Historic Documents of 2013

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    List of Document Sources

    • CONGRESS
      • House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. “Goodlatte: If Administration Wants to Reform Criminal Justice System, Work With Congress.” August 12, 2013. 393
      • House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. “Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary.” May 15, 2013. 178
      • Office of the Speaker of the House John Boehner. “FULL TEXT: Sen. Marco Rubio Delivers the Republican Address to the Nation.” February 12, 2013. 49
      • Sen. Chuck Grassley. “Nuclear Option.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, S8419-S8421. November 21, 2013. 573
      • Sen. Chuck Schumer. “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, S5350-5351. June 27, 2013. 236
      • Sen. Dick Durbin. “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, S2985-2986. April 25, 2013. 151
      • Sen. Harry Reid. “Rules Reform.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, S8414-S8415. November 21, 2013. 570
      • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, S3016-3017. April 25, 2013. 152
      • Sen. Mitch McConnell. “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, S5316-5317. June 27, 2013. 235
      • Rep. Timothy Murphy. “Dealing with Mental Health Issues.” Congressional Record 2013, pt. 159, H5657-H5658. September 19, 2013. 434
    • EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, FEDERAL OFFICES, AND COMMISSIONS
      • National Aeronautics and Space Administration. “China's Lunar Lander May Provide Additional Science for NASA Spacecraft.” December 13, 2013. 646
      • National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “How Do We Know When Voyager Reaches Interstellar Space?” September 12, 2013. 426
      • National Security Agency. “General Keith Alexander Speaks at AFCEA's Conference.” June 28, 2013. 334
      • U.S. Army. Army News Service. “Manning guilty of 20 specifications, but not ‘aiding enemy.” July 30, 2013. 368
      • U.S. Census Bureau. “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012.” September 17, 2013. 440
      • U.S. Census Bureau. “Supplemental Measure of Poverty Remains Unchanged.” November 6, 2013. 444
      • U.S. Department of Justice. “Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates.” August 12, 2013. 383
      • U.S. Department of Justice. “DAG Letter to AP President Pruitt.” May 14, 2013. 176
      • U.S. Department of Justice. “Justice Department, Federal and State Partnerships Secure Record $13 Billion Global Settlement with JPMorgan for Misleading Investors About Securities Containing Toxic Mortgages.” November 19, 2013. 563
      • U.S. Department of Justice. “Memorandum for all United States Attorneys.” August 29, 2013. 398
      • U.S. Department of Justice. Office of Public Affairs. “Justice Department Requires US Airways and American Airlines to Divest Facilities at Seven Key Airports to Enhance System-wide Competition and Settle Merger Challenge.” November 12, 2013 536.
      • U.S. Department of Justice. Office of Public Affairs. “Justice Department Statement on the Request to Hong Kong for Edward Snowden's Provisional Arrest.” June 26, 2013. 333
      • U.S. Department of Justice. “Smart on Crime: Reforming the Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century.” August 12, 2013. 388
      • U.S. Department of Justice. “Tsarnaev Complaint.” April 21, 2013. 135
      • U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. “Resumption of Israeli-Palestinian Direct Final Status Negotiations.” July 28, 2013. 26
      • U.S. Department of State. IIP Digital. “State Department Daily Press Briefing.” November 15, 2013. 557
      • U.S. Department of State. IIP Digital. “State Department Daily Briefing.” October 8, 2013. 500
      • U.S. Department of State. Media Center. “Remarks With Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani After Their Meeting.” June 22, 2013. 262
      • U.S. Department of State. Media Center. “Situation in Egypt.” July 27, 2013. 351
      • U.S. Department of State. “Press Availability After P5+1 Talks.” November 24, 2013. 586
      • U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review.” May 14, 2013. 185
      • U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Secretary Lew Sends Debt Limit Letter to Congress.” October 1, 2013. 494
      • U.S. Department of the Treasury. Press Center. “Statement of Secretary Lew.” October 16, 2013. 495
      • U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. “The United States Condemns the Targeting of Election Candidates in Iraq.” April 16, 2013. 112
      • U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. “Ambassador Locke 2013 Human Rights Day Statement.” December 6, 2013. 558
      • U. S. Trade Representative. “Remarks by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership First Round Opening Plenary.” July 8, 2013. 356
    • INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
      • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis.” Summary for Policymakers. September 27, 2013. 463
      • United Nations. “Letter dated 12 November 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.” November 14, 2013. 550
      • United Nations. “Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Mozambique.” October 23, 2013. 528
      • United Nations. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. “Judgement Summary for Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović. May 30, 2013. 201
      • United Nations. News Centre. “Humanitarian crisis in southern Philippines as violence uproots tens of thousands—UN.” September 25, 2013. 409
      • United Nations. News Centre. “Jordan elected to serve on UN Security Council.” December 6, 2013. 551
