Thursday, July 31, 2014

Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program

"The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (generally referred to as the Medicare Modernization Act, or MMA) substantially expanded the federal Medicare program by creating the prescription drug benefit known as Part D. In fiscal year 2013, Medicare Part D covered 39 million people. The federal government spent $59 billion net of premiums on
Part D in that year; after accounting for certain payments from states under the program, the net federal cost was $50 billion, which represented 10 percent of net federal
spending for Medicare.."
Medicare prescription drugs

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations

"The initial section of this report provides ongoing information and analysis on the July 2014
Israel-Gaza conflict.
Since Israel’s founding in 1948, successive U.S. Presidents and many Members of Congress have demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s security and to maintaining close U.S.-Israel defense, diplomatic, and economic cooperation. U.S. and Israeli leaders have developed close relations based on common perceptions of shared democratic values and religious affinities. U.S. policy
makers often seek to determine how events and U.S. policy choices in the Middle East may affect Israel’s security, and Congress provides active oversight of executive branch dealings with Israel and other actors in the region.."

Israel - U.S. Relations

Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832

"Stealing a trade secret is a federal crime when the information relates to a product in interstate or
foreign commerce, 18 U.S.C. 1832 (theft of trade secrets), or when the intended beneficiary is a foreign power, 18 U.S.C. 1831 (economic espionage). Section 1832 requires that the thief be aware that the misappropriation will injure the secret’s owner to the benefit of someone else. Section 1831 requires only that the thief intend to benefit a foreign government or one of its instrumentalities..."
Trade secrets and Espionage

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lumens and the Lighting Facts Label

"When you're shopping for lightbulbs, compare lumens to be sure you're getting the amount of light, or level of brightness, you want. The Lighting Facts Label will help. This new label will make it easy to compare bulb brightness, color, life, and estimated operating cost for the year.

Buy Lumens, Not Watts

We typically buy things based on how much of it we get, right? When buying milk, we buy it by volume (gallons). So, why should light be any different? For decades, we have been buying lightbulbs based on how much energy they consume (watts) -- no matter how much light they give us (lumens)..."
Lumens and lighting

State and Local Government Finances: 2004-2011

Find here historical data on local and state government for all 50 states covering the years 2004- 2011.  
State and local government finances

America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2013

"These tables look at the demographic characteristics of the adult population 15 years and older. They describe the current marital status of people in the United States for selected age, race/origin and earnings groups, as well as detailed living arrangements of adults by age and sex.."
Families and Living Arrangements.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc

"A 5-4 decision, issued over a highly critical dissent, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
resolved one of the many challenges raised in response to the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Imputing the beliefs of
owners of closely held corporations to such corporations, the U.S. Supreme Court found that closely held corporations that hold religious objections to certain contraceptive services cannot be required to provide coverage of those
services in employee health plans. The Court’s decision was based on the protections offered under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a statute prohibiting the government from imposing a substantial burden on a person’s religious exercise unless it can show a compelling interest achieved by the least restrictive means..."

Religion and Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

THE COST OF DELAYING ACTION TO STEM CLIMATE CHANGE

"There is a vigorous public debate over whether to act now to stem climate change or instead to delay
implementing mitigation policies until a future date.This  report examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing such policies and reaches two main conclusions, both of which point to the benefits of implementing mitigation policies now and to the net costs of delaying taking such actions.."
Climate change

Protect yourshelf and your kids online

"It is always important to protect yourself and your personal information when you’re online. But it’s especially important for your kids - particularly in the summer, when it’s easy to get “bored” and spend more time on the internet.
Kids and Online safety

Surgeon General issues call to action to prevent skin cancer

"Skin cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, is a major public health problem that requires immediate action, according to a new Call to Action released today by the U.S. Surgeon General.

Even though most skin cancers can be prevented, rates of skin cancer, including melanoma, are increasing in the United States. Nearly 5 million people in the U.S. are treated for skin cancer every year, at an average annual cost of $8.1 billion. It is also one of the most common types of cancer among U.S. teens and young adults.

