Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring Home Improvements: Decorate, De-clutter and Prevent Deadly Tip Overs

"As the weather warms and a new season begins, it is the perfect time to take simple, proactive steps to make your home safer for your family.
Every 30 minutes, a child in the U.S. is hurt, and every two weeks a child dies as a result of a furniture and/or TV tip-over incident. To better understand what can lead to TV tip-overs, CPSC studied nearly 300 reports of nonfatal incidents.
Here’s what we learned and here’s how you can use the information this spring to make major home safety changes with minimal effort:
    • The majority (83.5 percent) of TV falls occurred when a child climbed on furniture where a TV was sitting on top. Children are curious and climb to pull or stand on a drawer or shelf, usually in an effort to reach the TV or other items on top of the furniture.
      Spring cleaning tip: Mount TVs or place them on furniture designed to hold a TV. Then remove any objects that might tempt a child to climb.
    • More than 90 percent of incidents involved CRT TVs. These older and bulky tube TVs are more tip prone because they are heavier in the front. When they fall, the heavy TVs can fall with the force of up to 12,000 pounds.
      Spring cleaning tip: Get rid of this potentially deadly danger. Remove and recycle the unused CRT TV rather than moving it to another room.
    • In all but one incident studied, anti-tip devices were not installed. Newer dressers are sold with anti-tip devices and flat-panel TVs have pre-drilled holes for anchoring. Anchoring furniture and TVs is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few minutes.Spring cleaning tip: Check your tool kit for the anti-tip kit sold with your child’s dresser and once found, install it. You will have a safer home. If you can’t find yours, buy an anti-tip device..."
      Spring home improvements

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ladder Safety App Aims to Reduce Worker Falls

"March is National Ladder Safety Month. The Ladder Safety App provides employers, workers, and homeowners with tools to prevent extension and step ladder-related fall injuries and deaths. Download this free, award-winning app today.
Falls are a persistent hazard in the workplace as well as at home. In the United States, over 500,000 people experience ladder-related injuries each year,1 and more than 300 people die from such injuries..."
Ladder safety

Preventing Silicosis

"Learn more about workplace solutions for controlling exposures to Respirable Crystalline Silica in construction and hydraulic fracturing. Save lives and prevent new cases of silicosis, a severe lung disease. Understand the occupational exposure limits to keep workers safe from breathing hazardous silica dust.
Approximately 2.3 million workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the workplace, including 2 million workers in construction and 300,000 workers in general industry, maritime and hydraulic fracturing. As early as 1974, NIOSH researchers had proposed a recommended exposure limit (REL) of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (50 µg/m3) for inhalation of dust containing RCS, as a time-weighted average for up to a 10-hour workday as part of a 40-hour workweek. NIOSH research into engineering control methods to reduce RCS exposures in the workplace are ongoing, helping employers to safeguard the health of their employees..."
Silicosis

Fact Sheet: Aviation Security Enhancements for Select Last Point of Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States

"Overview: Change to international travel carry-on items

Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items. Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administration Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.

These enhancements apply to 10 specific airports. The affected overseas airports are: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Cairo International Airport (CAI), Ataturk International Airport (IST), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Mohammed V Airport (CMN), Hamad International Airport (DOH), Dubai International Airport (DXB), and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).
The aviation security enhancements will include requiring that all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage at 10 airports where flights are departing for the United States...."

 International airport departure security

Q&A: Aviation Security Enhancements for Select Last Point of Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States

"Q1: Why is the U.S. Government taking these steps now? Are these new policies in response to a specific terrorist threat or plot?
A1: The U.S. Government is concerned about terrorists' ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years, as evidenced by the 2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia, and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul. Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.
Based on this trend, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in consultation with relevant Departments and Agencies, has determined it is prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States. These enhancements include more stringent measures applied to 10 specific airports.
The enhancement in security will require that all personal electronic devices (PEDs) larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage. These items will no longer be allowed to be carried onto aircraft at 10 select airports where flights are departing for the United States. Approved medical devices may be brought into the cabin after additional screening.
This security enhancement will be implemented through a Security Directive (SD)/Emergency Amendment (EA) process, which includes industry notification, to affected air carriers that will implement the requirements..."
Airport departure security

