At an ASEAN Defense Ministers’ meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates looks to mend relations with China.
Cabbage is the main ingredient in South Korea's national dish, and the crop has suffered from heavy rains.
Israel is comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s state visit to Lebanon to “a landlord visiting his domain.”
A deadly mine explosion in the providence of Henan, China killed dozens of miners and left several trapped or missing.
HMS Astute, the Royal Navy's newest, most technologically advanced submarine, was grounded. The media wonders how a vessel so expensive could get stuck.
Some Tibetans are protesting a Chinese proposal to teach only in Mandarin. They say it's an effort to dilute Tibetan culture.
Yemen has stepped up its fight against terrorism, sending more than 1,000 troops into an area thought to be an al-Qaeda stronghold.
Chinese companies are hiring white Americans to pose as fake businessmen. In China, western faces can boost companies’ credibility.
FIFA is rocked by two separate scandals. Spain and Portugal are accused of conspiring with Qatar to fix the vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Games
In an unprecedented collaborative raid, U.S. and Russian officials seized nearly $60 million worth of heroin from an Afghan drug lab.
It’s a classic David and Goliath story. Uruguay’s President José Mujica called his tiny country a “laboratory of confrontation” with Big Tobacco Monday at the opening of an anti-smoking summit sponsored by the World Health Organization.
We’re looking at coverage and perspectives from KMEX, the New American, the New York Times, and Seeking Alpha.
During the conference, the 170 participating countries hope to create guidelines for a broad anti-smoking treaty. They were discussing ways to control the consumption of cigarettes and limit additives. KMEX has more.
“Among other points to be discussed is the recommendation to require the industry to disclose information about the making of cigarettes also reducing the tobacco crops and illicit cigarette trades.”
But it’s not the conference that lit tobacco giant Philip Morris’ fuse. The company alleges Uruguay violated its trade agreement with Switzerland by requiring anti-smoking warnings to cover 80 percent of cigarette packages -- an issue that could lead to a lengthy legal battle.
A spokesperson for the company explains their case against the South American country in the New American.
“The packages definitely need health warnings, but they’ve got to be a reasonable size. We thought 50 percent was reasonable. Once you take it up to 80 percent, there’s no space for trademarks to be shown. We thought that was going too far.”
Uruguay’s fight caught the attention of an American politician known for his anti-smoking views -- New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg pledged a donation to Uruguay’s defense fund, saying his money...
“...will assist Uruguayan government officials by providing legal research and expertise, launching public education mass media campaigns, and galvanizing world support and public opinion.”
The World Health Organization calls Morris’ suit -- and other efforts like it -- an attempt to intimidate low to middle income nations. But why is Big Tobacco suddenly picking on the little guys? An article on the website Seeking Alpha explains.
“Tobacco makers are aggressively marketing in those markets in order to compensate for the declining sales in rich countries... As income levels and standard of living increases in [emerging market] countries, sales of tobacco products may increase further. In some ways a bet on tobacco stocks can be considered as a bet on emerging markets.”
The New York Times reports Philip Morris International’s annual revenue totals $66 billion -- twice the size of Uruguay’s gross domestic product.
"He is richest who is content with the least…” said Socrates. By that definition Greece has struck gold.
Greece’s finance minister says after new revisions the nation’s debt will be higher than first expected, reaching a herculean 144 percent of its GDP, the highest in the EU. Greece received some $145 billion in bailout money and now it faces the possibility of not being able to fulfill its obligations to bring down its debt.
This new development has put investors around the world on edge. Two of The New York Times financial reporters explain how such a small country can have such a large impact.
GRAHMAM BOWLEY: “Greece may be small and is one of the smallest countries in the EU, but it has a lot of debt. Ahh… Mountains of debt. Which it tried to conceal and which has built up over the years. And that debt is owned by banks in other countries, to large extent.”
NELSON SCHWARTZ: “So for example, Greece owes to Portugal, Portugal owes to Spain. Spain owns a lot to Germany, France and the United States. So you have domino effect.”
Germany’s Deutche Welle says German Chancellor Angela Merkel went so far as to say it was ‘irresponsible’ to let Greece join the EU.
“Politicians may balk at Merkel's frank words, but some analysts believe tough talk is long-overdue.”
The Chancellor has come with her own controversial philosophy to tackle the crisis -- to make the banks and bond markets share the burden if Greece defaults on its debt. Euronews says Greece is not happy with what Ms. Merkel has to offer.
“Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou has warned that Germany’s tough stance on banks and bond markets sharing the pain of any euro zone country defaulting on its debts could force some economies toward bankruptcy. The Greek leader, who was on a visit to France, said that has ‘created a spiral of higher interest rates for countries that seem to be in difficulties, such as Ireland or Portugal.’”
Bloomberg says these new numbers have called into question the EU’s ability to police the bailout. So it’s been forced to take some drastic measures.
“To prepare the revisions, Eurostat exercised for the first time new audit powers it was granted after the EU learned Greece had used secret financial transactions to conceal debt.”
Plato said, “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” So what do you think? How can Greece bring its economy under control?