HARD-033 Animal Protection What have countries or groups of people done to protect animals in recent years? All new laws passed in 1999 to protect animals, and all efforts made by the government or by people to protect animals are on topic. All personal reasons behind the protection of animals (like elections), that contributed to set new animal's protection's laws are off-topic. But reasons behind a law that a govenment put to protect animals are on topic. HARD-036 International Year of Older Persons (IYOP) What was the International Year of Older Persons and why was it made? The reasons behind the IYOP, what it was all about, and how successful it was are all on topic. HARD-044 Amusement Park Safety Why was the National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act enacted? All reasons behind this act, and the sections of the bill are on topic. Information about the ways theme parks had to change as a result of this act are on-topic. HARD-048 Y2K crisis What led up to the Y2K crisis and what were its consequences? All information about the Y2K problem, its danger, its consequences (influence on people) that happened in 1999 only, what caused it, how people dealt with it, and why people feared it on topic. Computer program failures on specific dates, or personal problems are not on topic. HARD-051 Hate Crimes Prevention Why was the Hate Crimes Prevention Act enacted and how has it improved the protection of an individual's civil rights? The reasons behind the creation of this act and its effect on society and the legal system are on-topic. Documents restricted to hate crimes, with no mention of the Act, are off-topic. HARD-053 Oscars How has the Academy Awards ceremony changed over the years? Articles about the winners of the Oscars 1999 awards, the preparations for the Oscars, and the comparison between Oscars 1999 and others are all on-topic. Predictions about the winners of the awards of the Oscars 1999 are off-topic. HARD-059 Alexandria's New Library What is the value of Alexandria's new library? Information about Alexandria's old library is not on topic. Information about contributions in rebuilding the library, and its value are on topic. HARD-065 Mad Cow disease How did the world face the Mad Cow disease in 1999? All articles about the consequences of that disease, its side effects and how people reacted to them (new research, drugs...) are on topic. Articles that contain short definitions of the disease accompanied with any of the above are also on topic. Long definitions, things that did not happen in 1999, or personal experiences are not on topic. HARD-069 Environmental protection What measures did governments take to protect the environment and reduce pollution in the last year? Articles about new laws passed or efforts made in 1999 to protect the environment are on-topic. Articles mentioning statistics of the level of pollution in the world in 1999 without mentioning how to save the environment from this pollution are off-topic. HARD-070 Red Cross activities What has been the Red Cross' international role in the last year? Articles concerning the Red Cross's activities around the globe are on topic. Has the RC's role changed? Information restricted to international relief efforts that do not include the RC are off-topic. HARD-077 Insect-borne illnesses How have Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and the West Nile virus changed the way Americans interact with nature and/or the suburban landscape? Articles related to West Nile virus, RMSF and Lyme disease warnings are on-topic. Information about how people live during the summer months (barbecue, etc) and how this has changed due to fear of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases are on-topic. Stories about similar diseases outside of the US are off-topic. HARD-084 Recent Earthquakes How did powerful earthquakes of 1999 affect the economies of nations struck with these disasters and how did governments try to rebuild their state? Articles that address the severity of major earthquakes on a local economic level are on-topic. Documents that detail the economic drain on the countries that suffered earthquakes are on-topic. Articles restricted to the humanitarian aid proffered by other countries after earthquakes are off-topic, while aid and administrative plans from the local government are on-topic. HARD-087 Egyptian cotton How did Egyptian cotton influence Egypt and the world in 1999? Documents about the role of cotton in Egypt's economy, state control of the cotton industry and international competition in the cotton trade are on topic. HARD-099 Globalization and democracy In what manner has globalization affected democracies around the world? On-topic documents might address the following issues: 1.role of democratic institutions 2. global communications system 3. role of civil society groups 4. human rights violations 5. political stability post globalisation 6. corruption levels 7. compliance with international agreements HARD-102 Microsoft monopoly In what ways does Microsoft hold a monopoly power on computer systems? Information about the antitrust case brought against Miscrosoft and the results of the trial are on topic. Articles that specify how much Microsoft