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The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is the single point of contact for all inquiries about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

We read every letter, fax, or e-mail we receive, and we will convey your comments to CIA officials outside OPA as appropriate. However, with limited staff and resources, we simply cannot respond to all who write to us.

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The United States and its partners continue to face a growing number of global threats and challenges. The CIA’s mission includes collecting and analyzing information about high priority national security issues such as international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber attacks, international organized crime and narcotics trafficking, regional conflicts, counterintelligence threats, and the effects of environmental and natural disasters.

These challenges are international in scope and are priorities for the Central Intelligence Agency. If you have information about these or other national security challenges, please provide it through our secure online form. The information you provide will be protected and confidential. The CIA is particularly interested in information about imminent or planned terrorist attacks. In cases where an imminent threat exists, immediately contact your local law enforcement agencies and provide them with the threat information.

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East Southeast Asia :: INDONESIA
Page last updated on June 07, 2018
The World Factbook
East Southeast Asia :: INDONESIA
Flag Description
two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; the colors derive from the banner of the Majapahit Empire of the 13th-15th centuries; red symbolizes courage, white represents purity similar to the flag of Monaco, which is shorter; also similar to the flag of Poland, which is white (top) and red
The World Factbook
East Southeast Asia :: INDONESIA
View 9 photos of INDONESIA
The World Factbook
East Southeast Asia :: INDONESIA
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This true-color image of some of the Indonesian islands is from mid-May 2002. Fire season was not fully underway in the region, and skies over the large island of Borneo (top) were partially cloud-covered, but not hazy with air pollution. The horizontally situated island of Java appears to be experiencing some haze at its western end, and a few scattered fires (red dots) are apparent. Image courtesy of NASA.

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Rookie Freddy Peralta allowed two hits in six stellar innings, Jesus Aguilar hammered his 14th home run of the season and the Milwaukee Brewers cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Pirates reliever Steven Brault sang the national anthem at PNC Park before Pittsburgh's game against Milwaukee on Tuesday night. "It's something specifically my grandma always wanted me to do," he said, according to

15d Travis Sawchik

They're not all superstars, but these 10 players are doing more to put their teams over the top.

Trevor Williams pitched one-hit ball over seven innings and two Pittsburgh Pirates relievers closed out a two-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

16d Eddie Matz

Landing Kelvin Herrera, perhaps the best available reliever, at a very reasonable cost is a great move for the Nats -- and they aren't finished yet.

The same three teams are at the top, but which leads the way, and how high did the resurgent Dodgers and Diamondbacks climb?

16d Dan Szymborski

When healthy, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has shown that he is ready to rake at the plate. We project what he and other top prospects can contribute in the second half.

17d Buster Olney

With several headliners bowing out, the best Derby showdown would pit mighty mites such as Mookie Betts against supersized monster mashers.

Eugenio Suarez homered in the second straight game and Joey Votto celebrated his 1,500th major league contest by going 2 for 4 with two RBI as the Cincinnati Reds held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-6 on Sunday.

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Dental amalgam is a common material used to fill cavities. Fillings made with amalgam also are known as silver fillings. Over the years, concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury. Here are answers to some common questions about dental amalgam.

What is amalgam? Amalgam is a combination of metals that has been the most popular and effective filling material used in dentistry for the last 150 years. Although it sometimes is called "silver amalgam," amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper. Small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium also may be used.

Tooth-colored materials now can be used to restore teeth. Therefore, amalgam is used less often than in the past. However, the newer materials can't be used for all situations. Amalgam is less costly than other materials. It also holds up better over time, especially in teeth that undergo a lot of pressure and wear from chewing.

How safe is amalgam? Millions of people have amalgam fillings. Concern has been raised over the mercury in amalgam.

Many studies on the safety of amalgam fillings have been done. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated this research. It found no reason to limit the use of amalgam. The FDA concluded that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.

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Why is mercury used in amalgam? Mercury is used in amalgam because it helps make the filling material pliable. When it is mixed with an alloy powder, it creates a compound that is soft enough to mix and press into the tooth. But it also hardens quickly and can withstand the forces of biting and chewing.

Why the concern about mercury in amalgam? Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Mercury can exist as a liquid, as in many thermometers. When heated, it becomes a gas. It also can be combined with many other materials.

Everyone is exposed to mercury through air, drinking water, soil and food. Concerns have been raised, for instance, about the amount of mercury building up in fish as a result of pollution. Mercury enters the air from industries that burn mercury-containing fuels. Mercury from all sources can build up in body organs.

As with most substances, the degree of harm caused by mercury in the body is related to the amount. Very low levels don't cause any ill effects. At higher levels — for instance, when workers are exposed to mercury through their jobs — mercury can cause several symptoms. These include anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and fatigue.

The controversy over amalgam centers on how much mercury fillings released and how much the body absorbs. In the past, amalgam fillings were thought to be inert. This would mean that no mercury was released once the filling was placed in the tooth. In recent years, sophisticated tests have changed this view. Very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor can be released as the amalgam filling wears.

