Friday, April 29, 2016

Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens Aged 15–19 Years — United States, 2006–2007 and 2013–2014

"Teen childbearing can have negative health, economic, and social consequences for mothers and their children (1) and costs the United States approximately $9.4 billion annually (2). During 1991–2014, the birth rate among teens aged 15–19 years in the United States declined 61%, from 61.8 to 24.2 births per 1,000, the lowest rate ever recorded (3). Nonetheless, in 2014, the teen birth rate remained approximately twice as high for Hispanic and non-Hispanic black (black) teens compared with non-Hispanic white (white) teens (3), and geographic and socioeconomic disparities remain (3,4), irrespective of race/ethnicity..." 
Birth rates

Country Analysis Brief:Iraq

"Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest crude oil producer and holds the fifth-largest proved crude oil reserves in the world.

Iraq is the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, and it holds the world’s fifth-largest proved crude oil reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran. Most of Iraq’s major known fields are producing or in development, although much of its known hydrocarbon resources have not been fully exploited. All of Iraq’s known oil fields are onshore. The largest fields in the south have relatively low extraction costs owing to uncomplicated geology, multiple supergiant fields, fields located in relatively unpopulated areas with flat terrain, and the close proximity of fields to coastal ports..."
Iraq

THOMAS.gov to Retire July 5

"THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to Congress.gov.
"The Library is well-positioned for the future with Congress.gov," said Acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao. "Free access to legislative information that anyone can search for and read is central to an informed democracy. I applaud the visionary leaders who launched THOMAS two decades ago, and I congratulate and thank the many talented individuals at the Library and throughout the legislative branch who have transitioned that resource into the 21st century with Congress.gov. Finally, I invite and encourage everyone to use this resource. It is here for you to learn about, to connect with, to better understand your representative government."
THOMAS, named for Thomas Jefferson, was a pioneering site when it was launched by the Library in 1995 as a bipartisan initiative of Congress. The system has been updated over the years, but its foundation can no longer support the capabilities that today’s Internet users have come to expect.
The Congress.gov system, initially launched in beta form in September, 2012, applies modern design and infrastructure to the robust legislative data sets, with mobile-friendly access, faceted search and other features..."
Thomas.gov

Will droughts turn the Amazon into a giant source of carbon pollution?

" As climate change increases temperatures and alters rainfall patterns across South America, scientists are concerned that the Amazon rainforest will shift from a carbon sponge to a carbon source.
New research published today in the journal Global Change Biology highlights this disturbing question.
NOAA scientist John Miller, working with an international team, investigated by analyzing air samples taken by aircraft over four sites in the Amazon Basin in 2010–2012. The study found strong evidence that the 2010 drought caused much of the Amazon to significantly reduce carbon uptake for up to two year..."
Amazon and drought

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation

"A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well-known examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the algorithm used by Google’s search engine.) To succeed in the global marketplace, U.S. firms depend upon their trade secrets, which increasingly are becoming their most valuable intangible assets.

However, U.S. companies annually suffer billions of dollars in losses due to the theft of their trade secrets by employees, corporate competitors, and even foreign governments. Stealing trade secrets has increasingly involved the use of cyberspace, advanced computer technologies, and mobile communication devices, thus making the theft relatively anonymous and difficult to detect. The Chinese and Russian governments have been particularly active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage with respect to U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information..."
Trade secrets

Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources

"Much is written on the topic of cybersecurity. This CRS report and those listed below direct the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues. Included in the reports are resources and studies from government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), think tanks, academic institutions, news organizations, and other sources.

This report is intended to serve as a starting point for congressional staff assigned to cover cybersecurity issues. It includes annotated descriptions of reports, websites, or external resources:
Table 1—cybersecurity overview
Table 2—congressional and government resources
Table 3—international organizations resources
Table 4 —news resources
Table 5—other associations and institutions resources..."
Cybersecurity

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

"The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), operates the nation’s largest integrated health care delivery system, provides care to approximately 6.7 million unique veteran patients, and employs more than 311,000 full-time equivalent employees..."
Veteran's health

Monday, April 25, 2016

Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014

"Between 2013 and 2014, life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population (78.8 years), males (76.4), or females (81.2) did not change.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.4 years for non-Hispanic black males and by 0.1 years for Hispanic males. It remained unchanged for non-Hispanic white males.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.2 years for Hispanic females, remained unchanged for non-Hispanic black females, and declined by 0.1 years for non-Hispanic white females.
  • Hispanic males experienced the greatest increase in life expectancy at age 65 (0.3 years), followed by Hispanic females (0.2), and all other groups experienced a 0.1 year increase in life expectancy at age 65.
This report presents changes in life expectancy by race, Hispanic origin, and sex in the United States between 2013 and 2014. Life expectancy was estimated using complete period life tables that are based on death rates adjusted for race and Hispanic origin misclassification on death certificates (1). Life expectancy represents the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year..."
Hispanics life expectancy

