Policy & Advocacy
Top editor picks, summarized for you
7/31/2015

Hillary Clinton is in Miami today, where she will call for an end to the economic embargo of Cuba, making her the first 2016 candidate from either party to voice support for further engagement with the Castro regime. Clinton will "highlight that Republican arguments against increased engagement are part of failed policies of the past," her campaign said, drawing a pointed contrast between Clinton and Florida-based GOP rivals Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

7/31/2015

Politicians are more likely to win elections if they smile, according to recent research. There are many kinds of smiles, from contemptuous grins to genuine, heartfelt beams, and all of them can help boost a candidate's public profile if deployed appropriately, explains facial-expression expert Patrick Stewart.

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National Journal
7/31/2015

The government could be plunged into a fresh fiscal crisis unless key funding measures are approved by the start of October, and Democrats and Republicans are currently deadlocked over how to divide money between military and domestic priorities. Analysts downplayed the risk of a shutdown, but acknowledged that the country appeared likely to keep bouncing from one budget impasse to another. "We're moving back to the environment we had in 2011 and 2013 when we were passing these stopgap measures because we couldn’t decide what we were going to do," warns Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers.

7/31/2015

Donald Trump claimed recently that the U.S. was home to up to 34 million undocumented immigrants, about three times more than the Department of Homeland Security's most recent estimate. It's true that it's hard to enumerate the number of people illegally present in the country, but there's no evidence to support Trump's figure. "There are, to my knowledge, no credible, research-based estimates of 30 million," says Jeffrey Passel of the Pew Research Center.

7/31/2015

The world's population will continue to rise, reaching 8.5 billion by 2030 and 11.2 billion in 2100, says a United Nations report. Population, especially in Africa, will continue to increase even though overall fertility rates are declining, the report says.

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world population, UN, United Nations
7/31/2015

A trial of an Ebola vaccine in Guinea has resulted in a 100% success rate, says the World Health Organization. "If proven effective, this is going to be a game changer, and it will change the management of the current Ebola outbreak and future outbreaks," says Margaret Chan, WHO director-general.

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Reuters, Reuters
7/31/2015

A power vacuum in the Central African Republic is allowing Christian militias to increase their efforts to expel or kill Muslims, says Amnesty International.

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Al Jazeera
7/31/2015

Progress remains slow on the women, peace and security initiatives mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which was passed in 2000. "Despite 1325 and the successor resolutions…women and girls continue to be routinely excluded from decision-making processes in humanitarian responses as well as in peace-negotiations and peace-building initiatives," says Kang Kyung-wha, an assistant secretary-general.

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Inter Press Service
7/31/2015

The Small Island Developing States urged the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to support initiatives to protect vulnerable islands from climate change. Good intentions need to be backed by political support, says Ali Naseer Mohamed, the Maldives' foreign minister.

7/31/2015

Transgender women in 15 countries are 49 times more likely than the rest of the population to have HIV, according to the World Health Organization. That fact creates additional challenges for and amplifies violence and prejudice toward transgender people, said study co-author JoAnne Keatley. Additional education for governments and health organizations is needed to help improve treatment for transgender people, she added.

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National Public Radio
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World Health Organization

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