Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Top Complaint Categories for 2011

"The Federal Trade Commission today released its list of top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2011. For the 12th year in a row, identity theft complaints topped the list. Of more than 1.8 million complaints filed in 2011, 279,156 or 15 percent, were identity theft complaints. Nearly 25 percent of the identity theft complaints related to tax- or wage-related fraud..."

Brazil Country Analysis Brief

"Brazil is the ninth largest energy consumer in the world and the third largest in the Western Hemisphere, behind the United States and Canada. Total primary energy consumption in Brazil has increased by close to a third in the last decade, due to sustained economic growth. In addition, Brazil has made great strides in increasing its total energy production, particularly oil and ethanol. Increasing domestic oil production has been a long-term goal of the Brazilian government, and recent discoveries of large offshore, pre-salt oil deposits could transform Brazil into one of the largest oil producers in the world..."

Revised Publications on Employment of Veterans with Disabilities

"The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued two revised publications addressing veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both documents are available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov...

The Guide for Employers explains how protections for veterans with service-connected disabilities differ under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and how employers can prevent disability-based discrimination and provide reasonable accommodations.

The Guide for Wounded Veterans answers questions that veterans with service-related disabilities may have about the protections they are entitled to when they seek to return to their former jobs or look for civilian jobs. The publication also explains the kinds of accommodations that may be necessary to help veterans with disabilities obtain and successfully maintain employment..."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Combat Trafficking In Persons

"Today, at a White House event, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the Agency's new 2012 Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C-TIP) Policy to reinvigorate and focus USAID's efforts to combat human trafficking around the world...

The policy outlines seven guiding principles: employing USAID's comparative advantage, measuring impact and bringing to scale, applying selectivity and focus; developing regional approaches; promoting partnerships; investing in innovation and technology; and promoting high ethical standards..."

First Shale-Oil and Shale-Gas Resource Potential Assessment for the Alaska North Slope

"For the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated the potential of undiscovered, technically recoverable onshore shale oil and gas resources in Alaska’s North Slope. The estimates range from 0 up to 2 billion barrels of oil and from 0 up to 80 trillion cubic feet of gas – representing technically recoverable oil and gas resources, which are those quantities of oil and gas producible using currently available technology and industry practices, regardless of economic or accessibility considerations..."

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces:Background, Development and Issues.

"During discussions about the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Congress reviewed and discussed the plans for maintaining and modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Although the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30 years. As a result, the 112th Congress will continue to review these programs during the annual authorization and appropriations process..."

Monday, February 27, 2012

eCycle Televisions

Locate places to recycle your television.
See also Madison Streets & Recyclings

Consumer Fraud and Scams

Tips for protecting yourself from consumer fraud and scams

Saturday, February 25, 2012

National Invasive Species Awareness Week, Feb. 27 - March 3, 2012

"Next week, state, federal, tribal and local officials, along with representatives of private sector and environmental groups, will kick-off a week of events, briefings, and workshops to discuss international, national and regional invasive species issues as part of this year’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb. 26 – Mar. 3, 2012). The week’s events, coordinated by the National Invasive Species Council, are open to the public.

National Invasive Species Awareness week will highlight efforts to prevent or slow the spread of “invasive species”--species that are both non-native and harmful to the environment, the economy and human health. Asian carp, large constrictor snakes such as the Burmese python in the Everglades, quagga and zebra mussels, wood-boring beetles, kudzu and West Nile Virus are just a few examples of invasive species..."

Student Athlete Performance Center - UW-Madison State Project # 10H3A; Draft EIA Report

LEGAL NOTICE:
Notice of Release of Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Notice of EIA Public Meeting
Proposed Student Athlete Performance Facility University of Wisconsin - Madison.

A public meeting to present the proposed UW-Madison Student Athlete Performance Facility will be held at 5:30 pm on March 6, 2012 in Room 132 of the WARF Building on UW-Madison Campus (610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI 53726).

A print copy is available for viewing at the Madison Public Library, 126 S. Hamilton Street
through March 21, 2012. Ask at the Reference Desk.

Historical Times Series in Graphic Form

Find historical voting times series for 1964 to 2010 by several categories: Race, Hispanic Origin, Sex, and Age Groups; Region, Educational Attainment, and Labor Force; Citizen Voting-age Population by State, and more.

