70,231 research outputs found

    Voluntary Sterilization of Inmates for Reduced Prison Sentences

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    In May 2017, a Tennessee judge issued a standing order allowing inmates to receive thirty days’ jail credit in exchange for undergoing a voluntary sterilization procedure. Although the order was ultimately rescinded, this Article will address the constitutional and ethical concerns that a district court would have considered had the order not been rescinded. While inmates can always choose to waive their constitutional rights, the coercive nature of prisons—explained in the unconstitutional conditions doctrine—may compromise a prisoner’s ability to provide voluntary consent. The constitutionality of the order largely depends on the level of scrutiny a court applies. Regardless of the order’s constitutionality, the adverse ethical and social ramifications outweigh any potential benefits that could come from such an order. This order would also give too much power to state governments over an individual’s reproductive freedoms. Instead of automatically reducing an inmate’s sentence after undergoing a sterilization procedure, drug offenders should have the opportunity to choose from several different birth control options that could possibly lead to a reduced sentence

    Plain Reading, Subtle Meaning: Rethinking the IOIA and the Immunity of International Organizations

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    Immunity is freedom from liability, and as such, it can quite literally provide a “get out of jail free” card. In the United States, international organizations face uncertainty about the scope of their immunity, which is provided by the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA). The D.C. Circuit has found that international organizations enjoy absolute immunity under the IOIA. Conversely, the Third Circuit recently held that international organizations are only entitled to restrictive immunity, which limits immunity to claims involving an organization’s public acts and does not exempt them from suits based on their commercial or private conduct. This Note contends that a plain reading of the IOIA, combined with a full understanding of the history and legislative purpose behind the immunity of international organizations, presents a third interpretation. It concludes that the IOIA requires judicial deference to immunity determinations by the executive branch, which provides the flexibility necessary to allow international organizations to operate without undue interference

    First Result of Net-Charge Jet-Correlations from STAR

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    We presented results on azimuthal correlation of net-charge with high pTp_T trigger particles. It is found that the net-charge correlation shape is similar to that of total-charge. On the near-side, the net-charge and total-charge pTp_T spectra have similar shape and both are harder than the inclusives. On the away-side, the correlated spectra are not much harder than the inclusives, and the net-charge/total-charge ratio increases with pTp_T and is similar to the inclusive ratio

    Geological remote sensing: Identification and mapping of rock types for non-renewable resources

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    Efforts concentrated on developing a technique for relating laboratory spectral reflectance curves of known rocks and vegetation on LANDSAT multispectral images. The techniques involves determination of the laboratory spectral signature of a material of interest and searching a stack of spatially registered multispectral images for materials with the desired spectral signature. Changes in spectral reflectance caused by vegetation cover were also investigated in surface samples from Hawaii

    A ball trunnion capture latch

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    The Ball Trunnion Capture Latch described was developed and designed to restrain a spacecraft deployable appendage in three translational directions. The latch is capable of supporting an appendage during STS ascent and landing events and is capable of releasing and restowing an appendage distorted in three translational directions by thermal growth. The requirements, design, analyses, and tests conducted on a development unit of the latch are discussed

    Uniform convergence of Vapnik--Chervonenkis classes under ergodic sampling

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    We show that if X\mathcal{X} is a complete separable metric space and C\mathcal{C} is a countable family of Borel subsets of X\mathcal{X} with finite VC dimension, then, for every stationary ergodic process with values in X\mathcal{X}, the relative frequencies of sets CCC\in\mathcal{C} converge uniformly to their limiting probabilities. Beyond ergodicity, no assumptions are imposed on the sampling process, and no regularity conditions are imposed on the elements of C\mathcal{C}. The result extends existing work of Vapnik and Chervonenkis, among others, who have studied uniform convergence for i.i.d. and strongly mixing processes. Our method of proof is new and direct: it does not rely on symmetrization techniques, probability inequalities or mixing conditions. The uniform convergence of relative frequencies for VC-major and VC-graph classes of functions under ergodic sampling is established as a corollary of the basic result for sets.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/09-AOP511 the Annals of Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aop/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    The Determinants of Credit Ratings in the United Kingdom Insurance Industry

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    Executive Summary The Determinants of Credit Ratings in the United Kingdom Insurance Industry Academic researchers have devoted a considerable amount of attention to the activities of credit rating agencies over the past 20 years, focusing in particular on the agencies’ potential role in overseeing corporate financial strength and promoting the efficient operation of financial markets. Examinations of credit rating practices has recently extended to the insurance industry, where the complex technical nature of market transactions leads to policyholders, investors and others facing particularly acute information asymmetries at the point-of-sale. Published credit ratings are therefore seen as helping to alleviate imperfections in insurance markets by providing a third party opinion on the adequacy of an insurer’s financial health and the likelihood of it meeting obligations to policyholders and others in the future. Although the United Kingdom (UK) insurance market is now one of the five largest in the world, relatively little is known about the practices of the major firms and policy-makers which influence its operations. In particular, whilst the determinants of rating agencies’ assessments of United States (US) insurers is well documented, published studies have yet to provide comprehensive evidence about insurance company ratings in the UK. This study attempts to fill this gap by examining the ratings awarded by two of the world’s leading agencies – A.M. Best and Standard and Poor (S&P) – and establishing the extent to which organizational variables can help predict: (i) insurance firms’ decision to be rated; and (ii) the assigned ratings themselves. Our sample of UK data comprises ratings made by A.M. Best and S&P over the period 1993-1997 for both life and property-liability insurers. The panel data we use is ordinal in nature and is therefore analysed using an ordered probit model. However, because neither A.M. Best or S&P rate the full population of UK insurance firms our data set is potentially subject to selfselection bias and we therefore extend the model to correct for such problems. In particular, the paper examines the effect of eight firm-specific variables (namely, capital adequacy, profitability, liquidity, growth, size, mutual/stockowner status, reinsurance level, and short/long-term nature of business) on the ratings awarded by the two agencies, as well as on insurance firms’ decisions to volunteer for the ratings in the first place. In general terms, our evidence concurs with earlier US findings, and suggests that although the decision to be rated by either of the agencies is largely influenced by a common set of factors, the determinants of the ratings themselves appear to differ. Specifically, our first main finding is that insurers’ decisions to be rated by either A.M. Best or S&P is positively related to surplus growth, profitability and leverage. Second, while we find that A.M. Best’s ratings are positively linked to profitability and liquidity, as well as being generally higher for mutual insurers, the findings for S&P differ substantially. Although liquidity again exerted a positive influence on assigned ratings, the only other statistically significant variable was financial leverage, which had a negative sign. We believe that the results of our research are of potential importance for companies operating in insurance markets as well as for policy-makers, brokers and others. For example, the evidence that mutual insurers are generally assigned higher ratings than stock insurers suggests that certain publicly-traded insurers, in particular new entrants, might not possess sound financial strength and may require closer regulatory scrutiny than other, more established, insurance firms. In addition, the finding that liquidity has a significantly positive effect on ratings assigned by two of the world’s leading credit agencies should provide a measure of confidence about the robustness of the ratings to industry regulators, policyholders and investors in the UK. This could imply that external ratings might eventually play a role in substituting for costly industry regulation. The study concludes that although the factors influencing the decision to be rated by A.M. Best or S&P are broadly the same, a degree of variability exists in the variables which influence the actual ratings themselves. Insurance company managers should be aware of this when contemplating whether to seek an independent rating and which agency to choose for the assessment. We therefore believe that this study fills an important gap in the literature about key players in the important UK insurance market and provides a basis for the conduct of future research