November 28th, 2014
02:38 AM ET

A legal immigrant’s plea for understanding

By Fareed Zakaria

Opponents of President Obama’s recent action on immigration — and of any kind of legalization policy for undocumented workers — often argue that these initiatives are not fair to America’s legal immigrants. These people, it is said, played by the rules, followed the law, paid their taxes and are horrified to see people rewarded who did the opposite. I’m sure some legal immigrants feel this way, but not many. A poll released this weekshows that 89 percent of registered Hispanic voters approve of Obama’s action.

Why is this? I can only speak for myself. As a legal immigrant, I don’t harbor any ill will toward those who came into this country illegally. To be clear, I don’t approve of breaking the law. I think the stream of border crossings should be slowed to a trickle, and I favor immigration reform that would secure the borders, substantially reduce the numbers who come in via “family unification,” substantially increase the quotas for skilled workers and allow a small guest worker program. My views on immigration are in the middle of the political spectrum. But I don’t view illegal immigrants with any hostility.

Read the Washington Post column

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take • Immigration
November 25th, 2014
06:33 PM ET

Zedillo: Why the war on drugs is failing

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Ernesto Zedillo, an economist who served as president of Mexico and is now the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, and Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, about the war on drugs.

So explain, Ernesto, why you think the drug war has failed.

Zedillo: Well, by any objective indicator – let's look at what has happened with consumption, let's see what has happened with production of drugs, let's see how many people that are in jail. I mean, when these wars started in the U.S., you had 300,000 people in U.S. jails. Now you have 2.3 million people. And a lot of those people are in jail because of minor offenses, drug-related minor offenses.

But if you see south of the border, what we'll have to talk about thousands of people who have died in my country, you will have to speak about all these resources that flow north to south, and not only serve to buy weapons and to kill people in Mexico, but believe me, drug policies in your country, in Europe, in Latin America – everywhere – are making our job so much harder and so much more painful.

Watch the video for the full discussion.

Post by:
Topics: Drugs
November 25th, 2014
06:26 PM ET

The changing nature of representative democracy

Jorge Soto is a Mexico-based entrepreneur. This is the seventh in a series of articles from the World Economic Forum on the key challenges facing the world in 2015 as part of their Outlook on the Global Agenda. The views expressed are his own.

Since the global economy crashed in 2008, there has been an erosion of trust in political institutions and processes. Citizens now place more faith in companies than in their own leaders, and even then they don’t particularly trust the private sector, with the latest Edelman Trust Barometer showing global trust in business at 58 percent, while trust in government has sunk to 44 percent. As a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, this is an issue that resonates with those of my demographic: the world’s youth.

In the last two years, citizen protest has dominated the headlines in many countries around the globe. Greece and Spain have seen unrest in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis. Ukrainians occupied central Kiev. Few nations from North Africa to the Middle East remain unaffected by the fallout from the Arab Spring, as citizens of the digital age grow ever more confident to mobilize in the face of a democratic deficit. Hong Kong is the latest place to experience large-scale protest.

Indeed, the Survey on the Global Agenda showed that in Latin America, the region I’m from, this trend has a much greater significance than in any other region. This was exemplified in Brazil, which in summer 2014 saw upheaval as people protested against income disparity and public spending on the World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Uncategorized
November 24th, 2014
05:45 PM ET

How worried should we be about terrorism?

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

Here on television news, we spend a lot of time and energy talking about terrorism. Last week began with video released of another gruesome murder of an American by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Then Tuesday, we saw the barbaric attacks in a synagogue in Jerusalem.

The new Global Terrorism Index shows that terrorism is indeed on the rise around the globe. The index was prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a non-partisan think tank that analyzed instances of terrorism across 162 countries between 2000 and 2013. It notes that since 2000, terrorism fatalities have increased five-fold, and in 2013 terror deaths were up by 61 percent from just the year before.

But let's delve a little deeper. FULL POST

November 24th, 2014
02:39 PM ET

Why America may be set for success

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

Many believe the American economy has some inherent advantages over its major competitors – a more flexible structure, stronger entrepreneurial traditions, a more demographically dynamic society.