A key message in today’s report is that although people with lighter skin are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer—and it can be disfiguring, even deadly. Over the last three decades, the number of Americans who have had skin cancer is estimated to be higher than the number for all other cancers combined..."
Skin cancer

How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents


"Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:
  • Typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money
  • Can last 3-25 times longer..."
  • Energy efficient light bulbs

Monday, July 28, 2014

Safe and effective vaccine that prevents cancer continues to be underutilized

"CDC officials announced today that the number of girls and boys aged 13-17 years receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine remains unacceptably low despite a slight increase in vaccination coverage since 2012, according to data from CDC′s 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) published in this week′s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).."
Vaccines, Teens and cancer

Sector Resilience Report: Electric Power Delivery

"The Department of Homeland Security Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (DHS/OCIA)
Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) produces Sector Resilience Reports to improve partner understanding of the interdependencies  and resilience of certain sectors. Specifically, this report provides a brief overview of the electric power system, and analysis of key electric power system dependencies and interdependencies. Additionally, this product includes an assessment of, and best practices for, improving community, system, and facility resilience..."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions F rom Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines

"The EPA has placed little focus and attention on reducing methane emissions from pipelines in
the natural gas distribution sector. In 2012, the EPA stated its intent to continue to
evaluate the appropriateness of regulating methane.The 2013 Climate Action Plan
calls for the EPA, in conjunction with other federal agencies, to develop a comprehensive
interagency strategy to address methane emissions..."

Methane emissions

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recharging Air Conditioners with Wrong Refrigerant Poses Injury and Fire Risks

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cautioning homeowners, manufacturers of propane-based refrigerants, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of the safety hazards related to the use of propane in existing motor vehicle and home air conditioning systems.

A number of refrigerants with “22a” or “R-22a” in the name contain highly flammable hydrocarbons, such as propane. These refrigerants are being marketed to consumers seeking to recharge existing home and motor vehicle air conditioning systems that were not designed to use propane or other flammable refrigerants..."
Recharging air conditioners

Proposed rulemaking promises increased rail safety for crude oil, other flammable materials

"...And now, today, we're building on that progress by proposing a rulemaking to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail, particularly crude oil and ethanol. The new, comprehensive rulemaking will open for public comment once published in the Federal Register at www.regulations.gov, and I urge you to read it and provide your feedback..."
Transportation crude oil

#AskEnergySaver: Home Cooling

"Summer’s sultry weather can take a toll on more than just your hair. For many households that rely on air conditioning to keep cool, summer’s heat and humidity can lead to higher energy bills. That’s why this month, we asked you to share your home cooling questions.

To answer them, we turned to Dr. Max Sherman, a senior scientist at the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. With more than 30 years of experience in building efficiency, Sherman’s research focuses on the connection between heating and cooling equipment, air leakage and indoor air quality..."

Home cooling

Heat and Health(CDC's Trackign Network)

"Heat can affect your heart and lung health. Stay cool and stay hydrated to protect yourself. Visit the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network to see 70 years of new projected heat data.
CDC's Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) is a dynamic surveillance system that provides information and data about environmental hazards and the health problems that may be related to them. It presents what we know about where environmental hazards exist, where exposures happen, and how targeted action can protect health, reduce illness, and save lives..."
Tracking In Action

World Hepatitis Day; July 28th

"Viral hepatitis is a major global health issue affecting nearly 400 million people worldwide. In observance of World Hepatitis Day, July 28, learn more about three common types of viral hepatitis: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C..."
Hepatitis

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

"Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid. Successive Administrations have requested aid for the Palestinians in apparent support of at
least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:
•Preventing terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations.
•Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that inclines
Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
•Meeting humanitarian needs..."

Palestinians and foreign aid

U.S. Sanctions on Russia in Response to Events in Ukraine

"Many view Russia's annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine on March 18, 2014, and efforts to
destabilize eastern and southern Ukraine as the culmination of long-standing Russian resentment of the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. Russian leaders have claimed they have the right to protect Russian citizens and "compatriots" (those linked by language, culture, or ethnicity) in neighboring countries. In this context, Ukraine may have a particularly important place in Russian history. Ethnic Russians make
up over 17% of Ukraine's population, concentrated in the east and south of the country, and Russian officials have warned that they are willing to intervene militarily to protect them (see CRS reports on Russia and
Ukraine)..."

