With U.S. unemployment at a 26-year high Americans will be feeling the economic downturn for some time. Immigration experts are seeing global signs of the recession in major shifts in U.S. immigration trends, especially at the high and low ends of the skills spectrum. Here are the most significant changes. You know the U.S. is in a recession when… Mexicans are sending money to relatives in the United States. In 2007, Mexicans living in the U.S. sent about $26 billion to relatives living in Mexico.
With the global talks over a climate treaty decelerating, Obama's trying to see if there are side deals to strike with China—something that could ease the worldwide talks along. So far, progress has been pretty modest. Earlier today, Obama met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and the two announced several key energy issues on which the countries would work together. There's $150 million over five years to start a joint "clean energy research center." There's cooperation on electric-vehicle standards and on sharing knowledge about energy efficiency.
I agree with pretty much everything Paul Krugman writes in his column today about the Chinese and their currency shenanigans--especially the point that the Chinese have rigged it so that our bilateral trade deficit will spike once the recovery gets going. (And the point that the forces driving our trade deficit were only temporarily suppressed by the recession.) The only thing I'd quibble with is the implication of these two paragraphs: So picture this: month after month of headlines juxtaposing soaring U.S.
When President Obama arrives in Tokyo on Friday, he will confront a country that seeks to be an ally of the United States. For Japan has never been an American ally. It was first a rival, then an enemy, and finally, after it lost the war it foolishly started with the U.S., it became a protectorate, not an ally. The distinction matters. An alliance is an institution negotiated between two sovereign governments in which each agrees to a series of reciprocal obligations that have the force of law.
As the world tries to cut its carbon emissions in the next few decades, natural gas will become increasingly crucial as a stopgap fuel, since it produces less CO2 pollution than coal or oil. At least, that's what the EIA thinks will happen. And the geopolitical implications of this trend are interesting.
Are representations of the Prophet Muhammad permitted in Islam? To make or not to make images of the Prophet: that is the question I will try to answer. It is an unexpectedly burning question, as the newspapers regularly demonstrate. But both the answer to the question and the reasons for raising it require a broader introduction. There have been many times in recent years when one bemoaned the explosion of media that have provided public forums for so much incompetence and ignorance, not to speak of prejudice. Matters became worse after September 11, for two additional reasons.
It's well-known that the United States and China are the two biggest greenhouse-gas polluters in the world. But relatively few people can name number three on that list. It's Indonesia, thanks to heavy deforestation: It is that frenzied rate of deforestation that has propelled Indonesia, home to 237 million people, into its top-three spot in the global league table of climate change villains.
The Susan in question is Susan Rice. And, according to a New York Times article by Neil MacFarquhar, it's Stewart Patrick who gives her the good grades. Rice is U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. So who is Patrick? He is one of those hundreds of I.R. wonks in Washington who moves from fellowship to fellowship, eating up foundation money, and ends up being an expert in what actually amounts to nothing or maybe, just maybe, the same thing: "multilateral cooperation in the management of global issues; U.S.
At the Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting beginning today in New York, Iran will try to shift the discussion to Israel’s nuclear weapons by proposing that the Middle East become nuclear-free. As historian Jeffrey Herf wrote at TNR Online last October, this is similar to a ploy the Soviets used in the 1980s: Our negotiations with Iran are not off to a good start. After the initial meeting in Geneva on October 1--with Iran on one side and Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United States on the other--Iranian representatives said they had agreed to send processed uranium to Russia.
Over at the Council of Foreign Relations' site, Michael Levi's got a useful explainer-type thing on the ins and outs of the global climate talks. This part, for instance, is a succinct explanation of what members of Congress want to see from China: Members of Congress seem to have made the legal form of a Chinese commitment their overarching priority. They want to see China make commitments that are technically legally binding in the same sense that U.S. commitments would be legally binding under an international agreement. And if that's not forthcoming then they would want symmetry. So U.S.