Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number

"Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You may not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought..."

Presidential Nominating Process and the National Party Conventions, 2012: Frequently Asked Questions

"This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the presidential nominating
process, including how the delegates to the national conventions are chosen, the differences
between a caucus and a primary, national party rules changes for 2012, and the national
conventions themselves. It is not a comprehensive report on all aspects of the presidential
nominating process..."

Coastal Water Temperature Guide

Check water temperatures before going to the beach.

The Potential Impact of Changes in Immigration Policy on U.S. Agriculture and the Market for Hired Farm Labor:

"Large shifts in the supply of foreign-born, hired farm labor resulting from substantial changes in U.S. immigration laws or policies could have significant economic implications. A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the U.S. economy is used to evaluate how changes in the supply of foreign-born labor might affect all sectors of the economy, including agriculture. Two scenarios are considered: an increase in the number of temporary nonimmigrant, foreign-born farmworkers, such as those admitted under the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program, and a decrease in the number of unauthorized workers in all sectors of the economy. Longrun economic outcomes for agricultural output and exports, wages and employment levels, and national income accruing to U.S.-born and foreign-born, permanent resident workers in these two scenarios are compared with a base forecast reflecting current immigration laws and policies..."

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

"The Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) is developed jointly by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico (SCT). The ERG is intended to be used by firefighters, police, and other emergency services personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving hazardous material. It is primarily a guide to aid first responders in (1) quickly identifying the specific or generic classification of the material(s) involved in an incident, and (2) protecting themselves and the general public during the initial response phase of the incident. The ERG is updated every four years to accommodate new products and technology.."
View full guide.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The U.S. Income Distribution and Mobility: Trends and International Comparisons

"...The extent to which countries undertake policies that affect their income distributions may reflect
national differences in perceptions about the degree of income mobility. In the United States, a
longstanding argument against redistributionary measures has been that each person has an equal opportunity to move up the income ladder. Research raises questions about whether Americans’ reported perceptions about their likelihood of changing position in the income distribution are exaggerated."

National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease

"This is the first National Plan. This plan includes a detailed listing of current federal activities and, as directed by NAPA, initial recommendations for priority actions to expand, eliminate, coordinate or condense programs. The activities outlined in this plan vary in scope and impact and include: (1) immediate actions that the federal government will take; (2) actions toward the goals that can be initiated by the federal government or its public and private partners in the near term; and (3) longer-range goals that will require numerous actions to achieve..."

Foreign-Born Workers:Labor Force Characteristics -- 2011

"The unemployment rate for the foreign born was 9.1 percent in 2011, down from 9.8 percent in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless rate of the native born was 8.9 percent in 2011, compared with 9.6 percent in the prior year. The foreign born made up 15.9 percent of the labor force..."

EPA Announces $69.3 Million to Clean Up Contaminated Sites

"Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $69.3 million in grants for new investments to provide communities with funding necessary to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and create jobs while protecting public health. 
 
The 245 grantees include tribes and communities in 39 states across the country, funded by EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) grants, and Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental grants. The grants awarded will assess and clean up abandoned industrial and commercial properties..."

Skin Cancer Common But Preventable For Those Who Work or Play Outdoors

"The sunny days of spring and summer represent an entirely different dynamic for people in the Midwest. While large numbers of people are heading for camp sites, parks and beaches that flourish throughout our region, it also means that the agriculture community – our farmers and ranchers – are hard at work in the fields and on rangeland. This means that the risk will increase for those spending more time in the sun.

Check the UV Index app: Check the ultraviolet (UV) index anytime by downloading EPA's app (www.epa.gov/enviro/mobile) to help plan outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. UV rays from the sun (and from artificial light sources such as tanning beds) can lead to skin cancer..."

Country Reports on Human Rights: 2011

"The world changed immeasurably over the course of 2011. Across the Middle East, North Africa, and far beyond, citizens stood up to demand respect for human dignity, more promising economic opportunities, greater political liberties, and a say in their own future. Often they faced tremendous odds and endured violent responses from their governments. The resulting upheavals are still unfolding today in places like Syria, where the regime has brutalized its own people. In Burma, after years of repression, the government has taken preliminary steps to allow reforms to begin. This year’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices chronicle these dramatic changes and the stories of the people defending human rights in almost 200 countries around the world..."

