Thursday, October 19, 2017

Does Breast or Ovarian Cancer Run in Your Family?

"If you have close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer, you may be at higher risk for developing these diseases. Does your family health history put you at higher risk? Would you benefit from cancer genetic counseling and testing?
Each year, over 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 20,000 are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. About 3% of breast cancers (about 6,000 women per year) and 10% of ovarian cancers (about 2,000 women per year) result from inherited mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are passed on in families. Inherited mutations in other genes can also cause breast and ovarian cancer, but BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the genes most commonly affected. Although breast cancer is much more common in women, men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations are more likely to get breast cancer than other men. BRCA mutations also increase the likelihood of getting pancreatic cancer and, in men, high grade prostate cancer. Knowing your family health history can help you find out if you could be more likely to develop breast, ovarian, and other cancers. If so, you can take steps to prevent cancer or to detect it earlier when it may be more treatable..."
Cancer family history

National Teen Driver Safety Week

"National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 15-21, 2017. This week and always put proven methods into practice to help teens become safer drivers.
Learning to drive is often considered a rite of passage for teenagers. But with the reward of being a new driver comes real risk.

Know the Facts

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens.
  • More than 2,300 teens (ages 16‒19) lost their lives in car crashes in 2015—that’s six teens every day.
  • Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
  • Driver inexperience is a main cause of fatal crashes for teen drivers.
  • The number one threat to teens’ safety is driving or riding in a car with a teen driver.
  • Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable..."
    Teen drivers

Protect Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus

"RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. But it can lead to serious illness, especially for infants and older adults. Wash your hands often to help protect yourself and others from RSV.
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, can cause severe lung infections, including bronchiolitis (infection of small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia (an infection of the lungs). Each year in the United States, more than 57,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. Additionally, about 177,000 older adults are hospitalized annually in the U.S. with an RSV infection, and about 14,000 of them die from it.
Those who have a higher risk for severe illness caused by RSV include:
  • Premature babies
  • Older adults, especially those 65 years and older
  • People with chronic lung disease or certain heart problems
  • People with weakened immune systems, such as from HIV infection, organ transplants, or specific medical treatments like chemotherap..."

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Worried your sore throat may be strep?

"Strep throat is a common type of sore throat in children, but it’s not very common in adults. Healthcare professionals can do a quick test to determine if a sore throat is strep throat. If so, antibiotics can help you feel better faster and prevent spreading it to others.
Many things can cause that unpleasant, scratchy, and sometimes painful condition known as a sore throat. Viruses, bacteria, allergens, environmental irritants (such as cigarette smoke), and chronic postnasal drip can all cause a sore throat. While many sore throats will get better without treatment, some throat infections—including strep throat—may need antibiotic treatment.

How You Get Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (called “group A strep”). Group A strep bacteria can also live in a person’s nose and throat without causing illness. The bacteria spread through contact with droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching something with these droplets on it, you may become ill. If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person, you could also become ill. It is also possible to get strep throat from touching sores on the skin caused by group A strep..."

Spotlight on Seizures

"Would you know how to spot a seizure? Learn more about the many seizure types!

What is a seizure?

A seizure is a short change in normal brain activity that can cause changes in awareness, behavior, or body movement. There are over 30 different types of seizures.1 The signs of a seizure depend on the area of the brain affected.
Seizures might look different than you expect. In the movies and on TV, they often show a person falling to the ground, shaking, and becoming unaware of what’s going on around them. That’s one kind of seizure, but it’s not the most common. More often, a person having a seizure may seem confused, stare into space, wander, make unusual movements, or can’t answer questions or talk.
About 1 out of 10 people will have a seizure in their lives,2 which means seizures are common. It’s important to be able to recognize seizure symptoms and know how to help..."


Pet Food Safety

"A healthy diet is important for everyone, even your pets! When picking out the right food for your pet, there are important things to consider. Did you know that what you feed your pet can even affect your health and the health of your family?

