Lobbyists for the nation’s biggest banks have persuaded federal regulators to soften a proposed Dodd-Frank rule, a move that is expected to protect Wall Street’s control over the $700 trillion derivatives market.
Canada ranks well in the following areas: clinical medicine; information and communication technologies; physics and astronomy; psychology and cognitive sciences. Canada also punches well above its weight in historical studies and research on the visual and performing arts.
The panel also found found that Canada is a world leader in research on venereal diseases and dermatology, as well as anatomy, astrophysics, general and internal medicine, nuclear and particle physics and zoology. Canada is also a leader in studying business and management, criminology and classics.
As for the future, the survey of Canadian experts identified a number of areas in which Canada is well-placed to become a global leader. They include: personalized medicine, tissue engineering and digital media. Nanotechnologies and wireless technology may also be emerging areas of strength.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, often called the the “Muslim Gandhi,” was an Afghan political and spiritual leader known for his nonviolent opposition to British Rule in India. A devout Muslim and dedicated pacifist, he worked with Gandhi to put an end to the British Raj and bring unity among the divided people of South Asia. A man of great integrity, he once declared that it is “better [to] be poisoned in one’s own blood then to be poisoned in one’s principle.”
Khan was also a reformer and social activist who sought to alleviate the poverty, violence, and hatred of his society. To that end, he formed the Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) movement, in which members would take an oath of honesty, integrity, self-sacrifice, and the serving of others without regard to faith or ethnicity. The success of this group led to a harsh crackdown by the British, though Khan remained committed to nonviolence.
He opposed the partition of India, and because of this – as well as his lifelong opposition to authoritarian rule – he was frequently arrested, exiled, and harassed by the Pakistani authorities. Despite this, he never wavered in his values and remained a pacifist for the rest of his life.
As nearly every political writer will attest, it’s nearly impossible to write about a right-wing agitator like Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh without someone smugly commenting, “why do you even give them the time of day? If we ignore them, they’ll go away.”
On this day in 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, because “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” which thereby violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
A map of the world’s most and least racially-tolerant countries. Read the methodology of the study, and its conclusion, here. The analysis was as follows:
- Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant. People in the survey were most likely to embrace a racially diverse neighbor in the United Kingdom and its Anglo former colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and in Latin America. The only real exceptions were oil-rich Venezuela, where income inequality sometimes breaks along racial lines, and the Dominican Republic, perhaps because of its adjacency to troubled Haiti. Scandinavian countries also scored high.
- India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong by far the least tolerant.In only three of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians, 51.4 percent of Jordanians and an astonishingly high 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers and 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis.
- Wide, interesting variation across Europe. Immigration and national identity are big, touchy issues in much of Europe, where racial make-ups are changing. Though you might expect the richer, better-educated Western European nations to be more tolerant than those in Eastern Europe, that’s not exactly the case. France appeared to be one of the least racially tolerant countries on the continent, with 22.7 percent saying they didn’t want a neighbor of another race. Former Soviet states such as Belarus and Latvia scored as more tolerant than much of Europe. Many in the Balkans, perhaps after years of ethnicity-tinged wars, expressed lower racial tolerance.
- The Middle East not so tolerant. Immigration is also a big issue in this region, particularly in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which often absorb economic migrants from poorer neighbors.
- Racial tolerance low in diverse Asian countries. Nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines, where many racial groups often jockey for influence and have complicated histories with one another, showed more skepticism of diversity. This was also true, to a lesser extent, in China and Kyrgyzstan. There were similar trends in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
- South Korea, not very tolerant, is an outlier. Although the country is rich, well-educated, peaceful and ethnically homogenous – all trends that appear to coincide with racial tolerance – more than one in three South Koreans said they do not want a neighbor of a different race. This may have to do with Korea’s particular view of its own racial-national identity as unique – studied by scholars such as B.R. Myers – and with the influx of Southeast Asian neighbors and the nation’s long-held tensions with Japan.
- Pakistan, remarkably tolerant, also an outlier. Although the country has a number of factors that coincide with racial intolerance – sectarian violence, its location in the least-tolerant region of the world, low economic and human development indices – only 6.5 percent of Pakistanis objected to a neighbor of a different race. This would appear to suggest Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even the Germans or the Dutch.
Note that there are many caveats to keep in mind: for example, different societies have different perceptions of race (certain social, religious, and sectarian groups may be perceived unfavorably as distinct races) or may have no concept of race at all. Similarly, there is a difference between actually liking someone of a certain race, and being willing to live near them. Many national surveys from these countries will reveal strong racist attitudes in conjunction with a begrudging ability to tolerate said races.
