Tuesday, September 30, 2008

HE20.9202:B 74/kit
The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Steps for Creating a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008
658.314082 B964b
D214.13:Ir1/3
Benhoff, Lieutenant Colonel David A.
Among the People:U.S. Marines in Iraq
U.S. Department of Defense, 2008
956.7044342 B436a
Y3.2:IN 3/ EL2
Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse(EMP Attack: Critiacal National Infrastructures.
Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse(EMP) Attack, April 2008
355.0217 C737r
Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House, FEMA 320 CD, Edition 2.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Federal Emergency Management Adm.,
April 2006.
HS5.120:Sh 4/CD (cd-rom)

"Taking Shelter from the Storm, Building a Safe Room Inside Your House, FEMA 320, is a full-color guidance booklet for homeowners, contractors, and government officials that provides detailed information about wind hazards and in-residence wind shelters. The booklet explains and illustrates the hazards associated with extreme windstorms such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and it includes wind hazard maps and a worksheet that homeowners can use to assess their risk and decide how best to protect themselves. Also included are design drawings that contractors and skilled homeowners can use to construct in-residence shelters."
All About Geothermal Energy
U.S. Department of Energy, 2007
E1.111:G 29/CD (cd-rom)

From it introduction:
"Western Area Power Administration, in cooperation with American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Geothermal Education Office and the U.S. Department of Energy's GeoPowering the West program, is pleased to issue All About Geothermal Power.

Western has collected some of the best tools to assist you in educating your community about geothermal power. The materials on this CD, including interactive and hard copy, will let you mix and match the best written and visual information for your audience–whether it's a community decision-maker or a utility's board of directors. Information on the CD covers both electric and non-electric applications. We hope you find this product useful in your work."

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law
"The siting of wireless communications facilities has been a topic of controversy in
communities all over the United States. Telecommunications carriers need to place
towers in areas where coverage is insufficient or lacking to provide better service to consumers, while local governing boards and community groups often oppose the siting of towers in residential neighborhoods and scenic areas. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 governs federal, state, and local regulation of the siting of communications towers by placing certain limitations on local zoning authority without totally preempting state and local law. This report provides an overview of the federal, state, and local laws governing the siting of wireless communications facilities."
VA Announces Changes to the Disability Rating Schedule for Traumatic Brain Injuries and Burn Scars
"The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced changes in the way VA will evaluate traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and burn scars for purposes of determining the appropriate level of compensation veterans receive for these injuries.

“These important regulatory changes will allow VA decision makers to better assess the consequences of these injuries and ensure veterans are properly compensated for their residual effects,” stated Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.

VA has revised the Disability Rating Schedule in light of current scientific and medical knowledge in order to provide VA employees with more detailed and up-to-date criteria for evaluating and compensating veterans with these injuries...

To view the entire regulation published today in the Federal Register, go to: www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2008-22083_PI.pdf. For more information about VA disability compensation, go to www.va.gov or call 1-800-827-1000."
SAMHSA Releases Latest Completed TEDS Report with Nationwide Data on Treatment Admissions for Substance Abuse
"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is issuing the completed version of its latest Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), which provides information on substance abuse treatment admissions from state-licensed treatment facilities across the country.

The 2006 TEDS Report is the latest in a series of yearly reports that not only provide overall figures for the Nation, but also break this information down into a wide variety of demographic criteria that can help provide greater perspective on the scope and nature of these problems. This information is designed to help the public health community get a better understanding of the treatment needs they are confronting so that they can work to most effectively address them."
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Discussion Draft of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present
"In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime
mortgagebacked securities market, the federal government has intervened with
private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. The firms affected were Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and AIG. Another large investment bank, Lehman Brothers, sought government intervention, but none was forthcoming; subsequently, the firm sought bankruptcy protection.

These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and
the sources of funding. The sources of funding are relatively straightforward,
the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the U.S. Treasury. The costs, however, are difficult to quantify at this stage. In the most recent interventions (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and AIG), all the lending that is possible under the interventions has yet
to occur. Also, in all the current cases, the government has received significant debt and equity considerations from the private firms. At this point, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG are essentially owned by the federal government. Depending
on the proceeds from the debt and equity considerations, the federal government
may very well end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions, as was the case in some of the past interventions summarized in the tables at the end of this report."
U.S. Sentencing Commission Preliminary Crack Cocaine Retroactivity Data Report
"This report provides information on all cases reported to the Commission in which the court considered a motion to reduce a sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) for an offender convicted of an offense involving crack cocaine. The data in this report represents information concerning motions decided through August 26, 2008 and for which court documentation was received, coded, and edited at the U.S. Sentencing Commission by August 29, 2008. Users of this information are cautioned that the data are preliminary only and subject to change as the Commission receives, analyzes, and reports on additional cases..."
Draft. 2008 REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE BENEFITS AND COSTS OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND
UNFUNDED MANDATES ON STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL ENTITIES

"This Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations (Report) was prepared to implement Section 624 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2001 (Pub. L. No. 106-554, 31 U.S.C. § 1105 note), commonly known as the “Regulatory Right-to-Know Act.” This is the eleventh annual Report since the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) began issuing this Report in 1997."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present
"In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgagebacked securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. The firms affected were Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and AIG. Another large investment bank, Lehman Brothers, sought government intervention, but none was forthcoming; subsequently, the firm sought bankruptcy protection. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The sources of funding are relatively straightforward, the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the U.S. Treasury. The costs, however, are difficult to quantify at this stage. In the most recent interventions (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and AIG), all the lending that is possible under the interventions has yet to occur. Also, in all the current cases, the government has received significant debt and equity considerations from the private firms. At this point, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG are essentially owned by the federal government. Depending on the proceeds from the debt and equity considerations, the federal government may very well end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions, as was the case in some of the past interventions summarized in the tables at the end of this report. The government may also suffer significant losses, as has also occurred in the past..."
USCIS Strategic Plan
"Director’s Message.
It is with great pride that I introduce the 2008-2012 strategic plan for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This strategic plan emphasizes USCIS’ progress from its original role as a new component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to our present standing as a progressive and respected contributor to a coordinated homeland security effort. We have accomplished much over the last five years. Yet much more remains to be done – our country faces many challenges related to immigration.