Friday, May 25, 2012

The FBI Child ID App: A Free Tool to Help Keep Kids Safe

"Today the FBI released a version of its Child ID App built for Android mobile devices.
The Child ID App provides parents and caregivers with an easy way to electronically store pictures and vital information about their children in case they go missing—whether it’s a toddler wandering away at the mall or a teen who has been snatched by a stranger..."

Understanding War in Afghanistan

"Understanding War in Afghanistan has been converted to an e-book format. This new format makes the book readable not only on desktop and laptop computers, but also on Apple's iPad, Sony's Reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and Android-based phones.
Download the file to your computer and then drag and drop onto your reading device.
+ .mobi | + .pdf | + .epub
Also available in the following e-books stores.
Google Books
Amazon Kindle Store.."

Table Egg Production and Hen Welfare: The UEP-HSUS Agreement and H.R. 3798

"The United Egg Producers (UEP), the largest group representing egg producers, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the largest animal protection group, have been adversaries for many years over the use of conventional cages in table egg production. In July 2011, the animal agriculture community was stunned when the UEP and HSUS announced that they had agreed to work together to push for federal legislation to regulate how U.S. table eggs are produced. The agreement between UEP and HSUS called for federal legislation that would set cage sizes, establish labeling requirements, and regulate other production practices. The goal of
the agreement is to have federal legislation in place by June 30, 2012. As part of the agreement, HSUS agreed to immediately suspend state-level ballot initiative efforts in Oregon and Washington.."

Condition of Education : 2012

Annual statistical report from the U.S. Department of  Education on developments and trends in eduction.

A Look at Veterans in America

"As we honor those soldiers who have given their lives to their country this Memorial Day, we can also take the opportunity to better understand America’s veterans. The American Community Survey provides a profile of our 21.8 million veterans..."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top 10 Baby Names for 2011

New listings of the top baby names from the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Depression: Medicines for You

"Use this guide to help you talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse about your medicines for depression. The guide lists all of the FDA-approved products now available to treat this condition. You will also find some general information to help you use your medicines wisely..."

Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports

"To help ensure the health and safety of young athletes, CDC developed the Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports initiative to offer information about concussions to coaches, parents, and athletes involved in youth sports. The Heads Up initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion..."

Protect Your Move

"Finding a new home, packing up your belongings into boxes, and starting life in a new community make moving very stressful. The last thing you need to hear is that you are being overcharged or that your family's treasured possessions are being held hostage by the moving company.

Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is on the job protecting consumers from unscrupulous carriers. And today, the FMCSA is adding to its "Protect Your Move" toolkit a new "Consumer Checklist.".."

Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That Is Scheduled to Occur in 2013

"If the fiscal policies currently in place are continued in coming years, the revenues collected by the federal government will fall far short of federal spending. That gap will grow over time as the aging of the population and the rising cost of health care continue to boost federal spending under current policies. Therefore, putting the budget on a sustainable path will require significant changes in spending policies, tax policies, or both..."

Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

"Recent congressional interest in U.S. energy policy has focused in part on ways through which the United States could secure more economical and reliable crude oil resources both domestically and internationally. Many forecasters identify petroleum refined from Canadian oil sands as one possible solution. Increased petroleum production from Canadian oil sands, however, is not without controversy, as many have expressed concern over the potential environmental impacts. These impacts may include increased water and natural gas use,
disturbance of mined land, effects on wildlife and water quality, trans-boundary air pollution, and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) during extraction and processing. A number of key studies in recent literature have expressed findings that GHG emissions from the production of Canadian oil sands crudes may be higher than those of other crudes imported, refined, and consumed in the United States..."

The U.S. Export Control System and the President’s Reform Initiative

"The 112th Congress may consider reforms of the U.S. export control system. The balance between
national security and export competitiveness has made the subject of export controls controversial
for decades. Through the Export Administration Act (EAA), the Arms Export Control Act
(AECA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and other authorities, the
United States restricts the export of defense items or munitions; so-called “dual-use” goods and
technology—items with both civilian and military applications; certain nuclear materials and
technology; and items that would assist in the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons or the missile technology used to deliver them. U.S. export controls are also used to
restrict exports to certain countries on which the United States imposes economic sanctions..."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2010 Census Estimates of Undercount and Overcount

"The U.S. Census Bureau released today results from its post-enumeration survey, providing a measure of the accuracy of the 2010 Census. The results found that the 2010 Census had a net overcount of 0.01 percent, meaning about 36,000 people were overcounted in the census. This sample-based result, however, was not statistically different from zero..."

Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests

"Seagrasses are a vital part of the solution to climate change and, per unit area, seagrass meadows can store up to twice as much carbon as the world's temperate and tropical forests.

So report researchers publishing a paper this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The paper, "Seagrass Ecosystems as a Globally Significant Carbon Stock," is the first global analysis of carbon stored in seagrasses.

The results demonstrate that coastal seagrass beds store up to 83,000 metric tons of carbon per square kilometer, mostly in the soils beneath them..."

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month

"In the United States today, about 68 million people are living with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. The good news is that high blood pressure can be prevented and controlled. The bad news is less than half of the population with high blood pressure actually has it under control..."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Statement by President Obama at Closing of G8 Summit

President Obama's closing statement at the conclusion on the G8 Summit at Camp David, Sunday, May 19, 2012.

Birth Rates for U.S. Teenagers Reach Historic Lows

"Teen childbearing has been generally on a long-term decline in the United States since the late 1950s (1–3). In spite of these declines, the U.S. teen birth rate remains one of the highest among other industrialized countries (4). Moreover, childbearing by teenagers continues to be a matter of public concern because of the elevated health risks for teen mothers and their infants.."

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2012

"SECTION 1238, “ANNUAL REPORT ON MILITARY AND SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS
INVOLVING THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA,” of the National Defense Authorization
Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which amends the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years
2010 (Section 1246) and 2000 (Section 1202), provides that the Secretary of Defense shall submit a report “in both classi!ed and unclassi!ed form, on military and security developments involving the People’s Republic of China. "e report shall address the current and probable future course of militarytechnological development of the People’s Liberation Army and the tenets and probable development of Chinese security strategy and military strategy, and of the military organizations and operational concepts supporting such development over the next 20 years..."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price

"Most Americans consume diets that do not meet Federal dietary recommendations. A common explanation is that healthier foods are more expensive than less healthy foods. To investigate this assumption, the authors compare prices of healthy and less healthy foods using three different price metrics: the price of food energy ($/calorie), the price of edible weight ($/100 edible grams), and the price of an average portion ($/average portion). They also calculate the cost of meeting the recommendations for each food group. For all metrics except the price of food energy, the authors find that healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods (defined for this study as foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, and/or sodium, or that contribute little to meeting dietary recommendations)..."

Medicare: History of Insolvency Projections

"Almost from its inception, the HI trust fund has faced a projected shortfall. The insolvency date has been postponed  a number of times, primarily due to legislative changes that have had the effect of restraining growth in program spending. The 2012 Medicare trustees report projects that, under intermediate assumptions, the H1 trust fund will become insolvent in 2024, the same as projected in the 2011 report, but five years earlier than estimated by the 2010 report. This report is a supplement to CRS Report R41436, Medicare Financing, which discusses the findings from the 2012 trustees report. Both reports will be updated upon receipt of the trustees  2013 report..."

Regional and State Employment and Unemployment, April 2012

"The April 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 32 states and the District of Columbia  and decreased in 18 states. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in Indiana (+17,100), followed by Texas(+13,200),  and Georgia (+7,800). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Maryland (-6,000), followed by Wisconsin (-5,900) and New Hampshire (-4,800). Hawaii experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+0.8 percent), followed by North Dakota (+0.7 percent) and Indiana (+0.6 percent)..."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

National, State and County Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics: July 1, 2011

"The latest national, state, and county estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin and Puerto Rico Commonwealth and municipio estimates by age and sex - for July 1, 2011 - were released May 17, 2012."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Data.gov

"The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. 
 
As a priority Open Government Initiative for President Obama's administration, Data.gov increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. Data.gov provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of Data.gov..."

National Global Change Research Plan, 2012-201

"The Obama Administration today released a 10-year strategic plan for research related to global change, identifying priorities that will help state and local governments, businesses, and communities prepare for anticipated changes in the global environment, including climate change, in the decades ahead.

The Plan—released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which for more than 20 years has coordinated Federal global change research— was developed collaboratively by more than 100 Federal scientists. It reflects extensive inputs from stakeholders and the general public, as well as a detailed review by the National Research Council, chartered by Congress to provide independent expert advice to the Nation. The Plan will be implemented through the USGCRP and the 13 Federal departments and agencies it represents..."

