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Chicago Tribune (January 29)

2013/ 01/ 31 by jd in Global News

In the U.S., immigration reform has been a lethal subject for politicians. That is changing. Now that a bipartisan group of Senators have lent support, immigration reform legislation, which would affect 11 million illegal immigrants, may pass. “Americans support it. Latino voters expect it. Democrats want it. Republicans need it.”


Washington Post (January 28)

2013/ 01/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Climate change is an issue for the secretary of state as much as it is for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency…. The world is more likely to approach the climate issue with a bundle of national policies, rather than a comprehensive, top-down climate pact.”


Wall Street Journal (January 28)

2013/ 01/ 29 by jd in Global News

British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the future of the EU, raising important points on Europe’s waning competitiveness, excessive regulation, free trade agreements and the primacy of the single market. European leaders largely were not listening. “Yet the picture of Europe that Mr. Cameron sketched on Wednesday is an EU worth belonging to, not just for Britain but for every other European state that does not want to sacrifice prosperity and democratic representation on the altar of centralization. Mr. Cameron’s critics should read his speech twice.”


The Economist (January 26)

2013/ 01/ 28 by jd in Global News

China has reached a major turning point. The number of working-age Chinese fell by a total of 3.45 million in 2012. “The mobilisation of Chinese labour over the past 35 years has shaken the world. Never before has the global economy benefited from such an addition of extra human exertion. Now the additions are over.” With the 15 – 24 year old population expected to decrease by 21% over the next decade, “the shrinking of the working-age population will put downward pressure on the saving rate and upward pressure on wages.” Urbanization and productivity enhancements may lessen the blow, if underutilized workers from the countryside take up more efficient positions in cities.


Financial Times (January 25)

2013/ 01/ 27 by jd in Global News

More should be done to stimulate growth in the UK. Monetary easing is essential. “The British economy is in the doldrums. Neither sinking nor sailing, just listing. Output is now flat. For all the drama in London of the past few years – from austerity through to the Olympics – the UK remains where it was.”


Bloomberg (January 24)

2013/ 01/ 26 by jd in Global News

In Bloomberg’s ranking of the best countries to do business, “Japan rose four places to third, behind the U.S. and Hong Kong, which led for a second straight year, in an index based on six criteria including the degree of economic integration and readiness of the local consumer base. Japan’s advance coincides with a 14 percent slide in its currency against the dollar in the past year that has bolstered its export competitiveness.” Japan scored 75.6 behind the U.S. (77) and frontrunner Hong Kong (79.6).


The Guardian (January 24)

2013/ 01/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Just as we were lulled into a false sense of security about North Korea, congratulating Kim Jong-un on a surprisingly good first year in power, we are jolted back to reality…. Yesterday’s blood-curdling statement from the country’s powerful national defence commission was back to “songun” or military-first policy with a vengeance. The ice age is not coming to an end under a younger leader who has shown signs of interest in economic reform. Or at least not as swiftly as some imagined.”


Businessweek (January 23)

2013/ 01/ 24 by jd in Global News

Is North Korea’s cycle repeating itself? “It starts with a long-range rocket launch. The United Nations punishes the act with sanctions. And Pyongyang responds by conducting a nuclear test. It happened in 2006, and again in 2009.” Before deciding whether to complete the cycle that began with a December 2012 test, Kim Jong Un will probably wait to evaluate the emerging foreign policies of incoming South Korean President Park Geun-hye and President Obama’s second term. He may be inclined to break the cycle because ordering a nuclear test “would risk additional sanctions at a time when Kim wants to revive the economy.”


Washington Post (January 22)

2013/ 01/ 23 by jd in Global News

On Monday, President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony was held, coinciding with Martin Luther King Day. The crowds were smaller than four years ago, but this deeply significant event was still one of the best attended second inaugurations. “It’s easy for Americans to take for granted their quadrennial renewal of democracy, the peaceful acceptance by the losing side that knows, for certain, it will have another chance. Monday’s ritual reminds us to celebrate this inevitability, which people in many other countries can only envy.”


Los Angeles Times (January 20)

2013/ 01/ 23 by jd in Global News

The digital revolution “could mean lights out for many of the nation’s 368 surviving drive-ins.” At their peak, over 4,000 drive-ins accounted for a quarter of U.S. movie screens. Today, it’s less than 2% and the future does not look bright. Due to cost, “Hollywood is expected to stop distributing 35-millimeter film prints to all U.S. theaters later this year.” That would save studios about $1,300 on making and shipping each 35-mm print, but going digital cost theaters money. Most indoor theaters “have already converted to digital projectors, but 90% of drive-ins have not, according to an industry trade group. Conversion costs of $70,000 or more per screen could be too expensive for many drive-ins.”


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