A well-managed, modern immigration system is fundamental to maintaining our national and economic security. USCIS must be ready to face any challenge that presents itself. Whether it is the changing demographics of our customers, fluctuating and unpredictable demand for immigration services, new kinds of security threats, legislative mandates, or the tragedy of a man-made or natural disaster, we must be prepared to respond effectively. Vigilance will guide our actions, our decision-making, and the processes we use to enhance and modernize our infrastructure and operations..."
2007 Border Crossing Data
"The number of truck crossings into the United States from Canada and Mexico was 11.4 million in 2007, 0.3 percent higher than in 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration. Almost 6.6 million truck crossings were into the U.S. from Canada , down 1.4 percent from 2006, and almost 4.9 million crossings were from Mexico , up 2.6 percent from 2006. Border-crossing data posted on the BTS website includes numbers of incoming trucks, trains, buses, containers, personal vehicles, and pedestrians entering the United States through land ports and ferry crossings on the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico border. Border-crossing data from 1995 to 2007 can be found on the BTS website at http://www.transtats.bts.gov/BorderCrossing.aspx or http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=1358

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Vietnam-Era Prisoner-of-War/Missing-in-Action Database
"This database has been established to assist researchers interested in investigating the U.S. Government documents pertaining to U.S. military personnel listed as unaccounted for as of December 1991. The title of this collection is "Correlated and Uncorrelated Information Relating to Missing Americans in Southeast Asia." The documents are declassified by the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) and released to the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, for public access."
Seat Belt use Hits Record Level in 2008
"More Americans are buckling up than ever before, with 83 percent of vehicle occupants using seatbelts during daylight hours, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today. In 2007, 82 percent used seat belts.

“More and more Americans are realizing that the mere seconds it takes to buckle up can mean the difference between life and death,” Secretary Peters said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 270 lives are saved for every one percent increase in belt use. Acting NHTSA Administrator David Kelly said a contributing factor for such historically high seat belt use is high-visibility law enforcement efforts, such as the Department’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

“We are committed to supporting state and local law enforcement in their front-line efforts to encourage belt use,” Kelly said.

According to the report, 84 percent of passenger car occupants are buckling up. Even more people, 86 percent, are buckling up in vans and SUVs while pickup truck occupants buckled up 74 percent of the time.

The report finds that safety belt use increased or remained level in every region of the country, with the highest use being reported in the West (93 percent), and the lowest in the Midwest and Northeast (79 percent). The South reported 81 percent."
FTC Sweep Stops Peddlers of Bogus Cancer Cures
"The Federal Trade Commission today announced 11 law enforcement actions challenging deceptive advertising of bogus cancer cures. The FTC charged the companies with making unsupported claims that their products cured or treated one or more types of cancer. In each case, the company is charged with violating the FTC Act, which bars deceptive claims. Some complaints allege that the companies also falsely touted clinical or scientific proof for their products..."
Fatal Workplace Injuries in 2005
"The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in conjunction with the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and New York City, compiles detailed information on all work-related fatal injuries occurring in the United States...

The annual CFOI report provides detailed tabulations of data from the fatality census, as well as analytical articles on various topics related to fatal workplace injuries. The report has two sections; the first section contains charts and text highlighting fatality data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, including charts derived from the three analytical articles that use CFOI data. The second section presents detailed data tables and appendices that describe the scope, methodology, and outputs of the program, along with the full text of the three analytical articles."
2008 Report on International Religious Freedom
"The International Religious Freedom report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide."
The Nation’s Fuel Economy is on the Rise
"For the fourth consecutive year, EPA is reporting an increase in the average fuel efficiency for cars and light duty trucks, to a projected 20.8 miles per gallon (mpg) for 2008. This year’s projection is a 0.2 mpg up tick over last year’s value.

The actual 2008 fuel economy value will be available when the automakers submit their final annual sales data in early 2009. EPA expects the final mpg for 2008 to be higher than the automakers initial projections since gas prices have since increased.

“This report shows we’re driving in the right direction,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Increased fuel efficiency is not only a smart consumer choice, but also a smart environmental choice.”

EPA’s annual report, “Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2008,” which provides data on the fuel economy and technology characteristics of new light-duty vehicles including cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks, confirms that average fuel economy has improved each year beginning in 2005, and is now the highest since 1993.

Most of the increase since 2004 is due to higher fuel economy for light trucks, following a long-term trend of slightly declining overall fuel economy that peaked in 1987. These vehicles also have a slightly lower market share, peaking at 52 percent in 2004 with projections at 48 percent in 2008."
Federal Communications Releases Data on Local telephone Competition
"Summary Statistics
· End-user customers obtained local telephone service by utilizing approximately 129.7 million incumbent LEC switched access lines, 28.7 million CLEC switched access lines, and 249.2 million mobile telephony service subscriptions at the end of December 2007.
· Of the 28.7 million CLEC end-user switched access lines, 8.4 million lines were provided over coaxial cable connections. The 8.4 million lines represent about 72% of the 11.7 million end-user switched access lines that CLECs reported providing over their own local loop facilities.
· Mobile telephony service providers reported 249.2 million subscribers at the end of
December 2007, which is 19.6 million, or 9%, more than a year earlier. About 7% of these subscribers were billed by mobile telephony service resellers.
· There was at least one CLEC serving customers in 81% of the nation’s Zip Codes at the end of December 2007. About 97% of United States households resided in those Zip
Codes. Moreover, multiple carriers reported providing local telephone service in the major population centers of the country.
· The 28.7 million lines reported by CLECs is about 18% of the 158.4 million total end-user switched access lines reported for the end of December 2007.
· CLECs reported 12.1 million (or 13%) of the 93.9 million lines that served residential end users and 16.7 million (or 26%) of the 64.6 million lines that served business, institutional, and government customers."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Issues in Designing a Cap-and-Trade Program for Carbon Dioxide Emissions
"...Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions would be beneficial in limiting the degree of risk associated with climate change, especially the risk of significant damage. However, decreasing those emissions would also impose costs on the economy—in the case of CO2, because much economic activity is based on fossil fuels, which release carbon in the form of that gas when they are burned. Much of those costs will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for energy and energy-intensive goods.

