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Judge Orders Kim Davis Released From Jail
Heritage Foundation • Tuesday, Sep 8

A judge has ordered that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis be released from jail on the condition that she does not try to prevent her office from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. According to U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning’s order issued Tuesday, “the Court’s prior contempt sanction against Defendant Davis is hereby lifted.” The order states that since the plaintiffs “have obtained marriage licenses from the Rowan County Clerk’s Office,” the court “is therefore...

PIIE Chart: Average Life Expectancy In Post-Communist Countries—Progress Varies 25 Years After Communism
Tuesday, Feb 2

A little more than 25 years after the fall of communism, post-communist states have achieved divergent results in their qualities of life. This chart, part of an upcoming study by Simeon Djankov and Owen Hauck, shows that former Soviet states continue to lag behind Eastern European and Balkan states in life expectancy.1 Turkmenistan, a former Soviet state, has the lowest life expectancy of the 29 countries that compose the three groups,2 at just over 64 years. Slovenia, a nation...

Vladimir Putin, Godfather Of Kurdistan?
Center for the National Interest • Tuesday, Mar 1

If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thought last November that by downing a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Turkish-Syrian border he could contain Vladimir Putin’s Middle Eastern ambitions, he is certainly regretting that now. An incensed Vladimir Putin vowed that Turkey would come to rue its actions. He warned that Russia would not settle its accounts with Turkey with mere economic sanctions, adding, “We know what we need to do.”What Putin meant is becoming clear. Earlier this...

The Transatlantic Trade Conundrum
Center for Global Development • Friday, Mar 11

EU Trade Minister Cecilia Malstrom has been in Washington, meeting with US Trade Representative Michael Froman and trying to give the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations a nudge. Developing countries are watching closely and assessing the potential implications for exports to what are the two largest markets for many of them. But should they be rooting for Malstrom and Froman to fail? Policymakers for the United States and European...

The Irish Peace Process: Insights And Differences
Korea Economic Institute • Friday, Dec 11

By Junil Kim In discussions of Korea’s possible reunification, observers often cite the German unification and integration process as a possible model due to its notable similarities with Korea. KEI’s own Senior Director of Congressional Affairs and Trade Troy Stangarone recently wrote a series of articles examining insights from German unification and their possible application to the two Koreas. The case is less often made for Ireland. December 2nd marked the 16th anniversary of...

For Forests, A Change In Attitude In Favor Of Indigenous Communities
World Bank • Tuesday, Apr 12

In 2015, more than 500 million hectares of forests were held by indigenous peoples.  Despite the increase in forest area designated for and owned by indigenous peoples in recent decades, governments still administer 60 percent of these forest areas whilefirms and private individuals administer 9 percent. Pressure exerted by indigenous peoples over the past few decades has led to a 50 percent increase in forest areas recognized as being owned or designated for use by indigenous...

Characterizing National Exposures To Infrastructure From Natural Disasters: Data And Methods Documentation
RAND Corporation • Tuesday, Jul 12

The United States relies on a number of infrastructure systems — roads, the electric grid, ports, telecommunications networks, refineries, and the like — for carrying out basic social and economic functions. Disruptions of these systems could impose potentially significant economic, social, environmental and national security consequences. This report serves as the technical documentation and reference document for the data, methods, and analytic approach used in the...

COP 21 Not A Silver Bullet On Climate Change
RAND Corporation • Tuesday, Nov 24

Many people see the United Nations' sponsored negotiations beginning in Paris this Friday as the last, best hope of preserving the Earth's climate as we have known it. If the world's nations cannot agree to legally binding commitments to dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, many believe, humanity will enter a period of unstable climate conditions unseen since civilization began over 10,000 years ago. While the dangers are real, this expectation fundamentally miscasts...

Islam, Culture And Sexism: Making Change With Religious Learning
United States Institute of Peace • Tuesday, Nov 3

The religion of the Prophet Muhammad, they contend, gave women roles as leaders, scholars, and even military advisers. Women owned property independently and had a voice and vote in political affairs centuries before the spread of women’s rights in the West.To upend traditions that have grown to disadvantage many Muslim women, these activists seek to show that Islam’s foundational texts have been misinterpreted.“Our greatest asset is Islam,” Aisha Rahman, lawyer and executive...

Bigger Is Not Better
Center for American Progress • Thursday, Jan 21

Endnotes and citations are available in the PDF and Scribd versions.Download the report: PDFRead it in your browser: ScribdIn July 2015, Aetna Inc. announced plans to buy Humana Inc. in a $37 billion deal that would merge two of the five largest health insurance companies in the United States. The same month, two more of these five major U.S. insurers—Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp.—announced plans for a merger. The U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, is currently reviewing these...