actually controls in terms of computer systems, are on topic. Other anti-trust cases are off-topic. HARD-105 Healthy tea In what ways do certain kinds of tea protect people from illness? Information about the kinds of tea that can prevent or stave off illness (and which kinds of illness) are on topic. Articles about various cultural traditions associated with tea due to its curative powers are on-topic. HARD-115 Virtual defense How do armies, specifically the US Army, use virtual reality to train soldiers or to design new gear? Articles about the use of virtual reality in the army in 1999 are on topic. Articles mentioning virtual reality in general, without clearly mentioning its use in the army, are not on topic. HARD-116 Genetic Modification technology Does GM technology provide a solution to world hunger? Examples of on-topic documents may address the following: 1. organic farming vs GM technology 2. yields per hectare from GM technology 3. GM crops and environment 4. World agricultural production 5. transgenics in agriculture 6. farming lobbies and interest groups 7. sustainable farming practices HARD-117 US Civil Unrest How was civil unrest in the US tackled by local authorities and police in the last year? Documents related to the measures taken by the police to handle the civil unrest (curfews, etc.), especially in Seattle at the WTO talks, extent of damage due to the riots, news articles on the arrests of those involved, slow progress of the WTO talks in the wake of the riots are on-topic documents. Additionally, any information about other incidents of civil unrest/disobedience are on-topic, if they specifically address the way authorities tried to control the situations. Articles concerning similar incidents outside of the US are not on-topic. HARD-124 Cell phone health hazard How has research about the health risks of cell phones impacted the cell phone market? Information concerning research findings about the effects of cell phones on a person's health is on-topic. Also, reports about the effect of health warnings on cell phone demand are on-topic. New cell phone technology, unless it addresses the health issue, is off-topic. HARD-146 NATO/UN Tension over Balkans Crisis What has been the extent and nature of tensions within and between international organizations as a result of the ongoing crisis in the Balkans? Documents dealing with specific bombing campaigns and their aftermath would be considered off-topic. Documents treating the environmental and civilian impact of NATO bombings should also be excluded. I would prefer sources dealing with diplomatic power struggles within and between international bodies (NATO/UN) that occur as a result of the situation in the Balkans. HARD-147 Regional Economic Integration What factors have facilitated increasing regional economic integration not only in Europe, but also in Southeast Asia, the Americas, the Arab world, and Africa? Documents pertaining to specific events (i.e. the introduction of the Euro as the currency of trade in the EU) should be avoided. I would prefer information that treats the topic of regional economic integration more broadly and in light of its root causes. HARD-154 Instant messaging How have instant messaging services caused vocabulary and spelling to shift or change in users worldwide? Information about educational strategies to combat a growing change in spelling and vocabulary usage due to IM services are on-topic. Articles concerning this aspect of spoken and written language worldwide are on-topic. Documents restricted to new trends in technology are off-topic. HARD-155 Capital Punishment As a growing number of nations around the world abolish capital punishment, how has the pressure on the US to follow suit increased or changed? Information about the effect of other nations' capital punishment policies on the US, and whether or not there should be an effect, are on topic. Documents restricted to statistics concerning international execution/abolishment of capital punishment rates are off-topic. HARD-157 Public Transit Funding What legislation has Congress passed concerning the allocation of funds for both local and national public transit systems? Documents dealing with issues that concern public transit but do not relate to its funding and/or organizational structure are considered off-topic. On-topic documents would include transit appropriations and restructuring bills in the House of Representatives. HARD-171 Global population What are the problems the world encounters with the increase of its population, and what are some solutions problems? Articles about the world's population in 1999, the increase in the significant number of people to be 6 billion, and the statistics of the population of 1999 are on-topic. Articles mentioning the population of specific countries without mentioning the world's population are off-topic. HARD-176 Geo-Politics of War How has war in the past decade helped shape geo-political boundaries of conflicting nations? Articles about war or military conflict between countries are on-topic as long as they include the resulting geo-polital boundary of each involved party. Articles that show statistics of war are not on-topic. Articles about countries threatening others of waging wars against them are off-topic. HARD-177 Rewriting Indian history Is there an attempt to rewrite Indian history? Examples of on-topic stories may address the following: 1. Textbook changes (from the National Curriculum Framework for School Education) 2. Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) statements 3. Marxist views on Indian history 4. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government press statements 5. Ancient historical texts and manuscripts 6. Views of Indian historians HARD-180 Euro Introduced How did the introduction of the Euro currency affect the world's financial scenario? On January 1, 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the Euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of 11 member countries. News articles which outline the introduction of the currency, methods undertaken for its establishment around Europe, after-effects and reactions from organizations, publications and governments are on-topic. HARD-182 School development Which nations have developed schools in the last year, and how do their development methods compare? Articles about efforts to develop schools around the world are on-topic. The efforts do not have to be only in developing the education: they can also be in developing the school buildings, the medical department, or anything related to the school. Information about cultural differences that affect the development of schools are on topic. Articles that give statistics and do not explain how they will develop schools are off-topic. HARD-186 Restricting the Internet How do the several stringent government restrictions on internet use in China affect net surfers and corporations? An array of rules were enforced in China in January, 1999, to restrict online news content, control public offerings of Web companies, and oversee the use of encryption technology. News stories related to the enforcement of these rules, statements by government officials, reactions from the public and corporations and international dialogue condemning China on the issue are on-topic HARD-187 National Leadership Transitions Which nations experienced transfers of power from one head of state to another and by which methods did these transfers occur? Articles dealing with military coups, elections and resignations leading to the installment of new leadership in individual nations are considered acceptable. I would prefer documents that make mention of the causes underlying the various shifts in power, but sources treating elections not at the head-of-state level would be considered off-topic. HARD-190 Climate Change What kinds of information have come to light with regards to global climate change? Articles that primarily focus on proposed solutions to climate change are off-topic. Documents dealing with the relationship between climate change legislation and business should also be excluded. Sources should contain scientific information on global warming rather than information regarding the political implications thereof. HARD-194 Suburban Sprawl What types of legislation have been enacted to combat suburban sprawl and at which levels of government did the legislation originate? Documents pertaining to specific legislation (including executive orders) either debated or enacted by governments would be considered on-topic. Sources should not simply outline the problem of sprawl but should focus directly on action taken by governments to deal with the problem. HARD-196 IPO Activity What types of companies and in which geographical areas made Initial Public Offerings of their stock? Articles documenting specific IPO's as well as sources treating the reasons for any increases or decreases in the number and nature of IPO's are fair game. HARD-198 Wartime Propaganda How do people use propaganda to their advantage during times of war? Articles about the manipulation of the reality for war reasons in 1999, and the effect of this propaganda on people are on-topic. Articles about the use of propaganda for reasons other than war are off-topic. HARD-203 Prostitution What effect does prostitution (legal or otherwise) have on national economies and societies? On-topic documents might address some of the following issues: 1. Sexually transmitted diseases 2. Sexual abuse / coercion 3. Tippel Zone, Holland 4. Sex education 5. Women's education HARD-215 Laws about hijackers What are international legal policies regarding the prosecution and punishment of hijackers? In 1999 two suspected hijackers were arrested and held in preparation for a trial in the Netherlands. Additionally, Indian Airlines jetliner was hijacked, and the culprits were allowed to go free. More about protocol and laws concerning the arrest and prosecution of international hijackers are on-topic. HARD-217 Iraq disarmament How has the formation of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) intensified the Iraq disarmament crisis? Articles that address the following issue are on-topic. On December 17, 1999, UNSCOM was replaced by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and ordered Iraq to allow inspections teams immediate and unconditional access to any weapons sites and facilities, which Iraq rejected. Additionally, information