New York Times – October 26, 2011
Communist leaders in China are proposing new limits on “media and Internet freedoms.” While leaders have allowed a “creeping liberalization in popular culture” noted by knockoffs of popular western television shows to the increasing popularity of microblogs, these limits would be some of the most restrictive measures in years. Measures include limiting the broadcast hours of 34 major satellite television stations and requiring the broadcast of two hours of “state-approved news” every evening. The Communist Party’s Central Committee also hopes to create an “Internet management system” monitor and censor “harmful information” posted on social network and instant-message systems.
The Guardian – October 25, 2011
Google’s biannual transparency report revealed that the US government has the most requests for private information about Google users- equal to the requests of 25 other countries, including the UK and Russia. According to the report, the US government also requested the takedown of YouTube videos allegedly showing police brutality- a request Google denied.
BBC – October 27, 2011
In March, the council voted to conduct necessary actions to protect civilians after former leader Muammar Gaddafi launched assaults on protestors. Last week, NATO pledged to end the air strike campaign on October 31. Despite Libya’s National Transitional Council wanting of continued military action to prevent immature security decisions, the resolution was still passed. Security Council diplomats responded that civilians had been protected, and that further assistance would be negotiated separately.
The Los Angeles Times – October 27, 2011
The economy grew 2.5% in the third quarter, easing fears of another recession. Strong consumer spending contributed to this increase in growth, especially in the automobile industry. Although a 2.5% recovery is still considered a bit below average during an economic recovery, the threat of a double-dip recession is on hold for now.
CNN Money – October 25, 2011
The president has been under pressure to address the financial concern of recent graduates who are struggling to find jobs and pay off loans. The Department of Education will start offering options for college graduates to help them pay off their student loan debts. One of the proposals is to push up the date on a special loan repayment program based on income. Another option is to encourage graduates to consolidate the different loans they may hold and to get them a break on interest rates.
Tunisia was the electric spark that inspired the “Arab Spring” has officially held its first democratic elections and they were a major success. While having a considerably less impact in American news media compared to countries such as Egypt and Libya, nevertheless Tunisia is the model most other countries pursuing independence should follow. With an extremely high 90 percent registered voter turnout the Al Nahda party clearly won the majority of the seats in the country’s new National Constituent Assembly (NCA). Yet Al Nahda does not have the clear majority in the NCA and will have to rely on cooperation with oppositional parties in the future.
The Los Angeles – October 24, 2011
The United States’ ambassador to Syria has been called back to Washington over concerns for his safety. Ambassador Robert Ford has been an outspoken advocate for the growing opposition to the Syrian government. Ford returned to Washington after a dramatic incident where his diplomatic convoy was attacked by a pro-Syrian government and trapped the ambassador and other diplomatic workers in a building for 90 minutes. In a direct response Syria pulled its Ambassador Imad Moustapha back from Washington.
NPR – October 24, 2011
WikiLeaks has released a statement saying that the operation has been forced to cease its publications due to a financial blockaded instituted by US-based financial organizations. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ founder, says that if the blockade isn’t lifted, Wikileaks may have to shut completely by the end of the year.
The Washington Post – October 26, 2011
European leaders moved early Thursday that banks and other major investors in Greek bonds agreed to take losses of up to 50 percent. The concession was meant to help prevent the Greek government from defaulting on bills it cannot pay and avoid an even costlier shock to the European government. Under the new European Financial Stability Facility, the bailout fund would help cash-strapped countries such as Italy and Spain borrow at least a trillion dollars by providing a king of insurance that would make their bonds more attractive to investors.
The Michigan Daily – October 26, 2011
Google and the University of Michigan finalized their agreement to work together on the University’s NextGen Michigan Collaboration Project. The University signed on for a 10-year contract with Google for the company to provide services such as Gmail, Google calendar and Google docs for University students, faculty, and staff. The implementation of the NextGen Michigan Collaboration Project will cost $1.8 million, yet will supposedly save $750,000 a year on technological services from switching to the Google platform.