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Use With Care: A Reporter’s Glossary of Loaded Language in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

July 31, 2014 Comments off

Use With Care: A Reporter’s Glossary of Loaded Language in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Source: International Press Institute

IPI glossary designed for journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict available here to download.

The popularity of the handbook has been key for IPI´s decision to release the complete PDF of the handbook containing more than 75 alternative words and phrases.

A print version of the handbook, which is designed to help journalists covering the region, has been distributed to nearly 100 journalists and researchers.

Free registration required to download document.

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UK — New measures to tighten up the immigration system

July 31, 2014 Comments off

New measures to tighten up the immigration system
Source: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Home Office

A new crackdown on immigration abuses was announced today by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary as part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.

From November, tougher rules will be imposed on universities and colleges who sponsor international students to study in the UK. Currently, educational institutions cannot enjoy highly trusted sponsor status if 20% or more of the individuals they have offered places to are refused visas. But that figure will be cut to 10% in November after a 3 month transitional period for colleges and universities to re-examine their admissions procedures before offering individuals places.

The Prime Minister also announced plans to halve the period over which European migrants can claim benefits. From November, European jobseekers will only be able to claim Jobseekers Allowance and other key welfare benefits for a maximum period of 3 months. This follows tough changes that were announced earlier this year to introduce a minimum 3 month delay to claiming benefits and to cut off benefits after 6 months unless the individual has very clear job prospects.

A Case against Child Labor Prohibitions

July 30, 2014 Comments off

A Case against Child Labor Prohibitions
Source: Cato Institute

In my recent book, Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy, I argue that much of what the anti-sweatshop movement agitates for would harm workers and that the process of economic development, in which sweatshops play an important role, is the best way to raise wages and improve working conditions. Child labor, although the most emotionally charged aspect of sweatshops, is not an exception to this analysis.

We should desire to see an end to child labor, but it has to come through a process that generates better opportunities for the children—not from legislative mandates that prevent children and their families from taking the best option available to them. Children work because their families are desperately poor, and the meager addition to the family income they can contribute is often necessary for survival. Banning child labor through trade regulations or governmental prohibitions often simply forces the children into less-desirable alternatives. When U.S. activists started pressuring Bangladesh into eliminating child labor, the results were disastrous.

Dirty Work: The Effects of Viewing Disturbing Media on Military Attorneys

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Dirty Work: The Effects of Viewing Disturbing Media on Military Attorneys
Source: Minnesota State University-Mankato (Sokol)

This study examines the psychological effects of viewing disturbing media on military attorneys who are part of the JAG Corps. Twenty seven legal professionals who work with cases involving child pornography and sexual violence completed measures of secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD), burnout, perceptions of social stigma, and feelings of protectiveness and distrust towards others. A substantial number of participants reported poor well-being, though exposure to disturbing media was not predictive of these outcomes. However, defense attorneys and prosecuting attorneys differed significantly in severity of their perception of social stigma, which was linked to increased negative outcomes. Furthermore, qualitative results added to the growing pool of data related to effective methods of coping with exposure to disturbing media which may have important practical implications for the legal professionals who engage in this work.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents, 2007–2013, and Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Monitoring, 2006–2014 — United States

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents, 2007–2013, and Postlicensure Vaccine Safety Monitoring, 2006–2014 — United States
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Since mid-2006, a licensed human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been available and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for routine vaccination of adolescent girls at ages 11 or 12 years (1). Two vaccines that protect against HPV infection are currently available in the United States. Both the quadrivalent (HPV4) and bivalent (HPV2) vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cervical cancers; HPV4 also protects against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts (1,2). In 2011, the ACIP also recommended HPV4 for the routine vaccination of adolescent boys at ages 11 or 12 years (3). HPV vaccines can be safely co-administered with other routinely recommended vaccines, and ACIP recommends administration of all age-appropriate vaccines during a single visit (4). To assess progress with HPV vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years,* characterize adherence with recommendations for HPV vaccination by the 13th birthday, and describe HPV vaccine adverse reports received postlicensure, CDC analyzed data from the 2007–2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) and national postlicensure vaccine safety data among females and males. Vaccination coverage with ≥1 dose of any HPV vaccine increased significantly from 53.8% (2012) to 57.3% (2013) among adolescent girls and from 20.8% (2012) to 34.6% (2013) among adolescent boys. Receipt of ≥1 dose of HPV among girls by age 13 years increased with each birth cohort; however, missed vaccination opportunities were common. Had HPV vaccine been administered to adolescent girls born in 2000 during health care visits when they received another vaccine, vaccination coverage for ≥1 dose by age 13 years for this cohort could have reached 91.3%. Postlicensure monitoring data continue to indicate that HPV4 is safe. Improving practice patterns so that clinicians use every opportunity to recommend HPV vaccines and address questions from parents can help realize reductions in vaccine-preventable infections and cancers caused by HPV.

