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November 16, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will hold a pro forma session. The House will consider Russia trade legislation. After adjourning today, the House and Senate will reconvene after Thanksgiving.



Senate Democrats Say Deficit Package Must Include Stimulus. Senate Democrats, feeling confident from their net gain of two seats in last week's election, say any deficit-reduction package negotiated in the coming weeks must include stimulus measures.They have yet to decide which prime-the-pump measures to push, but are mulling options such as new infrastructure spending and an extension of the payroll tax holiday. The Hill


harry reid Reid Tries to Shut Down Fiscal Cliff Dissent. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to discourage a group of Senate Democrats from sending a letter to President Barack Obama this week, concerned that its suggestions for solutions to the fiscal cliff would make Democrats appear divided. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia told fellow Democrats at a caucus lunch Wednesday that he was working on the letter and seeking signatures, sources said. Congressional Quarterly


Farm Bill Still Has a Shot. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas said Thursday that he had been assured by Speaker John Boehner that the farm bill remains part of the year-end "big picture" for Republicans and the promise of $35 billion in 10-year savings "has gotten somebody's attention." The Oklahoma Republican underscored that the fate of his bill -first reported from his committee in July-remains unclear still even to him. But he said he had talked with Boehner directly on the question Tuesday after the House returned from the November elections. Politico


Procedural Tussle Delays Final Vote on Sportsmen Bill. Senate leaders on Thursday reached agreement to vote on final passage of a bill to expand access to federal lands for hunting and fishing enthusiasts after the Thanksgiving recess. The bill (S 3525) became ensnared in procedural obstacles when Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions said he would raise a budgetary point of order on the measure. Congressional Quarterly


Arctic: Chess Board of Global Game. Russia is facing tough competition from the international community in maintaining its sway over the Arctic but the biggest challenge comes from China. The Arctic is the new chess board of international strategic rivalries with Russia being on course to further beefing up its robust military presence in the region. Despite a rapidly dwindling population in past quarter century, the Russian Arctic still boasts of 80 percent of the four million population in the Arctic region. But the Russians are facing a stiff challenge from China. Much to the consternation and anxiety of Russia and other Arctic powers, MV Xue Long, China's lone icebreaker, sailed the Northwest Passage in August 2012. It was an event fraught with deep political symbolism that conveyed that China will not be on the fringe - even if it were to be a race for an obscure region. Russia & India Report


arcticcouncil Canada Concerned Over Russian Suspension of Arctic Aboriginal Group. Canada's term as head of the Arctic Council could get interesting before it even begins after Russia shut down a group that represents its northern aboriginals at international meetings. Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who sits on the council and is an Inuk herself, says Canada is concerned about the move and has joined other members in "expressing their concern." Windsor Star


Indigenous Russians May Lose Arctic Council Association. The Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East (RAIPON), Russia's largest indigenous rights group and one of six indigenous Permanent Participants on the world's Arctic Council, is in serious danger of being permanently dissolved. The non-governmental organization has received an official six-month "activities suspension order" from Russia's Ministry of Justice restricting the group from protesting or gathering. Alaska Dispatch


thinice On Thin Ice in the Arctic. The United States is woefully unprepared to patrol and secure this vital region. In the final presidential debate, when explaining why the Navy has fewer ships than in 1916, President Obama famously quipped that the United States also has "fewer horses and bayonets," setting off a debate over quality versus quantity. In the Arctic - an increasingly important part of the world - the situation is simpler. When it comes to patrolling and securing the Arctic, the United States has neither quality nor quantity. Los Angeles Times


Fortymile Caribou Hunt Could be Modified. With the winter hunting season for the Fortymile Caribou Herd two weeks away, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is working on options to avoid an over-harvest in case thousands of caribou are near the Steese Highway. The winter Fortymile registration permit hunt is scheduled to open Dec. 1 along both the Steese and Taylor highways, but spokeswoman Cathie Harms said the department will make a decision no later than Nov. 26 on whether the Steese Highway hunt will be modified. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 3525, Sportsmen's Act (Tester, considered in the Senate)

Future Events                      


Arctic Technology Conference, December 3-5, 2012. The burgeoning Arctic arena offers a host of opportunities for companies that can solve the complex environmental, physical and regulatory challenges it presents. ATC 2012 will include a highly specialized technical program, education courses, networking events, and an exhibition - all deisgned to help ensure that oil and gas professionals throughout the world are prepared to succeed in these challenging Arctic arenas.


Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, December 3-6, 2012. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure -ports, airports, and response capability - by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic. As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure conference 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference theme is "Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." Participants will include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.


AGU Fall Meeting, December 3-7, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts in fall meeting in San Francisco. Roughly 20,000 scientists will be in attendance. On December 3rd, there will be a town hall meeting entitled "Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions."The U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) is organizing a Town Hall meeting at the Fall AGU Meeting entitled "TH15G Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions". Ice sheets and ocean sediments hold important climate evidence from the past. International collaboration for drilling in the polar regions requires coordination between science, technology, and logistics.  The research community is invited to hear updates on recent planning by the IDPO/IDDO, IPICS, ANDRILL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, and WAIS initiatives. Opportunities for community involvement in interdisciplinary planning will be highlighted and input solicited. 


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors. Call for abstracts, due November 30, 2012. 


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


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