Congressional Research Service. July 18, 2014.

Many view Russia’s annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine on March 18, 2014, and efforts to
destabilize eastern and southern Ukraine as the culmination of long-standing Russian resentment of the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. Russian leaders have claimed they have the right to protect Russian citizens and “compatriots” (those linked by language, culture, or ethnicity) in neighboring countries. In this context, Ukraine may have a particularly important place in Russian history. Ethnic Russians make up over 17% of Ukraine’s population, concentrated in the east and south of the country, and Russian officials have warned that they are willing to intervene militarily to protect them.

http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/229888.pdf [PDF format, 2 pages].

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The Brookings Institution. July 2014.

A decade of reform of U.S. development assistance programs has brought significant and important improvement in the nature and delivery of U.S. assistance. But the 21st century world is witnessing constant change in development. More developing countries are ascending to middle income status and gaining the capability, resources, and desire to finance and direct their own development. The rapid expansion of private capital flows, remittances, and domestic resources has significantly reduced the relative role of donor assistance in financing development. Donors are becoming more numerous and varied. There is growing recognition that the private sector, both nationally and internationally, is an indispensable component of sustainable development. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2014/07/22%20foreign%20assistance%20reform%20ingram/ingram%20aid%20reform%20final2.pdf [PDF format, 48 pages].

The Brookings Institution. July 19, 2014.

With significant headway already made but major gaps remaining – and especially with the options available in the event of a breakdown of negotiations looking unattractive to all parties – it made good sense for the P5+1 countries and Iran to extend their talks for another four months, which they announced late Friday. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/iran-at-saban/posts/2014/07/19-iran-nuclear-talks-extended-hard-choices-enrichment [HTML format].

Center for American Progress. July 2014.

The debate over the racist name and mascot of the professional football team based in the nation’s capital, the “Redskins,” has reached a fever pitch in recent months. Fifty U.S. senators signed a letter urging the National Football League, or NFL, to take action and change the name. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently canceled several of the team’s trademarks because they were disparaging to American Indian and Alaska Native, or AI/AN, people and communities. And several media outlets across the country have stopped printing and using the name, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Slate, and The Seattle Times. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/StegmanAIANmascots-report.pdf [PDF format, 32 pages].

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