Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty

Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty. Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project. March 28, 2014.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 55% of U.S. adults say they favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. A significant minority (37%) oppose the practice. While a majority of U.S. adults still support the death penalty, public opinion in favor of capital punishment has seen a modest decline since November 2011, the last time Pew Research asked the question. In 2011, fully six-in-ten U.S. adults (62%) favored the death penalty for murder convictions, and 31% opposed it. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 234].

Emerging and Developing Nations Want Freedom on the Internet: Young Especially Opposed to Censorship

Emerging and Developing Nations Want Freedom on the Internet: Young Especially Opposed to Censorship. Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. March 19, 2014.

There is widespread opposition to internet censorship in emerging and developing nations. Majorities in 22 of 24 countries surveyed say it is important that people have access to the internet without government censorship. In 12 nations, at least seven-in-ten hold this view. Support for internet freedom is especially strong in countries where a large percentage of the population is online. And, in most of the countries polled, young people are particularly likely to consider internet freedom a priority. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 14 pages, 419.28 KB].

ACA at Age 4: More Disapproval than Approval: But Most Opponents Want Politicians to Make Law Work

ACA at Age 4: More Disapproval than Approval: But Most Opponents Want Politicians to Make Law Work. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. March 20, 2014.

As the four-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, the law remains unpopular with the public. Currently, 53% disapprove of the 2010 health care law while 41% approve of the law. Opinion of the measure is virtually unchanged since last September. However, the new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 27-March 16 among 3,335 adults, finds that when opponents of the health care law are asked about the law’s future, more want elected officials to try to make it work than to make it fail. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 682.28 KB].

Connected Learning: Harnessing the Information Age to Make Learning More Powerful

Connected Learning: Harnessing the Information Age to Make Learning More Powerful. Alliance for Excellent Education. Martens Roc. March 18, 2014.

The report introduces connected learning, a promising educational approach that uses digital media to engage students’ interests and instill deeper learning skills, such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The report lists four elements constituting connected learning’s emphasis on bridging school, popular culture, home, and the community to create an environment in which students engage in and take responsibility for their learning. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages, 543.49 KB].

U.N. Human Rights Experts: Determinants of Influence

U.N. Human Rights Experts: Determinants of Influence. Brookings Institution. Marc Limone and Ted Piccone. March 19, 2014.

The United Nations’ independent human rights experts – known as the “special procedures” – are considered by many to be the crown jewel of the international human rights system. Since their establishment in 1967, they have grown into one of the international community’s most important tools for promoting and protecting human rights. Today, there are almost fifty separate special procedure mandates covering a wide-range of thematic and country-specific issues, with more in the pipeline. Ted Piccone and Marc Limon evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the special procedure system, identify the structural determinants that drive their effectiveness, explore why past systemic reform has failed and make recommendations to relevant stakeholders to strengthen the system as it continues to grow. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 1.9 MB].

2014 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning?

2014 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning? Brookings Institution. Tom Loveless. March 18, 2014.

This year’s Brown Center Report on American Education represents the third installment of volume three and the 13th issue overall since the publication began in 2000. Three studies are presented. All three revisit a topic that has been investigated in a previous Brown Center Report. The topics warrant attention again because they are back in the public spotlight: I. Lessons from the PISA-Shanghai Controversy, II. Homework in America, and III. A Progress Report on the Common Core. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 40 pages, 752 KB].

Libya After Qaddafi: Lessons and Implications for the Future

Libya After Qaddafi: Lessons and Implications for the Future. RAND Corporation. Christopher S. Chivvis and Jeffrey Martini. March 17, 2014.

The international community’s limited approach to post-conflict stabilization of Libya has left the nation struggling and on the brink of civil war. The essential tasks of establishing security, building political and administrative institutions, and restarting the economy were left almost entirely up to Libya’s new leaders, according to the authors. No international forces were deployed to keep the peace, in contrast with NATO interventions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. Summary [PDF format, 10 pages, 0.1 MB]. Full Text [PDF format, 119 pages, 1.6 MB].

Does Development Reduce Migration?

Does Development Reduce Migration? Center for Global Development. Michael Clemens. March 10, 2014.

Basic economic theory suggests that as poor countries get richer, fewer people want to leave. This idea captivates policymakers in international aid and trade diplomacy. But a long research literature and recent data suggest something very different: Over the course of a “mobility transition”, emigration typically rises with economic development, at least until poor countries reach upper-middle income level, like Algeria or El Salvador. Emigration typically falls only as countries become even richer. The data measures the mobility transition in every decade since 1960, surveys 45 years of research on why it happens, and suggests five questions for further study. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 52 pages, 1005.8 KB].

Close the Gap: How to Eliminate Violence against Women Beyond 2015

Close the Gap: How to Eliminate Violence against Women Beyond 2015. Oxfam International. Daniela Rosche. March 11, 2014.

At least one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, often perpetrated by an intimate partner. Violence against women and girls is a fundamental human rights issue and a central challenge to development, democracy and peace. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 525.38 KB].

Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry

Garbage: Disrupting the World’s Oldest Industry. Knowledge @ Wharton. March 6, 2014.

“Nature wastes nothing. Human beings are less frugal. We have been generating garbage for thousands of years, and are only now starting to confront the reality that our waste streams are poisoning the planet. Governments have begun to regulate how we dispose of what we no longer want; large corporations are working to find sustainable solutions that are also profitable; and smaller “green” companies and non-profits are aiming for zero-waste-to-landfill, which may be as close as we can come to the example set by nature.”

[PDF format, 20 pages, 2.80 MB].