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2013

July 30, 2014 Comments off

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that adolescents routinely receive 1 dose of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, 2 doses of meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine, and 3 doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (1,2).* ACIP also recommends administration of “catch-up”† vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), hepatitis B, and varicella, and, for all persons aged ≥6 months, an annual influenza vaccination (1). ACIP recommends administration of all age-appropriate vaccines during a single visit (3). To assess vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13–17 years, CDC analyzed data from the 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen).§ This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which show that from 2012 to 2013, coverage increased for each of the vaccines routinely recommended for adolescents: from 84.6% to 86.0% for ≥1 Tdap dose; from 74.0% to 77.8% for ≥1 MenACWY dose; from 53.8% to 57.3% for ≥1 HPV dose among females, and from 20.8% to 34.6% for ≥1 HPV dose among males. Coverage varied by state and local jurisdictions and by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) region. Healthy People 2020 vaccination targets for adolescents aged 13–15 years (4) were reached in 42 states for ≥1 Tdap dose, 18 for ≥1 MenACWY dose, and 11 for ≥2 varicella doses. No state met the target for ≥3 HPV doses.¶ Use of patient reminder and recall systems, immunization information systems, coverage assessment and feedback to clinicians, clinician reminders, standing orders, and other interventions can help make use of every health care visit to ensure that adolescents are fully protected from vaccine-preventable infections and cancers (5), especially when such interventions are coupled with clinicians’ vaccination recommendations.

Majority of Parents Say They Will Increase Back-to-School Spending This Year and Most Plan to Shop in a Physical Store, Accenture Survey Finds

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Majority of Parents Say They Will Increase Back-to-School Spending This Year and Most Plan to Shop in a Physical Store, Accenture Survey Finds
Source: Accenture

A majority of parents plan to spend more on their children’s back-to-school shopping this year, driven by rising costs or necessity rather than greater spending power, according to a survey released today by Accenture (NYSE:ACN). The Accenture Back-to-School Shopping Survey, which polled U.S. parents of children entering kindergarten through college, shows that nearly all (89 percent) plan to do most of their back-to-school shopping in a physical store, though many will still use online to browse and search – “webrooming.”

According to the survey, two-thirds of parents (67 percent) plan to spend between $100 and $500 and 41 percent plan to spend $500 or more for back-to-school shopping this year. Compared to last year, just over half (52 percent) of the parents said they will spend more on back-to-school shopping than last year, 37 percent plan to spend the same and only 11 percent expect to spend less. One-third (33 percent) of parents spending more plan to increase their spending by $250 or more. Among the reasons given for the spending increase, 71 percent cited higher prices and 56 percent cited increased school requirements. Nearly one in five parents (19 percent) said they will spend more in order to help their children “keep up with their friends.”

The survey results demonstrate the growing importance of the seamless shopping experience. For example, nearly eight out of 10 (79 percent) plan to participate in “webrooming” – browsing online and then going to a store to make their purchase. The top reasons respondents cited for webrooming were: to check if an item is in stock before going to a store to make a purchase (47 percent); to touch and feel the product before buying (43 percent); to avoid shipping costs (43 percent); and to ask the store to match a better price found online (33 percent).

Survey | Nearly 7-in-10 Americans See Unaccompanied Children at Border as Refugees, Not Illegal Immigrants

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Survey | Nearly 7-in-10 Americans See Unaccompanied Children at Border as Refugees, Not Illegal Immigrants
Source: Public Religion Research Institute

Roughly half (49%) of Americans report hearing a lot about the growing numbers of children arriving in the United States from Central America, while 31% report only hearing a little, and 20% report hearing nothing at all.

More than one-third (36%) of Americans view the number of children now coming from Central America as a crisis, while 43% see the situation as a serious problem but not a crisis. About 1-in-5 (19%) say the situation is a minor problem.

A majority (69%) of Americans say that children arriving from Central America should be treated as refugees and allowed to stay in the U.S. if authorities determine it is not safe for them to return to their home countries. In contrast, 27% say that children arriving from Central America should be treated as illegal immigrants and deported back to their home countries.

