More than one in five parents believe they have little influence in preventing teens from using illicit substances
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
A new report indicates that more than one in five parents of teens aged 12 to 17 (22.3 percent) think what they say has little influence on whether or not their child uses illicit substances, tobacco, or alcohol. This report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also shows one in ten parents said they did not talk to their teens about the dangers of using tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs even though 67.6 percent of these parents who had not spoken to their children thought they would influence whether their child uses drugs if they spoke to them.
In fact national surveys of teens ages 12 to 17 show that teens who believe their parents would strongly disapprove of their substance use were less likely to use substances than other. For example, current marijuana use was less prevalent among youth who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their trying marijuana once or twice than among youth who did not perceive this level of disapproval (5.0 percent vs. 31.5 percent).
The Global Monitoring Report 2013: Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals examines rural-urban disparities in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how urbanization, if managed well, can contribute to the attainment of these goals. The report provides information about the differences in progress toward the MDGs across geographical areas and recognizes that urban populations are better off than their rural brethren. However, unfettered urbanization can cause migrants and the urban poor to end up in slums where attainment of the MDGs lags. GMR 2013 calls for an integrated strategy to better manage the planning-connecting-financing formula of urbanization. Notwithstanding the importance of urbanization in poverty reduction and MDG attainment, rural areas remain a huge challenge—one that underscores the importance of policies that can improve rural livelihoods. The rural-urban spectrum ranges from small towns to large cities. The general experience is that poverty is lowest in the largest cities and considerably higher in smaller towns. The MDGs reflect the basic needs of all citizens, and governments should aim to meet them fully in both urban and rural areas. However, resources are scarce, so priorities must be set and trade-offs made. The report argues that the sequencing of actions be tailored to local conditions when it comes to the degree of urbanization and rural-urban differences in MDG outcomes. The world has met four global MDG targets. New estimates confirm the 2012 reports that MDG 1.a—reducing the $1.25-a-day poverty rate (2005 purchasing power parity)—was reached in 2010, falling below half of its 1990 value. The world also met part of MDG 7.c—to halve the proportion of people without safe access to drinking water—in 2010. MDG 7.d—to improve significantly the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020—was also achieved. Finally, the first part of MDG 3.a—to eliminate gender disparity in primary education— was accomplished in 2010. Global progress on the full MDG 3.a (to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education) is close to being on track. Global Monitoring Report 2013 was prepared jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, with consultations and collaborations with regional development banks and other multilateral partners.
Source: Ernst & Young
Our survey of over 3,000 board members, managers and their teams delivers three clear messages:
Executives and their teams are under increased personal pressure to produce growth in extremely challenging conditions.
Unethical conduct — including fraud, bribery and corruption — in response to this pressure is not just a just a hypothetical risk. One in five respondents have seen financial manipulation occurring in their companies. Fifth-seven percent believe that bribery and corruption are widespread in their country.
Compliance programs work, but not well enough. Companies that do not keep asking the right questions — and demanding answers — are exposing themselves to significant risk.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Eight of the 15 fastest-growing large U.S. cities and towns for the year ending July 1, 2012 were in Texas, according to population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Lone Star State also stood out in terms of the size of population growth, with five of the 10 cities and towns that added the most people over the year.
The fastest-growing municipalities are spread across Texas, from the High Plains of West Texas to the Houston suburbs. San Marcos, along the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, had the highest rate of growth among all U.S. cities and towns with at least 50,000 people. Its population rose 4.9 percent between 2011 and 2012. Completing the top five nationwide were Midland and Cedar Park, both in Texas; South Jordan, Utah; and Clarksville, Tenn. No state other than Texas had more than one city on the list of the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns. However, all but one were in the South or West. (See Table 1 for complete list.)
The Texas cities that added the most people included Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. New York, the nation’s largest city, topped the list and was the only city among the top 15 outside the South or West. It added 67,058 people over the year. Three cities were in California: Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. (See Table 2 for complete list.)
New York continued to be the nation’s most populous city by a wide margin, with 8.3 million residents in 2012, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. The composition of the list of the 15 most populous cities has remained unchanged since last year; however, the list’s order has changed slightly. Between 2011 and 2012, Austin moved up from 13th to 11th in total population, supplanting Jacksonville, Fla., while Indianapolis moved down from 12th to 13th. Texas and California each had four cities on the list in both years. (See Table 3 for complete list.)
