Lung cancer is often known as the “smoker’s disease” even though one in five victims of lung cancer have never smoked a cigarette. The annual death toll among this group now approaches that of breast cancer, about 40,000 a year.
Non-smoking women are twice as likely to get lung cancer as non-smoking men, and non-smoking women are more than twice as likely to die from lung cancer than ovarian cancer.
Even with these high numbers, spending on research for lung cancer is far below that of breast cancer. As a result, experts are calling for a shift in public thinking on lung cancer.
Many experts believe that the stigma around smoking that accompanies lung cancer — that its victims somehow “brought it on themselves” — has dampened public sympathy for patients and hindered funding for research.
Still, even with limited funding, scientists are slowly uncovering clues to the origins of lung cancer in non-smokers. Early research seems to indicate that lung cancer tumors could be somehow related to estrogen levels in women.
The FBI identified a new phishing scam online that targets your bank accounts. The scam is called “Gameover.” Once the virus is on your computer, it can steal all of your user names and passwords before you realize what has happened.
How It Works
The Gameover scam will email you, pretending to be from the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), the Federal Reserve Bank, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The email will say that there has been a problem with your bank account or a recent transaction, and will include a link to help fix the problem. The link will send you to a phony site, where the Gameover malware is automatically installed on your computer and starts stealing your bank account information.
If you think you’ve been victimized by this type of scheme, contact your financial institution to report it, and file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Can my mortgage lender just add on flood insurance without proof?
Under federal law, you must purchase flood insurance if you will receive federal money to purchase or build a home in a high-risk flood area. A mortgage lender can also require flood insurance if you live in a moderate-to-low risk area.
Find Out If You Qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
The earned income tax credit is a federal tax credit specifically for low-income workers. It was approved by Congress to help offset the burden of social security taxes and to provide an incentive for people to work.
According to the IRS, the credit provides an important financial boost to the economy since many families use it to pay living expenses and to save for future needs. Last year, four out of five people eligible for the credit filed for it.
Millions of workers will qualify for EITC for the first time this year, according to the IRS. Workers move into and out of eligibility based on changes in their marital, parental and financial status.
The amount of the credit is based on several factors, including the amount of an individual’s earnings from wages, self-employment or farming.
Last year, over 26 million workers received nearly $59 billion in EITC.
Is a colorless, odorless, deadly gas seeping into your home? Unless you test your home for radon, you’ll never know.
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and overall it is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It’s responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, and about one in 15 homes have elevated radon levels.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can be found all over the United States, and it can get into any type of building. Take action, and test your home. Test kits are inexpensive and widely available at hardware and home improvement stores. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.
Choosing a health insurance plan can be complicated. We have information about group policies, plans, and how to appeal insurance claims. You can also find health insurance plan changes based on the Affordable Care Act.
Have you ever received your mobile phone bill and discovered that the amount due was much higher than you were expecting?
Well, you are not alone.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “bill shock” is relatively common. The amount of extra costs can range from mild (less than $50 extra dollars) to the extreme (in the $1,000s).
Regardless of the level, the bill shock can hurt your wallet.
Bill shock can result from several circumstances. For many years, cell phone owners’ main concern was not to exceed the minutes of talking and the number of text messages. However, smartphones require dataplans to access the internet and download apps, and you may be limited to the amount of data you can download each month.
New smartphone users may have higher than normal bills as they get familiar with the costs of having a data plan. Changes in your usage patterns, talking more frequently, sending more text messages, or roaming (use a signal from another phone carrier), could all contribute to a higher than expected bill.
Right now, mobile phone providers are not required to take action to prevent bill shock, but you can reduce the likelihood of “bill shock” with these guidelines:
Make sure you understand the advertising and marketing claims about the monthly cost of your plan. No matter the advertised price, you will also be charged taxes and fees.
Be wary of promises from sales clerks and customer service representatives. Get all promises of free phone lines, dataplans, or other features in writing.
Sign up for your service provider’s account monitoring features, such as text message warnings or online monitoring site.
Make sure your phone is set to inform you that you are roaming.
Consider a prepaid or an unlimited data, voice, and text plan to prevent overages.