Federal Labor Relations Statutes: An Overview

"Since 1926, Congress has enacted three major laws that govern labor-management relations for
private sector and federal employees. An issue for Congress is the effect of these laws on
employers, workers, and the nation’s economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that,
nationwide, 9.2 million employees are represented by unions. In the 112th Congress alone, more
than 30 bills have been introduced to amend federal labor relations statutes. The proposals range
from making union recognition without a secret ballot election illegal to further modifying runoff
election procedures. This legislative activity, and the significant number of employees affected by
federal labor relations laws, illustrate the current relevance of labor relations issues to legislators
and their constituents..."

Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

"Although the United States remains the leading host country for international students in science,
technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, the global competition for talent has
intensified. A record number of STEM graduates—both U.S. residents and foreign nationals—are
entering the U.S. labor market, and there is a renewed focus on creating additional immigration
pathways for foreign professional workers in STEM fields. Current law sets an annual worldwide
level of 140,000 employment-based admissions, which includes the spouses and children in
addition to the principal (i.e., qualifying) aliens. “STEM visa” is shorthand for an expedited
immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust
to legal permanent resident (LPR) status without waiting in the queue of numerically limited LPR
visas. The fundamental policy question is should the United States create additional pathways for
STEM graduates to remain in the United States permanently?.."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Child Safety:Keep Your Little One Safe When You Fly

"Did you know that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system (CRS) or device, not on your lap? Your arms aren't capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight. It's the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination. The FAA is giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your family's travel plans..."

Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

"A record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish populations in the last 11 years to 27, according to a report to Congress out today from NOAA’s Fisheries Service. This report documents historic progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding our nation’s fisheries, due to the commitment of fishermen, fishing communities, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and managers..."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Questions About Incredible Sea Turtle Migration Answered by Scientists

"Immediately after emerging from their underground nests on the lush beaches of eastern Florida, loggerhead sea turtles scramble into the sea and embark alone on a migration that takes them around the entire North Atlantic basin. Survivors of this epic migration eventually return to North America's coastal waters.

The most comprehensive perspective to date on precisely how young loggerheads navigate their transoceanic migration was recently published in two complementary papers produced by a research team led by Kenneth J. Lohmann, a marine biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill..."

A Conference on the Economics of Drip Pricing

"Drip pricing is a pricing technique in which firms advertise only part of a product’s price and reveal other charges later as the customer goes through the buying process. The additional charges can be mandatory charges, such as hotel resort fees, or fees for optional upgrades and add-ons. Drip pricing is used by many types of firms, including internet sellers, automobile dealers, financial institutions, and rental car companies...

 The workshop, which will be free and open to the public, will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. A government-issued photo ID is required for entry. Pre-registration for this workshop is not necessary, but is encouraged, so that we may better plan for the event.

Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court

"This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying
accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military
Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court. The chart
follows the same order and format used in CRS Report RL31262, Selected Procedural
Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts, to facilitate comparison with
safeguards provided in international criminal tribunals. For similar charts comparing military
commissions as envisioned under the MCA, as originally passed in 2006, to the rules that had
been established by DOD for military commissions and to general military courts-martial
conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), see CRS Report RL33688, The
Military Commissions Act of 2006: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Previous
DOD Rules and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, by Jennifer K. Elsea..."

Youth and the Labor Force: Background and Trends

"Congress has indicated a strong interest in ensuring that today’s young people—those ages 16
through 24—attain the education and employment experience necessary to make the transition to
adulthood as skilled workers and taxpayers. In the wake of the December 2007-June 2009
recession, questions remain about the employment prospects of youth today and the possible
effects on their future earnings and participation in the labor market.

This report provides context for policymakers on the youth employment situation. It includes data
on labor force participation, employment, and unemployment in the post-World War II period,
with a focus on trends since 2000. This discussion compares rates based on age, gender,
race/ethnicity, and income, where applicable. The report also explores the factors that influence
youth participation in the labor force and their prospects for employment..."

EPA Updates Clean Air Act Requirements for Gas Stations

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the systems used at gas station pumps to capture harmful gasoline vapors while refueling cars can be phased out. Modern vehicles are equipped to capture those emissions. This final rule is part of the Obama Administration’s initiative to ensure that regulations protect public health and the environment without being unnecessarily burdensome to American businesses..."

Annual Survey of Jails: Jail-Level Data, 2011

" The Annual Survey of Jails (ASJ) is the only data collection effort that provides an annual source of data on local jails and jail inmates. Data on the size of the jail population and selected inmate characteristics are obtained every five to six years from the Census of Jails. In each of the years between the full censuses, a sample survey of jails is conducted to estimate baseline characteristics of the nation's jails and inmates housed in these jails. The 2011 Annual Survey of Jails is..full report."

