Monday, January 22, 2018

Educational Attainment in the United States:2017

Find the latest data on educational attainment in the United States for those 18 years and older by age, sex, race, and Hispanic Origin.  
Educational attainment

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Protect Your Daughters from Cervical Cancer

"HPV vaccination can protect your children from several types of cancers. For girls, this includes cervical cancer. For boys, HPV vaccination means stopping the spread of the virus, which results in the reduction of cervical and other HPV-related cancers.
Every year in the United States, 31,500 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection and more than 4,000 women die from cervical cancer, even with screening and treatment. Any woman can get cervical cancer, at any point in their lives. Cervical cancer doesn’t discriminate for age or how healthy a woman’s lifestyle may be. Cervical cancer, along with most other HPV-related cancers, can be prevented by receiving the HPV vaccine.
Vaccinating for HPV also protects women against the uncomfortable process of dealing with cervical “precancers.” Each year in the U.S. nearly 500,000 women endure invasive testing and treatment for lesions (changes in the cells) on the cervix that can develop into cancers. Procedures to eliminate these precancers are necessary to prevent cancer, but can have lasting effects on a woman..."

HPV and cervical cancer

Prompt Use of Antivirals is Key this Flu Season

"A recent sharp increase in influenza A(H3N2) activity in the United States has prompted the CDC to release a health advisory emphasizing the importance of its antiviral treatment recommendations this season. Read more about what clinicians can do.
The December 27 health advisory published via CDC’s Health Alert Network (HAN) highlights the potential for influenza A(H3N2) virus-predominant seasons to be associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in persons aged 65 years and older and young children compared with other age groups.

In addition, the HAN also discusses that influenza (flu) vaccines are generally less effective against influenza A(H3N2) viruses than against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 or influenza B viruses. Last season, flu vaccine effectiveness (VE) against circulating influenza A(H3N2) viruses was estimated to be 32% in the United States. While CDC’s preliminary VE estimates for the 2017-2018 season will not be available until later in the season, CDC expects that U.S. VE estimates against circulating A(H3N2) viruses will be similar to last season, assuming the same A(H3N2) viruses continue to predominate. This underscores the need for clinicians to step up influenza treatment efforts this season with the appropriate use of antiviral medications..."
Antiviral and flu

New Book Celebrates the History of the Library of Congress

"A new book from Library of Congress Historian John Y. Cole, “America’s Greatest Library: An Illustrated History of the Library of Congress,” tells the story of the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and how it came to be the world’s largest library.

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden calls the Library “a place where you can touch history and imagine your future,” and the story of its creation and evolution comes alive in this rich chronology. The book is the first authoritative history of the Library published in nearly 20 years.

“America’s Greatest Library,” which will be published Jan. 9 by D Giles Limited in association with the Library of Congress, highlights the personalities and events that created and sustained the institution over its 217-year history, starting at a time when Washington had no other libraries or cultural institutions. Packed with fascinating stories, compelling images and little-known nuggets of information, the narrative traces the growth of the collections with the development of the nation’s capital through a combination of concise milestones, brief essays and vivid photographs and illustrations..."
Library of Congress

Privacy & Data Security Update (2017): An Overview of the Commission’s Enforcement, Policy Initiatives, and Consumer Outreach and Business Guidance in the Areas of Privacy and Data Security: January 2017 – December 2017

"Federal Trade Commission 2017 Privacy and Data Security Update.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) is an independent U.S. law enforcement agency charged with protecting consumers and enhancing competition across broad sectors of the economy. The FTC’s primary legal authority comes from Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices in the marketplace. The FTC also has authority to enforce a variety of sector specific laws, including the Truth in Lending Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. This broad authority allows the Commission to address a wide array of practices affecting consumers, including those that emerge with the development of new technologies and business models.
How Does the FTC Protect Consumer Privacy and Promote Data Security?

 The FTC uses a variety of tools to protect consumers’ privacy and personal information. The FTC’s principal tool is to bring enforcement actions to stop law violations and require companies to take affirmative steps to remediate the unlawful behavior. This includes, when appropriate, implementation of comprehensive privacy and security programs, biennial assessments by independent experts, monetary redress to consumers, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, deletion of illegally obtained consumer information, and providing robust transparency and choice mechanisms to consumers. If a company violates an FTC order, the FTC can seek civil monetary penalties for the violations. The FTC can also obtain civil monetary penalties for violations of certain privacy statutes and rules, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. To date, the Commission has brought hundreds of privacy and data security cases protecting billions of consumers..."
FTC privacy and data security report

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

UPDATE: Who’s the Boss at the CFPB?