      • United Nations Security Council. Department of Public Information. “Security Council Strengthens Sanctions on Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in Response to 12 February Nuclear Test.” March 7, 2013. 59
    • JUDICIARY
      • U.S. Supreme Court. Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S._(2013). 242
      • U.S. Supreme Court. Fisher v. University of Texas, 570 U.S._(2013). 276
      • U.S. Supreme Court. Hollingsworth v. Perry, 570 U.S._(2013). 302
      • U.S. Supreme Court. Maryland v. King, 569 U.S._(2013). 219
      • U.S. Supreme Court. Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S._(2013). 287
      • U.S. Supreme Court. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S._(2013). 316
    • NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
      • Graham Holdings Company. “Jeffrey P. Bezos to Purchase The Washington Post” August 5, 2013. 378
      • Oregon Health & Science University. “OHSU research team successfully converts human skin cells into embryonic stem cells.” May 15, 2013. 196
    • NON-U.S. GOVERNMENTS
      • African Union. “The African Union Condemns Any Attempt to Undermine Peace, Stability and Development in Mozambique.” October 23, 2013. 528
      • African Union. “The African Union Strongly Condemns the Dastardly Terrorist Attacks Against Innocent Civilians in Nairobi.” September 21, 2013. 451
      • Council of the European Union. “Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, Vilnius, 28–29 November 2013.” November 29, 2013. 601
      • Embassy of the Republic of Iraq. Public Relations Office. “Iraq Holds First Provincial Elections Since U.S. Troop Withdrawal.” April 20, 2013. 112
      • European Commission. “EU and US conclude first round of TTIP negotiations in Washington.” July 12, 2013. 357
      • European Commission. “Speech by President Barroso at the opening ceremony of the EU Representation in Zagreb.” July 1, 2013. 344
      • European Council. “Speech by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy on the occasion of the entry of Croatia into the European Union.” July 1, 2013. European Union. Press Release Database. “Statement by High Representative 344
      • Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle on last night's events in Ukraine.” November 30, 2013. 605
      • European Union External Action Service. “Joint Plan of Action.” November 24, 2013. 583
      • German Federal Returning Officer. “Official final result of the 2013 Bundestag Election.” October 9, 2013. 457
      • German Federal Returning Officer. “Official provisional result of the 2013 Bundestag election.” September 23, 2013. 455
      • Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Prime Minister's Office. “May 1, 2013.” May 1, 2013. 160
      • Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Prime Minister's Office. “May 3, 2013.” May 3, 2013. 161
      • Government of the United Kingdom. “PM Statement on Algeria Hostage Crisis.” January 21, 2013. 14
      • Islamic Republic of Iran. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “President-elect says government will usher in path of cooperation with world.” June 18, 2013. 254
      • Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Press Room. “Netanyahu to Peres: I Have Formed a Government.” March 16, 2013. 25
      • Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Press Room. “President Peres Charges Benjamin Netanyahu With Forming Next Government.” February 2, 2013. 24
      • Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). “KCNA Report on Successful 3rd Underground Nuclear Test.” February 12, 2013. 58
      • Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” November 20, 2013. 264
      • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. “Statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with the terrorist attacks in Volgograd.” December 30, 2013. 595
      • New Zealand Parliament. Volume 689, Week 40. Page 9429. April 17, 2013. 118
      • Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. “Afghanistan Suspends Current Afghan-US Talks on Bilateral Security Agreement.” June 19, 2013. 262
      • Office of the President of the Italian Republic. “Speech before the Chambers by the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.” April 22, 2013. 143
      • Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya. “Statement By His Excellency the President, Hon. Mwai Kibaki, CGH, MP, Following Announcement of Election Results By the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).” March 9, 2013. 92
      • Office of the Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street. “Same sex marriage: Prime Minister's statement.” July 18, 2013. 119
      • Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. “Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the Death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frías.” March 5, 2013. 88
      • Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. “Statement: The Presidential Spokesperson on the attack in Zamboanga City.” September 9, 2013 408.
      • Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. “Statement: The Presidential Spokesperson on the situation in Zamboanga City.” September 12, 2013 408.
      • Official Website of Prime Minister Najib Mikati. “Interview With Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon.” February 18, 2013 72.
      • Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kenya. “Speech by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H., President and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya During His Inauguration and Swearing-in Ceremony on Tuesday, 9th April 2013.” April 9, 2013 93.
      • Presidency of the Republic of Turkey. “President Abdullah Gül Issued a Message About the Ongoing Events in Taksim Square.” June 1, 2013 214.
      • President of Russia. “Interview to Channel One and Associated Press news agency.” September 4, 2013. 336
      • President of Russia. Speeches and Transcripts. “Meeting on preparations for the 2014 Olympics.” November 28, 2013 594.