The estimates released today cover all local governmental units, including incorporated places (like cities and towns), minor civil divisions (such as townships) and consolidated cities (government units for which the functions of an incorporated place and its parent county have merged).
Source: Williams Institute
Research suggests that children of lesbian parents are satisfied with their current level of contact with their male donors and do not think of their donors as dads. The study sheds light on how children raised in lesbian, gay, and bisexual families are contributing to the redefinition and reconstruction of complex kinship arrangements. Participants in the study perceived their relationships with their male donors in one of three ways: as strictly donors and not members of their family; as extended family members, but not as parents; and as fathers. Participants ranged in age from 19-29, and while most were satisfied with the current level of contact with their male donors, several desired more information or contact with these men, and in some of these cases, had already begun to establish a connection with them.
Metro Areas with Highest Percentages of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children Are in States with Constitutional Bans on Marriage
Source: Williams Institute
The metro areas with the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children are in states that have a constitutional ban on marriage, according to a new infographic created by the Williams Institute.
“Research consistently shows that same-sex couples raise children all across the country,” said Williams Institute public policy research fellow, Angeliki Kastanis. “This analysis underscores the fact that recognition of LGBT families is a consequential policy question in every state.”
Mississippi has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children at 26 percent.
Source: GSA Today (Geological Society of America)
For centuries, natural philosophers, their scientific successors, and theologians alike sought to explain the physical and natural world. The now common cultural narrative of perpetual conflict between science and religion simplifies the arguments and struggles of the past and overlooks cross-pollination between those who embraced faith and reason as the keys to understanding earth history. When geologists unequivocally dismissed the idea of a global flood and recognized Earth’s antiquity, many conservative theologians acknowledged that there was more to the past than literally spelled out in Genesis, the opening chapter of the Bible. But some Christians—those we now call creationists—rejected this perspective and chose to see geology as a threat to their faith. In so doing, they abandoned faith in reason and cast off a long-standing theological tradition that rocks don’t lie.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Hepatitis C is a serious virus infection that over time can cause liver damage and even liver cancer. Early treatment can prevent this damage. Too many people with hepatitis C do not know they are infected, so they don’t get the medical care they need.
Once infected with the hepatitis C virus, nearly 8 in 10 people remain infected for life. A simple blood test, called a hepatitis C antibody test, can tell if you have ever been infected, but cannot tell whether you are still infected. Only a different follow-up blood test can determine if you are still infected. CDC data show only half of people with a positive hepatitis C antibody test had the follow-up test reported to the health department. The other half did not have a follow-up test reported, although some of them may have been tested. Without the follow-up test, a person will not know if they still have hepatitis C and cannot get the medical care they need.
Chart — United States Border Patrol — Total Illegal Alien Apprehensions By Fiscal Year (Oct. 1st through Sept. 30th)
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
New GAO Reports and Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Homeland Security: An Overall Strategy Is Needed to Strengthen Disease Surveillance in Livestock and Poultry. GAO-13-424, May 21.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654750.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/654743
2. Funding for 10 States’ Programs Supported by Four Environmental Protection Agency Categorical Grants. GAO-13-504R, May 6.
1. Immigration Enforcement: Preliminary Observations on DHS’s Overstay Enforcement Efforts, by Rebecca Gambler, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-13-602T, May 21.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654753.pdf
2. Telecommunications Networks: Addressing Potential Security Risks of Foreign-Manufactured Equipment, by Mark L. Goldstein, director, physical infrastructure issues, before the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-13-652T, May 21.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654764.pdf
3. Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability Office, by Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, before the Subcommittee on Legislative Branch, Senate Committee on Appropriations. GAO-13-617T, May 21.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654758.pdf
Childhood and adolescent melanoma is rare but has been increasing. To gain insight into possible reasons underlying this observation, we analyzed trends in melanoma incidence diagnosed between the ages of 0 and 19 years among US whites by gender, stage, age at diagnosis, and primary site. We also investigated incidence trends by UV-B exposure levels.
