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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Is Great Barrier Reef in peril due to planned massive dumping of drudged mud

Outside magazine: “The Australian government agency that oversees the Great Barrier Reef approved a plan to expand a major coal port in Queensland by dumping 792,516,157 gallons of dredged mud on the Great Barrier Reef. Environmentalists are infuriated, saying that the reef has already lost huge amounts of coral to storm damage and coral-eating starfish. A 2012 UNESCO report expressed concern about development along the reef and warned that the World Heritage site was at risk as being listed as “in danger,” similar to the Everglades National Park in Florida. Queensland Premier Campbell Newman told reporters that the government would protect the environment, but not at the expense of the state’s economy. “We are in the coal business,” he told reporters. “If you want decent hospitals, schools, and police on the beat, we all need to understand that.”

Treat or Eat: Food insecurity, cost-related medication underuse and unmet needs

Treat or Eat: Food insecurity, cost-related medication underuse and unmet needs. American Journal of Medicine, published online 21 January 2014. Background: ‘Adults with chronic disease are often unable to meet medication and/or food needs, but no study has examined the relationship between cost-related medication underuse and food insecurity in a nationally representative sample. We examined which groups mostContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Student Loans, U.S. Merchant Marine

FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS – Borrower Interest Rates Cannot Be Set in Advance to Precisely and Consistently Balance Federal Revenues and Costs, GAO-14-234, Jan 31, 2014: “Total Direct Loan administrative costs grew from $314 million to $864 million from fiscal years 2007 to 2012, but federal costs per borrower have generally remained steady or fallen. The increase inContinue Reading

Final Report – National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force

“The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force delivered it final report yesterday.  You can find the full report to the President and Congress here. The Commission’s website has more information including links to the information from various hearings and other information they gathered in doing their work. In 2012 the Commission was congressionally mandated  (PLContinue Reading

2014 EU-Wide Stress Test

“The European Banking Authority (EBA) has announced the key components of the forthcoming 2014 EU-wide stress test that will be conducted on a wide sample of EU banks. The objective of the EU-wide stress tests is to help supervisors assess the resilience of financial institutions in the European Union to adverse market developments. This exerciseContinue Reading

CRS – Overview of the Federal Tax System

Overview of the Federal Tax System, Molly F. Sherlock, Specialist in Public Finance; Donald J. Marples, Specialist in Public Finance. January 23, 2014 “The major sources of federal tax revenue are individual income taxes, Social Security and other payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, excise taxes, and estate and gift taxes. This report describes the federal tax structure, provides some statisticsContinue Reading

USPIRG – Transportation in Transition

Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities is based on the most current available government data. It is the first ever national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities and lists results for each. Among its national findings: The proportion of workers commuting by private vehicle—either alone orContinue Reading

Report – Risk and Responsibility in a Hyperconnected World

“Many leaders in business, civil society and government realize that for the world’s economy to fully derive the value inherent in technological innovation, a robust, coordinated system of global cyber resilience is essential to effectively mitigate the risk of cyberattacks. This view is beginning to permeate discussions among senior leaders in the private and public sectors, and across differentContinue Reading

American Community Survey January 2014

“Overview of the American Community Survey (ACS) 2014 Content Review: This document provides the historical context for understanding why we are conducting the ACS 2014 Content Review, the rationale for the rationale for ensuring that only necessary questions are asked of the public, and how the public can participate in this review. Milestones – ACS Content ReviewContinue Reading

SIGAR Report Assesses Continued Aid to Afghanistan

Direct Assistance: USAID Has Taken Positive Action to Assess Afghan Ministries’ Ability to Manage Donor Funds, but Concerns Remain, January 2014. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction SIGAR 14-32 Audit Report. “USAID determined it could not rely on the ministries it assessed to manage donor funds without a host of mitigation measures in place and that, under normalContinue Reading

TRUSTe 2014 US Consumer Confidence Privacy Report

“Privacy concerns are growing with 74% more concerned about their online privacy than a year ago. Despite the constant media coverage of government surveillance programs such as NSA’s PRISM, this is not the main driver of online privacy concerns. People are far more concerned about businesses sharing personal information with other companies and tracking theirContinue Reading

Sentencing Project Releases Report on Smaller Prisons and Sentencing Reform

“The Sentencing Project released two reports that highlight states downsizing prison systems and adopting sentencing policy reforms. Our research documents a three-year trend of prison closings that produced a reduction of 35,000 beds, including six states reducing capacity by 11,000 beds in 2013.” On the Chopping Block 2013 documents state prison closures and attributes the trendContinue Reading