Archive for October, 2014

Economic Crisis – October 2014 Update

The Price of Crisis: Eminent Domain, Local Governments, and the Value of Underwater Mortgages (Albany Law School); The Middle-Class Squeeze (Center for American Progress); Systemically Important or “Too Big to Fail” Financial Institutions (CRS); The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Youth Labour Markets Institute for the Study of Labor); Personal Ethics & the U.S. Financial Collapse of 2007-08 (American University);  Treasury Significantly Loosened Executive Pay Limits Resulting in Excessive Pay for Top 25 Employees at GM and Ally (GMAC)  When the Companies Were Not Repaying TARP in Full and Taxpayers Were Suffering Billions of Dollars in Losses (SIGTARP); and Beige Book (Federal Reserve).

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National Security Reports – October 2014 Update

The following CRS reports deal with ISIS: U.S. Military Action Against the Islamic State: Answers to Frequently Asked Legal Questions;  Considerations for Possible Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State;The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy; The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq: A Possible Threat to Jordan?, CRS Insights;  Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response; American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement; Considerations for Possible Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State, CRS Insights; Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief); A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief; and U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State.

The Nuclear Matters Handbook (DoD);  Tactical Cyber: How to Move Forward (Small Wars Journal); Taking Steps to Improve Federal Information Security (OMB); Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office 2014 Annual Report to Congress; The Islamic State through the Regional Lens (European Council on Foreign Relations); 2014 Deloitte-NASCIO Cybersecurity Study; Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa (CRS); Police Weapons in Selected Jurisdictions (Law Library of Congress); Inspection of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, High Threat Programs Directorate (Dept of State OIG); Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws (CRS); and Cybercrime Continues to Grow (HP).

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EdTech Reports – October 2014

Horizon Report Europe 2014 Schools Edition ; the Student Privacy Pledge has been signed by some providers, including Microsoft, of technology to the K-12 sector; On Using Technology for Classroom Collaboration is a “spotlight” issue from Education Week reprinting selected articles from that title; and what is a relevant measuring metric for young children is explored in Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education from the RAND Corporation.

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Telecommunication Statistics for 2014

From the International Telecommunications Union – The World in 2014: ICT Facts and Figures – shows that almost 3 billion people use the Internet among other facts. In addition, there is country ranking of fixed broadband speeds; the United States isn’t near the top. Also consult Deloitte’s 2014 Outlook on Telecommunications; OECD’s Broadband and Telecom Statistics; Internet World Stats; and the World Bank’s Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2014 (every country is profiled). A previous blog entry gives access to many more indicators.

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How the Red Cross Failed Us During Superstorm Sandy

From this disturbing report The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster from ProPublica:

“When the storm hit, officials in Bergen County, New Jersey activated their Emergency Operations Center. In keeping with a carefully established plan, representatives from government agencies and charities gather there to coordinate, share information and respond to crises 24 hours a day.

A seat was reserved for the Red Cross, the most important nongovernment responder. But the Red Cross’ seat remained empty for the full duration of the Sandy response.

“They were the only major player not there,” says police lieutenant Matthew Tiedemann, who helped run Bergen County’s response to Sandy. County officials had no easy way to get in touch with Red Cross leadership to tell them about areas of need on the ground, he says.”

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2014 Salaries of Governors

This interactive infographic from the Council of State Governments gives the 2014 salaries for each governor along with some interesting facts.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Newspapers

Chronicling America is a site hosted by the Library of Congress where you will find over 6 million newspaper pages from 1836-1933; hundreds of titles are represented. Searching through that many pages can be a daunting experience, but the good folks at LC have come up with a handy search tool – Topics in Chronicling America. Here you will find an alphabetical listing of historical events/people found in the newspapers; each heading provides the same outline: historical timeline, suggested search strategies, and sample articles. For example, Female Spies in World War One starts out with a chronology covering 1915-1922, followed up with suggestions for more searches (gives names of female spies), and ends up with a sampling of newspaper articles covering the aforementioned time period. This is a great way to explore this wealth of primary source documents.

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How Has Life Changed Since 1820?

Did you know that if you were born in France during the 1820s, your life expectancy was only 38.9 years? If you were born in the United States in the 1880s, your life expectancy was only 39.4 years? And in that same time period (1880s), your life expectancy in southeast Asia was 25.5 years? These statistics and much more data is available in this OECD book – How Was Life: Global Well-being since 1820. This publication covers 25 countries and 8 regions; information ranges from real wages since 1820 to gender inequality since 1820. Each topic is presented as a separate chapter including description of concepts, historical sources, data quality, and main highlights along with relevant charts and supporting bibliography. The work can be read online as a whole or by chapter.

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Bill To Allow NJ Schools to Use Virtual Instruction in Case of Bad Weather

This bill would allow school districts that have pre-planned instructional platforms in place to substitute virtual days when schools have been closed for three or more days due to weather or other emergency conditions. This bill is in response to the NJ Department of Education’s disallowing the Pascack Valley Regional High School  District‘s substitution of virtual instruction when severe winter weather had closed down the school. Reportage on this innovative answer for snow days can be found at: The New York Times, NJ Spotlight, CNN, NJTV (with video), and Education Week.

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Photos of NJCU 2014 Convocation

For those who were not there, the Jersey Journal has posted 50+ photos of the event.

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MMWR Reports on Ebola

Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report “… is the agency’s [CDC] primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative, accurate, objective, and useful public health information and recommendations.” (About MMWR) It has been reporting on Ebola since 1989; you can read them here.

