Latest Articles

CQ Researcher The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

posted Sep 5, 2018, 9:15 AM by Sarah Glazer

The long-sought goal of an Arab-Israeli peace settlement is looking more distant than ever. President Trump's decision in December to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the U.S. Embassy there infuriated Palestinian leaders while heartening conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump defends his decision as a recognition of reality and vows to work toward a settlement in the region. But Jerusalem is hallowed ground for both Arabs and Israelis, and critics say Trump has moved so far in Israel's favor that the United States can no longer be a neutral broker between the two sides. Both Netanyahu, under investigation for alleged corruption, and aging Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, widely accused of stifling Arab democratic rights, have uncertain political futures. Frustrated with the dimming outlook for peace, a growing number of young Palestinians favor armed struggle.

"The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Can the U.S. still be a neutral broker for peace?" CQ Researcher, April 13, 2018

CQ Researcher Stolen Antiquities

posted Sep 5, 2018, 9:11 AM by Sarah Glazer

Reports that the Islamist group ISIS may be funding terrorism by selling looted artifacts from war-torn Iraq and Syria have spurred calls for a new crackdown on the illicit antiquities trade. The United States has banned antiquities imports from Iraq and Syria, and the European Union is considering requiring proof that antiquities entering Europe were legally exported from their home countries, as Germany did last year. Archaeologists favor tougher documentation requirements, but antiquities dealers say such rules are impossible to meet and could destroy the legitimate market. Meanwhile, efforts to have ancient objects returned to their country of origin continue to spark controversy. For years Greece has demanded that Britain relinquish sculptures taken from the Parthenon in the 19th century. In the United States, some archaeologists complain that a 1990 law requiring museums and federal agencies to return skeletal remains of Native Americans to tribes for reburial prevents scientific study of North America's earliest inhabitants.

"Stolen Antiquities: Can governments curb trafficking in ancient artifacts?" CQ Researcher,  Nov. 10, 2017

CQ Researcher Universal Basic Income

posted Sep 5, 2018, 9:07 AM by Sarah Glazer

The prospect of automation replacing workers has helped to revive an old idea: a government check covering basic expenses paid to everyone. Silicon Valley proponents say a guaranteed income — or universal basic income (UBI) — could be crucial in a future with less work to go around. The idea has won enthusiasts among libertarian conservatives who see it as a less bureaucratic alternative to welfare, and liberals who say it could combat inequality and wage stagnation. But UBI supporters on the right and left differ over whether to pay for it by diverting money spent on existing welfare programs or raising taxes. Others dismiss the idea outright, saying it would bust the budget and breed laziness. Still, trial efforts are underway in California, Finland and Canada to investigate whether free cash encourages idleness or, alternatively, boosts education and health — benefits found in 1970s-era American and Canadian experiments and among Alaskans and Native Americans sharing community wealth.

"Universal Basic Income: Would cash payments relieve job losses due to automation?" CQ Researcher, Sept. 8, 2017

CQ Researcher Anti-Semitism

posted Sep 5, 2018, 9:02 AM by Sarah Glazer

In the run-up to the presidential election and afterward, the United States has experienced disturbing outbreaks of anti-Semitism, including a spate of incidents on more than 100 college campuses, where white supremacists have been distributing anti-Semitic fliers and openly recruiting adherents. Some human rights and Jewish activists say President Trump has emboldened right-wing hostility toward Jews, but others say such charges are unjustified. Defining anti-Semitism is controversial. Members of Congress and state legislators want to codify a definition that would include opposition to Israel's existence. But pro-Palestinian and civil liberties groups say that would violate free-speech rights. A similar debate is playing out in Europe, where some countries have seen a rise in deadly attacks on Jews in recent years, often by radicalized Muslims, such as the 2015 terrorist attack on a kosher grocery in Paris. Paradoxically, growing anti-Muslim attitudes in countries experiencing an influx of refugees have also spurred more prejudice against Jews — the target of history's longest hatred.

"Anti-Semitism: Is hostility toward Jews on the rise worldwide?" CQ Researcher, May 12, 2017

CQ Researcher Women in Prison

posted Sep 5, 2018, 8:56 AM by Sarah Glazer

The number of women in state and federal prisons has surged since 1978 by nearly 800 percent — twice the growth rate for men. Mandatory sentences for drug offenses enacted during the 1980s and 1990s have hit women particularly hard, many experts say. But some prosecutors and Republicans dispute the claim that the so-called war on drugs has disproportionately hurt women. They say mandatory sentencing has reduced crime, helped break up drug rings and ended sentencing disparities. Reformers hope states' recent efforts to reduce prison populations and spend more on drug treatment will help women. But they say women still remain an afterthought in the penal system. For example, reformers say courts and prisons rarely recognize women's responsibility as mothers or the factors underlying their participation in crime, such as domestic abuse. The justice system, women's advocates say, needs to think creatively about how to help female prisoners. Meanwhile, in the juvenile system, girls often receive harsher punishments than boys who commit similar offenses.

