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Good to Know…Week of October 17, 2011


FOOD SUPPLY
U.S. Food Supply Threatened: Foreign Insects, Diseases got into U.S. Post 9/11
Dozens of foreign insects and plant diseases slipped undetected into the United States in the years after 9/11, when authorities were so focused on preventing another attack that they overlooked a pest explosion that threatened the quality of the nation’s food supply.

To read this article, go to: MSNBC.com

HOUSING
A New Kind of Public Housing in Indianapolis
Markina Sanders feels at home in 16 Park, the newest complex of affordable apartments in Indianapolis, which officially opened Thursday with environmentally friendly features and an upbeat design that shatter the old stereotypes of public housing.

To read this article, go to: IndyStar.com

WELFARE
States Adding Drug Test as Hurdle for Welfare
As more Americans turn to government programs for refuge from a merciless economy, a growing number are encountering a new price of admission to the social safety net: a urine sample.

To read this article, go to: NYTimes.com

IMMIGRATION
Federal Court Blocks Parts of Alabama Immigration Law
For the time being, schools won’t be required to check the residency status of students. But some other provisions are allowed to stand.

To read this article, go to: LATimes.com


HEALTH CARE

Obama Pulls Plug on Part of Health Overhaul Law
The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president’s signature health overhaul law–a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency.

To read this article, go to: CBSNews.com

Some States Seek Flexibility to Push Health Care Overhaul Further
As far as health-reform boosters go, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is among the most stalwart.

To read this article, go to: WashingtonPost.com

Should States Lead Medicaid-Medicare Cost-Cutting Effort?
The 2010 federal health law calls on states to find better ways to coordinate care for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid–two separate programs that together account for more than $730 billion in federal and state spending. The aim is to iron out inefficiencies and gaps between the two programs that drive up costs and result in preventable hospitalizations and lower-quality care.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

The Five Biggest Ideas on the Future of Health Care Design
Every year, the biggest ideas in health care are presented at the Mayo Clinic’s Transform conference in Rochester, Minnesota. Many cutting-edge ideas were presented, along with some spirited debate on the hot topics of delivering care and the role of technology.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

UNITED NATIONS
Divided House Panel Approves Bill to Slash U.S. Contributions to United Nations
A deeply divided House panel on Thursday approved a Republican bill that would slash U.S. contributions to the United Nations, rejecting Democratic complaints that the measure would end American involvement in the world peacekeeping body and deliver a devastating financial blow.

To read this article, go to: WashingtonPost.com

New Polling Data Shows Americans Overwhelmingly Support Engagement at the UN
The bottom line is that Americans support the United Nations more than a certain cadre in Congress might think they do. And Americans certainly reject radical legislation that would effectively undermine America’s ability to get things done at the United Nations.

To read this article, go to: UNDispatch.com

TECHNOLOGY
FBI to Launch Nationwide Facial Recognition Service
The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

Video, a New Tool for the Police, Poses New Legal Issues, Too
The Oakland Police Department is one of hundreds of law enforcement agencies that are trying out the body-mounted video cameras, using them to document arrests, traffic stops and even more significant encounters, like officer-involved shootings.

To read this article, go to: NYTimes.com

The Federal Reserve Plans to Monitor Facebook, Twitter, Google News
The New York Federal Reserve Bank is embarking on an ambitious social media monitoring project. Starting this December, the Fed will be monitoring Facebook, Twitter, and the broader web to gauge public response to economic policy. Civil libertarians and anti-big government activists are upset, but should they be?

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

California OKs Donations Via Text
California became the first state Thursday to allow people to make political campaign contributions via text messages.

To read this article, go to: Politico.com

YouTube Goes Political
YouTube just launched a politics page that will track campaign ads, parodies, “gotcha” moments and speeches related to the 2012 elections.

To read this article, go to: RollCall.com

USAJobs 3.0 Launches Amid Hopes of Greater Integration
USAJobs 3.0, the latest version of the governmentwide hiring website, launched today amid expectations that it would make it easier for agencies to search for the ideal applicant and make it more appealing for applicants to apply for government jobs.

To read this article, go to: FederalNewsRadio.com


WAGES AND JOBS

State Minimum Wage Rates to Go Up With Inflation in 2012
Increases in the minimum wage often involve protracted political battles, but not so for 10 states that will increase their rates in 2012. That’s because these states tie annual increases in their minimums to increases in the cost of living.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

Obama Fast Tracks Infrastructure Projects Through Review Process
The Obama Administration announced on Tuesday the selection of 14 infrastructure projects nationwide that will be sped through the environmental review and permitting process as a means of creating jobs.

To read this article, go to: Governing.com

INTERESTING…
Why Education Without Creativity Isn’t Enough
To compete long term, we need more brainstorming, not memorization; more individuality, not standardization.

To read this article, go to: FastCompany.com

Gallup Poll: 35% Oppose Death Penalty
More than one-third of Americans now oppose the death penalty–the highest level in nearly 40 years– according to a Gallup Poll out Thursday.

To read this article, go to: USATODAY.com

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