By Fareed Zakaria
“Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85 percent of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2 percent of cases,” according to research cited by the New York Times today.
“The gun debate has focused on mass shootings and assault weapons since the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Conn., but far more Americans die by turning guns on themselves. Nearly 20,000 of the 30,000 deaths from guns in the United States in 2010 were suicides, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The national suicide rate has climbed by 12 percent since 2003, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for teenagers.”
Weak job creation might be the new normal, writes Robert Shapiro, a former U.S. undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs, in the Washington Post.
“Since the current recovery officially began 44 months ago, in June 2009, the number of private-sector jobs has grown, on average, 1.25 percent per year,” Shapiro notes. ‘These meager gains have confounded Obama’s economic advisers, whose forecasts in early 2009 show they expected a normal rebound in jobs after U.S. businesses shed nearly 9 million positions in 2008-09. But slow job growth appears to be the new norm: Over the first 44 months of the 2002-07 expansion, under President George W. Bush, private-sector employment grew even more slowly, expanding an average of just 0.72 percent per year. Both records represent real and disturbing change.”
Britain might be one of the most shale gas rich nations on the planet, The Spectator says, suggesting debate over the issue is set to intensify.
“Two years ago…the British Geological Survey estimated British onshore shale gas resources to be in region of 5.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF),” writes Dan Byles. “In just a few weeks time they are expected to dramatically increase that estimate to 1300-1700 TCF. That would make us one of the most shale gas rich nations on the planet. This is the total amount of gas in place, not the economically recoverable figure which will be a lot lower. However, that is still a huge amount of shale gas – too much to be ignored.”