Russian Sanctions

The Kurds and Possible Iraqi Kurdish Independence

"Approximately 30 million ethnic Kurds inhabit a largely mountainous region at the
intersection of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran . In recent years, Kurdish populations have increasingly influenced regional developments, particularly given ongoing conflict and change in Iraq and Syria
and long-standing efforts by Turkey's Kurds to obtain greater political rights (see CRS Report R43612, Iraq Crisis and U.S. Policy ). These developments are of interest to Congress and the Obama Administration, in light of recent indications that the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq may seek outright independence..."

Kurds, Iraqi

“Black Boxes” in Passenger Vehicles: Policy Issues

"An event data recorder (EDR) is an electronic sensor installed in a motor vehicle that records
certain technical information about a vehicle’s operational performance for a few seconds immediately prior to and during a crash. Although over 90% of all new cars and light trucks sold in the United States are equipped with them, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing that all new light vehicles have EDRs installed in the future. Under previously adopted NHTSA rules, these devices have to capture at least 15 types of information
related to the vehicle’s performance in the few seconds just before and immediately after a crash serious enough to result in deployment of airbags..."

Black boxes

Monday, July 21, 2014

HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base

"Access data resources from various sources on HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidence for countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania..."
AIDS/HIV Database

Friday, July 18, 2014

FAA Statement–Expanded Notice to Airmen Released

"On the evening of July 17, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. flight operations until further notice, in the airspace over eastern Ukraine, due to recent events and the potential for continued hazardous activities. The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions (FIRs).  This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.  No scheduled U.S. airlines are currently flying routes through this airspace.."
FAA- flight over Ukraine

2014 Financial Literacy Annual Report

Find the 2014 Financial Literacy Annual  from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Financial literacy

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heatstroke: Kids in Hot Cars

"Leaving Kids Alone in Hot Cars —
Know the Risks and Consequences

Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, but caregivers who are unaccustomed to transporting children are especially prone to forgetting.
Think about the last time your routine was interrupted. Maybe you forgot something, or were afraid you might forget something. Or maybe you decided to leave your child alone in the car, thinking “I’ll just run into the store for a minute.” In either case, it’s important to know the risks and consequences associated with leaving kids in cars — especially hot cars..."

Heatstroke and Cars

New Graphic to Help Consumers Make Informed Choices about Insect Repellents

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today unveiled a new graphic that will be available to appear on insect repellent product labels. The graphic will show consumers how many hours a product will repel mosquitoes and/or ticks when used as directed..
View the graphic and additional information: http://www2.epa.gov/insect-repellents/repellency-awareness-graphic ..."

Insect repellent graphic

FTC Sends Refund Checks Totaling $9.3 Million to Nearly 200,000 Consumers Who Bought ‘Ab Circle Pro’ Device

"An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission is mailing 196,969 checks averaging $47.51 each to consumers who purchased an abdominal exercise device known as the Ab Circle Pro.

In August 2012, the FTC settled with Ab Circle Pro marketers Fitness Brands, four individuals, and seven other companies, after alleging that the defendants had deceptively advertised that exercising on the device for just three minutes a day would cause consumers to lose 10 pounds in two weeks..."

Ab Circle Pro

Gas Swimming Pool Heaters

Find consumer information on what to look for when shopping for a gas swimming pool heater.
Swimming pool heaters

A Polio-Free U.S. Thanks to Vaccine Efforts

"Thanks to effective vaccine, the United States has been polio-free since 1979. But poliovirus is still a threat in some countries. Be part of the success story and get your child vaccinated on schedule..."
Polio Vaccine

2014 National Drug Control Strategy

"I am pleased to transmit the 2014 National Drug Control Strategy , a 21st century approach to drug policy that is built on decades of research demonstrating that addiction is a disease of the brain—one that can be prevented, treated, and from which people can recover. The pages that follow lay out an evidence-based plan
for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of effective prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice, law enforcement, and international cooperation.."
National Drug Policy

2014 Long Term Budget Outlook

"CBO’s long-term projections extend beyond the usual 10-year budget window to focus on the
25-year period ending in 2039. They generally reflect current law, following the agency’s April 2014 baseline budget projections through 2024 and then extending the baseline concept into later years; hence, they constitute the agency’s extended baseline..."