Well, along comes a fascinating new book that says, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Peter Zeihan's The Accidental Superpower begins with geography, pointing out that America is the world's largest consumer market for a reason – rivers. Transporting goods by water, he points out, is 12 times cheaper than by land, which is why civilizations have always flourished around rivers.

And America, Zeihan calculates, has more navigable waterways – 17,600 miles worth – than the rest of the world put together. By comparison, he notes, China and Germany have about 2,000 miles each and ALL of the Arab world has just 120 miles of river.

But that's just the beginning.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

November 22nd, 2014
10:21 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: A special live panel, terrorism on the rise, and assessing drug war

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: First, Fareed offers his take on how despite the gloomy mood among many voters at this month's midterm elections, the United States might be well-placed for success moving forward.

“If one looks at the rest of the world, what's striking is how well the United States is doing relative to other major economies,” Fareed argues. “President Obama says the United States has produced more jobs in its recovery than the rest of the industrialized world put together. Why is this?”

Then, a special live panel discussing key events this week, in the Middle East and elsewhere, with guests including Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, The Atlantic contributor Peter Beinart and New America Foundation President Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Also, you would be right to think that terrorism is on the rise around the globe. But it's not something to panic about. Fareed explains why.

Plus, the war on drugs has raged for four decades, with little success. Fareed speaks with Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico, who has a potential solution.

Post by:
Topics: Uncategorized
November 20th, 2014
10:34 PM ET

America’s prospects are promising indeed

By Fareed Zakaria

Two-thirds of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a poll number that has not shifted much in three years. The midterm election results were just another reflection of this pervasive discontent. And yet, looking at the rest of the world, what’s striking is how well the United States is doing relative to other major economies. Japan is back in a recession and Germany has barely avoided slipping into one, which would have been its third since 2008. President Obama says the United States has produced more jobs in its recovery than the rest of the industrialized worldput together.

Why is this? Many believe that the American economy has some inherent advantages over its major competitors — a more flexible structure, stronger entrepreneurial traditions and a more demographically vibrant society. Along comes a fascinating new book that says you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Read the Washington Post column

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take
November 20th, 2014
09:09 AM ET

Are MOOCs the future of education?

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Stuart Butler, a Brookings scholar, who's written extensively on massive open online courses, or so-called MOOCs, and Anant Agarwal, who runs edX, a MOOC outfit founded by two bricks and mortar institutions.

Stuart, explain first the kind of crisis in what you've called the business model for higher education.

Well, it certainly is a crisis that they’re facing. First of all, the costs of traditional education have been going up and the indebtedness associated with it. Now student tuition debt in the United States exceeds credit card debt. Secondly...

And it's $1 trillion, right?

Butler: Yes, exactly. Secondly, you're seeing different kinds of information coming forward so that people can actually evaluate the success of going to one college or another, whether it actually pays off.

And then the third thing, which you referred to, is that you're seeing new kinds of technologies that, first of all, appeal to students who are not part of the regular market, but now that technology is being developed, such as through edX and through others, such that it is really beginning to break open the existing traditional market. So there's an existential threat to the very business model that, quite honestly, has been lasting for almost 2,000 years. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Education
November 20th, 2014
08:40 AM ET

What I'm reading: It may take a generation to bring Russia back

By Fareed Zakaria

“Western policy [on Russia] is driven by a combination of economic self-interest and increasing timidity. The EU mishandled much of the early strategy on Ukraine, sending mixed messages to Kiev and Moscow,” writes John Kampfner for The Guardian. “Since the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, the approach has become more consistent. Putin had assumed that the west, and particularly Germany and France (disproportionately dependent on trade with Russia) would buckle. And with the eurozone economies in an increasingly parlous state, Putin still assumes that Angela Merkel and François Hollande will resist, and ultimately remove, the sanctions that are causing growing damage.”
“To anyone who appreciates the beauty of Russia, the power of its creativity and the potential it has to offer, the events of the past year, indeed past several years, have been dispiriting. In the 1990s Russia had the opportunity to open up, to become integrated into the international community. The goodwill on both sides was intoxicating.”

