Britain In Realization [12.24.14]

Northern Ireland

“Rival parties in Northern Ireland reached an agreement on Tuesday over an austerity budget dispute with Britain and legacy issues from decades of Catholic-Protestant strife. The agreement averted a collapse of the power-sharing government established 16 years ago.

A failure would have made Britain solely responsible for running Northern Ireland, raising the risk of a throwback to the days of violent enmity between the predominantly Roman Catholic nationalists, who want to merge with Ireland, and the mainly Protestant unionists, who want Northern Ireland to remain part of Britain.

First Minister Peter Robinson of the majority Democratic Unionist Party described the agreement as “very significant.”

A package of loans and financial assistance worth about $3.2 billion offered by Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain helped break the impasse.

The British aid will enable Northern Ireland to avert some of the steep welfare reductions imposed elsewhere in Britain. It could also clear the way for Northern Ireland to reduce its corporate tax rate, now 21 percent, to the same as Ireland’s, 12.5 percent.

A more competitive tax rate could bolster Northern Ireland’s economy by encouraging businesses to establish themselves there.”

Latest From Science, Engineering, Medicine & Innovation [12.24.14]

Education : Platforms & Services

Reinvention of University Education 

Factors:

  1. Funding Crisis (Student Debt, Rising tuition fees, etc.)
  2. Tech Revolution (MOOCs, Big Data, Education delivered through Computers – Cheaper alternative)
  3. LifeLong Learning Demands in an age of Rapid Technological Progress

Economist Report : Reinvention Of University Education

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“Three disruptive waves are threatening to upend established ways of teaching and learning:

  • a funding crisis
  • a technological revolution …  An explosion in online learning, much of it free
  • whereas universities used to educate only a tiny elite, they are now responsible for training and retraining workers throughout their careers” 
    • [Note: Rapid Technological Progress calls for Lifelong Learning].

From TIME Summit On Higher Education 2013

Policy-Makers On Reinvention of University Education

Scientific American & Nature Special Report [2013]: Learning In The Digital Age

Forbes 2014 Philanthropy Summit On Education

Smart Car

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This electric car, retrofitted to drive itself, is being tested in Singapore.

           

“Singapore plans to let anyone test driverless cars in one of its busy neighborhoods in 2015. 

The city-state will open one of its neighborhoods to driverless cars in 2015, with the idea that such vehicles could operate as a kind of jitney service, picking up passengers and taking them to trains or other modes of public transportation.

the government wants to explore whether autonomous vehicles could reduce congestion and remake the city into one built around walking, bicycling, and public transit.”

Dealing With Climate Change:

Case Study: Costa Rica, Brazil & Indonesia

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America In Realization [12.24.14]

Economy & Business

Cyber-Security

Florida In Realization

“California remains the most populous state, followed by Texas.”

Sports

NFL talent evaluators say there’s a different kind of athlete dominating the league this season: the soccer player.
From Odell Beckham Jr. to Ndamukong Suh, Players Reared in That Other Type of Football Are Taking Over”

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Around Latin America & Caribbean [12.24.14]

Cuba

“In December 2010, nearly three years after he took power from his ailing brother Fidel Castro, Raúl Castro called on Cubans to be critical of the system, acknowledging that the Communist Party had failed its citizens in myriad ways. Cuba’s diverse and growing community of bloggers and independent journalists have done just that, becoming a powerful alternative to the official press, which for decades has delivered hyperbolic and dull content, but little substantive journalism.

Few segments of Cuban society will stand to benefit more from improved relations between Washington and Havana than this group. As Internet access on the island expands, independent writers could become even more important agents of change.”

 

 

Costa Rica

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A second-growth forest in Costa Rica