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Would a Speaker Ryan Push Through Amnesty?
Center for Immigration Studies • Monday, Oct 12

Right after the Senate passed Marco Rubio's amnesty/immigration-surge bill, the Associated Press ran a story headlined "Dems pin immigration hopes on GOP's Ryan" They pin them there still. In his still-hypothetical bid for the Speakership, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has secured the coveted endorsement of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), probably the most strident voice for amnesty in Congress. Gutierrez told MSBNC: "He would be good for the country. He would be good for the Republican...

Global Daily: Eurozone Investor Confidence Plunges
World Bank • Monday, Jan 11

Financial Markets   China’s stock markets tumbled again on Monday with the Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI 300 index tumbling more than 5 percent after a 10 percent plunge last week. Volatility in Chinese shares fueled a rout in global equities last week that wiped out about $2.5 trillion of market capitalizations worldwide.  Meanwhile, the central bank guided China’s yuan higher, after the currency’s swift weakening last week triggered global selling.   Oil...

Little Dominica As A Laboratory For Immigrant Investor Rules
Center for Immigration Studies • Tuesday, Nov 3

The American states, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, are laboratories for democracy. One can say that same thing about nations, even small ones, and immigration laws. In fact, the mighty United States can learn a thing or two about immigration programs from a tiny nation most of us do not know exists, Dominica. The island nation, with a population of 72,003, has just about three times the acreage of New York's Staten Island. A former British colony, it is...

Beyond qualifications : returns to cognitive and socio-emotional skills in Colombia (English)
World Bank • Wednesday, Sep 30

This paper examines the relationship between individuals’ skills and labor market outcomes for the working-age population of Colombia’s urban areas. Using a 2012 unique household survey, the paper finds that cognitive skills (aptitudes to perform mental tasks such as comprehension or reasoning) and socio-emotional skills (personality traits and behaviors) matter for favorable labor market outcomes in the Colombian context, although they have distinct roles. Cognitive skills are...

What Jokowi Takes Home To Indonesia
Brookings Institution • Thursday, Oct 29

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, fondly known by the moniker “Jokowi” back home, seems to have accomplished quite a bit during his brief trip to Washington this week.If Indonesian media reports are anything to go by, the much-anticipated meeting with President Barack Obama was nothing short of a meeting of doppelgangers. Both were youthful, relatively inexperienced politicians who were catapulted to power on the back of reform agendas. Both energized the respective...

Wisconsin Farmers Seek End To Ban On Sales Of Home-Baked Goods
Heritage Foundation • Wednesday, Jan 20

Three Wisconsin farmers have filed a lawsuit against their state’s agriculture agency to overturn a ban on the sale of homemade baked goods. Erica Smith, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm representing the farmers, told The Daily Signal that she sees the lawsuit as a way to “raise awareness in this country about government overreach” and give consumers “the right to buy and sell the food that they want.” Smith said her clients—Lisa Kivirist, Dela...

Massive Government Overreach: Obama’s AFFH Rule Is Out
Ethics and Public Policy Center • Wednesday, Jul 8

Today, HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced the finalization of the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule. A front-page article pre-emptively defending the move appears in today’s Washington Post. The final rule is 377 pages, vastly longer than the preliminary version of the rule promulgated in 2013. AFFH is easily one of President Obama’s most radical initiatives, on a par with Obamacare in its transformative potential. In effect, AFFH gives the...

Is climate-smart gender-smart?
World Bank • Wednesday, Oct 14

Women create terraces on a farm in Rwanda. Photo: A'Melody Lee / World Bank Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) can help make the food system more sustainable in a changing climate. But does it come at a cost to women, in terms of a heavier workload? Climate-smart agriculture’s three pillars: improved agricultural productivity, increased adaptation to climate change and reduction of greenhouse gases are goals well worthy of targeting. On the one hand, CSA practices such as water...

The Chinese Renminbi Is Not a Freely Usable Currency Yet
Friday, Aug 7

Is the Chinese renminbi (RMB) a freely usable currency? Most participants in international financial markets would say no, for several reasons. The government of China exercises tight limits and substantial oversight over the extent to which foreign investors can buy RMB and purchase claims on China. Chinese investors face similar restrictions on the extent to which they can use their RMB and invest abroad. But assessments by market participants are not relevant to the question...

"We Are In The Ascendant. America Is Ours"
Center for Immigration Studies • Wednesday, Oct 28

Part 3 of 4 In her C-SPAN interview with Dan-el Padilla, author of Undocumented, reporter Liz Robbins of the New York Times reads a provocative passage from the memoir's final page: Immigrant brothers and sisters: Of course people will yell at you that America is not yours. That you have no stake in America, no place in America, no right to belong in America. You must not let them get off lightly with saying that. You must...

