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Daily Archives: June 30, 2014

Global Peace Index 2014

News release: “Terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought, and the number of refugees and displaced persons were the key contributors to the continuing deterioration in global peacefulness last year. This confirms a seven year gradual, but significant downward slide, which overturns a 60-year trend of increasing global peacefulness dating back to the end of the Second World War. The economic impact of containing and dealing with the consequences of global violence last year was estimated to be US$9.8 trillion, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) released June 18, 2014. This is equivalent to 11.3% of global GDP – equal to twice the size of the 54 countries in the African economy.  Steve Killelea, founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP observed, “Many macro factors have driven the deterioration in peace over the last seven years including the continued economic repercussions of the Global Financial Crisis, the reverberations of the Arab Spring, and the continued spread of terrorism. As these effects are likely to continue into the near future; a strong rebound in peace is unlikely. “This is resulting in very real costs to the world economy; increases in the global economic impact of violence and its containment are equivalent to 19% of global economic growth from 2012 to 2013. To put this in perspective, this is around $1,350 per person. The danger is that we fall into a negative cycle: low economic growth leads to higher levels of violence, the containment of which produces lower economic growth.” The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which produces the report, has also developed new statistical modelling techniques to identify the 10 countries most threatened by increased levels of unrest and violence in the next two years. These models have a 90% historical accuracy. Countries with higher levels of risk include Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia and World Cup 2022 host Qatar.”

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

SCOTUSBlog – Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.  “Linked with: Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell Autocam Corp. v. Burwell Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term 13-354 10th Cir. Mar 25, 2014 Tr. Jun 30, 2014 5-4 Alito OT 2013 Holding: As applied to closely held corporations, the regulations promulgated by theContinue Reading

ISO Launches Open Data Standard for Innovative Cities

Via Isabel Runge – Socrata: “The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a globally recognized organization that sets quality standards for products, services, and industries. We might see the ‘ISO certified’ label on the website of our favorite non-profit, the back of a chocolate bar, or the packaging of our toothbrush. Their aim as an organization is toContinue Reading

Agencies Release List of Distressed or Underserved Nonmetropolitan Middle-Income Geographies

“The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced the availability of the 2014 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies, where revitalization or stabilization activities will receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration as “community development.” “Distressed nonmetropolitan middle-incomeContinue Reading

California removes ban on alternative currencies – Computerworld

Jeremy Kirk – “A new California law removes a ban on using currencies other than the U.S. dollar, which is intended to accommodate the growing use of alternative payment methods such as bitcoin. The law, signed by state Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday, is likely to boost confidence around bitcoin, as regulators and tax authorities worldwideContinue Reading

Technology Trends 2014: Inspiring Disruption

CIOs are borrowing from the playbooks of venture capitalists and reshaping how they run the business of IT – by Tom Galizia & Chris Garibaldi “CIOs have historically focused on core delivery and operations with a budget and operating model built around low risk—buying enterprise-class software, building a talent base that could support a well-defined futureContinue Reading

The discursive construction of MOOCs as educational opportunity and educational threat

Project Leads: Neil Selwyn, Scott Bulfin – “Mainstream news media have restricted public understanding of MOOCs to a set of concerns relating to the ‘economics’ of higher education (i.e. massification, marketization and monetization), while marginalizing debate of ‘educational’ and ‘technological’ issues such as online learning and pedagogy, instructional design and student experience.”

The emotional lives of animals

Animal Experience edited by Leon Niemoczynski and Stephanie Theodorou – “This “living” book about life explores the nature and meaning of the emotional lives of nonhuman animals, focusing on how those lives are communicated to other living creatures (such as human beings) via affective states. By examining the emotional lives of animals and how they are communicated, we hopeContinue Reading

Stepping out of the shadow of the crisis: three transitions for the world economy – Speech

Stepping out of the shadow of the crisis: three transitions for the world economy, Speech delivered by Mr Jaime Caruana, General Manager of the BIS, on the occasion of the Bank’s Annual General Meeting, Basel, 29 June 2014. “Seven years on, the Great Financial Crisis still casts this long shadow on the world economy. The goodContinue Reading

EPIC – Supreme Court Rejects Google’s Street View Appeal

“The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition from Google to reverse the decision in the Google Street View case. In Joffe v. Google, Internet users sued Google for intercepting private communications, including passwords, medical records, and financial information, of millions of users across the country. EPIC filed a friend of the court brief in support of Internet users, arguing that Wi-Fi communications are notContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Climate Change Adaption, Nuclear Security, Prescription Drugs, Border Security

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: DOD Can Improve Infrastructure Planning and Processes to Better Account for Potential Impacts, GAO-14-446: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014. NUCLEAR SECURITY: NNSA Should Establish a Clear Vision and Path Forward for Its Security Program, GAO-14-208: Published: May 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2014. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Comparison of DOD, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D RetailContinue Reading