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December 2013
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New York Times (December 31, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 31 by jd in Global News

“The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving to lift Japan’s ban on the export of weapons…. It is doubtful that Japan or other Asian nations can resolve the many differences in the region by enhancing their military capabilities, which only aggravates a futile arms race.”


Time (December 30, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Despite the hoopla over the approval of the Volcker rule, which restricts banks from making certain types of speculative investments, our financial system isn’t much safer than it was before 2008…. Banks used to be the servants of American business. Now they are its masters.”


Bloomberg (December 27, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 29 by jd in Global News

Medical implants have cleared another hurdle with a successful surgery to implant “an artificial heart that is expected to last five years.” The new heart was developed by the French startup Carmat. “Europe often leads the U.S. in bringing replacement body parts to the market — not because its researchers have much of an edge but because its health-care regulations are less cumbersome.”


Wall Street Journal (December 26, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 28 by jd in Global News

“The Nikkei’s strong performance this year hasn’t dented the enthusiasm of international fund managers.” In the first 11 months of 2012 foreign investors brought inflows of 830 billion yen into Japan’s stock market. In 2013, inflows from foreign investors soared to 14.8 trillion during the same period.


BBC (December 26, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 27 by jd in Global News

“Whatever Shinzo Abe says, any visit to the Yasakuni shrine by a Japanese prime minister is deeply political and sure to cause offence.”


Chicago Trbiune (December 25, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 26 by jd in Global News

“For our love of peace, for our love of each other and especially for our love of the children and our belief in their need to dream, we welcome, yes, praise, this day, this Christmas, that dawns with a chorus of joy.”


New York Times (December 24, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 25 by jd in Global News

With postal services around the world struggling to survive, Canada is taking a step that few nations have dared. “With the digital handwriting ever clearer on the wall, the Canadian postal service has announced that it will end its remaining door-to-door letter deliveries over the next five years and focus on its one clear growth area: package deliveries to a public that is increasingly doing its shopping online.”


Wall Street Journal (December 23, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 24 by jd in Global News

To avoid the stagnation that has afflicted Japan, the U.S. should embrace immigration reform. Reform could lead to a younger population, innovation and entrepreneurship. “If Japan, a rapidly aging country with famously prohibitive immigration laws, teaches us anything, it is this: If you want to avoid a “lost decade,” open your doors to immigrants.”


Los Angeles Times (December 22, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 23 by jd in Global News

Following previous battles, one of which recently shut down the U.S. Government, many were encouraged that both parties cooperated in Congress to smoothly pass a budget before the New Year. It would, however, be naive to assume this heralds a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation. “Next year is unlikely to get better, for one simple reason: It’s a congressional election year…. Getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on anything will be harder than ever.”


Financial Times (December 21, 2013)

2013/ 12/ 22 by jd in Global News

The UK is set to adopt “funny money,” abandoning paper currency for polymer. In 2016 the Bank of England “will begin introducing plastic notes that can be wiped clean and are difficult to tear. These are expected to last two-and-a-half times as long as the cotton and linen variety, which can quickly become ragged and soiled.” The UK will be following Australia, where paper currency was eliminated in 1996, resulting in a significant decrease in counterfeiting.


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