3 Big News Stories That You Missed Since the Shutdown
In a digital age where news and information is processed quickly, some news stories get easily overlooked. Here are three stories that were under the radar during the past few weeks.
1. Venezuela is Near the Brink of Implosion
President Nicolas Maduro recently seized the Daka chain of electric shops, declaring that the company was overcharging its customers by over 1,000%. Lines were long as Venezuelans tried to obtain scarce products from stores.
Since Maduro's election earlier this year, the Venezuelan government seized many different industries. Venezuela is suffering from a series of economic woes, which includes high inflation, hovering over 54%. Basic products such as milk, meat, and toilet paper are often difficult to find. Corruption thrives throughout the country as many politicians line up to claim Chavez's legacies and expand social programs.
Maduro also requested emergency decree powers to shore up the economy and fix Venezuela's corruption problems. Since taking office, he's mentioned conspiracy theories that supposedly attempted to "topple" his regime, which inevitably expelled the three top U.S. diplomats. The problems don't end there, as an upcoming election will potentially pose as a referendum on the Maduro agenda.
2. Drone Strikes in Pakistan
A series of drone strikes that occurred during the past few weeks intensified debate over the legal and political uses of drones in Pakistan.
Last week, a U.S. drone strike killed Hakimullah Meshud, a top Pakistan Taliban commander. The Pakistan government was about to enter a negotiated settlement with different groups to seek peace in this part of the region. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch recently published reports on the vague procedures and unclear information regarding drone strikes.
On the other end of the use of drones in the War on Terror, is this story about a grandmother who was picking okra, when a drone flew over, dropped a bomb and killed her.
The grandmother's family testified in front of Congress and only four Congressmen attended the hearing. Their testimony is difficult to bear, but important to witness. It's an eye opening account of the human impact drones have on people's daily lives in this region of the world.
3. China's Introducing Market-Based Reforms
The Chinese economy has slowed down its pace of economic growth over the past year, inspiring a meeting to introduce new market-based reforms in the country.
Expect a lot less intervention from the Chinese government in the years to come. While the nuts and bolts on these policy mechanisms weren't released, these market-based reforms also called for taxation reforms, stronger integration of urban and rural society, improved government services, and a stronger legal system.
President Xi Jinping called the meeting a defining event, one which will have an impact for years to come as China tried to find balance between sustainable growth and equity.
Keep your eye on further developments, as the impact won't be certain on whether more market based reforms will lead to less state intervention in many spectrums of life in China.