Monday, March 20, 2017

U.S. Airlines Reach New Heights in 2016

"U.S. airlines set new records in 2016 for the number of passengers carried, for the distance they carried those passengers and for the capacity that the airlines used to move them, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). It was the second consecutive year that the airlines set all-time highs.
In 2016, for the first year ever, U.S. airlines carried more than 800 million scheduled service passengers – reaching 823 million worldwide, 3.1 percent more than the 798 million they carried in 2015. Using the measure of revenue passenger-miles (RPMs), which includes both the number of passengers and the distance they travel, U.S. airline operations grew even more – with 933 billion RPMs, up 3.5 percent from 2015..."
Airlines, Air_traffic

DHS Releases U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Declined Detainer Outcome Report

"The Department of Homeland Security today issued the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report required by President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, signed on January 25.  This report will be issued weekly to highlight jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with ICE detainers or requests for notification, therefore potentially endangering Americans. ICE places detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges or who are in local custody and for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States, so that ICE can take custody of the alien when he or she is released from local custody...."
Declined detainer outcome report

Thursday, March 16, 2017

America First A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again

"A MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
The American people elected me to fight for their priorities in Washington, D.C. and deliver on my promise to protect our Nation. I fully intend to keep that promise.

One of the most important ways the Federal Government sets priorities is through the Budget of the United States.

Accordingly, I submit to the Congress this Budget Blueprint to reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.

Our aim is to meet the simple, but crucial demand of our citizens—a Government that puts the needs of its own people first. When we do that, we will set free the dreams of every American, and we will begin a new chapter of American greatness.

A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority— because without safety, there can be no prosperity.

That is why I have instructed my Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, to craft a budget that emphasizes national security and public safety. That work is reflected in this Budget Blueprint. To keep Americans safe, we have made tough choices that have been put off for too long. But we have also made necessary investments that are long overdue.

My Budget Blueprint for 2018:
• provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt;
• significantly increases the budget for immigration enforcement at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security;
• includes additional resources for a wall on the southern border with Mexico, immigration judges, expanded detention capacity, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Border Patrol;
• increases funding to address violent crime and reduces opioid abuse; and
• puts America first by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home..."
2018 Federal Budget

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court

"On January 31, 2017, President Donald J. Trump announced the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Tenth Circuit) to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Judge Gorsuch was appointed to the Tenth Circuit by President George W. Bush in 2006. The Tenth Circuit’s territorial jurisdiction covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, and parts of Yellowstone National Park that extend into Idaho and Montana.

Immediately prior to his appointment to the bench, the nominee served as the Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General, the third-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Justice, assisting the Associate Attorney General with oversight of the Department’s various civil litigation components. Before serving in the Justice Department, the nominee worked in private practice as a civil litigator at the Washington, D.C. firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel. Judge Gorsuch began his legal career clerking for federal judges. He first served as a law clerk to Judge David B. Sentelle of the D.C. Circuit. Later, he served two Supreme Court Justices, newly retired Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony Kennedy, during the October 1993 term.

This report provides an overview of Judge Gorsuch’s jurisprudence and discusses how the Supreme Court might be affected if he were to succeed Justice Scalia. In particular, the report focuses on those areas of law where Justice Scalia can be seen to have influenced the High Court’s approach to particular issues or provided a fifth and deciding vote on the Court, with a view toward how the nominee might approach those same issues..."
Judge Neil M. Grosuch

Dark web

"The layers of the Internet go far beyond the surface content that many can easily access in their daily searches. The other content is that of the Deep Web, content that has not been indexed by traditional search engines such as Google. The furthest corners of the Deep Web, segments known as the Dark Web, contain content that has been intentionally concealed. The Dark Web may be used for legitimate purposes as well as to conceal criminal or otherwise malicious activities. It is the exploitation of the Dark Web for illegal practices that has garnered the interest of officials and policymakers.

