Tuesday morning federal headlines – Sept. 18, 2012

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Shredders at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut are working overtime. Diplomats there are destroying classified material as a security precaution. Anti-U.S. riots are on the rise again after a weekend slowdown. The State Department told the Associated Press, Lebanese employees of the embassy were sent home early. Officials don’t think the embassy is in immediate danger. They said protests planned by militant Muslim groups are scheduled to take place an hour away. (Federal News Radio)
  • A European satellite launched yesterday is helping the U.S. federal government with weather prediction. The new bird is the second of three to be put into polar orbit. It’s part of a cooperative agreement between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a European satellite group called Eumestat. NOAA and Eumestat put each other’s sensors aboard their satellites. Together, the fleet gives most of the data used for weather analysis worldwide. The newest satellite launched from a cosmodrome in Kazakstan. (NOAA)
  • The Office of Personnel Management needs to get more involved in workforce training throughout the government. A new Government Accountability Office report says that would help improve and bring uniformity to what is now a hodge-podge array of staff development courses. But auditors praised OPM’s online training site, HR University. The website contains vetted classes that agencies have developed for their human resources staff but may be useful to other parts of government. GAO said OPM should identify the courses that best meet governmentwide training requirements and offer them through the website. OPM agreed with most of the recommendations and said it was updating its guidance. (GAO)
  • Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (R) said he would cut federal programs that are not “absolutely essential” if he wins the November election. He would reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition, Fox News reported. By combining agencies and departments, he said he would reduce overhead. Romney made his pitch for a smaller federal government in a speech to the Hispanic chamber of commerce in Los Angeles. In making program cuts, he said his barometer would be whether the program is so critical that it is worth borrowing money from China. Romney also said he would crack down on improper payments and align federal pay and benefits with the private sector. (Fox News)