Designing a cap-and-trade program to achieve such reductions would include
important decisions about whether to sell or give away allowances. Those rights
to emit greenhouse gases would have substantial value, and policymakers’ choices about how to allocate them could have significant effects on the federal budget and on how the gains and losses brought about by the program were distributed among U.S. households. If policymakers chose to sell the allowances, they could use the revenue that would arise in many different ways, including to offset other taxes, to assist workers or low-income households that might be adversely affected by the cap, to support other legislative priorities, or to reduce the budget deficit. Policymakers would also need to decide whether to include provisions to help contain the cost of the policy by allowing firms flexibility as to when they reduced their emissions and whether to include provisions to address effects on international trade, particularly for energy-intensive goods."
Nonimmigrant Admissions to the United States: 2007
"Nonimmigrants are foreign nationals granted temporary entry into the United States. The major purposes for which nonimmigrant admission may be authorized include temporary visits for business or pleasure, academic or vocational study, temporary employment, and to act as a representative of a foreign government or international organization. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collects information on the characteristics of certain nonimmigrant admissions, those recorded on the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report presents information gathered from the I-94 on the number and characteristics of nonimmigrant admissions to the United States in 2007."
Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2007
"This report provides estimates of the number of unauthorized immigrants residing in the United States as of January 2007 by period of entry, region and country of origin, state of residence, age and gender. The estimates were obtained using the “residual” methodology employed for estimates of the unauthorized population in 2005 and 2006 (see Hoefer, Rytina and Campbell, 2006; 2007). The unauthorized resident population is the remainder or “residual” after estimates of the legally resident foreign-born population – legal permanent residents (LPRs), asylees, refugees, and nonimmigrants – are subtracted from estimates of the total foreign-born population. Data to estimate the legally resident population were obtained primarily from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) while the American Community Survey (ACS) of the U.S. Census Bureau was the source for estimates of the total foreign-born population."
Treasury Provides Further Clarity For Guaranty Program for Money Market Funds
"The U.S. Treasury Department is continuing to develop the specific details surrounding the temporary guaranty program for money market funds that was announced on September 19, 2008.

While these details are being finalized, Treasury is making the following clarifications:

1. All money market mutual funds that are regulated under Rule 2a-7 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and are publicly offered and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission will be eligible to participate in the program.

2. Eligible funds include both taxable and tax-exempt money market funds. The Treasury and the IRS intend to issue guidance that will confirm that participation in the temporary guaranty program will not be treated as a federal guaranty that jeopardizes the tax-exempt treatment of payments by tax-exempt money market funds.

3. The temporary guaranty program will be designed to provide coverage to shareholders for amounts held by them in such funds as of the close of business on September 19, 2008.

4. Further details on other aspects of the temporary guaranty program and the required documentation for funds to participate will be provided in the coming days."
Pelosi Statement on Legislation to Address Crisis in Financial Markets
"Speaker Pelosi issued the following statement today as Congress and the White House work to craft legislation to address the crisis in our financial markets:

Congress will respond to the financial markets crisis by taking action this week in a bipartisan manner that will protect the taxpayers’ interests. The Administration’s $700 billion proposal does not include the necessary safeguards. Democrats believe a responsible solution should include independent oversight, protections for homeowners and constraints on excessive executive compensation.

We will not simply hand over a $700 billion blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better outcome. Democrats will act responsibly to insulate Main Street from Wall Street.

As we proceed to deal with this crisis, this is clear recognition that the party is over for the Bush Administration’s anything goes, failed economic policies that have damaged our economy, undermined the middle class and further pointed out the need for a New Direction."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reducing Dental Mercury Emissions: Installing Amalgam Separators and Achieving Compliance
"Elemental mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic substances that
can cause chronic and acute poisoning in human beings who come into contact with them. Mercury is categorized as an exogenous neurotoxin, because it acts specifically on the brain and nervous system when ingested. The health problems that are most commonly associated with mercury poisoning include oral lesions, birth defects, chronic illnesses, mental disorders, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, erythrism, and multiple sclerosis. Young children and unborn fetuses are particularly susceptible to mercury poisoning.

Today, in addition to direct air emissions, the improper disposal of mercury-containing wastes
by industries, clinics and others who use it has greatly contributed to dangerously high contamination levels in many of the country’s water bodies. Once in wastewater, mercury is further diffused in the environment in several ways: it enters the atmosphere when mercuryladen biosolids are incinerated; it penetrates the land when it is used as fertilizer or deposited in landfills, and it pollutes fresh water bodies when inadequately treated wastewater is discharged into wastewater treatment plant effluent or when untreated wastewater is discharged from combined
from sewer outfalls during high flow storm events..."
Possible Federal Revenue Estimates From Oil and Gas Production in Areas Currently Off-Limits (under leasing moratoria or inaccessible)
"The federal government currently collects revenues from oil and gas leases on
public lands in the form of bonus bids, annual rents, and royalties. Bonus bids
are upfront payments made to secure a lease in a competitive lease sale. Leases
are awarded to the highest bidder. Royalties are based on the value of production. Annual rental payments are made by lessees on a per acre basis. Once commercial production begins, rental payments are no longer required. The primary lease term for onshore leases is ten years. For offshore leases the primary term is 5 years
for shallow water (<400 meters), 8 years for mid-depth water (400-800 meters) and
10 years for deep water (>800 meters). Leases continue as long as commercial production takes place. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers the onshore leasing program and the Minerals Management Service (MMS) administers the offshore leasing program. The MMS collects and disburses all revenues from federal leases.
The MMS and BLM are agencies within the Department of the Interior."
Treasury Designates Individuals and Entities Fueling Violence in Iraq
"The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated five individuals and two entities under Executive Order (E.O.) 13438 for threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and the Government of Iraq. Four of the individuals designated today commit, direct, support, or pose a significant risk of committing acts of violence against Iraqi citizens, Iraqi government officials, and Coalition Forces.

"These individuals are targeting and planning attacks against innocent Iraqis, the Government of Iraq, Coalition Forces, and U.S. troops. Their lethal and destabilizing tactics, especially by Iran's Qods Force, are intended to undermine Iraq as it strives for peace and prosperity," said Stuart Levey, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

One of the individuals designated today is a member of Iran's Qods Force, the arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is responsible for providing material support to Lebanese Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command. Further, the Qods Force provides lethal support in the form of weapons, training, funding, and guidance to select groups of Iraqi Shia militants who target and kill Coalition and Iraqi forces and Iraqi civilians. The IRGC–Qods Force was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the Treasury Department on October 25, 2007...
Quality and Environmental Impacts of Bottled Water[hearing. Wednesday, September 10, 2008]
[Statement of Frank R. Lautenberg, Chairman, Senate Subcommittee on Transportation Safety,Infrastructure Security, and Water Quality]
"... The need for safe, clean bottled water is magnified during an emergency—such as Hurricane Gustav which just passed through the Gulf Coast—when people are evacuated from their homes, or in their homes but without basic utilities.

And it is certainly healthier to purchase water from a vending machine rather than soda.But what many Americans do not know is that almost 40 percent of bottled water on the market is actually just tap water.

Some bottlers use additional treatments to clean it; with others, it's merely tap water in a fancy bottle. In addition, water bottles thrown in the trash have a lasting effect on our environment and the country's continuing energy crisis.

