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Country Analysis Brief: Egypt

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Egypt
Source: Energy Information Administration

Analysis – Energy Sector Highlights

  • Egypt is the largest non-OPEC oil producer in Africa and the second-largest dry natural gas producer on the continent. The country also serves as a major transit route for oil shipped from the Persian Gulf to Europe and to the United States.
  • Egypt is the largest oil and natural gas consumer in Africa, accounting for about 20% of petroleum and other liquids consumption and 40% of dry natural gas consumption in Africa in 2013. Energy subsidies have contributed to rising energy demand and a high budget deficit.
  • One of Egypt’s challenges is to satisfy increasing oil demand amid falling production. Total oil consumption grew by an annual average of 3% over the past 10 years. Egypt’s oil consumption currently outpaces its oil production.

Approaches for Controlling Illicit Tobacco Trade — Nine Countries and the European Union

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Approaches for Controlling Illicit Tobacco Trade — Nine Countries and the European Union
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

An estimated 11.6% of the world cigarette market is illicit, representing more than 650 billion cigarettes a year and $40.5 billion in lost revenue (1). Illicit tobacco trade refers to any practice related to distributing, selling, or buying tobacco products that is prohibited by law, including tax evasion (sale of tobacco products without payment of applicable taxes), counterfeiting, disguising the origin of products, and smuggling (2). Illicit trade undermines tobacco prevention and control initiatives by increasing the accessibility and affordability of tobacco products, and reduces government tax revenue streams (2). The World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, signed by 54 countries, provides tools for addressing illicit trade through a package of regulatory and governing principles (2). As of May 2015, only eight countries had ratified or acceded to the illicit trade protocol, with an additional 32 needed for it to become international law (i.e., legally binding) (3). Data from multiple international sources were analyzed to evaluate the 10 most commonly used approaches for addressing illicit trade and to summarize differences in implementation across select countries and the European Union (EU). Although the WHO illicit trade protocol defines shared global standards for addressing illicit trade, countries are guided by their own legal and enforcement frameworks, leading to a diversity of approaches employed across countries. Continued adoption of the methods outlined in the WHO illicit trade protocol might improve the global capacity to reduce illicit trade in tobacco products.

See also: Use of Tobacco Tax Stamps to Prevent and Reduce Illicit Tobacco Trade — United States, 2014

Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects
Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer use complementary health approaches. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, 65 percent of respondents who had ever been diagnosed with cancer had used complementary approaches. Those who had been diagnosed with cancer were more likely than others to have used complementary approaches for general wellness, immune enhancement, and pain management.

A substantial amount of evidence suggests that some complementary health approaches, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and yoga may help to manage some cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment. For other complementary approaches (e.g., natural products), the evidence is more limited. This issue of the digest provides information on the evidence base on complementary and integrative health approaches for cancer-related symptoms and treatment side effects.

See also: 6 Things You Need To Know About Cancer and Complementary Health Approaches

USFA: Operational Lessons Learned in Disaster Response

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Operational Lessons Learned in Disaster Response (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administrtation

While after action reviews produce valuable lessons, lessons alone are not the end of the story. In fact, lessons learned should rightly be the beginning of a new chapter in a fire department’s operational behaviors. Lessons without a corresponding change in operational behavior are not lessons learned.

This report identifies gaps and needs in first responder training and resources and presents solutions that serve to better prepare local-level fire services for all-hazard events and to interact with federal resources. The disasters studied were weather-related events that required responding firefighters to assume duties for which they were unprepared or for situations they never anticipated.

FDA regulation to help ensure judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals

June 3, 2015 Comments off

FDA regulation to help ensure judicious use of antibiotics in food-producing animals
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule, an important piece of the agency’s overall strategy to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals. This strategy will bring the use of these drugs under veterinary supervision so that they are used only when necessary for assuring animal health. The VFD final rule outlines the process for authorizing use of VFD drugs (animal drugs intended for use in or on animal feed that require the supervision of a licensed veterinarian) and provides veterinarians in all states with a framework for authorizing the use of medically important antimicrobials in feed when needed for specific animal health purposes.

2014 IRS Research Bulletin

June 3, 2015 Comments off

2014 IRS Research Bulletin
Source: Internal Revenue Service
From email:

The 2014 IRS Research Bulletin features selected papers from the IRS-TPC Research Conference, held at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, on June 19, 2014. The conference highlighted research on tax compliance and administration, and facilitated dialogue among IRS researchers, tax experts from other countries, academic researchers, Federal agencies, and private sector experts.

GAO — Broadband: Intended Outcomes and Effectiveness of Efforts to Address Adoption Barriers Are Unclear

June 2, 2015 Comments off

Broadband: Intended Outcomes and Effectiveness of Efforts to Address Adoption Barriers Are Unclear
Source: Government Accountability Office

Home broadband adoption can provide a number of social and economic benefits, according to literature from academic, government, and other research sources and interviews GAO held with researchers, consumer and industry organizations, and government officials. For example, broadband provides access to employment opportunities by providing the means to search and apply for jobs and participate in online job training. It also provides access to a number of government benefits, serves as a conduit for civic participation, and provides a means to connect family members, among other benefits.

Affordability, lack of perceived relevance, and lack of computer skills are the principal barriers to broadband adoption identified by literature and stakeholders GAO interviewed. Efforts to address these barriers include projects to increase broadband adoption that were funded by grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) and outreach and other efforts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and NTIA. GAO identified three key approaches used to address adoption barriers:

  • Discounts on computer equipment and broadband subscriptions.
  • Outreach efforts to promote broadband availability and benefits.
  • Training to help people develop skills in using computers and broadband.
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