      • The Press and Information Office of the German Federal Government. “Angela Merkel re-elected Chancellor.” December 17, 2013. 459
      • South Africa Government Online. Speeches & Statements. “Eulogy by President Jacob Zuma at the State Funeral of the late former President of the Republic and former Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Nelson Rolihiahla Mandela, Qunu, Eastern Cape.” December 15, 2013. 629
    • International Nongovernmental Organizations
      • Eurozone Portal. “Eurogroup Statement on Cyprus.” March 16, 2013. 103
      • Eurozone Portal. “Eurogroup Statement on Cyprus.” March 25, 2013. 104
      • From IARC. Outdoor air pollution a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths, Press release n°221, 17 October 2013. Available from http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/pr221_E.pdf, accessed on 11 April 2014. 511
      • The Nobel Foundation. “Award Ceremony Speech.” December 10, 2013 619.
      • Official Website of the Olympic Movement. “Statement from the IOC President on terrorist attacks in Russia.” December 30, 2013 596.
      • Vatican Information Service. “Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected Pope, Takes Francis as Name.” March 13, 2013. 32
      • Vatican Information Service. “Pope Renounces Papal Throne.” February 11, 2013. 31
    • U.S. State and Local Governments
      • Maryland Legislature. Chapter 156. Senate Bill 276. May 2, 2013. 170
      • Office of Governor Pat Quinn. Illinois Government News Network. “Governor Pat Quinn Signs Marriage Equality Into Law; New Law Makes Illinois the 16th State in Nation to Embrace Equal Rights for All Couples.” November 20, 2013. 545
      • Office of the Governor of Hawaii. “Governor's Remarks from the Signing of Marriage Equality Legislation.” November 13, 2013. 541
      • Office of the Governor of Massachusetts. “‘Healing our City: an Interfaith Service’ Remarks.” April 18, 2013. 131
      • State of Michigan. Office of Governor Rick Snyder. “Governor Snyder Authorizes Detroit Bankruptcy Filing.” July 18, 2013. 363
    • White House and the President
      • Executive Office of the President. “Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union.” February 12, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00090 (February 12, 2013). 39
      • Executive Office of the President. “Address to the Nation on the Situation in Syria.” September 10, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00615 (September 10, 2013). 414
      • Executive Office of the President. “Inaugural Address.” January 21, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00032 (January 21, 2013). 6
      • Executive Office of the President. “Proclamation 8997—To Modify Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of Preferences and for Other Purposes.” June 27, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00471 (June 27, 2013). 163
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks at an Interfaith Prayer Service for the Victims of the Terrorist Attack in Boston, Massachusetts.” April 18, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00253 (April 18, 2013) 132.
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks at the Memorial Service for Former President Nelson R. Mandela of South Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.” December 10, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00843 (December 10, 2013). 626
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Immigration Reform.” June 11, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00408 (June 11, 2013). 233
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Procedural Rule Changes in the Senate.” November 21, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00795 (November 21, 2013). 576
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Senate Action on Gun Control Legislation.” April 17, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00252 (April 17, 2013). 124
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014.” October 17, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00706 (October 17, 2013). 486
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the Federal Government Shutdown.” October 7, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00690 (October 7, 2013). 483
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the Federal Government Shutdown and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” October 1, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00683 (October 1, 2013). 482
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the National Economy.” September 16, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00631 (September 16, 2013). 433
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” October 21, 2013. Compilation of PresidentialDocuments 2013, no. 00716 (October 21, 2013). 519
      • Executive Office of the President. “Remarks to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.” September 24, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00655 (September 24, 2013). 418
      • Executive Office of the President. “Sequestration Order for Fiscal Year 2013 Pursuant to Section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, As Amended.” March 1, 2013. Compilation of PresidentialDocuments 2013, no. 00132 (March 1, 2013). 82
      • Executive Office of the President. “Statement on the Death of President Hugo Chavez Frias of Venezuela.” March 5, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00137 (March 5, 2013). 87
      • Executive Office of the President. “Statement on the Situation in Egypt.” July 3, 2013. Compilation of Presidential Documents 2013, no. 00488 (July 3, 2013). 350
      • The White House. “The Economic Benefits of Extending Unemployment Insurance.” December 5, 2013. 612
      • The White House. “Liberty and Security in a Changing World.” December 12, 2013. 636