about the disarmament crisis itself and the ways UNMOVIC has caused the situation to change are on-topic, as are articles about why UNSCOM was replaced by UNMOVIC. Documents restricted to UNSCOM, however, are off-topic. HARD-220 Future of Mid-East Peace How have elections and other events affected the future of Mid-East peace politics? On May 17, 1999, Ehud Barak was elected Prime Minister of Israel. Stories related to the election, commentaries on the future of Israel and Mid-East peace, and statements by Ehud and other statesman about the future of peace in the Mid-East, are on-topic. Documents dealing simply with acts of violence in the region, with no mention of how it affects the peace situation, are off-topic. HARD-222 Corporate Mergers What have been the leading causes of corporate mergers and what has been the reaction of labor unions and the general public to industry consolidation? Documents that focus on the types of companies that merged as well as the reasons for those mergers are on-topic. Sources detailing the reaction of organized labor and of the general populace to mergers are also on-topic, as are documents that describe the economic processes that lead to consolidation. However, documents that report on legislation created to combat monopoly companies should not be included. HARD-223 Sports Scandals To what extent have scandals in professional and amateur athletics tarnished the images of the various athletes and organizations involved in them? Stories dealing with individual sporting scandals as well as articles outlining general trends in and fallout from sports scandals are on-topic. HARD-226 Efficiency of computer operating systems How does efficiency compare among current computer operating systems? On-topics include only current personal computer operating systems. Prefered documents include statistics on system crashes, bug reports, user reviews, and consumer reports. Documents dealing with the financial status of leading computer companies and engineers are off-topic, as are operating systems for embedded devices, and OSes still in development phases. Search should return information concerning how completed OSes compare/contrast each other. HARD-228 Child's play Does gender affect how children interact with one another during group play activities? Articles relating to children playing with each other with a focus on gender dynamics are on-topic such as male/female roles perceived in adolescants. Documents regarding general group behavior are off-topic, as are ones dealing specifically with different play activities by children. Search should focus on the gender aspect of children's interactions with one another and not their surrounding environment. Documents from academic studies on children are acceptable, while response observations are not. HARD-229 The history of nanotechnology How advanced has nanotechnology become in the last ten years? Articles relating to the latest advances in nanotechnology, recent discoveries that have helped the evolution of nanotechnology, and predictions concerning the future of nanotechnology are on-topic. HARD-231 Parental advisory music How has the implementation of parental advisory warnings affected music record sales? Articles should compare record sales resulting before to after the implementation of parental advisory labels. HARD-233 China Human rights In what ways do international advocacy groups demonstrate their concern over human rights in China? Examples of on-topic documents may include the following: 1. Amnesty International (human rights groups) 2. Human rights in China(US based group) 3. Comments of Chris Patten 4. China's role in Tibet 5. political dissidents 6. Summary executions, torture and arbitrary arrests 7. Women's rights groups HARD-234 Global Wage Remittance What is the role of multinational companies in facilitating remittances, or money sent from migrants in one country to their families back home? On-topic documents include those about the economic and social implications of global wage remittances, especially the role of companies like Western Union in facilitating wage remittances. Policies regarding wage remittances and general discussions of their impact are also on topic. HARD-235 Product Customization What affect does consumer preference for product customization have on market economies? Product customization in this increasingly digital world can decrease the cost of production while increasing customer satisfaction. To remain competitive, companies are having to offer unique packages of their product to the customer. Articles addressing these issues are on topic. Product customization and consumer preferences in market economies are on-topic. Economic theories and policies are off-topic. Topic should focus on growing trends. HARD-237 Racial profiling How have instances of racial profiling encroached upon the civil liberties of individuals, and has legislation changed as a result? On-topic documents might include the following: 1. American Civil Liberties Union report, 1999 2. documents relating to 'pretext stops' 3. Supreme court rulings 4. National Urban League 5. speeding ticket violations and statistics 6. Clinton government's role in racial profiling