Research on this issue is complex and has arrived at various estimates of the actual amount of mercury released. However, several reviews of the research have concluded that any amount released from amalgam in the mouth is very low.

Studies have shown that the amount of mercury you are exposed to from your fillings is less than the amount that most people are exposed to in their daily environment or in the food they eat.

Do some people have reactions to amalgam? In rare cases, people have allergic reactions to the mercury in amalgam. The American Dental Association says that fewer than 100 cases of this type of allergy have ever been reported. People allergic to amalgam can receive other filling materials.

Should pregnant women be concerned about amalgam fillings? Research has not shown any health effects from amalgam fillings in pregnant women. However, mercury can cross the placenta. In general, dentists advise pregnant women to avoid unnecessary dental care. Women should not get amalgam fillings during pregnancy. Dentists can suggest other materials for any pregnant woman who needs a cavity filled.

Should anyone else consider alternatives to amalgam fillings? Concerns about mercury are related to the total amount of mercury absorbed from all sources. Therefore, some people who have high exposure to mercury may want to avoid amalgam. Examples may include people who are exposed to mercury through their jobs, or who eat large amounts of seafood.

If amalgam is safe, why does my dentist take precautions when handling it? Because dentists work with mercury almost every day, they must take safety precautions. Without protection, dentists can inhale mercury vapors. Over time, this exposure can produce symptoms of mercury toxicity.

To make dental amalgam, dentists mix liquid mercury with a powder containing silver, tin and other metals. Dentists buy special capsules that contain the powder and the liquid mercury, separated by a membrane. They use special machinery to puncture the membrane and mix the amalgam while it is still in the capsule. Once mixing is complete, the capsule is opened. By the time the amalgam is placed in your tooth, the mercury has formed a compound with the other metals. It is no longer toxic.

If you are getting an amalgam filling or having one removed, your dentist will use high-powered suction to remove any excess amalgam from your mouth. Dentists' offices have special disposal systems for any extra amalgam. Special traps in the sink drains and in the suction tubes prevent amalgam from entering the plumbing system.

Are there alternatives to amalgam? There is now a dental amalgam that contains indium as well as mercury. The indium helps retain the mercury so that less is released into the environment. There are also high-copper amalgams. They contain less mercury and more copper.

Dentists use other materials to restore teeth. These include composite resin, porcelain and gold. Amalgam is stronger than composite resin and requires less time in the dentist's chair. Composite resin is a tooth-colored material. Because it wears faster than amalgam, composite resin can't be used in every situation.

Should I visit an amalgam-free practice? It is not necessary to seek treatment at a practice that does not use mercury. However, if you have a mercury allergy, you may want to consider it. If you have any concerns about amalgam fillings, talk to your dentist about them. Ask your dentist whether alternatives to amalgam would work for you.

Should I have my amalgam fillings removed? You should replace amalgam fillings only when they are worn, broken or when there is decay beneath the filling. There's no evidence that they can cause a problem.

Removing good amalgam fillings results in unnecessary loss of healthy parts of the tooth and can release more mercury. If you are concerned about amalgam, discuss your options with your dentist.


2002- 2018 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Lithium disilicate is a ceramic material used in dental restorations. Learn more about its uses and how to care for your restorations, here.
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What is a dental inlay and in what situations would your dentist recommend one? Find out more about dental inlays and if they're going to be right for you.



Fillings help restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal function, and can prevent further decay. Your dentist will consider a number of factors when choosing which type of filling material is best for you. These factors include the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost.

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Local anesthesia – at the beginning of your filling procedure, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth.

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The claim

“It’s important to note that black men commit nearly half of all murders in this country, which is astounding when you take into consideration the fact that they only make up 12-13 per cent of the population.”

“James”, 26 November 2014

There were angry protests across America this week after a grand jury decided a white police officer should not stand trial for the killing of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

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at the statistics on killings by law enforcement officials. Though imperfect, the official figures suggest blacks are disproportionately likely to die at the hands of police.

Several people have left comments pointing out that this is not necessarily surprising or unfair, since blacks are also disproportionately likely to be involved in violent crime in the US, thereby putting themselves in the firing line.

One reader, “James”, wrote: “It’s important to note that black men commit nearly half of all murders in this country, which is astounding when you take into consideration the fact that they only make up 12-13 per cent of the population.

“So, given this fact, does it make sense that black men are disproportionately involved in shootings with the police? Your graph is appropriately proportionate, when you take into consideration the role that the black population plays in, not just murder, but crime in general.”

“Sean” said: “If one group is more likely to be involved in that then they are more likely to be killed by the police – so they have nothing to complain about if that is the case.”

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, black offenders committed 52 per cent of homicides recorded in the data between 1980 and 2008. Only 45 per cent of the offenders were white. Homicide is a broader category than “murder” but let’s not split hairs.

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