Raw pet foods can make pets and people sick

You may be considering a raw food diet for your pets because you have heard that it is healthier. But raw food diets can make you and your pet sick, and for that reason CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Here’s why:
Germs like Salmonella and Listeria bacteria have been found in raw pet foods, even packaged ones sold in stores. These germs can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet..."
Pet food

CFPB Outlines Principles For Consumer-Authorized Financial Data Sharing and Aggregation

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today outlined principles for protecting consumers when they authorize third party companies to access their financial data to provide certain financial products and services. These principles are intended to help foster the development of innovative financial products and services, increase competition in financial markets, and empower consumers to take greater control of their financial lives. The principles reiterate the importance of protecting consumers to all stakeholders that provide, use, or aggregate consumer-authorized financial data.
“Today, the Bureau released its consumer protection principles for the consumer-authorized data-sharing market,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “These principles express our vision for realizing an innovative market that gives consumers protection and value.”
Many companies, including “fintech” firms, banks, and other financial institutions, get authorization from consumers to access their account data that reside in separate organizations to provide a variety of products and services. These include fraud screening and identity verification, personal financial management, and bill payment. Such products and services could help consumers make smarter spending, savings, and investment decisions and live their lives more efficiently and effectively. The Consumer Bureau has been studying consumer-authorized data access and issued a Request for Information in 2016 to gather feedback from wide range of stakeholders. The Consumer Bureau received feedback from large and small banks and credit unions, their trade associations, aggregators, “fintech” firms, consumer advocates, and individual consumers..."

Consumer financial data sharing

Dark Web

"The layers of the Internet go far beyond the surface content that many can easily access in their daily searches. The other content is that of the Deep Web, content that has not been indexed by traditional search engines such as Google. The furthest corners of the Deep Web, segments known as the Dark Web, contain content that has been intentionally concealed. The Dark Web may be used for legitimate purposes as well as to conceal criminal or otherwise malicious activities. It is the exploitation of the Dark Web for illegal practices that has garnered the interest of officials and policymakers.

Individuals can access the Dark Web by using special software such as Tor (short for The Onion Router). Tor relies upon a network of volunteer computers to route users’ web traffic through a series of other users’ computers such that the traffic cannot be traced to the original user. Some developers have created tools—such as Tor2web—that may allow individuals access to Torhosted content without downloading and installing the Tor software, though accessing the Dark Web through these means does not anonymize activity. Once on the Dark Web, users often navigate it through directories such as the “Hidden Wiki,” which organizes sites by category, similar to Wikipedia. Individuals can also search the Dark Web with search engines, which may be broad, searching across the Deep Web, or more specific, searching for contraband like illicit drugs, guns, or counterfeit money. While on the Dark Web, individuals may communicate through means such as secure email, web chats, or personal messaging hosted on Tor. Though tools such as Tor aim to anonymize content and activity, researchers and security experts are constantly developing means by which certain hidden services or individuals could be identified or “deanonymized.”..."
Dark Web

Wednesday, October 18, 2017



The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:33 a.m. in Room SD–G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John McCain (chairman) presiding.
Committee members present: Senators McCain, Ayotte, Fischer, Cotton, Ernst, Sullivan, Reed, Nelson, McCaskill, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Donnelly, Hirono, Kaine, and King.

Good morning to all of our witnesses. We are pleased to have with us a distinguished panel of expert witnesses who each bring a unique perspective to this important issue of cybersecurity, encryption, and U.S. national security: Cyrus Vance, Jr., who currently serves as Manhattan district attorney; Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency and a professor cybersecurity studies at the U.S. Naval Academy; and Kenneth Wainstein, a former Homeland security adviser and assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice during the Bush administration and now partner at Cadwalader.
I am sure it is a great organization. [Laughter.] Chairman MCCAIN. I thank each of our witnesses for appearing before the committee today.
I must note for the record that these were not our only invited guests. This committee extended an invitation to Apple CEO [Chief Executive Officer] Tim Cook to offer his perspective on these important issues. He declined.
I hope he will reconsider in the future so that this committee can benefit from the widest possible variety of perspectives.
End-to-end encryption allows communications and data shared across devices and platforms to be seen only by the individuals holding the device. The information on the device cannot be accessed in most cases by the company and in nearly all cases by the government, even with a lawful court order backed by probable cause.
Major American technology companies have made this level of encryption the default setting on their devices, meaning that even the least sophisticated lone wolves can operate in digital secrecy..."
Cybersecurity and national security

Arms Sales in the Middle East: Trends and Analytical Perspectives for U.S. Policy

"This report analyzes state-to-state arms sales in the Middle East with a particular focus on U.S. transfers, as authorized and reviewed by Congress. The information in this report, including sales data, is drawn from a number of official and unofficial open sources.