"Update: On January 10, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Leandra English’s request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (Vacancies Act) authorized the President to appoint Mick Mulvaney to serve as the Acting Director of the CFPB. Since the Sidebar below was originally published, English filed an amended complaint and moved for a preliminary injunction on substantially similar grounds to those described below. In rejecting her motion, the district court held that because the provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that authorizes the Deputy Director to serve as the Acting Director when the Director is absent or unavailable did not expressly displace the Vacancies Act, the Vacancies Act remained available and authorized the President to fill the position. English had also argued that even if the Vacancies Act generally would allow the President to appoint an Acting Director, because Mulvaney is also the head of the Office of Management and Budget, an agency housed directly under the White House, he may not head an independent agency like the CFPB. But the judge rejected this argument, noting that no such restriction could be found in the text of the Dodd-Frank Act. The district court ultimately denied the request for a preliminary injunction because English had failed to show either a likelihood of success on the merits or that she would suffer irreparable injury absent relief. It is possible that English might appeal this order, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit could weigh in on this issue..."

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): An Overview

"In the ongoing energy debate in Congress, one recurring issue has been whether to allow oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR, or the Refuge) in northeastern Alaska. ANWR is rich in fauna and flora and also has significant oil and natural gas potential. Energy development in the Refuge has been debated for more than 50 years. On December 20, 2017, President Trump signed into law P.L. 115-97, which provides for an oil and gas program on ANWR’s Coastal Plain. The Congressional Budget Office estimated federal revenue from the program’s first two lease sales at $1.1 billion, but actual revenues may be higher or lower depending on market conditions and other factors. This report discusses the oil and gas program in the context of the Refuge’s history, its energy and biological resources, Native interests and subsistence uses, energy market conditions, and debates over protection and development..."
Arctic National Wildlife

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing of Federal Drug Offenses

"As a general rule, federal judges must impose a minimum term of imprisonment upon defendants convicted of various controlled substance (drug) offenses and drug-related offenses. The severity of those sentences depends primarily upon the nature and amount of the drugs involved, the defendant’s prior criminal record, any resulting injuries or death, and in the case of the related firearms offenses, the manner in which the firearm was used. The drug offenses reside principally in the Controlled Substances Act or the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act.

The drug-related firearms offenses involve the possession and use of firearms in connection with serious drug offenses and instances in which prior drug convictions trigger mandatory sentences for unlawful firearms possession.

The minimum sentences range from imprisonment for a year to imprisonment for life. Although the sentences are usually referred to as mandatory minimum sentences, a defendant may avoid them under several circumstances. Prosecutors may elect not to prosecute. The President may choose to pardon the defendant or commute his sentence. The defendant may qualify for sentencing for providing authorities with substantial assistance or under the so-called “safety valve” provision available to low-level, nonviolent, first-time offenders..."
Mandatory minimun sentencing

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress

"This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process—from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration. However, the process by which a bill can become law is rarely predictable and can vary significantly from bill to bill. In fact, for many bills, the process will not follow the sequence of congressional stages that are often understood to make up the legislative process. This report presents a look at each of the common stages through which a bill may move, but complications and variations abound in practice.

Throughout, the report provides references to a variety of other CRS reports that focus on specific elements of congressional procedure. CRS also has many other reports not cited herein that address some procedural issues in additional detail (including congressional budget and appropriations processes). These reports are organized by subissue at congressional-process-administration-and-elections.

Congressional action on bills typically is planned and coordinated by party leaders in each chamber, though as described in this report, majority party leaders in the House have more tools with which to set the floor agenda than do majority party leaders in the Senate. In both chambers, much of the policy expertise resides in the standing committees, panels of Members who typically take the lead in developing and assessing proposed legislation within specified policy jurisdictions..."
Congressional legislative process

Transatlantic Relations in 2018

"As the second year of the Trump Administration begins, a degree of uncertainty lingers over transatlantic relations. The U.S.-European partnership could face challenges in 2018. Following the election of President Trump, numerous European officials and analysts expressed concern about the future trajectory of U.S.-European relations, particularly the U.S. commitment to NATO, the European Union (EU), and the multilateral trading system. Although the Trump Administration has not altered or withdrawn from the fundamental aspects of the transatlantic relationship, many European leaders appear uneasy with key parts of the Trump Administration’s “America First” foreign policy and some question whether the United States will remain a reliable partner in 2018.

