China’s Growing Demand for Agricultural Imports

China’s Growing Demand for Agricultural Imports. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fred Gale et al. February 19, 2015.

The report examines China’s recent emergence as a major agricultural importer, analyzes U.S.-China trade patterns, summarizes projections of future imports, and discusses how Chinese officials are adjusting their strategic approach to agricultural trade as imports grow.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1784493/eib136_summary.pdf Report Summary [PDF format, 2 pages, 182 KB].

http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1784488/eib136.pdf Full Report [PDF format, 39 pages, 3,167 KB].

Growing Support for Campaign Against ISIS – and Possible Use of U.S. Ground Troops

Growing Support for Campaign Against ISIS – and Possible Use of U.S. Ground Troops. Pew Research Center. February 24, 2015.

The public has grown more supportive of the U.S. fight against ISIS, as about twice as many approve (63%) as disapprove (30%) of the military campaign against the Islamic militant group in Iraq and Syria. Last October, 57% approved and 33% disapproved. The possibility of sending U.S. ground troops to the region is more divisive, although the idea draws more support than it did four months ago. Currently, about as many favor (47%) as oppose (49%) sending U.S. ground troops to fight Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria; in October, 39% favored the idea and 55% opposed it. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 438.87 KB].

To Eradicate Measles, Destroy Myth About Harmful Effect of Vaccine

To Eradicate Measles, Destroy Myth About Harmful Effect of Vaccine. YaleGlobal. Paula Kavathas. February 17, 2015.

In a globalized world, contagious diseases like measles quickly hop borders. A measles outbreak started in December at California’s Disneyland, and the disease quickly spread to 17 states in the U.S. “While people do not shudder upon hearing the word ‘measles’ as they do with ‘smallpox’ or ‘Ebola,’ this does little to lessen the heartache of the thousands of parents who lose their children to measles or see their children develop pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or even go blind as a result of the disease,” notes Paula Kavathas. Yet vaccination coverage is uneven around the globe with some developing nations reporting higher coverage than advanced economies like the United States, Germany and France. Out of fear, some parents perpetuate myths that vaccinations may cause autism despite substantial research that shows otherwise. To protect all, parents should pursue vaccinations. Measles, like smallpox, could be eradicated from the planet and that would eliminate the need for that vaccine. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Hedging Risk by Combating Human Trafficking: Insights from the Private Sector

Hedging Risk by Combating Human Trafficking: Insights from the Private Sector. World Economic Forum. Web posted February 18, 2015.

The report is designed to help companies share best practices so they can mitigate their risks and help eliminate this … practice. It highlights insights and technology-driven interventions in the hospitality, finance, and transportation industries. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages, 6.37 MB].

Alienated Muslim Youth Seek Purpose, Thrills in Joining Jihad

Alienated Muslim Youth Seek Purpose, Thrills in Joining Jihad. YaleGlobal. Joji Sakurai. Februar 19, 2015.

Adolescents grapple to find an identity during a stage of human development described by psychologist Erik Erikson. Those who don’t succeed in feeling good about their role in society blame others and may hold a grudge against their community. They also make ideal targets for recruiters of criminal and extremist groups. “Religious fervor rarely has much to do with what draws people to join such groups,” writes Sakurai. “Deep down, it’s about purpose. Belonging. Excitement. A sense of identity. Order amid disorder. A focus for pent-up rage.” Recruiters offer an easy solution to life’s problems, with rewards and power, money and cars, or life after death. Too many marginalized youth lack the social or critical thinking skills to analyze the message, ponder the consequences and walk away – and instead, embrace a last-ditch effort to escape a futile, boring life. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Do More, Add More, Earn More: Teacher Salary Redesign Lessons from 10 First-Mover Districts

Do More, Add More, Earn More: Teacher Salary Redesign Lessons from 10 First-Mover Districts. Center for American Progress. Karen Hawley et al. February 17, 2015.

The report examines how 10 school districts are redesigning teacher compensation systems so the teachers who make a bigger difference get a bigger paycheck. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 31 pages, 606.92 KB].

The Rise of a Global Middle Class: Global Societal Trends to 2030

The Rise of a Global Middle Class: Global Societal Trends to 2030. RAND Corporation. Samuel Drabble et al. February 2015.

The report analyses the rise of a middle class beyond national boundaries, as well as issues of inequality. It notes that while inequality between countries is decreasing, within-country inequality is on the rise. The report also examines the extent to which this global middle class shares the same values. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 63 pages, 1.1 MB].