost all of these products, it is not yet known whether the product has any benefit—or if the product is safe to use.


If you’re considering treatment in the United States:

  • Ask if the FDA has reviewed the treatment. Ask your health care provider to confirm this information. You also can ask the clinical investigator to give you the FDA-issued Investigational New Drug Application number and the chance to review the FDA communication acknowledging the IND. Ask for this information before getting treatment—even if the stem cells are your own.
  • Request the facts and ask questions if you don’t understand. To participate in a clinical trial that requires an IND application, you must sign a consent form that explains the experimental procedure. The consent form also identifies the Institutional Review Board (IRB) that assures the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects. Make sure you understand the entire process and known risks before you sign. You also can ask the study sponsor for the clinical investigator’s brochure, which includes a short description of the product and information about its safety and effectiveness.

If you’re considering treatment in another country:

  • Learn about regulations that cover products in that country.
  • Know that the FDA does not have oversight of treatments done in other countries. The FDA typically has little information about foreign establishments or their stem cell products.
  • Be cautious. If you’re considering a stem cell-based product in a country that may not require regulatory review of clinical studies, it may be hard to know if the experimental treatment is reasonably safe.

Last Updated: 11/16/2017

WITH THE SUPREME COURT’S PENDING SPORTS GAMBLING DECISION STATES ARE ALREADY PREPPING FOR LEGALIZATION

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A screen shows a baseball game next to various betting lines at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, Nevada. John Locher/AP Photo

Jennifer Roberts,
University of Nevada

The gambling world is waiting with bated breath for the United States Supreme Court decision that could result in an expansion of sports betting. The decision could be announced anytime between today and the end of June.

Since I teach sports betting regulation and gambling law, I’ve been closely watching the developments as well. Although Nevada has had a robust sports betting industry for decades, New Jersey has been at the forefront of the push to legalize sports betting.

In recent years, many other states have prepared for a ruling from the Supreme Court that would overturn the prohibition of sports betting. Even professional sports leagues – which have emerged as the leading opponents of efforts to legalize and regulate sports betting – are looking to cash in.

How we got here

According to the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

For this reason, states have traditionally overseen and regulated casino gambling. The Nevada Supreme Court specifically recognized, in a case involving the infamous Frank Rosenthal (portrayed as Ace Rothstein by Robert De Niro in the movie “Casino”), that gaming is “a matter reserved to the states within the meaning of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

However, in 1992, responding to concerns about the spread of state-sponsored sports wagering, Congress enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, also known as the Bradley Act, named after its lead sponsor, then-U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.

The Bradley Act made it unlawful for any governmental entity, such as states, municipalities or Indian tribes, to “sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize by law or compact” any sports betting. In addition, the act prohibited any individual from operating any sort of sports betting enterprise.

However, the Bradley Act exempted four states from the prohibition: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana. Of these four states, Nevada was – and remains – the only one with full-scale sports wagering. New Jersey was given a one-year window to legalize sports wagering, but the state legislature failed to take action within the allotted time.

Fast forward to 2011. That year, New Jersey government officials decided they wanted to have regulated sports wagering, so the state introduced a referendum on a statewide ballot that would amend the state Constitution to permit wagering on college, amateur, and professional sports at Atlantic City casinos and racetracks across the state.

New Jersey voters supported the ballot referendum, and in 2012 the New Jersey legislature passed a law to legalize sports wagering.

However, the major professional and college sports leagues – NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL – opposed the legislation and filed a lawsuit to stop New Jersey from regulating sports wagering.

In response, New Jersey claimed that the Bradley Act was unconstitutional because it violated the state’s 10th Amendment rights to regulate gambling in the form of sports wagering. In 2013, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the leagues, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the case. The Bradley Act remained intact.

New Jersey pressed on. Having lost on the argument that legalizing sports wagering is equivalent to “authorizing” it under the existing Bradley Act, New Jersey got creative and decided to simply repeal the state’s criminal laws and regulations that prohibited sports book operations in casinos and racetracks.

Once again, the sports leagues sued to stop New Jersey. In response, New Jersey argued that it would be a violation of the 10th Amendment if the state were prevented from repealing an existing law. Again, the lower courts and Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the leagues – but for the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would weigh in.

Prepping for the inevitable?

Now we await the decision.

It’s important to note that this case is about more than sports betting, which is simply the subject matter before the Supreme Court. It has more to do with states’ rights, and the decision has the potential to affect other areas of dispute, from marijuana legalization to the ability of cities to protect undocumented immigrants to gun control.

There are several possible outcomes. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide in favor of the leagues, which would mean New Jersey – and any other nonexempted state – would remain prohibited from allowing any sports wagering.

At the other end of the spectrum, the court could declare the Bradley Act unconstitutional, and states and Indian tribes would no longer be blocked from authorizing and regulating full-scale sports wagering.

