Archive for April, 2009

5 Cases of Swine Flu Confirmed in New Jersey

This press release says it all. You can read about it from philly.com For those who are interested, you might like to peruse the New Jersey Statewide Pandemic Influenza Plan.

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President Obama’s 100 Days Speech

You can both read his speech and view the speech here. Analyses and commentaries are provided by CNNThe New York Times(featuring five historians commenting on previous administrations’ 100 days), the BBC, Time, The Atlantic, and the Brookings Institution .

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Free Online Pandemic Book Collection

Thanks to the National Academies Press, the Pandemic Influenza Special Collection of ten books is available online. Including such works as “The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready? Workshop Summary,” all these works can be read in HTML format. When you go to the list of books, you will see a link  – “Buy this single book” –  under each title. Simply click on that link and you will be taken to another page featuring the book in question, like this. You’ll notice there is a red tab in the upper left quadrant which states: Read This Book Online, Free!. Click there and the HTML version will be accessible. Additional related titles may be read here and here.

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Best Graduate Schools – US News & World Report

The 2009 rankings for a diverse number of graduate programs have been released by US News & World Report. Basic information is supplied about each program. The major fields are subdivided into specialities; i.e., the rankings for chemistry are broken down to include organic chemistry programs  or inorganic chemistry programs, among others. Here’s an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education on this. Another ranking service,  based  on data from the National Science Foundation, the National Research Council, and the National Center for Education Statistics is available from PhDs.org.

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Swine Flu

The news of late has been full of reports concerning the reappearance of the swine flu: the BBC, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal,  and Reuters are good places to review current events. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Orgnization also provide pertinent facts and information. The CDC also has a report on the swine flu outbreak in California and Texas. The full text of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s press briefing on the swine flu can be read here. A timeline for this latest outbreak may be perused. Tips for preventing the spread of swine flu are here, courtesy of the Associated Press. To read about New Jersey’s own swine flu outbreak in 1976, called A/New Jersey/76(Hsw1N1), please read this article.

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How Is New Jersey Spending Its Stimulus Monies?

Come to this site to see a detailed explanation of how New Jersey intends to spend its $17.4 billion in stimulus monies. All other states’ plans can also be accessed.

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New Jersey School Board and Budget Votes

While it is too early to call all races or budget votes, this NJ.com report does list a vast majority of all the results for most New Jersey towns. The results will be updated throughout the day.

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Lifting of Some Sanctions Against Cuba

With NJCU being the only four-year institution of higher education in New Jersey classified as an HSI(Hispanic Serving Institution), with New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez being the son of Cuban immigrants, and with Jersey City being in close proximity to two municipalities which have significant Cuban populations( 12% in Union City and 17% in West New York), President Obama’s relationship with the government of Cuba sparks great interest. The Jurist carries a great deal of background information on this topic, while USNews.com provides links to many other news publications discussing this easing of sanctions. The BBC has a good country profile on Cuba as does this Library of Congress site. A good place to find additional information on Cuba is the Latin American Network  Information Center (LANIC). These CRS reports should also be consulted:  Cuba: Issues for the 111th Congress and Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances. Working papers in the social sciences on Cuba can be retrieved from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) while current monographs can be found at the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions. This Brookings paper should also be consulted as well as this site from the Council on Foreign Relations.Those who wish to delve deeper into the past may consult the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) through 1960; succeeding volumes of the FRUS dealing with Cuba(the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis) are here.

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2009 Pulitzer Prizes Announced

The awards were announced this afternoon at 3PM. The New York Times garnered five Pulitzers. For other book awards, please look at this site as well as this site from bookwire. A previous blog entry will direct you to other resources as well.

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2009 Fortune 500 Released

Technically, this list is actually comprised of the top 1000 companies along with their financial information. As importantly, you can access the Fortune 500 back to 1955. You’ll find that the #1 company in 2009 -ExxonMobil- was #2 back in 1955,  and that the #6 company today- General Motors – was #1 in 1955. There is also a CEO list which can be subdivided for women CEOs. Additional features are also available.

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Justice Department Torture Memos Released

The Office of Legal Counsel, under pressure via a Freedom of Information Act request from the ACLU, has released four memos which discuss the legality of using torture by the CIA . The New York Times has extensive coverage on the subject of torture. Here is President Obama’s statement on this. 4-27 Update: The Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified document which provides an early overview of the use of torture by the CIA. There is also a hyperlinked Torture Timeline(an unsavory title, but nervertheless an accurate one) from the Foreign Policy site.

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Furlough Schedules for New Jersey Announced by Governor Corzine

Barring last minute appeals, the Governor’s office has released planned furlough schedules for May and June.

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AAUP Report on Economic Status of Higher Education

The 2008-09 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession has just been released replete with figures and tables. The popular state tables for specific institutions have been temporarily disabled due to high demand; however, we have found them for you. The most recent Condition of Education has a section on Faculty Salary, Benefits, and Total Compensation which might prove of interest.

