Credential Recognition in the United States for Foreign Professionals (PDF)
Source: Migration Policy Institute
Foreign-trained professionals in the United States often encounter significant obstacles on their path to professional practice, among them difficulties in demonstrating the value of their past work experience and qualifications. This report examines the decentralized US credential recognition process, particularly with regards to recertification in the medical and engineering sectors and offers recommendations for improvement.
Source: American Education Research Association
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) today issued a new report titled Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities: Research Report and Recommendations. The report results from the work of a blue-ribbon AERA task force mandated to prepare and present practical short-term and long-term recommendations to address bullying of children and youth. The report’s release coincides with the association’s 94th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, where more than 15,000 education researchers are gathered to discuss research findings.
The epicenter for bullying is schools and colleges, yet may administrators, teachers, and related personnel lack training to address bullying and do not know how to intervene to reduce it.
The peer-reviewed report, presented as a series of 11 briefs, addresses legislative, policy and procedural matters with pragmatic and practical strategies for prevention of bullying.
The briefs, which range in length from four to 10 pages each, include:
- Looking Beyond the Traditional Definition of Bullying
- Bullying as a Pervasive Problem
- Bullying and Peer Victimization Among Vulnerable Populations
- Gender-Related Bullying and Harassment: A Growing Trend
- Legal Rights Related to Bullying and Discriminatory Harassment
- Improving School Climate: A Critical Tool in Combating Bullying
- Students, Teachers, Support Staff, Administrators, and Parents Working Together to Prevent and Reduce Bullying
- Putting School Safety Education at the Core of Professional Preparation Programs
- Reinvigorated Data Collection and Analysis: A Charge for National and Federal Stakeholders
[Category American Education Research Association
Source: Illinois Wesleyan University
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that occurs following a traumatic experience and has symptoms that can severely impair functioning. Military personnel are particularly likely to experience trauma, and thus are commonly diagnosed with PTSD. Importantly, because PTSD is correlated with expressions of anger and aggression, military veterans are at an increased risk of committing crimes upon returning from deployment. Although legal records have shown that veterans with PTSD are often charged with lighter crimes and/or given lighter sentences compared to people not diagnosed with PTSD, to date no psychological research has directly investigated if jurors truly are inclined to give veterans with PTSD lighter sentences than veterans without PTSD. It also remains unclear how various factors related to PTSD may influence jurors’ sentencing recommendations. The purpose of the present research was to compare judgments of guilt for veterans with PTSD to civilians and to investigate whether various factors lead to increased leniency from jurors. Participants read fictional court documents describing a crime and reported perceptions of guilt, responsibility, and feelings toward the defendant. Results indicated that the diagnosis of PTSD, timing of diagnosis, and type of combat experienced influenced various perceptions of the defendant and his sentencing. Future directions are discussed.
[Category Illinois Wesleyan University, mental health, veterans, legal and law enforcement
Source: Save the Children
The birth of a child should be a time of wonder and celebration. But for millions of mothers and babies in developing countries, it is a dance with death.
In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is publishing its 14th annual State of the World’s Mothers report. Every year, nearly 3 million babies die within the first month of life, most from preventable causes. More than a third of these babies die on their first day of life – making the birth day the riskiest day for newborns and mothers almost everywhere. This report shows which countries are doing the best – and which are doing the worst – at preventing these deaths. It also examines the need to strengthen health systems, train and equip more health workers and make proven, underused solutions available to every mother and newborn who needs them. Such efforts could help prevent as many as 3 out of 4 newborn deaths.
The first-ever Birth Day Risk Index compares first-day death rates for babies in 186 countries to identify the safest and most dangerous places to be born. The annual Mothers’ Index uses the latest data on women’s health, children’s health, educational attainment, economic well-being and female political participation to rank 176 countries and show where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest hardships.
(If you don’t like the crappy flash-based online version, download the full report in PDF.)