Individuals can access the Dark Web by using special software such as Tor (short for The Onion Router). Tor relies upon a network of volunteer computers to route users’ web traffic through a series of other users’ computers such that the traffic cannot be traced to the original user. Some developers have created tools—such as Tor2web—that may allow individuals access to Torhosted content without downloading and installing the Tor software, though accessing the Dark Web through these means does not anonymize activity. Once on the Dark Web, users often navigate it through directories such as the “Hidden Wiki,” which organizes sites by category, similar to Wikipedia. Individuals can also search the Dark Web with search engines, which may be broad, searching across the Deep Web, or more specific, searching for contraband like illicit drugs, guns, or counterfeit money. While on the Dark Web, individuals may communicate through means such as secure email, web chats, or personal messaging hosted on Tor. Though tools such as Tor aim to anonymize content and activity, researchers and security experts are constantly developing means by which certain hidden services or individuals could be identified or “deanonymized.”..."
Dark web

Presidential Transitions: Issues Involving Outgoing and Incoming Administrations

"The crux of a presidential transition is the transfer of executive power from the incumbent to the President-elect. Yet the transition process encompasses a host of activities, beginning with preelection planning and continuing through inauguration day. The process ensures that the federal government provides resources to presidential candidates’ transition teams, and, eventually, the President-elect’s team; and includes close coordination between the outgoing and incoming Administrations. The Presidential Transition Act (PTA) of 1963, as amended, established formal mechanisms to facilitate presidential transitions and authorizes the Administrator of General Services to provide facilities and services to eligible presidential candidates and the Presidentelect. A presidential transition facilitates the establishment of a new Administration and prepares it to govern. Additionally, as noted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in a report on S. 1172 (114th Congress, Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015), planning for a presidential transition helps to ensure the nation’s security..."
Presidential transitions

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

American Health Care Act

"The Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 directed the House Committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce to develop legislation to reduce the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have produced an estimate of the budgetary effects of the American Health Care Act, which combines the pieces of legislation approved by the two committees pursuant to that resolution. In consultation with the budget committees, CBO used its March 2016 baseline with adjustments for subsequently enacted legislation, which underlies the resolution, as the benchmark to measure the cost of the legislation.

Effects on the Federal Budget 

CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period. That total consists of $323 billion in on-budget savings and $13 billion in off-budget savings. Outlays would be reduced by $1.2 trillion over the period, and revenues would be reduced by $0.9 trillion. The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid and from the elimination of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) subsidies for nongroup health insurance.

The largest costs would come from repealing many of the changes the ACA made to the Internal Revenue Code—including an increase in the Hospital Insurance payroll tax rate for high-income taxpayers, a surtax on those taxpayers’ net investment income, and annual fees imposed on health insurers—and from the establishment of a new tax credit for health insurance..." 
American Health Care Act

Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

"EXECUTIVE ORDER- - - - - - -
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REORGANIZING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1.  Purpose.  This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs.
Sec. 2.  Proposed Plan to Improve the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Accountability of Federal Agencies, Including, as Appropriate, to Eliminate or Reorganize Unnecessary or Redundant Federal Agencies.  (a)  Within 180 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall submit to the Director a proposed plan to reorganize the agency, if appropriate, in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of that agency. 
(b)  The Director shall publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to suggest improvements in the organization and functioning of the executive branch and shall consider the suggestions when formulating the proposed plan described in subsection (c) of this section..."
Reorganizing the Executive Branch

Office for Victims of Crime Awards Almost $8.5 Million to Support Victims of Pulse Nightclub Shooting

"Today, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, announced an $8,466,970 Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) grant to assist victims of the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. OVC will award the grant tomorrow to the Florida Office of the Attorney General.

“This funding will provide important support to the victims, their loved ones and communities who were affected by last year’s devastating attack on Pulse nightclub,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We continue to mourn those who were taken from us that awful day, and we admire the resilience of the great city of Orlando. With this grant, we reaffirm the Justice Department’s commitment to the people of Orlando, the families of the victims and all who are helping those affected by this heinous crime."..."

Pulse Nightclub shooting

U.S. Census Bureau Honors Women's History Month

"The roots of National Women’s History Month go back to March 8, 1857, when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it was not until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated annually the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the president has issued a proclamation..."
Women's History Month