Australia in the year of global uncertainties (East Asia Forum)

The year that saw Brexit, Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and the sharp rise of far-right nationalist politicians from Germany to Australia is drawing to a close, but its legacies are more difficult to foretell.

Which countries face the biggest policy challenges of aging populations in Europe and Central Asia? (Johannes Koettl, Brookings)

Demographically, Europe and Central Asia (ECA) is the world’s oldest region. As such, the 46 diverse countries of the ECA region are at the forefront of addressing some of the many policy challenges related to aging populations.

Clinton’s Child Tax Credit proposal: A good start on helping low- and middle-income families (Isabel V. Sawhill, Edward Rodrigue, Brookings)

Hillary Clinton’s proposed changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) would help poor and middle class families, especially those with young children. Although important design challenges remain, in broad terms the plan is a positive step towards reducing income inequality.

The Cuban economy could sing—with a stronger score (Richard E. Feinberg, Brookings)

We don’t need gifts from the Empire,” growled Fidel Castro, in a calculated rebuff to Barack Obama following his historic March visit to Havana. But the ailing Castro only underscored the widening gap between an aging, out-of-touch Communist Party and the Cuban people who had embraced the U.S. president with open arms.

How can cognitive computing improve public services? (Kevin C. Desouza, Rashmi Krishnamurthy, Brookings)

Just about every major technology player is investing serious financial and human capital in pursuit of advances in cognitive computing. The National Science and Technology Committee on Technology released a much-anticipated report on how to prepare for the future where we have mature artificial intelligence systems. The report, Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, outlines specific implications that artificial intelligence will have when it comes to transforming our society and outlines twenty-three recommendations for federal agencies to consider.

Infrastructure issues and options for the next president (William A. Galston, Robert Puentes, Brookings)

Our nation’s infrastructure facilities are aging, overcrowded, under-maintained, and in desperate need of modernization. The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 12th in the world for overall quality of infrastructure and assigns particularly low marks for the quality of our roads, ports, railroads, air transport infrastructure, and electricity supply. It is abundantly clear that to be economically competitive in today’s world, adequate investment in infrastructure is critical. And yet, U.S. spending on infrastructure has declined over the past five decades.