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OPM director talks federal-employee health benefits

A few items that caught our attention on Friday:

OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. (Courtesy of OPM). OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. (Courtesy of OPM).

OPM director talks federal-worker health benefits: Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said during the 2014 Federal Employee Health Benefits conference that a strong health-insurance plan is critical for attracting the best talent to the federal government, according to a Federal Times article. She also said she wants to keep premiums in check, better manage prescription drug costs and promote wellness programs for employees, according to a Federal News Radio report.

Feds were less generous with charities in 2013:  Donations to the Combined Federal Campaign dropped 19 percent in 2013, representing the fourth consecutive year of decline for the federal government’s annual charitable-giving drive, according to a Government Executive report.

White House targets methane-gas emissions to combat climate change: The Obama administration on Friday outlined a new strategy for reducing methane-gas emissions, which accounts for nearly 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas, with new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management regulations, according to a Washington Post report

Senator offers veteran-suicide bill during ‘Storm the Hill’ lobbying effort: Sen. John Walsh, the first soldier to return from the Iraq war and serve in the Senate, proposed a bill Thursday to combat veteran suicides while joining an emerging veterans group in recognizing those who have taken their own lives this year, according to a Washington Post report.

Air Force fires nine officers over cheating on nuclear test: The Air Force announced Thursday that it removed nine mid-level commanders ­assigned to safeguard the nation’s nuclear arsenal following a test-cheating scandal that implicated scores of airmen. The fired officers were held accountable for creating a culture that enabled the cheating, but they were not found to have facilitated the efforts, according to a Washington Post report.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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