    Preface

    The implementation of expansive health care coverage in the United States amidst a federal government shutdown, landmark Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage and DNA collection, new members welcomed to the European Union and eurozone, milestones in space exploration, major scientific reports on pollution and climate change, the resignation of Pope Benedict and the election of his successor, scandals involving the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program and U.S. document leaks, increasing tensions in the Middle East as the civil war in Syria marches on, and terrorist bombings in Russia and the United States are just a few of the topics of national and international significance chosen for discussion in Historic Documents of 2013. This edition marks the forty-first volume of a CQ Press project that began with Historic Documents of 1972. This series allows students, librarians, journalists, scholars, and others to research and understand the most important domestic and foreign issues and events of the year through primary source documents. To aid research, many of the lengthy documents written for specialized audiences have been excerpted to highlight the most important sections. The official statements, news conferences, speeches, special studies, and court decisions presented here should be of lasting public and academic interest.

    Historic Documents of 2013 opens with an “Overview of 2013,” a sweeping narrative of the key events and issues of the year that provides context for the documents that follow. The balance of the book is organized chronologically, with each entry comprising an introduction and one or more related documents on a specific event, issue, or topic. Often an event is not limited to a particular day. Consequently, readers will find that some events include multiple documents that may span several months. Their placement in the book corresponds to the date of the first document included for that event. The event introductions provide context and an account of further developments during the year. A thematic table of contents (page xix) and a list of documents organized by source (page xv) follow the standard table of contents and assist readers in locating events and documents.

    As events, issues, and consequences become more complex and far-reaching, these introductions and documents yield important information and deepen understanding about the world's increasing interconnectedness. As memories of current events fade, these selections will continue to further understanding of the events and issues that have shaped the lives of people around the world.

    How to Use This Book

    Each of the seventy entries in this edition consists of two parts: a comprehensive introduction followed by one or more primary source documents. The entries are arranged in chronological order by month. Entries with multiple documents are placed according to the date of the first document. There are several ways to find events and documents of interest:

    By date: If the approximate date of an event or document is known, browse through the titles for that month in the table of contents. Alternatively, browse the table of contents that appears at the beginning of each month's articles.

    By theme: To find a particular topic or subject area, browse the thematic table of contents.

    By document type or source: To find a particular type of document or document source, such as the White House or Congress, review the list of document sources.

    By index: The index allows researchers to locate references to specific events or documents as well as entries on the same or related subjects.

    An online edition of this volume, as well as an archive going back to 1972, is available and offers advanced search and browse functionality.

    Each entry begins with an introduction. This feature provides historical and intellectual contexts for the documents that follow. Documents are reproduced with the original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the original or official copy. Ellipsis points indicate textual omissions (unless they were present in the documents themselves indicating pauses in speech), and brackets are used for editorial insertions within documents for text clarification. The excerpting of Supreme Court opinions has been done somewhat differently from other documents. In-text references and citations to laws and other cases have been removed when not part of a sentence to improve the readability of opinions. In those documents, readers will find ellipses used only when sections of narrative text have been removed.

    Full citations appear at the end of each document. If a document is not available on the Internet, this too is noted. For further reading on a particular topic consult the “Other Historic Documents of Interest” section at the end of each entry. These sections provide cross-references for related entries in this edition of Historic Documents as well as in previous editions. References to entries from past volumes include the year and page number for easy retrieval.

    Overview of 2013

    In the United States, 2013 was characterized by political brinksmanship that culminated in the shutdown of the federal government in October. The shutdown was predicated on disagreement over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Barack Obama's landmark health care legislation that passed in 2010. And the failure to pass a federal budget was just one on a long list of issues on which Democrats and Republicans in Congress could not reach a consensus. Other highly charged debates revolved around the debt ceiling, immigration, and gun control. The U.S. economy continued to improve throughout 2013 with unemployment reaching a low of 6.7 percent in December. However, despite positive gains, the lower and middle classes still struggled to regain footing following the 2007–2009 recession.

    Internationally, the year was dominated by continuing turmoil in the Middle East, most specifically in Syria where the ongoing civil war entered its third year. The conflict spilled over into neighboring nations, reigniting ethnic and political tensions. The international community failed to mount a strong response, even after it was confirmed that Syria's president had used chemical weapons against civilians. The Turkish government faced an uprising of its own that, while unsuccessful, brought international attention to the prime minister's failure to protect the rights of citizens. In Egypt, the newly elected president was ousted by the nation's military and the constitution was temporarily suspended while new amendments were drafted and new elections held. In Europe, the European Union (EU) welcomed its newest member, Croatia, while the eurozone welcomed Latvia. At the same time, the EU worked to stop a crisis in Cyprus's banking sector. The EU also opened free trade negotiations with the United States, but a planned trade pact with Ukraine was dismantled under pressure from Russia.

    Domestic Issues

    In January 2013, President Obama delivered his second inaugural address before a crowd of one million. Although omitting specific policy proposals, which he saved for his February State of the Union speech, the president outlined the broad liberal agenda that he had planned for the next four years. Fixing both income inequality and social inequality were at the top of the president's list. Concerning the latter, the president called for equal benefits for same-sex couples, and by the end of the year, seventeen states and the District of Columbia had laws on the books permitting same-sex marriage within their borders.

