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The Economist (June 27)

2014/ 06/ 30 by jd in Global News

China has racked up many achievements in recent years. One of the more befuddling is the drop in suicides, which have been more than halved in a decade. “In the 1990s China had one of the highest suicide rates in the world.” Now they are among the lowest. “No country has ever achieved such a rapid decline in suicides. And yet, experts say, China has done it without a significant improvement in mental-health services—and without any national publicity effort to lower suicides.”


Reuters (June 27)

2014/ 06/ 29 by jd in Global News

With unemployment hitting a 16-year low, Japan’s surprisingly strong job market may provide the nation with needed momentum. “Analysts expect the economy to contract in the second quarter due to the tax hike…. The contraction could be more severe given the weak spending data, although the strong job market and an expected increase in summer bonus payments will underpin spending.”


Bloomberg (June 26)

2014/ 06/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s consumer prices climbed at the fastest pace in 32 years, boosted by higher utility charges and a sales-tax increase that contributed to the biggest slide in household spending since the March 2011 earthquake.”


Washington Post (June 26)

2014/ 06/ 27 by jd in Global News

With “gestures suggesting de-escalation,” Vladimir Putin has been working to avoid additional sanctions. But “Russia’s behavior remains unacceptably provocative. Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory in Crimea, it has not applied its influence to end the uprising it sponsored in eastern Ukraine and it continues to deploy forces to Ukraine’s border.”


Los Angeles Times (June 25)

2014/ 06/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Billions of dollars of property damage along the Eastern Seaboard. Sharply reduced yields of corn, wheat and soy at Midwestern farms. Rising sea levels threatening military installations in Southern California.” A bipartisan report entitled Risky Business quantifies these and other climate change risks in an attempt “to push what has been a highly politicized issue into corporate boardrooms for serious consideration.” Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg were just two of the prominent leaders backing the report.


6/25 Issue

2014/ 06/ 25 by jd in IRCWeekly

Iraq presents a “confounding” challenge for the U.S. The Washington Post notes that much of the fault lies with Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has subordinated national interests to sectarian interests. This makes it imprudent for the U.S. to support his government, but neither can the U.S. stand back as “an al-Qaeda-style ‘caliphate’” gains ground across an increasingly large swath of the Middle East. Given the complexity, the Post believes President Obama is making “a judicious start.”

Writing on the same subject, the New York Times also believes that “President Obama has, so far, struck the right note on Iraq,” with his steps towards cautious engagement. Alas, the Middle East is not the only hot spot. Writing separately, the New York Times asserts that “any reasonable American strategy for managing China’s increasingly aggressive actions in Asia depends heavily on cooperation with Japan and South Korea.” Unfortunately, Japan’s Prime Minister again appears to be fraying relations with South Korea by pandering to the “political fringe.”

Despite their differences, China and Japan are facing some similar issues. The Economist writes that changing norms are forcing older generations to contemplate futures where their children may not be able to look after them in old age. This is creating a new opportunity for retirement homes, many of them quite stylish.

Looking to the future and concerned by low interest rates, Institutional Investor notes that more fund managers are embracing commercial real estate as a relatively safe investment that allows them “to match long-term liabilities and fight inflation.”

The Financial Times writes that with an eye to the future two of Shinzo Abe’s “arrows have hit their targets, jolting the Japanese economy back into life,” but laments that his third arrow of structural reforms remains in its quiver.

And Euromoney writes of the growing need for regulatory co-ordination in Asia. Banking and capital flows into the continent have increased exponentially, but there remains “no single authority to call…. Diverse markets, conflicting interests and failed policymaking add to the regulatory challenge.”


 To see the overseas media’s takes on these and other developments, you can browse the Global News highlights in app or at Links to the original sources are provided above, but please note these are frequently updated. Links that were valid at publication may later be broken.


Wall Street Journal (June 24)

2014/ 06/ 25 by jd in Global News

In Hong Kong nearly a 750,000 residents have voted in an unofficial referendum calling on China to grant Hong Kong greater democracy. “Hong Kong people are serious about self-government and stand bravely against official intimidation. Beijing has to pay attention—and maybe even strike a deal before occupiers hit the streets of China’s most international city.”


Euromoney (June Issue)

2014/ 06/ 24 by jd in Global News

In Asia, “regulatory co-ordination efforts are failing to keep pace with banking and capital flows, as there is no single authority to call…. Diverse markets, conflicting interests and failed policymaking add to the regulatory challenge.” APEC, the Asean Economic Community and the Chiang Mai Initiative aren’t meeting this challenge, leaving “Asian policymakers, supervisors and securities officials [to] coordinate policies and assess financial stability through a fragmented and ad-hoc series of talks and negotiating blocs that are not fit for purpose.”


New York Times (June 23)

2014/ 06/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Any reasonable American strategy for managing China’s increasingly aggressive actions in Asia depends heavily on cooperation with Japan and South Korea.” Alas, a new report on comfort women, calling the sincerity of Japan’s 1993 apology into question, has again cast a wrench in relations with neighboring South Korea. Prime Minister Abe’s “continued willingness to play to that political fringe is interfering with Japan’s ability to carry on its leading role in the region.”


The Economist (June 21)

2014/ 06/ 22 by jd in Global News

“Since time immemorial, Chinese children have been expected to take care of their aged parents—but rising incomes and shifting norms are changing things.” Retirement homes, some quite stylish, may prove the wave of the future in China.


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