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Daily Archives: December 24, 2013

UK Guardian – Demand for food stamps soars as cuts sink in and shelves empty

More working Americans are lining up at emergency food banks and going hungry, as cuts to those programmes take effect, by Karen McVeigh.

Deep cuts to the US food stamps programme, designed to keep low-income Americans out of hunger in the aftermath of the economic recession, have forced increasing numbers of families such as theirs to rely on food banks and community organisations to stave off hunger. An expansion of the programme, put in place when the recession was biting deepest, was allowed to expire in November, cutting benefits for an estimated 48 million people, including 22 million children, by an average of 7%.  As these cuts begin to bite, even harsher reductions are in prospect. Republicans in the House of Representatives have proposed $38bn cuts over 10 years, in their latest version of a long-delayed farm bill that would also require new work requirements and drug tests for food stamp recipients.

CRS – Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights, Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. December 17, 2013 “Two years after the 2011 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, sectarian divisions and the Sunni-led uprising in neighboring Syria have fueled a revival of radical Islamist Sunni Muslim insurgent groups that are attempting to undermine Iraq’s stability. Iraq’s Sunni Arab… Continue Reading

China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States

CRS – China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States, Wayne M. Morrison, Specialist in Asian Trade and Finance. December 17, 2013 “The rapid rise of China as a major economic power within a time span of about threedecades is often described by analysts as one of the greatest economic success stories… Continue Reading

Research – MetaPhone: The NSA’s Got Your Number

by Jonathan Mayer, a grad student at Stanford – Co-authored with Patrick Mutchler – via the Web Policy Blog “MetaPhone is a crowdsourced study of phone metadata. If you own an Android smartphone, please consider participating. In earlier posts, we reported how automated analysis of call and text activity can reveal private relationships, as well as how phone subscribers are closely… Continue Reading

How to Start Thinking Like a Data Scientist

HBR Blog – Thomas C. Redman – “Slowly but steadily, data are forcing their way into every nook and cranny of every industry, company, and job. Managers who aren’t data savvy, who can’t conduct basic analyses, interpret more complex ones, and interact with data scientists are already at a disadvantage. Companies without a large and growing… Continue Reading

Department of Veteran’s Affairs names Craig’s List Founder as “nerd in residence”

The Department of Veterans Affairs – Craig Newmark “Nerd in Residence” “Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark is a self-described nerd, as well as a pioneer of the Web, speaker, philanthropist, and a strong advocate of the use of technology for the public good. He joins the Center for Innovation as a Nerd-in-Residence to work with us in pursuing creative… Continue Reading

GAO – Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace

INFORMATION RESELLERS: Consumer Privacy Framework Needs to Reflect Changes in Technology and the Marketplace, GAO-14-251T, Dec 18, 2013 “No overarching federal privacy law governs the collection and sale of personal information among private-sector companies, including information resellers. Instead, laws tailored to specific purposes, situations, or entities govern the use, sharing, and protection of personal information. For example,… Continue Reading

Major Study Sheds Light On Online Privacy, Security Values, Behavior

“A new poll released today by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) found that Internet users are highly concerned about the theft of personal and financial information and believe strongly that the federal government should do more to protect them. This CCIA telephone survey of 1,000 voters was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group (D) and American… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – SEC Financial Audit, DOD’s Weapon Programs, VA Nursing Homes, Workforce Investment Act, Children’s Health Insurance

Financial Audit – Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fiscal Years 2013 and 2012 Financial Statements [Reissued on December 23, 2013], GAO-14-213R, Dec 16, 2013 Small Business Innovation Research – DOD’s Program Supports Weapon Systems, but Lacks Comprehensive Data on Technology Transition Outcomes, GAO-14-96, Dec 20, 2013 VA Nursing Homes – Reporting More Complete Data on Workload… Continue Reading

State Energy Profiles: Updated Analytical Narratives and New Data for September and October 2013

“As with national trends, the energy sectors in each state continue to experience rapid changes, including increased oil and natural gas production, new renewable electricity generation, and changing motor gasoline prices. With these and other energy trends in mind, the U.S. Energy Information Administration updated its State Energy Profiles, which are available through EIA’s State… Continue Reading