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June 26, 2015

“[June 25, 2015] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [went] live with an enhanced public-facing consumer complaint database. It includes for the first time over 7,700 consumer accounts of problems they are facing with financial companies concerning mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards, debt collection, and more. The CFPB is also publishing a Request for Information […]
The Atlantic – Robinson Meyer: Experts say that a new librarian should digitize more works, raise more money—and use email. “The current librarian, James Billington, has held the title since his appointment by President Reagan in 1987. Though named by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Librarian doesn’t change with every new White […]
A Microsoft study highlights the deteriorating attention span of humans, saying it has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds:  “According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studied […]
From No States to All of Them: Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996 How same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, by National Journal Graphics Staff: “A day ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Now, it’s legal in all 50. The Supreme Court said in a 5-4 ruling […]
“On June 25, 2015, Secretary Kerry submitted the 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (commonly known as the Human Rights Reports) to the U.S. Congress.  The reports, now in their 39th year, are available at and  Mandated by Congress, the Human Rights Reports help inform U.S. government policy and foreign assistance.  They […]
PLOS ONE Open Access – “The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time […]

June 25, 2015

United States Supreme Court – KING ET AL. v. BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL., (2015) No. 14-114. Argued: March 4, 2015  Decided: June 25, 201 “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grew out of a long history of failed health insurance reform. In the 1990s, several States sought to expand […]
EPIC:  “A Congressional hearing on the Office of Personnel Management data breach has now revealed one of the worst data breaches in US history. The agency initially reported that the personal information of 4 million government employees was obtained, but news reports suggest the breach was much larger–exposing the social security numbers of more than […]
Uncertainty in global groundwater storage estimates in a total groundwater stress framework. Accepted manuscript online: 16 June 2015 Full publication history  DOI: 10.1002/2015 WR017351 “Groundwater is a finite resource under continuous external pressures. Current unsustainable groundwater use threatens the resilience of aquifer systems and their ability to provide a long-term water source. Groundwater storage is […]
Global Publics Back U.S. on Fighting ISIS, but Are Critical of Post-9/11 Torture –  June 23, 2015: “The rise of ISIS has generated strong concerns in nations around the world, and a new Pew Research Center survey finds broad global support for American military efforts against the terrorist group. And unlike the Iraq War a […]
“During the first eight months of fiscal year 2015, the federal government reported the convictions of eight individuals who had been charged with federal hate crimes under Title 8 Section 249 of the U.S. Code, according to the latest available data from the Justice Department. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual […]
Via Peter J. Egler Research & Instructional Services Librarian, Thomas R. Kline School of Law Drexel University: “I am proud to report that our colleague John Cannan has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision in King v. Burwell, issued today. The court cites John’s article from the Law Library Journal: “A […]
Follow up to previous posting – Updated Guide to Mass Shootings in America – via the New York Times, Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11: “In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults in […]

June 24, 2015

PWC: “We have been commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to survey companies across the UK on cyber security incidents and emerging trends…The key observations from the 2015 survey were: The number of security breaches has increased, the scale and cost has nearly doubled. Eleven percent of respondents changed the nature […]
Konchitchki, Yaniv and Luo, Yan and Ma, Mary L. Z. and Wu, Feng, Accounting-Based Downside Risk, Cost of Capital, and the Macroeconomy (June 23, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: “We develop an earnings downside risk measure that captures the expectation for future downward operating performance. We hypothesize that this measure contains distinct information about […]
NextGov; “Facebook has gotten so good at recognizing people from images that it doesn’t even need to see their faces anymore. At the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference in Boston earlier this month, the social network presented research that shows it can identify individuals with 83% accuracy, according to The New Scientist.  
Olszynski, Martin, Environmental Monitoring and Ecosystem Management in the Oil Sands: Spaceship Earth or Escort Tugboat? (June 22, 2015). McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: “Spurred on by mounting international concern about the environmental impacts of the oil sands and determined to […]
The New Yorker – To expose torture, Dianne Feinstein fought the C.I.A. -and the White House, June 22, 2015. “Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California, is making a late career of not quite pleasing anyone. After five decades in politics, Feinstein, at eighty-one, is the oldest sitting member of the Senate, where a late […]
“Syria’s energy sector is in turmoil because of the ongoing civil conflict that began in the spring of 2011, with oil and natural gas production declining dramatically since then. Syria’s energy sector has encountered a number of challenges as a result of conflict and subsequent sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. Damage […]
Follow up to Massive hack of federal personnel files included security-clearance database – related news – “Recorded Future identified the possible exposures of login credentials for 47 United States government agencies across 89 unique domains. As of early 2015, 12 of these agencies allowed some of their users access to computer networks with no form of two-factor […]