Archive for the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains information on laws regulating the collection of intelligence in the European Union, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden. The report details how EU Members States control activities of their intelligence agencies and what restrictions are imposed on information collection. All EU Member States follow EU legislation on personal data protection, which is a part of the common European Union responsibility.

Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Life-Cycle Consumption Patterns at Older Ages in the US and the UK: Can Medical Expenditures Explain the Difference?
Source: RAND Corporation

Our data indicate significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US in spite of income paths at older ages exhibiting similar declines. We examine several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the factors we considered, we find that differences in levels, age paths, and uncertainty in medical expenses is the most likely reason for the steeper declines in nondurable expenses in the US compared to the UK.

UK — Ofcom publishes third report on quality of live TV subtitles

June 4, 2015 Comments off

Ofcom publishes third report on quality of live TV subtitles
Source: Ofcom

Ofcom today published its third report measuring the quality of live subtitles in UK TV programmes.

Ofcom requires the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky to measure the quality of their live TV subtitles, helping to identify improvements that could benefit the millions1 of viewers who use subtitles.

Today’s report shows that broadcasters are improving several aspects of subtitling.

These include making extensive use of easier to read ‘block subtitles’, which show several words as a single block of text; cutting the number of pre-recorded programmes that have to be subtitled live; and reducing the number and duration of subtitle ‘outages’.

In October-November 2014, broadcasters delivered good accuracy rates (98% and above) across 77% of their programmes, compared to 76% in October-November 2013 and 74% in April-May 2014.

Approaches for Controlling Illicit Tobacco Trade — Nine Countries and the European Union

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Approaches for Controlling Illicit Tobacco Trade — Nine Countries and the European Union
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

An estimated 11.6% of the world cigarette market is illicit, representing more than 650 billion cigarettes a year and $40.5 billion in lost revenue (1). Illicit tobacco trade refers to any practice related to distributing, selling, or buying tobacco products that is prohibited by law, including tax evasion (sale of tobacco products without payment of applicable taxes), counterfeiting, disguising the origin of products, and smuggling (2). Illicit trade undermines tobacco prevention and control initiatives by increasing the accessibility and affordability of tobacco products, and reduces government tax revenue streams (2). The World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, signed by 54 countries, provides tools for addressing illicit trade through a package of regulatory and governing principles (2). As of May 2015, only eight countries had ratified or acceded to the illicit trade protocol, with an additional 32 needed for it to become international law (i.e., legally binding) (3). Data from multiple international sources were analyzed to evaluate the 10 most commonly used approaches for addressing illicit trade and to summarize differences in implementation across select countries and the European Union (EU). Although the WHO illicit trade protocol defines shared global standards for addressing illicit trade, countries are guided by their own legal and enforcement frameworks, leading to a diversity of approaches employed across countries. Continued adoption of the methods outlined in the WHO illicit trade protocol might improve the global capacity to reduce illicit trade in tobacco products.

See also: Use of Tobacco Tax Stamps to Prevent and Reduce Illicit Tobacco Trade — United States, 2014

International students: a £2.3 billion British success story

June 3, 2015 Comments off

International students: a £2.3 billion British success story
Source: London First and PricewaterhouseCoopers

New research from London First and PwC shows international students are a boon to the UK, bringing a net benefit of £2.3 billion to the UK economy from London universities alone.

The report, London Calling: International students’ contribution to Britain’s economic growth, concludes that the capital’s higher education system is an export success story, with 92 per cent of students saying they would recommend studying in the UK to their friends and family.

The survey of current and alumni students from across London’s universities found that 60 per cent of international students are more likely to do business with the UK as a result of studying here.

It dismisses the myth that international students are a burden on public services, such as the NHS. Instead, they were shown to contribute a total of £2.8 billion through the spending they bring to the country, while only consuming £540 million in public spending.

Increased Use of Digital Technologies Could Add $1.36 Trillion to World’s Top 10 Economies in 2020, According to New Study from Accenture

April 13, 2015 Comments off

Increased Use of Digital Technologies Could Add $1.36 Trillion to World’s Top 10 Economies in 2020, According to New Study from Accenture
Source: Accenture

The increased use of digital technologies could boost productivity for the world’s top 10 economies and add US$1.36 trillion to their total economic output in 2020, according to a new study by Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The study is based on the Accenture Digital Density Index, a tool that helps companies make better strategic investments based on granular measures of digital performance.

The Accenture Digital Density Index measures the extent to which digital technologies penetrate a country’s businesses and economy. A country’s “digital density” is determined by a scorecard comprising over 50 indicators, such as the volume of transactions conducted online, the use of cloud or other technologies to streamline processes, the pervasiveness of technology skills in a company, or an economy’s acceptance of new digitally driven business models.

At its broadest level, the Index reveals that a ten point improvement in digital density (on a 100-point scale) over five years would lift GDP growth rates in advanced economies by 0.25 percentage points, and by 0.5 percentage point in emerging economies. That would give the U.S. an uplift to GDP of US$365 billion in 2020. Emerging economies, such as Brazil, India and China could see rises of between $97 billion and $418 billion.

Sexual orientation discrimination in the United Kingdom’s labour market: A field experiment

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Sexual orientation discrimination in the United Kingdom’s labour market: A field experiment (PDF)
Source: Human Relations

Deviations from heteronormativity affect labour market dynamics. Hierarchies of sexual orientation can result in job dismissals, wage discrimination and the failure to promote gay and lesbian individuals to top ranks. In this article, I report on a field experiment (144 jobseekers and their correspondence with 5549 firms) that tested the extent to which sexual orientation affects the labour market outcomes of gay and lesbian job-seekers in the United Kingdom. Their minority sexual orientations, as indicated by job-seekers’ participation in gay and lesbian university student unions, negatively affected their workplace prospects. The probability of gay or lesbian applicants receiving an invitation for an interview was 5.0 percent (5.1%) lower than that for heterosexual male or female applicants. In addition, gay men and lesbians received invitations for interviews by firms that paid salaries that were 1.9 percent (1.2%) lower than those paid by firms that invited heterosexual male or female applicants for interviews. In addition, in male- or female-dominated occupations, gay men and lesbians received fewer invitations for interviews than their non-gay and nonlesbian counterparts. Furthermore, gay men and lesbians also received fewer invitations to interview for positions in which masculine or feminine personality traits were highlighted in job applications and at firms that did not provide written equal opportunity standards, suggesting that the level of discrimination depends partly on the personality traits that employers seek and on organization-level hiring policies. I conclude that heteronormative discourse continues to reproduce and negatively affect the labour market prospects of gay men and lesbians.


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