The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Marital Dissolution

July 30, 2014 Comments off

The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Marital Dissolution (PDF)
Source: American Sociological Review

The reversal of the gender gap in education has potentially far-reaching consequences for marriage markets, family formation, and relationship outcomes. One possible consequence is the growing number of marriages in which wives have more education than their husbands. Past research shows that this type of union is at higher risk of dissolution. Using data on marriages formed between 1950 and 2004 in the United States, we evaluate whether this association has persisted as the prevalence of this relationship type has increased. Our results show a large shift in the association between spouses’ relative education and marital dissolution. Specifically, marriages in which wives have the educational advantage were once more likely to dissolve, but this association has disappeared in more recent marriage cohorts. Another key finding is that the relative stability of marriages between educational equals has increased. These results are consistent with a shift away from rigid gender specialization toward more flexible, egalitarian partnerships, and they provide an important counterpoint to claims that progress toward gender equality in heterosexual relationships has stalled.

Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Wealth Levels, Wealth Inequality, and the Great Recession
Source: Russell Sage Foundation

The Great Recession caused an unprecedented decline in wealth holdings among American households. Between 2007 and 2009, average housing prices in the largest metropolitan areas fell by nearly one-third, as measured by the Case-Shiller home price index. Stock prices also collapsed, with the Dow Jones Index losing nearly half of its value between mid-2007 and early 2009. These developments were exacerbated by a doubling in the unemployment rate from 5 to 10 perent between December 2007 and October 2009 and a large reduction in earnings due to increased unemployment, wage and hour cuts, and furloughs.

The housing, stock, and job markets have all improved since 2009, but at very different rates. The stock market rebounded relatively quickly and returned to the prerecession levsls by the middle of 2013. The Juy 2013 unemployment rate of 7.4 percent was below the recession peak of 10.0 percent, but was still substantially higher than the 4.7 perent rate of mid-2007. However, the most important source of wealth for most Americans is their home, and by mid-2013 home prices were still 20 percent below their mid-2007 values.

This reserch brief assesses two questions about the extent to whih the Great Recession altered the level and distribution of wealth through 2013 — the most recent year of data available on wealth held by American families.

1. By how much did wealth levels decline during the Great Recession, and by how much did they recover through 2013?

2. Did walth inequality increase, decrease, or remain steady during the Great Recession?

Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault
Source: PLoS ONE

Little is known about the climate of the scientific fieldwork setting as it relates to gendered experiences, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. We conducted an internet-based survey of field scientists (N = 666) to characterize these experiences. Codes of conduct and sexual harassment policies were not regularly encountered by respondents, while harassment and assault were commonly experienced by respondents during trainee career stages. Women trainees were the primary targets; their perpetrators were predominantly senior to them professionally within the research team. Male trainees were more often targeted by their peers at the research site. Few respondents were aware of mechanisms to report incidents; most who did report were unsatisfied with the outcome. These findings suggest that policies emphasizing safety, inclusivity, and collegiality have the potential to improve field experiences of a diversity of researchers, especially during early career stages. These include better awareness of mechanisms for direct and oblique reporting of harassment and assault and, the implementation of productive response mechanisms when such behaviors are reported. Principal investigators are particularly well positioned to influence workplace culture at their field sites.

Body Mass Index, Sex, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among Hispanic/Latino Adults: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

July 30, 2014 Comments off

Body Mass Index, Sex, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Among Hispanic/Latino Adults: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos
Source: Journal of the American Heart Association

Background
All major Hispanic/Latino groups in the United States have a high prevalence of obesity, which is often severe. Little is known about cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among those at very high levels of body mass index (BMI).

Methods and Results
Among US Hispanic men (N=6547) and women (N=9797), we described gradients across the range of BMI and age in CVD risk factors including hypertension, serum lipids, diabetes, and C‐reactive protein. Sex differences in CVD risk factor prevalences were determined at each level of BMI, after adjustment for age and other demographic and socioeconomic variables. Among those with class II or III obesity (BMI ≥35 kg/m2, 18% women and 12% men), prevalences of hypertension, diabetes, low high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol level, and high C‐reactive protein level approached or exceeded 40% during the fourth decade of life. While women had a higher prevalence of class III obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m2) than did men (7% and 4%, respectively), within this highest BMI category there was a >50% greater relative prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia in men versus women, while sex differences in prevalence of these CVD risk factors were ≈20% or less at other BMI levels.

Conclusions
Elevated BMI is common in Hispanic/Latino adults and is associated with a considerable excess of CVD risk factors. At the highest BMI levels, CVD risk factors often emerge in the earliest decades of adulthood and they affect men more often than women.

