Friday, December 8, 2017

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

"Everyone can practice food safety during the holidays.
  • Wash your hands. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food, after touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables, and before eating or drinking.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to the safe minimum internal temperature. Roasts, chops, steaks and fresh ham should rest for 3 minutes after removing from the oven or grill.
  • Keep food out of the “danger zone.” Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature. After food is cooked, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours. The temperature in your refrigerator should be set at or below 40°F and the freezer at or below 0°F.
  • Use pasteurized eggs for dishes containing raw eggs. Salmonella and other harmful germs can live on both the outside and inside of normal-looking eggs. Many holiday favorites contain raw eggs, including eggnog, tiramisu, hollandaise sauce, and Caesar dressing. Always use pasteurized eggs when making these and other foods made with raw eggs.
  • Do not eat dough or batter. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Do not taste or eat unpasteurized dough or batter of any kind, including those for cookies, cakes, pies, biscuits, pancakes, tortillas, pizza, or crafts. Do not let children taste raw dough or batter or play with dough at home or in restaurants.
  • Keep foods separated. Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from meat, poultry, and seafood from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags. Store eggs in their original carton in the main compartment of the refrigerator.
  • Safely thaw your turkey. Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature to prevent harmful germs from growing rapidly..."
    Holiday food safety

Day of Infamy" Speech:

"On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this "Day of Infamy Speech." Immediately afterward, Congress declared war, and the United States entered World War II..."
Day of Infamy

Thursday, December 7, 2017

AMERICAN EXPERIENCES VERSUS AMERICAN EXPECTATIONS:An updated look at private sector employment for Women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and American Indians/Alaskan Natives in celebration of the EEOC's 50th Anniversary

"American Experiences versus American Expectations illustrates the significant changes to the United States workforce during the 50 years since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) opened its doors in 1965. The report is an updated look at the groundbreaking 1977 EEOC research Black Experiences Versus Black Expectations. Written by Dr. Melvin Humphrey, EEOC's then-director of Research, Black Experiences versus Black Expectations was the first major EEOC research report to use data collected through the EEO-1 survey to focus on the issue of racial inequality in the workforce. The report's title came from the gap between African American employment experiences in the workforce and expectations based on fair-share employment levels, defined at the time as the number of minorities employed at a rate equal to their employment availability. 
American Experiences versus American Expectations focuses on changes in employment participation from 1966 to 2013 not only for African Americans but also for Hispanics, Asian Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, and women. The participation rate represents the percentage of workers from each demographic group that hold positions in the variety of categories reported in the EEO-1 survey.
Beginning in 1966 all employers with 100 or more employees (lower thresholds apply to federal contractors) have been required by law to file the Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the EEOC. In FY 2013 approximately 70,000 employers filed an EEO-1. These forms indicate the composition of an employer's workforces by sex and by race/ethnic category[1]. The EEO-1 form collects data on nine major job categories.."
Minorities and Women employment data

Possible U.S. Policy Approaches to North Korea

"Since assuming office, the Trump Administration has raised the North Korea threat to a top-level foreign policy priority in response to the regime’s demonstrations of rapid military advances. Officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea has rebuffed U.S. and South Korean offers to negotiate on denuclearization since 2009 and has continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In 2017, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear weapons test, and carried out two tests of long-range ballistic missiles that some observers believe have intercontinental range. All of these tests violate United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

North Korea is on track to develop and deploy the capability to attack the U.S. homeland with nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). U.S. intelligence estimates note that North Korea already likely has the capability to mount nuclear warheads on mediumrange ballistic missiles that can reach Japan and Guam, both of which have major U.S. military installations. Official statements by the Kim Jong-un government suggest it is striving to build a credible regional nuclear warfighting capability that could evade regional missile defenses. (See CRS In Focus IF10472, North Korea’s Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs.)..."
U.S. and North Korea

Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea: In Brief

"Some analysts have suggested that, in response to the accelerated pace of North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing programs and its continued threats against the United States and U.S. allies, the United States might engage in an aggressive negotiation strategy. Since the early 1990s, successive U.S. Presidents have faced the question of whether to negotiate with the North Korean government to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program and ambitions. Questions for policymakers include the utility, timing, scope, and goals of diplomatic talks with Pyongyang.

The United States has engaged in four major sets of formal nuclear and missile negotiations with North Korea: the bilateral Agreed Framework (1994-2002), the bilateral missile negotiations (1996-2000), the multilateral Six-Party Talks (2003-2009), and the bilateral Leap Day Deal (2012). In general, the formula for these negotiations has been for North Korea to halt, and in some cases disable, its nuclear or missile programs in return for economic and diplomatic incentives. While some of the negotiations have shown progress, North Korea has continued to advance its nuclear and missile programs.."
North Korea nuclear negotiations

PIT and HIC Data Since 2007

"These raw data sets contain Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates and national PIT estimates of homelessness as well as national estimates of homelessness by state and estimates of chronic homelessness from 2007 - 2017. Estimates of homeless veterans are also included beginning in 2011. The accompanying Housing Inventory Count (HIC) data is available as well from 2007 - 2017.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Coping with Stress

"Find out how to manage stress after a traumatic event by following CDC’s tips for self-care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information to help individuals cope with stress.
Strong emotions like fear, sadness, or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities. If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.
Sometimes stress can be good. It can help you develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations. Stress can be harmful, however, when it is prolonged or severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control..."