Arms sales are an important tool that states can use to exercise their influence. The Middle East has long been a key driver of the global trade in weapons, disproportionately so when accounting for population. Some states in this heavily-militarized and contested region are major arms purchasers, empowered by partnerships with outside supporters and wealth derived from vast energy reserves. In part due to external relationships, some Middle Eastern countries have developed and continue to develop military industrial bases that supply some of their own defense needs and/or generate profits through arms exports.

Congress has constitutional powers and a number of legal prerogatives related to arms sales. In some cases, these powers and prerogatives allow Members to exert considerable influence over foreign sales. Because of the large quantity of U.S. arms sold to Middle Eastern states, a number of key historical episodes involving executive-legislative interaction on arms sales relate to the Middle East. Given that some U.S. policymakers across party lines have expressed support for a smaller military footprint in the Middle East, and that executive branch strategic documents have increasingly emphasized “building partner capacity” to advance U.S. strategic goals, arms sales could become increasingly important to U.S. foreign policy in the region. This shift would expand Congress’s role in the formation and direction of that policy..."
Arms sales

U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Recent Conflicts

"Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated “periods of war,” dates marking their beginning and ending. These dates are important for qualification for certain veterans’ pension or disability benefits. Confusion can occur because beginning and ending dates for “periods of war” in many nonofficial sources are often different from those given in treaties and other official sources of information, and armistice dates can be confused with termination dates. This report lists the beginning and ending dates for “periods of war” found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties. The dates for the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are included along with the official end date for Operation New Dawn in Iraq on December 15, 2011, and Operation Enduring Freedom on Afghanistan on December 28, 2014. This report will be updated when events warrant. For additional information, see the following: CRS Report RL31133, Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications, by Jennifer K. Elsea and Matthew C. Weed, and CRS Report R42738, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2016, by Barbara Salazar Torreon.."
U.S. Periods of War

Monday, October 16, 2017

MRBM Field Launch Site San Cristobal No. 1 14 October 1962

"At 8:45 AM on October 16, 1962, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy alerted President Kennedy that a major international crisis was at hand. Two days earlier a United States military surveillance aircraft had taken hundreds of aerial photographs of Cuba. CIA analysts, working around the clock, had deciphered in the pictures conclusive evidence that a Soviet missile base was under construction near San Cristobal, Cuba, just 90 miles from the coast of Florida. The most dangerous encounter in the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had begun..."
Cuban Missle Crisis

Saturday, October 14, 2017

National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

"October 15 is National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day,* coordinated by the Latino Commission on AIDS. This year’s theme, It Takes a Team of Superheroes to Defeat HIV, calls us to work side by side, using our most powerful treatment and prevention options to end HIV among Hispanics/Latinos.
HIV diagnoses are down among Hispanic women/Latinas overall, falling 16% from 2010 to 2014. Despite that good news, HIV diagnoses have increased 13% from 2010 to 2014 among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men. In 2015, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for about one quarter of all HIV diagnoses in the United States, though they made up 18% of the total population. Today, HIV continues to be a serious threat to the health of Hispanic/Latino communities..."
Latinx and AIDS

Help for Arthritis in Rural Areas

"October 12 is World Arthritis Day. In honor of the observance, CDC focuses on how self-management education workshops and physical activity programs help adults with arthritis, including those in rural and other underserved communities, manage or relieve pain and improve their health.
CDC research finds that one-third of adults in the most rural areas in the United States have arthritis, which includes more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissues. Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of arthritis, but usually include joint pain and stiffness. More than one-half of adults with arthritis are limited in their everyday activities by the condition..."
Arthritis and rural areas

National ALS Registry Turns 7

"The National ALS Registry has been moving the fight forward against ALS for 7 years now. Learn more about how the Registry works with persons living with ALS, scientists, and others to learn more about this mysterious disease.
It’s been 78 years since Lou Gehrig made his famous “Luckiest Man on Earth” speech when he retired from baseball in 1939 after his diagnosis of ALS. Much about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) still remains a mystery. The National ALS Registry is working with persons who are living with ALS, their caregivers and family members, researchers, neurologists, ALS support organizations, and others to help further ALS research.
“The Registry continues to mature and further expand ALS activities by funding research, launching the National ALS Biorepository, and informing persons with ALS about clinical trials and studies. The team is humbled and honored to work with patients, caregivers, and researchers to advance a better understanding of ALS,” says Dr. Paul Mehta, Principal Investigator of the National ALS Registry..."
ALS Registry