Thursday, September 28, 2006

Supreme Court to hear Rocky Flats Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will use a 17-year-old case involving Colorado's Rocky Flats to clarify the ability of whistle-blowers to sue and collect from private contractors for the misuse of federal funds.

Read more:

Denver Post | Chicago Tribune | Seattle Times

To learn more about Rocky Flats, check out the Government Publications Library subject guide.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Declassified Government Documents

For all those readers of this blog here in Boulder, Leanne will be conducting a drop-in session on "Declassified Government Documents" this afternoon from 4-5 in E160 (the room to the right of the downstairs reference desk). She'll demonstrate some of the electronic resources available for finding declassified materials from the government. The focus will be on two databases, but will also provide a brief description of the FOIA process and show some free sources. The truth is out there. The handout for the class is available online.

Study on Higher Education

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings yesterday released a report from the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. "A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education" examines the higher education system from cost to effectiveness. The abilities of college graduates in prose and document literacy, according to a graph on page 13 (23 on the PDF), has actually fallen between 1992 and 2003. Secretary Spellings remarks discuss some of the improvements that she is recommending from increased financial aid to outcomes testing for college graduates. For a link to all the resources mentioned here along with a fact sheet and audio clips, check out the press release.

For more resources on education, check out the library's subject guide.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Declassified National Intelligence Estimate Document Released

From the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:

"This document is the declassified Key Judgments from the larger, classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States that was produced in April 2006. The NIE analyzes the nature of the threat that terrorist groups across the world will pose to US lives and interests, including the Homeland, during the next five years."

Junichiro Koizumi's Final Words as Japan's Prime Minister

Japan's parliament elected Shinzo Abe as its new Prime Minister Tuesday. At 52, he is Japan's youngest postwar prime minister and the first to be born after World War II.

The Japanese Prime Minister's website changed sometime this morning between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (Mountain time). It is now the website of Prime Minister Abe and his Cabinet; Prime Minister Koizumi is now listed in the archives section. The Koizumi Administration site includes a profile of the Prime Minister, a link to his speeches and statements, and a link to his Cabinet's E-mail Magazine.

Read about Prime Minister Koizumi's last interview and his Cabinet's last Email Magazine entry.

Monday, September 25, 2006

World Development Report

Each year the World Bank puts out a World Development Report focusing on a specific issue, this year's report is on youth. You can read the full report, look at graphs, and examine video and audio online. If you are interested in earlier World Development reports, check them out online, last year's report was on equity. Interested in learning more about youth and the World Bank? Check out the "You think! But do you know?" web site with links to resources for youth and teachers on issues and ways to get involved.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Missing Commerce Department & Census Bureau Laptops

The Department of Commerce has released information from its recent Department-wide reviews of missing, lost or stolen laptops and potential breaches of personal identity data. The Department continues its review and is not aware of any data being improperly accessed or used. The information gathered from the reviews indicates that the Census Bureau had the disproportionate share (almost 60 percent) of missing equipment and data. The reviews were in response to broad, government-wide Congressional and public inquiries.

Read the full press release from the Commerce Department.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Two FCC Media Studies Suppressed

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has asked the agency's inspector general to investigate why two draft reports on television and radio ownership never saw the light of day until now.

Martin sought the review after Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer questioned whether the agency suppressed the reports, dated 2003 and 2004, and if so, why.

Read more from Reuters and the Associated Press.

Available at the FCC's website:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Demystifying Government Publications

For all those readers of this blog here in Boulder, I will be conducting a drop-in session on "Demystifying Government Publications" this afternoon from 4-5 in E160 (the room to the right of the downstairs reference desk). I will look at finding materials in Chinook, on the library web site and a few of the databases that index this material, such as NTIS and LexisNexis. I will put a link to the handout for the class up after class this afternoon, but I hope to see some of you there.

Anti-Drug Ads on YouTube

This week, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) became the first U.S. government Cabinet agency to use YouTube to provide video content to Internet users worldwide. ONDCP has started posting videos of anti-drug advertising, national drug policy announcements, and other exclusive content on

To view ONDCP video content, visit:

For more information on drugs and drug use, visit the Government Publications Library's Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Use subject guide.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Non-Aligned Movement

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was established when the leaders of 25 Non-Aligned countries plus 3 observers countries attended the 1st Conference of Heads of State or Government of the NAM (NAM Summit) at Belgrade, Yugoslavia from 1-6 September 1961. The establishment of the NAM was very much the brainchild of Yugoslavian President Tito, Egyptian President Nasser and Indian Prime Minister Nehru and coupled with the consolidated support of Indonesian President Soekarno and Ghanaian President Nkrumah. In essence, the NAM was the product of the Cold War. It was established out of fear of nuclear holocaust perceived as the eventual outcome of the Cold War between the US-led Western bloc against the USSR-led Eastern bloc which dominated the mainstream of world politics from late 1940s until early 1990s.

The NAM has just wrapped up its 14th Summit Conference in Havana, Cuba. The summit, which was held from September 11th-16th, was, according to Raul Castro in his closing address, "an excellent summit."

For more information:

Website of the Non-Aligned Movement

14th Non-Aligned Movement Summit, Havana, Cuba

Check Chinook, the Libraries Catalog, for more titles about non-aligned countries and the Non-Aligned Movement.

