Watching the World
“Marriage rates in England and Wales have fallen to the lowest level since records began,” in 1862.—OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS, BRITAIN.
Over half the executives of small, privately owned companies in the United States “expect employees to steal something of value [from the company] within the next year.”—REUTERS NEWS SERVICE, U.S.A.
Within less than a year after launching an Internet “crackdown,” Chinese authorities had already “shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites,” stated the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications.—CHINA DAILY, CHINA.
“More than 215 million people—or three per cent of the world’s population—now [live] outside their home countries.”—UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, ITALY.
“Of the 19 students who commit suicide each day in India, six [do so] fearing failure in examinations.”—INDIA TODAY INTERNATIONAL, INDIA.
Marketing Strategies in the Gambling Industry
In Germany an addicted gambler loses, on average, more than ten times the money lost by a non-addict. Addicted players are thus the “foundation for this line of business,” says the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. To maximize profits, the gambling industry structures its games and designs its machines to foster and exploit addiction. The faster the machines become, the faster the player loses self-control and becomes addicted. These marketing strategies are working—56 percent of the income from slot machines is said to be derived from addicts. In casinos the rate is 38 percent; and in online games, 60 percent.
A Good Time to See a Judge?
Can irrelevant factors influence judicial decision making? One study suggests that they can. A team of researchers analyzed more than 1,000 parole rulings handed down by experienced judges in Israel. The study found that in the work sessions following the judges’ lunch and snack breaks, favorable rulings gradually went from about 65 percent to nearly zero and then abruptly returned to 65 percent after the next break. The researchers concluded that rulings are not always based solely on fact and law but “can be swayed by extraneous variables that should have no bearing on legal decisions.”