4 December 2014   Leave a comment

Russian President Putin delivered his annual address to the Russian people on the state of the Russian nation.  The speech was a strong defense of Russia’s position on a variety of issues, particularly on the unification of Crimea with Russia.  Putin also clearly stated that Western sanctions are not going to force changes in Russian policy toward Ukraine.   Rebels from Chechnya timed a terrorist attack on the city of Grozny to coincide with Putin’s speech in an attempt to focus attention on their desire to create an emirate in the Caucasus.

The UN’s International Labor Organization has released a report on the growth of wages in various regions of the world.  Not surprisingly, wages in Asia easily outstripped wage increases in other parts of the world.  According to the BBC:  “annual average incomes rose 6% in the region, compared to a global average growth of 2% in 2013.”  The divergence among regions is part of the process of globalization as global markets tend to force a convergence of incomes over time, a process that helps low-wage areas at the expense of  high-wage areas.

The inability of the World Food Program to continue its food voucher program for Syrian refugees is having a devastating effect on Syrian families.  Many children are being forced to drop out of school and girls are being forced to marry at very young ages in order to reduce the burden of food shortages on families.   Nearly one out of every three marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan involved a girl less than 18 years of age.

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Posted December 5, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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