Another possibility is that the court sides with New Jersey and allows the state to decriminalize sports wagering – on an either limited basis (in casinos and racetracks) or entirely – but not regulate it.

Finally, the Supreme Court could strike the prohibition that prevents states and tribes from permitting sports wagering, but keep the restriction so that individuals cannot conduct legal sports wagering. If this were to happen, sports betting could be permitted by states, but individuals would be prevented from operating their own sports betting business.

About 20 states are already preparing for the event that the Bradley Act gets overturned and are gearing up to pass laws (or have already done so) that will give them the ability to offer regulated sports wagering.

However, there are many unknowns and issues that will need to be addressed: Will state-sponsored sports wagering be run by state lotteries or private enterprise such as casinos or racetracks? Will amendments be needed to permit Indian tribes to offer sports wagering? And will information on sporting events for wagering purposes – such as scores, outcomes or game statistics – be restricted to data generated from the leagues?

There are already disagreements over something called an “integrity fee.” In states where sports betting will likely become legal, leagues have been pressing to receive 1 percent of all amounts wagered on a sporting event.

In Nevada – where legal, regulated sports wagering has taken place since 1949 – such a fee has never been in place. Instead, casinos simply pay the state up to 6.75 percent in a tax on revenues (which is the same tax paid by casinos on other forms of gambling), in addition to a federal tax of 0.25 percent on amounts wagered. States looking to legalize sports betting are proposing varied rates of taxation.

So how might an integrity fee affect sports books?

If we look at the most recent Super Bowl, over US$158 million was wagered in Nevada on the game. If there was a mandated integrity fee, this means that the NFL would have received $1.58 million from Nevada sports books.

But in the case of the Super Bowl, Nevada sports books only made $1.17 million, or 0.7 percent of the total amount wagered. So that means that if Nevada sports books had to pay an integrity fee on the Super Bowl, it would have lost money even before having to pay state and federal taxes, rent, employee salaries and the other costs of operating a sports book. From the industry’s perspective, sports wagering isn’t always as lucrative as it’s often portrayed to be.

The ConversationFor this reason, states must be educated and informed when considering whether to legalize sports betting. If they think they’ll get a tax windfall for schools and roads, they could be sorely mistaken – especially if the leagues end up getting a cut.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

 

 

REP. PATRICK MEEHAN(R-Pa.) RESIGNS AMID ETHICS PROBE REPORTS OF SECRET SETTLEMENT WITH STAFFER WHO ACCUSED HIM OF SEXUAL HASASSMENT

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) resigns amid ethics probe, reports of secret settlement with staffer who accused him of harassment

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), who previously announced his retirement from Congress following reports he had paid a secret settlement to a staffer who accused him of harassment, resigned outright Friday.

His resignation came as the House Ethics Committee continued a probe into his behavior that could have resulted in serious sanctions. The former aide, a younger woman, alleged that Meehan had confessed romantic feelings for her after she became involved with another man. Meehan, she alleged, later retaliated after she repelled his advances. Full Story

DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH – SECONDS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH

 

In 2016, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives — an 8% increase from 2014. Tragically, texting while driving has become especially problematic among millennials, particularly female drivers who have been more likely to be involved in a fatal crash every year since 2012.

Whether you are on the phone, texting, checking your hair, or reaching down for a burger and fries, you are robbing yourself of seconds that can be the difference between a close call and a deadly crash.

Regardless of the law in your state, you should be asking yourself, “What can I do? And how do I keep my family safe?”

Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a great time to reflect on the choices that you make while behind the wheel and to take action in your community to help stop distracted driving.

Join us on April 30 from 7 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. as we tweet every 30 minutes about the dangers of distracted driving. One conversation, one share, or one retweet could save the life of a loved one. Take the pledge to drive safely and talk to your friends and family about doing the same. Join us in our fight for safer roads.

Who: NHTSA and You!

What: #JustDrive Tweet Up

When: Monday, April 30, 7 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET

Where: http://www.twitter.com/NHTSAgov

How: Follow the conversation using #JustDrive. Feel free to mention @NHTSAgov in any of your tweets and we will return as many questions and comments as we can!

 

 

 

Library of Congress and Bibliothèque Nationale de France Announce Collaboration on International Digital Content

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Laurence Engel, president of the Bibliothèque National de France (BnF), today announced a collaboration between the Library of Congress and the BnF to provide digital content for a new online space for collections relating to shared French-American history. The initiative will also be supported by other U.S. organizations, including the National Archives.

During the special visit to the Library, President Macron and his wife, Brigitte, viewed a display that included treasures from the Library of Congress and National Archives that will be part of the international collaboration, which highlights an extensive tradition of close cooperation between the United States and France.