Americans use 2.7 million tons of plastic each year for water bottles. The amount of oil it takes to produce those water bottles would power more than one million cars and trucks for one year..."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Latin America: Terrorism Issues
"Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, U.S.
attention to terrorism in Latin America has intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. In its April 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department highlighted threats in Colombia and the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Cuba has remained on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982, which triggers a number of economic sanctions. In May 2008, for the third year in a row, the Department of State, pursuant to Arms Export Control Act, included Venezuela on the annual list of countries not cooperating on antiterrorism efforts. In the 110th Congress, the House approved H.Con.Res. 188 and H.Con.Res. 385, both condemning the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, and H.Res. 435, expressing concern over the emerging national security implications of Iran’s efforts to expand its influence in Latin America, and emphasizing the importance of eliminating Hezbollah’s financial network in the triborder area. The Senate approved S.Con.Res. 53, condemning the hostage-taking of three U.S. citizens for over four years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In the second session, two resolutions have been introduced: H.Res. 1049 calls for Venezuela to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism because of its alleged support for the FARC, while H.Res. 965, among other provisions, calls for Venezuela to implement measures to deny the use of Venezuelan territory and weapons from being used by terrorist organizations."
Projections of Education Statistics to 2017
"This publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2017. For the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the tables, figures, and text contain data on projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates to the year 2017. In addition, the report includes a methodology section describing models and assumptions used to develop national and state-level projections."
Country Analysis: Japan
"Japan has virtually no domestic oil or natural gas reserves and is the second-largest net importer of crude oil and largest net importer of liquefied natural gas in the world. Including nuclear power, Japan is still only 16 percent energy self-sufficient. Japanese companies have actively pursued upstream oil and natural gas projects overseas in light of the country’s lack of domestic hydrocarbon resources. Japan remains one of the major exporters of energy-sector capital equipment and Japanese companies provide engineering, construction, and project management services for energy projects around the world. Japan has a strong energy research and development program that is supported by the government. The Japanese government actively pursues energy efficiency measures in an attempt to increase the country’s energy security and reduce carbon dioxide emissions."
U.S. International Transactions: Second Quarter 2008 Current Account
"The U.S. current-account deficit--the combined balances on trade in
goods and services, income, and net unilateral current transfers--increased to
$183.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2008 from $175.6 billion
(revised) in the first quarter. The increase was more than accounted for by a
decrease in the surplus on income and an increase in the deficit on goods. In
contrast, the surplus on services increased, and net unilateral current
transfers to foreigners decreased."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Qualitative & Quantitative Analysis of Conducted Energy Devices: TASER X26 vs. Stinger S200
"This report provides both a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the two weapon systems. The researchers tested both the TASER X26 and Stinger S200 weapon systems repeatedly, and documented variables including: distance to target, probe spread, probe distance to aim point, probe contact with target, and cartridge and weapon systems malfunctions. A qualitative review of the shocks received from both the TASER and Stinger weapons was conducted using fifteen volunteers. Using alligator clips to deliver the weapon’s shock, the majority of people reported a much lower level of incapacitation when hit with the Stinger S200 in comparison to the TASER X26. In comparison, one individual that took a probe/barb hit claimed that the Stinger S200 was much stronger than the TASER X26 shock.

In a quantitative review of the weapon systems, this document shows the TASER X26 system to be much more reliable than its Stinger S200 counterpart, even after researchers received a replacement weapon and cartridges from Stinger due to a high incidence of malfunctions. An additional concern with the Stinger weapon system was that the Stinger S200 probes consistently broke free from their barbs in the target. The Stinger S200 system also had problems with tangled lead wire, and although the probe spread was smaller in the Stinger S200 (allowing for greater accuracy at greater distances than the TASER X26), the probes had a problem reaching the target. During testing it became clear that the lighter Stinger S200 probe penetrates deeply at close distances, but quickly loses its ability to penetrate even a soft target over greater distances..."
FBI Releases 2007 Crime Statistics
" After rising for two straight years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation declined from the previous year’s total. The declining trend continued for property crimes, as those offenses were down for the fifth year in a row.

Statistics released today by the FBI show that the estimated volume of violent crime was down 0.7 percent, and the estimated volume of property crime decreased 1.4 percent in 2007 when compared with 2006 figures. The estimated rate of violent crime was 466.9 occurrences per 100,000 inhabitants (a 1.4 percent decrease from the 2006 rate), and the estimated rate of property crime was 3,263.5 per 100,000 inhabitants (a 2.1 percent decline).

The FBI presented these data today in the 2007 edition of Crime in the United States, a statistical compilation of offense and arrest data as reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. The FBI collected these data via the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program..."
ICE returns more than 1,000 artifacts to Iraq
"Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), completed the repatriation of 1,046 cultural antiquities to the Government of Iraq that were seized in four separate investigations dating back to 2001.

The items, which included terra cotta cones inscribed in Cuneiform text, a praying god figurine that was once imbedded in a Sumerian temple and coins bearing the likenesses of ancient emperors, are an illustration of the long and varied history of the country now known as Iraq. Remnants of ancient Cuneiform tablets, which were seized by the Customs Service in 2001, were recovered from beneath the ruins of the World Trade Center."
U.S. Policy Regarding Pandemic-Influenza Vaccines
"The possibility of an influenza pandemic is cause for concern among policymakers,
public health experts, and the world’s populations. Against that prospect, in 2005, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a plan that includes a series of measures, first to monitor the spread of disease in the event of a worldwide outbreak and then to facilitate a rapid response. That second step includes developing influenza vaccines and expanding the nation’s capacity for producing influenza vaccine; creating stockpiles of antiviral drugs and other medical supplies (to avert an influenza pandemic or minimize its effects); coordinating federal, state, and local preparations; and planning for public outreach
and communications.

HHS’s plan has two specific goals that relate to vaccines. The first goal is to have in place by 2011 domestic production capacity sufficient to supply vaccine to the entire U.S. population within six months of the onset of a pandemic. The second goal is to stockpile enough doses of vaccine to inoculate 20 million people as soon as possible after the onset of a pandemic.

