Tuesday Afternoon Federal Newscast – April 27

The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Senators questioned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the ramifications of Arizona’s tough new immigration law when she appeared for an oversight hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee already had planned the hearing for the Homeland Security Department. Last week Arizona’s governor signed a law requiring police to question people about their immigrant status if they suspect they are in the U.S. Illegally. Napolitano’s department oversees border security. President Barack Obama has called the new law “misguided.”
  • The American-led effort to gain control of southern Afghanistan is off to a slow start and the political clock is ticking as U.S. troops head into what could be the bloodiest fight yet in the eight-year war. The U.S. and its NATO allies last week set a goal of starting to transfer control of Afghanistan to the central government by the end of the year, and President Barack Obama has said U.S. troops must start leaving in 2011. But the slow pace of progress makes it less likely Obama can meet these tight deadlines, and it’s not clear if he can buy more time: He has struggled to persuade Congress to commit troops based on the current schedule. The expanded U.S. campaign began in late winter in the small farming hamlets of Marjah, in Helmand Province, and has advanced more slowly than expected, officials said.
  • More and more Americans are interacting with local, state and federal government offices online. They are turning to the Web to renew driver’s licenses and car registrations, to apply for hunting and fishing permits, to pay parking tickets and other fines and even to track campaign contributions and stimulus spending, according to a study being released Tuesday. In a survey of more than 2,000 American adults conducted in late 2009, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 82 percent of Internet users _ or 61 percent of American adults _ had looked up information or completed a transaction on a government Web site over the previous year.
  • The U.S. military lost contact with an experimental hypersonic glider after it was launched by a rocket on a test flight over the Pacific Ocean last week, a defense agency said. The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle-2 was launched Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and was supposed to separate from the booster at an altitude of several hundred thousand feet and then autonomously glide at 13,000 mph to a splashdown in a sea range near Kwajalein Atoll, 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. The separation did occur, according to a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency statement.
  • Four U.S. senators want Facebook to make it easier for its more than 400 million users to protect their privacy as the website develops new outlets to share personal information. The call for simpler privacy controls came in a letter that the senators planned to send Tuesday to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The Associated Press obtained a draft of the letter signed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo; Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska; and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.


Coming up on the Federal Drive


** Dr. Robert Groves, director of the Census, gives us up to the minute details about the Nation’s decennial count.

** And disabled veterans now have more options on their long-term care, and it could mean a business opportunity for families willing to open their home to a disabled vet.