Through direct digital access to complete books, maps, prints and other documents from the collections of the partner libraries, the new bilingual website will focus on the cultural and historical connections between France and Northern America and, more specifically, the United States during the 16th through the 19thcenturies.

This digital space, which revitalizes a previous initiative called “France in America,” is part of the missions of the Library of Congress and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France to make their resources available to ever-growing audiences and to preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.

“The Library of Congress is thrilled to continue these mutual efforts with the National Library of France to collect, preserve and provide access to the rich cultural heritage of France and French-Americans,” said Hayden. “Together we have a substantial collection of materials reflecting the deep historical and cultural connections between France and the United States, as well as materials documenting and celebrating French-American life.”

“Since the epic story of the New France, our two nations share also a common history,” said Engel. “The future website, a joint initiative of the Library of Congress and the National Library of France, will associate prestigious American institutions such as the National Archives to bring it to life for the benefit of all.”

“The National Archives is honored to be celebrating the important historical ties between our countries by sharing our unique French-American documents in this exciting international venture,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.

As a key part of this collaboration, Bibliothèque Nationale de France will create and host the website, which is part of its collection “Shared Heritage,” while the Library of Congress will select and make available high-quality digital scans of relevant materials from its collections.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France is one of the oldest national libraries in the world tracing its origins back to a medieval royal collection and benefiting from one of the earliest legislation regarding Legal Deposit, promulgated as soon as 1537. Its collections are global and as such reflect France’s position in the world across the centuries, the humanist tradition and the Enlightenment. Visit collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at www.bnf.fr as well as discover Gallica, the digital library, at gallica.bnf.fr.

The National Archives serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our government, so people can discover, use and learn from this documentary heritage.  From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers and Presidential Libraries, and online at www.archives.gov.

ON THE OCCASION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TOGO’S NATIONAL DAY

On behalf of the American people, I am extending warm wishes to the people of Togo as you celebrate the 58th anniversary of your independence on April 27.

The United States remains committed to a strong partnership with Togo and to supporting Togo’s efforts to strengthen its democracy, prosperity, and security.

As you celebrate this historic day, the United States stands with Togo in honoring your independence as a nation rich in tradition and full of possibilities, and sends warm wishes to the government and people of Togo for a joyous independence celebration.

Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC

SOUTH DAKOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS 20-STATES INJUNCTION AGAINST OBAMACARE

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms that South Dakota has joined a 20-state coalition in a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against the federal government’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“South Dakotan’s deserve more affordable health insurance than mandated Obamacare has provided. Compliance with the mandatory provisions of Obamacare has resulted in documented costs of over $28.7 for the State of South Dakota and additional insurance premiums for citizens,” said Jackley. “The original 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision was based not on healthcare but on Congress’ decision to tax us, and it is time to once and for all end this federal mandate to allow medical doctors more freedom to care for patients and private industry to compete for lower insurance premiums.”

The motion for a preliminary injunction against Obamacare is necessary to spare the states from the enormous financial burden caused by the individual mandate.

Before Obamacare, “the states allowed individuals to determine whether to buy health insurance, established high-risk insurance pools to help individuals in ill-health, enabled cost-sharing, and instituted many other policies that Obamacare now preempts or functionally preempts,” the coalition wrote.

Texas and Wisconsin are joined in the lawsuit against Obamacare by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, along with the governors of Maine and Mississippi. View a copy of the motion seeking a preliminary injunction here: https://bit.ly/2HuVcNH

Commemorating the Birthday of the Disappeared Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyim

On April 25, we marked the birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who has not appeared in public since he was reportedly abducted two decades ago by the Chinese government at age six. The United States remains concerned that Chinese authorities continue to take steps to eliminate the religious, linguistic, and cultural identity of Tibetans, including their ongoing destruction of communities of worship, such as the Larung Gar and Yachen Gar monasteries. We call on China to release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima immediately and to uphold its international commitments to promote religious freedom for all persons.

Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
U.S.Department of State

SOUTH DAKOTA VETERANS BONUS

PIERRE, S.D If you served with the Armed Forces any time after Aug. 2, 1990, or are currently active duty military, the State of South Dakota and South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs want to say thank you!

The Department administers a bonus program for those who were legal residents of the state for no less than six months prior to their active duty service and who meet other qualifications.

In the past 14 years, the department has made bonus payments of up to $500 to more than 9,400 service members for their active duty service after Jan. 1, 1993, through today. Since 2005, bonus awards have also been made to over 880 service members activated from Aug. 2, 1990, to Dec. 31, 1992. Bonus payments cannot be paid for Active Duty for training.

Read more about the state’s Armed Forces bonus under the “Benefits” tab on the Department website at http://vetaffairs.sd.gov, contact your local county or tribal veterans service office, or call the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs at 605-773-7251.