New Policy: "UNESCO will make its digital publications available to millions of people around the world free-of-charge with an open license. Following a decision by the Organization’s Executive Board in April, UNESCO has become the first member of the United Nations to adopt such an Open Access policy for its publications. The new policy means that anyone will be able to download, translate, adapt, distribute and re-share UNESCO publications and data without paying."
A State-by-State Snapshot of Poverty Among Seniors: Findings From Analysis of the Supplemental Poverty Measure. May 20, 2013 | Zachary Levinson, Anthony Damico, Juliette Cubanski and Patricia Neuman
U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Report of Investigation Concerning the Improper Disclosure of U.S. Department of Justice Information to a Member of the Media, May 2013
- Prescription Drugs - Comparison of DOD and VA Direct Purchase Prices, GAO-13-358, Apr 19, 2013: "When GAO compared prices paid by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a sample of 83 drugs purchased in the first calendar quarter of 2012, DOD's average unit price for the entire sample was 31.8 percent ($0.11 per unit) higher than VA's average price, and DOD's average unit price for the subset of 40 generic drugs was 66.6 percent ($0.04 per unit) higher than VA's average price. However, VA's average unit price for the subset of 43 brand-name drugs was 136.9 percent ($1.01 per unit) higher than DOD's average price. These results were consistent with each agency obtaining better prices on the type of drugs that made up the majority of its utilization: generic drugs accounted for 83 percent of VA's utilization of the sample drugs and brand-name drugs accounted for 54 percent of DOD's utilization of the sample drugs. DOD officials told GAO that in certain circumstances they are able to obtain competitive prices for brand-name drugs--even below the prices for generic equivalents--and therefore will often preferentially purchase brand-name drugs.
- DOD Business Systems Modernization - Further Actions Needed to Address Challenges and Improve Accountability, GAO-13-557, May 17, 2013: "The Department of Defense (DOD) continues efforts to establish a business enterprise architecture (a modernization blueprint) and transition plan and modernize its business systems and processes, in compliance with key provisions of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 and amendments. Nonetheless, long-standing challenges remain."
"It has been nearly a half century since President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty, setting in motion development of America’s modern safety net. Back in the 1960s, tackling poverty “in place” meant focusing resources in the inner city and in isolated rural areas. The suburbs were home to middle- and upper-class families—affluent commuters and homeowners who did not want to raise kids in the city. But the America of 2012 is a very different place. Poverty is no longer just an urban or rural problem but increasingly a suburban one as well. In Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube take on the new reality of metropolitan poverty and opportunity in America. For decades, suburbs added poor residents at a faster pace than cities, so that suburbia is now home to more poor residents than central cities, composing over a third of the nation’s total poor population. Unfortunately, the antipoverty infrastructure built over the past several decades does not fit this rapidly changing geography. The solution no longer fits the problem. Kneebone and Berube explain the source and impact of these important developments; moreover, they present innovative ideas on addressing them."
- "The United Kingdom is the largest producer of oil and the second-largest producer of natural gas in the European Union. Following years of exports of both fuels, the UK became a net importer of natural gas and crude oil in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
- Although aggressive targets for renewable energy are in place, oil remains important to the UK energy balance, with oil contributing 38 percent of total energy consumption. Recent increases in tax rates for the oil and gas sector, coupled with technical issues, have contributed to sharp declines in UK oil production. Higher tax rates have made the UK fields less competitive, which were already strained by high operating and decommissioning costs.
- Although a number of new fields are expected to come online in 2013, UK production will continue to decline as new production will not be sufficient to offset the declines.
- Once a major exporter of oil, the UK exports have dropped in tandem with decreasing domestic production."
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: "On a typical work day Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took 1,509 individuals into custody, according to the latest available ICE data from November and December 2012. If activity continues at this pace, ICE will detain around 400,000 individuals during the current fiscal year. Seven out of every ten individuals were originally detained in states along the southwest border with Mexico. Three states head the list: Texas (37% of detainees), Arizona (17% of detainees) and California (15% of detainees). Florida and Georgia were the two non-border states with the most individuals detained by ICE. Six additional states -- New York, Louisiana, Virginia, Illinois, Washington and Colorado -- had the next highest levels of enforcement activity. In these states in a typical week, between 100 and 200 individuals were picked up and detained by ICE. For more details, including specific locations within each state, go to the report."
