January 9, 2013 |
California's Pelican Bay prison has kept over 70 inmates locked up in solitary confinement for the last 20 years or longer. And we have the nerve to look down on countries with backward penal systems, like Afghanistan. The good news is, California is finally moving some of these poor, miserable souls into the general prison population. But what does it say about us that so few of us care? ALSO: The Hagel question Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Lance Armstrong and Americans' taste in heroes Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
October 17, 2000 |
Somalia, Afghanistan and Haiti rank as the hungriest countries in the world, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. In its annual food security report, the FAO unveiled a "depth of hunger" measurement, according to which hungry Somalis, for example, are missing 27% of the minimum calories required to maintain body weight under light activity. The three countries also rank highest in terms of undernourished populations, with Somalia at 75%.
December 18, 1997 |
The United States and 33 other countries signed a convention aimed at eradicating bribery in international business. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking at the signing ceremony in Paris, called the accord "a victory for good government, fair competition and open trade." Washington has been a driving force behind the agreement reached by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and five additional countries.
July 20, 2007 |
The House Agriculture Committee voted Thursday night to require country-of-origin labels on meats beginning next year, striking a compromise as reports of tainted food from China raise consumer awareness about the safety of imported food. After days of negotiations, the committee agreed on a plan to allow the mandatory labels but soften penalties and burdensome record-keeping requirements that had concerned many food retailers and meatpackers who opposed the legislation.
December 6, 1998 |
Smokers on the go are always a step ahead in plotting when and where they can get that next nicotine fix. On a day trip with the kids in the back of the car and a wife with an attitude about secondhand smoke, they finesse with frequent pit stops blamed on the bladder. But deep dread sets in when, boarding a no-smoking airliner, they know there is no finesse. That's a given. But what is less defined are the anti-smoking laws in the countries that you plan to visit.
December 29, 1993 |
When is it smart to overpay for something? Never, of course. Yet look what people are doing with investment funds that specialize in foreign stocks. The Indonesia Fund, which (surprise) invests mostly in Indonesian stocks, has rocketed $4.625 a share since Thursday and closed at $22.125 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. But the actual market value of the stocks in the fund, as priced on the Jakarta Stock Exchange at the end of last week, works out to about $13.50 a share.
April 16, 2013 |
One of the most fearsome statistics in the war against the federal deficit has always been the country's ratio of debt to gross domestic product. When this ratio reaches 90%, the argument goes, watch out -- lower economic growth is on the horizon. And that's scary, because that's where the U.S. has been heading. This idea comes from Harvard economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, who featured it in a 2010 paper and popularized it in a book entitled " This Time is Different : Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.
November 2, 2008 |
When Andy Dijak injured his right knee playing tennis, he wasn't surprised that he needed surgery. "It swelled up like a balloon," said the 50-year-old West Lake resident. The real shocker was the price tag: $12,000 to $15,000 to repair tattered cartilage. Dijak, a creative director for an entertainment company, has no health insurance, so he started shopping for a deal.
August 24, 2005 |
After years of concerted but futile attempts to organize workers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., union leaders are joining forces to stop the world's largest employer from exporting its low-wage jobs across the globe. In Canada, Germany and Japan, unions are using protests, the courts and political pressure to thwart the giant retailer's expansion. The effort, one of the most extensive union campaigns in modern labor history, is gathering speed.