Science 2011:National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grade 8

"The average eighth-grade science score increased from 150 in 2009 to 152 in 2011. The percentages of students performing at or above the Basic and Proficient levels were higher in 2011 than in 2009 (figure A). There was no significant change from 2009 to 2011 in the percentage of students at the Advanced level..."

Hospitalization for Stroke in U.S. Hospitals, 1989–2009

"An estimated 7 million Americans have had a stroke (cerebrovascular disease) (1). In 2008, direct medical costs of stroke were about $18.8 billion, with almost half of this amount being for hospitalization (1). Stroke was the fourth leading U.S. cause of death in 2009 and 2010 (2,3).

Numerous public health campaigns have sought to educate the public on how to lower stroke risk: for example, by increasing physical activity, controlling weight, stopping smoking, and taking medication to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol (4,5). This report examines nationally representative data from 1989 to 2009 to see how inpatient hospital care for stroke has changed..."

A Future Without Key Social and Economic Statistics for the Country

"Our country faces important Federal funding challenges linked to the current recession and its aftermath. On the Census Bureau’s part, we have been striving to cut administrative costs, reengineer our survey processes, and find innovative ways to squeeze every cent of taxpayer money we get. This is an important duty, I believe, we have as public servants, and I am proud of the hard work of my Census Bureau colleagues on this score. It is also my duty to inform the country of the impact of budgets on the scope and quality of the nonpartisan statistical information the Census Bureau provides.

This blog post provides information about the implications of the recent budget passed by the House of Representatives..."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Presidential Proclamation: Mother's Day 2012

Text of the Mother's Day 2012 Presidential Proclamation.

What Is Osteoporosis?

A list of faqs on osteoporosis from the Osteoporosis and Related Bone Disease National Resource Center.

FoodSafety.gov

Find answer to your food safety questions at FoodSafety.gov

National Park Pass

Find information on getting a National Park pass.

Energy Security in the United States

"Disruption in the supply of commodities used to produce energy tends to raise energy prices, imposing an increased burden on U.S. households and businesses. Disruption can also reduce the nation's economic output and thus people's income. This paper examines energy security in the United States-that is the ability of U.S.  households and businesses to accommodate disruptions of supply in energy markets-and actions that the government can take to reduce the effects of such disruptions..."

Mother's Day Report: Paycheck Fairness Helps Families no Just Women

"The persistent gap between men's and women's paychecks hurts families and harms the economy. The current gender pay gap is 18 percent; in other words, women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. While the gap has narrowed slightly in recent decades, the repercussions of pay inequality extend far beyond women's pocketbooks: when women are paid less than men for the same work, everyone feels the effects. Without pay fairness, women have less income to help support their families and fewer dollars to spend in their communities. The economy suffers as a result..."

Same-Sex Marriage: Legal Issues

"This report discusses DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] and legal challenges to it. It reviews legal principles applied to determine the validity of a marriage contracted in another state and surveys the various approaches employed by states to enable or to prevent same-sex marriage. The report also examines House and Senate resolutions introduced in previous Congresses proposing a constitutional amendment and limiting federal courts' jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of DOMA..."

Racial Profiling: Legal and Constitutional Issues

"Racial profiling is the practice of targeting individuals for police or security detention base on their race or ethnicity in the belief that certain minority groups are more likely to engage in unlawful behavior. Examples of racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are illustrated in legal settlements and data collected by governmental agencies and private groups, suggesting that minorities are disproportionately the subject of routine traffic stops and other security-related practices. The issue has periodically attracted congressional interest, particularly with regard to existing and proposed legislative safeguards, which include the proposed End Racial Profiling Act of 2011 (H.R. 3618/S.1670) in the 112th Congress. Several courts have considered the constitutional ramifications of the practice as an "unreasonable search and seizure" under the Fourth Amendment and, more recently, as a denial of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection guarantee.
A variety of federal and state statutes provide potential relief to individuals who claim that their rights are violated by race-base law enforcement practices and policies..."

Vietnam Country Analysis Brief, 2011

"Over the course of two decades Vietnam emerged as an important oil and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia. Vietnam has boosted exploration activities, allowed far greater foreign company investment and cooperation in the oil and gas sectors, and introduced market reforms to support the energy industry. These measures have helped to increase oil and gas production, but the country's rapid economic growth, industrialization, and export market expansion have spurred domestic energy consumption. The country's real gross domestic product (GDP), grew by an average of 7.2 percent per year in the last decade..."