Chaffetz Announces Speaker Bid: Americans Don't Want 'Status Quo,' But For 'Us to Fight'
Heritage Foundation • Sunday, Oct 4

Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced his intention to run for House speaker during an interview Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.” “Today, here, I am announcing my intention to run for speaker of the House of Representatives,” Chaffetz,R-Utah, said. “We were entrusted by the American people with the largest majority the Republicans have ever had since Babe Ruth was swinging the baseball bat.” “But they didn’t send us here to perpetuate the status quo,” he continued. “They want...

Cartoon: North Korea's Background Check
Heritage Foundation • Friday, Jan 8

Heritage Foundation expert Bruce Klinger wrote this week on North Korea: North Korea announced Wednesday that it has conducted a successful H-bomb nuclear test of a miniaturized warhead. Prior to the announcement, sensors had detected a 5.1-magnitude seismic event at the same approximate location of North Korea’s 2013 nuclear test. Nuclear experts are continuing to analyze the data, but preliminary assessments are that North Korea did conduct its fourth nuclear test. North...

An ‘ISIS-free Zone’ Is Nothing but a Road to US Mission Creep
Cato Institute • Thursday, Jul 30

The US war against Isis is being fought on autopilot, with little thought given to whether our actions will hurt or help American interests in the long-run. This weeks’ agreement between the United States and Turkey to create an ill-defined “Isis-free zone” in the north of Syria is just the latest example of this problem. Not only will it fail to reconcile the vastly different goals sought by America and its allies, it also risks mission creep, increasing US...

It Is Up To Alexis Tsipras to Avoid Disaster Now
Monday, Jul 6

Greek voters yesterday overwhelmingly rejected further tax increases and spending cuts in a referendum on austerity measures demanded by Greece’s international creditors. While the “no” vote greatly strengthens the Greek government’s position domestically, it essentially has no value outside the country. It makes any future compromise between the government and creditors difficult to reach. The difference in the response from the technocratic European...

America's Worst Nightmare In Syria: Has Russia Deployed The Lethal S-300?
Center for the National Interest • Thursday, Nov 5

Moscow may have deployed the powerful S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria according to some media reports. However, the reports are unconfirmed—Russian military officials have not specified what kind of missiles they are deploying—or if indeed they are adding to their forces in the region.“We have studied all the possible threats. We sent there not only fighter jets, attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, helicopters but also missile systems. As various force majeure...

USDOT Wants it Both Ways with Off-Peak Freight Movements
Competitive Enterprise Institute • Tuesday, Sep 29

Over at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fastlane blog, Greg Nadeau, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, has a post touting USDOT’s support for off-peak freight delivery pilot projects underway in New York City and Pensacola, Florida. The problem of local traffic is well-known to any major U.S. city; truck operators suffer when forced to crawl through crowded city streets, and residents suffer when trucks block travel lanes or parking access. With commuter...

The Evolution of Cybersecurity Requirements for the U.S. Financial Industry
Center for Strategic and International Studies • Friday, Jul 17

The U.S. financial sector is a major target for global cybercriminals. Cybercrime is a growing industry around the world imposing significant costs on firms that fail to implement adequate safeguards. Regulators are taking notice of the increased risk of cyber threats. While statutes and regulations in the financial sector have not directly addressed cybersecurity, many impose implicit requirements on firms to secure their information technology (IT) systems in the name of...

Competitive Cities: Bucaramanga, Colombia – An Andean Achiever
World Bank • Friday, Nov 6

Modern business facilities, tourist attractions, and an expanding skyline: Bucaramanga, Colombia.  When the World Bank’s Competitive Cities team set out to analyze what some of the world’s most successful cities have done to spur economic growth and job creation, the first one we visited was Bucaramanga, capital of Colombia’s Santander Department. Nestled in the country’s rugged Eastern Cordillera, landlocked and without railroad links, this metropolitan area of just over 1...

Europe’s Migration Paralysis
American Institute for Contemporary German Studies • Thursday, Sep 3

As growing numbers of migrants seek a new life in Europe, in this Project Syndicate essay former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer calls on European leaders to overcome their paralysis on the issue and forge a united stance, both on pragmatic and humanitarian grounds.  Ultimately, Europe needs immigration if it is going to continue to enjoy economic prosperity and high levels of social services. BERLIN – For many centuries, Europe was a continent plagued by wars,...

December Jobs Report: It’s Not Perfect, But We’ll Sure Take It
American Enterprise Institute • Friday, Jan 8

While last month’s 292,000 job gain will dominate headlines, revisions to previous months were pretty strong, too. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October and November was up a combined 50,000. So over the past three months, job gains have averaged a robust 284,000 per month. Now here’s what’s kind of weird: GDP growth for the fourth quarter is looking pretty weak, maybe 1% or so. So which data are giving the better read on the economy? JP...

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