Russia’s Turbulence Could Drive Sustainable Development

Russia’s Turbulence Could Drive Sustainable Development. YaleGlobal. Anastasia Okorochkova. April 14, 2015.

Falling oil prices and western sanctions have led to hard economic times for Russians. But lingering economic crisis can also allow a country new opportunity to regroup and reform, innovating and transforming the economy. Paradoxically, the long-running crisis could drive Russia to end its reliance on export of fossil fuels and embrace sustainability. “To do so, Russia must mobilize its strengths – including a well-educated public, sustainable development of rich natural resources, and economic reform,” writes Okorochkova. “Oil and gas represent about 50 percent of the Russian government’s budget. Sacrifices would be required in reducing dependence on these resources, striving for sustainability and shifting toward a service economy.” Economic growth and sustainable development can be achieved, Okorochkova notes, with strategic planning and diversifying the economy. Russians, practical and innovative, driven by economic crisis, could become leaders in sustainability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Profiles: The State of Early Childhood Programs

Profiles: The State of Early Childhood Programs. Center for American Progress. April 10, 2015.

The social and economic benefits of high-quality early childhood programs have created substantial momentum for increased investment. As more and more states have acknowledged the importance of such programs, they have answered this call. Despite these efforts, states must make additional investments in early childhood programs in order to increase accessibility and improve or maintain quality. The provides insight into what states are doing to ensure that high-quality education is accessible to all children and how they can improve on that success. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Terrorist Databases and the No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation

Terrorist Databases and the No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Jared P. Cole. April 2, 2015.

In order to protect national security, the government maintains various terrorist watchlists, including the “No Fly” list, which contains the names of individuals to be denied boarding on commercial airline flights. Travelers on the No Fly list are not permitted to board an American airline or any flight on a foreign air carrier that lands or departs from U.S. territory or flies over U.S. airspace. Some persons have claimed that their alleged placement on the list was the result of an erroneous determination by the government that they posed a national security threat. In some cases, it has been reported that persons have been prevented from boarding an aircraft because they were mistakenly believed to be on the No Fly list, sometimes on account of having a name similar to another person who was actually on the list. As a result, various legal challenges to placement on the list have been brought in court.

[PDF format, 25 pages, 349.63 KB].

An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions

An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Michael Ratner and Mary Tiemann. April 7, 2015.

The report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule (finalized in March 2015) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions.

[PDF format, 34 pages, 776.51 KB].

Developing Housing and Education Partnerships

Developing Housing and Education Partnerships. Urban Institute. Megan Gallagher. April 9, 2015.

Assisted-housing providers are in a unique position to support educators, low-income students, and their caregivers outside the school day. By partnering with schools and school districts, housing providers can help address challenges outside school that can become barriers to learning—such as housing instability, truancy, and health problems. Their roles as developers and landlords create opportunities to connect housing and education. The report summarizes key elements that shape and strengthen the partnerships in three diverse settings: Akron, Ohio, New Haven, Connecticut, and Vancouver Washington. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages, 309.17 KB].

Unaccompanied Child Migration to the United States: The Tension between Protection and Prevention

Unaccompanied Child Migration to the United States: The Tension between Protection and Prevention. Migration Policy Institute. Marc R. Rosenblum. April 2015.

Policymakers, the public, and the media were seemingly caught off-guard in spring 2014 when a surge of child migrants from Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers. Yet the uptick began in 2011. The report examines the causes of this surge and recommends policy solutions to advance both critical protection and enforcement goals in situations of complex, mixed flows. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015. Pew Research Center. Amanda Lenhart. April 9, 2015.

24% of teens go online “almost constantly,” facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones. Aided by the convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smartphones, 92% of teens report going online daily — including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly,” according to the study. More than half (56%) of teens — ages 13 to 17 — go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use. Just 6% of teens report going online weekly, and 2% go online less often. Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile devices. Nearly three-quarters of teens have or have access to a smartphone and 30% have a basic phone, while just 12% of teens 13 to 17 say they have no cell phone of any type. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages, 886.83 KB].

Campaign 2016: Modest Interest, High Stakes

Campaign 2016: Modest Interest, High Stakes. Pew Research Center. April 2, 2015.

The 2016 presidential campaign has gotten off to a slow start with voters. A majority of registered voters (58%) say they have given at least some thought to candidates who may run for president in 2016, but that is 10 points lower than at a comparable point in the 2008 campaign – the last time both parties had contested nominations. Yet, even at this early stage, the vast majority of voters (87%) say they care a good deal about who wins the presidency, and 72% say they care which party prevails. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 562.30 KB].

The Ukraine Crisis: Risks of Renewed Military Conflict after Minsk II

The Ukraine Crisis: Risks of Renewed Military Conflict after Minsk II. International Crisis Group. April 1, 2015.

According to the brief, danger of renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east is mounting. It shows that neither side is looking to compromise or able to win outright. It also sets out a new Western strategy with Russia to defuse one of the greatest post-Cold War threats to European stability and global order. [Note: contains copyrighted material]. Summary in English [HTML format, various paging]. Full Text in English [PDF format, 16 pages, 1.50 MB].

App vs. Web for Surveys of Smartphone Users

App vs. Web for Surveys of Smartphone Users. Pew Research Center. April 1, 2015.

The report utilizes a form of survey known as “signal-contingent experience sampling” to gather data about how Americans use their smartphones on a day-to-day basis. Respondents were asked to complete two surveys per day for one week, using either a mobile app they had installed on their phone or by completing a web survey, and describe how they had used their phone in the hour prior to taking the survey. The report examines whether this type of intensive data collection is possible with a probability-based panel and to understand the differences in participation and responses when using a smartphone app as opposed to a web browser for this type of study. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 39 pages, 905.74 KB].