How Humans Respond to Robots: Building Public Policy Through Good Design

July 30, 2014 Comments off

How Humans Respond to Robots: Building Public Policy Through Good Design
Source: Brookings Institution

Historically, robotics in industry meant automation, a field that asks how machines perform more effectively than humans. These days, new innovation highlights a very different design space: what people and robots can do better together. Instead of idolizing machines or disparaging their shortcomings, these human-machine partnerships acknowledge and build upon human capability. From autonomous cars reducing traffic accidents, to grandparents visiting their grandchildren by means of telepresence robots, these technologies will soon be part of our everyday lives and environments. What they have in common is the intent to support or empower the human partners with robotic capability and ultimately complement human objectives.

Human cultural response to robots has policy implications. Policy affects what we will and will not let robots do. It affects where we insist on human primacy and what sort of decisions we will delegate to machines. One current example of this is the ongoing campaign by Human Rights Watch for an international treaty to ban military robots with autonomous lethal firing power—to ensure that a human being remain “in the loop” in any lethal decision. No such robots currently exist, nor does any military have plans to deploy them, nor is it clear when robotic performance is inferior, or how it is different from human performance in lethal force situations. Yet the cultural aversion to robots with the power to pull the trigger on their own is such that the campaign has gained significant traction.

Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses by Age and Insurance Coverage, 2011

July 29, 2014 Comments off

Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenses by Age and Insurance Coverage, 2011
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Highlights

  • In 2011, an average of $703 was paid out of pocket for health care among people with some health care expenses. However, the median out-of-pocket amount was notably lower ($237).
  • Nearly one-fifth of people with some health care expenses had out-of-pocket expenses greater than $1,000 while 8.2 percent had out-of-pocket expenses greater than $2,000.
  • Average out-of-pocket expenses increased with age, ranging from $283 for children under 18 to $1,215 for people age 65 and older.
  • On average, the uninsured paid nearly two-thirds of their health care expenses out of pocket while people under age 65 covered by public insurance and people age 65 and older covered by Medicare and other public insurance paid a substantially lower percentage (only 9–11 percent).

HHS — Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors By State

July 29, 2014 Comments off

Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors By State
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement

When a child who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, the child is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). ORR cares for the children in shelters around the country until they can be released to a sponsor, typically a parent or relative, who can care for the child while their immigration case is processed.

Ensuring that a potential sponsor can safely and appropriately care for the child is a top priority. A background check is conducted on all potential sponsors, and steps are taken to verify a potential sponsor’s identity and relationship to the child. In some cases where concerns are raised, a home study is done.

Before children are released to a sponsor, they receive vaccinations and medical screenings. We do not release any children who have a contagious condition.

The sponsor must agree to cooperate with all immigration proceedings.

If ORR cannot identify a viable sponsor, the child will typically remain in ORR care unless the following happens:

  • The child goes before the immigration judge and requests a voluntary departure
  • A judge orders the child to be deported and DHS repatriates
  • The child turns 18, transferring custody back to DHS
  • Legal relief, in some form is granted by an immigration judge
  • Ensuring the privacy and safety of children is of paramount importance. We cannot release information about individual children that could compromise the child’s location or identity.

The data in the table below shows state-by-state placement of unaccompanied children with sponsors. ACF will update this data during the first week of each month.

Hamas Seen as More to Blame Than Israel for Current Violence

July 29, 2014 Comments off

Hamas Seen as More to Blame Than Israel for Current Violence
Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

As fighting continues to rage in Gaza amid calls for a cease-fire, about twice as many Americans say Hamas (40%) as Israel (19%) is responsible for the current violence.

Just a quarter (25%) believe that Israel has gone too far in responding to the conflict; far more think Israel’s response has been about right (35%) or that it has not gone far enough (15%).

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted July 24-27 among 1,005 adults, finds substantial partisan divisions over which side is most responsible for the violence and Israel’s response to the conflict.

A majority of Republicans (60%) say Hamas is most responsible for the current violence. Democrats are divided: 29% say Hamas is more responsible, 26% Israel, while 18% volunteer that both sides are responsible.

There also are deep differences over Israel’s response to the conflict: Nearly half of Republicans (46%) say Israel’s response has been about right while another 19% say it has not gone far enough; just 16% think Israel’s response has been excessive. Among Democrats, as many say Israel has gone too far (35%) as say its response has been about right (31%); 9% say Israel has not gone far enough.

