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New From the GAO

September 22, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Identity Theft: Additional Actions Could Help IRS Combat the Large, Evolving Threat of Refund Fraud. GAO-14-633,August 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-633
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665367.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/665529

2. Oil and Gas Transportation: Department of Transportation Is Taking Actions to Address Rail Safety, but Additional Actions Are Needed to Improve Pipeline Safety. GAO-14-667, August 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-667
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665403.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/665350

3. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Procedures for Reporting Certain Financial Management Information Should Be Improved. GAO-14-697, September 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-697
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665984.pdf

4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Some Privacy and Security Procedures for Data Collections Should Continue Being Enhanced. GAO-14-758, September 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-758
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666001.pdf

5. Bureau of Prisons: Management of New Prison Activations Can Be Improved. GAO-14-709, August 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-709
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665416.pdf

6. Army Corps of Engineers: The Corps Needs to Take Steps to Identify All Projects and Studies Eligible for Deauthorization. GAO-14-699, August 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-699
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665394.pdf

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Missing links: The digital news preservation discontinuity

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Missing links: The digital news preservation discontinuity (PDF)
Source: International Federation of Library Associations

That the spread of printed news has changed dramatically since the Internet and the Web is no news to anyone. The Christian Science Monitor, in print since 1908, ceased daily publication in 2009 to focus on web – based publishing (CSM still publishes a weekly print edition). One month before this, The Seattle Post Intelligencer stopped its print edition. More recently, Lloyd’s List, which claims to be the world’s oldest newspaper, announced that it would stop its print edition. These are but a few examples of news publishers that no longer print the news on paper.

While these newspapers stopped printing news, they did not stop publishing news. Instead they now concentrate on digital news.

Similarly and until only recently, the IFLA Newspapers Section has focused on cataloguing, collecting, and preservation of printed news. With few exceptions, Section members do not catalog, collect, and preserve digital news with the same diligence as they have in past given to newspapers.

In this paper we will review digital news publishing, both for traditional news publishers like the Christian Science Monitor and the Seattle Post – Intell igencer and for digital only publishers like The Huffington Post, The Texas Tribune, NewsWhip, and others. We will especially look at the publishers’ digital preservation policies and practices.

UK — Quantifying and Valuing the Wellbeing Impacts of Culture and Sport

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Quantifying and Valuing the Wellbeing Impacts of Culture and Sport (PDF)
Source: Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Key Findings

Arts engagement
Arts engagement was found to be associated with higher wellbeing. This is valued at £1,084 per person per year, or £90 per person per month.

Library engagement
A significant association was also found between frequent library use and reported wellbeing. Using libraries frequently was valued at £1,359 per person per year for library users, or £113 per person per month.

Sport participation
Sport participation was also found to be associated with higher wellbeing. This increase is valued at £1,127 per person per year, or £94 per person per month.

Fertilizing Growth: Agricultural Inputs and Their Effects in Economic Development

September 20, 2014 Comments off

Fertilizing Growth: Agricultural Inputs and Their Effects in Economic Development
Source: Brookings Institution

Agriculture’s role in the process of economic growth has framed a central question in development economics for several decades. While arguments differ regarding the specific mechanisms through which agricultural productivity increases might contribute to structural change in the economy, it has long been theorized that advances in the agricultural sector can promote shifts in labor to higher productivity sectors that offer higher real incomes. Empirical work in more recent years has helped inform the conceptual arguments and underscored the long-term growth and poverty reduction benefits from agriculture, especially for the most extreme forms of poverty. At the same time, recent evidence has also underscored the role of the manufacturing sector in driving structural change and long-term convergence in incomes across countries. This and other evidence regarding agriculture’s relatively low value added per worker compared to other sectors has prompted some researchers to narrow the number of developing countries in which agriculture is recommended as a priority sector for investment in light of higher prospective growth returns in non-agricultural sectors. These debates present a first-order concern for understanding why some countries have not experienced long-term economic progress and what to do about it. If agriculture can play a central and somewhat predictable role within the poorest countries, then it is a natural candidate for targeted public investment.

New From the GAO

September 19, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Federal Real Property: DHS and GSA Need to Strengthen the Management of DHS Headquarters Consolidation. GAO-14-648, September 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-648
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665943.pdf

2. DOD Joint Bases: Implementation Challenges Demonstrate Need to Reevaluate the Program. GAO-14-577, September 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-577
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665963.pdf

3. Fish Stock Assessments: Prioritization and Funding. GAO-14-794R, September 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-794R

Testimony

1. Federal Real Property: DHS and GSA Need to Strengthen the Management of DHS Headquarters Consolidation, by David C. Maurer, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-14-864T, September 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-864T

Country Analysis Brief: East China Sea

September 18, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: East China Sea
Source: Energy Information Administration

The East China Sea is a semi-closed sea bordered by the Yellow Sea to the north, the South China Sea and Taiwan to the south, Japan’s Ryukyu and Kyushu islands to the east, and the Chinese mainland to the west. Studies identifying potentially abundant oil and natural gas deposits have made the sea a source of contention between Japan and China, the two largest energy consumers in Asia.

The East China Sea has a total area of approximately 482,000 square miles, consisting mostly of the continental shelf and the Okinawa Trough, a back-arc basin formed about 300 miles southeast of Shanghai between China and Japan. The disputed eight Senkaku islands are to the northeast of Taiwan. The largest of the islands is two miles long and less than a mile wide.

Though barren, the islands are important for strategic and political reasons, as sovereignty over land is the basis for claims to the surrounding sea and its resources under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. China and Japan both claim sovereignty over the islands, which are under Japanese administration, preventing wide-scale exploration and development of oil and natural gas in the East China Sea.

A Journalist’s Guide to the Federal Courts

September 18, 2014 Comments off

A Journalist’s Guide to the Federal Courts
Source: United States Courts

Federal judges and the journalists who cover them share much common ground. One clear area of mutual interest is accurate and informed coverage of federal courts. A Journalist’s Guide to the Federal Courts is intended to assist reporters assigned to court coverage. It is the media who inform and educate the public about the courts, spark discussion and debate about their work, instill public trust and confidence in the institution and its function, and help protect judicial independence. These are worthwhile and important pursuits.

There are justifiable and distinct differences between the three branches of government and the access they grant the news media. Most of the work of federal courts is performed in open court and decisions, and in most cases court filings are available on the Internet. This primer is aimed at helping reporters who cover federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts – the cases, the people, and the process.

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