Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova. March 8, 2017

Threaded throughout the history of the United States, immigration has taken on greater prominence in political and policy conversations amid debate over possible reforms to the immigration system, border and national security, and the U.S. role in resettling refugees at a time of record global displacement. Questions about the current and historical pace of immigration, the role of immigrants in the labor market, illegal immigration, humanitarian admission policies, and enforcement practices are often raised. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Reducing Tensions Between Russia and NATO

Reducing Tensions Between Russia and NATO. Council on Foreign Relations. Kimberly Marten. March 2017.

“[Vladimir] Putin’s aggression makes the possibility of a war in Europe between nuclear-armed adversaries frighteningly real,” writes Kimberly Marten in a new Council Special Report on tensions between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She outlines how U.S. policymakers can deter Russian aggression with robust support for NATO, while reassuring Russia of NATO’s defensive intentions through clear words and actions based in international law.

Marten, a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University, and director of the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at Columbia’s Harriman Institute, lays out several scenarios that could lead to a dangerous confrontation, ranging from an inadvertent encounter between NATO and Russian military aircraft or ships to an intentional Russian land grab in Europe. The report, produced by the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations, offers a plan for how the Donald J. Trump administration could work with Congress and NATO allies to lessen the chances of crisis escalation. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 67 pages, 2.04 MB].

Making the Best of Brexit for the EU-27 Financial System

Making the Best of Brexit for the EU-27 Financial System. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief 17-8. André Sapir, Dirk Schoenmaker and Nicolas Véron. February 2017

As a consequence of Britain’s exit from the European Union, UK-based financial firms are expected to lose their regulatory passport to do direct business with their clients in the EU-27. Brexit will lead to a partial migration of financial services activities from London to locations in the EU-27 to continue serving their customers there. Other London-based activities might also be relocated to non-European jurisdictions, primarily the United States. This Policy Brief focuses on the implications of Brexit for the EU-27 financial system. The authors estimate that about €1.8 trillion (or 17 percent) of all UK banking assets might be on the move as a direct consequence of Brexit. Market fragmentation—if the EU-27 receives the UK business as 27 separate jurisdictions as opposed to one single financial space—would increase borrowing costs for corporations and households, compared with an integrated market for the EU-27. Different countries and cities will naturally compete for business moving out of London. EU-27 leaders need to set clear objectives for reshaping the post-Brexit financial system. The authors recommend enhancing the role of the European Securities and Markets Authority, strengthening the banking union, and improving oversight of the EU-27’s financial system infrastructure. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 160.31 KB].

Dark Web

Dark Web. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Kristin Finklea. March 10, 2017

The layers of the Internet go far beyond the surface content that many can easily access in their daily searches. The other content is that of the Deep Web, content that has not been indexed by traditional search engines such as Google. The furthest corners of the Deep Web, segments known as the Dark Web, contain content that has been intentionally concealed. The Dark Web may be used for legitimate purposes as well as to conceal criminal or otherwise malicious activities. It is the exploitation of the Dark Web for illegal practices that has garnered the interest of officials and policymakers.

[PDF format, 19 pages, 774.49 KB].

Aligning Partnerships for Security: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Security and Economic Cooperation

Aligning Partnerships for Security: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Security and Economic Cooperation. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Shannon N. Green, Julie N. Snyder. February 23, 2017

Human rights are often compromised and relegated to a lower status than security or economic interests. Furthermore, a lack of collaboration and communication between U.S. government agencies, the private sector, and civil society prevents a more coherent and effective approach to human rights. This report examines concrete ways in which the U.S. government, particularly the military, private sector, and civil society, can work individually and in concert to reduce human rights violations committed by partner security forces. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 24 pages, 2.80 MB].

Election Security in America: Q & A.

Election Security in America: Q & A. Pew Charitable Trusts. March 8, 2017

Every U.S. state has a Secretary of State. Among the responsibilities of that position is running elections. The state secretaries recently met in Washington, D.C., to evaluate the past election season and to discuss what they can do to improve the process. Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, who serves as the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, spoke with The Pew Charitable Trusts about the security of voting in America. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Delivering Real Change: Getting International Climate Finance to the Local Level

Delivering Real Change: Getting International Climate Finance to the Local Level. International Institute for Environment and Development. Marek Soanes et al. March 2017.

With the rapid ratification of the Paris Agreement, international climate funds will be important in scaling-up developing countries climate action. Evidence shows climate finance reaching the local level – as part of a coherent approach to climate action – delivers effective, efficient and sustainable results that enhance the impact of each dollar disbursed. This working paper explores the flows of climate finance within the main international climate funds, to understand how effective they are in getting finance to the local level and what design features enable or prevent local financing. It distils lessons from development funds that are experienced in local financing. It concludes by highlighting the ways in which local climate financing can be enhanced – to further improve the effectiveness of aid. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 48 pages, 884.24 KB].

The Futile Goal of “Winning” Wars

The Futile Goal of “Winning” Wars. YaleGlobal. Louis René Beres. March 2, 2017

Wars and the technology for fighting them have evolved rapidly in recent decades. “We never win, and we don’t fight to win,” lamented US president Donald Trump shortly before announcing plans to increase US military spending. “We’ve either got to win, or don’t fight it at all.” However, Louis René Beres, author and professor emeritus of international law, describes that assessment as “dangerously simplistic” and suggests that “traditional criteria of winning and losing in war have generally become outdated and counterproductive.” Societies have much to lose with any attack, regardless of whether they win or lose, and “the overriding point of US military involvements must be to blunt or prevent infliction of substantial military harms upon the population, not to flaunt any viscerally satisfying exclamations of machismo.” The United States already spends more on defense than any other nation, almost three times as much as China, the next biggest spender, and strategic calculations are complex and endless. “Going alone is no longer an option,” and “nothing is more practical than a coherent strategic doctrine, nuanced and well thought out.” Beres concludes, “Winning modern wars is an illusory goal.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education

Innovation and Technology to Accelerate Progress in Education. Brookings Institution. Rebecca Winthrop et al. February 23, 2017

Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, sets out a grand ambition for education systems around the globe to achieve not just universal primary schooling, but to expand universal education from early childhood to secondary school and achieve relevant learning outcomes. While the Millennium Development Goals helped propel millions of children into primary school, meeting this larger goal in the coming decade and a half will require accelerated progress and a break from business as usual.

This report, prepared by researchers from the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, describes the major gaps in education and the need for innovation to meet ambitious goals. Not only are children in low- and middle-income countries about 100 years behind their peers in measures of schooling, but rapid advances in technology, changes to the world of work, and the complex global challenges we face today call for a broader set of competencies every young person will need to be successful. To thrive in a changing world, young people will need skills and competencies that include information literacy, flexibility, critical thinking and collaboration in addition to academic knowledge. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 89 pages, 2.27 MB].

Strategic Insights: Is the European Union Really That Important to U.S. Security Interests?

Strategic Insights: Is the European Union Really That Important to U.S. Security Interests? Strategic Studies Institute. Dr. John R. Deni. March 9, 2017

Questioning long-held assumptions and challenging existing paradigms in U.S. security policy can be a useful way to ensure that American leaders are not pursuing strategies that do not actually support and promote U.S. interests. However, on the question of whether the European Union’s (EU) existence is in U.S. interests, the evidence is consistently clear. It most definitely is, and undermining it—for example, by promoting Brexit or suggesting other countries would or should follow the United Kingdom’s (UK) exit from the EU—risks the further unraveling of the international order that is central to American prosperity and security. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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