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Lack of Women in Leadership Positions in Fortune 1000 Companies

If the proportion of women in Congress is pitifully low, then the absence of women CEOs is pathetic. According to Catalyst, women hold only a little over 5% of CEO positions. The list is arranged by the size of the company with a link to company-supplied biographies. These readings can inform the conversation: Women CEOs: Why So Few (HBR); Lack of female CEOs: Not just problem for women (CNN);Why Most Women Will Never Become CEO (Forbes); Advancing Women in Business Leadership (George Washington University); Women on Boards (Lord Davies Commission, UK); and The Glass Precipice (The Economist).

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Women in Legislatures Around the World

Did you know that out of 189 countries surveyed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the United States is tied at 85 with San Marino for the percentage of women that serve in Congress? We are beaten by Burkina Faso, Moldova, and Slovakia, among others. You can also find the data arranged by region and world statistics as well as by parliamentary assemblies; additional material back to 1997 is also online. More in-depth treatment of both current and past Congresswomen can be found at Women in Congress from the House of Representatives; statistical information can be found in this 2014 CRS report – Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion.

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NJCU Is Part of the 12th ACE Internationalization Cohort

NJCU and twelve other institutions are part of a two-year program examining the internationalization activities/efforts on each campus. It is called the ACE Internationalization Laboratory; additional information is available courtesy of PR Newswire.

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“Fast Facts” from National Center for Education Statistics

NCES publishes a plethora of data on a wide variety of educational topics. Fast Facts allows you immediate access to information without having to plow through seemingly endless reports and documents. The data are arranged around broad categories such as assessments and postsecondary education and provide a current overview, usually in a graphic form and supplement the information with direct links to relevant tables and figures. For example, the entry on bullying presents a bar graph on selected bullying problems taken from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013 and then lists various links to specific additional resources.  For an easy way to find germane statistics and links to other sources, this is a place to come to.

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CRS Reports on ISIS (Updated as New Reports Released)

We have compiled previous listings and augmented them with newer reports to present them in one entry. Here they are: U.S. Military Action Against the Islamic State: Answers to Frequently Asked Legal Questions;  Considerations for Possible Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State; The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy; The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq: A Possible Threat to Jordan?, CRS Insights;  Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response; American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement; Considerations for Possible Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State, CRS Insights; Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief); A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief; and U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State. We will update this listing as more reports become available. Update: A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Comparison of Current Proposals in Brief; The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy; Turkey-U.S. Cooperation Against the “Islamic State”: A Unique Dynamic? The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy; FY2015 Budget Requests to Counter Ebola and the Islamic State (IS); U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State; A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Issues and Current Proposals in Brief (February 2, 2015); European Security, Islamist Terrorism, and Returning Fighters (March 16, 2015); Islamic State Financing and U.S. Policy Approaches (April 10, 2015);  European Fighters in Syria and Iraq: Assessments, Responses, and Issues for the United States (April 27, 2015); Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State (August 4, 2015); Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S.Response (October 17, 2015); The “Islamic State” and U.S. Policy, November 18, 2015; The Islamic State — Frequently Asked Questions: Threats, Global Implications, and U.S. Policy Responses, November 25, 2015; The Islamic State and U.S. Policy (Updated, December 8, 2015); The Islamic State and U.S. Policy (Updated, February 9, 2016); See Additional U.S. Ground Troops to Counter the Islamic State? Five Questions (February 17, 2016).

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New Jersey Assembly Passes Seven Bills Aimed at Higher Education

Originally, a suite of twenty bills was being considered; seven were just voted out. They are: A668 – requiring colleges to present information on college costs and debt of graduating students; A2801 – stipulating that only 120 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree; A2802 – mandating a reverse transfer agreement in which up to thirty credits earned toward a bachelor’s degree can be used toward the completion of an associate’s degree; A2805 – establishing common course numbering system; A2807 – prohibiting an increase in fees and tuition for nine semesters after initial enrollment; A2814 –  revoking a for-profit’s license if it fails to graduate 75% of a class within six years of its starting; and A2815 – submitting an annual report on an institution’s debt.

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A Survey of Housing in the United States

The American Housing Survey 2013 is the latest biennial report from the Census Bureau. It “…provides current national-level information on a wide range of housing subjects. Topics unique to this survey include characteristics and physical condition of the nation’s housing units, indicators of housing and neighborhood quality, and home improvement activities. Specific examples include the presence of appliances, respondents’ rating of their homes on a scale of 1 to 10, and the average cost of kitchen and bathroom remodeling.

Topics new to the American Housing Survey this year are disaster planning and emergency preparedness, public transportation, household involvement in neighborhood and community activities, and the prevalence of “doubled-up” households, such as those with an adult child living at home. Specific examples include having an adequate food or water supply in case of emergency, key amenities accessible via public transportation and neighbors willing to help one another.” (press release)

The data presented are NOT found in the decennial census and offer a great deal of information into both the housing stock in this country and its neighborhoods. It also gives us a peak into living arrangements that were brought about by the Great Recession.

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Open Access Law Reviews

The Law Review Commons aggregates more than 200 law reviews with over 150,000 freely accessible articles, some dating back to 1852. Titles such as the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, the Duke Law Journal, and the Notre Dame Law Review can be found here. You can search by subsets; i.e.,search only those journals that specialize in constitutional law or international law, as well as free-text searching. Search results are highlighted in such a way that “running over” the title will produce an abstract. This “commons” is a smaller portion of a much larger dataset called Digital Commons Network giving access to over one million free, full text scholarly articles and related works. Both sites are well worth a look.

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Life Expectancy/Causes of Death in the United States, 2012

We are living longer, and females still outlive their male counterparts. These kinds of statistics are found in the Mortality in the United States, 2012

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