Federal Budget

Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information

"One of the functions transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under P.L.
111-203, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), is authority to issue regulations and take enforcement actions under the two major federal statutes that specify conditions under which customer financial information may be shared by financial institutions: Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (GLBA, P.L. 106-102) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Possible topics for congressional oversight in the 113
th Congress include (1) the transition of power from the fina ncial institution prudential regulators and the Federal Trade Commission to the CFPB; (2) CFPB’s interaction with other federal regulators and coordination with state enforcement efforts; and (3) the CFPB’s success at issuing rules that adequately protect consumers without unreasonably increasing the regulatory burden on financial institutions.."
Privacy and Financial Information

Monday, July 14, 2014

Report on the Poterntial Exposure to Anthrax (CDC)

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)conducted an internal review of an incident that involved an unintentional release of potentially viable anthrax within its Roybal Campus, in Atlanta, Georgia. On June 5, 2014, a laboratory scientist in the Bioterrorism Rapid Response and Advanced
Technology (BRRAT) laboratory prepared extracts from a panel of eight bacterial select agents, including Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis), under biosafety level (BSL) 3 containment condition..."

Anthrax

Deaprtment of State by State

"For about a 1% investment of the Federal budget,  the State Department yields a large return for the American people by protecting U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services, and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world. The map below represents just some of the direct effects State Department programs have in American communities..."
Department of State and States

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Majority of STEM College Graduates Do Not Work in STEM Occupations

"The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that 74 percent of those who have a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering and math — commonly referred to as STEM — are not employed in STEM occupations. In addition, men continue to be overrepresented in STEM, especially in computer and engineering occupations. About 86 percent of engineers and 74 percent of computer professionals are men..."
STEM

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ECHO:Enforcement and Compliance History Online

"Use EPA's ECHO website to search for facilities in your community to assess their compliance with environmental regulations. You can also investigate pollution sources, examine and create enforcement-related maps, or explore your state's performance..."
ECHO

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Celebrating the Blueberry – A Fruit and an Industry That Really Packs a Punch

"Blueberries are often sought after because of their long list of health benefits and their sweet taste. Whether purchased fresh, frozen, or pureed, the blueberry has long been a staple in the diets of many people. Every July, the entire nation celebrates Blueberry Month by coming up with creative  recipes and other unique ways to get their fill..."
Blueberries are often highly sought after because of their long list of health benefits and their sweet taste. Whether purchased fresh, frozen, or pureed, the blueberry has long been a staple in the diets of many people. Every July, the entire nation celebrates Blueberry Month by coming up with creative recipes and other unique ways to get their fill. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/03/celebrating-the-blueberry-a-fruit-and-an-industry-that-really-packs-a-punch/#sthash.jwouylnF.dpuf
Blueberries are often highly sought after because of their long list of health benefits and their sweet taste. Whether purchased fresh, frozen, or pureed, the blueberry has long been a staple in the diets of many people. Every July, the entire nation celebrates Blueberry Month by coming up with creative recipes and other unique ways to get their fill. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/03/celebrating-the-blueberry-a-fruit-and-an-industry-that-really-packs-a-punch/#sthash.jwouylnF.dpuf
Blueberries are often highly sought after because of their long list of health benefits and their sweet taste. Whether purchased fresh, frozen, or pureed, the blueberry has long been a staple in the diets of many people. Every July, the entire nation celebrates Blueberry Month by coming up with creative recipes and other unique ways to get their fill. - See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/03/celebrating-the-blueberry-a-fruit-and-an-industry-that-really-packs-a-punch/#sthash.jwouylnF.dpuf

Blueberries

A Parent's Guide to Playing It Safe with Kids and Cars


"Booklet designed to help you better understand today's vehicle safety features, car seats and how to keep kids safe in and around vehicles using vehicle safety features and car seats..."
Car seats

