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Daily Archives: September 9, 2015

World Bank Group – Women, Business and the Law 2016

News release: “The world’s high-income economies boast wide-ranging laws to promote women’s economic advancement, but more needs to be done to protect them against violence, says the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law 2016 report, released today. Just over half of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies have laws that criminalize domestic violence says the biennial report, which examines legal and regulatory barriers to women’s ability to get a job and start a business. The latest edition covers 173 economies across the globe, including 32 high-income OECD economies. These economies stand out in having legislation that facilitates parents’ ability to enter the workforce. In nearly 90 percent of the economies that mandate paid maternity leave, the leave is subsidized by the government. In the past two years, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and the United Kingdom improved their laws on parental benefits in ways that can increase women’s participation the workforce. For example, Poland introduced parental leave, which enables men to take on childcare responsibilities, and New Zealand increased the length of maternity leave to 112 days. Even in more recently regulated areas, many OECD high-income economies boast legislation that increases gender parity. Seventy-five percent of economies in the region legally prohibit gender discrimination in access to credit. The Australian Sex Discrimination Act bans discrimination on the basis of sex when providing services relating to banking, insurance and the provision of grants, loans, credit or finance. Other measures to promote gender equality have gained traction in the region. In 2015, Germany introduced a 30 percent quota for women on corporate boards, increasing to 8 the number of OECD high-income economies with such regulations, which can boost women’s representation at the highest levels of the private sector. However, despite these advances, restrictions on women’s employment and economic opportunities remain. A quarter of OECD high-income countries restrict women’s ability to work in the same capacity as men. In France, for instance, women may not work in jobs that require carrying weights over above a certain limit. Such restrictions can reduce women’s earning potential and labor force participation, exacerbating the gender wage gap and stunting a country’s potential economic growth. Additionally, Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, and Poland do not specifically mandate non-discrimination in hiring based on gender, although nondiscrimination is mandated in other aspects of employment. Women’s employment can also be undermined by gender-based violence. Almost a third of OECD economies monitored have yet to impose criminal sanctions for domestic violence against women, and less than 10 percent have laws protecting women from sexual harassment in public places. The full report and accompanying datasets are available at

On Terra Firma with English

Lebovits, Gerald, On Terra Firma with English (September 1, 2015). 16 Scribes J. Legal Writing 123 (2014-2015). Available for download at SSRN: “This article discusses how to write legal prose in clear, forceful, and plain English and without turgid, boring, and unclear legalisms.  From the Editor: “We finish with the next installment of our… Continue Reading

Legal-Writing Myths

Lebovits, Gerald, Legal-Writing Myths (September 1, 2015). 16 Scribes J. Legal Writing 113 (2014-2015). Available for download at SSRN: “This article debunks misconceptions associated with writing in the law.  From the Editor: “We finish with the next installment of our ‘Best of’ series, this time featuring short pieces by Gerald Lebovits. Judge Lebovits .… Continue Reading

Julian Assange’s Introduction to The Wikileaks Files

Via Gizmodo: “This essay by Julian Assange is taken from the introduction to The Wikileaks Files: The World According to the US Empire, a collection analyzing how Wikileaks’ release of US diplomatic cables impacted foreign policy.” “…Cultures and economies communicate using all manner of techniques across the regions and years of their existence, from the… Continue Reading

Payment aspects of financial inclusion

Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures World Bank Group Consultative report – Payment aspects of financial inclusion, September 9, 2015: “In recent years,a number of reports have been prepared by organisations on financial inclusion , a topic whose importance is increasingly being recognised. However, few of these reports have addressed what may be called the… Continue Reading

Earth View – collection of beautiful striking landscapes found in Google Earth

“In certain locations, you can view and navigate street-level imagery in almost the same way that you can in Google Maps. Watch the video (English only) below or read the instructions to learn how. View in 3D Ground-level view Displaying the sun Terrain 3D viewer navigation Viewing 3D buildings Viewing 3D trees Viewing SketchUp 3D… Continue Reading

New Census Web Tool Helps Business Owners Make Data Driven Decisions

“The U.S. Census Bureau today released Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, a new Web tool that allows business owners and entrepreneurs to easily navigate and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new business or adding to an existing one. The Census Business Builder was developed with… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Defense Infrastructure, General Aviation, Ground System Development Problems

Defense Infrastructure: In-Kind Construction and Renovation Projects Initiated by DOD during Fiscal Year 2013, GAO-15-649: Published: Sep 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2015. General Aviation: Observations Related to Liability Insurance Requirements and Coverage for Aircraft Owners, GAO-15-740: Published: Sep 9, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2015. GPS: Actions Needed to Address Ground System Development… Continue Reading

Impact of urbanization on US surface climate or why we need trees

Impact of urbanization on US surface climate – Lahouari Bounoua, Ping Zhang, Georgy Mostovoy, Kurtis Thome, Jeffrey Masek, Marc Imhoff, Marshall Shepherd, Dale Quattrochi, Joseph Santanello, Julie Silva, Robert Wolfe and Ally Mounirou Toure – Published 12 August 2015 • 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd • Environmental Research Letters, Volume 10, Number 8. “We combine Landsat… Continue Reading