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Daily Archives: March 27, 2014

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013

John F. Kerry – Secretary of State: “As we mark the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices highlight the continued pursuit of “free and equal dignity in human rights” in every corner of the world. Based on factual reporting from our embassies and posts abroad, these Congressionally mandated reports chronicle human rights conditions in almost 200 countries and territories. The reports draw attention to the growing challenges facing individuals and organizations as governments around the world fall short of their obligation to uphold universal human rights. I have seen firsthand how these reports are used by a wide range of actors – by Congress in its decision-making processes surrounding foreign security sector assistance and economic aid; by the Department of State and other U.S. government agencies in shaping American foreign policy; and by U.S. citizens, international nongovernmental organizations, foreign governments, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, scholars, and others who are committed to advancing human dignity. Governments that protect human rights and are accountable to their citizens are more secure, bolster international peace and security, and enjoy shared prosperity with stable democratic countries around the world. Countries that fail to uphold human rights can face economic deprivation and international isolation. Despite that simple truth, these reports show that too many governments continue to tighten their grasp on free expression, association, and assembly, using increasingly repressive laws, politically motivated prosecutions and even new technologies to deny citizens their universal human rights, in the public square, and in virtual space. This is evident in our report on Syria, where the government has committed egregious human rights violations in an ongoing conflict that has claimed more than 100,000 lives, displaced millions, and created an opening for violent extremists that continues to endanger regional stability and our own national security.”

On Ravaged Tar Sands Lands, Big Challenges for Reclamation

Ed Struzik: “The challenges of restoring a landscape uprooted by the destructive practice of oil sands mining — which involves strip mining the earth to depths of up to 250 feet — are enormous. Oil sands mining occurs primarily in complex wetland ecosystems of boreal swamps, bogs, and peatland fens that were formed over thousands of… Continue Reading

Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization

The joint report by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive and Sustainable Urbanization, includes six priority areas for a new model of urbanization: Reforming land management and institutions Reforming the hukou household-registration system to provide equal access to quality services for all citizens and create a more mobile… Continue Reading

How Well Does Dodd-Frank Address Regulatory Gaps and Market Failures that Led to the Housing Bubble?

Holstein, Adora D., How Well Does Dodd-Frank Address Regulatory Gaps and Market Failures that Led to the Housing Bubble? (2013). Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring 2013. Available at SSRN: “This study maps key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 against gaps in regulation and market failures that… Continue Reading

SEC Staff Analysis of Data and Academic Literature Related to Money Market Fund Reform

“The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission made available certain analyses of data and academic literature related to money market fund reform.  The analyses, which were conducted by the staff of the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, are available for review and comment on the Commission’s website as part of the comment… Continue Reading

Ineffective Oversight of Purchase Cards Results in Inappropriate Purchases at EPA

EPA OIG Report No. 14-P-0128 March 4, 2014: “The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 states the Inspector General is to conduct periodic assessments of the agency purchase card and convenience check programs to identify and analyze risks of illegal, improper or erroneous purchases and payments. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) also looks for categories of purchases that could be made by means other than purchase cards… Continue Reading

Paper – How does selling insurance as an add-on affect consumer decisions?

UK Financial Conduct Authority: “We are committed to encouraging debate among academics, practitioners and policymakers in all aspects of financial regulation. To facilitate this, we publish a series of Occasional Papers in financial regulation, extending across economics and other disciplines. As demonstrated in our Occasional Papers 1 and 2, we have been exploring practical ways of using… Continue Reading

Homeland Security Committee Releases Report on Boston Marathon Bombings

News release: “Today, U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.), and other members of the Committee released a bipartisan report entitled The Road to Boston: Counterterrorism Challenges & Lessons from the Marathon Bombings, detailing the timeline of the attack and recommendations for improving counterterrorism efforts in the future. Joining in… Continue Reading

Right-scaling Stewardship: A Multi-scale Perspective on Cooperative Print Management

An OCLC Research Report by: Constance Malpas and Brian Lavoie, OCLC Research: “This report explores regional-scale cooperative print management from two perspectives: a local academic library print book collection (The Ohio State University), and a consortial-scale collective print book resource (the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of major US research institutions). The goal of this report… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Major Defense Acquisition Programs, DoD corrosion of facilities and infrastructure, DOD MAIS Programs, Native American Housing

CANCELED DOD PROGRAMS: DOD Needs to Better Use Available Guidance and Manage Reusable Assets, GAO-14-77: Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2014. DEFENSE INFRASTRUCTURE: DOD’s 2013 Facilities Corrosion Study Addressed Reporting Elements, GAO-14-337R: Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 2014. MAJOR AUTOMATED INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Selected Defense Programs Need to Implement Key Acquisition Practices, GAO-14-309: Published: Mar 27, 2014. Publicly… Continue Reading