Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine

Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine. Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. July 9, 2014.

As the European Union considers further sanctions on Russia for its role in the standoff in Ukraine, Russia is broadly unpopular in many countries around the globe and increasingly disliked in Europe and the United States. President Vladimir Putin’s leadership also continues to inspire little confidence worldwide, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The former Cold War power’s negative global image contradicts Russians’ expectations that Putin’s actions in Ukraine would improve their country’s international reputation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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America’s Shifting Statehouse Press

America’s Shifting Statehouse Press. Pew Research Journalism Project. Jodi Enda et al. July 10, 2014.

Within America’s 50 state capitol buildings, 1,592 journalists inform the public about the actions and issues of state government, according to the report. Of those statehouse reporters, nearly half (741) are assigned there full time. While that averages out to 15 full-time reporters per state, the actual number varies widely, from a high of 53 in Texas to just two in South Dakota. The remaining 851 statehouse reporters cover the beat less than full time. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 41 pages, 799.05 KB].

How Americans Feel About Religious Groups

How Americans Feel About Religious Groups. Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project. July 16, 2014.

Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher). Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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The Islamic World and the West: Recovering Common History

The Islamic World and the West: Recovering Common History. YaleGlobal. Nayef Al-Rodhan. July 15, 2014.

One out of five people in the world are Muslim, and many Europeans express fear about growing numbers of Muslim migrants. “Islam in Europe tends to be viewed as not only a recent, but also a foreign and threatening presence,” explains Nayef Al-Rodhan. “Europe and the Arab-Islamic world have brushed shoulders for centuries, and their histories are inextricably linked.” Europe tends to overlook historical contributions from the Arab-Islamic world. “Pushing immigrant communities to shed cultural frameworks only encourages these communities towards counterproductive defensive postures,” Al-Rodhan writes. Acknowledgement of the shared heritage and mutual contributions , not simply with trade but in mathematics, scientific inquiry and art, could counter the emerging narratives that Islam is dangerous for Europe and Muslims lack enthusiasm for innovation. Such acknowledgement alone will not ensure security, Al-Rodhan concludes, and good governance may not necessarily follow western liberal democratic traditions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Lessons from the States: Responsible Prison Reform

Lessons from the States: Responsible Prison Reform. Urban Institute. Nancy G. La Vigne. July 15, 2014.

In the testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, Urban’s Director of the Justice Policy Center, Nancy La Vigne, highlights the lessons learned from responsible prison reform in the states and discusses the federal prison system, its challenges and opportunities for reform. She also discusses the importance of both front- and back-end changes to yield meaningful and lasting reforms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages, 273.02 KB].

Gaza and Israel: New Obstacles, New Solutions

Gaza and Israel: New Obstacles, New Solutions. International Crisis Group. July 14, 2104.

To break the violent impasse, Israel must change its policy toward Hamas and work toward a lasting ceasefire, recognising how much its own stability depends on the stability of Gaza, says to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages, 1.33 MB].

On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers. Alliance for Excellent Education. Mariana Haynes. July 17, 2014.

Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year, attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually. This high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and seriously compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure that all students have access to skilled teaching, according to the report. To curb turnover, especially among new teachers, the report recommends a comprehensive induction program comprised of multiple types of support, including high-quality mentoring, common planning times, and ongoing support from school leaders. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 653.22 KB].