Monday, November 5, 2012

Go Vote (Link Round-Up 11/5/12)

The Gapers Block Guide to the Bottom of the Ballot

*There's more at stake in Chicago than the presidency, so please inform yourself if you haven't voted already.

The middle class will lose the 2012 election
If Mitt Romney wins the election, he will preside over a divided government and find it nearly impossible to accomplish anything in his agenda. If Barack Obama wins the election, he will preside over a divided government and find it nearly impossible to accomplish anything in his agenda.


Creating tens of millions of well-paying middle class jobs means giving tens of millions of people something to do with high added value. Presidents can't do that. Innovations can. But as Clayton Christensen described brilliantly in the Times, the U.S. economy has, for the moment, moved beyond "empowering" innovations that create new scalable products that require more workers toward "efficiency" innovations that make existing processes cheaper and easier -- and replace workers. The fixation on efficiency isn't evil. It's not a function of bad governance. Instead, Christensen writes, it's a stage of capitalism, and a dilemma for capitalists.
Black voters hit with polling misinformation
Persistent reports of robocalls incorrectly telling voters they can cast ballots over the phone and fears of aggressive challenges by monitors at polling places threaten to mar Election Day in many key states, voting rights advocates said Monday.

The fake phone calls, some of which involve live callers, continued to crop up in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, primarily among African-American voters, said Barbara Arnwine of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The group has mounted a counteroffensive of tens of thousands of calls reminding voters they can't cast ballots over the phone.

"That is really dirty," said Arnwine, who added that the callers' identities remain a mystery. "It's a very sophisticated operation and it's very widespread, and it's very troubling to us."
Chinese censor's rules for covering the U.S. Election
Use only Xinhua coverage of the U.S. presidential election. This must be strictly enforced; even China News Service copy must not be used. Do not produce in-house reports or commentary.
Hacking your DNA to cure diseases expands in Europe
Gene therapy treatments in the United States are primarily focused on cancer, including leukemia. No other gene therapy products are expected to be approved by major medical regulator agencies in 2012. The European Commission, which handles medical approvals for Europe, is widely considered to have a bureaucratic pipeline that is far more open to gene therapy than the United States.
Syria's Kurds are warring with Syrian rebels...and other Kurds?
The situation in predominantly Kurdish areas of Syria is made even more complex by tensions between the PYD and rival Kurdish factions. Rudaw, a Kurdish paper based in northern Iraq, recently quoted a PYD leader suggesting that members of a rival Kurdish alliance — the Kurdish National Council (KNC) — had fought alongside the FSA against the PYD’s militia in Ashrafiyeh. Other reports suggested that at least some of the FSA fighters involved were part of the Salahuddin Ayubi Brigade, a Kurdish-majority outfit fighting under the FSA banner. That prompted warnings from the PYD that the KNC and the Brigade would be held accountable for their role in the clashes.

In theory, at least, the rival Syrian Kurdish factions had been reconciled in July, when Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani forged an agreement between the PYD and the dozen-plus parties comprising the KNC. The pact, intended to keep both regime forces and the FSA be out of Kurdish-majority areas, threatened to unravel long before last week’s clashes. “There were three aims for this treaty,” Abdul Hakim Bashar, head of the KNC, told TIME from northern Iraq. “To cut off the PYD from the Syrian regime, to prevent Kurdish-Kurdish war, and to prevent fighting with the Arab people.” The PYD, he claimed, “has not respected this treaty.”
India, China, and America's triangular diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific area
The rise of China and the emergence of India as naval powers has led to widespread recognition that the two oceans can no longer be seen as separate theatres but as a single strategic space—the Indo-Pacific.
China’s main maritime preoccupations are in the Western Pacific—reunifying Taiwan, defending Chinese territorial claims, and constraining American naval dominance.

Yet, China’s rising maritime profile in the Indian Ocean, from where it imports a large portion of its energy and mineral resources, is generating deep concerns in Delhi.

While India’s main interest is in securing its primacy in the Indian Ocean littoral, its navy is making frequent forays into the Western Pacific.
UN hits Pakistan's Haqqani network with sanctions
The militant group and its chief organizer of suicide attacks, Qari Zakir, were added to the UN's sanctions list, which entails nations freezing the assets of the network and issuing a travel ban against Zakir, in addition to imposing an arms embargo.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Zakir is the operational commander in Kabul, Takhar, Kunduz and Baghlan provinces, in addition to running the training program for suicide attacks including small arms training, heavy weapons and basic improvised explosive device construction.

The United States also officially listed Zakir as a global terrorist on Monday, coinciding with the UN's motion, CNN reported. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement in a written statement, saying the designation happened under the authority of an executive order.

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