This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) paper, which was prepared at the request of the Senate Majority Leader, focuses on the government’s role in the vaccine market that stems from HHS’s plan. It provides information on the current state of readiness, the additional expenditures likely to be necessary to achieve HHS’s vaccine-related goals, the expenditures that are likely to be needed to maintain preparedness, and the approaches of other countries as they too face the prospect of an influenza pandemic..."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Surveillance for Waterborne Disease and Outbreaks Associated with Recreational Water Use and Other Aquatic Facility-Associated Health Events --- United States, 2005--2006
"During 2005--2006, a total of 78 WBDOs associated with recreational water were reported by 31 states. Illness occurred in 4,412 persons, resulting in 116 hospitalizations and five deaths. The median outbreak size was 13 persons (range: 2--2,307 persons). Of the 78 WBDOs, 48 (61.5%) were outbreaks of gastroenteritis that resulted from infectious agents or chemicals; 11 (14.1%) were outbreaks of acute respiratory illness; and 11 (14.1%) were outbreaks of dermatitis or other skin conditions. The remaining eight were outbreaks of leptospirosis (n = two), primary amebic meningoencephalitis (n = one), and mixed or other illnesses (n = five). WBDOs associated with gastroenteritis resulted in 4,015 (91.0%) of 4,412 illnesses. Fifty-eight (74.4%) WBDOs occurred at treated water venues, resulting in 4,167 (94.4%) cases of illness..."
Fact Sheet: Iraqi Refugee Processing
"The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) is an inter-agency effort involving a number of governmental and non-governmental partners, both overseas and domestically, whose mission is to resettle refugees in the United States. The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) has overall management responsibility for the USRAP and has the lead in proposing admissions numbers and processing priorities. Within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has responsibility for interviewing refugee applicants and adjudicating applications for refugee status. Through its cooperative agreements with Overseas Processing Entities (OPE), PRM handles the intake of refugee referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and U.S. embassies, certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the prescreening of cases and the out-processing of individuals for travel to the United States.

Part of the refugee program’s important humanitarian mission is to offer resettlement opportunities to especially vulnerable Iraqi refugees. Since large-scale Iraqi refugee processing was announced in February 2007, DHS and DOS have worked cooperatively to increase the number of Iraqi refugees admitted as part of the worldwide commitment. DHS and DOS have been committed to streamlining the process for admitting Iraqi refugees to the U.S. while ensuring the highest level of security. DHS and DOS share responsibility for initiating security checks for Iraqi refugee applicants..."
Energy Savers BLOG
A service of the U.S. Department of Energy, "the Energy Savers Blog provides a place for consumers to learn about and discuss energy efficiency and renewable technologies at home, on the road, and in the workplace. This blog supports the Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Web site."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Safer.gov
"Safercar is the nation's premier source of vehicle safety information from the government, serving the public interest."
Find information on air bag safety, crash test reports, fuel economy, safety defects and recalls, and how to file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Fact Sheet: Justice Department Counter-Terrorism Efforts Since 9/11
"Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the highest priority of the Justice Department has been to protect America against acts of terrorism. Despite repeated and sustained efforts by terrorists, there has not been another terrorist attack on American soil in the past seven years. During this time, the Justice Department has significantly improved its ability to identify, penetrate, and dismantle terrorist plots as a result of a series of structural reforms, the development of new intelligence and law enforcement tools, and a new mindset that values information sharing, communication and prevention. Working with its federal, state, and local partners as well as international counterparts, the Justice Department has not rested in its efforts to safeguard America..."
2007 American Community Survey Social, Economic, Housing, and Demographic Data
"On Sept. 23, 2008 the Census Bureau will release 2007 ACS social, economic and, housing characteristics, demographic and housing single-year estimates for areas with populations of 65,000 or more, and 2007 Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS) single-year data for Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMA) with populations of 100,000 or more. The data will consist of:

Educational attainment; Industry; Occupation; Class of worker; Journey to work;
Employment status; Work status; Veteran status; Housing; Households and families; Marital status; Migration

The first set of three-year estimates for data collected between 2005 and 2007 will be released in December. These include the first ACS estimates for areas with populations between 20,000 and 64,999."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

WMD Report Card: Evaluating U.S. Policies to Prevent Nuclear,Chemical, & Biological Terrorism Since 2005
"This special report contains the results of analysis by independent
experts who examined US government programs to prevent nuclear, chemical, and
biological terrorism. These expert analyses focused on the time period following the 9/11 Public Discourse Project’s 2005 assessment through the present, to determine in particular whether and what additional progress has been made against the threat of WMD terrorism. Based on the experts’ conclusions, additional research and interviews, and the assessments of our bipartisan Advisory Board, PSA has assembled this Report Card on US government efforts to prevent WMD terrorism."
Historical Hurricane Tracks
"The Historical Hurricane Tracks tool is an interactive mapping application that allows you to easily search and display Atlantic Basin and Eastern North Pacific Basin tropical cyclone data.

Check out the Query Storm Tracks feature. Easily search for tropical cyclone tracks from Atlantic and Pacific data by entering a ZIP Code, latitude and longitude coordinates, city or state, or geographic region and then view the selected tracks on a map."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Veteran's Affairs Suicide Prevention Panel Completes Draft Report
"A blue-ribbon panel has praised the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its “comprehensive strategy” in suicide prevention that includes a “number of initiatives and innovations that hold great promise for preventing suicide attempts and completions.”

Among the initiatives and innovations the group studied were VA’s Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK. The lifeline is staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day to deal with any immediate crisis that may be taking place. Nearly 33,000 veterans, family members or friends of veterans have called the lifeline in the year that it has been operating. Of those, there have been more than 1,600 rescues to prevent possible tragedy.

Other initiatives noted included the hiring of suicide prevention coordinators at each of VA’s 153 medical facilities, the establishment of a Mental Health Center of Excellence in Canandaigua, N.Y., focusing on developing and testing clinical and public health intervention standards for suicide prevention, the creation of an additional research center on suicide prevention in Denver, which focuses on research in the clinical and neurobiological conditions that can lead to increased suicide risk and a plus-up in staff making more than 400 mental health professionals entirely dedicated to suicide prevention..."
Toxics Release Inventory
"To better inform communities about releases of toxic chemicals from industrial facilities in their area, EPA today announced the availability of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) facility-level data for 2007. This is the 5th annual Electronic Facility Data Release (e-FDR) and displays the TRI data exactly as received by EPA from the facilities - one form for each chemical at a facility. Many stakeholders have requested that EPA share TRI data sooner and in the format received, without waiting for further analysis. The "raw" data released today are not grouped in any way or are as easily searchable as the traditional Public Data Release (PDR), which also includes more quality checks, national trends and analysis. EPA will still publish the complete 2007 PDR in early 2009.