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

"Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.
Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion..."
        Winter safety

Fight the Flu!

"December 3-9 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, now’s the time! An annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect against flu.
This year, National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place December 3-9, 2017. NIVW highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.

Vaccination is the Best Way to Prevent Flu!

As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can still provide protection against flu. Most of the time, flu activity peaks between December and February in the United States, although activity can last as late as May. Flu activity is expected to increase in the coming weeks; the sooner you get vaccinated, the more likely you are to be protected against flu when activity picks up in your community. View CDC’s influenza summary map for a weekly update on flu activity in the United States..."

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients

"Learn how to prevent infections. Call your doctor right away if you get a fever or feel sick during your chemotherapy treatment.
Cancer patients who are treated with chemotherapy are more likely to get infections.Each year in the United States, 60,000 cancer patients are hospitalized because their low white blood cell count led to a serious infection. One in 14 of these patients dies.
The immune system helps your body protect itself from getting an infection. Cancer and chemotherapy can damage this system by reducing your number of infection-fighting white blood cells, a condition called neutropenia. An infection can lead to sepsis, the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection.
Find out from your doctor when your white blood cell count is likely to be lowest, since this is when you’re most at risk for infection. This usually occurs between 7 and 12 days after you finish each chemotherapy dose, and may last as long as one week..."

Cancer patient infections

Analysis of the Long-Term Costs of the Administration’s Goals for the Military

"This report describes the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the costs and budgetary consequences through 2027 of the current Administration’s goals for increasing the readiness, size, and capabilities of the military. The report draws from the fiscal year 2018 budget request submitted by the Department of Defense (DoD) and from other official documents, including Congressional testimony presented by DoD officials.

The 2018 budget request calls for $640 billion in funding for the department. Of that total, $575 billion would fund base-budget activities (such as day-to-day military and civilian operations and developing and procuring weapon systems) and $65 billion would fund overseas contingency operations (OCO, mostly for the conflicts in Afghanistan and in Iraq and Syria).1 The base-budget funding request is 3 percent more than the amount that would have been requested for 2018 under the Obama Administration’s final Future Years Defense Program, the 2017 FYDP, after adjusting for inflation..."
Military long-term costs

Monday, December 4, 2017

Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects

"When federal agencies and programs lack funding after the expiration of full-year or interim appropriations, the agencies and programs experience a funding gap. If funding does not resume in time to continue government operations, then, under the Antideficiency Act, an agency must cease operations, except in certain situations when law authorizes continued activity. The criteria that flow from the Antideficiency Act for determining which activities are affected are complex.

Failure of the President and Congress to reach agreement on full-year or interim funding measures occasionally has caused shutdowns of affected federal government activities. The longest such shutdown lasted 21 full days during FY1996, from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996. More recently, a funding gap commenced on October 1, 2013, the first day of FY2014, after funding for the previous fiscal year expired. Because funding did not resume on October 1, affected agencies began to cease operations and furlough personnel that day. A 16-full-day shutdown ensued, the first to occur in over 17 years..."
Federal government shutdown

Saturday, December 2, 2017

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

"Together, we can create inclusive communities where people with disabilities can be healthy and lead full, active lives. See how these 10 communities are doing it.
December 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners are working together to create opportunities for people with disabilities to join in activities that promote health within their communities.
In the United States and around the world, people with disabilities face negative stereotypes, difficulty communicating, and physical, social and other barriers that prevent them from learning, living, working, and playing in their communities. We can work together to make our communities places where all people can thrive.
In 2016, CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities provided funds to its partner, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), for a project entitled Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities. Through this project, 5 states and 10 local communities are working together to build healthy communities specifically designed to include people with disabilities. This project provides people with disabilities opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity, and community involvement. Here are some of the success stories..."
International Disabilities Day

Lead Hazards in Some Holiday Toys and Toy Jewelry

"Protect children from exposure to lead in metal and plastic toys, especially imported toys, antique toys, and toy jewelry.
Many children get toys and toy jewelry as gifts during the holiday season but some toys may contain lead hazards. Lead is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell.
Children may be exposed to lead by simply handling toys normally. It is normal for toddlers and infants to put toys, fingers and other objects in their mouths. They may also be exposed to lead this way.

Lead in Toys

Protect children from exposure to lead in metal and plastic toys, especially imported toys, antique toys, and toy jewelry.
Toys imported into the United States and antique toys and collectibles often contain lead. To reduce children’s risk for exposure, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues recalls of toys that could potentially expose children to lead. Learn more at the CDC Lead website..."
Lead and toys

Diabetes and Your Feet

"If you have diabetes, here’s a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every day—even if they feel fine—and see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that won’t heal.
There’s a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications.
Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet..."
Diabetes and feet