Nordic Europe after the Brexit Vote http://www.swp-berlin.org/en/publications/swp-comments-en/swp-aktuelle-details/article/nordic_europe_after_the_brexit_vote.html The Five Nordic Countries Are Reassessing Their Relations with the EU The UK’s EU referendum is making waves in the Nordic countries. The vote could give a boost to Euro-critical parties across the region. However, it seems unlikely that EU members Denmark, Finland and Sweden will head for the exit in the foreseeable future or that non-members Norway and Iceland will loosen their ties with the EU to any significant extent. Nonetheless, with the UK’s exit, the Nordic countries face the prospect of losing one of their key allies within the EU and will be compelled to rethink their positions in and towards the Union. There are already initial signs of adjustment – based on sometimes shared and sometimes divergent priorities. If the five countries are able to capitalise on their commonalities, Nordic cooperation in the context of an EU-27 may well gain traction. SWP Comments 2016/C 42, September 2016, 4 Pagesmore
The Brexit negotiations will be equivalent of replacing an aircraft's engines while in-flight, argues the leading fund manager. But so far, the May government appears to be doing the key things right. In particular, it has (with the aid of the Bank of England) managed to clamp down on the volatility and uncertainty that followed the vote. It will need further reserves of resilience and agility in the months ahead.
The Commission authorised 11 genetically modified maizes, which have gone through a full authorisation procedure, including a favourable scientific assessment by EFSA. This authorisation is valid for 10 years and does not cover cultivation.
Latest annual U.S. crime statistics which show a 3.9% increase in violent crime and a 2.6% decrease in property crime compared to 2014. The violent crime total was 16.5% below the level of ten years earlier. Also reports on losses related to property crimes, firearms used in murders and robberies, and human trafficking offenses. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Published Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN06073
The regulatory regime for fracking in the UK is covered in this note along with comment on environmental concerns. It also covers the new access provisions and debate on fracking in during the Infrastructure Bill’s passage through Parliament.
Published Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7393
The Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 reached agreement, to be implemented in 2020, to keep global increases in temperature well below 2 °C. The UK has signed the Agreement, and momentum is increasing for ratification in 2016.
Ahead of tonight’s debate, brush up on the candidates’ positions on the biggest issues of the campaign, and see how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stack up against each other — or against Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, who didn’t qualify for the debate.
20/09/2016 The issue of immigration have never been as high on the political agenda of European democracies since the migratory crisis, significant since the beginning of the 2000's, erupted due to the increased flows of Syrian refugees coming from Turkey and Lebanon, and the worsening conflict in Libya, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Kurdistan. This crisis, in its premise, as well as in its development, seems to be affecting European public opinion and is contributing towards the political and electoral strengthening of national-populism in Europe.
What is the relation between Ethiopia's history, its political system and how the country has organised its security? This report seeks to identify and understand logic and patterns between these elements in a bid to acquire greater understanding of the country’s current development trajectory
Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael'
The Heritage Insider: work requirements, drug prices, Reed Larson, and financial privacy
Work requirements have worked, so why are liberals trying to repeals them now? California has a misguided idea for controlling drug prices. And so do all the states that want to ban copays. Reed Larson, R.I.P. Banks spend $7 million reporting on their customers for each money-laundering conviction.
No need to turn back the clock on welfare reform. The current push to repeal work requirements in welfare is based not on evidence that work requirements have failed, but on the claim that repealing them is the only way to help hardship cases. That’s wrong, explains Lawrence M. Mead: “Opposition to conditionality and work first has arisen initially, not because the evidence has changed, but because of problems in TANF implementation. The ‘detached’ mothers have become an issue in part because some states have made TANF benefits too hard to get. They do this by requiring that mothers who are eligible on an income basis look too long for jobs up front before they can even apply for benefits. Or applicants must provide too much paperwork. […] To prevent hardship, policymakers need not go back to entitlement, which would simply mean less work and higher welfare rolls. Rather, federal administrators should ensure that state welfare agencies allow application for TANF without unreasonable prerequisites.” [American Enterprise Institute]
Trying to legislate lower prices: Can a state save money simply by passing a law that says its health care programs won’t pay more for specific drugs than the Veterans Administration does? Some in California want to give it a try and they have put the idea to the voters in the form of Prop. 61. But, as Paul Howard writes, the possible unintended consequences of such a scheme include higher prices charged to the VA instead of lower prices to California, fewer drug choices if manufacturers refuse to sell at VA prices, higher outlays for more expensive alternatives if California cannot secure VA prices, lots of lawsuits as the state tries to discover what VA prices actually are, and less investment in California’s biotech industry. [Manhattan Institute]
If you think EpiPens are expensive now, just wait till they’re free. Legislators around the country are proposing laws to limit insurance copayments for drugs. As Devon Herrick explains, copays aren’t just a way to encourage economizing by drug consumers; they are a way to discipline drug makers, too: “Since drug maker Mylan acquired EpiPen in 2007, a two-pen set has increased in price from just over $100 to just over $600 in 2016. An EpiPen has an expiration date of about 1 year, which means families often have to throw them out and replace them each school year. The company dismisses charges that it is price gouging by saying it offers a $100 coupon to help cover copays so most familes pay nothing. But obviously the insurer is paying $500 per set or $1,000, with the spares. This is an example of why consumers need to be enlisted in the battle to control drug spending. Without consumers complaining about cost-sharing, there would be no stopping price hikes.” [National Center for Policy Analysis]