“[A]nalysts agree one of the video’s key functions for ISIS is to illustrate how far the group’s seductive reach is extending globally,” writes Tracy McNicoll for the Daily Beast. “As France took in the shock news that one of its own sons may be a throat-slitting, decapitating terrorist, the Islamist specialist Romain Caillet told Le Monde, “In putting forward soldiers from the four corners of the world, Da’esh [as the French call the group, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS] is looking to create a ‘United Colors of Jihad’ effect. The message is simple: there are hundreds of Jihadi Johns.” FULL POST

Facing up to a water crisis
November 19th, 2014
07:09 PM ET

Facing up to a water crisis

Editor’s note: Matt Damon and Gary White are co-founders of Water.org. The views expressed are their own. This is the fifth in a series of articles from the World Economic Forum on the key challenges facing the world in 2015 as part of their Outlook on the Global Agenda. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Matt Damon

Having been in the field, most recently in India, I have seen that access to safe water is just a few dollars away for many people. A small loan can create a pathway to a household water tap. Making access to capital ubiquitous and affordable for those living in poverty would go a long way towards eliminating water stress.

Due to a combination of problems, including rapid population growth, constrained water supplies and high levels of poverty, countries such as India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria will be hit the hardest by this trend. Resource-constrained water stress will be the norm for many countries in Asia, while finance-constrained water stress will be the norm for many countries in Africa. This is reflected in the fact that experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum expect Sub-Saharan Africa to be the most affected region, closely followed by Asia.

Despite the obstacles we face, there is room for optimism. We believe that more will be done to increase the efficiency of water in agriculture, which accounts for more than 70 percent of water use. Awareness about the global water crisis is also set to keep growing over the next year, and the private sector is already looking closely at how it can play a stronger role in helping the communities in which they operate, especially in emerging markets. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Water
November 19th, 2014
11:24 AM ET

Is Russia cozying up to China?

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

Everyone was talking about the moment at last week's APEC Summit in Beijing when Russian President Vladimir Putin draped a shawl over the shoulders of China's First Lady. Many claimed he was flirting. Who knows if he was, but there's no question that Putin IS trying to woo the Chinese.

Last Sunday, Moscow and Beijing signed an accord to develop a second gas route to supply China with Russian gas. And, just 6 months ago, the two nations struck another energy deal – this one a 30-year blockbuster, worth $400 billion.

The Russians reportedly hope that soon China will become their biggest gas consumer. Are we seeing the consolidation of a Russia-China axis?

Well, not quite.

For China, the mega gas deals would help officials diversify away from coal, which would lower pollution levels, which have caused significant public concern in the country. But for Russia, the situation seems more desperate. Remember oil and gas not only accounted for 70 percent of Russia's exports in 2012, but also for more than half of its federal budget income, according to the U.S. Energy Department, which cites PFC Energy Research. FULL POST

Should West be worried by Russia naval moves?
November 18th, 2014
05:56 PM ET

Should West be worried by Russia naval moves?

By James Kraska, Special to CNN

Editor's note: James Kraska is professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are his own.

Just as Russian ground forces have moved into Ukraine, in recent weeks Russian air and naval forces have conducted a handful of high-visibility deployments throughout the oceans and airspace of the global commons. Should the West be worried?

Generally, these operations comply with the international “rules of the road” at sea and in the air, and are in compliance with international law. All nations are entitled to freedom of navigation and overflight in the global commons. Thus, the deployments should be seen as great power theater, rather than as a violation of international law. Yet they also dispel any doubt that we now live in a tri-polar world, with a revanchist Russia and China bent on upending the U.S.-led global order in Europe and Asia, respectively.

Russia, for its part, is using its naval power to underscore the nation’s relevance and global reach. Indeed, this month Russia pledged to expand its forays into the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement follows an incident in June, when two Russian strategic bombers, bristling with intelligence-gathering electronics, came within 50 miles of the coast of California. FULL POST

Post by:
Topics: Military • Russia
« older posts
newer posts »
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,794 other followers