Demographic and Economic Profiles of Maryland's Electorate

"In advance of the Maryland primary on April 26, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include:
Maryland

Demographic and Economic Profiles of Pennsylvania’s Electorate

"In advance of the Pennsylvania primary on April 26, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include:
Pennsylvania

Demographic and Economic Profiles of Connecticut's Electorate

"In advance of the Connecticut primary on April 26, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include:
Connecticut electorate

What’s on Television? The Intersection of Communications and Copyright Policies

"In the 1940s and 1950s, watching television meant tuning into one of a few broadcast television stations, with the help of an antenna, to watch a program at a prescheduled time. Over subsequent decades, cable and satellite operators emerged to enable households unable to receive over-the-air signals to watch the retransmitted signals of broadcast television stations. More recently, some viewers have taken to watching TV programming on their computers, tablets, mobile phones, and other Internet-connected devices at times of their own choosing, dispensing with television stations and cable and satellite operators altogether.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress, and the courts have overseen this evolution by applying a combination of communications and copyright laws to regulate the distribution of television programming. These laws are intended to achieve three policy goals:
1. protecting the property rights of content owners to encourage the production of television programs;
 2. promoting competition among distributors of video programming; and 3. enabling broadcast television stations to serve the local communities to which they are licensed by the FCC..."
Television

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

"The United States, partner countries, and the Afghan government are attempting to reverse recent gains made by the resilient Taliban-led insurgency since the December 2014 transition to a smaller international mission consisting primarily of training and advising the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The Afghan government has come under increasing domestic criticism not only for the security situation but for its internal divisions since the September 2014, U.S.-brokered solution under which Ashraf Ghani became President and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was appointed to a new position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the government. The compromise addressed a dispute over the 2014 presidential election, but a September 2016 deadline approaches for resolving remaining issues such as election reform and whether the CEO position might become a prime ministership in a restructured government..."
Afghanistan

Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process

"This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party states of such military items. Under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Congress must be formally notified 30 calendar days before the Administration can take the final steps to conclude a government-to-government foreign military sale of major defense equipment valued at $14 million or more, defense articles or services valued at $50 million or more, or design and construction services valued at $200 million or more. In the case of such sales to NATO member states, NATO, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, or New Zealand, Congress must be formally notified 15 calendar days before the Administration can proceed with the sale. However, the prior notice threshold values are higher for sales to NATO members, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, or New Zealand. Commercially licensed arms sales also must be formally notified to Congress 30 calendar days before the export license is issued if they involve the sale of major defense equipment valued at $14 million or more, or defense articles or services valued at $50 million or more (Section 36(c) AECA). In the case of such sales to NATO member states, NATO, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, or New Zealand, Congress must be formally notified 15 calendar days before the Administration is authorized to proceed with a given sale. As with government-to-government sales, the prior notice threshold values are higher for sales to NATO members, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Israel, or New Zealand..."
Arms sales

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross-Cutting Issues

"This report focuses on cross-cutting management issues that affect the Intelligence Community’s (IC’s) ability to counter “pervasive and emerging threats” to the United States and balance resources both appropriately and wisely. As the IC’s senior manager, these issues ultimately fall within the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI’s) area of responsibility. The DNI is charged with integrating the community of intelligence agencies so that they operate effectively as one team.

There are no easy solutions to the challenges examined in this report. The IC’s efforts to demonstrate progress are hampered by difficulties such as the IC’s diffuse structure—a confederation of separately managed component parts; the unique demands of operating in secret; the interrelationships between many issues; and diminishing resources..."
Intelligence community

Contested Presidential Nominating Conventions: Brief Background and Questions

"Neither major party has required multiple votes to select a presidential nominee since the 1952 Democratic National Convention and the 1948 Republican National Convention. Yet, prolonged primary campaigns routinely fuel speculation that convention delegates might again be called on to choose a party's presidential nominee through multiple ballots, rather than to ratify a clear outcome from the primaries. This CRS Insight briefly addresses selected questions about possible contested Democratic and Republican conventions that might be relevant as Members of Congress prepare for the 2016 election..."
Presidential nominating conventions

Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014

"Key findings
Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality
  • Between 2013 and 2014, life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population (78.8 years), males (76.4), or females (81.2) did not change.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.4 years for non-Hispanic black males and by 0.1 years for Hispanic males. It remained unchanged for non-Hispanic white males.
  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.2 years for Hispanic females, remained unchanged for non-Hispanic black females, and declined by 0.1 years for non-Hispanic white females.
  • Hispanic males experienced the greatest increase in life expectancy at age 65 (0.3 years), followed by Hispanic females (0.2), and all other groups experienced a 0.1 year increase in life expectancy at age 65.
This report presents changes in life expectancy by race, Hispanic origin, and sex in the United States between 2013 and 2014. Life expectancy was estimated using complete period life tables that are based on death rates adjusted for race and Hispanic origin misclassification on death certificates (1). Life expectancy represents the average number of years that a hypothetical group of infants would live at each attained age if the group was subject, throughout its lifetime, to the age-specific death rates prevailing for the actual population in a given year (1)..."
Life Expectancy

It's Official: Harriet Tubman Will Grace the $20 Bill

"Former president Andrew Jackson is being booted off the front of the $20 bill and replaced by Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman. The change, which U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced this afternoon, is just one of several redesigns the agency has confirmed, including adding an image from the women’s suffrage movement to the back of the $10 bill as well as including depictions of civil rights leaders on the $5 bill.
“It has not been since 1896 with Martha Washington that any woman has been depicted with a portrait on one of our major banknotes,” says Ellen Feingold, curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History (NMAH). Feingold notes that other widely petitioned names for the honor had included Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.
On the $20 bill, Tubman will get her portrait on the front and Jackson will be moved to the back, incorporated into the existing depiction of the White House. Meanwhile, President Lincoln will remain on the front of the $5 bill, but the back of the bill will change to reflect historic events that happened at the Lincoln Memorial, including opera singer Marian Anderson's 1939 concert and Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech. Hamilton will also remain on the front of the $10 bill, but the back of the bill will feature famous figures in the women's suffrage movement, including Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul..."
Harriet Tubman

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FoodKeeper App

"The FoodKeeper helps you understand food and beverages storage. It will help you maximize the freshness and quality of items. By doing so you will be able to keep items fresh longer than if they were not stored properly. It was developed by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute. It is also available as a mobile application forAndroid and Apple devices..."
Foodkeeper

dwellr

"City or country? Bike or drive to work? Beach or mountains? Download the U.S. Census Bureau’s dwellr app today to discover the top 25 U.S. cities and towns that best fit your lifestyle. Whether you prefer the bright lights of the big city or wide open spaces, dwellr powers your phone with neighborhood-level statistics on topics such as home values, education, and how people get to work so that you can explore where you want to dwell. Once you’ve found your dream neighborhood, take dwellr with you wherever you go..."

Sunday, April 17, 2016

EPA Publishes 21st Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 21st annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), today, which presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. The inventory shows a nine percent drop in emissions since 2005, and a one percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 from 2013 levels.

Total U.S. greenhouse emissions were 6,108 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2014. By sector, power plants were the largest source of emissions, accounting for 30 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. The transportation sector was the second largest source, at 26 percent. Industry and manufacturing was the third largest source, at 21 percent. As noted in the draft inventory released in February 2016, a one percent increase in total national greenhouse gas emissions between 2013 and 2014 was driven by increased fuel use –in the residential and commercial sectors, largely due to increased demand for heat that winter, and in the transportation sector..." 
Greenhouse Gas

Want people to take prediabetes seriously? Make them laugh.

"In January 2016, the first-ever national campaign to raise awareness about prediabetes launched on TV, radio, print, and digital media. A lot of people thought it was funny. But that was a good thing.
The problem is clear: 86 million US adults have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes comes with long-term risks to health, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but there usually aren’t any noticeable symptoms..."
Prediabetes

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emission Trends and the Role of the Clean Power Plan

"Recent international negotiations and domestic policy developments have generated interest in current and projected U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels. GHG emissions are generated throughout the United States from millions of discrete sources. Of the GHG source categories, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion account for the largest percentage (76%) of total U.S. GHG emissions. The electric power sector contributes the largest percentage (39%) of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

In the context of international climate change negotiations, President Obama announced, on separate occasions, U.S. GHG emission reduction goals for both 2020 and 2025: 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. In 2014, U.S. GHG levels were 7.5% below 2005 levels. Whether the United States achieves its goals would likely depend, to some degree, on CO2 emissions from power plants..."
carbon dioxide emissions

