Crime and Corruption Top Problems in Emerging and Developing Countries

Crime and Corruption Top Problems in Emerging and Developing Countries. Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. November 6, 2014.

Crime and corruption, common scourges of modern societies, top the list of problems cited by publics in emerging and developing nations. A median of 83% of people across 34 emerging and developing economies say crime is a very big problem in their country, and 76% say the same about corrupt political leaders. Many also worry about issues such as health care, poor quality schools, water and air pollution, and food safety. Generally, electricity shortages and traffic are seen as less pressing issues. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 45 pages, 535.95 KB].

Distinguishing Acts of War in Cyberspace: Assessment Criteria, Policy Considerations, and Response Implications

Distinguishing Acts of War in Cyberspace: Assessment Criteria, Policy Considerations, and Response Implications. Strategic Studies Institute. Jeffrey L. Canton. October 16, 2014.

Currently, there is no internationally accepted definition of when hostile actions in cyberspace are recognized as attacks, let alone acts of war. Although many of the challenges associated with this conundrum are common with those of the traditional domains, land, sea, and air, how should senior policymakers and decisionmakers address the unique vexations related to the complex and dynamic character of conflict in the cyberspace domain? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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TPP, China and the Future of Global Trade Order

TPP, China and the Future of Global Trade Order. YaleGlobal. Shuaihua Cheng. October 14, 2014.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated by 12 nations, could account for one third of all global trade. But so far, China is not included even though the country is a top trade partner for most of the participants and the world’s leading economy when accounting for purchasing power parity. TPP would eliminate tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers. China would prefer reducing those tariffs by finalizing the Doha Round under the World Trade Organization rather than setting up a new trade group with new rules. But Doha remains an unfulfilled promise as nations cannot reach an agreement on ending subsidies for their agricultural industries. “A multilateral deal [like Doha] is the most cost-effective legal framework available to ensure non-discriminatory trading terms for all, in particular for the smallest and poorest groups,” writes Shuaihua Cheng, managing director of ICTSD China, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. “It is fundamentally essential to foster inclusive globalization, without which abject poverty gives rise to terrorism and crime.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Balancing School, Work, and Family: Low-Income Parents’ Participation in Education and Training

Balancing School, Work, and Family: Low-Income Parents’ Participation in Education and Training. Urban Institute. Lauren Eyster et al. October 8, 2014.

A key policy concern is how to best help low-income individuals gain the skills and credentials they need to find a well-paying job. However, low-income parents in particular may face certain barriers, such as access to reliable child care. This brief uses nationally-representative data to examine the education and training participation of low-income parents and understand their personal and family characteristics, both for those who do and do not engage in education and training. It discusses implications for workforce development and child care policy and programs to better support these parents as they balance school, work and family responsibilities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages, 232.11 KB].

Global Health Engagement

Global Health Engagement. Center for Strategic & International Studies. J. Christopher Daniel. October 8, 2014.

President Obama recently announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) would deploy 3,000 troops to lead a major expansion of the U.S. response to Ebola. This campaign will amplify efforts that already include the largest international response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its history, numerous other U.S. agencies, and a large coalition of international partners assisting the affected nations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 1.96 MB].

New Theater of Cruelty: Beheadings Demand Civilization’s Response

New Theater of Cruelty: Beheadings Demand Civilization’s Response. YaleGlobal. Joji Sakurai. October 9, 2014.

Islamic State extremists burst forth on the world scene with brutal acts, with all the absurd petulance of an angry, bullying yet powerless adolescent desperate for attention. In an era of rapid communications, images and messages spread instantly. The depraved put on a performance, a new theater of cruelty, perverting a centuries-old religion, and globalization ensures instant judgment. Describing the videos of beheadings and mass killings as “performance” can risk trivializing conflict and suffering, admits Joji Sakurai, who argues the cruel acts demand a powerful and rhetorical response from global civilization in the inspiring ways of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Ronald Reagan. Civilization’s many creations, comforts and joys are taken for granted. Global leaders like Barack Obama, Angela Merkel or Narendra Modi are capable and must reclaim the imaginative terrain to inspire. “We must be warriors of tolerance, calling to arms our reason, our compassion and our sanity,” Sakurai writes, concluding that globalization can spread the rich benefits of spirituality and intellect or the meanness of intolerance and hate. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age

iller Apps in the Gigabit Age. Pew Research Internet Project. Lee Rainie et al. October 9, 2014.

The age of gigabit connectivity is dawning and will advance in coming years. The only question is how quickly it might become widespread. A gigabit connection can deliver 1,000 megabits of information per second (Mbps). Globally, cloud service provider Akamai reports that the average global connection speed in quarter one of 2014 was 3.9 Mbps, with South Korea reporting the highest average connection speed, 23.6 Mbps and the U.S. at 10.5 Mbps. In some respects, gigabit connectivity is not a new development. The U.S. scientific community has been using hyper-fast networks for several years, changing the pace of data sharing and enabling levels of collaboration in scientific disciplines that were unimaginable a generation ago. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 55 pages, 632.38 KB].

Emerging and Developing Economies Much More Optimistic than Rich Countries about the Future

Emerging and Developing Economies Much More Optimistic than Rich Countries about the Future. Pew Research Global Attitudes Project. October 9, 2014.

As they continue to struggle with the effects of the Great Recession, publics in advanced economies are pessimistic about the financial prospects for the next generation. Most of those surveyed in richer nations think children in their country will be worse off financially than their parents. In contrast, emerging and developing nations are more optimistic that the next generation will have a higher standard of living. Overall, optimism is linked with recent national economic performance. Countries that have enjoyed relatively high levels of growth in recent years also register some of the highest levels of confidence in their children’s economic futures. [Note: contains copyrighted material.]

[PDF format, 49 pages, 1.16 MB].

The Changing Profile of Student Borrowers

The Changing Profile of Student Borrowers. Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends. Ricarhd Fry. October 7, 2014.

In 2012, a record share of the nation’s new college graduates (69%) had taken out student loans to finance their education, and the typical amount they had borrowed was more than twice that of college graduates 20 years ago. A new analysis of recently released government data finds that the increase in the rate of borrowing over the past two decades has been much greater among graduates from more affluent families than among those from low-income families. Fully half of the 2012 graduates from high-income families borrowed money for college, double the share that borrowed in 1992-93. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 428.91 KB].

Most Are Confident in Government’s Ability to Prevent Major Ebola Outbreak in U.S.

Most Are Confident in Government’s Ability to Prevent Major Ebola Outbreak in U.S. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. October 6, 2014.

As the Ebola outbreak in Africa continues, and two patients receive treatment in the U.S., most Americans have at least a fair amount of confidence in the government’s ability to prevent a major outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. In addition, relatively few are concerned that they or a family member will be exposed to the virus. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 402.86 KB].