TRI provides American communities with vital information on chemical releases including disposal of chemicals. In addition, TRI tracks releases of chemicals and industrial sectors specified by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also mandates that facilities report data on other waste management activities such as treatment, recycling, and energy recovery."
Wasted Lessons of 9/11: How the Bush Administration Has Ignored the Law and Squandered Its Opportunities to Make our Country Safer
[Report of the Committee on Homeland Security and Foreign Affair. House. September 2008]
"As this report demonstrates, the Bush Administration has not delivered on
myriad critical homeland and national security mandates set forth in the “Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007” (P.L. 110-53). Democratic Members of the Committees are alarmed that the Bush Administration has not made more progress on implementing these key provisions. Without them, the
Administration has failed to provide the American people the security they expect and deserve. This report is intended as a wake-up call to the Bush Administration. In the short time left in office, the President should redouble his efforts to make America more secure by acting expeditiously to make progress as identified in this report. Fulfilling the unfinished business of the 9/11 Commission will most certainly be a major focus of President Bush’s successor, as many of the statutory requirements are to be met in stages, with the final implementation deadlines occurring during the Administration of 44th President. However, for the next President to succeed in implementing this critical law, this President needs to deliver on the commitment he made on August 3, 2007 and fulfill thestatutory requirements of this major homeland security law."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
"Today’s global economy, or what many call globalization, has a growing impact
on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. Increasing
integration with the world economy makes the U.S. and other economies more
productive. For most Americans, this has translated into absolute increases in living
standards and real disposable incomes. However, while the U.S. economy as a whole
benefits from globalization, it is not always a win-win situation for all Americans.
Rising trade with low-wage developing countries not only increases concerns of job
loss, but it also leads U.S. workers to fear that employers will lower their wages and benefits in order to compete. Globalization facilitated by the information technology revolution expands international trade in a wider range of services, but also subjects an increasing number of U.S. white collar jobs to international competition. Also, globalization may benefit some groups more than others, leading some to wonder whether the global economy is structured to help the few or the many."
america's dynamic workforce: 2008
"This report presents an overview of current conditions and notable trends affecting the American labor market and economic activity. Primary emphasis is on measures of labor market performance – employment, labor force participation, unemployment, and compensation. General measures of economic performance such as gross domestic product (GDP) and productivity growth are also described as they relate to labor market conditions and trends."
Join the Voices for Recovery: Real People, Real Recovery. September 2008, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
"The Recovery Month effort aims to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers and promote the message that recovery from alcohol and drug use disorders in all its forms is possible."
Justice Department Meets with Civil Rights Groups to Discuss Plans for Protecting Ballot Access
"Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Grace Chung Becker, and other senior officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) met today with leaders of dozens of civil rights groups, as well as national organizations representing state and local officials, secretaries of state and attorneys general offices from across the country, to review plans to protect voting rights in the upcoming federal election.

"The Justice Department must make every effort to help ensure that the November elections are run as smoothly as possible - and, equally important, that the American people have confidence in our electoral process," Attorney General Mukasey said. "Communicating openly with groups interested in the protection of voting rights and with the state and local officials primarily responsible for administering our elections is vital to that effort."

"As the United States Supreme Court has recognized, the right to vote is fundamental because it is preservative of all our other rights," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Becker. "Vigorous enforcement of all our voting laws is a priority for the Civil Rights Division."

The meetings today are part of the Department's continuing effort under the Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Initiative, which was established in October 2002 to expand efforts to address election crimes and voting rights violations. The two overarching goals of the initiative are to ensure fair voting access and to protect the integrity of the election process..."
The Digital Television Transition: No Need to Trash Your TV
"Today, Wilmington, N.C., is the first city in the nation to switch to digital-only broadcasting. EPA encourages Wilmington residents and the rest of the country who own an analog TV set and who receive free broadcasts (via rabbit ears or a roof-top antenna) to extend the life of their TV by connecting it to a digital converter box. Energy Star-qualified digital converter boxes are available for purchase.

For consumers who choose to buy a new TV, EPA recommends purchasing Energy Star-qualified sets. EPA also encourages consumers to recycle their unwanted TVs, which recovers valuable materials from the circuit boards, metal wiring, leaded glass, and plastics.

Last year Americans disposed of more than 20 million TVs, which represents a lost opportunity to conserve natural resources such as copper and iron."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Underage Alcohol Use: Where Do Young People Drink?
"# A majority (53.4 percent) of current alcohol users aged 12 to 20 drank at someone else's home the last time they used alcohol, and another 30.3 percent drank in their own home
# The percentage of underage alcohol users who had their most recent drink in a car or other vehicle peaked at 10.1 percent at age 16 (12.8 percent of females and 7.3 percent of males)
# Among 20-year-old current drinkers, 20.0 percent of females drank in a restaurant, bar, or club the last time they used alcohol compared with 10.2 percent of males."
New Report Estimates More than 2 million Cases of Tobacco-related Cancers Diagnosed in the United States During 1999-2004
"About 2.4 million cases of tobacco-related cancers were diagnosed in the United States from 1999 to 2004, with lung and bronchial cancer accounting for almost half of these diagnoses, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the most comprehensive assessment to date, the study marks the first time CDC has reported on all tobacco-related cancers for more than 90 percent of the population...
For more information on the report, Surveillance for Cancers Associated with Tobacco Use — United States, 1999–2004, visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr. For information on CDC′s efforts in cancer prevention and control visit www.cdc.gov/cancer, and to learn more about CDC′s efforts in preventing tobacco use visit www.cdc.gov/tobacco. Free telephone-based counseling is also available from anywhere in the United States, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW."
Addressing misconceptions about the Consumer Price Index
"...The article begins with a brief background section on what the CPI is, how it is used, and what some of its major methodological changes have been. Three measurement issues that have been the subject of greatest misunderstanding—consumer substitution, quality adjustment, and homeownership costs—arethen discussed, followed by reviews of two issues that relate to almost all current commentary on the CPI: the specification of a “core” index and the differences between the CPI and perceived inflation. The penultimate section specifically addresses a widely cited estimate of presumed upward bias resulting from BLS methods, and the article ends with some summary remarks."
NRC ISSUES MID-CYCLE ASSESSMENTS FOR NATION’S NUCLEAR PLANTS
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued mid-cycle assessment letters to the nation’s 104 operating commercial nuclear power plants. The agency’s most recent assessments show all the plants continue to operate safely.

“We ensure nuclear power plants are safe, inspecting them and rating their performance regularly, as part of our mission to protect people and the environment,” said Fred Brown, Director of the Division of Inspection and Regional Support in the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. “The latest round of assessments shows that 90 percent of the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants require only the basic level of attention by the agency. This is an improvement from a year ago, when only 72 percent of the plants required this lower level of oversight.”