Category Save the Children, children and families, reproductive health, international, lists and rankings, public health]
Source: Ministry of Water Statistics, P.R. China/National Bureau of Statistics, P.R. China
1. Basic Conditions of River and Lakes
2. Basic Conditions of Water Structures
3. Water Use of the Economy and Society
4. Development and Harnessing of Rivers and Lakes
5. Soil and Water Conservation
6. Capacity Building in the Water Sector
In Chinese and English
[Ministry of Water Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics, environment, business and economics, ecology, China]
Just a reminder that some of the papers and reports posted on FullTextReports.com are freely available online for just a limited time before they disappear behind a paywall (or go away entirely). If you see something you suspect might be useful to you (or a colleague) in the future, download it the day you see it because it may not be accessible later without a subscription (or it may have been moved or taken offline).
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
DOD Procurement of Mi-17 Helicopters
GAO-13-319R, Apr 1, 2013
2012 LOBBYING DISCLOSURE
Observations on Lobbyists’ Compliance with Disclosure Requirements
GAO-13-437, Apr 1, 2013
[Government Accountability Office, military and defense, ethics, government and politics, business and economics, political process]
The Persistence of Male Power and Prestige in the Professions: Report on the Professions of Law, Medicine, and Science & Engineering
Source: Center for Research on Gender in the Professions, University of California-San Diego
Gender inequality maintains a tenacious grip on the American workplace. Post-recession, men continue to be more likely than women to retain the lion’s share of power. This holds true even within the professions requiring the most education, where some might imagine the potential for parity would be greatest. This social scientific report and set of three case studies from the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions show that, among those at the pinnacle of power, women still lag behind men. Recent claims by journalists and pundits have exaggerated the strides women have made in recent years.1 In contrast, this report documents the spectrum of power in the service economy. Women are common in the lower-paying service occupations, while men continue to dominate the professions. There are many interlocking reasons for these patterns and no simple solution to this problem. We conclude with practical steps that could help move our country toward a more positive future.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
DHS’s Progress and Challenges in Securing U.S. Borders
GAO-13-414T, Mar 14, 2013
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
Preliminary Observations on DHS Efforts to Assess Chemical Security Risk and Gather Feedback on Facility Outreach
GAO-13-412T, Mar 14, 2013
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Opportunities to Improve Management of Mortgage Insurance and Rental Assistance Programs
GAO-13-439T, Mar 14, 2013
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Key Issues and Management Challenges, 2013
GAO-13-402T, Mar 14, 2013
Continued Actions Needed to Strengthen New Council and Research Office
GAO-13-467T, Mar 14, 2013
[Government Accountability Office, national security, infrastructure, government and politics, management, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, real estate and housing, U.S. Department of Transportation, business and economics]
Source: Brookings Institution
The United States faces large federal fiscal deficits in the immediate future, the next 10 years, and the longer term. Although the current and recent deficits are thought to be helping the economic recovery, the deficits in the medium-term and long-term are more troubling because of their potential impact on national saving, economic growth, and financial markets. Addressing these medium- and long-term challenges will likely require a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases. None of the relevant options (some of which will need to be implemented sooner or later) are particularly attractive from a political perspective.
In this chapter, we consider the fiscal outlook, how new taxes on carbon could not only help address the fiscal problem but also bring about benefits on economic and environmental grounds, and how these taxes compare with some other revenue options. Section II discusses issues related to the fiscal outlook. In section III, we highlight the revenue, efficiency, and equity effects of taxes on carbon emissions and/or a higher tax on gasoline. Section VI provides a brief comparison of a carbon tax to other revenue options — including a VAT and income tax expenditure reform. Section V offers a short conclusion.