Chiwa - Mchinji, Malawi Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possessions — their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of their circumstances.
As librarians struggle with the task of redefining their roles in a digital age, many are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores.
Under mounting pressure, several companies agreed to a landmark plan to help pay for safety improvements in Bangladesh’s garment factories.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for the Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
Gay marriage is suddenly popular. But what our map GIF shows is that this wave of support for gay rights follows two large anti-gay rights wave, first under President Bill Clinton and then under President George W. Bush.
Based on data drawn from media reports and state salary databases, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and 10 dorks who aren’t even in charge of a team.
So are my hard-earned tax dollars paying these coaches?
Probably not. The bulk of this coaching money—especially at the big football schools—is paid out of the revenue that the teams generate.
So what’s the problem then? These guys make tons of money for their schools; shouldn’t they be paid accordingly?
There are at least three problems.
- Coaches don’t generate revenue on their own; you could make the exact same case for the student-athletes who actually play the game and score the points and fracture their legs.
- It can be tough to attribute this revenue directly to the performance of the head coach. In 2011-2012, Mack Brown was paid $5 million to lead a mediocre 8-5 Texas team to the Holiday Bowl. The team still generated $103.8 million in revenue, the most in college football. You don’t have to pay someone $5 million to make college football profitable in Texas.
- This revenue rarely makes its way back to the general funds of these universities. Looking at data from 2011-2012, athletic departments at 99 major schools lost an average of $5 million once you take out revenue generated from “student fees” and “university subsidies.” If you take out “contributions and donations”—some of which might have gone to the universities had they not been lavished on the athletic departments—this drops to an average loss of $17 million, with just one school (Army) in the black. All this football/basketball revenue is sucked up by coach and AD salaries, by administrative and facility costs, and by the athletic department’s non-revenue generating sports; it’s not like it’s going to microscopes and Bunsen burners.
Source: Reuben Fischer-Baum, Deadspin.
A new survey report looks at attitudes among Muslims in 39 countries on a wide range of topics, from science to sharia, polygamy to popular culture. The survey finds that overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law to be the official law of their land, but there is also widespread support for democracy and religious freedom.
I don’t need you to “tolerate” me. I don’t want you to merely put up with my presence. All I ask, all I have ever asked, is to be treated as a human being, that bigoted jingoism is not injected into every minute facet my life, that there remains at least the illusion of decency.
Minority homeowners have paid disproportionately in the aftermath of the housing crisis due to the racist predatory lending practices of the big banks. Minorities were systematically charged higher fees and steered into riskier subprime loans even when they would have qualified for prime loans.
In 2011, Bank of America (BoA) agreed to pay out $335 million to settle allegations that Countrywide Financial—which BoA bought in 2008—discriminated against minority borrowers. That constitutes the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history.
According to the Department of Justice, “The odds of a minority applicant being steered into such a [subprime] loan were more than twice as high as those for a non-Hispanic white borrower with a similar credit rating.”
Last year, Wells Fargo agreed to pay out $175 million due to similar allegations.According to the Washington Post, “The average African American taking out a $300,000 prime loan was charged $2,064 more in broker fees than a similarly qualified white customer. Latino borrowers paid an average of $1,251 more.”
“They referred to subprime loans made in minority communities as ghetto loans and minority customers as ‘those people have bad credit’, ‘those people don’t pay their bills’ and ‘mud people,’” wrote former Wells Fargo loan officer Tony Paschal in his affidavit.
Whether or not all individual loan officers were racist, the overall pattern was endemic across the banking industry during the housing boom. As early as 2006, the Center for Responsible Lending found that ”borrowers of color…were more than 30 percent more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers, even after accounting for differences in risk.”
The predictable result was that when the housing bubble burst, minority lenders were disproportionately affected. Again, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, African American borrowers were 76 percent more likely, and Latino borrowers 71 percent more likely, to have lost their homes to foreclosure than white borrowers. These disparities hold even when controlling for differences in income.
The report went on to estimate the “spillover” losses due to depreciating values of nearby properties in communities of color at upwards of $371 billion between 2009 and 2012 alone.
All this has accelerated the trend of a yawning wealth gap between whites and people of color. According to a recent study from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, the wealth gap between white and African American families has nearly tripled between 1984 and 2009. More than 25 percent of the gap is directly attributable to homeownership and other policies associated with housing.
According to the Pew Research Center, between 2005 and 2009, Latino wealth fell by 66 percent and Black wealth fell by 53 percent, compared with 16 percent for whites.