FTC Takes Action to Stop Massive Robocalling Operations

"As part of the Federal Trade Commission's ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal, prerecorded "robocalls," the FTC is taking legal action to stop two operations that allegedly enabled telemarketers to place hundreds of millions of illegal prerecorded calls to consumers around the country, including many who had registered their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The FTC's complaints in both cases allege that the defendants offered "self-service" voice broadcasting – a service that makes it easy for marketers who have no telecommunications expertise to deliver tens of millions of robocalls for pennies a call. The defendants arranged for marketers to deliver prerecorded sales pitches by uploading a recorded message and list of telephone numbers through web sites owned by the defendants that would then dial each uploaded phone number and play the designated prerecorded message..."

What do I Pay for a Gallon of Regular Gasoline?

"The national average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline in January 2012 was $3.38. The four main components of the retail price of a gallon of gasoline, and their approximate share of the total price in January are:

Crude Oil: 76%. The cost of crude oil as a share of the retail price varies over time and among regions of the country. Refiners paid an average of about $108.00 per barrel of crude oil, or about $2.57 per gallon, in January 2012.

Refining Costs and Profits: 6%

Distribution, Marketing, and Retail Costs and Profits: 6%

Taxes: 12%. Federal excise taxes were 18.4 cents per gallon and State excise taxes averaged 22.68 cents per gallon."

Measuring Broadband in America

"MEASURING BROADBAND AMERICA presents the results of the first nationwide performance study of residential wireline broadband service in the United States. The study examined service offerings from 13 of the largest wireline broadband providers using automated, direct measurements of broadband performance delivered to the homes of thousands of volunteers during March 2011..."

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

"The Obama Administration today unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers’ privacy protections and ensure that the Internet remains an engine for innovation and economic growth. The blueprint will guide efforts to give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet and to help businesses maintain consumer trust and grow in the rapidly changing digital environment. At the request of the White House, the Commerce Department will begin convening companies, privacy advocates and other stakeholders to develop and implement enforceable privacy policies based on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights..."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

National Plan To Address Alzheimer’s Disease (Draft)

"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..."

Educational Attainment in the United States: 2011

"Educational attainment refers to the highest level of education that an individual has completed. This is distinct from the level of schooling that an individual is attending..."

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

"Today the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues posted on its website, www.bioethics.gov, hundreds of supporting documents related to its investigation into the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) studies conducted in Guatemala in the 1940s. The documents include a spreadsheet that Commission staff painstakingly created to document the research subjects in Guatemala. In addition, the Commission has posted a Spanish translation of its report, "Ethically Impossible" STD Research in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948..."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Freedom: Teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art

"Oh Freedom! offers a new introduction to the Civil Rights movement through the unique lens of Smithsonian collections. Drawing connections among art, history, and social change, Oh Freedom! provides educators with tools to help students re-imagine and re-interpret the long struggle for civil rights, justice, and equality in fresh ways.

Oh Freedom! compiles and interprets a selection of more than three dozen artworks from the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Explore History in Art section frames these artworks with artist biographies and a variety of secondary sources (historical artifacts, other artworks, photographs, musical and vocal recordings, and more) that come from the wider collections of the Smithsonian Institution..."

Understanding And Responding To Persistently High Unemployment

U.S. Congressional Budget Office's proposal of combating high uenemployment.

Majority of dairy-related disease outbreaks linked to raw milk

"The rate of outbreaks caused by unpasteurized milk (often called raw milk) and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 13-year review also revealed that the states where the sale of raw milk was legal had more than twice the rate of outbreaks as states where it was illegal.

The study, published Feb. 21 in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, reviewed dairy product outbreaks from 1993 to 2006 in all 50 states. The authors compared the amount of milk produced in the United States during the study period (about 2.7 trillion pounds) to the amount that CDC estimates was likely consumed raw (1 percent or 27 billion pounds) to determine the 150 times higher rate for outbreaks caused by raw milk products. Raw milk products include cheese and yogurt..."

1940 Census



A video from the National Archives introducing the 1940 Census that becomes available for public access on April 2, 2012.

Women's History Month, March 2012

Selected statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau highlighting Women's History Month.

Population Representation in the Military Services

Find the latest statistics by gender and race on military personnel from the U.S.
Department of Defense.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012

"The Internal Revenue Service today issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” ranking of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.

The Dirty Dozen listing, compiled by the IRS each year, lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year. But many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns..."

