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The Obama Administration: May 1-16, 2010

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The President issued a Presidential Memorandum for the heads of federal departments and agencies that ordered them to overhaul the way they recruit and hire their civilian workforce, stating, "Americans must be able to apply for Federal jobs through a commonsense hiring process and agencies must be able to select high-quality candidates efficiently and quickly. Moreover, agency managers and supervisors must assume a leadership role in recruiting and selecting employees from all segments of our society. Human resource offices must provide critical support for these efforts. The ability of agencies to perform their missions effectively and efficiently depends on a talented and engaged workforce, and we must reform our hiring system to further strengthen that workforce." The outline of procedures to fullfill the President's order was included in the Memorandum.

The President released the Administration's inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, which established five-year goals to reduce drug use and its consequences, including:

" Reduce the rate of youth drug use by 15 percent;
" Decrease drug use among young adults by 10 percent;
" Reduce the number of chronic drug users by 15 percent;
" Reduce the incidence of drug-induced deaths by 15 percent; and
" Reduce the prevalence of drugged driving by 10 percent.

In addition, the Strategy outlines three significant drug challenges on which the Administration will specifically focus in 2010: prescription drug abuse, drugged driving, and preventing drug use. Source

The White House released a statement in which the President expressed the disappointment of the United States in "the Egyptian government's decision to extend the State of Emergency which has been in effect continuously since 1981. We call on the Egyptian government to fulfill its pledge to the Egyptian people to replace the Emergency Law with a counterterrorism law that protects the civil liberties and dignity of Egyptian citizens". Source

The United States Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced the Department of Labor's Career Video Challenge that asked Americans to create short videos highlighting 15 in-demand occupations including nursing, medical lab technicians, weatherization, carpentry, steamfitting and more. The Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration staff planned to narrow it down to the top three videos in each field, but the final choice by vote of the public would determine the $1,000 cash prize winner in each field. Entries could be submitted through June 18, 2010, on the Department of Labor website Source

Day474/May12th/Wednesday: The President held a bilateral meeting with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in the Oval Office of the White House; then held a joint press conference with President Karzai in the East Room of the White House. Transcript Video

The President and President Karzai had lunch along with several members of the U.S. national security team and their Afghan counterparts in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

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The President sent notice to the United States Congress the he was continuing the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq (declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007), beyond May 22, 2010. Source Notice

The President declared a major disaster existed in the State of New Hampshire and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding during the period of March 14-31, 2010. Federal funding was made available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding in Rockingham County. Federal funding was also made available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. Source

The President announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key administration posts:

Mark Feierstein, Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID

Osvaldo Gratacós, Inspector General, Export-Import Bank of the United States Source&Bios

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The President announced the designation of the following individuals to be United States Delegates to the Sixty-third World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization from May 17-21, 2010:

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, to be Chief Delegate

The Honorable Betty King, Permanent Representative of the United States to the European Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, to be a Delegate

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.

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