Apr 5, 2014

Host clubs: a hotbed of human trafficking

by Jake Adelstein

The Japanese host. You can see them on the streets of Tokyo’s Kabukicho: the dapper thin men with colored, blown-dry hair, fake suntans, snazzy suits and charming smiles, chatting up passing females and trying to get them to come and have drinks. They’ve been ...

Detroit project creates 'blank canvas'

Mar 31, 2014

Detroit project creates 'blank canvas'

The families of Detroit’s Brightmoor area are delighted that bulldozers will soon level more of their neighborhood. After that, their community’s future will be like the cleared landscape — a blank canvas. For years, Brightmoor residents pleaded with the city to demolish vacant homes ...

White House: Stimulus bill was key to U.S. recovery

Feb 18, 2014

White House: Stimulus bill was key to U.S. recovery

The costly $787 billion spending bill that President Barack Obama signed into law soon after taking office boosted the economy and helped avoid another Great Depression, the White House said in a status report on Monday’s fifth anniversary of the law’s enactment. Republican leaders ...

U.S. Senate clears debt limit measure for Obama

Feb 13, 2014

U.S. Senate clears debt limit measure for Obama

Must-pass legislation to allow the U.S. government to borrow money to pay its bills cleared Congress Wednesday for President Barack Obama’s signature, staving off a debt default that could have rattled financial markets and spiked interest rates. The Senate approved the measure by a ...

U.S. debt ceiling hike clears House, heads to Senate

Feb 12, 2014

U.S. debt ceiling hike clears House, heads to Senate

U.S. Republicans capitulated Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s call to extend the nation’s borrowing authority with no strings attached, dialing back the threat of an election-year fiscal showdown. The House of Representatives narrowly approved a measure to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling until March ...

Railroading debt into Laos

Feb 8, 2014

Railroading debt into Laos

by Nick Walker

The first time I decided to fly to Vientiane, I was faced with a tossup between a Lao Airlines twin-prop or Aeroflot Soviet Airlines. During the Cold War, when Laos was Southeast Asia’s “hermit kingdom,” these alternatives were literally the only two ways in. ...

Argentine crisis deepens as peso plunges 11 percent

Jan 24, 2014

Argentine crisis deepens as peso plunges 11 percent

Argentina’s currency crisis worsened dramatically Thursday as the peso plunged 11.1 percent against the U.S. dollar, its depreciation picking up pace in the sharpest one-day fall since 2002. Amid growing capital flight, the central bank appeared to drop any effort to defend the peso, ...

China economic growth cools to weakest level in 14 years

Jan 20, 2014

China economic growth cools to weakest level in 14 years

China’s economic growth decelerated in the final quarter of 2013 and appears set to slow further, adding to pressure on its leaders to shore up momentum even as they try to implement sweeping reforms. Growth in the world’s second-largest economy declined to 7.7 percent ...

U.S. Senate easily passes $1.1 trillion spending bill

Jan 17, 2014

U.S. Senate easily passes $1.1 trillion spending bill

Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year’s automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October’s partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest. The Senate voted 72-26 for the measure, which cleared ...

Washington's $1 trillion bid to end its fiscal wars

Jan 14, 2014

Washington's $1 trillion bid to end its fiscal wars

Negotiators from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives unveiled a $1 trillion spending bill late Monday, eliminating the threat of another government shutdown— at least until October. The high-stakes omnibus spending bill sets discretionary spending limits line by line for each federal agency ...

Jan 2, 2014

EU presidential stint will challenge Greek leaders

Crisis-hit Greece has taken over the six-month rotating EU presidency with a crucial European Parliament ballot looming and with the bloc divided over efforts to create a banking union. Added to Greece’s own considerable economic and political troubles, these issues could prove a major ...