[Brookings Institution, energy, environment, business and economics, government and politics, taxation]
New GAO Report
Source: Government Accountability Office
FEDERAL COURTHOUSES CONSTRUCTION
Nationwide Space and Cost Overages Also Apply to Miami Project
GAO-13-461T, Mar 8, 2013
Between the 108.7 million viewers and the $4 million price tag on a 30-second advertising spot, Super Bowl XLVII created the type of opportunity of which marketing miracles are made. According to Nielsen, this year’s event didn’t disappoint viewers, as several advertisers came up with innovative approaches to land on this year’s top 10 best-liked and most-remembered Super Bowl ads lists.
Doritos was this year’s creative MVP for the second year running, as the hilarious Goat 4 Sale ad earned both the most-liked and most memorable commercial mantles of Super Bowl XLVII. Doritos hasn’t strayed from the winning play it’s employed in the past, crowdsourcing its creative concept for the sixth year in a row. Doritos’ Goat 4 Sale wasn’t the only commercial that captured both the hearts and minds of viewers; in fact, eight of the top 10 most memorable ads also placed among the top 10 most liked. Some of these other memorable favorites came from Taco Bell, Tide, Dodge (Ram), the NFL and America’s Milk Processors.
Taco Bell’s Goodnight Mr. Goldblatt spot was also a hit with viewers, as it earned the distinguished honors of being the second most-memorable and third most-liked commercial. It was also the most tweeted about ad of this year’s big game, earning 215,000 tweets during the four-hour sports spectacle, according to SocialGuide.
GoDaddy, a three-year veteran of the most-remembered ads list, created some major buzz with its memorable yet polarizing make out scene. But if the Web hosting company’s creative drives a large increase in traffic to its Web site, as it has in years past, any mixed reviews the ad received may be a worthwhile sacrifice.
[Category Nielsen, media and entertainment, lists and rankings, professional sports, business and economics[
Source: Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s chief privacy agency, issued a staff report recommending ways that key players in the rapidly expanding mobile marketplace can better inform consumers about their data practices.
The report makes recommendations for critical players in the mobile marketplace: mobile platforms (operating system providers, such as Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft), application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations. Most of the recommendations involve making sure that consumers get timely, easy-to-understand disclosures about what data they collect and how the data is used.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
JAN 23, 2013
Better Data and Guidance Needed to Improve Pipeline Operator Incident Response
Although not really a psychedelic, Cannabis is a potent empathogen (generating feelings of greater emotional openness) and euphoric herb that has been used alongside psychoactive plants such as Datura metel and the unidentified soma in Hindu scripture (which some scholars have speculated may be Cannabis itself) (Touw 1981). Cannabis also holds the distinction of being the most widely consumed illegal substance in the United States (World Drug Report 2011), and possibly in the world; a plant whose use is in fact so ubiquitously referenced in our culture that it’s easy to forget that the United States government still lists Cannabis as a Schedule One drug considered to have a high potential for addiction and no recognized medical value. While state legalizations of Cannabis for medical purposes are turning this tide, at the federal level Cannabis is still illegal.
With so much information about Cannabis available online as well as in film and television, we must ask, “Do narrative media sources accurately portray the context in which people use Cannabis, the market surrounding its use, and the effects of this herb?” While there are literally hundreds of films that feature casual Cannabis use, to get to the heart of this question I’ve selected two films and a television series with plots centered on the use, manufacturing, and sale of Cannabis in the United States.
[Entheology.com, drugs, media and entertainment, drug abuse, social and cultural issues]
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
In 2009, 6.7% of the estimated 1.1 million persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the United States were youths (defined in this report as persons aged 13–24 years); more than half of youths with HIV (59.5%) were unaware of their infection.
CDC used National HIV Surveillance System data to estimate, among youths, prevalence rates of diagnosed HIV infection in 2009 and the number of new infections (incidence) in 2010. To assess the prevalence of risk factors and HIV testing among youths, CDC used the 2009 and 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System for 9th–12th grade students and the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for persons 18–24 years.
