Tuesday, October 27, 2020
"Connection is Key to Good Adolescent Mental Health
Adolescence is a time for young people to have a healthy start in life. The number of adolescents reporting poor mental health is increasing. Building strong bonds and connecting to youth can protect their mental health. Schools and parents can create these protective relationships with students and help them grow into a healthy adulthood.
Mental Health Can Affect Many Areas of a Student’s Life
Youth with poor mental health may struggle with school and grades, decision making, and their health. Mental health problems in youth often go hand-in-hand with other health and behavioral risks like increased risk of drug use, experiencing violence, and higher risk sexual behaviors than can lead to HIV, STDs, and unintended pregnancy. Because many health behaviors and habits are established in adolescence that will carry over into adult years, it is very important to help youth develop good mental health.
Friday, October 23, 2020
"The leading US federal public health agency has rewritten its definition of who is at risk of contracting coronavirus to include people who come into close contact with infected individuals in multiple short bursts over a 24-hour period.
The new definition of “close contact” issued on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will sharply expand the pool of those deemed in danger of being infected by the virus.
It will have implications for authorities carrying out contact tracing of those potentially infected by contagious individuals, and could lead to many more people being required to go into quarantine.
Under the old definition, “close contact” was defined as being within 6ft of an infected person over a solid block of 15 minutes or more. That has now been amended to cover a cumulative 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
The change was made on the back of a study also released by the CDC on Wednesday that showed how the virus could be passed between individuals who were only in contact with each very briefly but on multiple occasions. The study was based on an incident at a prison in Vermont in August.
A male correctional officer came into contact with six detained individuals who were put into the quarantine unit at the facility. At that point the inmates were showing no symptoms and were awaiting test results for coronavirus.
Footage captured by prison surveillance cameras showed that the correctional officer only came within 6ft of the inmates for short periods of about a minute at a time. But when the exposure was counted up it exceeded a total of 15 cumulative minutes.
The six inmates all went on to test positive for the virus, and the officer later received a positive result as well even though he had come into contact with no other possible source of infection.
Announcing the new directive, the CDC said the findings underlined yet again the importance of wearing masks. The advice was all the more important, the agency said, at a time when the virus was on the ascendant across three-quarters of the country..."
Coronavirus and "close contact"
Thursday, October 22, 2020
"In what observers have hailed as the “copyright case of the century,” an eight-member Supreme Court heard arguments on October 7, 2020, in Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., a long-running intellectualproperty dispute between the two tech giants. Along with the billions of dollars at stake between the parties, the Court’s decision in Google v. Oracle could have far-reaching implications for software companies, the broader technology industry, and other copyright-intensive industries. Reflecting these stakes, the Supreme Court received over 70 amicus briefs from industry, advocacy groups, academics, and other stakeholders, ranging from computer scientists and small software startup firms to IBM, Microsoft, and the Motion Picture Association. This Sidebar reviews the legal doctrines at issue in Google, the facts of the dispute, the parties’ arguments, and the potential implications of the Court’s decision for Congress.
Software Copyright Basics
Copyright law grants certain exclusive legal rights to authors of original creative works, such as books,
music, fine art, and architecture. At least since 1980, U.S. copyright law has protected computer programs
as a type of literary work. Applying legal principles originally crafted for books to computer code has not
always been a straightforward task, in part because computer programs are more functional than other
copyrightable subject matter. Courts have long wrestled with the appropriate scope of copyright
protection in computer code. When the Supreme Court last tried to weigh in on software copyright in the
1990s, it divided 4-4 and therefore issued no precedential decision. Given that the Court heard arguments
in Google with eight Justices presiding, there is at least a possibility of a 4-4 split in this case as well,
although the probability of such an outcome remains unclear..
Google v. Oracle
"This CRS Insight presents select real-time economic indicators that attempt to measure the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the U.S. economy. Created by select federal government agencies, these new or unique indicators attempt to measure the demographic, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19 in real-time, or on a weekly or monthly basis, rather than quarterly or annually.
For more on traditional economic indicators, please see CRS Report R43295, Resources for Key Economic Indicators.
United States Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau developed multiple experimental data products that attempt to measure the impact of COVID-19 on households and businesses in the United States. Two of those products are described below.
Household Pulse Survey
The Census Bureau was authorized to collect data on a variety of social and economic factors affecting households during the pandemic. Data were collected in two phases, each lasting three months, from April to July and then from August to October 2020. The first phase measured education, employment, food availability, health, housing payments, and stimulus payment use. The second phase was expanded to include questions about spending patterns and transportation use.
Data are available at the national and state levels, as well as for the largest metro areas in the country.
Interactive data are also available (best viewed with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome)..."
COVID-19 and economic indicators
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
"On June 3, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee announced a bipartisan investigation into competition in digital markets,2 led by the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law.3 The purpose of the investigation was to: (1) document competition problems in digital markets; (2) examine whether dominant firms are engaging in anti competitive conduct; and (3) assess whether existing antitrust laws, competition policies, and current enforcement levels are adequate to address these issues.4 The Committee initiated the investigation in response to broad-ranging investigative reporting, and activity by policymakers and enforcers, that raised serious concerns about the platforms’ incentives and ability to harm the competitive process.
