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White House Blog

WhiteHouse.gov blog is the official web site for the White House and President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. This site is a source for information about the President, White House news and policies, White House history, and the federal government.

Vice President Biden Congratulates Winners of National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Champions

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition Champions from the University of Central Florida, in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., August 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Yesterday afternoon, Vice President Joe Biden welcomed the University of Central Florida’s cyber defense team to the White House to congratulate them on their victory in the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Beating out more than 2,000 students from over 180 schools, the Central Florida team members demonstrated their ability to protect complex networks from skilled cyber criminals.

Joined by the Director of the Secret Service, the President’s Cyber Coordinator, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Director for National Security and International Affairs, the Vice President underscored the vital national security and economic need to prepare Americans for jobs in cybersecurity.

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President Obama: James Foley's Life "Stands in Stark Contrast to His Killers"

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This afternoon, the President made a statement on the killing of journalist James Foley by the terrorist group ISIL. He was 40 years old.

"The entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley," President Obama said. "Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away."

Foley was taken hostage in Syria almost two years ago while reporting on the conflict there. The President made clear in today's statement that Foley's life "stands in stark contrast to his killers":

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The Attorney General's Message to the People of Ferguson

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is traveling to Ferguson, Missouri today to review the Department of Justice's ongoing independent investigation into the tragic death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Attorney General Holder pledged to help find justice for a community that is rightfully hurting and looking for answers: 

Today, I will be in Ferguson to be briefed on the federal civil rights investigation that I have closely monitored since I launched it more than one week ago. I will meet personally with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to receive detailed briefings on the status of this case.

The full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. This inquiry will take time to complete, but we have already taken significant steps. Approximately 40 FBI agents and some of the Civil Rights Division’s most experienced prosecutors have been deployed to lead this process, with the assistance of the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed in connection with this matter. On Monday, at my direction, a team of federal medical examiners conducted an independent autopsy.

We understand the need for an independent investigation, and we hope that the independence and thoroughness of our investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in Ferguson. In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Although these acts have been committed by a very small minority -- and, in many cases, by individuals from outside Ferguson -- they seriously undermine, rather than advance, the cause of justice. And they interrupt the deeper conversation that the legitimate demonstrators are trying to advance.

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Day One: Mikey Dickerson, U.S. Digital Service Administrator

Ever wondered what a first day as a new employee at the White House looks like?

What about a first day as the very first employee of a brand-new government service designed to remake the way people and businesses interact with their government online?

From parking forms to press conferences, from orientation to setting a new BlackBerry password to meeting with senior advisors, follow along as Mikey Dickerson, Administrator of the newly created U.S. Digital Service, makes his way through Day One.

Take a look, and then pass this one on.

Formally launched by the Administration on August 11, the U.S. Digital Service is a small team of our country's brightest digital talent that will work with government agencies to find more effective ways to use technology to improve the service, information, and benefits they provide.

"For me, this whole government adventure started last October, when I got asked to be part of the group that worked on HealthCare.gov."

--Mikey Dickerson, U.S. Digital Service Administrator

Mikey Dickerson was first tapped by the Administration last fall, when he joined the team that helped fix HealthCare.gov.

And moving forward, he'll draw on 13 key "plays" drawn from private and public-sector best practices that, used together, will help government agencies provide services that won't only work better for users -- they'll take less time and money to operate.

You should also read:

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A Day in the Life: Austraberta from Houston

Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Labor's blog. See the original post here.

Leading up to Labor Day 2014, Secretary Tom Perez is traveling across the country to talk with Americans about how we can help more people succeed in the workplace and at home. Follow him along the way with live updates at www.dol.gov/LaborDay.

Meet Austraberta.

Austraberta

71-year-old Austraberta Rodriguez has been a janitor for more than 30 years. For most of those years, she could only dream about vacation days and paid time off. She was making $5.15 per hour and she had small children and grandchildren. All of her money was going to the bare essentials. Looking back, she doesn’t know how she survived. In 2006, all of that changed.

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