If a nuclear power plant’s performance declines, the NRC assigns additional resources to ensure the plant operator is taking the steps necessary to correct the situation. Only one plant, Palo Verde in Arizona, requires the NRC’s highest level of attention, which will include additional inspections this fall to confirm the plant’s performance issues are being addressed. Five plants require significantly increased NRC attention, and another five plants get some additional attention. These numbers are significantly lower than last year’s mid-cycle assessments."
The Effects of Avian Influenza News on Consumer Purchasing Behavior: A Case Study of Italian Consumers’ Retail Purchase
"To better understand how information about potential health hazards influences food demand, this case study examines consumers’ responses to newspaper articles on avian influenza, informally referred to as bird flu. The focus here is on the response to bird flu information in Italy as news about highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) unfolded in the period October 2004 through October 2006, beginning after reports of the first outbreaks in Southeast Asia, and extending beyond the point at which outbreaks were reported in Western Europe. Estimated poultry demand, as influenced by the volume of newspaper reports on bird flu, reveals the magnitude and duration of newspaper articles’ impacts on consumers’ food choices. Larger numbers of bird flu news reports led to larger reductions in poultry purchases. Most impacts were of limited duration, and all began to diminish within 5 weeks."
Securing the Future: A Primer on Security Sector Reform in Conflict Countries
"This report serves as a primer toward understanding security sector reform (SSR) in societies emerging from conflict—a rapidly expanding field of urgent importance. The report provides background on SSR today. It is based on statements by panelists at a public forum held at the United States Institute of Peace on May 22, 2008, and on interviews conducted by the author with government agencies, commercial contract firms, international organizations, and host governments that participate in the SSR programs."
9/11 Commemorations and Information
Resources to commemorate 9/11 from the USA.gov web site.
FDIC Report: Expanding Mortgage Loans to Low- and Moderate-Income Households
"The FDIC today issued a report on ways mortgage lenders can responsibly and profitably expand the availability of home loans to low- and moderate-income (LMI) borrowers and still make a profit. The report -- a summary of best practices discussed by participants at an FDIC forum in July on problems in the mortgage market -- said that basic, traditionally underwritten, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are the most suitable home loan for most LMI borrowers."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Learning from Katrina: Conservators' First-Person Accounts of Response and Recovery; Suggestions for Best Practice
"After Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana in 2005, several organized groups sent conservators to help assess the damage created at many cultural institutions. Several federal agencies sent employees to evaluate federal sites, and training programs sent staff and students to help where needed...

On April 20 and 21, 2006 the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate, in collaboration with FLICC and the American Folklife Center interviewed ten of the volunteers in “Capturing Katrina: Collections-Recovery Experiences: Oral Histories of the First Preservers.” The interviews with the recovery volunteers are now available through this website."
National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS)
"Have you been displaced by a disaster?
Do you need to locate friends or family displaced by a disaster?
If you can answer yes to one of these questions, choose one of the options below.

Note: Registering in NEFRLS is voluntary and does not register you for any type of local, state, or federal assistance. If you wish to register for FEMA's disaster assistance, click here"
NTP Finalizes Report on Bisphenol A
"Current human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, is of "some concern" for effects on development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children, according to a final report released today by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The report provides the NTP’s current opinion on BPA’s potential to cause harm to human reproduction or development. The conclusions are based primarily on a broad body of research involving numerous laboratory animal studies. The report is part of a lengthy review of the scientific literature on BPA and takes into consideration public and peer review comments received on an earlier draft report. The final report is available at http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/chemicals/bisphenol/bisphenol.pdf."
Pay Relatives for U.S. Census Regions and Divisions, 2006
"Results from the 2006 National Compensation Survey show that average pay levels in the Northeast and West are higher than in the South and Midwest.

The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides national, regional, and locality estimates of occupational wage rates in the civilian sector of the United States.1 To simplify comparisons of pay levels among localities and regions, the NCS publishes pay relatives. A pay relative is a calculation of earnings--wages, salaries, commissions, and production bonuses--for a given geographic area relative to the Nation as a whole.2 The calculation of pay relatives among localities controls for differences in occupational composition, establishment and job characteristics, and the fact that locality data are collected at different times throughout the year..."
Adolescent Health in the United States, 2007
"Adolescent Health in the United States, 2007 describes the health of the population 10–19 years of age. Because the transition to adulthood often continues through ages 20–24 years (young adults), data for young adults are presented in topic areas when comparable data were available and in charts where space allowed. For many figures, additional information on gender, race and Hispanic origin, and age is available in the accompanying data table to supplement the characteristics highlighted in the figure..."

Print reference copy available at MPL- Central at:
*362.10835 M192a.
Emergency Preparedness and Response - Hurricanes
Find information and resources on things to do before a hurricane arrives and what to do after the hurricane has left your area. In addition, includes information on cyclones, typhoons, and other tropical storms as well as historical hurricane data.
U.S. Army in Post World War 11 Japan, 1945-1952[video]
This video includes transcript and video on the end of the war, organization on the occupation, demilitarization, a new constitution, economic reform, and a legacy of peace. In addition to the video, a photo slideshow and a wealth of print resources are included.
Migration of Birds
"Frederick C. Lincoln's "Migration of Birds" was published in 1935. Lincoln's writing style effectively communicated the wonders of bird migration to a wide audience, both young and old, experienced observers of birds as well as the simply curious. Indeed the demand for this little book was so great that it was revised in 1950 and soon was out of print again. In 1979, Steven R. Peterson developed a second revision, adding additional examples and presenting an understanding of bird migration that reflected current research. The style, figures, and most of the content of the original publication were retained, but new illustrations were added where appropriate.

In this present revision large sections of the text have remained unchanged from the previous revision or only slightly modified to make the discussion compatible with current understanding. The geographic emphasis of Lincoln and the wealth of pertinent examples added by Peterson have been maintained..."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Criminal Victimization in the United States, Statistical Tables, 2006
Data on crimes and criminal victimization for 2006 including types of crimes and victimization by age and gender.
Report of Investigation Regarding Allegations of Mishandling of Classified Documents by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
"This report describes the investigation by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) into allegations that Alberto Gonzales mishandled classified documents while serving as the Attorney General. The matter was referred to the OIG by Kenneth Wainstein, former Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, on August 10, 2007. The White House Counsel’s Office had initially notified the Department of Justice (Department) about the matter, and Wainstein, after consultation with other senior Department officials, referred the matter to the OIG for investigation...

