Hot Docs: An Impending Oil Crunch, New Orleans, Dirty Dining, and More

Today's selection of timely reports.

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The Coming Oil Supply Crunch: Oil prices might be high now, but the world could face a "serious oil supply crunch" in the next five to 10 years, according to a study by Chatham House, Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs, that looks at current oil supply and demand and considers how the markets will play out in the near future. The report, which compares the current situation to that of the 1970s, finds that companies in recent years have not invested enough of their resources into development, and that a steep decline in demand might be the only development that could prevent oil from topping $200 a barrel.

New Orleans Three Years After the Storm: The Second Kaiser Post-Katrina Survey, 2008: The population of New Orleans has declined since the devastating hurricane, but 90 percent of the current residents lived there prior to Katrina, according to the Kaiser Foundation's second survey of New Orleans residents. The survey, which polled residents of the city last spring, finds that many are "disappointed by the pace of the recovery effort" and feel "forgotten."

Dirty Dining: Have Reservations? You Will Now: The Center for Science in the Public Interest reviews restaurant safety inspection reports of over 500 restaurants in 20 cities across the United States and finds that more than a fifth of them are storing food at incorrect temperatures. Employees were failing to wash their hands properly in 16 percent of the restaurants included in the report. CSPI suggests that restaurants be required to display "food safety letter grades" in their windows.

China's Foreign Policy: What Does It Mean for U.S. Global Interests?: The Congressional Research Service examines China's growing "soft power" during recent years. The country has expanded its international profile markedly, both politically and economically. This report looks at the reasons behind this shift and considers how it might impact the United States.

The Looming Crisis: Displacement and Security in Iraq: This report from the Brookings Institution looks at refugees and displaced persons, an often overlooked aspect of the war in Iraq. An estimated 2 million refugees have left Iraq during the current conflict, placing huge burdens on neighboring countries like Jordan and Syria. But pointing out that a mass return would be destabilizing, the report says the United States should focus on humanitarian issues in Iraq and work closely with the United Nations.