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Daily Archives: May 7, 2014

Report finds drywall imported from China in the 2000s may have affected human health

“The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR) released a report, Health Consultation: Possible Health Implications from Exposure to Sulfur Gases Emitted from Chinese-Manufactured Drywall, describing the laboratory tests and modeling researchers used to estimate levels of sulfur compounds in indoor air of homes built with problem drywall, including drywall imported from China in 2005 and 2006. The findings and conclusions of the report are based on analysis of a small number of drywall samples and cannot be generalized to all homes built with problem drywall. The drywall sampled was manufactured in China between 2005 and 2006, and in 2009. For comparison purposes, samples also included drywall manufactured in North America in 2009. In early 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began investigating the problem with imported drywall from China with support from ATSDR and other federal and state agencies. CPSC has guidance for identifying problem drywall. A 2012 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) report estimates that problem drywall imported from China was most likely used in the construction of approximately 11,000 new homes.”

EPIC Sues Army for Information About DC Surveillance Blimps

“EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of the Army for documents about JLENS, a sophisticated surveillance system that will be deployed over Washington, DC during the next three years. JLENS is comprised of two 250′ blimps. One blimp conducts aerial and ground surveillance over a 340-mile range, while the other hasContinue Reading

OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2014 Issue 1

“The OECD Economic Outlook is the OECD’s twice-yearly analysis of the major economic trends and prospects for the next two years.  Prepared by the OECD Economics Department, the Outlook puts forward a consistent set of projections for output, employment, prices and current balances based on a review of each member country and of the induced effect on each ofContinue Reading

Accenture 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey

“The Accenture 2014 College Graduate Employment Survey explores the expectations and experiences of US college students who will be graduating in 2014 and those who graduated in 2012 and 2013 related to education, skills, finding a job, salary expectations, debt and post-graduation living arrangements. The survey polled more than 2,000 students and compares the perceptions ofContinue Reading

OECD – Services Trade Restrictiveness Index

“Trade in services drives the exchange of ideas, know-how and technology. It helps firms cut costs, increase productivity, participate in global value chains and boost competitiveness. Consumers benefit from lower prices and greater choice. However, international trade in services is often impeded by trade and investment barriers and domestic regulations. The Service Trade Restrictions Index (STRI)Continue Reading

EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

“EWG publishes its annual rating of conventional foods with the most and least pesticide residues to fill the void left by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has largely failed to tell Americans they have a right to know about the risks of pesticide exposure and ways they can reduce pesticides in their diets. The FoodContinue Reading

Defense One – Every Country Will Have Armed Drones Within Ten Years

Patrick Tucker: “Virtually every country on Earth will be able to build or acquire drones capable of firing missiles within the next ten years. Armed aerial drones will be used for targeted killings, terrorism and the government suppression of civil unrest. What’s worse, say experts, it’s too late for the United States to do anything aboutContinue Reading

Monthly Budget Review for April 2014

“The federal government ran a budget deficit of $301 billion for the first seven months of fiscal year 2014, CBO estimates—$187 billion less than the shortfall recorded in the same span last year. Revenues were about 8 percent higher and outlays about 3 percent lower. Receipts for the first seven months of fiscal year 2014 totaledContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Alternative Jet Fuels, DHS, Federal Vehicle Fleets, Information Technology

ALTERNATIVE JET FUELS: Federal Activities Support Development and Usage, but Long-term Commercial Viability Hinges on Market Factors, GAO-14-407: Published: May 7, 2014. Publicly Released: May 7, 2014. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Progress Made; Significant Work Remains in Addressing High-Risk Areas, GAO-14-532T: Published: May 7, 2014. Publicly Released: May 7, 2014. FEDERAL VEHICLE FLEETS: GSA Has Opportunities to Further Encourage Cost Savings forContinue Reading

Ending the Drug Wars

Report of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy, May 2014 “A major rethink of international drug policies is under way. The failure of the UN to achieve its goal of ‘a drug free world’ and the continuation of enormous collateral damage from excessively militarised and enforcement-led drug policies, has led to growing callsContinue Reading