"Women in Prison: Should they be treated differently from men?" CQ Researcher, March 3, 2017

CQ Researcher Decriminalizing Prostitution

posted Sep 5, 2018, 8:46 AM by Sarah Glazer   [ updated Sep 5, 2018, 9:17 AM ]

Amnesty International has spurred a global debate on prostitution with a controversial proposal to decriminalize the sex trade worldwide. The human-rights organization argues that lifting bans on prostitution would make life safer for prostitutes. But critics say decriminalization would increase global sex trafficking and put many women at greater risk. Policies on prostitution are shifting throughout Europe and the United States. In response to concerns about trafficking and health risks, the German and Dutch governments have proposed tightening existing regulations that have legalized prostitution. New Zealand, on the other hand, has fully decriminalized the sex trade along the lines supported by Amnesty. Sweden has adopted what is known as the “Nordic model,” in which only the buyers of sex are prosecuted. Seattle and 10 other U.S. cities are copying Sweden, hoping to stop prostitution altogether by eliminating demand for commercial sex. But critics, arguing that no way exists to halt the world's “oldest profession,” say the Nordic approach simply drives the sex trade further underground.

"Decriminalizing Prostitution: Should buying and selling sex be legal?" CQ Researcher, April 15, 2016

CQ Researcher European Migration Crisis v.25-28

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:44 AM by Sarah Glazer   [ updated Sep 5, 2018, 8:38 AM ]

Members of the European Union (EU) are feeling besieged by a rising tide of refugees fleeing conflict and migrants seeking economic opportunity. Many of the refugees, who are mainly from the Middle East and Africa, are crossing the Mediterranean on overloaded boats or traveling via treacherous land routes, often victimized by unscrupulous human traffickers. National leaders disagree on what to do, other than fortify Europe’s borders. Refugee organizations say strengthened borders will just push migrants, who have been dying by the thousands, to try even more dangerous routes. An EU plan to send navies to destroy smugglers’ boats faces similar criticism. Some economists argue that Europe needs more migrants to bolster its aging workforce. However, polls show most Europeans want fewer immigrants amid worries about unemployment and terrorism. Violent conflicts far from Europe — primarily the Syrian civil war — are driving this year’s surge. That leads some observers to argue that an international solution to the migration crisis is needed.

CQ Researcher European Migration Crisis v.25-28

CQ Researcher Free Speech on Campus v.25-18

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:43 AM by Sarah Glazer

Several recent incidents in which college students spewed racist or misogynistic language on campus have renewed debate about how much freedom of speech the U.S. Constitution actually permits. Among the most notorious examples: the singing of a racist chant this year by several University of Oklahoma fraternity members. College presidents at Oklahoma and other campuses have swiftly disciplined students for speech deemed inappropriate, but civil liberties advocates say college officials are violating students’ First Amendment rights to free speech. Meanwhile, critics say a small but growing movement to give students “trigger warnings” about curriculum material that might traumatize them indicates that colleges are becoming overly protective. American universities also have come under fire for accepting money from China and other autocratic governments to create overseas branches and international institutes on their home campuses. Defenders of such programs say they are vital for global understanding, but critics say they may compromise academic freedom.

CQ Researcher Free Speech on Campus v.25-18

CQ Researcher Prisoners and Mental Illness v.25-11

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:42 AM by Sarah Glazer

Thousands of people with schizophrenia, severe depression, delusional disorders or other mental problems are locked up, often in solitary confinement. While some committed violent crimes and remain a threat to themselves or other inmates and prison staff, many are incarcerated for minor offenses, simply because there is no place to send them for treatment. The number of mentally ill inmates has mushroomed in recent years as states have closed their psychiatric hospitals in favor of outpatient community mental health centers that typically are underfunded and overcrowded. In an attempt to reduce the influx of mentally ill inmates, some 300 specialized mental health courts have diverted them into court-monitored treatment instead of jail. Yet, many participants re-offend, and some experts say psychiatric treatment alone won’t prevent criminal behavior. Meanwhile, courts in more than a half-dozen states have declared solitary confinement unconstitutional for those with mental illness. However, some corrections officials say solitary is necessary to separate dangerous prisoners, even if they are mentally ill.

CQ Researcher Prisoners and Mental Illness v.25-11

CQ Treating Schizophrenia v.24-43

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:40 AM by Sarah Glazer

Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish reality from unreality, afflicts about 1 percent of the adult population, with symptoms typically emerging in adolescence or young adulthood. A growing number of experts believe schizophrenia is not a single disease, but rather a variety of disorders that manifest themselves in different ways. While many with the diagnosis hear voices, that experience lies on a continuum, from hearing the benign words of a deceased relative to enduring terrifying rants urging self-harm. Recent studies have sparked debate over whether psychiatric drugs taken over many years -- today's mainstream treatment -- may actually make it harder for people to cope with daily life and work. In addition, understanding voices as representations of past trauma is more helpful than trying to suppress them with drugs, some voice-hearers contend. Meanwhile, experts are divided over whether states should mandate involuntary outpatient treatment for those who need treatment but resist it.

CQ Treating Schizophrenia v.24-43

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