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Trump-Kim Summit, Climate Change, Zarif: RAND Weekly Recap

March 1, 2019

This week, we discuss rising arrest rates among young Americans; U.S.–North Korea relations; how cities can prepare for the impacts of climate change; political infighting in Iran; the threat of hypersonic missiles; and preparing school leaders for success.

Teenager in handcuffs against a car, photo by kali9/Getty Images

Photo by kali9/Getty Images

The Criminalization of America's Youth

Americans under the age of 26 are much more likely to have been arrested than those born in previous decades. That's according to a new RAND study. This rise in arrest rates is increasingly affecting all races and genders, but the increase has been most rapid among whites and women. Importantly, arrests and convictions in one's youth have been linked to negative trends later in life, including lower chances of being married and lower family incomes.

President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 12, 2018, photo by KCNA/Reuters

President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 2018

Photo by KCNA/Reuters

Engaging North Korea? Think Small.

The second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended abruptly yesterday, reportedly over disagreements about sanctions relief. Writing before the summit, RAND experts issued guidance that may still prove useful: Think small. Should the two parties return to the negotiating table, they could “focus not on the big outcomes but on the incremental ones.”

Skyline of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, illustration by Malte Muller

The Pittsburgh skyline. RAND ran nearly 5,000 computer simulations of Pittsburgh's future to help leaders devise a plan to fix the city's sewer-stormwater system.

Illustration by Malte Müller

Helping Cities Prepare for Climate Change Impacts

The effects of climate change pose serious challenges for cities. Every road they build, every storm drain they install will have to withstand conditions that modern civilization has never seen. RAND researchers have developed a decisionmaking framework to help. The key is to not try to guess what the future might bring. Instead, imagine an entire range of futures, then look for solutions that work in most cases.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 17, 2019, photo by Andreas Gebert/Reuters

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference, February 17, 2019

Photo by Andreas Gebert/Reuters

What Zarif's 'Resignation' Says About Iran

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced this week that he would step down from his post. Soon thereafter, President Hassan Rouhani rejected the resignation. It's unclear what will happen next. But one thing is certain, says RAND's Ariane Tabatabai: These events highlight the regime's infighting. It could be a sign of intensified turmoil during Rouhani's final two years in office.

The X51-A Waverider is set to demonstrate hypersonic flight

Graphic by U.S. Air Force

Understanding the Hypersonic Missile Threat

State media has been touting Russia's alleged hypersonic missile capabilities this week. According to RAND research, proliferation of these weapons would be highly destabilizing. That's because hypersonic missiles compress the response time for a nation under attack. In some cases, decisions would need to be made in six minutes. This would give nations an incentive to become trigger-happy.

A mature African-American woman in her 40s standing outside a school building with a group of children carrying backpacks, photo by kali9/Getty Images

Photo by kali9/Getty Images

Preparing School Leaders for Success

A growing body of research points to the power of school principals. But because school resources are not always directed to support administrators, outside training programs are available to help. RAND researchers recently analyzed the effectiveness of one such program, which aims to prepare “transformational” school leaders. The findings may be useful to school districts that want to develop or support principal-training programs.

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