Monday, September 30, 2013

Affordable Health Care Act Video

Confused by all the hype surrounding the Affordable Health Care Act? The Kaiser Family Foundation has created a 6.53 min. video to explain the basics of the act in a clear and entertaining way. See the English version The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act or the Spanish version Los YouToons Se Preparan Para Obamacare: Cambios En Los Seguros Médicos Que Llegarán Con La Ley De La Salud a Bajo Precio.

For additional information, see Fondren's Understanding the Affordable Health Care Act LibGuide.

Both the guide and the video link to the official site for Affordable Health Care Act information,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has released a report detailing the threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human health. Yearly in the United States an estimated 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria while about 23,0000 people die as a result of these infections. The infections can be contracted anywhere, but most deaths occur in hospitals and nursing homes. The report divides the resistant microorganisms into three levels: urgent, serious, and concerning. In the urgent category are Clostridium difficile (life-threatening diarrhea),carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)(bloodstream infection), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea).

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report

The bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission created to find the domestic and global causes of the financial crisis five years ago has released its final report. The commission "reviewed millions of pages of documents, interviewed more than 700 witnesses, and held 19 days of public hearings in New York, Washington, D.C. and communities across the country that were hard hit by the financial crisis." A website - - will host a wealth of additional material "including documents and emails, video of the Commission’s public hearings, testimony, and supporting research." In the future more materials will be made available through the National Archives and Records Administration.

UN Report on Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

The United Nations has released its report on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The 38 page report including pictures and charts concluded:
27. On the basis of the evidence obtained during our investigation of the Ghouta incident, the conclusion is that on 21 August 2013, chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale.

28. In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent Sarin were used in Ein Tarma, Moadamiyah and Zamalka in the Ghouta area of Damascus.

The facts supporting the conclusion follow in the full report.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

698 New Laws for Texas

According to the Legislative Reference Library of Texas, 698 bills that passed during the regular session of the 83rd Legislature took effect on September 1, 2013 as did sections of bills passed in 2011. Access the list of new laws from The page includes links to the legislation.

The Aug. 31, 2013 Forth Worth Star Telegram also features a selection of these laws which include:
  • prohibiting teens under 18 from using tanning beds
  • prohibiting the use of drones to photograph people on private property without their consent
  • prohibiting motorists from using cellphones on school property (even outside a school zone) unless their vehicle is stopped or they are using a hands-free device
  • requiring drivers to move over a lane or slow to 20 mph below the posted speed for Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks on the side of the road in addition to the previously listed first responder or law enforcement vehicles.