While apps are easy to buy, those charges can add up quickly, and end up on your phone bill. Password protect the ability to download apps, especially if you have children that are on your phone plans.
The Alan Lomax Fellows Program, established for a period of five years, supports scholarly research that contributes significantly to a greater understanding of the work of Lomax and the cultural traditions he documented over the course of a vigorous and highly productive seventy-year career. It provides an opportunity, for a period of up to 8 months, for concentrated use of materials from the Lomax Collection and other collections of the Library of Congress, through full-time residency at the Library. The program supports research projects in the disciplines of anthropology, ethnomusicology, ethnography, ethno-history, dance, folklore and folklife, history, literature, linguistics, and movement analysis, with particular emphasis on the traditional music, dance, and narrative of the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean, as well as methodologies for their documentation and analysis. We encourage interdisciplinary projects that combine disciplines in novel and productive ways.
Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was one of the greatest documenters of traditional culture during the twentieth century. The Lomax Collection is a major collection of ethnographic field audio recordings, motion pictures, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence and other materials that represent Alan Lomax’s lifetime of work to document and analyze traditional music, dance, storytelling and other expressive genres that arise from cultural groups in many parts of the world, particularly the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean.
Ask President Obama Questions about the State of the Union Address
President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Immediately following the speech, Whitehouse.gov will host a live panel of White House advisors to answer your questions. You can participate by going to Whitehouse.gov/SOTU.
There will be more chances to ask the White House your questions on Wednesdsay, Thursday, and Friday during special Twitter Office Hours. Policy experts will be availabe to discuss issues that matter to you and your community.
And on Monday, January 30, you can join President Obama in a Google+ Hangout, a live multi-person video chat. To participate in the hangout, go to the White House YouTube channel and submit your questions by January 28. A few people will be selected to participate in the chat live to ask President Obama their questions.
To learn more about how you can participate and to find the full schedule of State of the Union events and Twitter office hour topics, visit WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently charged a man with trying to sell $500 billion worth of fake securities on the online social network LinkedIn. It’s a reminder that crime goes where the people go, and the people are on social media websites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
The SEC has advice to help you stay safe from online investment fraudsters.
On the Internet, it’s easy for criminals to make scams that look real. Always use caution when considering an investment you found online.
Be suspicious of unsolicited offers. If you didn’t ask for it, and you don’t know the source, there’s a good chance of bad intentions.
The old rule about too good to be true still stands, even in new media. Compare the promised returns with the returns on well-known stock indexes. More signs of foul play include guaranteed returns and pressure to buy right now.
Tighten your privacy settings. Fraudsters can use your private information to steal from you or scam you. “Don’t you remember me from college?”
Is a financial service provider trying to Friend you? Feel free to say no. Friending someone can mean you let them see everything about you.
When you’re on social media, never communicate your bank account and social security numbers. Always use firm-sponsored communication for brokers and advisers, like the telephone, letters, firm email, and the firm website.
Affinity fraud is what the SEC calls it when the fraudster prays on what you have in common, like ethnicity or religion. Even if you know the person, check out everything first. They might have been fooled first.
Another trick is manipulating the market with “Pump and Dump.” They’ll talk up a stock that doesn’t deserve it, then sell after everyone buys and the price is high.
More books have been written about the Civil War than any other event in American history. 2011-2015 marks the 150th commemoration of the Civil War.
While there were several causes for the Civil War, the 80 year debate over slavery between Northern and Southern states became the most important. The Civil War began with a successful Confederate assault on Fort Sumter in 1861. Most of the war was fought in the South, although the largest single battle was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Credit counseling agencies can help you manage credit and get out of debt. They also offer assistance with negotiating better terms with your creditors and guidance on budgeting your money and meeting your debt obligations.
January is National Mentoring Month, a chance to celebrate the contributions of those who offer support, guidance, and assistance for the next generation.
Through mentoring, an adult works with a younger person who may be going through a difficult period or facing new challenges. In particular, when parents are either unavailable or unable to provide responsible guidance for their children, mentors can play a critical role.
We understand the financial aid process can often be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never gone through it before. To help you navigate the process, we are very excited to announce the launch of the @FAFSA Twitter account from Federal Student Aid.
