Putin Shutters RIA Novosti News Agency -- The Russian news media have never had much of a reputation internationally nor domestically. Since the days of the Tsars, Russia has treated the news and propaganda as the same thing. It was much worse under communism, but now, President Vladimir Putin has diminished what little real journalism Russia had by closing down both the RIA Novosti news service and its international radio broadcasting operation Voice of Russia. RIA Novosti was state-run but somehow managed a degree of professionalism and independence that many private operations in Russia failed to achieve. [10 December]
US Created 203,000 Jobs in November -- Friday's jobs report was largely overshadowed in the media by the death of Nelson Mandela, but the news was significant. The US created 203,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.0%. Even better, the participation rate (the size of the workforce actively employed or seeking employment) ticked up 0.2%. That looks like good news all around, but in fact, it is only grounds for mild optimism. The figures are skewed due to temporary holiday hiring, and it will take a few months of this kind of result to bring these long-standing economic doldrums to an end. [9 December]
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013 -- Everyone knew this days was coming, but now that it is here, one can still hardly believe that Nelson Mandela is dead. To paraphrase Lincoln, the world will little note, nor long remember what one writes, but it can never forget what he did. Not only did he lead a movement that overthrew a totalitarian regime, but he also managed to reconcile the oppressed and the oppressors. Most revolutions eat their children. Thanks to Madiba, South Africans avoided that fate, and the ramifications extend far beyond that nation. [6 December]
NSA Logs 5 Billion Cell Phone Records Daily -- America's National Security Agency, which is responsible for most of the nation's signal intelligence gathering, tracks hundreds of millions of cell phones and logs 5 billion related records every day. A report in today's Washington Post says that by doing so, the agency is able to track movements and relationships among cell phone users in ways never before possible. The great irony is that the NSA analysts can't keep up with it all, and most of it is useless. [5 December]
Judge Says Detroit's Bankruptcy Can Proceed -- Federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes has ruled that Detroit's bankruptcy can go ahead. "This once proud and prosperous city can't pay its debts. It's insolvent. It's eligible for bankruptcy," Judge Rhodes said from the bench. "At the same time, it also has an opportunity for a fresh start." The city's emergency manager Kevyn D. Orr now has to move with care in how he sheds the city's $18 billion in debt. [4 December]
Copyright 2013 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.