By using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program data (1973–2009), we calculated age-adjusted incidence rates (IRs), annual percent changes, and 95% confidence intervals for each category of interest. Incidence trends were also evaluated by using joinpoint and local regression models. SEER registries were categorized with respect to low or high UV-B radiation exposure.
From 1973 through 2009, 1230 children of white race were diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Overall, pediatric melanoma increased by an average of 2% per year (95% confidence interval, 1.4%–2.7%). Girls, 15- to 19-year-olds, and individuals with low UV-B exposure had significantly higher IRs than boys, younger children, and those living in SEER registries categorized as high UV-B. Over the study period, boys experienced increased IRs for melanoma on the face and trunk, and females on the lower limbs and hip. The only decreased incidence trend we observed was among 15- to 19-year-olds in the high UV-B exposure group from 1985 through 2009. Local regression curves indicated similar patterns.
These results may help elucidate possible risk factors for adolescent melanoma, but additional individual-level studies will be necessary to determine the reasons for increasing incidence trends.
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
Mental disorders among children are described as "serious deviations from expected cognitive, social, and emotional development" (US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Mental health: A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, and National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health; 1999). These disorders are an important public health issue in the United States because of their prevalence, early onset, and impact on the child, family, and community, with an estimated total annual cost of $247 billion. A total of 13%–20% of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year, and surveillance during 1994–2011 has shown the prevalence of these conditions to be increasing. Suicide, which can result from the interaction of mental disorders and other factors, was the second leading cause of death among children aged 12–17 years in 2010. Surveillance efforts are critical for documenting the impact of mental disorders and for informing policy, prevention, and resource allocation. This report summarizes information about ongoing federal surveillance systems that can provide estimates of the prevalence of mental disorders and indicators of mental health among children living in the United States, presents estimates of childhood mental disorders and indicators from these systems during 2005–2011, explains limitations, and identifies gaps in information while presenting strategies to bridge those gaps.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (6.8%) was the most prevalent parent-reported current diagnosis among children aged 3–17 years, followed by behavioral or conduct problems (3.5%), anxiety (3.0%), depression (2.1%), autism spectrum disorders (1.1%), and Tourette syndrome (0.2% among children aged 6–17 years). An estimated 4.7% of adolescents aged 12–17 years reported an illicit drug use disorder in the past year, 4.2% had an alcohol abuse disorder in the past year, and 2.8% had cigarette dependence in the past month. The overall suicide rate for persons aged 10–19 years was 4.5 suicides per 100,000 persons in 2010. Approximately 8% of adolescents aged 12–17 years reported ≥14 mentally unhealthy days in the past month.
Future surveillance of mental disorders among children should include standard case definitions of mental disorders to ensure comparability and reliability of estimates across surveillance systems, better document the prevalence of mental disorders among preschool-age children, and include additional conditions such as specific anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. Standard surveillance case definitions are needed to reliably categorize and count mental disorders among surveillance systems, which will provide a more complete picture of the prevalence of mental disorders among children. More comprehensive surveillance is needed to develop a public health approach that will both help prevent mental disorders and promote mental health among children.
Faded Colors: From the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) to the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)
Source: Naval Postgraduate Center
After the events of 9/11, Homeland Security Presidential Directive – 3 (HSPD – 3) established the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) to provide a comprehensive and effective means to di sseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist acts to federal, state, and local authorities and the American people. Under HSAS, threat levels were raised or lowered 16 times, but never below Threat Level Yellow (Elevated Condition). HSAS should ha ve been straightforward and easy to understand. What evolved was confusion over alerts, lack of specific threat information, concerns over costs to institute and maintain protective measures, and questions regarding what was expected of citizens. Governmen t agencies, the private sector, and the general population became immune with the threat level remaining at or above Yellow.
HSAS was woefully misunderstood not just by the general population, but also within federal, state, and local governments. Ridicul ed by comedians, HSAS gradually began to disappear, to the point where it was necessary to search to find the current threat level, whereas it had once been prominently posted. The purpose of this thesis is to review HSAS and the associated problems, look at comparable international systems, and present an alternative recommendation to provide timely and informative warnings of terrorist threats, and restore credibility by merging HSAS with the already existing DoD force protection conditions.