CNN – October 27, 2012
Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the northeastern United States after already claiming two dozen lives throughout its path in the Caribbean. The expected storm is being compared to the “Perfect Storm” of 1991. In the worst case scenario, the storm may collide with a strong cold front coming from the west and has the potential to create a “superstorm” hitting the Northeast with powerful winds, pelting rain, and days of power outages. Various cities along the eastern coast have taken precautions and upcoming political events have even been postponed or canceled.
Politico – October 26, 2012
According to the most recent Purple Poll, a survey conducted by the bipartisan consulting firm Purple Strategies, has shown President Barack Obama holding a small lead over Governor Mitt Romney in several of the swing-states. Overall, the presidential race has tightened by 2-3 points across the map as a whole, yet Obama still leads after a difficult month campaigning.
Washington Post – October 26, 2012
Chinese Internet censors have blocked a recent New York Times article detailing how Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his family have over $2.7 billion in investments and assets, some overseas. The story details how leading Chinese families, some descending from Mao himself, have used their immense power to become very wealthy when they claim to be similar to the ordinary Chinese citizen. Although Wen claims to be a reformer and promoting Chinese openness, after the release of the story Chinese Internet has censored both the English and Mandarin versions of the article suggesting the ruling class’ fear of the digital revolution.
LA Times – October 27, 2012
Former Prime Minister Silvio Burlesconi was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud on Friday. After dominating the Italian political scene for 20 years, Burlesconi called the ruling “intolerable” and “completely false.” Also included in the sentence is a five year ban from holding political office, putting his political comeback he discussed in the past few months on hold. The former Prime Minister is likely to appeal the decision and may be able to bypass prison time altogether with the statute of limitations running out in 2014 and two avenues of appeals to exhaust.
Aljazeera – October 27, 2012
A car bomb in Damascus that killed five people and injured over 30 others has shattered what was thought to be a temporary ceasefire in the current Syrian civil war for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. The bomb that detonated near a makeshift playground has increased uncertainty that peace can be reached in the war torn country. Fighting has deescalated during the religious holiday, but many opposition supporters have used the lull to stage anti-government protests that have become violent.
BBC – October 24, 2012
The top federal prosecutor of New York has brought a civil lawsuit against Bank of America based on the accusations that Countrywide Financial, a company Bank of America has acquired, sold toxic home loans directly leading to the housing crisis. Other big names in the financial industry such as JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo have faced similar cases in the past.
NY Times – October 26, 2012
Bangalore, the capital of India’s high tech industry, is now plagues with waste and contamination. Garbage collectors in the area have not in paid in three months and are now on strike, leaving some neighborhoods without trash pick-up for nearly three weeks. The city’s trash pick-up program began in 2000 and was seen as a model where the service is rare. However, now there are major organizational issues concerning where the trash can be taken and how it is disposed of. Without scientific landfill processes, groundwater contamination has been extensive with 300 lakes disappearing and now no more empty quarries to fill with its 4000 tons of garbage a day. India’s dysfunction has taken a toll on private companies and now nonprofit groups have developed recycling programs in the region to pick-up paper, glass and some types of plastic.
Aljazeera – October 27, 2012
The US economy grew at a slightly faster 2% rate from July through September as opposed to the 1.3% growth from April to June. This has been attributed to increased consumer spending, lower import prices and increased federal spending. The recent announcement has major political implications in the Presidential race, helping Barack Obama’s claim that the economy is slowly strengthening and Governor Mitt Romney suggesting more growth is possible for our country. Businesses, however, have remained cautious due to potential tax increases in the next year and fear of overseas sales decreasing if economic recessions and slow downs spread throughout the rest of Europe, China and India.
The Guardian – October 28, 2012
The Des Moines Register surprised commentators by backing Mitt Romney for President, its first Republican endorsement since Richard Nixon in 1972. The newspaper’s decision is not only a blow for the Obama campaign, but also symbolic due to the small paper’s large political role in a crucial swing state. The Register said that it focused on the important economic crises our nation faces and felt that getting the federal government back on track needed a bipartisan effort and compromises that Romney can execute and has shown he can do in his past positions.
Chron – October 28, 2012
Ukraine’s opposition party claims there have been multiple violations in a recent parliamentary vote, seen as an indicator of President Viktor Yanukovych’s commitment to democracy and European values. The West has been paying particular attention to parliamentary voting in the country to see whether the country will move to democratic values and also due to its location between Russia and the EU and its crucial transport route of Russian energy sources to other parts of Europe. Relations between the Ukraine and the West have gone south with the incarceration of the minority party leader, prompting the EU to freeze a partnership with the nation. An unfair election would lead to more tension between the country and the West and would likely turn it back to Russian allegiance.