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Daily Archives: March 28, 2014

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy Steven

CRS – Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, Steven Woehrel, Specialist in European Affairs. March 24, 2014

“Ukraine, comparable in size and population to France, is a large, important, European state. The fact that it occupies the sensitive position between Russia and NATO member states Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania adds to its geostrategic significance. Many Russian politicians, as well as ordinary citizens, have never been fully reconciled to Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and feel that the country belongs in Russia’s political and economic orbit.  The U.S. and European view (particularly in Central and Eastern Europe) is that a strong, independent Ukraine is an important part of building a Europe whole, free, and at peace. From the mid-1990s until 2004, Ukraine’s political scene was dominated by President Leonid Kuchma and oligarchic “clans” (groups of powerful politicians and businessmen, mainly based in eastern and southern Ukraine) that supported him. His rule was characterized by fitful economic reform, widespread corruption, and a deteriorating human rights record. For Ukraine’s 2004 presidential elections, the oligarchs chose Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych as their candidate to succeed Kuchma. The chief opposition candidate, former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, was a pro-reform, pro-Western figure. Ukraine’s Central Election Commission proclaimed Yanukovych the winner. Yushchenko’s supporters charged that massive fraud had been committed. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets, in what came to be known as the “Orange Revolution,” after Yushchenko’s chosen campaign color. They blockaded government offices in Kyiv and appealed to the Ukrainian Supreme Court to invalidate the vote. The court did so and Yushchenko won the December 26 re-vote…Ukraine’s new government faces other serious political and economic challenges. The most urgent issue is Russia’s invasion and seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Starting on February 27, heavily armed Russian-speaking troops poured into Crimea, seizing airports and other key installations throughout the peninsula. The troops did not wear insignia of the Russian armed forces, leading them to be referred to ironically in the Ukrainian press as the “little green men,” from the color of their uniforms…”

Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources

CRS – Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources. Ada S. Cornell, Information Research Specialist; Laura A. Hanson, Information Research Specialist; Michael Greene, Information Research Specialist. March 25, 2014. “During the legislative process, many documents are prepared by Congress and its committees. Governmental and non-governmental entities track and record congressional activities, and many more entities chronicle and analyze the development… Continue Reading

The Trend in Long-Term Unemployment and Characteristics of Workers Unemployed for Two Years or More

CRS – The Trend in Long-Term Unemployment and Characteristics of Workers Unemployed for Two Years or More, Gerald Mayer, Analyst in Labor Policy, March 24, 2014 “One of the characteristics of the recession that officially began in the United States in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 was the unprecedented rise in long-term unemployment. The longterm unemployed are often… Continue Reading

Economic Report of the President 2014

“The Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. It overviews the nation’s economic progress using text and extensive data appendices. The Economic Report of the President is transmitted to Congress no later than ten days after the submission of the Budget of the… Continue Reading

Map any place in the world even if you’ve never been there.

“Map data is key to humanitarian and development missions. MapGive helps new volunteers learn to map and get involved in online tasks. Open Mapping, or crowdsourced mapping, is when volunteers work together to create a free map of the world. These maps help play a critical role in humanitarian and development missions. Learn about all the… Continue Reading

Energy Boom Fuels Rapid Population Growth in Parts of Great Plains, Gulf Coast

News release: “Oil- and gas-rich areas in and near the Great Plains contained many of the fastest-growing areas in the U.S. last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. Areas along and near the Gulf Coast were also home to several high-growth communities. Of the nation’s 10 fastest-growing metropolitan statistical areas in the… Continue Reading

OECD Sovereign Borrowing Outlook

“Borrowing operations by OECD governments are set to decrease, as their borrowing needs continue to decline, according to a new OECD report. Net borrowing needs are projected to fall from USD 2.0 trillion in 2013 to USD 1.5 trillion in 2014, the lowest level since 2007.  The Sovereign Borrowing Outlook 2014 estimates that gross borrowing requirements… Continue Reading

Teaching the Movement 2014: The State of Civil Rights Education in the United States

“This report was prepared by the Southern Poverty Law Center under the guidance of Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. The principal researcher and writer was Kate Shuster, Ph.D. The report was reviewed by Hasan Jeffries, Ph.D. and Jeremy Stern, Ph.D. It was edited by Maureen Costello, Alice Pettway, Adrienne van der Valk and Monita Bell… Continue Reading

Commentary on Big data – does hype live up to expectations

Big data: are we making a big mistake? By Tim Harford: “Big data is a vague term for a massive phenomenon that has rapidly become an obsession with entrepreneurs, scientists, governments and the media…As with so many buzzwords, “big data” is a vague term, often thrown around by people with something to sell. Some emphasise the sheer scale of… Continue Reading