Prevalence of diagnosed HIV was 69.5 per 100,000 youths at the end of 2009. Youths accounted for 12,200 (25.7%) new HIV infections in 2010. Of these, 7,000 (57.4%) were among blacks/African Americans, 2,390 (19.6%) among Hispanics/Latinos, and 2,380 (19.5%) among whites; 8,800 (72.1%) were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact. The percentage of youths tested for HIV overall was 12.9% among high school students and 34.5% among those aged 18–24 years; it was lower among males than females, and lower among whites and Hispanics/Latinos than blacks/African Americans.
A disproportionate number of new HIV infections occurs among youths, especially blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and men who have sex with men (MSM). The percentage of youths tested for HIV, however, was low, particularly among males.
Implications for Public Health:
More effort is needed to provide effective school- and community-based interventions to ensure all youths, particularly MSM, have the knowledge, skills, resources, and support necessary to avoid HIV infection. Health-care providers and public health agencies should ensure that youths are tested for HIV and have access to sexual health services, and that HIV-positive youths receive ongoing health-care and prevention services.
Category Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV/AIDS, adolescents]
Source: Brookings Institution
• We need better metrics for measuring worker productivity in the 21st century economy. Past approaches based on worker hours or total employees in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ignore the transformational nature of digital technology.
• We should encourage entrepreneurship by expanding Small Business Administration credit for start ups, adding entrepreneurial skills to school curricula, and making changes in immigration policy that encourage entrepreneurs to come to America.
• We need governments that learn to innovate and collaborate, and develop new approaches to service delivery, transparency, and participation. This includes placing more data online and employing data analytical tools, social media, mobile technology, and search results that improve decision-making.
• We should strengthen infrastructure by investing in broadband, data centers, and mobile cell towers, and improving access to spectrum for wireless applications.
• We should protect vital digital assets by updating the Federal Information Security Management Act and developing procedures for monitoring threats to critical infrastructure.
• We need to improve knowledge transmission through faster adoption of digital textbooks, more widespread use of creative commons licenses for instructional materials developed with taxpayer dollars, and policy changes that speed education innovation.
• We need to increase technology transfer and the commercialization of knowledge from universities and federal laboratories so that public and private investments translate into jobs and economic activity as well as better health, security, and well-being.
• We should harmonize cross-border laws to promote global innovation and freedom of expression.
[Brookings Institution, technology and internet, business and economics, government and politics, small business and entrepreneurship]
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
This report provides an overview of transnational security issues related to patterns of interaction among international terrorist and crime groups. In addition, the report discusses the U.S. government’s perception of and response to the threat. It concludes with an analysis of foreign policy options.
In recent years, the U.S. government has asserted that terrorism, insurgency, and crime interact in varied and significant ways, to the detriment of U.S. national security interests. Although unclassified anecdotal evidence largely serves as the basis for the current understanding of criminal-terrorist connections, observers often focus on several common patterns.
• Partnership Motivations and Disincentives: Collaboration can serve as a force multiplier for both criminal and terrorist groups, as well as a strategic weakness. Conditions that may affect the likelihood of confluence include demand for special skills unavailable within an organization, greed, opportunity for and proclivity toward joint ventures, and changes in ideological motivations.
• Appropriation of Tactics: Although ideologies and motivations of an organization may remain consistent, criminals and terrorists have shared similar tactics to reach their separate operational objectives. Such tactics include acts of violence; involvement in criminal activity for profit; money laundering; undetected cross-border movements; illegal weapons acquisition; and exploitation of corrupt government officials.
• Organizational Evolution and Variation: A criminal group may transform over time to adopt political goals and ideological motivations. Conversely, terrorist groups may shift toward criminality. For some terrorist groups, criminal activity remains secondary to ideological ambitions. For others, profit-making may surpass political aspirations as the dominant operating rationale. Frequently cited terrorist organizations involved in criminal activity include Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Al Qaeda’s affiliates, D-Company, Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Haqqani Network, and Hezbollah.
