Fareed Zakaria looks at how the immigration systems work – and don't work – in Japan, Europe, Canada and the U.S. in the TV special: "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work" on CNN at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 10. Watch on CNN International on Saturday, June 16, at 4 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET
By John Cookson, CNN
While the U.S. has historically and famously been a nation of immigrants, few know the details of how the U.S. brings in foreigners now.
How many become citizens each year? Where do they live in the U.S.? Which country or origin leads for new American citizens?
Here is what you need to know. FULL POST
U.S. troops are out of Iraq, and U.S.-led combat operations in Afghanistan could wind down by the end of next year. At the same time, the U.S. has pivoted its attention to the Pacific and to an ascendant China. This has not gone unnoticed by the nations in the region.
China - “It is natural to see the US, which is used to being No.1 in the world, feel uncomfortable and even uneasy about China's rise,” says an editorial in the Global Times, a newspaper owned by the country's communist party.
“But they should first realize that the rise of China is inevitable as long as China can maintain a peaceful development environment. In this sense, the most effective way for the US to contain its development is to damage the peaceful environment in China and bring it into chaos.”
China - "The Philippines has signaled during a recent bilateral defense dialogue that it would expand the US military presence on its soil," says another editorial in the Global Times, adding, "China must respond to this move."
"The Philippines is a suitable target to impose such a punishment. A reasonable yet powerful enough sanction can be considered. It should show China's neighboring area that balancing China by siding with the US is not a good choice."
By John Cookson, CNN
The headline numbers in the January jobs report look positive: Employment rose by 243,000 jobs and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.3%. Here are details that did not make the headlines:
The education advantage. A college degree means an unemployment rate at half the national average. Not having a high school diploma means an unemployment rate at three times the rate of those who finished college.
Government cuts. While overall payrolls are up by more than 1.9 million jobs since January 2011, government has shed 276,000 jobs over the same period. Of these lost public sector jobs, 84 percent are at the state and local level.
A “healthy” economy. Employment in health care has increased by 312,500 jobs since January 2011, including 30,900 jobs since December 2011 alone. Health and personal care stores have added another 14,500 jobs over the last year.
Stop pirating movies and music. The motion picture and sound recording industries shed 7,900 jobs between December 2011 and January 2012.
Americans are not the only ones following the race for the Republican presidential ticket. In a column earlier this week, Fidel Casto, former leader of Cuba, called the Republican primary the "greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been." Others outside the U.S are interested as well.
Germany – “Those who follow this race daily may have long since lost perspective on how absurd it is,” writes Marc Pitzke in the Hamburg-based Der Spiegel. Commenting on CNN's debate in Florida earlier this week, Pitzke writes,
“For 120 minutes they "debated" the "hot topics," producing sound bites but offering no insight into how these men would cope with the enormous challenges facing the U.S. The most important topic for voters, the economy, wasn't addressed at all.”
Turkey – “Mr. Gingrich is the ultimate tough politician,” writes Mustafa Akyol in the Istanbul-based Hurriyet Daily News. Besides Obama, Akyol says, Gingrich “seems to have two main enemies: 'socialism' (which would be called the welfare state in this part of the world) and secularism.”
“The latter is an especially big theme in Gingrich’s campaign, as he routinely condemns the “anti-religious bigotry” of the “American elite,” which he sees as the root of all evils. … I must say, at least some of Gingrich’s criticisms against secularism make sense to me."
By John Cookson, CNN
In the State of the Union, President Obama touted the benefits of domestic oil and gas, saying, “nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy.” A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration details just what this promise might look like, as well as its limits.
Half of the petroleum used in the U.S. is imported, down from 60% in 2005. As the chart below shows, U.S. oil production is expected to increase by a million barrels a day over the next decade, reducing imports from a half now to a third by 2035.
President Obama announced last week he was downsizing the Pentagon due to concerns about outsized government spending and mounting debt. But these cuts carry an important caveat, as the president made clear, “we will be strengthening our presence in the Asia Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of that critical region.”
With the turn toward East Asia—and toward a rising China in particular—President Obama’s strategy has attracted a great deal of attention in the region.
China—Washington “should abstain from flexing its muscles, as this won't help solve regional disputes,” writes Yu Zhixiao in Xinhua.
“If the United States indiscreetly applies militarism in the region, it will be like a bull in a china shop, and endanger peace instead of enhancing regional stability.”
By John Cookson, CNN
Attention has focused on today’s U.S. jobs report, yet new employment data is also coming out of Europe. With roughly the same population as the U.S., the Euro Zone had an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent in November. Across the larger 27-nation European Union, unemployment was at 9.8 percent. Here are some other figures from Eurostat’s report that caught my eye:
Lowest unemployment rates: Austria (4.0%), Luxembourg (4.9%), Netherlands (4.9%), Germany (5.5%), Malta (6.4%).
