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Daily Archives: January 28, 2014

Free definitive guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage

“Authored by leading journalists from the BBC, Storyful, ABC, Digital First Media and other verification experts, the Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid providers. It provides the tools, techniques and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.” [Currently available on the web. Printed, ePub and free PDF versions will soon be available.]

CFPB – Servicemembers, you have new mortgage protections in 2014

Via Holly Petraeus, CFPB – “It’s no secret that the housing crisis in recent years was particularly hard on military families. Servicemembers and their spouses at installations around the country, and even abroad, cited problems with mortgages as some of their most serious financial challenges. But now, the CFPB has written new mortgage rules that can… Continue Reading

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

CRS – Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy. Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, January 17, 2014. “Afghanistan has a history of a high degree of decentralization, and resistance to foreign invasion and occupation. Some have termed it the “graveyard of empires…The Obama Administration policy goal is to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for… Continue Reading

CRS – Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues, Kristin Finklea, Specialist in Domestic Security. January 16, 2014. “Policymakers continue to be concerned with securing the economic health of the United States—including combating those crimes that threaten to undermine the nation’s financial stability. Identity theft, for one, poses both security and economic risks. By some estimates, identity fraud cost Americans nearly $21 billion in… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Critical Infrastructure Protection

SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT – Information on Mortgage Protections and Related Education Efforts, GAO-14-221, Jan 28, 2014: “The number of servicemembers with mortgages eligible for Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) mortgage protections is unknown because servicers have not collected this information in a comprehensive manner. Based on the limited and nongeneralizeable information that GAO obtained from the… Continue Reading

Report – Fixing the Broken Textbook Market

U.S. PIRG: “The cost of college textbooks has skyrocketed in recent years. To students and families already struggling to afford high tuition and fees, an additional $1,200 per year on books and supplies can be the breaking point. As publishers keep costs high by pumping out new editions and selling books bundled with software, students are… Continue Reading

Dominant Wireless Broadband Providers Overcharge U.S. Consumers by $15 Billion Per Year

“The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) today released a report entitled Abuse of Market Power for Broadband Internet Access Service: Blind Theory and Bonehead Analysis Can’t Hide the Problem,  demonstrating that the recent analyses of broadband prices and services from the Phoenix Center and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) are fundamentally flawed and purposefully misleading.… Continue Reading

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Increases Again

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had rebounded in December, increased again in January. “The Index now stands at 80.7 (1985=100), up from 77.5 in December. The Present Situation Index increased to 79.1 from 75.3. The Expectations Index increased to 81.8 from 79.0 last month. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is… Continue Reading

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices – November 2013

Winter Shows No Signs of Cooling in Home Prices According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: “Data through November 2013, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that the 10-City and 20-City Composites increased 13.8% and 13.7% year-over-year. Dallas posted its… Continue Reading

Market Efficiency and the U.S. Market for Sulfur Dioxide Allowances

Market Efficiency and the U.S. Market for Sulfur Dioxide Allowances – Working Paper Series, Congressional Budget Office, 2014-01, by Claudia Hitaj and Andrew Stocking. January 27, 2014. “Focusing on the U.S. sulfur dioxide (SO2) allowance market from its inception (in 1994) to 2009, we model allowance prices to determine the influence of market fundamentals—such as prices… Continue Reading