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Regulation costs Canadian businesses $37.1 billion a year

January 30, 2015 Comments off

Regulation costs Canadian businesses $37.1 billion a year
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

According to Canada’s Red Tape Report, the total cost of complying with government rules and paperwork has reached $37.1 billion a year. In the smallest businesses, the average employee can spend more than a month each year (185 hours) just dealing with regulations.

The onerous burden of excessive regulation is also deterring the next generation of entrepreneurs, as the report notes 42% of small business owners would not advise their children to start a business.

Although not all regulation is red tape, business owners say the regulatory burden could be cut by about 30%, or $11 billion a year, with no negative effect on health, safety and environmental goals of regulation.

Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse Definitions and Relationships

January 30, 2015 Comments off

Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse Definitions and Relationships
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Domestic violence and abuse, an issue that is never far from the headlines, continues to be a pervasive issue in the United States. State legislatures are at the forefront of defining and penalizing domestic violence and abuse.

States vary in their domestic violence provisions. Approximately 38 states place domestic violence definitions and penalties within the criminal code and nearly every state provides a definition within the domestic relations or social services codes. Within this variance are broad definitions that may include stalking, harassment and, in some instances, nonphysical abuse including intimidation and emotional abuse.

Some states also have addressed child witnessing of domestic violence. Approximately 23 states address child witnessing of domestic violence somewhere in statute. While some consider it an aggravating circumstance when sentencing a perpetrator, other states have created a separate offense that may be levied. View the Child Welfare Information Gateway Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence report for a discussion of the crossover between child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.

Within the realm of domestic violence and abuse are various other topics, including protection orders, safe court processes and custody and visitation or parenting time. According to the American Bar Association, the presence of domestic violence is a factor considered when determining custody and visitation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Below is a chart with basic state provisions regarding domestic violence or abuse, the definitions of conduct amounting to domestic violence or abuse, and the relationships where that conduct may be considered domestic violence or abuse.

A Critical Examination of Child Protection Initiatives in Sport Contexts

January 29, 2015 Comments off

A Critical Examination of Child Protection Initiatives in Sport Contexts
Source: Social Sciences

With the broadening of focus on child maltreatment beyond intra-familial settings, there is growing awareness of occurrences of maltreatment within the sport context. Millions of children participate in organized sport annually, and despite a tendency to view sport as a context by which to enhance the overall health and development of children, it is also a context in which children are vulnerable to experiences of maltreatment. The well-documented power ascribed to coaches, the unregulated nature of sport and a “win-at-all-costs” approach contribute to a setting that many propose is conducive to maltreatment. A number of high profile cases of sexual abuse of athletes across several countries in the 1990s prompted sport organizations to respond with the development of child protection measures. This study examined seven child protection in sport initiatives in terms of the extent to which they originated from research, had content that was consistent with scholarly work and were evaluated empirically. The findings indicated that these initiatives were not empirically derived nor evaluated. Recommendations are made to more closely align research with these initiatives in order to protect children and to promote a safe and growth-enhancing experience for young participants in sport.

January 2015 Quarterly Report to Congress on the Status of TARP

January 29, 2015 Comments off

January 2015 Quarterly Report to Congress on the Status of TARP (PDF)
Source: Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program

Long-lasting recovery from the financial crisis requires important efforts on many fronts, including investigating and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse related to the Government’s rescue efforts. Fraud prevention and law enforcement is at the heart of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s (‘SIGTARP”) audits, general oversight, and investigations. Uncovering and combating bailout-related crime is neither fast, nor easy, but it is necessary for justice, accountability, deterrence, and lasting recovery. SIGTARP has ramped up our law enforcement efforts to uncover and combat bailout-related crime. In the last two years:
• The number of defendants charged with a crime SIGTARP investigated nearly doubled to 222;
• We supported prosecutors at 6 trials including 5 criminal fraud schemes investigated by SIGTARP;
• The number of defendants convicted of a crime investigated by SIGTARP nearly doubled to 160;
• The number of defendants we investigated who were sentenced to prison increased 160% to 91;
• Prison sentences for crime investigated by SIGTARP are nearly double the national average for white collar crime, reflecting the complexity and seriousness of the criminal schemes; and
• SIGTARP investigations have already brought back $1.258 billion to the Government and $224 million to other victims, a nearly eightfold increase since 2012.

SIGTARP has much more to do in the fight against bailout-related crime – crime that is opportunistic in the most reprehensible way. We expect an escalation in results from SIGTARP investigations:
• 45 convicted defendants investigated by SIGTARP await sentencing by a court; and
• 61 defendants already charged with a crime investigated by SIGTARP await trial.

Escape from Hell: Torture, Sexual Slavery in Islamic State Captivity in Iraq

January 29, 2015 Comments off

Escape from Hell: Torture, Sexual Slavery in Islamic State Captivity in Iraq
Source: Amnesty International

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), highlights the savagery of IS rule.

Escape from Hell – Torture, Sexual Slavery in Islamic State Captivity in Iraq provides an insight into the horrifying abuse suffered by hundreds and possibly thousands of Yezidi women and girls who have been forcibly married, “sold” or given as “gifts” to IS fighters or their supporters. Often, captives were forced to convert to Islam.

The women and girls are among thousands of Yezidis from the Sinjar region in north-west Iraq who have been targeted since August in a wave of ethnic cleansing by IS fighters bent on wiping out ethnic and religious minorities in the area.

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2014

January 28, 2015 Comments off

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2014
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in both the number of violent crimes and the number of property crimes reported for the first six months of 2014 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2013. The report is based on information from 11,009 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2013 and 2014.

In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower : Undocumented Undergraduates and the Liminal State of Immigration Reform

January 28, 2015 Comments off

In the Shadows of the Ivory Tower : Undocumented Undergraduates and the Liminal State of Immigration Reform
Source: UndocuScholars Project, Institute for Immigration, Globalization, & Education, University of California-Los Angeles

Amidst the turbulent crosscurrents of immigration reform, nearly a quarter of a million undocumented undergraduates are struggling to find their way in higher education. Their liminal state calls for research to inform the unique needs and challenges of this growing student population. In this report, we shed light on the range and complexities of undocumented undergraduates experiences based on a sample of 909 participants across 34 states originating in 55 countries. The participants attended an array of postsecondary institutions including two-year and four-year public and private colleges that range in selectivity. In this report, we describe their demographic characteristics, experiences in college, as well as their aspirations and anxieties. Further, we make specific recommendations for what colleges should consider to better serve this population. Lastly, in light of executive actions in 2012 and 2014, this data can be used to extrapolate some of the issues that are likely to define this newly protected immigrant population moving forward.

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