    Throughout his campaign and into his second term, President Obama repeatedly reiterated the importance of fixing America's wealth inequality. A significant part of bridging the gap between the wealthiest and poorest Americans was continuing to replace the millions of jobs lost during the 2007–2009 recession. Throughout 2013, the unemployment rate continued to decline, but the public and private sectors were still not keeping pace with job creation prior to the recession. By December, the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent but the workforce participation rate hovered near 63 percent, meaning that a growing number of people were continuing to leave the job market, likely frustrated by their inability to find work. According to economists, if the workforce participation rate was taken into account, the unemployment rate would be above 10 percent.

    With the unemployment rate continuing to decline, it was unsurprising that the official 2012 poverty rate released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September did not record a significant change over 2011. According to the Census Bureau, 46.5 million Americans lived below the poverty line in 2012. This statistic combined with other economic data proved that the most impoverished Americans, and even those in the middle class, were still struggling to get back to where they were before 2007.

    While the economic outlook was bright for most of the country, some areas continued to struggle. In July, the city of Detroit, Michigan, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection with a debt estimated at between $18 billion and $20 billion. The filing came after emergency financial measures put in place by the state failed to produce the necessary reforms to shore up the city's finances. The bankruptcy filing was approved on December 3, and the city set to work restructuring its finances. Perhaps the biggest roadblock to accomplishing this will be the city employee unions that have filed suit in federal court to block the city from reducing pension payouts as a means to save money.

    White House Under Fire

    In the first year of its second term, the Obama administration came under fire for apparent civil liberty violations. Over the period of a few weeks in June, confidential government documents were published by Britain's The Guardian newspaper detailing top-secret National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs. These surveillance programs collected information on electronic communications in bulk without individual warrants. According to the newspaper, much of what was being collected came from millions of Verizon customers in the United States under an order from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court. The order directed Verizon to provide law enforcement agencies with phone numbers, call details, and location data on calls within the United States as well as those between someone in the United States and someone in another country, although the calls were not recorded, and the content of the calls was not provided. Moreover, those under surveillance were not necessarily suspected of conducting any illegal activity. As the case began to unravel, allegations were raised that the United States had targeted some world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    On June 9, The Guardian released the identity of the source of the top-secret documents. Edward Snowden was a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, who at the time of the leaks was on leave from a position as an NSA contractor. Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong before the leaks became public, contended that he released the documents to keep the public informed about what the government was doing in secret. The United States called on Hong Kong to extradite Snowden, but by the time Hong Kong responded, Snowden had applied for asylum in more than twenty countries and had already flown to Russia. Snowden lived in the international terminal in Moscow's airport because he did not have valid travel documents to enter Russia legally. In August, Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia. As of the end of 2013, Snowden had not been granted permanent asylum in any nation and was still living in an undisclosed location in Russia.

    For its part, the White House continued to stand by the program, arguing that it was approved by Congress, recorded only calls of non-U.S. persons, and was a key component of thwarting terrorist activity aimed at the United States. In response to the ongoing crisis, President Obama commissioned a report seeking recommendations on conducting surveillance activities moving forward. The report with forty-six recommendations was released on December 18, and recognized the necessity of limited surveillance programs but expressed concern that the current NSA surveillance programs were neither effective nor valuable. Two different legal challenges decided in federal court on the NSA program reached separate conclusions—one upheld the constitutionality of the program while the other considered it entirely illegal.

    Shortly before the NSA leaks came to light, the White House battled with the Associated Press (AP) over the secret collection of reporter phone records. In response to a May 2012 article published by the AP on a covert CIA operation that thwarted an attempt to plant a bomb on a plane bound for the United States, the Department of Justice subpoenaed the records of more than twenty AP phone lines. The Department argued that it was trying to determine who had leaked information about the operation to the AP and this was its only means of doing so. The AP contended that the Justice Department had violated First Amendment principles to the detriment of media outlets everywhere. The case revived the debate on Capitol Hill about whether to reintroduce a media shield law for consideration that would protect journalists from such action.

    The Obama administration also drew sharp criticism from the right when an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting program was brought to light. In 2012, conservative groups raised questions about why their applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status were being held up in the approval process, and why they were being asked to provide information, such as donor names, which was outside the realm of traditional status reviews. An audit by the Inspector General found that for eighteen months in 2011 and 2012 the IRS used a “Be On The Lookout” (BOLO) list to target certain groups applying for tax-exempt status for additional scrutiny. The directive specifically raised a red flag on applications containing the words “tea party,” “Patriots,” and “9/12 Project.” Although use of the list was discontinued later in 2012, conservative members of Congress demanded that those responsible be held accountable. Both Steve Miller, the interim head of the IRS, and Lois Lerner, head of the division in charge of tax-exempt status reviews, left their positions.