As part of the investigation, the Subcommittee held seven oversight hearings that provided Members of the Subcommittee with an opportunity to examine the state of competition in digital markets and the adequacy of existing antitrust laws. A diverse group of witnesses offered testimony on topics related to the effects of market power on the free and diverse press, on innovation, and on privacy. Other witnesses who testified included executives from businesses with concerns about the dominance of the investigated firms. The hearings also provided an opportunity for key executives from Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple—including the Chief Executive Officers of these firms— to address evidence that was uncovered during the investigation in a public-facing venue. After each of the hearings, Members of the Subcommittee submitted questions for the record (QFRs) to the witnesses.
The Committee requested information from the dominant platforms, from market participants, from the Federal antitrust agencies, and from other relevant parties, for the purpose of obtaining information that was not otherwise publicly available but was important to assembling a comprehensive record. The Committee also sent requests for submissions to various experts in the field, including academics, representatives of public interest groups, and practicing antitrust lawyers. The responses to these requests were indispensable to staff’s ability to complete this Report and its recommendations for congressional oversight of the antitrust agencies and legislative action.
This Report is intended to provide policymakers, antitrust enforcers, market participants, and
the public with a comprehensive understanding of the state of competition in the online marketplace.
The Report also provides recommendations for areas of legislative activity to address the rise and
abuse of market power in the digital economy, as well as areas that warrant additional congressional
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
",,,What is Spina Bifida?
What CDC Is Doing
CDC works to protect the kidneys of babies born with spina bifida, and reduces the need for surgery through the Urologic Management to Preserve Initial Renal Function (UMPIRE) Protocol for Young Children with Spina Bifida..."
"As the nation’s primary consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has a broad mandate to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the marketplace.1 It does this by, among other things, filing law enforcement actions to stop unlawful practices and, when possible, returning money to consumers. The FTC also protects the public through education and outreach on consumer protection issues. Through research and collaboration with federal, state, international, and private sector partners, the FTC strategically targets its efforts to achieve the maximum benefits for consumers, including older adults.
Protecting older consumers in the marketplace is one of the FTC’s top priorities. 3 Unfortunately, in numerous FTC cases, older adults have been targeted or disproportionately affected. For example, as discussed below, the FTC has brought ten new enforcement actions this year to stop unsubstantiated claims for products that purport to treat various illnesses and conditions affecting older consumers. As the population of older adults grows, the FTC’s aggressive efforts to bring law enforcement actions against scams that affect them, as well as provide useful consumer advice, become increasingly important. 4 The
FTC submits this third annual report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the
United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives to fulfill the reporting
requirements of Section 101(c)(2) of the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2017.5
The law requires the FTC Chairman to file a report listing the FTC’s enforcement actions “over
the preceding fiscal year in each case in which not less than one victim was an elder or that
involved a financial scheme or scam that was either targeted directly toward or largely affected
Sunday, October 18, 2020
"On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and his "army" of some 20 men seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) in preparation for his war for slave liberation. By the morning of October 18, when Brown refused to accept the terms of this note, marines under the command of Bvt. Col. Robert E. Lee, stormed the building and captured Brown and the survivors of his party. The operation that Brown envisioned as the first blow in a war against slavery was over in 36 hours.."
John Brown surrender
Friday, October 16, 2020
"When a consumer defaults on a debt, a third-party debt collector often collects the debt obligation
rather than the lender to whom the debt is originally owed. The debt collection market helps
lenders recoup their losses when a consumer defaults, generally making consumer credit and
other related markets more efficient. When lenders can effectively recoup their losses, they may
be more willing to lend to consumers at lower initial loan costs, leading to more access to credit
The U.S. debt collection market is large, and the debt collection process impacts many American consumers. As of 2019,
there are over 7,000 collection agencies in the United States, and the industry’s annual revenue is about $12.7 billion.
According to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) survey, approximately one-third of consumers with a credit
bureau file reported being contacted by at least one creditor or debt collector trying to collect on one or more debts in the
Lenders make contracts with debt collectors to collect their debts, and consumers may not choose the debt collector with
whom they engage. Therefore, consumers cannot take their business elsewhere if abuses occur. For this reason, consumer
protection laws and regulations may be particularly consequential. According to the CFPB, debt collection is the consumer
finance market with the second most complaints, accounting for 21% of the total complaints the agency received in 2019.
Consumers’ most common debt collector complaints assert that a debt collector attempted to collect a debt the consumer did
not believe was owed (45%), or a consumer received insufficient written notification about a debt (18%)..."
Thursday, October 15, 2020
"This report is the 47th in a series that began in 1973. It provides official estimates of criminal victimizations reported and not reported to police from BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). It describes the characteristics of crimes, victims, and offenders. In addition, this year, BJS provides new classifications of urban, suburban, and rural areas, with the goal of presenting a more accurate picture of where criminal victimizations occur.
- The rate of violent crime excluding simple assault declined 15% from 2018 to 2019, from 8.6 to 7.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older.
- Among females, the rate of violent victimization excluding simple assault fell 27% from 2018 to 2019.
- There were 880,000 fewer victims of serious crimes (generally felonies) in 2019 than in 2018, a 19% drop.
- From 2018 to 2019, 29% fewer black persons and 22% fewer white persons were victims of serious crimes.
- The rate of violent victimization in urban areas—based on the NCVS's new classifications of urban, suburban, and rural areas—declined 20% from 2018 to 2019.
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series