EPA’s Tips for a Happy and Healthy Summer

Find tips from the EPA to prepare for a healthy Summer 
Healthy Summer Tips

BearFacts

Find regional economic information on personal income and gross domestic product for for counties, states, and regions 
Bearfacts

Young First-Time Mothers Less Likely to be Married

"The percentage of young first-time mothers who are married is dropping, according to Fertility of Women in the United States: 2012, a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the early 1990s, at least half of all first births to mothers younger than age 23 occurred in marriage. Since 2005, more young mothers were cohabiting (38 percent) than were married (24 percent) at the time of their first birth. However, the majority of all women continue to have their first child within marriage.
Fertility of Women in the United States: 2012 uses data from the 2012 American Community Survey and the 2012 Current Population Survey. The report examines women's marital status at the time of their first births, the completed fertility of women up to age 50 and the fertility patterns of young women. Fertility patterns are shown by race, ethnicity, age, citizenship and employment status, as well as state of residence..."
Fertility, First time mothers

Monday, July 7, 2014

State Energy Data Systems:1960-2012

Find the latest statistics on energy production, consumption, prices, and expenditures by source and sector.
State Energy Data

Alcohol Deaths

"Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. This dangerous behavior accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years. Excessive alcohol use shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years...
Alcohol Deaths

Prepare for diabetes care in heat and emergencies

"If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to have a care routine. Yet summer weather, with its high temperatures and extreme storms, can cause problems with that routine and make it more difficult to manage diabetes.
Diabetes makes it harder for your body to handle high heat and humidity. You may need to make changes in your medication and what you eat and drink when temperatures rise. During emergencies and natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes, you may have other needs related to diabetes.

Diabetes & Heat

Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publlications

Find the 8th edition of the CIA's Style Manual for Intelligence publications.

CIA Style Manual

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Evidence Report/Technology Assessment Number 215 Safety of Vaccines Used for Routine Immunization in the United States

"Vaccines are considered one of the greatest public health achievements of the last century for their role in eradicating smallpox and controlling polio, measles, rubella, and other infectious diseases in the United States. Despite their effectiveness in preventing and eradicating disease, substantial gaps in vaccine uptake persist. Vaccination rates for young children are high; however, vaccination rates remain well below established Healthy People 2020 targets for many vaccines recommended for adolescents, adults, and pregnant women..."

Vaccine safety

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Venezuela: Country Analysis Brief, 2014

"Venezuela is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of crude oil. It has consistently been
one of the largest exporters of crude oil in the Americas. As a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Venezuela is an important player in the global oil market. hile production has been declining, Venezuela exports of crude oil to the United States have been among the top. In recent  years,  through significant upfront investments, an increasing share of  Venezuela's exports have been delivered to China and India..."

50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act: July 2

"On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. This landmark law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, in publicly owned or operated facilities, in employment and union membership and in the registration of voters. To mark the anniversary, the U.S. Census Bureau has gathered key statistics that measure changes in some characteristics of different race groups to date..."
Civil Rights Act

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Baby Boom Cohort in the United States 2012 to 2060

"This report examines changes in the U.S. population over the coming decades, with a focus on the baby boom cohort and its future role in shaping the demographic composition of the United States. The size and structure of this population will have implications for researchers, policy makers, health care professionals, and others seeking to anticipate the influence that this
generation may have on the American landscape as they move into retirement and old age..".
Baby Boom

U.S. Breweries are Booming

"The number of U.S. breweries more than doubled — from 398 to 869 — between 2007 and 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released today from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series. The breweries industry reported $28.3 billion in shipments in 2012, an increase of nearly 33.6 percent since 2007.

Employment in the breweries industry (NAICS 312120) also climbed over the five-year span — rising to 26,077 employees in 2012, up by 3,825 or 17.2 percent, from 22,252 in 2007. While overall employment grew, the average number of employees per establishment was nearly halved, from 56 in 2007 to 30 in 2012... Detailed data for the manufacturing industry series can be found here; specific product or service statistics for this series can be found here.
Breweries