"ArchiveGrid is a collection of nearly two million archival material descriptions, including MARC records from WorldCat and finding aids harvested from the web. It's supported by OCLC Research as the basis for our experimentation and testing in text mining, data analysis, and discovery system applications and interfaces. Archival collections held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives are represented in ArchiveGrid. ArchiveGrid provides access to detailed archival collection descriptions, making information available about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and other archival materials. It also provides contact information for the institutions where the collections are kept."
International Comparisons of Litigation Costs: Europe, the United States and Canada by David L. McKnight and Paul J. Hinton, May 2013
"This report by CBO presents an analysis of the proposals contained in the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2014. The analysis is based on CBO’s economic projections and estimating assumptions and models, rather than the Administration’s, and incorporates estimates by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) for the President’s tax proposals. In conjunction with analyzing the President’s budget, CBO has updated its baseline budget projections, which were previously issued in February 2013. Unlike its estimates of the President’s budget, CBO’s baseline projections largely reflect the assumption that current tax and spending laws will remain unchanged, so as to provide a benchmark against which potential legislation can be measured. Under that assumption, CBO estimates that the deficit would total $642 billion in 2013 and that the cumulative deficit over the 2014–2023 period would amount to $6.3 trillion. The President’s budget request specifies spending and revenue policies for the 2014–2023 period and includes initiatives that would have budgetary effects in fiscal year 2013 as well. According to CBO’s and JCT’s estimates, enactment of the President’s proposals would, relative to CBO’s baseline, boost deficits between 2013 and 2015 but reduce them by increasing amounts from 2016 through 2023."
Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence, May 14, 2013: "Despite public health efforts over the past several decades to encourage people in the United States to consume less sodium, adults still consume an average of 3,400 mg/day, well above the current federal guideline of 2,300 mg or less daily. Evidence has shown that reducing sodium intake reduces blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Some recent research, however, suggests that sodium intakes that are low may also increase health risks – particularly in certain groups. The CDC asked the IOM to examine the designs, methodologies, and conclusions in this latest body of research on dietary sodium intake and health outcomes in the general U.S. population and among individuals with hypertension; pre-hypertension; those 51 years of age and older; African Americans; and those with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and congestive heart failure. The IOM committee also was asked to comment on the implications of this new evidence for population-based strategies to gradually reduce sodium intake and to identify gaps in data and research and suggest ways to address them."
Via LLRX - Negotiating Justice: The New Constitutional Spectrum of Plea Bargaining - Ken Strutin focuses on the impact of the Supreme Court's decisions in Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, and the upcoming appeal in Burt v. Titlow in regard to placing plea bargaining front and center on the national stage. As a result, they have divided practitioners and scholars into two camps: (1) those who consider the rulings to be a new statement in the law of plea bargaining and right to effective assistance of counsel; and (2) those who believe they are only a restatement of established principles. These cases have generated interest in the centrality and regulation of plea bargaining, the ethics and effectiveness of defense counsel as negotiator, the oversight of prosecutors regarding charging decisions, sentence recommendations and pre-trial discovery, and the scope of federal habeas corpus review and remedies. Ken's article is a comprehensive annotated guide to high court opinions, scholarship and commentary regarding the themes addressed by the Supreme Court in Lafler and Frye as well as their implications for the administration of criminal justice.
WSJ: "Yahoo has agreed to pay $1.1 billion in cash for the company, one of the people said. Tumblr would continue to operate largely as an independent business, the people said...Tumblr, founded in 2007, fast built a following by making it easy for people to post blogs and photos, follow other people on Tumblr and receive updates via a feed. The website's simple design has lowered the bar for online publishing and effectively merged blogging with social media."
Via LLRX - Voice Dream e-reading app: Stellar for text to speech - and promising as a general reader - David H. Rothman reviews the Voice Dream Reader app for iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. At $10 it is more expensive than the average app, but David's deep dive has resulted in a recommendation that there is enough value to justify the cost.