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Good to Know…September 12, 2011


ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Examining What it Means to Be American Ten Years after 9/11
In the post-9/11 era, Americans continue to wrestle with issues of national security, tolerance, religious freedom, and religious and ethnic pluralism–matters that lie at the heart of our national identity and cultural values.

To read this article, go to: Brookings.edu

The Best, Most Damning Reporting of the 9/11 Era
We’ve gathered the seminal stories of the years after Sept. 11, the ones that reveal the reality about the attackers and how our government changed in the post-9/11 era.

To read this article, go to: ProPublica.org

From Hyperpower to Declining Power
In the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks, America’s global image has followed a remarkable, if now familiar, trajectory. Once the fearsome colossus, many now see the financially-strapped U.S. as a great power in decline.

To read this article, go to: PewResearch.org

Infographic: Since 9/11, a Much Changed National Guard
When America went to war following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, it called on the soldiers and airmen of the National Guard in a big way. Before 2001, the state-based units were often viewed as “weekend warriors” that governors called out to respond to natural disasters.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

HOMELAND SECURITY
Reports Find Mismanagement of Homeland Security Grants
Since 2003, the federal Department of Homeland Security has funneled $34 billion to states to shore up their capabilities for responding to terrorism. But a number of recent investigations leading up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have detailed various ways that states have mismanaged the grants or used them to go on spending sprees that have not helped them with preparedness.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

PUBLIC WORKFORCE
Stop Bashing Government Workers
Two thousand and eleven has been one of the toughest years for public workers that I can remember. Every month until this past one, the private sector has added jobs, and every month the public sector has lost them.

To read this article, go to: WashingtonPost.com

It is Time to Honor Our Fallen Federal Civil Servants
Our civil servants who die in service to our country also deserve our respect, homage and profound gratitude. Institutionally, they do not receive it. No government-wide policy exists for honoring federal civil servants who die in the line of duty. As a result, each agency and often each component of larger agencies decide what if anything to do, if they even think about it.

To read this article, go to: PA TIMES Online

House Set to Consider Legislation Honoring Federal Workers
The legislation (H.R. 2061), introduced in June by Reps. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., and Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., would authorize heads of executive agencies to provide American flags for the funerals of civilian workers killed in the line of duty.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

Study: Younger Feds Happier at Work than Older Feds
Young people launching a career in the federal government may want to set their sights on the Veterans Affairs Department or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission because of their high satisfaction rate among new employees.

To read this article, go to: FederalTimes.com

Group Urges Debt Committee to Consider Rural Feds
Cuts to federal jobs could take a disproportionate toll on rural communities, says the non-profit Federally Employed Women, citing recent studies.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

Federal Hiring to Decline in Fiscal 2012, Group Says
New estimates from the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service show the government is likely to hire approximately 102,500 employees in fiscal 2012, a decline of more than 30,000 to 40,000 in annual hiring compared to fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2010.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

TECHNOLOGY
Secret Service Urges Senate Committee to Update Computer Fraud Laws
“The increasingly multi-national, multi-jurisdictional nature of cyber crime cases has increased the time and resources needed for successful investigation and adjudication,” said Pablo A. Martinez, deputy special agent in charge, Criminal Investigative Division of U.S. Secret Service, in testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

To read this article, go to: AOL Government

Effort to Update Computer Fraud Law Draws Warning from Justice
The Justice Department on Wednesday told lawmakers that inside attacks could go unpunished if they bow to the concerns of public interest groups and change anti-hacking laws to protect computer users who breach Web terms of service agreements.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

Study Warns U.S. Must Develop Cyber Intelligence
A new study warns that the U.S. must develop cyber intelligence as a new and better coordinated government discipline that can predict computer-related threats and deter them.

To read this article, go to: Associated Press

Issa Blasts Federal IT Management, Releases Business Systems Surveys
A Congressionally-requested survey of how agencies manage their business and accounting information technology systems reveals too much work is still being done manually and not enough data is being made public, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., charged Tuesday.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

D.C. Police Launch Online Incident Reporting System
The D.C. police department has instituted an online reporting system that allows the public to alert authorities to suspected terrorist activity.

To read this article, go to: WashingtonPost.com

Federal Surveyors Use Smartphone Apps to Review Missouri River Flood Damage
Now survey teams have a new tool–a smartphone application for Google’s Android operating system that automatically links photos, video and text reports on flood damage with Global Positioning System information and sends it back to Omaha headquarters instantaneously.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com


BUDGET CUTS

Families Feel Sharp Edge of State Budget Cuts
Stretched beyond their limits and searching for new corners of their budgets to find spending cuts, states are now trimming benefits for residents who are in grim financial shape themselves.

To read this article, go to: NYTimes.com

HEALTH CARE
Report: Six States Changing the Way Health Care is Governed
With Medicaid costs expected to double by the end of the decade, nearly every state has taken all allowable measures to cut costs, including greater use of managed care, changes in the way doctors and hospitals are paid and limits on drugs and services.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

Piercing the Veil, More Drug Companies Reveal Payments to Doctors
Eight pharmaceutical companies, including the nation’s three largest, doled out more than $220 million last year to promotional speakers for their products, according to a ProPublica analysis of company data.

To read this article, go to: ProPublica.org

EDUCATION
States Ask Colleges to Perform for Money
Speaking to higher education leaders from across his state last month, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon laid out a new goal for public colleges and universities: funding based on student performance.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

U.N. NEWS
U.N. Chief Urges World to Redouble Efforts on Climate Talks
“The facts are clear. Global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Millions of people are suffering today from climate impacts. Climate change is very real,” Ban said in a speech at Sydney University.

To read this article, go to: AlertNet

FOOD SUPPLY
Global Food Prices Stay High
Global food prices remained near record highs last month, with concern growing that a disappointing U.S. corn harvest may trigger further increases, particularly in the developing world.

To read this article, go to: WSJ.com

Tracking the Global Food Situation
The latest numbers suggest that the situation with the global food supply continues to be deeply worrisome.

To read this article, go to: NYTimes.com

INTERESTING…
A Non-Exhaustive Read on Fighting Decision Fatigue
Want to plan your day, your meetings, and your commute better? Factor in how your body and brain may make bad decisions after being worn down from making the right moves earlier in the day.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

Volunteering Will Save Your Career (Or Put You In A New One)
LinkedIn’s new “Volunteer Experience and Causes” feature, launching today, encourages users to tout their selfless deeds to land better jobs. And a survey of users of the social media service suggests employers prefer do-gooders.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

Could Donkey Ambulances Save Lives in Poor Countries?
Three-quarters of medical devices donated to poor countries are unsuitable. Experts gathered in London to find appropriate medical devices for the developing world.

To read this article, go to: Guardian.co.uk

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