By Peter Ward October 28, 2016
Gender Pay Gap in Government
How likely is it that a woman will earn more than a man working in the U.S. federal government? An interactive article published by the Washington Post on Tuesday shows that women make more than men only 41% of the time.
If true parity were achieved, that number would be 50%. The disparity has improved since 2004, however. This is partly because some women have moved out of lower paying federal jobs and into higher paying ones.
Since 2004 the number of women working in clerical positions has dropped by 9.9%, for example, while the number of females working in the higher paid professional jobs has increased by 7.2%. Women also account for a higher percentage of federal workers with advanced degrees.
An interactive graphic lets readers select the department of the government they want to examine, and then directs them to the corresponding part of the graphic. The graphic shows, for example, that there is a $8,306 pay gap between men and women working in the Office of Management and Budget, and a $14,677 pay gap between genders in NASA.
In the Department of Veteran Affairs the median pay for women is $5,688 more than for men, one of the only departments where women make more than their male counterparts.
AT&T Paid to Spy on Americans
AT&T is spying on Americans, and profiting from it, according to an investigative article published in Daily Beast this week.
The company’s Hemisphere program searches trillions of call records and analyzes data to determine where a target–identified by law enforcement or other government agents– is located, who they speak to and why. The New York Times first reported on Hemisphere in 2013, and described it as a partnership between AT&T and the U.S. government that was used as a counter-narcotics tool.
But the Daily Beast report that the program has been used far beyond the war on drugs, to address everything from homicide to Medicaid fraud investigations.
Sheriff and police departments pay from $100,000 to up to $1 million a year for access to Hemisphere. Harris County in Texas made a payment of $77,924 to AT&T in 2007. Four years later the same county paid AT&T $940,000.
The federal government reimburses municipalities for the cost of using Hemisphere through a grant program that has already been blamed for the militarization of police in the U.S.
“At a minimum there is a very serious question whether they should be doing it without a warrant. A benefit to the parallel construction is they never have to face that crucible. Then the judge, the defendant, the general public, the media, and elected officials never know that AT&T and police across America funded by the White House are using the world’s largest metadata database to surveil people,” Adam Schwartz, staff attorney for activist group Electronic Frontier Foundation told Daily Beast.
Big Pharma Benefits from Pound Drop
GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceuticals giant based in the U.K., saw profits surge in the third quarter of this year, after benefiting from the drop in the pound sterling caused by the British vote to leave the European Union.
The value of the pound sterling has dropped by around a fifth against the dollar, since the people of the U.K. voted to leave the E.U. in a referendum in June. The weaker pound helped GlaxoSmithKline as the company’s income earned abroad is worth more when converted back to sterling.
GlaxoSmithKline’s operating profit jumped 35% in the three months up to the end of September, while sales increased by 23%.
Nicholas Hyett of Hargreaves Lansdown, told the BBC that the company’s performance was better than expected. “That performance has been further boosted by the fall in sterling, which, because of GSK’s international earnings is expected to boost earnings per share by 21% at the full year.”
He also said there was a downside to the currency fall for GSK, as the company had borrowed money in dollars and sterling and net debt had increased 37% from the start of the year.
This Week’s Top Headlines
Orders for U.S. Capital Goods Decline by Most Since February – Sho Chandra, Bloomberg News
Twitter to Cut 9% of Workforce as Revenue Growth Slows – Deepa Seetharaman, Wall Street Journal
U.S. charges 61 over India-based impersonation scam – Eric Walsh, Reuters
Gannett swings to Q3 loss as revenue grows – Roger Yu, USA Today
Dow Chemical chief: $30 billion in value creation is worth the wait – Elizabeth Gurdus, CNBC
Americans would take these 4 steps to fix Social Security – Steven Kull, Washington Post
The marijuana industry created more than 18,000 new jobs in Colorado last year – Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post
Tata Group Companies Respond to Ousted Chairman’s Write-Down Claims – Debiprasad Nayak and Shefali Anand, Wall Street Journal
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