The @FAFSA Twitter account will help support an ongoing conversation around student financial aid, and to kick this off, Martha Kanter, the Under Secretary of Education, will host “FAFSA Office Hours” where she will solicit and answer students’ FAFSA questions live on Twitter using the #askFAFSA hashtag. The event will take place on January 26th at 4:30pm (EST) and will be the first in a monthly series of Q&A sessions that Federal Student Aid will host on Twitter.
Here’s how it works:
Follow @FAFSA on Twitter for FAFSA information and financial aid tips.
Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter using the hashtag #askFAFSA
Follow the Q&A live through the @FAFSA Twitter account
Can’t make the live session? A summary of the live chat including the full Q&A will be posted on the ED.gov blog following the event.
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s the form to fill out in order to apply for student grants, work-study, and loans. To receive federal student aid for the 2012-13 school year, you must complete the 2012-13 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.
Some financial aid is first-come, first-served, so we encourage all potential and returning students to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Remember, four-year colleges and universities aren’t the only schools that accept the FAFSA Community colleges, nursing schools, online schools, and career schools do too. More than 6,000 schools accept FAFSA!
We hope you will find this to be a great resource as you pursue your education, so let us know how we can help. Remember, you can complete the FAFSA online today at www.fafsa.gov.
Is there a travel advisory for Ecuador at this time
No, there is not a specific travel alert or caution for Ecuador at this time. Be aware that there is a worldwide caution to alert U.S. citizens of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence when traveling abroad.
You can find the listing of international travel warnings and alerts on the U.S. Department of State website. You can also find country specific information that details entry and exit procedures for visiting a country, potential threats to your safety and security, contact information for embassies, and more.
Blood donation helps save lives every day, and January is National Blood Donor Month. Even though an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent do so annually.
Every day in the U.S., approximately 44,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident/trauma victims.
Donating blood is an easy and simple process, and while not everyone is qualified to donate, it is easy to find out whether or not you can. There are blood donation centers across the United States, and many schools, offices and other organizations hold blood drives to help drive blood donations.
By Susan B. Carbon, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women
The Office on Violence Against Women proudly joins the President in recognizing January as National Stalking Awareness Month.
Stalking is described by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics as, “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear for his or her safety or the safety of someone close such as a family member.”
Nearly one in six women has experienced stalking so severe that she felt very fearful or believed that she or someone close to her would be harmed or killed.
One in 19 men has experienced the same level of stalking.
Women were particularly likely to be stalked by a current or former intimate partner.
Stalking behaviors can include seemingly innocuous acts, such as making unwanted phone calls; sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or emails; or leaving unwanted items, presents or flowers, but when taken together, and when feared by the victim, may constitute a criminal act.
Other forms of stalking include following or spying on the victim; showing up without a legitimate reason at places where the victim is likely to be; waiting at places for the victim; and posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
Newer technologies, such as text messaging, emails, and electronic monitoring devices (including cameras and GPS), are also used by perpetrators to stalk victims.
Stalking is also frequently a precursor to much more serious, and sometimes lethal, acts. In fact, 76 percent of female intimate partner murder victims had been stalked by their partners prior to their death.
Stalking is a crime across the country. Despite the fact that millions are victimized each year, stalking remains a widely misunderstood and hidden crime and tends to go unreported.
The Office on Violence Against Women is taking steps to ensure that we create secure and supportive communities for stalking survivors. In 2000, we launched a partnership with the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime. The Stalking Resource Center provides training and technical assistance to enhance responses to stalking and is committed to collecting the best knowledge about stalking, including researching policy and tracking program success.
During this month and throughout the year ahead, we are committed to spreading the word that stalking will not be tolerated. For more information, please visit the Stalking Awareness Month website at: http://stalkingawarenessmonth.org.
For more information about the Office on Violence Against Women, visit ovw.usdoj.gov. We remind all those in need of assistance, or other concerned friends and individuals, to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Assistance Program provides children and people with low incomes access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education. They offer a number of programs, such as:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also called food stamps,
school meal programs, and
Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides assistance to pregnant and postpartum women, and their children.