People's effect on the Earth

The United Nations Environment Programme put out a book last year entitled "One Planet, Many People," which is available online and in several of the libraries on campus. This book contains a number of images showing the effect of mankind on several hotspots across the globe. I wanted to highlight the new Interactive Maps feature that allows you to view comparison images on various locations around the world from Lake Chad in Africa to Las Vegas here in the United States. For those of you without Google Earth installed (it is free), you can check out the images by date and location as well.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Border Crossing Deaths Have Doubled Since 1995

In 1998, U.S. Border Patrol implemented the Border Safety Initiative (BSI) in an effort to to reduce injuries and prevent deaths among migrants attempting to cross the border illegally. A recent Government Accountability Office report, analyzing data from the BSI, the National Center for Health Statistics, and state vital registries, shows that an increasing number of migrants die while crossing the southwest border. The analysis finds consistent trends in the numbers, locations, causes, and characteristics of deaths along the southwest border between 1985 and 2005. Between 1995 and 2005, the number of deaths increased and more than doubled.

The report, Illegal Immigration: Border-Crossing Deaths Have Doubled Since 1995; Border Patrol's Efforts to Prevent Deaths Have Not Been Fully Evaluated (GAO-06-770, August 15, 2006) is available online:

Abstract / Highlights (PDF) / Full Report (PDF)

For more information, check the Government Publication Library's subject guide for immigration.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Computers in Planning Class

This is a blog entry for the ENVD2052 class. Feel free to discuss issues or any other discussions from the class here in the blog. This blog is monitored by librarians, so feel free to ask questions of us as well as each other. The handout used in this class is available online.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Social Security

I suppose that in 70 years some of the pamphlets that come out now from the government will look old and interesting. But until then, why not check out some of the old public information materials from the Social Security Administration (SSA)? There are posters, comic books, and even some photographs. If you are more interested in the history of the SSA, check out the History page, with links to early speeches, legislative histories, and much more. Tomorrow is the 71st anniversary of the first meeting of the Social Security Board.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

Today is the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Since that date the government has spent time and money examining what lead up to the attacks and working to prevent them from happening again. When seaching Chinook, the library catalog, just for government publications on this topic there are 72 titles, including the 9/11 commission report. If you would like to see the commemorations going on in New York City today, there are links to video coverage.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

NASA's Launch Blog

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off this morning at 11:15 a.m. EDT. For 6 hours and 30 minutes, from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EDT, NASA's Virtual Launch Control Center Team posted messages and updates on the Mission STS-115 Launch Blog. Some messages are accompanied by video footage and there are a few bits of trivia throughout the blog postings as well.

To view moment by moment coverage of Mission STS-115's scrapped launch attempt, visit NASA's First Launch Attempt Blog.

Beginning about two hours before touchdown, the Mission STS-115 Landing Blog will go live. The mission is currently scheduled to last 11 days.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sudan Issues Ultimatum to African Union

On Monday, September 5th, the African Union (AU) was given one week to decide to either stay or get out of the Darfur region. The mandate of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) expires September 30th, and the Sudanese government says it will refuse an extension if the AU force joins UN peacekeeping forces.

UN Security Council Resolution 1706, adopted on August 31st, calls for a United Nations peacekeeping force of more than 20,000 troops and police officers to take over from the African Union force in Sudan.

For more information on Sudan, check out the Government Publications Library subject guide.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

President and National Security

In a lead up to the five-year anniversary on Monday of the September 11th attacks, the President has been conducting a series of speeches on national security. Yesterday, he admitted to the existence of secret prisons outside the United States run by the CIA (see the speech online). Up until that point the prisons were known of through the media, but never acknowledged by the White House. In that speech he discussed the creation of military commissions to try terrorism suspects, the previous version of which was struck down by the Supreme Court this summer (this opinion from this case Hamdan v. Rumsfield, et. al. is available online). To read more about what the President is discussing in regards to national security, check out his National Security web site. If you are interested in reading more about the bills before Congress on military commissions, check out the Washington Post article "Senate Terrorism Bill Meeting Dissent." For more on the War against Terrorism, check out the library's subject guide.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

UN sanctions, do they work?

As the UN Security Council discusses possible targeted sanctions against Iran, the governments of Switzerland, Germany and Sweden submitted a report from the Watson Institute for International Studies. This report, "Strengthening Targeted Sanctions Through Fair and Clear Procedures" provides an analysis of some of the current sanctions in place by the United Nations and also gives some recommendations for future sanctions. The governments submitted this report "as a contribution to the current deliberations on the follow-up to the outcome of the 2005 World Summit, and with the Security Council with a view to supporting the latter’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the instrument of targeted sanctions." Want to learn more about Iran? Check out the Iran country page.

Japan Announces New Male Heir

Japanese Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko have a new baby boy, born September 6th. Third in line of succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne, he is the first male heir to be born in more than forty years.

According to news reports, Japanese women currently give birth to an average of 1.25 babies in their lifetime, a record low for Japan.

See the Guide to Official Statistics in Japan for more population and vital statistics information.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Greenhouse gas emissions in California

The California Legislature has passed a bill capping greenhouse emissions in California and Governor Schwarzenegger has pledged to sign it later this week. This bill is the first of its kind to be passed in the United States. Want to learn more about the various climate change initiatives in California? Check out the California Climate Change Portal, which links to reports from agencies and research on the climate. Want to know more about different energy sources and how much the world uses currently? Check out the library's subject guide on Energy. Finally, if you want to read more about this bill and it's effect on a national level, check out the Washington Post's "California Tightens Rules on Emissions."