Many European policymakers harbor concerns about Trump Administration policies on a range of international challenges, from relations with Russia, China, and the Middle East to issues such as global migration, the role of multilateral organizations, and free trade. Some European officials also are wary about the Administration’s commitment to the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and have urged the United States to continue to support the deal. U.S. decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel have become irritants in the relationship..."
Transatlantic relations

Monday, January 15, 2018

FBI's Complete File on MLK

via[The MemoryHole]

"Martin Luther King’s entire FBI file (16,000+ pages), as posted by the original Memory Hole

Martin Luther King Jr.'s main FBI file is more than 16,000 pages long. Due to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Bureau released the entire file in 1984. It was on paper, of course. 

For over two decades, if you wanted to view the whole thing, you had to pay the FBI FOIA office over $1,600 (10 cents/page) to get a paper copy, which is a highly inconvenient format for a huge file, never mind the exorbitant expense. Or you had to go to a library that had it on microform, or you could view it in the reading room at FBI HQ in Washington, DC. 

Here in the digital age, the FBI has chosen to post a tiny fraction of MLK's file, without mentioning that it's only a tiny fraction. Go to the Martin Luther King Jr. page at the FBI's Vault. You'll find 1 part of the file (confusingly divided into two PDFs), totaling 226 pages. The file actually has 121 parts, totaling 16,659 pages..."

Friday, January 12, 2018

Portable Generators: 3 Critical Precautions to Take So You Don’t Die from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

"Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths, caused by portable generators reportedly being used inside homes and/or garages, have been reported in Florida in recent days. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, there are widespread power outages. CPSC is warning consumers to take three critical precautions to prevent loss of life from poisonous carbon monoxide when using a portable generator:
1. NEVER use a portable generator inside your home. One portable generator can emit the same amount of deadly carbon monoxide gas as hundreds of mid-size cars. Just as you would not leave a car running in a closed garage, do not run a generator inside a garage, home, shed or near open windows or vents.
2. Portable generators need air and distance. Place generators OUTDOORS ONLY, at least 20 feet away from your home.
3. Carbon monoxide is called the “invisible killer.” This deadly gas is colorless and odorless and can quickly incapacitate and kill you and your family in minutes. A working CO alarm can detect high levels of the gas in your home. If it goes off, do not ignore it. Get out! Then call 911..."

Portable generators

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Technical Packages for Violence Prevention

"CDC’s Technical Packages for Violence Prevention: Helping States and Communities Prioritize Activities
CDC has developed technical packages to help states and communities prevent violence based on the best available evidence.
The suite of technical packages developed by the Division of Violence Prevention includes:

Violence prevention

Join Us in the Fight to #EndTrafficking

"President Trump has said that “human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of exploitation. It has no place in our world.” On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we renew our commitment to stopping the scourge of human trafficking.

Human trafficking has many innocent victims.

First and foremost, trafficking traumatizes individuals who are preyed upon by exploitative employers, unethical recruiters, and vicious criminal networks. By breaking the law, trafficking also harms employers who play by the rules – making it harder for them to grow and hire. Trafficking harms workers, including workers in the U.S., who deserve to compete on a fair global playing field.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Affairs (ILAB) is fully committed to supporting President Trump’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking everywhere it is found.

From enforcing trade commitments and international labor agreements, to providing technical assistance and spurring action through research, ILAB is working to encourage countries to address forced labor, human trafficking, and other forms of workplace exploitation.

ILAB provides cutting-edge tools for a range of stakeholders to strengthen the fight against human trafficking. This past September, we launched "Comply Chain," a new mobile application. The Comply Chain app is a free, easy-to-use resource that helps businesses set up social compliance systems to root out human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor in their supply chains. The app guides users through eight steps to achieving effective social compliance, such as codes of conduct and workplace monitoring, and provides real-world examples of best practices for companies and industry groups..."
Human trafficking

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Feinstein: American People Deserve Opportunity to Read Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS Transcript

"Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee with the support of committee Democrats. Simpson is the co-founder of Fusion GPS.
“After speaking with majority and minority committee staff for 10 hours, Glenn Simpson requested the transcript of his interview be released publicly. The American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves,” said Senator Feinstein. “The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”
The transcript is available here and corrections made after the transcript was finalized are available here. .."
Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS Transcript