Reed Larson, R.I.P. Longtime leader in the right-to-work movement Reed Larson died last Saturday at the age of 93. In 1954, Larson took a leave of absence from his job as an engineer to lead a campaign for right-to-work legislation in Kansas. Right-to-work laws, now in effect in 26 states, make it illegal to require workers to join a union as a condition of employment. Larson succeeded in making Kansas a right-to-work state in 1958 and then he led the National Right to Work Committee for the next 45 years. The group promoted right-to-work legislation in other states—winning four such campaigns—and defended right-to-work laws from attacks by organized labor. In 1968, Larson established the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to fight for worker freedom in the courts, and he led that group also until 2003. [National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation]
Bank regulations come at a cost—including privacy. Current bank reporting requirements, write David Burton and Norbert Michel, are too costly and infringe too heavily on financial privacy: “Financial privacy is a key component of life in a free society, and the U.S. system of government was designed to ensure individuals a private sphere free of government involvement, surveillance, and control. The current U.S. financial regulatory framework has expanded so much that it now threatens this basic element of freedom. For instance, individuals who engage in cash transactions of more than a small amount trigger a general suspicion of criminal activity, and financial institutions of all kinds—including jewelry stores—have to report such transactions. Regulations have imposed an enormous compliance burden on these firms, and the companies have essentially been forced into a quasi-law-enforcement role. […] [T]he costs of the current U.S. [Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering] regime are estimated to be between $4.8 billion and $8 billion annually, at least $7 million for each [money laundering] conviction. Nonetheless, the BSA/AML framework has expanded for the past few decades without any meaningful cost-benefit analysis of these rules.” [The Heritage Foundation]
Following up on the previously published ‘Defence Matters – EU Key Documents 2013’ and ‘Strategy Matters – EU Key Documents 2003-2014’, this compendium presents the two major documents released by the EEAS in June 2015 and June 2016 as part of the process of strategic reflection leading to the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) on foreign and security policy, elaborated under the aegis of HR/VP Federica Mogherini.
Marshall Center news Foreign Terrorist Fighters: German Islamists in Syria and Iraq and What Can be Done about Them Authors: Daniel H. Heinke - Date: September 2016 http://www.marshallcenter.org/mcpublicweb/mcdocs/files/College/F_Publications/secInsights/security_insights_15.pdf
No More Snowdens? Start by Reforming the House Intelligence Committee by Daniel Schuman, Just Security, September 21. "The secretive nature of the HPSCI's work fosters an unusually tight relationship with the agencies it oversees while virtually eliminating the public-minded counterbalance of civil society organizations and democratic accountability."
By Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth
CAMBRIDGE – The American political train has gone off the rails, and it seems farther than ever from getting back on track. There has been a lot of finger pointing, with commentators blaming issues like gerrymandering, rising economic inequality, the campaign finance system, and unbalanced journalism. But the public cannot address these genuine flaws in the system directly. What they can do is tackle another fundamental problem: low voter turnout.
Though Nigeria’s southern Delta region has abundant oil reserves that should provide amply for the future of both the region and the nation, the Delta has become consumed by environmental degradation, unrestrained oil theft,...
Yogi Bera – that immortal American philosopher – once said that it is tough to make predictions, especially about the future. Well, here is one prediction. A year from now, Angela Merkel will be approaching the closing days of her election campaign, if she chooses to enter it in 2017. And she will win that
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), once a disgruntled breakaway faction of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has been behind a series of deadly attacks across Pakistan since March 2016, apparently contradicting the Pakistani Army’s claim to...
Published Thursday, September 22, 2016 | Commons Briefing papers SN07069
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper summarises Government and industry proposals to extend mobile coverage across the UK. Mobile 'not-spots' and 'partial not-spots' - areas where there is currently no mobile coverage and areas which have coverage from some but not all of the 4 mobile networks - currently affect parts of the UK, particularly rural areas.
The Arctic Council was created 20 years ago as a consensus-based forum for cooperation, coordination, and interaction between Arctic states and, significantly, with the participation of Arctic Indigenous communities. However, its founding principles alone obscure the complexity of lengthy negotiations that mark the day-to-day operations of the Council. World Policy Institute’s Arctic in Context initiative, directed by Erica Dingman, presents a series of expert assessments of the Arctic Council at this critical juncture.
Klaus Doddsanalyzes a video produced to mark the occasion of the Arctic Council’s 20th anniversary, noting a lack of acknowledgment of the role of non-state actors in policy deliberations.
Rob Huebertexplains that while the Arctic Council today represents a significant advancement in regional relations, security concerns threaten to undermine the cooperative spirit the forum has fostered.
Republicans vote to take legal action against StemExpress, despite Democrat walkout. The effort to hold the fetal tissue procurement company StemExpress in contempt of Congress moved forward Wednesday, despite Democrats walking out of the vote. After the six Democrats on the special House panel physically exited the room in protest, the Republicans investigating the fetal tissue market voted unanimously to take legal action against StemExpress for refusing to hand over its accounting records, reports The Daily Signal's Kelsey Harkness.
On June 23, much of the world waited with bated breath to see the outcome of the British national vote known as Brexit (for British exit from the European Union). The result of the vote was wholly unexpected and sent both global... »