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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

2015 Wiretap Report: Intercept Orders Rise 17 Percent

United States Courts, June 30, 2016: “The number of federal and state wiretaps terminated in 2015 increased nearly 17 percent over 2014, according to an annual report submitted to Congress by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. As in previous years, drug investigations and telephone wiretaps accounted for the large majority of cases. The 2015 Wiretap Report covers intercepts—of wire, oral or electronic communications—that  were concluded between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. The report does not include data on interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.  A total of 4,148 wiretaps were reported in 2015, compared with 3,554 the previous year. Of those, 1,403 were authorized by federal judges, 10 percent more than in 2014, and 2,745 were authorized by state judges, an increase of 21 percent. No wiretap applications were reported as denied in 2015.”

Refugee Law and Policy In Selected Countries

Refugee Law and Policy In Selected Countries, The Library of Congress Global Legal Research Center. March 2016. “This report describes the law and policy on refugees and other asylum seekers in twenty-two geographically dispersed countries and, at the supranational level, in the European Union (EU). The individual surveys cover such topics as participation in relevant… Continue Reading

EFF – With Canada’s Entry, Treaty for the Blind Will Come Into Force

Via EFF – “A groundbreaking international agreement to address the “book famine” for blind and print-disabled people is now set to go into force after passing another key milestone today. The agreement requires countries to allow the reproduction and distribution of accessible ebooks by limiting the scope of copyright restrictions. The Marrakesh agreement takes aim… Continue Reading

Fossil fuels still dominate U.S. energy consumption despite recent market share decline

EIA: “Three fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have provided more than 80% of total U.S. energy consumption for more than 100 years. In 2015, fossil fuels made up 81.5% of total U.S. energy consumption, the lowest fossil fuel share in the past century. In EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2016 Reference case projections, which reflect current… Continue Reading

Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions: First Quarter 2016

“This report provides national summary data on the revenues, expenditures and composition of assets of the largest defined benefit public employee pension systems for state and local governments. This report produces three tables: Tables 1 and 3 include data on cash and security holdings and Table 2 provides data on earnings on investments, contributions and… Continue Reading

Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units 1st Quarter 2016

“The Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units 2016 First Quarter Absorption report provides absorption details for units constructed in the fourth quarter of 2015. The Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This survey measures… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – 2020 Census, Defense Headquarters, Registering Voters, FOIA, ID Fraud

2020 Census: Census Bureau Needs to Improve Its Life-Cycle Cost Estimating Process, GAO-16-628: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016. Defense Headquarters: Geographic Combatant Commands Rely on Subordinate Commands for Mission Management and Execution, GAO-16-652R: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016. Defense Headquarters: Improved Data Needed to Better Identify Streamlining… Continue Reading

Motherboard – Terrorism Database Used by Governments and Banks Leaked Online

“…Thomson Reuters’ database, called World-Check, is used by over 300 government and intelligence agencies, as well as 49 of the world’s top 50 banks, according to a company fact sheet. World-Check is designed to give insight into financial crime and the people potentially behind it “We monitor over 530 sanction, watch, and regulatory law and… Continue Reading

State of North America’s Birds 2016

“This report is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. The assessment was compiled by a team of experts from all three countries. Of these 1,154 species, 432 qualified for the Watch List, indicating species of highest conservation concern… Continue Reading

New Google tool tracks user behavior across applications

The Guardian: “Google has rolled out new tools to let users see what its ad-tracking service has learned about them, and to let users opt in or out of a new personalised ads service. The addition to Google’s account settings, called My Activity, allows users to review everything that Google has tracked about their behaviour… Continue Reading

Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time

Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time. April 2016, Vol. 37, No. 4 . Paperback, 16 pp.  EBRI. Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2016″The cross-sectional results in this study show that the share of respondents reporting “very satisfying” retirements dropped from 60.5 percent in 1998 to 48.6 percent in 2012.… Continue Reading

You’re getting a pension: What are your payment options?

You’re getting a pension: What are your payment options? By William J. Wiatrowski, June 2016 “For those workers who participate in a traditional pension plan—15 percent of private sector workers and 75 percent State and local government workers—the math exercise doesn’t end once you figure out your monthly benefit (often based on earnings and years… Continue Reading