Dioxin

"On February 17, 2012, EPA finalized its final Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments, Volume 1. This document provides hazard identification and dose-response information on 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and the most up-to-date analysis of non-cancer health effects from TCDD exposure. The report also include an oral reference dose (RfD) and a detailed and transparent description of the underlying data and analyses."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Business USA

"A product of collective thoughts and inputs from the following agencies who have pledged their commitment to making this site a one-stop shop for everything related to business in the USA.."

CFPB proposes rule to supervise larger participants in consumer debt collection and consumer reporting markets

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced a proposed rule to include debt collectors and consumer reporting agencies under its nonbank supervision program. This would mark the first time these important and far-reaching consumer financial market participants are subject to federal supervision..."

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Papers Opened by JFK Library

"The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum today[2/13/12] announced that it has opened and made available for research the first section of the Personal Papers of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This portion of the collection features never-before-seen historic records from Mrs. Kennedy’s years as First Lady, including material relating to her efforts to restore the state rooms of the White House and her highly acclaimed televised tour of the First Family’s home, which aired on February 14, 1962 – fifty years ago tomorrow..."

Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

"Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). Both CSRS and FERS require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. Employees who are covered by CSRS contribute 7.0% of pay to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF). They do not pay Social Security taxes or earn Social Security benefits. Employees enrolled in FERS contribute 0.8% of their pay to the CSRDF. They pay 6.2% of wages up to the Social Security taxable wage base to the Social Security trust fund under permanent law..."

Economic Report of the President, 2012

"The Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices.."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2021

"This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2021. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices."
View full report

The Role of Local Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy

"Sales of locally produced foods comprise a small but growing part of U.S. agricultural sales.USDA estimates that farm-level value of local food sales totaled about $4.8 billion in 2008, orabout 1.6% of the U.S. market for agricultural products. An estimated total of 107,000 farms areengaged in local food systems, or about 5% of all U.S. farms..."

Keeping America’s Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress

"..As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation’s overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress..."

Mobile apps for Kids

"This report highlights the lack of information available to parents prior to downloading mobile apps for their children, and calls on industry to provide greater transparency about their data practices..."

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Find answers to the most frequently asked federal tax questions.

Vaccines

Vaccines.gov is the federal gateway to information on vaccines and immunization for infants, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors. Vaccines.gov provides resources from federal agencies for the general public and their communities about vaccines across the lifespan.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

European Union Enlargement

"The European Union (EU) has long viewed the enlargement process as an extraordinary
opportunity to promote political stability and economic prosperity in Europe. Since 2004, EU
membership has grown from 15 to 27 countries, bringing in most states of central and eastern
Europe and fulfilling an historic pledge to further the integration of the continent by peaceful
means. Analysts contend that the carefully managed process of enlargement is one of the EU’s
most powerful policy tools, and that, over the years, it has helped transform many European states
into functioning democracies and more affluent countries..."

Joint Fact Sheet on Strengthening U.S.-China Economic Relations

"Building on the consensus reached by President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama during President Hu’s January 2011 state visit to the United States, the United States and China affirm that our two countries are promoting the healthy and steady development of the U.S.-China cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Under the framework of the Economic Track of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), the United States and China recognize the following outcomes..."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Final Health Assessment for Tetrachloroethylene

"Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted the final health assessment for tetrachloroethylene – also known as perchloroethylene, or perc – to EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. Perc is a chemical solvent widely used in the dry cleaning industry. It is also used in the cleaning of metal machinery and to manufacture some consumer products and other chemicals. Confirming longstanding scientific understanding and research, the final assessment characterizes perc as a “likely human carcinogen.” The assessment provides estimates for both cancer and non-cancer effects associated with exposure to perc over a lifetime..."

Monday, February 13, 2012

The President's Budget

"The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9 directs that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Each year the U.S. Congress drafts legislation to appropriate funds for the continued operation of the government during the next fiscal year. Since 1921, this process has been kicked off by the submission from the President of the United States of a budget with the proposed expenditures for the executive, legislative and judicial branchs of the government. This document is entitled “The Budget of the United States Government.”.."

Child Development: Investing in Our Children

"CDC currently is funding and working on a study called Legacy for Children™.
The Legacy program is based on the belief that parents can have a real effect on how their children learn and grow. Research has shown that how parents interact with their children is related to children's success later in life. It appears that even children who face various challenges, such as poverty or poor neighborhoods, are more likely to overcome these challenges when their parents are involved and invested in providing a safe, stable, and nurturing base of support..."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Child Safety Seat Guidelines

"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates car seats based on recommendations for different age groups. There are different recommendations for children’s age groups ranging from birth until 12 years old.