Highest unemployment rates: Spain (22.9%), Greece (18.8%), Lithuania (15.3%), Latvia (14.8%), Ireland (14.6%). FULL POST
By John Cookson, CNN
The headline from today's jobs report is the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent last month. Here are some other figures from the Labor Department's report that caught my eye:
– 5.6 million people, or 42.5% of the unemployed, have been out of work for more than 6 months–little changed from last month, but down from 6.4 million a year ago.
– The unemployment rate with a college degree is 4.1 percent, down a third of a percent from November. Without a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is 13.8 percent, up a half a percent.
– December's new jobs: 11% manufacturing, 11% health care, 14% retail, 10% leisure and hospitality.
– Seasonal hiring was strong in December: 21% of new jobs were in the courier and messenger industry.
– Health care alone added 315,000 jobs in 2011–almost one in five new nonfarm payroll jobs. The Labor Department has projected that over a quarter of all new jobs over the next six years will be in the heath care and social assistance industry, due to an aging population and longer life expectancies.
– Government shed 280,000 jobs in 2011, largely at state and local level, and in the U.S. Postal Service.
What stood out to you from the jobs report?
The GOP presidential candidates sparred Tuesday night on national security, but there was at least one point of agreement among them, or at least between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
“I think that we ought to have an H-1 visa that goes with every graduate degree in math, science and engineering so that people stay here,” said Gingrich.
“I'd staple a green card to the diploma of anybody who's got a degree of math, science, a Masters degree, Ph.D,” said Romney.
The candidates explained that keeping foreign-born students who study science, technology, engineering or math in the U.S. was an important step in creating new technologies, new industries and new jobs.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report on foreign-born bachelor’s degree holders living in the U.S. The numbers give some sense of how U.S. universities remain magnets for those seeking to study science, math or engineering. There are now 4.2 million foreign-born science and engineering bachelor's degree holders in the U.S., a number double the population of Houston, Texas, for comparison.
President Obama is focused on East Asia and the Pacific this week. After attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hawaii last weekend, Obama traveled to Australia where, on Thursday, he addressed the parliament. His message: "In the Asia Pacific in the 21st century, the United States of America is all in."
Later that day, President Obama traveled to the city of Darwin along the northern coast, where the U.S. announced it will station 2,500 Marines. The summit and travel, which also include a stop in Indonesia, are seen as the U.S. shifting attention to the Pacific - and to a rising China - as troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are some of the international responses to what Secretary of State Clinton recently dubbed "America's Pacific Century." FULL POST
By John Cookson, CNN
Former hedge fund manager George Soros has a 7-point plan to save the Euro Zone. He argues that Europe's main financial mechanism used to stave off collapse must reorient from guaranteeing European government bonds to guaranteeing the European banking system. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), otherwise known as the ‘bailout’ fund for countries that use the euro, is too small to guarantee the sovereign debt of larger economies, says Soros. The EFSF was designed for propping up countries like Greece, which accounts for only two percent of the European Union's gross domestic product. But the debt burdens of Italy and Spain - the third and fourth largest economies in the Euro Zone - are simply too large and the EFSF too small, Soros told Reuters editor Chrystia Freeland.
Instead, says Soros, the EFSF should guarantee the European banking system as its lender of last resort. With the EFSF as a backstop, banks could be persuaded to buy treasury bills from the governments of Italy, Spain and other euro nations. This would allow these countries to continue financing their debt at reasonable rates. Meanwhile, banks would then either hold these treasury bills or, if liquidity were needed quickly, sell them to the European Central Bank (ECB) at any time. Key to this plan, says Soros, is that it is within the letter of the law that the ECB cannot directly finance governments.
Much of the detail has yet to be worked out, but, Soros writes in the Financial Times, such “measures would be sufficient to calm markets and bring the acute phase of the crisis to an end.”
What do you think?
Twenty-five percent of Americans that start high school do not graduate. Entering the workforce without a high school diploma means an unemployment rate three-and-a-half times the rate of those with a college degree. And for those who do find full-time work, they on average earn less than half of what a college graduate makes each year.
Thirty percent of high school graduates do not go on to college right after graduation. In the workforce, a high school graduate earns on average more than someone without a diploma, but still only 60 percent of what a college graduate makes each year.
Forty-three percent of students who start college will not graduate in 6 years. Women graduate at a six-percent-higher rate than men within six years, and outnumber men in higher education by a ratio of 3-to-2. FULL POST