In sum, our investigation concluded that Gonzales mishandled classified materials regarding two highly sensitive compartmented programs. We found that Gonzales took his classified handwritten notes home and stored them there for an indeterminate period of time. The notes contained operational aspects and other information about the NSA surveillance program that is classified at the TS/SCI level. By regulation, such material must be stored in a Sensitive Compartmented Storage Facility (SCIF). At the time he took these materials home, Gonzales did not have a SCIF at his house. Although Gonzales did have a safe at his residence at this time, we found that he did not use it to store the notes..."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Employment and Unemployment Among Youth Summary
"From April to July 2008, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years
old increased by 1.9 million to 21.0 million, the Bureau of Labor Statis-
tics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. July is the tradi-
tional summertime peak for youth employment. This summer's increase in
youth employment was lower than last year's 2.3 million increase. Unem-
ployment among youth increased by 1.2 million between April and July 2008;
this was more than twice the increase in youth unemployment during the
same period in 2007. (Because this analysis focuses on the seasonal
changes in youth employment and unemployment that occur every spring and
summer, the data are not seasonally adjusted.)"
DUI Fatalities Down Nationwide and in 32 States
"New national figures released today show a significant decline in the number of drunk driving-related fatalities occurring nationally and in 32 individual states, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced. However, the Secretary noted that the number of alcohol related fatalities among motorcyclists is climbing in half of the states.

“More drivers are getting the message that if you drink and drive, you will be caught, you will be arrested and you will go to jail,” said Secretary Peters. “But as good as this progress is, in this day and age there is simply no excuse for someone to drink and then drive.”

Secretary Peters noted that last year an estimated 12,998 people were killed in crashes where a vehicle operator had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. She said that represented a 3.7 percent decline from the 13,491 fatalities in 2006. However, figures showing that 25 states experienced an increase in the number of drunk motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes was disappointing, the Secretary said."
Comparing Global Influence: China's and U.S. Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Trade, and Investment in the Developing World
"This report compares the People's Republic of China's (PRC) and U.S. projections of global influence, with an emphasis on non-coercive means or "soft power," and suggests ways to think about U.S. foreign policy options in light of China's emergence. Part One discusses U.S. foreign policy interests, China's rising influence, and its implications for the United States. Part Two compares the global public images of the two countries and describes PRC and U.S. uses of soft power tools, such as public diplomacy, state diplomacy, and foreign assistance..."
Midwest Flooding Disaster: Rethinking Federal Flood Insurance?
"Historically, floods have caused more economic loss to the nation than any other form of natural disaster. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to rising flood losses and escalating costs resulting from ad-hoc appropriations for disaster relief. Federal flood insurance was designed to provide an alternative to federal disaster relief outlays by reducing the rising federal costs through premium collection and mitigation activities. The purchase of flood insurance was considered to be an economically efficient way to indemnify property owners for flood losses and internalize the risk of locating investments in the floodplains. Despite massive rainfall-river flooding in several Midwestern states along the upper Mississippi River and its tributaries in June 2008, damages for the most part are not expected to produce significant insured flood losses under the NFIP. This significant but not unprecedented flood event instead will likely cost several billions in uninsured damages that will probably remain uncompensated or be paid through federal emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief. A key lesson learned from the 1993 and 2008 Midwest floods is that many people believe that the government will provide them with economic assistance despite their lack of insurance. What then is the appropriate role of the federal government in dealing with ambiguous risks, where the insurance industry is reluctant to offer coverage and homeowners and businesses demonstrated a reluctance to purchase coverage, even when is it mandatory?.."
Foreign Portfolio Holdings of U.S. Securities
"Preliminary data from an annual survey of U.S. portfolio holdings of foreign securities at year-end 2007 are released today and posted on the U.S. Treasury web site at (http://www.treas.gov/tic/fpis.html). Final survey results, which will include additional detail as well as revisions to the data, will be reported on October 31, 2008.

The survey was undertaken jointly by the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

A complementary survey measuring foreign holdings of U.S. securities also is conducted annually. Data from the most recent such survey, which reports on securities held on June 30, 2008, are currently being processed. Preliminary results are expected to be reported on February 27, 2009."
A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Refinancing
"The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced the launch of an online resource to help consumers make informed choices when refinancing a home loan.

"A Consumer’s Guide to Mortgage Refinancing," which is available at http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/refinancings/default.htm, contains useful tips and answers to frequently asked questions about the refinancing process. The information provided can help consumers determine when refinancing makes sense, what a refinancing will cost, and whether it is advisable to switch into a different type of mortgage. Consumers will also learn about mortgage terms and how to calculate the time it will take to recover refinancing costs before benefiting from a lower mortgage rate."
A Profile of the Working Poor, 2006
"In 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 36.5 million people, or 12.3 percent of the population, lived at or below the official poverty threshold, roughly the same number as in 2005. The majority of the Nation’s poor were children and adults who had not participated in the labor force during the year. However, 7.4 million were among the working poor—those who spent 27 weeks or more in the labor force, working or looking for work, but whose incomes still fell below the offi cial poverty level. These individuals represented 5.1 percent of all persons aged 16
years and older who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more in 2006, down from 5.4 percent the previous year."
Personal Income and Outlays - July 2008
"Personal income decreased $89.9 billion, or 0.7 percent, in July, in contrast to an increase of $7.4 billion, or 0.1 percent, in June and an increase of $218.0 billion, or 1.8 percent, in May. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $114.7 billion, or 1.1 percent, in July, compared with a decrease of $208.0 billion, or 1.9 percent, in June and an increase of $595.9 billion, or 5.7 percent in May. Personal
consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $24.1 billion, or 0.2 percent, in July, compared with an increase of $65.5 billion, or 0.6 percent, in June. The pattern of changes in income reflects the pattern of payments associated with the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (see page 2)."
New EEOC Publication Aimed at Increasing Opportunities for People with Disabilities in Federal Employment
"The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued a new question-and-answer guide aimed at promoting the hiring and advancement of individuals with disabilities in federal government employment. The new publication is available on the EEOC’s web site at www.eeoc.gov/federal/qanda-employment-with-disabilities.html.

Announcing the resource publication for federal agencies, Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp said, “The EEOC is doing everything it can to provide agencies with useful guidance on how to be the nation’s model employer, providing equal opportunity to all Americans, including those with disabilities.”..."
U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: UNDERSTANDING COSTS, CULTURES, AND CONFLICTS
"While sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has never been the centerpiece of U.S. foreign or defense policy, the current struggle of the United States and its allies against terrorist groups and individuals motivated by Islamic extremism has elevated the region to a front in the global conflict.

In this Letort Paper, Dr. Donovan C. Chau examines U.S. counterterrorism policy in SSA. He begins by analyzing the policy debate in Washington, DC, especially the fundamental divergence of approaches between development and defense. From there, the
paper shifts to a discussion of the attitudes and views of terrorism and counterterrorism in SSA. Vast and diverse, SSA is divided subregionally into East, West, and Southern Africa so as to highlight the different geographies, histories, threats, and perceptions..."