Children should be kept in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible, especially when they are one or younger. Only when they have reached the correct height and weight for a front facing car seat, as stated by the manufacturer, should you transfer them to that type of safety seat..."
View additional information

Winter Storms and Extreme Weather

Find tips for dealing with winter weather and extreme conditions.

U.S. Census of Agriculture Historical Archives

"The USDA Census of Agriculture Historical Archive is a collaborative project between Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell University and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The site serves as a public archive of Census publications published prior to 1987. These publications are primarily scanned print material now available in PDF format..."

‘Drum Major Quote’ on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

"Following a meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, with members of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s family regarding the recently-dedicated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis today announced a plan to correct the so-called “Drum Major” quote on the Memorial to more accurately reflect the meaning and intent of Dr. King’s original statement.

Observers and visitors to the new memorial have noted that a quote etched in the stone near the statue’s left shoulder is paraphrased from a passage in a sermon that Dr. King delivered at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1968. The paraphrased quote reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”.."

National Girls Institute

"The Department of Justice announces a new resource—the National Girls
Institute website—to better meet the needs of at-risk and delinquent girls, their families and the
agencies and organizations that serve them. The institute is supported by the National Council on
Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) through a grant from the Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)...
Contact the website

Trans-fatty Acids in Blood Reduction

"Blood levels of trans–fatty acids (TFAs) in white adults in the U.S. population decreased by 58 percent from 2000 to 2009 according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in the Feb. 8 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This is the first time CDC researchers have been able to measure trans fats in human blood.

State and County Quick Facts

Find up-to-date information on people, busineses and geography by states and counties.

Sourcing Policy: Selected Developments and Issue

"Dating back to the 1950s, federal sourcing policy generally has focused on the premise that the
government should rely on the private sector for the provision of certain goods and services.
Additionally, it has centered around guidance for conducting public-private competitions to
determine whether federal employees, or contractor employees, should be selected to perform
certain agency functions..."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Water Pollution Interactive Tool

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a new tool that provides the public with important information about pollutants that are released into local waterways. Developed under President Obama’s transparency initiative, the Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool brings together millions of records and allows for easy searching and mapping of water pollution by local area, watershed, company, industry sector, and pollutant. Americans can use this new tool to protect their health and the health of their communities..."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2010 Annual Capital Expenditures

"These data, based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System, estimate business spending in 2010 for new and used structures and equipment at the sector level, as well as for three-digit and selected four-digit industries. The data provide the private sector, especially the business community, with a relevant, timely and accurate measure of current business conditions..."

Energy Savers

Find energy saving tips on a number of categories: applicances & electronics, design and remodeling, electricity, heating & cooling, insulation & air sealing, landscaping, lighting and daylighting, water heating, and windows, doors & skylights.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Employment Projections by Major Industries, 2010-2020

"Nonagricultural wage and salary employment, which accounts for more than 9 in 10 jobs in the economy, is projected to expand to 150.2 million by 2020, up from 130.4 million in 2010."

EPA's Beach Cleanup Program

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it will provide $9.8 million in grants to 38 states, territories and tribes to help protect the health of swimmers at America’s beaches. The agency also launched an improved website for beach advisories and closings, which will allow the public to more quickly and easily access the most current water quality and pollution testing information for more than 6,000 U.S. beaches.

The website, called BEACON, has the capability to update as frequently as every two hours based on new data provided by states, territories and tribes. Users will have access to mapped location data for beaches and water monitoring stations, monitoring results for various pollutants such as bacteria and algae, and data on public notification of beach water quality advisories and closures. For the first time, users can also access reports that combine notifications and water quality monitoring data. The enhanced system also uses enhanced map navigation and report display tools..."

President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2012

"Having emerged from the worst recession in generations, the President has put forward a plan to rebuild our economy and win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our global competitors and creating the jobs and industries of tomorrow. But we cannot rebuild our economy and win the future if we pass on a mountain of debt to our children and grandchildren. We must restore fiscal responsibility, and reform our government to make it more effective, efficient, and open to the American people..."

