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OPM -Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care

United States Office of Personnel Management – Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care – April, 2015.

“As part of his effort to ensure that all employees have paid time off available for childbirth, adoption and foster care, the President has directed all Federal agencies, to the extent permitted by law, to ensure that discretionary benefits are used to the maximum extent practicable, including advancement of sick or annual leave, donated annual leave under the voluntary leave transfer and leave bank programs, and leave without pay. Further, to the extent permitted by law, the President has directed all Federal agencies to (1) offer 240 hours of advanced sick leave, at the request of an employee and in appropriate circumstances, in connection with the birth or adoption of a child or for other sick leave eligible uses, and (2) offer the maximum amount of advanced annual leave, at the request of an employee, for foster care placement in their home or bonding with a healthy newborn or newly adopted child. Agencies have been directed to provide this advanced leave for purposes specified in law and regulation irrespective of existing leave balances. All Federal agencies must update their advanced sick and annual leave policies to be in compliance with the President’s memorandum by no later than Monday, June 15, 2015.”

Study on Pollution: Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter

Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure – Elissa H. Wilker, Sarah R. Preis, Alexa S. Beiser, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au, Itai Kloog, Wenyuan Li, Joel Schwartz, Petros Koutrakis, Charles DeCarli, Sudha Seshadri, and Murray A. Mittleman. Stroke, 2015 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.008348 “Background and Purpose—Long-term exposure toContinue Reading

The Chernobyl Story – 29th Anniversary

Andrew Leatherbarrow: “At precisely 01:23:40 on the morning of April 26th, 1986, a control room operator named Alexander Akimov made his fateful decision to press the Emergency Shutdown button at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power station. The reactor exploded, annihilating its containment building and sending a lethal cloud of radioactive particles across Europe. This unprecedented accidentContinue Reading

World Intellectual Property Day 2015 Events

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – “Every April 26 we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity… WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member states.Continue Reading

What Is the Internet of Things?

What Is the Internet of Things?, Mike Loukides and Jon Bruner, O’Reilly Media:  “The Internet of Things (IoT) is a blending of software and hardware, introducing intelligence and connectedness to objects and adding physical endpoints to software. Radical changes in the hardware development process have made the IoT—and its vast possibility—accessible to anyone. This report providesContinue Reading

Consumer Reports – How safe is your shrimp?

Consumer Reports – “Each of us eats, on average, almost 4 pounds per year, making shrimp more popular than tuna. Once considered a special-occasion treat, shrimp has become so ubiquitous that we now expect to find it on the menu whether we’re at a pricey restaurant or a fast-food joint. In fact, Americans eat aboutContinue Reading

The Systematic Component of Monetary Policy in SVARs

Arias, Jonas and Caldara, Dario and Rubio-Ramirez, Juan Francisco, The Systematic Component of Monetary Policy in SVARs: An Agnostic Identification Procedure (March 13, 2015). FRB International Finance Discussion Paper No. 1131. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2598244 “Following Leeper, Sims, and Zha (1996), we identify monetary policy shocks in SVARs by restricting the systematic component ofContinue Reading

Food security in the twenty-first century

Ian Goldin: “There are currently about 7 billion people on Earth and by the middle of this century the number will most likely be between 9 and 10 billion. A greater proportion of these people will in real terms be wealthier than they are today and will demand a varied diet requiring greater resources inContinue Reading

Why understanding the legally disruptive nature of climate change matters

Liz Fisher, Eloise Scotford, and Emily Barritt:  “It is now commonly recognized by governments that climate change is an issue that must be addressed. The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris in December 2015 is the most high profile example of this, butContinue Reading

International Atomic Energy Agency Lacks Transparency, Observers and Researchers Say

“The nuclear inspection agency that is central to the current Iran negotiations is flunking international transparency norms, according to a report posted today by Freedominfo.org and the National Security Archive’s Nuclear Vault. Key documents about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proceedings, found in various national archives and private collections but closed at Agency headquarters inContinue Reading

FBI Flawed Forensic Hair Chemistry Testimony Spanned Two Decades

Spencer S. Hsu – Washington Post –  “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’sContinue Reading

Antibacterial Drug Shortages From 2001 to 2013

Antibacterial Drug Shortages From 2001 to 2013: Implications for Clinical Practice. Clin Infect Dis. (2015) doi: 10.1093/cid/civ201 First published online: April 22, 2015 “Background. Previous studies have described drug shortages; however, there has been no comprehensive evaluation focusing on US antibacterial shortages. Methods. Drug shortage data from the University of Utah Drug Information Service database were analyzed,Continue Reading