Guidelines for the Use of Fishes in Research

July 29, 2014 Comments off

Guidelines for the Use of Fishes in Research (PDF)
Source: American Fisheries Society

The understanding and welfare of animals used in research can be served best by using a multidisciplinary approach in which data and expertise are derived from such disciplines as ecology, behavioral studies, nutrition, genetics, toxicology, chemistry, endocrinology, physiology, anatomy, and fish health. At the same time, understanding that research is conducted in a variety of human cultural settings is important. Ideally, scientific procedures, analytical methods, data interpretations, and conclusions based on scientific studies should be consistent across all cultures; however, personal belief systems can and do influence concepts regarding which practices and methods are, or are not, consistent with humane treatment of animals. Some members of the 2014 Uses of Fishes in Research (UFR) Committee also served on the committee that revised the 2004 Guidelines (Use of Fishes in Research Committee 2004). The 2004 and 2014 Guidelines not only reflect the scientific expertise of both UFR Committees but also provide a framework for the promotion of scientifically valid research on fish and fish habitats and for research that is conducted in a manner acceptable to the social communities within which the research takes place.

The Guidelines address both field and laboratory rese arch with fishes and will serve as a resource document on topical themes. Specific information in response to United States laws is a focus here, yet these Guidelines can be applied and adapted internationally by investigators working within their own ins titutional infrastructure with regard to animal care and use committees. Internet pathway links to various Web sites and documents are included; however, such pathways to online media may change.

NIH-commissioned Census Bureau report highlights effect of aging boomers

July 28, 2014 Comments off

NIH-commissioned Census Bureau report highlights effect of aging boomers
Source: National Institutes of Health/U.S. Census Bureau

While rates of smoking and excessive drinking have declined among older Americans, prevalence of chronic disease has risen, and many older Americans are unprepared to afford the costs of long-term care in a nursing home, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau commissioned by the National Institutes of Health.

The report highlights those trends and others among America’s older population, now over 40 million and expected to more than double by mid-century, growing to 83.7 million people and one-fifth of the U.S. population by 2050. Population trends and other national data about people 65 and older are presented in the report, 65+ in the United States: 2010 (PDF, 12.0M). It documents aging as quite varied in terms of how long people live, how well they age, their financial and educational status, their medical and long-term care and housing costs, where they live and with whom, and other factors important for aging and health.

Deconstructing Canada’s Housing Markets: Finance, Affordability and Urban Sprawl

July 28, 2014 Comments off

Deconstructing Canada’s Housing Markets: Finance, Affordability and Urban Sprawl
Source: OECD

House prices have increased significantly in Canada over the past decade, driving household debt and residential construction activity to historical highs. Although macro-prudential tightening has slowed the pace of household borrowing in the last few years, house prices have continued to trend higher, and affordability remains a major challenge in urban centres. First-time home buyers must therefore spend more of their incomes to purchase a house and are vulnerable to future interest rate hikes. Overbuilding in the condominium sectors of some cities appears to be a source of risk, especially if a major price correction in these segments spills over into other markets. The country benefits from a sound and effective housing finance system, which performed well throughout the global financial crisis thanks to strong regulatory oversight and explicit government backing of the mortgage market. Nonetheless, the dominance of the crown corporation CMHC in the mortgage insurance market concentrates a significant amount of risk in public finances. Improving competitive conditions in the mortgage insurance market could help diversify these risks and reduce taxpayer contingent liabilities, while introducing coverage limits on loan losses would better align private and social interests. There may be a shortage of rental housing in several cities, especially in the range that low-income households can afford. Urban planning policies have resulted in low-density residential development which contributes to relatively high transport-related carbon emissions. Addressing these externalities requires stronger pricing signals for land development, road use, congestion and parking, combined with better integration of public transit planning. To prevent the marginalisation of low-income households, planning policies should support social mix and increase incentives for private-sector development of affordable housing.

Size Matters Stature Is Related to Diagnoses of Depression in Young Military Men

July 28, 2014 Comments off

Size Matters Stature Is Related to Diagnoses of Depression in Young Military Men
Source: Sage Open

Evolutionary theories suggest that depression has evolved as an adaptation to insurmountable adversity or defeat. One prediction stemming from these models is that individual attributes associated with defeat in a given social environment could be risk factors for depression. We hypothesized that in young military men, where physical prowess was important, short stature might constitute a risk of depression and that this risk would be specific to depression and not to other prevalent mental disorders such as anxiety. A preliminary analysis of the diagnostic profile of a sample of male military personnel treated for mental health indicates that men both shorter and taller than average by 1 standard deviation may be predisposed to higher rates of depressive but not anxiety disorders. Practical and theoretical implications of our findings are discussed.

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