    Congressional Inaction

    The dominant issue in American public life in 2013 was Congressional inaction in a number of high-profile areas, most notably immigration, gun control, the debt ceiling, and the federal budget. Less than two months into his second term, on March 1 President Obama signed an executive order setting in motion a series of budget cuts known as the sequester. The $85 billion across-the-board federal spending reductions were born out of Congressional inability in 2011 to reach an agreement on how to offset the increase in the debt ceiling as well as the subsequent 2012 failure to agree on how to replace the across-the-board cuts with something more targeted. Both parties floated a number of proposals to stop or defer the cuts, which impacted defense and domestic spending equally. Republicans wanted deeper cuts to nondefense programs and changes to entitlement programs such as Medicaid. Democrats wanted to replace the sequester while subsequently increasing federal spending. At the end of March, the president signed a bill that made changes to the sequester by adding funding for military pay, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections, and research grants. The bill also reduced military furlough days. By the end of 2013, the sequester was still in place. Between 2014 and 2021, annual spending cuts of $109 billion will be made, and it is up to Congress to determine how federal budgets will be impacted.

    On two issues—immigration and gun control—members of Congress faced increasing pressure from the public and the White House to act. In his inaugural address, the president expressed his hope that one day the country would “find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.” The Senate took a major step toward this end in June when it passed a bill that would create a thirteen-year path to citizenship for those illegal immigrants in the United States who met certain qualifications, while also enhancing border security and opening new opportunities for skilled laborers to come to the United States legally. The bipartisan legislation took into account the president's 2012 and 2013 executive orders that temporarily decriminalized the status of undocumented or illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States at a young age. The House failed to take up the bill, instead deciding to develop its own legislation. In June, four different bills moved out of committee for consideration by the full House, but by the end of the year the House had failed to vote on any measure.

    In the wake of a number of mass shootings in 2012, the gun control debate reached a fever pitch. In January, Republicans and Democrats in both houses released a variety of bills, some which sought to renew the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, while others attempted to expand gun rights. As the debate wore on, an additional thirty mass shootings took place in the United States in 2013, including one at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard that resulted in twelve deaths. Although Congress did not pass any gun legislation in 2013, President Obama used his executive authority to take matters into his own hands. In January, the president released twenty-three executive actions including new incentives for states to share background check information. On August 29, the president released two additional gun-based executive orders. One order closed a background check loophole while the second required the military to deny most private requests for importing surplus U.S. military firearms from overseas.

    The greatest illustration to date of Congress' inability to reach a consensus came on October 1 when the federal government shut down for sixteen days because the two houses could not agree on a budget to keep the country running. In late September, the Republican-led House passed a budget that would fund the government through December 15, but would entirely defund the ACA. Senate debate on the bill was lackluster because it was clear such a bill would not pass with a Democratic majority, but it culminated in a twenty-one hour filibuster during which Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gave a marathon speech against the president's signature law. The bill was amended by the Senate to remove the ACA provision and sent back to the House, but the House refused to pass it in its current form. The budget moved back and forth, but a compromise bill did not pass both houses before the September 30 expiration of the continuing resolution that had kept the government funded since March.

    The October 1 shutdown impacted all federal government services considered nones-sential, including national parks, airport inspections, and federal housing loans; essential services, such as Social Security checks and military pay, were kept intact. Additionally, some 800,000 federal employees were furloughed. Over the course of sixteen days, Republicans and Democrats tried to reach an agreement to reopen the federal government. It was not until near midnight on October 16 when the two parties formulated a bill that would fund the federal government until January 15, 2014. The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014 was immediately signed by the president and made only minor adjustments to the ACA. According to Standard & Poor's, the shutdown cost the country approximately $24 billion and would impact fourth-quarter economic growth.

    The compromise bill that reopened the federal government addressed another pressing issue—the debt ceiling, the Congressional limit on how much the federal government can borrow to pay its debts that have already been incurred, such as Social Security. If Congress failed to increase the nation's borrowing limit, the federal government would default on its debts and would eventually need to begin picking and choosing which payments to make. This would harm Americans as well as deal a significant blow to investor confidence and the financial image of the United States abroad. During debate on the issue, Republicans asked for concessions that would help offset the cost, including food stamp reductions, tax reform, a retirement age increase, and the privatization of Medicare and Social Security. Democrats refused to negotiate, arguing that they had already agreed to budget cuts under the sequester. Ultimately, Republicans relented and passed a clean bill that was contained in the October 16 agreement on the federal budget. The agreement raised the debt ceiling through February 2014 without budget cuts.