2011 Domestic Uranium Production Report

"The U.S. Energy Department reports detailed data  spanning 2003 through 2011 and  summary data back to 1993 on U.S. uranium production in this report..."

Foreign Born Population in the United States:2010

"This report presents a portrait of the foreign-born population in the Untied States. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the term foreign born to refer to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen at birth. This includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, temporary migrants (such as foreign students), humanitarian migrants (such as refugees), and undocumented migrants. The term native born refers to anyone born in the United States, Puerto Rico, or a U.S. Island Ares, or those born abroad of at least one U.S. citizen parent..."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Adoption Expenses

"Adoption expenses vary depending on the type of adoption. Adoptive families can educate themselves on what is included in the costs of adoption and the types of financial assistance that may be available to them. Find resources in this section related to adoption fees, costs, grants, loans, and adoption expenses..."

Plant Diversity Is Key to Maintaining Productive Vegetation

"Vegetation, such as a patch of prairie or a forest stand, is more productive in the long run when more plant species are present, results of a new study show.

The long-term study of plant biodiversity found that each species plays a role in maintaining a productive ecosystem, especially when a long time horizon is considered..."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act

"EPA has developed draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II permitting guidance for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuels. This document describes information useful in permitting the underground injection of oil- and gas-related hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels where EPA is the permitting authority. EPA's goal is to improve compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements and strengthen environmental protections consistent with existing law..."

Shades of Gray: A Cross-Country Study of Health and Well-Being of the Older Populations in SAGE Countries, 2007-2010

"This report uses SAGE Wave 1 data (2007–2010) and provides an overview of the “graying” populations in these six middle- and low-income countries.3, 4 Analysis in this report focuses on comparisons across all six countries, or a subset of these countries, leaving in-depth, country-specific investigations to future reports. The report starts with Aging in SAGE Countries, which offers an overview of the aging process in these six countries, using the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Data Base (IDB), population projections data from the United Nations, and health data from the WHO..."

The Origins of Some Madison, Wisconsin Street Names

The Origins of Some Madison, Wisconsin Street Names by Burr Angle, Dolores Kester, and Ann Waidelich. Historic Madison, Inc. , 2010.
 An 11 part series tracing the origins of Madison, Wisconsin street names.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Justice Blog Protect Yourself from Mortgage Fraud

"The distressed condition of the national housing market, paired with high unemployment, has created a fertile environment for unscrupulous fraudsters seeking to take advantage of desperate homeowners.  Many homeowners who turn to loan modification or foreclosure “rescue” companies for help ultimately find that they have been scammed.  An emerging trend in recent months involves mortgage assistance relief scams.  These scams target homeowners with promises to save them from foreclosure, get them a reverse mortgage, or lower their mortgage payments—in exchange for an advance or monthly fee.  Sadly, many of these homeowners never get the relief they have been promised. .."Protect Yourself from Mortgage Fraud

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Science and Technology in South Korea

"This bibliographic guide provides English language sources available in the Library of Congress on scientific and technological developments in South Korea from antiquity to the present. Officially known as the Republic of Korea, South Korea has transformed itself over the last sixty years from an underdeveloped agrarian society to a vibrant industrialized nation. Government policies accelerated science and technology developments, agencies were established to carry out those initiatives, and educational institutions were founded to produce innovative scientists and engineers. Not intended as a comprehensive bibliography, this guide is designed--as the name of the series implies--to put the readers “on target.”.."

What's It Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status in 2009

"The relationship between educational attainment and economic outcomes is shaped by a variety of educational experience, including field of training, length of time spent in school, and level of attainment. This report explores the relationship between educational attainment, field of training, and eventual occupation and earnings.  The report also explores sex, race, and ethnic difference in educational attainment and difference between people who received a General Educational Development (GED) certificate and a high school diploma..."

National Bioeconomy Blueprint

"Economic activity that is fueled by research and innovation in the biological science, the "bioeconomy", is a large and rapidly growing segment of the world economy that provides substantial public benefit. The bioeconomy has emerged as an Obama Administration priority because of its tremendous potential for growth as well as the many other social benefits it offers. It can allow Americans to live longer, reduce our dependence on oil, address key environmental challenges, transform manufacturing processes, and increase the productivity and scope of the agricultural sector while growing new jobs and industries..."

