Iran Approaches a “Gorbachev Moment”

Iran Approaches a “Gorbachev Moment”. YaleGlobal. Robert A. Manning. November 26, 2013.

The United States and Iran have reached a historic interim accord that would limit sanctons and Iranian nuclear enrichment, subject to IAEA inspections. Iran confronts a transformative moment, explains the author. Western sanctions have contributed to high inflation, unemployment and other economic woes for Iran. “Like Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985, Rouhani inherited economic catastrophe and ascended to power with a mandate to fix the economy and improve a tarnished standing in the world,” Manning writes. If verification proceeds and both parties act in good faith, the six-month accord could lead to a final deal. Iran has reason to pursue pragmatic policies, and the U.S. must ensure that region-wide security is the outcome. Neither side should risk flouting compromise. Active diplomacy is in play, and the biggest challenge for the two presidents is assuring skeptics at home and among allies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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The Evolving Value of Information Management: And Five Essential Attributes of the Modern Information Professional

The Evolving Value of Information Management: And Five Essential Attributes of the Modern Information Professional. Financial Times and Special Libraries Association. November 2013.

The report explores the evolving value of information management in today’s society. Reflecting the opinions of both information professionals (providers) and senior executives (users) worldwide, the aim is to identify the opportunities to enhance the value of information management to business and provide an actionable framework for the continuing success of the information function in any organisation. “Big data” and the proliferation of new technologies are shortening the time to an answer, and yet also causing many new challenges for both users and providers. Although this research shows contrasting perspectives between providers and users, many of the root causes of the issues are the same. Both suffer from information overload and spend too much valuable time filtering for information that is useful. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 35 pages, 2.92 MB].

Public Agrees on Obesity’s Impact, Not Government’s Role

Public Agrees on Obesity’s Impact, Not Government’s Role. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. November 12, 2013.

Most Americans (69%) see obesity as a very serious public health problem, substantially more than the percentages viewing alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking and AIDS in the same terms. In addition, a broad majority believes that obesity is not just a problem that affects individuals: 63% say obesity has consequences for society beyond the personal impact on individuals. Just 31% say it impacts the individuals who are obese but not society more broadly. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages, 562.66 KB].

Philippines Disaster Draws Limited Interest, Donations

Philippines Disaster Draws Limited Interest, Donations. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. November 19, 2013.

The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is drawing less attention from the American public than a number of other major international disasters in recent years. About one-in-three Americans (32%) say they are very closely following news about the deadly typhoon that struck the Philippines on Nov. 8. By comparison, 55% of the public closely followed the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan, 58% followed the tsunami that struck coastlines around the Indian Ocean at the end of 2004, and 60% followed the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In the new national survey, conducted Nov. 14-17 among 1,013 adults, Typhoon Haiyan tied with economic news as the second-most closely followed story this week. The health care rollout was the public’s top story, with 37% following it very closely. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 464.04 KB].

Poverty in the United States: 2012

Poverty in the United States: 2012. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Thomas Gabe. November 13, 2013.

In 2012, the U.S. poverty rate was 15.0%–46.5 million persons were estimated as having income below the official poverty line. Neither the poverty rate nor the number of persons counted as poor in 2012 differed statistically from 2011 or 2010. In 2012, an estimated 10.0 million more people were poor than in 2006 and the poverty rate (15.0%) was 22% above that of 2006 (12.3%). The 46.5 million persons counted as poor in 2012 is the largest number counted in the measure’s recorded history, which goes back as far as 1959, and the 2012 poverty rate of 15.0% is the highest seen since 1993. The increase in poverty since 2006 reflects the effects of the economic recession that began in December 2007. The level of poverty tends to follow the economic cycle quite closely, tending to rise when the economy is faltering and fall when the economy is in sustained growth. This most recent recession, which officially ended in June 2009, was the longest recorded (18 months) in the post-World War II period. Even as the economy recovers, poverty is expected to remain high, as poverty rates generally do not begin to fall until economic expansion is well underway. Given the depth and duration of the recession, and the projected slow recovery, it will likely take several years or more before poverty rates recede to their 2006 pre-recession level.

[PDF format, 85 pages, 1.55 MB].

The Dilemma of Desperation Migration

The Dilemma of Desperation Migration. YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie. November 14, 2013.

Poverty, conflict and overpopulation have historically forced migrants to pursue opportunity in wealthier nations. Modern migrants may have more options for low-cost travel, yet nations also have more organized registration, border surveillance and enforcement tools, explains Joseph Chamie, former director of the UN Population Division. Thus, transit countries face new pressures. The desperate in North Africa pay exorbitant fees to board dangerously small, overcrowded vessels launched from Libya and Tunisia and headed for Europe. Hundreds of migrants have died trying to reach Italy or Australia by boat, or on foot crossing deserts along the southern border of the United States. Host nations confront a dilemma in that aid adds another incentive for more people to try treacherous journeys. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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News Use across Social Media Platforms

News Use across Social Media Platforms. Pew Research Journalism Project. Jesse Holcomb et al. November 14, 2013.

How do different social networking websites stack up when it comes to news? How many people engage with news across multiple social sites? And what are their news consumption habits on traditional platforms? News plays a varying role across the social networking sites. Roughly half of both Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites, earlier reports have shown. On YouTube, that is true of only one-fifth of its user base, and for LinkedIn, the number is even smaller. And Pinterest, a social pin board for visual content, is hardly used for news at all. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 10 pages, 552.75 KB].