WNC Think TanksEdition

Singapore: Laws Chill Free Speech, Assembly

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Singapore government’s use of overly broad criminal laws, oppressive regulations, and civil lawsuits severely curtails freedom of speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. “Singapore promotes itself as a modern nation and a good place to do business, but people in a country that calls itself a democracy shouldn’t be afraid to criticize their government or speak out a...
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China: Minority Region Collects DNA from Millions

201712asia_china_xinjiang A mural in Xinjiang reads "Stability is a blessing, Instability is a calamity," Yarkand, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China on September 20, 2012. ...

The Department of Energy National Laboratories

Dec 12, 2017overhead image of Brookhaven National Laboratory This report recommends policies and actions to improve the return on investment the U.S. government makes in sponsoring research and development (R&D) at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) seventeen Nationa...

Why China won’t rescue North Korea – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

US officials have long agreed with Mao Zedong’s famous formulation about relations between China and North Korea: the two countries are like “lips and teeth.” Pyongyang depends heavily on Beijing for energy, food, and most of its meager trade with the outside world, and so successive US administrations have tried to enlist the Chinese in ...

Sharpening America’s soft power – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

Power in contemporary international affairs is probably best thought of as the ability of one state to influence the actions of another. It is inherently intangible and reliant on perception. Lately, authoritarians around the world have increasingly aimed to “pierce, penetrate, or perforate the political and informational environment” of the United States with so-called “...

Treasury “Analysis” of Tax Bill Assumes What It Claims to Prove

The Treasury Department’s new one-page “analysis” of the Senate Finance Committee-passed tax bill purports to analyze how much more economic growth and revenue that bill would generate. In reality, it does no such thing. It first assumes what the growth will be and then estimates the revenue that this growth would generate. ...

Americans Say Religious Aspects of Christmas Are Declining in Public Life

Most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past – even as relatively few are bothered by this trend. ...

The world’s scariest emerging market economy—Welcome to America – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

  According to a Wall Street joke, the longest river in the emerging market countries is De Nile. However, looking at the United States economy today, especially after the September 2008 Lehman-bankruptcy crisis and the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as president, one has to wonder whether it is perhaps not we in America who are in denial about the troubling direction of our country’s economy. Might we now not be choosing to turn a blind eye to the fact that the U...

ISIS in Libya | In 60 seconds – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

  As ISIS loses ground in Iraq and Syria, it will continue to shift its focus to Libya. What kind of a threat does the group pose there, and what can be done to stop it? AEI...

Evangelicals and domestic violence: Are Christian men more abusive? – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Christianity Today. It is reprinted here with permission.  As a sociologist who studies family and marriage trends, I predict that in the coming years, we’ll see a growing wave of mainstream media and academic stories contending that religio...

Let Women Work

In June,  ...

Mark Jones on Roy Moore, Texas politics & more

Fellow Mark P. Jones appeared on Fox 26 segment “What’s Your Point?” to discuss the U.S. Senate race in Alabama, how Joe Straus’ replacement as Speaker of the Texas House will set the tone for Texas politics, and more. ...

Fallout from Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

Baker Institute director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian appeared on Al Jazeera Arabic to discuss President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its possible ramifications for U.S. policy in the Middle East (segment in Arabic): http://bit.ly/2nHhiXP. ...

Undergraduate researchers awarded major fellowships

Two undergraduate research assistants for China Studies fellow Steve Lewis were recently awarded fellowships from prominent policy-related institutions.  Rice senior Aaron Huang is one of 10 students selected for the 2017 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which offers talented students the opportunity to pursue a career in the U.S Foreign Servi...

What Trump’s Jerusalem announcement means for the world

President Donald Trump Wednesday announced the U.S. would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also directed the State Department to “begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” Fellow Joe Barnes appeared on Houston Matters to discuss the implications of this controversial move: http://bit.ly/2ACwyrS.  ...

Hotez vs. Measles and the anti-vaxxers

Texas Monthly reports on fellow Peter Hotez’s fight against a possible measles outbreak in Texas and the state’s burgeoning anti-vaccination movement: http://bit.ly/2AJsybV. ...

Saudi Arabia drives OPEC to extend oil production cuts

Energy fellow Jim Krane comments on Saudi Arabia’s stance on extending the OPEC oil production cuts through the end of 2018. The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2BpAbR9. ...

Mexican drug cartels gaining foothold in Texas

Nathan Jones, nonresident scholar in drug policy and Mexico studies, breaks down the 2017 Drug Threat Assessment report published by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This report — which also identifies opioid use as one of the biggest drug-related problems facing the country — outlines how the legalization of marijuana has led to increased methamphetamine trafficking by Mexican drug cartels, says Jones. Listen here: http://bit.ly/2AohxwE. ...

Venezuela crude output hits 28-year low

OPEC reports that Venezuela’s crude output dropped below 2 million barrels per day in October for the first time since 1989. In an interview with Reuters, fellow Francisco Monaldi called the decrease “really extraordinary” and predicted that it is only likely to get worse: http://reut.rs/2jqm5en. ...

The impact of Hariri’s resignation

Saad Hariri’s resignation as prime minister of Lebanon not only upsets the country’s fragile balance of interests, said Ambassador Edward Djerejian in a recent interview.  “On top of the internal situation, when we look at the external factors — the Iran-Saudi confrontation, the [so-called] Sunni-Shia split (which is more political than sectarian), the GCC rift (Qatar), the war in Yemen, and now the situation in Lebanon as it exploded in the last week — they...