To combat these apparent criminal-terrorist connections, Congress has maintained a role in formulating U.S. policy responses. Moreover, recent Administrations have issued several strategic documents to guide U.S. national security, counterterrorism, anti-crime, and intelligence activities. In July 2011, for example, the Obama Administration issued the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, which emphasized, among other issues, the confluence of crime and terrorism as a major factor in threatening the U.S. global security interests.
While the U.S. government has maintained substantial long-standing efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime separately, Congress has been challenged to evaluate whether the existing array of authorities, programs, and resources sufficiently respond to the combined crimeterrorism threat. Common foreign policy options have centered on diplomacy, foreign assistance, financial actions, intelligence, military action, and investigations. At issue for Congress is how to conceptualize this complex crime-terrorism phenomenon and oversee the implementation of cross-cutting activities that span geographic regions, functional disciplines, and a multitude of policy tools that are largely dependent on effective interagency coordination and international cooperation.
[Congressional Research Service, terrorism, financial crime and fraud, legal and law enforcement, international relations]
Understanding Mid-Air Hand Gestures: A Study of Human Preferences in Usage of Gesture Types for HCI
Source: Microsoft Research
In this paper we present the results of a study of human preferences in using mid-air gestures for directing other humans. Rather than contributing a specific set of gestures, we contribute a set of gesture types, which together make a set of the core actions needed to complete any of our six chosen tasks in the domain of human-to-human gestural communication without the speech channel. We observed 12 participants, cooperating to accomplish different tasks only using hand gestures to communicate. We analyzed 5,500 gestures in terms of hand usage and gesture type, using a novel classification scheme which combines three existing taxonomies in order to better capture this interaction space. Our findings indicate that, depending on the meaning of the gesture, there is preference in the usage of gesture types, such as pointing, pantomimic acting, direct manipulation, semaphoric, or iconic gestures. These results can be used as guidelines to design purely gesture driven interfaces for interactive environments and surfaces.
[Categories Microsoft Research, psychology and sociology]
Source: Congressional Research Service (via New York Times)
Income tax rates have been at the center of recent policy debates over taxes. Some policymakers have argued that raising tax rates, especially on higher income taxpayers, to increase tax revenues is part of the solution for long-term debt reduction. For example, the Senate recently passed the Middle Class Tax Cut (S. 3412), which would allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts to expire for taxpayers with income over $250,000 ($200,000 for single taxpayers). The Senate recently considered legislation, the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (S. 2230), that would implement the “Buffett rule” by raising the tax rate on millionaires.
Other recent budget and deficit reduction proposals would reduce tax rates. The President’s 2010 Fiscal Commission recommended reducing the budget deficit and tax rates by broadening the tax base—the additional revenues from broadening the tax base would be used for deficit reduction and tax rate reductions. The plan advocated by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan that is embodied in the House Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 112), the Path to Prosperity, also proposes to reduce income tax rates by broadening the tax base. Both plans would broaden the tax base by reducing or eliminating tax expenditures.
Advocates of lower tax rates argue that reduced rates would increase economic growth, increase saving and investment, and boost productivity (increase the economic pie). Proponents of higher tax rates argue that higher tax revenues are necessary for debt reduction, that tax rates on the rich are too low (i.e., they violate the Buffett rule), and that higher tax rates on the rich would moderate increasing income inequality (change how the economic pie is distributed). This report attempts to clarify whether or not there is an association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and economic growth. Data is analyzed to illustrate the association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and measures of economic growth. For an overview of the broader issues of these relationships see CRS Report R42111, Tax Rates and Economic Growth, by Jane G. Gravelle and Donald J. Marples.
Throughout the late-1940s and 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was typically above 90%; today it is 35%. Additionally, the top capital gains tax rate was 25% in the 1950s and 1960s, 35% in the 1970s; today it is 15%. The real GDP growth rate averaged 4.2% and real per capita GDP increased annually by 2.4% in the 1950s. In the 2000s, the average real GDP growth rate was 1.7% and real per capita GDP increased annually by less than 1%. There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced.
See: Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest (New York Times)