Friday - August 18, 2017
Federal Independent Agencies

News releases, reports, statements and associated documents from federal independent agencies.

Featured Stories

What to Expect When Viewing the Eclipse
PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 17 -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued the following news:

What does a partial eclipse look like, anyway?

A new web-based tool from NASA lets anyone preview the event from any location, making it easy to see the difference between the total eclipse traversing a narrow band of the country on Aug. 21, and the partial event most Americans will experience.

The Eyes on the Eclipse application allows users to simulate a view of the eclipse from any point on the planet, and can be used with any web browser:

In this interactive ... Show Full Article

USCIRF Welcomes the State Department's International Religious Freedom Report for 2016
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued the following news release:

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) commended the State Department for its release of its annual International Religious Freedom Report. Covering 2016, this publication documents religious freedom conditions in almost 200 countries, including some of the most repressive governments in the world. The full text of the report may be found here ( and at

When announcing the ... Show Full Article

USAID Hosts Women's Agricultural Credit Shura in Mazar-E-Sharif to Improve Livelihoods for Afghan Women
BALKH, Afghanistan, Aug. 17 -- The U.S. Agency for International Development issued the following news release:

When it comes to accessing credit for women farmers and women-owned agriculture-related businesses, challenges have often forced these operations to close because of a lack of understanding how credit works. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) wants to change that and help these women prosper in their businesses.

With that in mind, USAID's Regional Agricultural Development Program-North (RADP-N), in partnership with Agricultural Credit Enhancement Phase-II ... Show Full Article

MCC Board of Directors Approves Compact With Nepal
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 -- The Millennium Challenge issued the following news release:

The U.S. Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors this week approved a $500 million compact with Nepal, MCC's first compact in South Asia. The Government of Nepal has committed to contributing an additional $130 million to support MCC's investment. Pending Congressional review, the compact is expected to be signed by both governments in September.

"I am pleased to announce the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors' approval of the Nepal Compact," Acting MCC CEO Jonathan ... Show Full Article

Large Asteroid to Safely Pass Earth on Sept. 1
PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 17 -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory issued the following news:

Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers, or about 18 Earth-Moon distances). Florence is among the largest near-Earth asteroids that are several miles is size; measurements from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and NEOWISE mission indicate it's about 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) in size.

"While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on September 1, all of those were ... Show Full Article

IMF Issues Statement of an IMF Mission at End of Visit to Guinea
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 -- The International Monetary Fund issued the following news release:

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF's Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.

* Significant progress was made in discussions of ... Show Full Article

Fannie Mae Issues Statement on Refinance Option for High Loan-to-Value Borrowers
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 -- Fannie Mae issued the following corporate statement:

Fannie Mae is pleased to work with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Freddie Mac to make options available for borrowers to refinance into lower rate mortgages. The high loan-to-value (LTV) refinance option will provide refinance opportunities to borrowers with existing Fannie Mae mortgages who are making their mortgage payments on time, but whose LTV ratio for a new mortgage exceeds the maximum allowed for standard refinance products or is above 95% LTV. At the direction of FHFA, Fannie Mae will continue to ... Show Full Article