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REUTERS/Joe Skipper

by Andre M. Perry

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published in The Hechinger Report.

“I started to work side jobs in college to earn extra money; now all I have are side hustles,” said 31-year-old ride-hailing driver Andrea as she whisked me to the Chicago O’Hare airport. Andrea, who earned her college degree in English literature in 2012, is a temp in a law firm and drives people around on weekday mornings and throughout the weekend. Before that, she worked as a packer in various warehouses in the Midwest. Andrea estimated she has worked at least 10 to 12 jobs since graduating from college six years ago. “I’m still planning on being an attorney,” she said, though I’m not sure if she was trying to convince me, or herself. …


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REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

By: Christine Apiot Okudi

Uganda recently launched the National Sexuality Education Framework 2018, which aims to provide formal, national direction for sex education within Uganda’s schools. While this framework demonstrates a step in the right direction at the policy level, social norms related to religious, traditional, and cultural values permeating Ugandan society pose challenges to the framework’s successful implementation.

Sex education is a controversial national debate, but the issue of adolescent sex education is a global discussion not unique to Uganda. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Program of Action calls on governments to provide sexuality education both in schools and at the community level that is age-appropriate, begins as early as possible, and fosters mature decisionmaking. …


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By: Mark Muro and Robert Maxim

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in US News & World Report.

It’s time to recognize big tech’s involvement in the widening gap between booming coastal tech hubs and smaller heartland cities.

Big tech companies have been blamed for many things lately. Whether it be fake news, privacy scandals, and addictive product design or the rise of inequality and spreading social tensions, the current year has seen the giants of America’s digital economy forced to acknowledge their role in a long list of distortions of the real world. It’s not been pretty.

Yet at the risk of piling on, it’s also time to bring up one more major problem: tech’s big role in reshaping the nation’s urban geography. …


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By: David Dollar and Peter A. Petri

Fresh from reworking U.S. trade agreements with North American partners, the European Union, and South Korea, the Trump administration is focusing on its biggest trade irritant, China. In confronting China, President Trump enjoys support from a policy community worried about China’s military assertiveness and willingness to flout global norms in fields ranging from international investments to intellectual property.

But President Trump’s demands on China have ranged all over the map, demanding at one point that China reduce its bilateral trade surpluses, later that it drop the “Made in China 2025” technology initiative, and now that it eliminate tariffs that adversely affect Republican voters. This new charge of election meddling — which President Trump laid out in remarks on nonproliferation to the U.N. …


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A waitress stands behind the counter at AS220 Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The economy is back to health after a drawn-out recovery from the Great Recession. Today the unemployment rate is less than 4 percent, and more people are rejoining the labor force. Unfortunately, despite recent progress, the U.S. is still falling well short of its potential, with the share of adults in the labor market below that in Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Policymakers are rightly focusing on how to raise the number of people with a job. This is welcome news. Work is not only good for the economy, but has also been shown to be worth more than a paycheck.


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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on Capitol Hill. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

By: Christine Stenglein and John Hudak

Eventually, the increasingly fraught Supreme Court nomination process for Brett Kavanaugh will come down to a vote in the Senate where the close split between Democrats and Republicans means that the Republicans have very few votes to spare. Among the Republican Senators who have come under close scrutiny for the possibility that they might vote against Kavanaugh is Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Murkowski is one of only five women Republican Senators and someone who, in voting against the Republican plan to replace Obamacare last year, has already shown an independent streak.

We often think of Supreme Court nominations focusing on broad, national-level issues, but those who vote to confirm federal judges must still answer to a local constituency: their state’s voters. In other words, it’s not just the fate of Roe v. Wade or the drive for Republican unity leading up to the midterms that are putting pressure on Senator Murkowski. The Kavanaugh nomination has brought to the fore another issue, one that might not ordinarily motivate elected officials but disproportionately impacts Alaska Natives and Native Americans: the prevalence of sexual violence against women. …


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Reuters/Thomas Peter

By: Nila Bala and Lars Trautman

Computers are once again learning something that humans have long understood: Putting a name to a face can be an elusive endeavor. Indeed, as facial recognition software is added to everything from iPhones to airport security, the problems that flawed technology could cause in the hands of law enforcement has been the source of great concern. However, this software will improve, leading to another adage that we need to beware of: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Right now, much of the criticism of facial recognition technology regards the inaccuracies of the algorithms currently available. For example, facial recognition has been shown to be much less accurate for women or people of color than white men. Likewise, when the ACLU conducted a test of Amazon’s facial recognition software “Rekognition,” the software incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress to people who had been arrested. The false matches were disproportionately people of color. …


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By: Sifan Liu and Joseph Parilla

Entrepreneurship — and the creative ingenuity often associated with it — is critical to regional economies. Yet, America’s startup rate has been in long-term decline, and pockets of business dynamism remain limited to a small group of geographic areas. Dynamic economies demonstrate the business “churn” — where firms are both being created and destroyed — necessary to yield creative destruction. Young firms are critical in this process, which is why in recent years economists have been closely watching trends related to new business starts, high-growth businesses, and venture capital investment.

This post adds an additional data source to the study of entrepreneurship: Kickstarter, one of the country’s largest crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunding, according to University of Pennsylvania professor Ethan Mollick, is “a variety of different efforts by entrepreneurs — cultural, social, and for-profit — to fund their efforts by drawing on relatively small contributions from a relatively large number of individuals using the internet.” …


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Reuters/Lucas Jackson

By: Gary Burtless and Christopher Pulliam

The Census Bureau published its annual report on household income and poverty on Wednesday. The report uses the latest data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a nationally representative survey that has tracked household incomes since shortly after World War II. This year’s report, which covers incomes received in 2017, contains plenty of good news. Median income increased by 1.8 percent in 2017, after accounting for inflation. The Gini index and other measures of income inequality did not show a meaningful change this year. The official poverty rate went down by 0.4 …


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PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat (R) gestures to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (3rd R), as U.S. President Bill Clinton (2nd R) stands between them, following their handshake after the signing of the Israeli-PLO peace accord, at the White House in Washington September 13, 1993. Also in picture is Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres (L). REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

By: Martin S. Indyk

Editor’s Note: Twenty-five years after the Oslo Accords were signed, writes Martin Indyk, the quest for that Holy Grail of Middle East peace never seems to end. It just reinvents itself. This piece originally appeared in The Atlantic.

In the annals of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it was a historic turning point. At least that’s the way it seemed at the time. On this day, 25 years ago, the Oslo Accords — a framework for an interim agreement between Israelis and Palestinians — were signed on the South Lawn of the White House. President Bill Clinton, the host of the ceremony, was unable to sleep the night before. He told his peace team, of which I was a member, that he had read from his Bible instead, from the book of Joshua with its detailing of the battle of Jericho. The next morning, Clinton donned a blue silk tie with a pattern of gold trumpets. …

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