Fading College Dream Saps U.S. Economy of Productivity Miracle

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For decades, a growing pool of college graduates poured into the U.S. labor market, boosting productivity and shaping America’s status as the world’s dominant economic power.

That driver of growth is diminishing. Enrollment has declined every year since peaking in 2011, according to the Census Bureau and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The reasons include an aging population, rising tuition costs and a healthy rate of hiring that lessens the demand for learning. Continue reading

US researchers carry out first deep analysis of China’s government-backed internet warriors

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Number of posts by ‘fifty-cent gang’ numbers in the hundreds of millions, but their purpose is not to argue with critics, but to sing the praises of the Party

It’s an open secret that China employs a veritable army of internet commentators to sing the government’s praises and attack its critics, but researchers at Harvard University in the United States say they not only have evidence this is the case, but also what Beijing’s motive is. Continue reading

Putin’s Gamble: An End to NATO and Restoration of Russian Might

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This article first appeared on the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University site.

In 1985, a Soviet leader came to power, leading one of the two superpowers in a bi-polar world, commanding a powerful military and leading a party mandated with changing the world.

Mikhail Gorbachev was also equipped with something far more powerful than the weapons in the Soviet arsenal—forecasts of the USSR’s future inability to compete with the United States in economic, technological and military terms. Gorbachev was convinced that the Soviet war economy and its priorities would constrain and exhaust its national capacity to compete successfully at the end of the 20th century—and that the internal system needed change for the USSR to sustain itself as a competitive, global power. Continue reading

The Secret Meeting in London to End Cash

I find it extremely perplexing that I have been the only one to report that there is a secret meeting in London where Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University and Willem Butler the chief economist at Citigroup will address the central banks and advocate the elimination of all cash to bring to fruition the day when you cannot buy or sell anythhing without government approval. When I Googled the issue to see who has picked it up yet, to my surprise Armstrong Economics comes up first. Others are quoting me, and I even find it spreading as the Central Bank of Nigeria, but I have yet to find reports on the meeting taking place in London when my sources are direct. Continue reading

Genomic sequencing reveals more than 300 mutations in 2014 Ebola virus

Rapid sequencing and analysis of 99 genomes have enabled researchers to identify more than 300 genetic changes in the Ebola virus genome, according to results published in Science.

With collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Pardis Sabeti, MD, DPhil, of the Broad Institute and Harvard University, and colleagues sequenced Ebola virus genomes collected from 78 patients with the virus in Sierra Leone during the first 24 days of the outbreak. Along with the mutations, which make the 2014 Ebola virus distinct from the viral genomes tied to previous Ebola outbreaks, the researchers found sequence variations indicating that the outbreak started from a single introduction into humans.

To accelerate response efforts, the research team released the full-length sequences on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s DNA sequence database in advance of publication. Continue reading