Demographic and Economic Profiles of New York’s Electorate

" In advance of the New York primary on April 19, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include:

New York Electorate

Counting Casualties in Syria and Iraq: Process and Challenges

"Casualty estimates for the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are inconsistent and unreliable because of a range of methodological challenges in conducting and reporting counts. Estimates of the number of people who have died during Syria's civil conflict since March 2011 range from 250,000 to 470,000. In Iraq, the estimated range is between 19,000 and 41,650 deaths since January 2014. This product discusses the difficulties of collecting war-related casualty data in both countries and provides an overview of some of the current estimated figures available through selected organizations. CRS is unable to independently track casualties in Syria and Iraq, and cannot verify the data presented..."
Syria & Iraq casualties

Local Food Directories: National Farmers Market Directory

"The Farmers Market Directory lists markets that feature two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location. Maintained by the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Directory is designed to provide customers with convenient access to information about farmers market listings to include: market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, accepted forms of payment, and more.
Visit our Local Food Directories page to find other operations offering locally grown products. If you are a market manager visit our Local Food Directory Registration & Update page to add or update a market listing. An API is available for developers to integrate this data into other applications..."
Farmers Market

Surveillance of Foreigners Outside the United States Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

"After the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the National Security Agency to conduct a Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) to “intercept international communications into and out of the United States” by “persons linked to al Qaeda or related terrorist organizations.” After the TSP activities were concluded in 2007, Congress enacted the Protect America Act (PAA, P.L. 110-55), which established a mechanism for the acquisition, via a joint certification by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Attorney General (AG), but without an individualized court order, of foreign intelligence information concerning a person reasonably believed to be outside the United States. This temporary authority ultimately expired after approximately six months, on February 16, 2008. Several months later, Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-261), which created separate procedures for targeting non-U.S. persons and U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States under a new Title VII of FISA. Title VII of FISA was reauthorized in late 2012 (P.L. 112-238); this authority now sunsets on December 31, 2017..."
Foreigner Surveillance

U.S. National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking

"The escalation of wildlife trafficking in recent years poses an urgent threat to conservation and global security. African elephant populations have declined by about 20 percent in the last decade to just over 400,000, and one out of every twenty wild rhinos was killed by a poacher in the last year alone. Well-armed traffickers exploit porous borders and weak institutions, eroding governance and undermining livelihoods. To tackle this problem, President Obama created the Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, bringing together 17 federal departments and agencies to create and implement a National Strategy to stop illegal activities that threaten the future survival of a multitude of species, including such iconic wildlife as elephants, rhinos, tigers, and sea turtles..."
Wildlife trafficking

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Updates to Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition

"The latest update to the Small Business Edition includes the addition of American Community Survey statistics, new features including a new data dashboard and performance improvements. An update to the Regional Analyst Edition will be available later this month.
  • Four new American Community Survey statistics were added based on user feedback:
    • Percentage of workers using public transportation.
    • Percentage of veterans.
    • Percentage of foreign-born.
    • Percentage of people speaking Spanish at home.
  • New and improved functionality:
    • Faster map downloads.
    • Addition of consumer spending data to report.
    • Expanded data panel to show map variable and four predefined variables...".

Census Business Builder

On Equal Pay Day, President Obama to Designate National Monument Honoring Women’s Equality

"Tomorrow, on Equal Pay Day, President Obama will designate a new national monument at a historic location in Washington, D.C., to honor the movement for women’s equality. The new Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument will protect the iconic house that has served as the headquarters for the National Woman’s Party since 1929. From this house, known in recent years as the Sewall-Belmont House, members of the Party led the movement for women’s equality, authoring more than 600 pieces of federal, state and local legislation in support of equal rights.
Tomorrow’s designation will permanently protect one of the oldest standing houses near the U.S. Capitol and help preserve an extensive archival collection that documents the history, strategies, tactics and accomplishments of the movement to secure women’s suffrage and equal rights in the United States and across the globe.."
National Women's Equality Monument



United States Supreme Court: Criminal Law Cases in the October 2015 Term

"The white collar crimes on the Supreme Court’s 2015 docket consist of three Hobbs Act cases, one on insider trading (Salman v. United States), and the final on computer fraud (Musacchio v. United States). The Hobbs Act outlaws robbery and extortion when committed in a manner which “in any way or degree” obstructs interstate commerce. One of the Hobbs Act cases before the Court (Taylor v. United States) involves the robbery of suspected drug dealers. The second (Ocasio v. United States) consists of a kickback conspiracy between traffic cops and body shop owners. The third (McDonnell v. United States) involves a local drug manufacturer who showered a state governor and his wife with gifts in an apparent attempt to use the governor’s office as a bully pulpit for one of his products..."
Supreme Court