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President Obama’s Economy Speech at Georgetown

Here is the transcript of the speech, called “A New Foundation”; the video can be viewed here. Here is what CNN has to say along with the Associated Press and the Washington Post.

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OECD Factbook

Want to know statistical information about population, migration, energy,  the environment, education, or income within the OECD? This is the place to look. Graphs and charts accompany each of the indicators, giving the reader informative insights into how the various member countries deal with each of the sectors examined. For example: what country expends the most on research and development as a percentage of its GDP?(Sweden at 3.6%, the U.S. at 2.68%); what country generates the most nuclear energy as a percentage of its total energy production?(France at 77%, the U.S. at 19.4%); and what countries are at the low and high ends of the obesity scale?(Korea stands at 3.5% of the poulation 15 or over, while the U.S. tops the list at 34.3%). The yearbooks back to 2005 are available from this site as well.

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International Labor Statistics

This Chartbook of International Labor Comparisons from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a snapshot of the workforce in the United States and selected countries. For example, chart 2.9 shows that, contrary to the workaholic portrayal of Americans, laborers in Italy, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea log more annual hours, while chart 3.1 shows that the hourly compensation costs for U.S. workers lag behind many of the countries in this survey. Section 5 examines “Indicators for Large Emerging Economies” – Brazil, Russia, India China(BRIC), Indonesia and South Africa. Information is current through 2006/2007. Other sources to consult include: Laborsta (developed by the International Labour Organization and covering over 200 countries and territories); Labourline (from the European Trade Union Institute); Labour Statistics (OECD);  Databook of International Labor Statistics 2009 (Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training); Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN); and Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific (UN).

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Lack of Internet Access in Cities

We are all used to hearing  the term “digital divide” applied to the disparities in Internet access between the rural areas of a country and its urban counterparts. What has not been fully addressed is the divide which exists within cities themselves. A new report, Wired Less: Disconnected in Urban America, highlights this problem. Obviously, race, age, and income feature prominently as to why certain neighborhoods within a city have little or no access to the Internet; which is why wired libraries play such a central role in providing a service many of us take for granted. Other disparate reports offer similar results: Vermont Computer Ownership and Internet Connectivity, Mexico’s Urban Areas Face the Digital Divide, Neighborhood Businesses Lack High-Speed Internet Access, and Big Divide Found in Internet Access.  This paper should also be consulted: Internet: Towards an Increasing  Urban Fragmentation?

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Preschool Obesity

This report (abstract here) reveals that 18.4% of all 4 year olds in this country are obese, with the following racial breakdowns: 31% of Native Americans, 22% of Hispanics, 21% of blacks, 21% of whites, and 13% of Asians. Information on this problem may be found at kidshealth.org, Obesity in Children (National Library of Medicine), and Childhood Obesity (Mayo Clinic). A very informative article, with many full-text references, should be consulted as well: Obesity Prevention in Child Care: A Review of U.S. State Regulations. Please consult the National Academies Press for many freely available monographs on this topic

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Yearbook of the United Nations

This annual publication offers a comprehensive look at the workings of the United Nations and its various components. From peacekeeping operations to environmental initiatives, the inner workings of the United Nations, as represented by its various reports and resolutions, are made available. The vast majority of UN resolutions are reprinted in full; the others are abstracted. Other UN documents are referenced by their UN document numbers and can be accessed by going to the Official Documents System of the United Nations, which offers full-text documents from 1993 to the present. Once here, simply inputting the document number will retrieve the item in question which will be available in any of the UN’s official languages. Intergovernmental organizations allied with the UN, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Toursim Organization,  are also highlighted. The entire run of the yearbook, from 1946 until 2005(as of this writing the most recent), is available.

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North Korea and Missiles

To say that the recent launching of a missile from North Korea ramped up the tensions in that part of the world would be an understatement judging by the reactions of many other countries. The U.S. Policy Regarding North Korea was issued on Saturday, April 4, the U.N.Security Council has met in an emergency session, Japan has issued its own statement, and other nations have issued statements over this missile launch. That the United States has been involved in Korea over the decades is manifestly made obvious by perusal of the Foreign Relations of the United States (notice that the earliest mentions of Korea are spelled “Corea”). Additional news reporting can be accessed from The New York Times, CNN, BBC, and the Guardian. A chronology of North Korea’s missile program is available coutesy of the AP. For additional information, please consult: Country Profile: North Korea (Library of Congress); Country Study: North Korea (Library of Congress); North Korea: Nuclear Standoff (PBS) North Korea (Council on Foreign Relations); North Korea (Brookings Institution); Hot Topics: North Korea (RAND Corporation); North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program (CRS);  North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States (CRS); North Korean Ballistic Missile Program, North Korea’s Military Threat: Pyongyang’s Conventional Forces, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Ballistic Missiles, and North Korean Foreign Relations in the Post-Cold War World (all from Strategic Studies Institute); Addressing the North Korea Nuclear Challenge (Stanford University); and  Dealing with North Korea: “Diplomatic Warfare” Ahead (Columbia University);

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