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food

"[May 3, 2012] CDC is collaborating with public health and agriculture officials in multiple states and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an ongoing multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis infections. Public health investigators used DNA "fingerprints" of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. They used data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. The outbreak strain is rare and typically 0-3 isolates are reported per month..."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

"China's position as the world's dominant producer and supplier of rare earths (97% of total output) and its policies to limit exports have raised concerns among many in Congress, especially given the importance of rare earths to a variety of U.S. commercial industries (e.g., hybrid and conventional autos, oil and gas, energy-efficient lighting, advanced electronics, chemicals, and medical equipment), as well as to U.S. defense industries that produce various weapon systems. Many are concerned that rising rare earth prices could undermine the global competitiveness of many U.S. firms (lowering their production and employment), impede technological innovation, and raise prices for U.S. consumers. Others are concerned that China's virtual  monopoly over rare earths could be used as leverage against major rare earth importers, such as the United States, Japan, and the European Union (EU)..."

Letters form Abbotlabad: Bin Laden Sidelined?

A trove of documents captured from the raid on the Bin Laden's Abbottabad  compound  on May 2, 2011 and housed at the  Combating Terrorism Center of the Department of Social Science at West Point.

United States v Jones: GPS Monitoring, Property, and Privacy

"In United States v Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945 (20120, all nine Supreme Court Justices agreed that Jones was searched when the police attached a Global Positioning System (GPS) device to the undercarriage of this car and tracked his movements for four weeks. The Court, however, splintered on what constituted the search: the attachment of the device or the long-term monitoring. The majority held that the attachment of the GPS  device and an attempt to obtain information was the violation; Justice Alito, concurring, argued that the monitoring was a violation of  Jones's reasonable expectation of privacy; and Justice Sotomayer, also concurring, agreed with them both, but would provide further Fourth Amendment protections. This report will examine these three decisions in an effort to find their place in the body of existing Fourth Amendment laws pertaining to privacy, property, and technology..."

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond

"Drawn from the museums' permament collection are 100 artworks -- paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs -- by 43 black artists who explored the African American experience from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights era and beyond, decades that saw tremendous change in African American life. Included are paintings by Benny Andrews, Jacob Lawrence, and Lois Mailou Jones, and photographs by Roy deCarava, Gordon Parks, Roland Freeman, and Marilyn Nance, More than half the artworks are on view at the museum for the first time, and 10 works are recent acquisitions..."

May is Asthma Awareness Month

"Asthma is one of the most common lifelong chronic diseases. There are almost 26 million Americans living with asthma. The disease affects the lungs, causing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that may trigger an attack, and following the advice of your healthcare provider. Using what you know about managing your asthma can give you control over this chronic disease. When you control your asthma, you will breathe better, be as active as you would like, sleep well, stay out of the hospital, and be free from coughing and wheezing. To learn more about how you can control your asthma, visit CDC's asthma site..."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Business Dynamics Statistics

"The Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) annual data series describes establishment–level business dynamics along dimensions absent from similar databases including firm age and firm size. BDS are created from the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), a confidential database available to qualified researchers through secure Census Bureau Research Data Centers. A unique feature of the BDS is its longitudinal source data that permit tracking establishments and firms over time..."

Made In America: Helping Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing

"President Obama has said that an economy built to last is one that is based not only on consuming goods but on making things.  That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of Manufacturing.Data.Gov.  This new community on Data.gov is a one-stop Web portal for anyone interested in sharing and ideas and transforming emerging technologies into commercial success stories.  It will serve as a public resource of high-value datasets, tools, and applications that can help entrepreneurs streer the entire product development chain for a project, from invention, engineering design and prototyping, to validation and testing, manufacturing, and sales..."

Requiring Individuals to Obtain Health Insurance: A Constitutional Analysis

"This report analyzes certain constitutional issues raised by requiring individuals to purchase
health insurance under Congress’s authority under its taxing power or its power to regulate
interstate commerce. It also addresses whether the exceptions to the minimum coverage provision
to purchase health insurance satisfy First Amendment freedom of religion protections. Finally,
this report discusses some of the more publicized legal challenges to ACA, as well additional
issues that are currently before the Court..."

Employment Characterisitcs of Families: 2011

"In 2011, 11.5 percent of families included an unemployed person, falling from a peak of 12.4 percent in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation's 78.4 million families, 79.8 percent had at least one employed member in 2011..."

Air Quality Index (AQI) - A Guide to Air Quality and Your Health

"
The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health .Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in this country."

Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues

"Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to recover oil and natural gas from underground low
permeability rock formations. This process involves pumping fluids under high pressure into the
formations to crack them, releasing oil and gas into the well. The technique has been the subject
of controversy due to some of its potential effects on the environment.."

This report provides an overview of two situations in which agencies are arguing that they do not
need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of hydraulic fracturing under NEPA. On
March 21, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency reaffirmed its
use of a CE to exempt from further NEPA review the loans it makes for the purchase of singlefamily  homes on properties leased for drilling. The agency stated that, by itself, the existence of a drilling lease on a property is not an extraordinary circumstance that will prevent the agency from using a CE for a loan..."

Report on Progress Toward Security and Stablity in Afghanistan

"Since initial publication in June 2008, the Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan has provided the U.S. Congress semi-annual assessments on developments in Afghanistan and the state of the international coalition’s civil-military campaign. The June 2008 report presented a bleak assessment of the situation in Afghanistan: “The Taliban regrouped after its fall from power and have coalesced into a resilient insurgency.” A year later the situation had declined further; as noted in the June 2009 report: “The security situation continued to deteriorate in much of Afghanistan.” However, these trends gradually began to change as shifts in strategy were supported by critical resources, and in November 2010, the report for the first time highlighted “modest gains in security, governance, and development in operational priority areas,” noting as well their uneven and fragile character. The last three iterations reported that progress has continued to expand, with the most recent report in October 2011 highlighting “important security gains” and “reversal of violence trends in much of the country.”.."

Invest in Women, Invest in America A Comprehensive Review of Women In the U.S. Economy

"The 111th Congress took key actions to help with some of the challenges that women are facing
in today’s workplace. As the attached report highlights, one important issue confronting women
is gender discrimination. Although women are important contributors to family income, they
face gender pay discrimination, earning only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
Additionally, women are underrepresented in management, especially in upper management, of
our country’s largest companies. The 111th Congress took action to help eliminate the gender
pay gap by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009. Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street
Reform Act should boost women’s representation in business leadership by establishing an
Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at each federal financial services agency. The attached
report also highlights other challenges facing women in today’s economy that were addressed by the 111th Congress, including discriminatory pricing practices by health insurance companies, which were banned by the Affordable Care Act of 2010; unfair lending practices and lack of transparency in financial products, which were addressed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010; and the need for additional dollars for early care and education for the children of low-income women, which received a funding boost from the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009..."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress

"On January 26, 2012, senior DOD leadership unveiled a new defense strategy based on a review
of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This
new strategy envisions a smaller, leaner Army that is agile, flexible, rapidly deployable, and
technologically advanced. This strategy will rebalance the Army’s global posture and presence,
emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the
Middle East...

Potential issues for Congress include the strategic risk posed by a smaller and restructured Army;
the “health” of the Army given the impending downsizing; where the force will be based; the role
of the National Guard and Reserves; and should the enrollment at the service academies (West
Point) be reduced to pre-9/11 levels.."

LII's U.S. Code More Current Than Ever with New USC-prelim Feature

"The LII’s U.S. Code collection received a major upgrade last week with the addition of USC-prelim. Thanks to our friends at the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel (OLRC), the LII now includes all newly codified legislation for each title on a separate tab within each page of the LII U.S. Code Collection, right alongside the most recent official version...

The official version of the U.S. Code as released by the U.S. Government Printing Office can be as many as 15-18 months out of sync with current legislation...

 Bear in mind that while USC-prelim is far more current than the official release, these updates may be subject to further revision. Users should verify the text against the printed slip laws available from the Government Printing Office, the laws as shown on THOMAS (a legislative service of the Library of Congress), and the final version of the Code when it becomes available

Verify federal U.S. government social media accounts

"The government uses social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to connect with people and communicate official information, so it’s important to know if a social media account is really managed by the government.

We’re currently working on a tool that will let you verify if a social media account is officially managed by the U.S. government. This tool will be available soon on this page..."

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources

"This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues. This report includes information on:
• “Legislation”
• “Hearings in the 112th Congress”
• “Executive Orders and Presidential Directives”
• “Data and Statistics”
• “Cybersecurity Glossaries”
• “Reports by Topic”
• Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports
• White House/Office of Management and Budget reports
• Military/DoD
• Cloud Computing
• Critical Infrastructure
• National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC)
• Cybercrime/Cyberwar
• International
• Education/Training/Workforce
• Research and Development (R&D)"