New Data on 637 Detention Facilities Used by ICE in FY 2015

"The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention system depends on hundreds of jails, prisons, and other facilities largely owned as well as run by others — some by local government agencies and others by private, for-profit companies. Using beds in these facilities that are widely scattered across the country, ICE manages a large complex system with daily flows of individuals both into as well as out of ICE custody. In addition, an even larger number of individuals already in ICE custody are continually being transferred among these facilities.

A total of 325,209 individuals left ICE custody last year, while 39,082 were still detained at the end of FY 2015[1]. The reasons for which individuals were released from ICE custody varied markedly by detention facility. Nationally, the most common reason for leaving ICE custody was because a detainee was being deported; this reason was listed in 55 percent of recorded departures last year. The next largest group were detainees released on bond or on their personal recognizance while their cases were pending. Others were released because their cases had concluded and they had been found to have a lawful right to remain in the country.."

ICE Detention data

The U.S. Finally Has a National Monument That Honors Women’s History

"Want to visit a national monument to women’s history? Just yesterday, that wasn’t an option—though the National Park system has three congressionally chosen parks that highlight women, the President has never designated a monument in celebration of women. That changed, though, when U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that President Obama has designated the former headquarters of the National Woman’s Party as a monument.
Now formally called the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, the site is one of Washington, D.C.’s oldest residences. During the 20th century, it became home to the National Woman’s Party, a group of women who fought tirelessly for universal suffrage despite taunts, threats and repeated imprisonment for their actions..."
Women's History Monument

The 1873 Colfax Massacre Crippled the Reconstruction Era

"The Reconstruction period that followed America's Civil War was one of the worst, most violent eras in American history. During that time, thousands of African-Americans were killed by domestic terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan who tried to reinforce antebellum policies of white supremacy. For many historians, one of the worst examples of this violence occurred 143 years ago today: the Colfax Massacre of 1873.

Immediately after the end of the Civil War, different factions began fighting over power. Bitter over the Confederacy’s loss, many white Southern Democrats tried their best to continue disenfranchising and restricting the rights of former slaves. At the same time, insurgent, white supremacist groups terrorized African-Americans throughout the South. In Louisiana, the fight over the postwar government was particularly bloody, as PBS’ American Experience series explores.."

Colfax Massacre

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Articles of Agreement Relating to the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia

"On April 9, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a house in Appomattox Court House, VA, to discuss this surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, which would end the Civil War. According to the terms, the men of Lee's army could return home in safety if they pledged to end the fighting and deliver their arms to the Union Army..."
Robert Lee's Surrender(Civil War)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents

"Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have been initiated against individuals, corporations, and countries. Targets have included government networks, companies, and political organizations, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic or industrial espionage, engaging in cybercrime, or intimidating political activists. In addition, national borders mean little or nothing to cyberattackers, and attributing an attack to a specific location can be difficult, which may make responding problematic.

Despite many recommendations made over the past decade, most major legislative provisions relating to cybersecurity had been enacted prior to 2002. However, on December 18, 2014, in the last days of the 113th Congress, five cybersecurity bills were signed by the President. These bills change federal cybersecurity programs in a number of ways:

codifying the role of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in developing a “voluntary, industry-led set of standards” to reduce cyber risk;

codifying the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center as a hub for interactions with the private sector;

updating the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) by requiring the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “eliminate ... inefficient and wasteful reports”;

and  requiring DHS to develop a “comprehensive workforce strategy” within a year and giving DHS new authorities for cybersecurity hiring..."
Cybersecurity

Medicare Primer

"Medicare is a federal program that pays for covered health care services of qualified beneficiaries. It was established in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide health insurance to individuals 65 and older, and has been expanded over the years to include permanently disabled individuals under the age of 65. Medicare, which consists of four parts (AD), covers hospitalizations, physician services, prescription drugs, skilled nursing facility care, home health visits, and hospice care, among other services. Generally, individuals are eligible for Medicare if they or their spouse worked for at least 40 quarters in Medicare-covered employment, are 65 years old, and are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Individuals may also qualify for coverage if they are a younger person who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, have end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant), or have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease). The program is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and by private entities that contract with CMS to provide claims processing, auditing, and quality oversight services..."
Medicare