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Daily Archives: July 7, 2014

From despair to repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed

With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish. The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. But according to the authors, restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts.”

In China’s Heartland, A Toxic Trail Leads from Factories to Fields to Food

“Long known as China’s granary, Hunan Province has been a major rice producer for the nation’s growing and increasingly urban population. But toxic pollution from Hunan’s mines and heavy metal plants has contaminated large tracts of its once-fertile farmland and put China’s staple food supply at risk.” The second in a series by He Guangwei, a staff writer… Continue Reading

News Literacy: Teaching the Internet Generation to Make Reliable Information Choices

“In the Digital Age, the ultimate check against the spread of rumor, pernicious falsehood, disinformation, and unverified reports masquerading as fact, will never be just more and better-trained journalists and professional gatekeepers, these scholars argue. Instead, it will require a generation of astutely educated news consumers, as well as native producers and distributors, who will… Continue Reading

Still Searching: Job Vacancies and STEM Skills

Jonathan Rothwell, Brookings: “This report uses a unique database from the labor market information company Burning Glass and other sources to analyze the skill requirements and the advertisement duration time for millions of job openings. It reaches the following conclusions: Job openings for STEM positions take longer to fill than openings in other fields.  The… Continue Reading

Cloud Innovation and the Law: Issues, Approaches, and Interplay

Gasser, Urs, Cloud Innovation and the Law: Issues, Approaches, and Interplay (March 17, 2014). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2014-7. Available for download at SSRN: or “We live in a quicksilver technological environment where one innovation in information and communication technology (ICT) follows the other. From a user’s perspective, the speed of innovation in the Internet… Continue Reading

For Many Americans, Stress Takes A Toll On Health And Family

NPR – “Stress is part of the human condition, unavoidable and even necessary to a degree. But too much stress can be toxic — even disabling. And there’s a lot of toxic stress out there A national poll done by NPR with our partners at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds that more than… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – IRS Correspondence Audits, Pension Advance Transactions, Private Pensions, IRS Internal Controls

IRS CORRESPONDENCE AUDITS: Better Management Could Improve Tax Compliance and Reduce Taxpayer Burden, GAO-14-479: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014. PENSION ADVANCE TRANSACTIONS: Questionable Business Practices Identified, GAO-14-420: Published: Jun 4, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014 PRIVATE PENSIONS: Targeted Revisions Could Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information, GAO-14-441: Published: Jun 5, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2014. MANAGEMENT REPORT: Improvements… Continue Reading

10 Companies That Control Almost Everything We Eat

Via Business Insider – Oxfam International has made a graphic showing how a handful of corporations control nearly everything we buy at the grocery store. The graphic focuses on 10 of the world’s most powerful food and beverage companies: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, Danone, Mars, Mondelez International, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nestle, and Associated British Foods. Oxfam calls these companies the… Continue Reading

Improvements Coming to PACER and CM/ECF

News release: “Beginning August 11, you may notice some changes on the PACER website. These changes will include the opportunity  to upgrade your PACER account. NOTE: This upgrade is not mandatory. Your current PACER account will still function  normally. However, you will need to upgrade your account in order to perform any maintenance functions outside… Continue Reading