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Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States

Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From 8 Health Professional Organizations and the American Bar Association - Steven E. Weinberger, MD; David B. Hoyt, MD; Hal C. Lawrence III, MD; Saul Levin, MD, MPA; Douglas E. Henley, MD; Errol R. Alden, MD; Dean Wilkerson, JD, MBA; Georges C. Benjamin, MD; and William C. Hubbard, JD. Ann Intern Med. Published online 24 February 2015 doi:10.7326/M15-0337

“Deaths and injuries related to firearms constitute a major public health problem in the United States. In response to firearm violence and other firearm-related injuries and deaths, an interdisciplinary, interprofessional group of leaders of 8 national health professional organizations and the American Bar Association, representing the official policy positions of their organizations, advocate a series of measures aimed at reducing the health and public health consequences of firearms. The specific recommendations include universal background checks of gun purchasers, elimination of physician “gag laws,” restricting the manufacture and sale of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use, and research to support strategies for reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths. The health professional organizations also advocate for improved access to mental health services and avoidance of stigmatization of persons with mental and substance use disorders through blanket reporting laws. The American Bar Association, acting through its Standing Committee on Gun Violence, confirms that none of these recommendations conflict with the Second Amendment or previous rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Get away with Google Flights

Google Official Blog: “While winds howl, frost bites and snow falls, people dream of getting away from it all. Every year around this time, we see an uptick in searches for spring and summer travel from people who have had it up to here with winter. And in the middle of one of the coldest,Continue Reading

Amnesty International Annual Report 2014-2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. By Salil Shetty, Secretary General at Amnesty International “Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world’s politicians have miserably failed to protect thoseContinue Reading

Pew – Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

Overall Decline in Social Hostilities in 2013, Though Harassment of Jews Worldwide Reached a Seven-Year High: “Worldwide, social hostilities involving religion declined somewhat in 2013 after reaching a six-year peak the previous year, but roughly a quarter of the world’s countries are still grappling with high levels of religious hostilities within their borders, according toContinue Reading

The U.S. Interstate Highways, Ranked

Mapquest – “Ranking the Lower 48’s two-digit, primary interstates—66 in all, 47,000 miles (and counting)—is a subjective business. What do you make of an I-70? In parts it’s bumper-to-bumper with commuters, elsewhere isolated fields of corn. To help, we turned to algebra, and created a “traffic rating” based on vehicle travel miles per mile ofContinue Reading

Implementation monitoring of PFMIs: Level 2 assessment report for central counterparties and trade repositories – United States

“The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) continue to closely monitor the implementation of the Principles for financial market infrastructures (PFMI). The principles within the PFMI (the Principles) set expectations for the design and operation of key financial market infrastructures to enhance their safety and efficiencyContinue Reading

Public quantitative disclosure standards for central counterparties

Public quantitative disclosure standards for central counterparties: “To help ensure that the risks of using central counterparties (CCPs) are properly understood, CCPs need to make relevant information publicly available, as stated in the CPSS-IOSCO Principles for financial market infrastructures, published in April 2012. The CPSS and IOSCO published a Disclosure framework in December 2012 toContinue Reading

Financial Audit: U.S. Government’s Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Consolidated Financial Statements

Financial Audit: U.S. Government’s Fiscal Years 2014 and 2013 Consolidated Financial Statements, GAO-15-341R: Published: Feb 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015. “To operate as effectively and efficiently as possible and to make difficult decisions to address the federal government’s fiscal challenges, Congress, the administration, and federal managers must have ready access to reliable andContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Logistics, Defense Major Automated Information Systems, DHS, FAA, Private Pensions, Transportation Safety

Defense Logistics: Improvements Needed to Accurately Assess the Performance of DOD’s Materiel Distribution Pipeline, GAO-15-226: Published: Feb 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015. Defense Major Automated Information Systems: Cost and Schedule Commitments Need to Be Established Earlier, GAO-15-282: Published: Feb 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 2015. Department of Homeland Security: Progress Made, butContinue Reading

Human-level control through deep reinforcement learning

Human-level control through deep reinforcement learning. Nature 518, 529–533 (26 February 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14236. Received 10 July 2014, Accepted 16 January 2015, Published online 25 February 201. “The theory of reinforcement learning provides a normative account, deeply rooted in psychological and neuroscientific perspectives on animal behaviour, of how agents may optimize their control of an environment.Continue Reading

First in Freedom Index

John Locke Foundation Report – “Overall, North Carolina ranks 23rd in the nation and 5th among the 12 states of the Southeast. Florida holds the #1 slot on the FFI, followed by Arizona, Indiana, South Dakota, and Georgia. The least-free state is New York, which is joined in the bottom five by New Jersey, California,Continue Reading

Kaiser – New Online Tool Gives Patients Insight Into The Cost Of Medical Care

Jay Hancock – Kaiser Health News: “Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy’s and getting the bill months after you leave the store, economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say. A tool that went online Wednesday is supposed to give patients a small peek at the products and prices before they openContinue Reading