Thursday, May 5, 2016

Organic Survey(USDA): 2014

"The 2014 Organic Survey is a Census Special Study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in conjunction with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). This is the third organic production and practices survey NASS has conducted on the national level; the previous data collection efforts were the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey and the 2008 Organic Production Survey..."

Judge Merrick Garland: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court

"On March 16, 2016, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. Judge Garland was appointed to the D.C. Circuit by President Clinton in 1997, and is currently its chief judge, an administrative position that rotates among the active judges on the circuit. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Garland served in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he notably oversaw the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing case, as well as other cases. It remains to be seen whether or how the Senate might proceed in considering Judge Garland’s nomination; however, the nomination remains effective until it is withdrawn or this term of Congress ends, whichever occurs first.

This report provides an overview of Judge Garland’s jurisprudence and discusses what the impact on the Court might be if he, or a judge of a similar judicial approach, were to be confirmed to succeed Justice Scalia. In particular, the report focuses upon those areas of law where Justice Scalia can be seen to have influenced the High Court’s approach to certain issues, or served as a fifth and deciding vote on the Court, with a view toward how Judge Garland might approach those same issues if he were to be confirmed..."
Judge Merrick Garland

Arthritis on the Rise

"About 53 million U.S. adults have arthritis. However, the number of men and women with arthritis is growing and expected to reach more than 78 million in 2040, according to a new CDC study.
Learning what to do so you feel your best with arthritis, and being active are recommended for people with arthritis.

Arthritis Increases

CDC estimates that the number of men and women with arthritis will increase almost 49% to more than 78 million in 2040. About half of those with arthritis are working age adults—age 18 to 64 years.
In this just released study, an estimated 34 million adults will be limited in their usual activities because of their arthritis in 2040, an increase of 52%..."

Medication Use During Pregnancy

"The safety of most medications taken by pregnant women is unknown and dependent on many factors. Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant and you have taken any medication or are thinking of taking any medication. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary or herbal products. Pregnant women should not stop or start taking any type of medication that they need without first talking with a doctor. Women who are planning to become pregnant should discuss the need for any medication with their doctor before becoming pregnant and ensure they are taking only medications that are necessary..."
Pregnancy and medication

Understanding How the Share of Business Activity by Size Varies Widely by Industry

"We’ve all heard about the importance of small businesses to the U.S. economy, but have you ever wondered what “small” means? Is it a business with a few employees, or is it based on sales? Is it based on an entire company, or each of its separate locations?
The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as a “business concernwith less than 500 employees or less than $7.5 million in annual receipts.” While this SBA standard is essential for specific purposes, it is not necessarily the only way to define “small.”
Fortunately, the Census Bureau publishes detailed statistics that allow us to classify business size in a variety of ways and for a variety of purposes. For example,  the Economic Census, County Business Patterns, and the statistics of US Businesses  produce data on establishment and firm size with respect to employment and sales for detailed industries and at the National, State, and local  area levels.  These data sources provide detailed breakouts that allow users to build their own totals using their own size definitions..."
Small business

Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): A Primer

"In response to concerns over the adequacy of retirement savings, Congress has created incentives to encourage individuals to save more for retirement through a variety of retirement plans. Some retirement plans are employer-sponsored, such as 401(k) plans, and others are established by individual employees, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

This report describes the primary features of two common retirement savings accounts that are available to individuals. Although the accounts have many features in common, they differ in some important aspects. Both traditional and Roth IRAs offer tax incentives to encourage individuals to save for retirement. Contributions to traditional IRAs may be tax-deductible for taxpayers who (1) are not covered by a retirement plan at their place of employment or (2) have income below specified limits. Contributions to Roth IRAs are not tax-deductible and eligibility is limited to those with incomes under specified limits..."

Hepatitis C Kills More Americans than Any Other Infectious Disease

"Deaths associated with hepatitis C reached an all-time high of 19,659 in 2014, according to new surveillance data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A second CDC study, published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases, shows that annual hepatitis C-related mortality in 2013 surpassed the total combined number of deaths from 60 other infectious diseases reported to CDC, including HIV, pneumococcal disease, and tuberculosis. Further, both studies use data from death certificates, which often underreport hepatitis C, so there likely were even more hepatitis C-related deaths than these numbers suggest.
The greatest hepatitis C burden falls on baby boomers – those born from 1945 to 1965 – many of whom have unknowingly been living with the infection for many years. According to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases earlier this year, many baby boomers were infected during medical procedures in the years after World War II, when injection and blood transfusion technologies were not as safe as they are today. Without diagnosis and treatment, they increasingly develop liver cancer and other life-threatening hepatitis C-related diseases, and they may unknowingly transmit the disease to others..."
Hepatitis C

The U.S. Has a Massive Cheese Surplus

"First, it happened with coffee—as the world stockpiled more and more java, prices fell and caffeine fiends found it easier to get their favorite fix. But now, addicts of another stripe are getting their day in the sun. In what could be the dream news of every dairy-loving foodie, Bloomberg’s Whitney McFerron reports that the United States has stockpiled an enormous surplus of cheese.
Global forces like rising European exports, rising American dairy production, a weakening euro, and “a glut of milk” have led the U.S. to stockpile cheese, McFerron writes.
In its dairy market report for the week of April 25 to 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture writes that “cheese vats across the country remain full in efforts to manage the plentiful milk supply….As stocks build, storage availability is becoming a concern.” Phrases like “milk oversupply” and “substantial rises” are rife in the report, which notes that the United States has a total of 725.7 million pounds of “natural American cheese”—real cheese, not the processed cheese product, made in the U.S.A.—and total natural cheese stocks of a whopping 1.191 billion pounds..."

