Latest Articles

CQ Researcher European Migration Crisis v.25-28

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:44 AM by Sarah Glazer

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

CQ Researcher Understanding Autism v.24-28

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:39 AM by Sarah Glazer

More children than ever before have been diagnosed with autism, according to the latest government figures. Yet the condition remains mysterious. The diagnosis encompasses a wide spectrum of individuals, from people with severe mental disabilities to brilliant savants. Scientists are still searching for the causes of autism, which for most individuals with the condition probably include a complex combination of genetics and environmental factors. Whether rising autism rates simply reflect greater awareness of the condition and broadened diagnosis remains a matter of debate. Meanwhile, treatment and education of autistic children can be expensive, and many parents are fighting insurers and school systems over who pays. At the same time, a generation of autistic children is transitioning to adulthood, and families face stark choices about their children's future. Activist autistic adults say the federal government should put less emphasis on finding biological causes and cures and more on assuring a good quality of life for the thousands of autistic adults entering society.


CQ Researcher Understanding Autism v.24-28


CQ Researcher Wealth and Inequality v.24-15

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:36 AM by Sarah Glazer

The very richest now claim a share of the world's wealth not seen since the Gilded Age of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The world's top 1 percent owns about half of global wealth and the bottom half less than 5 percent, according to French economist Thomas Piketty. President Obama is calling for a variety of steps to help struggling middle-class and poor Americans climb the income ladder and to provide more government revenue for programs benefiting the poor. Among his proposals are a hike in the minimum wage and an end to tax loopholes favoring the wealthiest Americans. Likewise, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio swept to victory with a proposal to help pay for preschool programs for poor children by taxing the rich. But conservative economists say such measures would punish entrepreneurialism and stifle economic growth, arguing that wealth at the top translates into investment that creates jobs at the bottom.

CQ Researcher Wealth and Inequality v.24-15

CQ Researcher Sentencing Reform v.24-2

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:35 AM by Sarah Glazer

A rash of federal and state laws in the 1980s and '90s -- an era of crack cocaine-fueled violence and "tough-on-crime" rhetoric -- introduced lengthy automatic prison sentences. In the laws' wake, many low-level nonviolent drug offenders have been locked up for long periods, contributing to prison overcrowding and state budget deficits. Putting young people behind bars for the majority of their lives as punishment for a youthful error is inhumane, human rights and civil liberties groups say. At least 30 states have rolled back their harshest laws, and several bipartisan proposals in Congress would relax federal sentencing mandates. Prosecutors contend the threat of mandatory sentences induces defendants to cooperate with their investigations of criminal networks and reduces crime. But reformers, including some prominent conservatives, contend drug treatment and other alternatives to incarceration are cheaper than prison and more effective at reducing crime. States such as Texas and New York have closed prisons and still boast declining crime, but key congressional Republicans are skeptical of sentencing reform.

CQ Researcher Sentencing Reform v.24-2

CQ Researcher Telecommuting v.23-26

posted Aug 28, 2015, 5:33 AM by Sarah Glazer

Recent restrictions on telecommuting by tech giant Yahoo and retailer Best Buy are spurring debate over the merits of working from home. Some companies say allowing employees to telecommute reduces turnover and boosts profits. But Yahoo's leaders say collaboration and innovation suffer when everyone isn't in the office together. Advocates argue that telework has been crucial for parents and other caregivers struggling to balance work and family obligations. Yet, while the advent of mobile working -- by smartphones, tablet computers and laptops -- has helped workers remain productive, it also has led more and more people to labor long hours from home, often at night and on weekends. Global communication by email, videoconference and Skype has become so integral to business that some corporate leaders say they no longer see telework as a distinct form of work.

CQ Researcher Telecommuting v.23-26

CQ Researcher Plagiarism and Cheating v.23-1

posted Mar 4, 2013, 10:34 AM by Sarah Glazer

Cheating scandals among some of the nation's best students at Harvard University and New York City's Stuyvesant High School have highlighted a problem experts say is widespread. In surveys, a majority of college and high school students admit to cheating on a test or written assignment. Some experts blame the cheating culture on cutthroat competition for college admissions and jobs. The simplicity of copying from the Internet or cribbing from smartphones makes plagiarism and cheating easier, teachers say. However, in the case of works of art and entertainment, some see a refreshing new ethic of sharing and "remixing" creative material in digital media. Researchers find that cheating increases when educators "teach to the test" instead of emphasizing learning. But experts question whether shifting to learning for learning's sake is realistic when public school funding now depends on standardized-test results and families think their children's future depends on high grades.

CQ Researcher Plagiarism and Cheating v.23-1

CQ Global Researcher Sharia Controversy v.6-1

posted Mar 4, 2013, 10:28 AM by Sarah Glazer

To Westerners, the Arabic word Sharia often conjures up images of amputations for Muslim thieves and stonings of adulterous women. But the term actually encompasses all Islamic religious precepts -- including how to pray -- and its interpretation differs from region to region. Only a few Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, carry out such harsh Sharia penalties today. And, some Muslim countries, such as Tunisia and Morocco, have passed progressive laws giving women equality with men -- in the name of Sharia. In recent years, imams at English mosques have been adjudicating hundreds of requests from Muslim women seeking religious divorces. Critics say these Sharia tribunals constitute a parallel legal system that discriminates against women. But researchers say they mainly free women to remarry in keeping with their faith. After recent electoral gains by Islamist parties in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, human-rights advocates worry that new governments may reject progressive interpretations of Sharia for the harsher, Saudi- or Iranian-style versions.

CQ Global Researcher Sharia Controversy v.6-1

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