Archive for July, 2012

Country Analysis Brief: Egypt

July 31, 2012 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Egypt

Source: Energy Information Administration

Egypt is the largest oil producer in Africa that is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the second largest natural gas producer on the continent, following Algeria. Egypt also plays a vital role in international energy markets through the operation of the Suez Canal andSuez-Mediterranean (SUMED) Pipeline, important transit points for oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from African and Persian Gulf states to Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Fees collected from operation of these two transit points are significant sources of revenue for the Egyptian government.

2012 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Employers: Opinions about the U.S. Health Care System and Plans for Employee Health Benefits

July 31, 2012 Comments off

2012 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Employers: Opinions about the U.S. Health Care System and Plans for Employee Health Benefits (PDF)

Source: Deloitte

From press release:

U.S. employers are concerned about continued rising health care costs; however, they are unaware of solutions that could improve the safety and quality of care, and simultaneously reduce cost. While employer-sponsored health benefits are not likely to disappear, changes that shift financial risk to employees are certain.

These are among key findings in Deloitte’s 2012 survey of employers with 50+ workers offering health benefits. The survey explores employers’ opinions about the U.S. health care system, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and anticipated strategies for employee health benefits coverage and cost containment. Participants include C-suite executives and human resource (HR) professionals.

Medicines for Treating Depression: A Review of the Research for Adults

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Medicines for Treating Depression: A Review of the Research for Adults

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Antidepressants are only one kind of medicine used to treat depression. They are the most common medicine used for this condition. Your doctor may prescribe other types of medicines to treat depression. This summary will review only the research on antidepressants. It does not review research on non-medicine therapies. The research studies also did not look at patients with bipolar disorder, substance abuse, bulimia nervosa, or schizophrenia.

New From the GAO

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New GAO Reports and Testimony

Source: Government Accountability Office

+ Reports

1. Coast Guard: Legacy Vessels’ Declining Conditions Reinforce Need for More Realistic Operational Targets. GAO-12-741, July 31.
Highlights –

2. Modernizing the Nuclear Security Enterprise: NNSA’s Reviews of Budget Estimates and Decisions on Resource Trade-Offs Need Strengthening. GAO-12-806, July 31.
Highlights –

3. Strategic Weapons: Changes in the Nuclear Weapons Targeting Process Since 1991. GAO-12-786R, July 31.

+ Testimony

1. Privacy: Federal Law Should Be Updated to Address Changing Technology Landscape, by Gregory C. Wilshusen, director, information security issues, before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-12-961T, July 31.
Highlights –

Harkin: Report Reveals Troubling Realities of For-Profit Schools

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Harkin: Report Reveals Troubling Realities of For-Profit Schools

Source: Senator Tom Harkin

Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, unveiled a report on the findings of the Committee’s two-year investigation of the for-profit higher education industry. The report outlines widespread problems throughout the sector, as evidenced by the thousands of pages of never-before-released internal documents that education companies submitted to the Committee at Harkin’s request.

“In this report, you will find overwhelming documentation of overpriced tuition, predatory recruiting practices, sky-high dropout rates, billions of taxpayer dollars spent on aggressive marketing and advertising, and companies gaming regulations to maximize profits. These practices are not the exception — they are the norm; they are systemic throughout the industry, with very few exceptions,” Harkin said.

“Justice Louis Brandeis famously said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. As a result of this investigation, a wide range of Americans – including taxpayers, prospective students and their families – are waking up to the troubling realities of this industry. I hope that for-profit colleges will be moved by this final report to reform and focus on students’ success instead of just their financial aid dollars. But that will not be enough — real, bold legislative reforms are critical. We need to know how every student is faring. We need to ensure that resources intended for education are spent productively. We need colleges to provide the services that students need to succeed. And for companies so reliant on taxpayer revenues, we need to start requiring they demonstrate results for students, not just shareholders.”

Exchanging People for Money: Remittances and Repatriation in Central America

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Exchanging People for Money: Remittances and Repatriation in Central America (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras sent home more than $10 billion in remittances in 2011— almost all of it from the United States. Remittances comprised 17 percent of GDP in Honduras, 16 percent in El Salvador, and 10 percent in Guatemala and they dwarf both foreign direct investment and overseas development assistance. Remittances reduce poverty and help millions of families that receive them obtain food, clothing, education, housing, and health care, but they can also create dependence on the diaspora. Their greatest potential— fueling productive investment that generates jobs and income and reduces immigration pressure—is often untapped. In addition to the flow of money back to Central America, in recent years the number of immigrants returning from the United States to their home countries has increased. During fiscal year 2011, the United States deported a record 396,906 unauthorized immigrants, including more than 76,000 Central Americans. Central American governments are unprepared for these returned migrants. Many deportees end up re-migrating to the United States because of the lack of opportunities in their native countries.

A Roadmap to End Global Hunger

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A Roadmap to End Global Hunger
Source: World Food Program USA

The Roadmap for Continued U.S. Leadership to End Global Hunger celebrates the U.S. role in responding to humanitarian crises and alleviating chronic hunger. To ensure U.S. programs to fight global hunger continue to positively impact the lives of millions of people in need, the Roadmap outlines six recommendations for future action.