A Brief History of Lee Harvey Oswald's Connection to Cuba

"Donald Trump raised eyebrows this week when he alleged that the father of his former rival in the Republican presidential primaries once had links to Lee Harvey Oswald. The claim, which came just hours before Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz dropped out of the election, stemmed from a recent story in the National Enquirer suggesting that Cruz's father, Rafael, can be seen in a photo of Oswald and several pro-Cuba activists several months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The allegations were summarily dismissed by the Cruz campaign, and the Miami Herald’s Maria Recio points out several gaping holes in the theory shared by the real estate mogul and the supermarket tabloid. But while these unsubstantiated claims might seem like just another surreal beat in this odd election year, like any good conspiracy theory, the story relies on real history, in this case the decades-old argument that there was a deep connection between the presidential assassin and Communist Cuba..."

Lee Harvery Oswald

Friday, April 29, 2016

Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens Aged 15–19 Years — United States, 2006–2007 and 2013–2014

"Teen childbearing can have negative health, economic, and social consequences for mothers and their children (1) and costs the United States approximately $9.4 billion annually (2). During 1991–2014, the birth rate among teens aged 15–19 years in the United States declined 61%, from 61.8 to 24.2 births per 1,000, the lowest rate ever recorded (3). Nonetheless, in 2014, the teen birth rate remained approximately twice as high for Hispanic and non-Hispanic black (black) teens compared with non-Hispanic white (white) teens (3), and geographic and socioeconomic disparities remain (3,4), irrespective of race/ethnicity..." 
Birth rates

Country Analysis Brief:Iraq

"Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest crude oil producer and holds the fifth-largest proved crude oil reserves in the world.

Iraq is the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, and it holds the world’s fifth-largest proved crude oil reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran. Most of Iraq’s major known fields are producing or in development, although much of its known hydrocarbon resources have not been fully exploited. All of Iraq’s known oil fields are onshore. The largest fields in the south have relatively low extraction costs owing to uncomplicated geology, multiple supergiant fields, fields located in relatively unpopulated areas with flat terrain, and the close proximity of fields to coastal ports..."
Iraq to Retire July 5

", the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to
"The Library is well-positioned for the future with," said Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao. "Free access to legislative information that anyone can search for and read is central to an informed democracy. I applaud the visionary leaders who launched THOMAS two decades ago, and I congratulate and thank the many talented individuals at the Library and throughout the legislative branch who have transitioned that resource into the 21st century with Finally, I invite and encourage everyone to use this resource. It is here for you to learn about, to connect with, to better understand your representative government."
THOMAS, named for Thomas Jefferson, was a pioneering site when it was launched by the Library in 1995 as a bipartisan initiative of Congress. The system has been updated over the years, but its foundation can no longer support the capabilities that today’s Internet users have come to expect.
The system, initially launched in beta form in September, 2012, applies modern design and infrastructure to the robust legislative data sets, with mobile-friendly access, faceted search and other features..."

Will droughts turn the Amazon into a giant source of carbon pollution?

" As climate change increases temperatures and alters rainfall patterns across South America, scientists are concerned that the Amazon rainforest will shift from a carbon sponge to a carbon source.
New research published today in the journal Global Change Biology highlights this disturbing question.
NOAA scientist John Miller, working with an international team, investigated by analyzing air samples taken by aircraft over four sites in the Amazon Basin in 2010–2012. The study found strong evidence that the 2010 drought caused much of the Amazon to significantly reduce carbon uptake for up to two year..."
Amazon and drought

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation

"A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well-known examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the algorithm used by Google’s search engine.) To succeed in the global marketplace, U.S. firms depend upon their trade secrets, which increasingly are becoming their most valuable intangible assets.

However, U.S. companies annually suffer billions of dollars in losses due to the theft of their trade secrets by employees, corporate competitors, and even foreign governments. Stealing trade secrets has increasingly involved the use of cyberspace, advanced computer technologies, and mobile communication devices, thus making the theft relatively anonymous and difficult to detect. The Chinese and Russian governments have been particularly active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage with respect to U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information..."
Trade secrets

Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources

"Much is written on the topic of cybersecurity. This CRS report and those listed below direct the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues. Included in the reports are resources and studies from government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), think tanks, academic institutions, news organizations, and other sources.

This report is intended to serve as a starting point for congressional staff assigned to cover cybersecurity issues. It includes annotated descriptions of reports, websites, or external resources:
Table 1—cybersecurity overview
Table 2—congressional and government resources
Table 3—international organizations resources
Table 4 —news resources
Table 5—other associations and institutions resources..."