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Afghanistan/USA. The evacuation of Afghan refugees is over. Now what? (Elizabeth Ferris, Brookings)

The dramatic scenes from Kabul Airport of desperate Afghans seeking to escape reverberated around the world. The U.S., other governments, and a hodge-podge assortment of private groups succeeded in evacuating more than 120,000 people in the space of a couple of weeks. This was an impressive achievement, but also a chaotic one. And the chaos continues as Afghans are arriving in the U.S. by the thousands with different legal statuses which means different access to benefits.

The evacuation of Afghan refugees is over. Now what? (brookings.edu)

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TechInnovation/USA. Using AI and machine learning to reduce government fraud (Darrell M. West, Brookings)

Artificial intelligence is being deployed in many different areas. Within higher education, it is used for college admissions and financial aid decisions. Health researchers employ it to scan the scientific literature for chemical compounds that may generate new medical treatments. E-commerce sites deploy algorithms to make product recommendations for consumers based on their areas of interest.

But one of the most important growth areas lies in finance and operations. Both public and private sector organizations have large budgets to manage and it is important to operate efficiently and effectively. Accusations of budget inefficiencies or wasteful spending decrease public confidence and make it important to figure out how to manage resources in fair ways.

Using AI and machine learning to reduce government fraud (brookings.edu)

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USA. September 11 and America’s response through the eyes of Nelson Mandela (Shibley Telhami, Brookings)

To understand the international reactions to 9/11 and the Afghan war, it’s enlightening to consider the reaction and the rapid evolution of positions of one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century, former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. His shifting positions over a short period of time speak volumes about America’s squandering of the global goodwill that came our way in the immediate aftermath of the horror.

September 11 and America’s response through the eyes of Nelson Mandela (brookings.edu)

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Space/Poverty. On space barons and global poverty (Harun Onder, Brookings)

On July 21, 2021, billionaire Jeff Bezos rocketed about 65 miles above the Earth’s crust. Another billionaire, Sir Richard Branson, did the same nine days before, but his vehicle could only climb to 53 miles—some do not consider that a space flight, really.

Clearly, this was not the first time man ventured into space. However, in all earlier cases, explorers pursued a publicly defined mission and were paid from the public purse. Whereas Bezos and Branson were motived by private interest. Although Bezos thanked his company’s workers and customers for “paying for his trip,” it was, nonetheless, a privately financed venture. These two aspects, private interest and private financing, make these billionaires the world’s first space barons.

On space barons and global poverty (brookings.edu)

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China. Assessing China’s “common prosperity” campaign (Ryan Hass, Brookings)

Evidence has been mounting in recent months that the Chinese leadership may be implementing a hard pivot toward asserting greater state control of society and the economy. In the months following Beijing’s surprise November 2020 decision to block Alibaba’s Ant Group from listing on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, Chinese authorities have launched a widening series of crackdowns on technology giants, wealthy individuals, education services providers, celebrities, and even youth video gamers. Restraints on Beijing’s interventions in society and the economy have become harder to identify.

Assessing China’s “common prosperity” campaign (brookings.edu)

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USA. How 9/11 helped to militarize American law enforcement (Rashawn Ray, Brookings)

Across four presidents, the United States spent trillions of dollars on the War in Afghanistan fighting terrorist groups and trying to assist to stabilize and control the region. As the roughly 800,000 American troops have returned to the U.S. over the past 20 years, what happens to all of the military equipment they used? Well, it is often transferred to law enforcement agencies.

How 9/11 helped to militarize American law enforcement (brookings.edu)

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USA. Twenty years later, how Americans assess the effects of the 9/11 attacks (William A. Galston, Brookings)

In a recent survey, 93% of Americans ages 30 and above said they can remember exactly where they were or what they were doing the moment they learned of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  During the past six decades, only the Kennedy assassination had such a pervasive and enduring impact. It is hardly surprising, then, that in 2016, more than three-quarters of American adults named 9/11 as a top historical event of their lives, nearly twice as many as for the second most-cited event.

Twenty years later, how Americans assess the effects of the 9/11 attacks (brookings.edu)

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USA/China. On the persistence of the China shock (David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson, Brookings)

Asurge in imports from China as it modernized its economy during the 1990s and early 2000s caused job and income losses in U.S. manufacturing communities that persisted for years after the import shock plateaued around 2010, finds a paper to be discussed at the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) conference on September 9.

On the persistence of the China shock (brookings.edu)

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Al Qaida/Israel. The Tel Aviv plot (Bruce Riedel, Brookings)

Recently declassified information from the first-ever interrogation of someone presumed to be a senior al-Qaida operative captured after 9/11 provides dramatic new insights into Osama bin Laden’s plans for a follow-up attack to September 11. Specifically, bin Laden was plotting a major attack in Israel, a move consistent with his obsession with the Arab-Israeli conflict and U.S. support for Israel. The attack was thwarted at the last minute. So why is this coming to light only 20 years later?

The Tel Aviv plot (brookings.edu)

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