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

"The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012,
P.L. 112-81, affirm that the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), P.L. 107-40, in
response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons
captured in connection with hostilities. The Act provides for the first time a statutory definition of covered persons whose detention is authorized pursuant to the AUMF. During debate of the provision, significant attention focused on the applicability of this detention authority to U.S. citizens and other persons within the United States. The Senate adopted an amendment to clarify that the provision was not intended to affect any existing law or authorities relating to the detention of U.S. citizens or lawful resident aliens, or any other persons captured or arrested in the United States. This report analyzes the existing law and authority to detain U.S. persons, including American citizens and resident aliens, as well as other persons within the United States who are suspected of being members, agents, or associates of Al Qaeda or possibly other terrorist organizations as “enemy combatants.”..."

Summer Teacher Institutes

"Each year the Library of Congress provides the opportunity for K-12 educators to attend one of its Summer Teacher Institutes in Washington, D.C. During the five-day institutes, participants work with Library of Congress education specialists to learn best practices for using primary sources in the K-12 classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized primary sources available on the Library’s Web site...."

Deadline for application submission is February 17, 2012.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, February 7th

"Among all racial/ethnic groups, African Americans bear the greatest burden of HIV in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 16 black men and 1 in 32 black women will be diagnosed with HIV infection during their lifetimes. In 2009, blacks made up 14% of the US population but accounted for nearly half (44%) of all new HIV infections. Recent CDC data showed an alarming 48% increase in new HIV infections from 2006 to 2009 among young, black men who have sex with men (MSM), aged 13 to 29 years.."

Where's the Sodium?

"About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Too much sodium increases a person's risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure often leads to heart disease and stroke. More than 800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases, costing the nation $273 billion health care dollars in 2010.."

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Airline Passenger Protections Take Effect This Week

"New regulations going into effect this week will help ensure that consumers are treated fairly when they travel by air, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today. Among the new provisions, part of the airline consumer rule issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation in April 2011, are requirements that airlines and ticket agents include all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares and that they disclose baggage fees to consumers buying tickets..."

Infant Swings

"CPSC is making progress in establishing a new safety rule for infant swings. Many of you moms and dads know these products well, as they have helped your baby fall asleep at 3 a.m., 3 p.m., and everywhere in between.

While working through the safety of these swings, CPSC staff has assembled some interesting information for new moms and dads:

First, when you bring your new baby home, remember that newborns and young infants don’t have the muscle tone or strength to keep their heads up. So, when you put them into a swing, make sure that your baby is lying down..."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Used Car Scams

Tips from the U.S. Department of Justice on avoiding used car scams.

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting instructions from the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Pillbox

"Pillbox enables rapid identification of unknown solid-dosage medications (tablets/capsules) based on physical characteristics and high-resolution images.
Once a medication is identified, Pillbox provides links to drug information and drug labels."

World Factbook, 2012

Providing information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities, the World Factbook
now allows users to listen to the national anthems of individual countries.

Employment Projections: 2010- 2020 Summary

"Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Total employment is projected to grow by 14.3 percent
over the decade, resulting in 20.5 million new jobs. Despite rapid projected growth, construction is not expected to regain all of the jobs lost during the 2007-09 recession..."

U.S. House of Representatives Committees Live Stream

Coming soon are live streams of the proceedings of committees of the U.S. House of Representatives at the Library of Congress.

Small Business GDP: Update 2002-2010

"Despite producing a somewhat smaller share of the overall GDP than it did a
decade ago, small businesses continue to be incubators for innovation and employment
growth during the current recovery. Small businesses produced 46 percent of the private
nonfarm gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008 (the most recent year for which the source
data are available to make these estimates). That is down from the 48 percent share of
GDP produced by small businesses in 2002. Preliminary information indicates that the
weak business conditions through early 2009 affected small businesses about as much as
large businesses resulting in only a minor change to the shares. However, starting in late
2009 and early 2010, small businesses appear to have been more negatively affected by
business conditions than large businesses..."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

"Border enforcement is a core element of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) effort to control illegal migration, with the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) within the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as the lead agency along most of the border. Border enforcement has been an ongoing subject of congressional interest since the 1970s, when illegal immigration to the United States first registered as a serious national problem; and border security has received additional attention in the decade following the terrorist attacks of 2001..."
Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry

Food Safe Super Bowl Tips

Food safety tips when planning that Super Bowl party.