Five issues that will decide the future of the US-Korean relationship
American Enterprise Institute • Thursday, Oct 15

South Korean President Park Geun-hye and President Barack Obama are scheduled to meet at the White House on Friday. With the relationship on solid ground, the two leaders can begin to formulate long-term plans that address how the alliance fits into a larger U.S. and allied strategic vision for Asia. In addition, Washington should re-examine the policies that have contributed to the stunning success of South Korea and how they might apply universally.Here are five items they each...

Mismanaging The Heroin Crisis
Hudson Institute • Tuesday, Nov 3

What is driving the staggering rise in heroin use rates, addiction, and overdose deaths—all up sharply since 2008, and accelerating? The standard answer, repeated by both the media and even some government officials, is that an earlier epidemic of addiction to prescription opiate medication led to a “cross-over” from pills to heroin following a crackdown on improper prescribing and pill mills. According to this assertion, the medical community and law enforcement unintentionally...

Historic Population Losses Continue Across Puerto Rico
Pew Research Center • Thursday, Mar 24

Population losses in Puerto Rico have accelerated in recent years, affecting every corner of the island and continuing the largest outmigration in more than 50 years, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released county-level Census Bureau data.Among Puerto Rico’s counties that saw the largest population losses between 2010 and 2015 was San Juan, home to the island’s capital city and largest metro area. That county’s population declined by 40,000 people (-10%) to...

Renewable Energy Export-import: A Win-win For The EU And North Africa
World Bank • Thursday, Jan 7

Rows of solar panel at a thermo-solar power plant in Morocco. (Photo: Dana Smillie / World Bank)Over the past several years much has been written about the significant potential for solar energy generation in the Middle East and North Africa, where there is no shortage of sunshine. The International Energy Agency estimated that the potential from concentrated solar technology alone could amount to 100 times the electricity demand of North Africa, the Middle East and...

Revenge Of The Oligarchs
Hudson Institute • Tuesday, Oct 27

Ordinarily, the election of a new mayor in Miami or Scranton or Salzburg is of no concern to the international community. But Sunday’s local elections in Ukraine marked the first time since the 2013-14 Euromaidan uprising (which deposed former president Viktor Yanukovych and brought about a change in government) that Ukrainian citizens have been able to vote to change their local leadership. (In May 2014, some localities did have local elections; the victors of those elections had...

Can Competition ‘Make America Great Again’?
Cato Institute • Thursday, Mar 31

Many worry about international trade and the increased competition to which it leads, while overlooking trade’s incredible benefits. In a refreshing Wall Street Journal article, the founder and CEO of FedEx, Fred Smith, reflects on how trade and deregulation have improved American living standards over the course of his lifetime. He recalls how many luxuries enjoyed by few during his youth plummeted in price and became accessible to more people than ever...

Can South Korean TV Shows Really Bring Change To North Korea?
Center for the National Interest • Friday, Dec 4

As reports abound of the large and growing underground demand for South Korean TV dramas in North Korea, there has been much breathless speculation on the possibilities that such cultural infiltration might spawn social unrest and political change. Indeed, anecdotal evidence indicates that watching smuggled dramas has helped inspire thousands of North Koreans to defect to the South. But whether it is likely to inspire rebellion within North Korea is a completely separate...

The dangerous separation of the American upper middle class
Brookings Institution • Thursday, Sep 3

The American upper middle class is separating, slowly but surely, from the rest of society. This separation is most obvious in terms of income—where the top fifth have been prospering while the majority lags behind. But the separation is not just economic. Gaps are growing on a whole range of dimensions, including family structure, education, lifestyle, and geography. Indeed, these dimensions of advantage appear to be clustering more tightly together, each thereby amplifying...

Supreme Court Halts Obama’s Aggressive Climate Agenda
Heritage Foundation • Wednesday, Feb 10

In a major setback to the Obama administration’s climate agenda, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan from taking effect until the legal challenges from states and industry groups fully play out. Twenty-five states, four state agencies and dozens of industry groups challenged the Clean Power Plan, which would require aggressive carbon dioxide cuts from America’s existing power plants. The Supreme Court’s decision...

The Evening CSIS: Build up in Syria, NK’s 22, Tutti Frutti & More
Center for Strategic and International Studies • Wednesday, Oct 7

Good Evening, Welcome to The Evening CSIS—my daily guide to key insights CSIS brings to the events of the day plus HIGHLY RECOMMENDED content from around the world. To subscribe, please click here and if you want to view this in your browser, click here. Build Up Russia has built up a battalion-sized ground force inside Syria with rocket artillery and its most advanced tanks, as the Wall Street Journal’s Julian Barnes, Gordon Lubold and James Marson...

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