Hot Docs: Iran Attack Worries, Economic Woes and Crime, Flu Vaccinations, and More

Today's selection of timely reports.


Can military strikes destroy Iran's gas centrifuge program? Probably not: A report from the Institute for Science and International Security criticizes the calls for a military response to Iran's nuclear program. The group warns that a "surgical strike" would not be feasible or effective and calls upon policymakers to continue with a diplomatic approach.

2008 Economic Downturn and Federal Inaction Impact on Crime: A survey of mayors and police chiefs from 124 cities finds that 42 percent of respondents blame the current economic downturn for an increase in crime in their communities. The report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors also says that 29 percent point to foreclosed and vacant properties as a particular cause of trouble.

Fannie Mae Reports Second Quarter 2008 Results: Fannie Mae announces its second-quarter results, showing a record loss of $2.3 billion. The company attributes the drop to "challenging conditions in the housing and mortgage markets" and anticipates that "significant" losses will continue into 2009.

Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2008: A committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces its updated recommendations about flu vaccinations. The group advises yearly vaccinations for all children older than 6 months, with particular emphasis on those 6 months to 4 years old, who have a higher risk of developing complications from the flu.

NOAA: 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook Update: NOAA issues its updated hurricane outlook for the remainder of the 2008 season. Based on the number of storms thus far, the group predicts an 85 percent likelihood of an above-average hurricane season through the end of November and estimates that nine to 13 more named storms will form this year.

Opinions on Cell Phone Use on Airplanes, Congestion, and Telecommuting—from the 2006 and 2007 Omnibus Household Survey: The Bureau of Transportation Statistics polls Americans about selected transportation issues. Respondents are split on the question of cell use on airplanes. Assuming there is no safety issue, about 38 percent favor allowing it, while 46 percent dislike the idea. Other questions in the survey touch on daily commuting times and the prevalence of telecommuting.

Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2007: The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis releases this look at personal income growth in metropolitan areas across the country. Nationwide, income grew by 6.2 percent, which is a slowdown from the year before. The regions showing the most growth are those with a robust oil or gas industry and those continuing to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Hardest hit are the Great Lakes region and parts of Florida.