    The shutdown coincided with the opening of the federal health exchanges through which Americans could purchase health insurance coverage required under the ACA individual mandate. The online system, http://HealthCare.gov, which was one of many methods by which Americans could sign up for care, was instantly criticized for its inability to handle the volume of users. The site drew eight million users in its first week and was slowly repaired to keep up with traffic. The District of Columbia and the eighteen states that chose to open their own health care exchanges for their citizens experienced greater success, with Kentucky touted as a national model.

    Supreme Court Decisions

    In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled on a number of high profile civil liberty cases. Perhaps the two most highly anticipated rulings were on the issue of same-sex marriage. On June 26, the Supreme Court released its rulings in both Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor. In the former, a divided court ruled 5–4 that the private group bringing a case in support of California's Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in the state, had no standing in federal court. The decision meant that the lower court ruling, which invalidated Proposition 8 and made same-sex marriage legal in California, would be upheld. United States v. Windsor dealt with the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which, for the purpose of federal benefits, defines marriage as between one man and one woman. In its 5–4 decision, the Court ruled that DOMA was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling meant that same-sex couples who married and resided in a state in which their marriage was legally recognized would receive all the federal benefits received by their heterosexual counterparts.

    In its 2012–2013 term, the Court also ruled on the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in the case of Shelby County v. Holder. The VRA, a landmark piece of legislation signed in 1965, was intended to stop racial discrimination at the polls by placing specific enforcement provisions on those states with a history of disenfranchising minority voters. In its 5–4 ruling, the Court kept most of the VRA intact but removed the list of states, counties, and municipalities that must seek preclearance from the Department of Justice before enacting new voting policies. While the ruling did not end the preclearance requirement, by negating the list of those to which it applied, the requirement lost most of its enforcement capabilities. Shortly after the ruling, states that had been subject to the preclearance requirement passed new election laws, including new identification requirements that, as a whole, tended to disproportionately affect minorities.

    Another decision that dealt with race, this time in the college admissions process, was decided on June 24, 2013. In the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, the Court failed to rule on whether the University of Texas' use of race in the admissions process was unconstitutional. Instead, in its 7–1 decision, the Court established a new, rigorous level of scrutiny that should be applied to affirmative action cases. The Court found that a school could use an affirmative action policy to establish a diverse student body so long as a compelling state interest in using such a method could be established. The case at hand was sent back to the lower courts for review against the new standard.

    Today, all fifty states require DNA testing for anyone convicted of a felony. However, the laws are varied on when DNA testing can be required for those arrested for, but not convicted of, a serious crime. On June 3, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in the case of Maryland v. King that the use of DNA testing constitutes a legitimate police booking activity akin to fingerprinting and is therefore not a violation of the Constitution's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.

    On June 13, the Court released its ruling in the case of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics in which the Court was tasked with determining whether human genes can be patented. The case was of notable significance to those with a family history of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, who can complete a screening to determine whether they have the gene mutation that can lead to the disease. Myriad held a patent on the human BRCA genes that are used in determining the mutation and, prior to the case, was the only company offering the BRCA screening at a cost upwards of $3,000, thus limiting the number of people who could afford the test. In its ruling, the Court determined that a naturally occurring human gene could not be patented, although synthetic genes could be patented as long as they could not be created in nature. Immediately following the ruling, a number of companies began offering their own BRCA cancer screenings at lower prices.

    Foreign Affairs

    Internationally, the major focus of 2013 was the ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria that was quickly raising tensions across the Middle East. In September, the United Nations released a report confirming that President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against civilians in an attempt to end the rebel incursion. The Syrian president fiercely denied such allegations. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pressured member nations to work together to force Assad to end the civil war, but by year-end there was little consensus on how to do so. Russia and China, two permanent members of the Security Council with veto power, thwarted attempts to sanction Syria or take any other action against the Middle Eastern nation. President Obama raised the prospect of United States unilateral action, potentially through targeted missile strikes, to stop Assad from further use of his chemical weapons stockpiles. In October, the United States and Russia reached an agreement with Syria that would begin dismantling and removing all the nation's chemical weapons. The task was to be completed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and a February 2014 deadline was set. In December, OPCW announced that despite its ongoing efforts it would likely not meet the deadline.

    The three-year civil war in Syria spilled over into neighboring countries, causing tensions to rise in Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey. Refugees flooded into these nations, with Turkey and Lebanon bearing the brunt of the humanitarian crisis. Both nations were ill-equipped to handle the influx of refugees whose numbers soared into the millions. Refugees from Syria have cost Turkey upwards of $750 million. The ongoing conflict also reignited regional power struggles, pitting nations who supported Assad, such as Iran, against their neighbors, such as Saudi Arabia, who supported the rebels. The creation of rebel camps along the Turkish and Lebanese borders also sparked ethnic tensions—Assad draws most of his support from the Alawite, Christian, Druze, and Sunni sects, groups that operate in direct conflict with the Shiites in neighboring nations.

    Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Egyptian and Turkish governments faced rebellion of their own. Throughout early 2013, Egyptian citizens took to the streets to protest the government of Mohamed Morsi, who was elected to replace Hosni Mubarak after the latter was deposed during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Egyptian citizens claimed that Morsi imposed strict Islamic law on their country and pushed through a constitution that did not reflect the will of the majority but consolidated his executive power. Morsi refused to step down from his position, instead reaching out to opposition groups in an effort to form a consensus government. On July 3, the Egyptian military arrested the president, suspended the constitution, and called for new elections to be held and a new constitution drafted. The United States was highly critical of the move and the way in which the military went about drafting and approving the new constitutional amendments. When new presidential elections are held in 2014, it is likely that the Egyptian army chief will win, which sparked concern in the international community that he would further consolidate his power and continue limiting the rights of Egyptians.

    In Turkey, protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyp Erdoğan took shape in May 2013 when Erdoğan announced the destruction of a park in Istanbul. What started as a demonstration by fifty environmentally conscious Turks quickly turned into a nationwide movement against the power of the prime minister. The millions of protesters who turned out across the country in 2013 demanded that the prime minister step down, arguing that since first coming to office in 2003 he had stripped Turkish citizens of their basic rights and imposed Islamic values on their traditionally secular country. Erdoğan remained defiant, and by the close of 2013 still held on to his seat. In total, approximately 5,000 protests took place in Turkey in 2013. Less than one dozen people were killed, about 8,000 were injured, and an estimated 3,000 more were arrested.

    In Europe, the year started with an EU-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout for the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in an effort to prevent a financial meltdown that had the potential to significantly harm the eurozone. In the agreement, Cyprus made a number of difficult economic reforms, including raising taxes and lowering public spending. The wealthy Russians who sought out Cyprus as a cheap place to shelter their money were forced to take a significant financial hit in the deal. Despite the EU's ongoing financial struggles, it welcomed Latvia in July to become the newest eurozone member. At the same time, it also approved the application of Croatia to become the 28th EU member, the first new country to join since the economic crisis began in 2008. Observers questioned whether the inclusion of Croatia was a financially sound decision because the country has significantly high debt and unemployment levels.

    As the United States and the European Union opened negotiations on what could be the world's largest free trade agreement, the EU's planned trade pact with Ukraine was crumbling under pressure from Russia. The pact signing was expected during a November EU summit, but, following threats from Russia that it would set up trade barriers against Ukraine if the agreement was signed, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych canceled the plan. The decision sent shockwaves through Ukraine, where many of its pro-Western citizens thought the agreement would be a first step toward EU membership. Protests in the capital of Kiev sprang up against Yanukovych, and by the end of the year, anti-Russia radicals joined the pro-Europe demonstrators and the movement grew increasingly violent.

    The nuclear ambitious nations of Iran and North Korea made headlines again in 2013. In February, North Korea conducted its third underground nuclear test under direction from its new leader, Kim Jong Un. North Korea stated that the test was meant to prepare the nation to protect itself against any U.S. incursion into its affairs. While the yield of the blast was small, it was still stronger than the country's last two tests. North Korea now claims that it has developed a bomb small enough to be attached to a missile. This claim, along with allegations that North Korea could fire a long-range missile at the United States, was widely disputed by international experts. In response to the nuclear test, the United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting, and, despite some pushback from China, passed a third set of sanctions against North Korea in March. Although China, one of North Korea's few allies, was generally opposed to such action, the nation determined that sanctions might be the best way to encourage the country to restart denuclearization discussions.

    In June, the Iranian people elected a new president, Hassan Rouhani. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president who had a tense relationship with the West, was prohibited from running again due to term limits. Rouhani was largely viewed as a more moderate leader than his predecessor, and his past attempts at cooperation with other nations raised hopes that the relationship between Iran and the West could be improved. One long-running point of contention with the West is Iran's nuclear activities. The Iranian government claims that the program is intended for peaceful, electricity generation, but its secretive methods for conducting such activities raised suspicion in the international community that there was a more sinister desire behind the program. While Ahmadinejad had been unwilling to negotiate with Western nations to limit the country's nuclear activities, Rouhani was instrumental in restarting talks with the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and Germany. And in November, the group reached a landmark interim agreement that would see Iran halting most of its nuclear activities in return for access to billions of dollars in funds that had been frozen under financial sanctions.

    —Heather Kerrigan

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