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Daily Archives: February 18, 2014

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2013

“Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal declines in both the violent crime and the property crime reported in the first six months of 2013 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2012. The report is based on information from 12,723 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2012 and 2013.

Violent Crime

  • All of the offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery—showed decreases when data from the first six months of 2013 were compared with data from the first six months of 2012. The number of murders declined 6.9 percent, the number of forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent, aggravated assaults decreased 6.6 percent, and robbery offenses decreased 1.8 percent.
  • Violent crime decreased in all city groupings in the first six months of 2013 when compared to figures for the same period in 2012. The largest decrease, 9.2 percent, was noted in cities with fewer than 10,000 in population.
  • Violent crime decreased 10.5 percent in nonmetropolitan counties and 3.6 percent in metropolitan counties.
  • Violent crime decreased in each of the nation’s four regions. The largest decrease, 7.4 percent, was noted in the Midwest, followed by 5.9 percent in the South, 4.3 percent in the Northeast, and 3.7 percent in the West.”

CRS – The Debt Limit Since 2011

The Debt Limit Since 2011. D. Andrew Austin, Analyst in Economic Policy. February 12, 2014. “The Constitution grants Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States—one part of its power of the purse—and thus mandates that Congress exercise control over federal debt. Control of debt policy has at times provided Congress with a meansContinue Reading

Gulf War and Health, Volume 9

Long-Term Effects of Blast Exposures (2014): “Since the United States began combat operations in Afghanistan in October 2001 and then in Iraq in March 2003, the numbers of US soldiers killed exceed 6,700 and of US soldiers wounded 50,500. Although all wars since World War I have involved the use of explosives by the enemy, the warsContinue Reading

Approaches to Reducing Federal Spending on Military Health Care

“In 2012, the Department of Defense (DoD) spent $52 billion on health care for service members, retirees, and their families. The department offers health care to nearly 10 million people through its TRICARE program, an integrated system of military health care providers and regional networks of civilian providers. Established in 1993, TRICARE now consists ofContinue Reading

BIS effective exchange rate indices

“The BIS effective exchange rate (EER) indices now cover 61 economies (including individual euro area countries and, separately, the euro area as an entity). The most recent weights are based on trade in 2008-10 and the indices’ base year is 2010. Two basket compositions are available: Broad indices comprising 61 economies, with data from 1994 (CSV, 172Continue Reading

New York Fed – Household Debt and Credit Report

“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report provides a quarterly snapshot of household trends in borrowing and indebtedness, including data about mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans and delinquencies. The report aims to help community groups, small businesses, state and local governments and the public to better understand, monitorContinue Reading

OECD – Economic crisis provides lessons for new approaches to forecasting

“Extreme volatility during the global financial crisis complicated economic forecasting, leading to large errors that underline the need for better modelling methods and new approaches for making and presenting projections, according to an OECD report. OECD forecasts during and after the financial crisis: a post-mortem says that the Organisation’s economic projections under-predicted the depth of the collapseContinue Reading

The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income

“Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workersContinue Reading

New GAO Report – Federal Student Loans

FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS: Impact of Loan Limit Increases on College Prices Is Difficult to Discern, GAO-14-7:  Published: Feb 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 18, 2014. “For more than a decade, college prices have been rising consistently and have continued to rise at a gradual pace after the Stafford loan limit increases were enacted in 2008 and 2009.Continue Reading

Study – Asian elephants reassure others in distress

Plotnik JM, de Waal FB. (2014) Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress. PeerJ 2:e278 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.278 “Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephantContinue Reading