The G8 countries will … announce a “food security initiative”, committing more than $12bn for agricultural development over the next three years, in a move that signals a further shift from food aid to long-term investments in farming in the developing world. (7/6/09 Financial Times, Javier Blas) … Read Article
1. Discuss the rational behind the G8 shift in food aid strategy.
2. “Washington’s shift could prove contentious in the US …” Why?
The economic problems of American families are now pounding many state governments which are in turn slashing services to balance their budgets in one of the most difficult years in decades. (7/7/09 ABC News Scott Mayerowitz and Nathalie Tadena) … Read Article
1. Discuss California’s decision to issue IOUs.
2. Discuss how New York State has attempted to close its budget gap.
The day after he heralded a preliminary nuclear disarmament treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, President Barack Obama told ABC News that his approach to foreign affairs was already bearing modest fruit in efforts to disarm Iran and North Korea. (7/7/09 ABC News, Jake Tapper) … Read Article
1. Some speculate whether the North Korean and Iranian nuclear proliferation challenges mean the United States needs Russia’s help more than Russia needs the United States. What do you think?
2. Why did President Obama call his daughter Sasha “Agent 99″?
Vice President Biden: “We Misread How Bad The Economy Was” (07/05/09 NewsPoliticsNews)
1. V.P. Bidden told ABC News George Stephanopolis that there was a misreading of just how bad the economy was when the Obama administration took over. What do you think?
2. Biden said the stimulus package is the right package. What do you think?
Plans for the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped and energy baron T. Boone Pickens says he’s now looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines. (7/7/09 Associated Press)
1. According to Pickens, foreign oil is a national security issue for the U.S. What do you think?
2. Wind power is one of the alternative energy sources being debated. What are some of the other alternative energy sources?
Iowa remains one of three states without a mandatory motorcycle helmet law in spite of an increasing number of fatalities over the past decade. (7/6/09 The Daily Iowan, U. Iowa, Abe Tekippe) … Read Article
1. States that did not comply with a universal helmet law risked having some of their highway funds taken away and put toward safety program funds. What do you think about this federal government penalty?
2. Some Iowans think wearing a helmet oughta be up to the individual. What do you think?
In one of our recent polls, MPSL students were asked their opinion on how the U.S. should respond to the protest in Iran. 56% said the U.S. should stay out of the conflict; 23% said the U.S. should strongly support the protestors; 16% said we should moderately support the protestors; while only 6% said the U.S. should support the Irani government’s action. In a similar poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, 74% of Americans think the U.S. government should not directly intervene in the situation in Iran; and 24% said the U.S. government should openly support the demonstrators. For the full poll report visit http://www.pollingreport.com/iran.htm Results were retrieved on 7/5/09, 8:00 PM PST.
Some critics say President Obama has not responded firmly enough in support of prodemocracy protestors in Iran. What do you think?
Alaskans give their thoughts on on Governor Sarah Palin’s surprise announcement that she’ll be stepping down by the end of the month. (7/5/09 Associated Press)
1. Discuss what Palin means by her “higher calling.”
2. “Observers say if Palin is planning a 2012 Presidential run, she is certainly doing it in an unconventional way.” What is uncoventional about Palin’s move?