Service Annual Survey: 2010

Find the latest annual statistics covering the service sector of the United States economy.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012

"The United States remains the global leader in supporting science and technology (S&T) research and development, but only by a slim margin that could soon be overtaken by rapidly increasing Asian investments in knowledge-intensive economies. So suggest trends released in a new report by the National Science Board (NSB), the policymaking body for the National Science Foundation (NSF), on the overall status of the science, engineering and technology workforce, education efforts and economic activity in the United States and abroad..."
View full report.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. The new map—jointly developed by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University's (OSU) PRISM Climate Group—is available online. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.

For the first time, the new map offers a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based interactive format and is specifically designed to be Internet-friendly. The map website also incorporates a "find your zone by ZIP code" function. Static images of national, regional and state maps also have been included to ensure the map is readily accessible to those who lack broadband Internet access..."

Exempt Organizations Select Check

"Exempt Organizations Select Check is an on-line search tool that allows users to select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. It consolidates three former search sites into one, providing expanded search capability and a more efficient way to search for organizations that:

Are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions (Publication 78 data),
Have had their tax-exempt status automatically revoked because they have not filed Form 990 series returns or notices annually as required for three consecutive years (Auto-Revocation List), or
Have filed a Form 990-N annual electronic notice (e-Postcard)..."

State Transportation Facts and Figures, 2011

Find the latest transportation facts for states that include:Infrastructure, Fatalities and Injuries, Distracted Driving and Safety Equipment, Freight Volumes and Values, Passenger Travel,
Economy and Finance, and Energy and Environment.

Post-JFK Assassination Tape Recording

"Today[1/30/2012] the National Archives announced that The Raab Collection, which deals in historical autographs, has donated to the National Archives an original audiotape recording described as "Radio Traffic involving AF-1 in flight from Dallas, TX, to Andrews AFB on November 22, 1963." A digitized version of the two-hour-and-twenty-two minute recording is now available on the National Archives web site. Reference copies of the recordings are available for on-site researchers at the following National Archives research rooms: the National Archives College Park, MD facility; the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, MA; and the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, TX.

The Raab Collection recently discovered two ¼˝ open-reel audiotapes containing identical excerpts from the November 22, 1963, Air Force One flight among the papers and other memorabilia of Army Gen. Chester “Ted” Clifton Jr., who served as senior military aide to President John F. Kennedy. Although the tapes were labeled by date and title, their contents were unknown. General Clifton was provided both tapes by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA)..."

FTC Action Bans Defendants from Providing Immigration Services

"The immigration services business will be permanently off limits to an operation that allegedly posed as the federal government and tricked people into paying up to $2,500 for immigration forms, under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission.

The two settlements resolve charges the FTC filed in January 2011 against Immigration Center and its principals alleging that they claimed they were authorized to provide immigration and naturalization services, that they were affiliated with the U.S. government, and that fees paid by consumers would cover all the costs associated with submitting immigration documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The court subsequently shut down the operation, froze the defendants' assets, and appointed a receiver to control the business until the case was resolved..."

Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2012

"The value of mineral production in the United States increased by 12 percent in 2011 from that of 2010, suggesting that the nonfuel minerals industries, particularly metals, continued to recover from the economic recession that began in December 2007 and lasted well into 2009.

The value of raw, nonfuel minerals mined in the United States was $74 billion in 2011, up from $66 billion in 2010, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s annual release of mineral production statistics and summary of events and trends affecting domestic and global nonfuel minerals..."
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Consumer Action Handbook, 2011

Find consumer resources in the Consumer Action Handbook, an annual publication from the Federal Citizen Information Center.

ANTIBIOTICS FDA Needs to Do More to Ensure That Drug Labels Contain Up-to-Date Information

"FDA has not taken sufficient steps to ensure that antibiotic labels contain up-todate breakpoints. FDA designates certain drugs as “reference-listed drugs” and the sponsors of these drugs play an important role in ensuring the accuracy of drug labels. Reference-listed drugs are approved drug products to which generic versions are compared. As of November 2011, FDA had not yet confirmed whether the breakpoints on the majority of reference-listed antibiotics labels were
up to date. FDA contacted sponsors of 210 antibiotics in early 2008 to remind sponsors of the importance of maintaining their labels and requested that they assess whether the breakpoints on their drugs’ labels were up to date. Sponsors were asked to submit evidence to FDA showing that the breakpoints were either current or needed revision..."

Encyclopedia Britannica's Guide to Black History

Find resources from the Encyclopedia Britannica for celebrating African American History month, February 2012.