What happened this week – 1) Paul Ryan electrified the presidential race after being selected as Romney’s VP pick last Saturday. As Karl Rove said, “We're in for a barn-burner here in the next 80 days." Ryan’s passion for small-government and balancing the budget has inspired the Republican base while giving democratic strategist plenty of fodder for attack. Meanwhile, Vice-President Joe Biden told an audience that Romney wanted to put “them” back in “chains” (the audience was ~50% black). Romney was furious about the comments.
2) In France, Amiens, a sleepy city on the northeast, exploded in riots on August 13th. The violence followed the funeral of a young man killed in a motorcycle accident, which youth blamed on the police. 150 police officers were called in to battle the rioters, who shot fireworks at the police. At the end of the evening, a nursery and public gym were set on fire. Youth unemployment sits at 23% in Amiens.
3) In Brazil, president Dilma Rousseff announced a plan to partially privatize $66 billion of new or improved infrastructure. Private companies will bid to build and operate roads, railways, ports, and airports as “public-private partnerships.” The quasi privatization of state infrastructure is in response to slowing growth in Brazil. 2011 GDP growth was a mere 2.7% while it’s expected to come in at 2% in 2012.
4) In Iran, 300 were killed during Earthquakes in the northwestern province as 20 villages were destroyed. Iran has several mountain chains, with the highest peak above 18,000ft.
5) In business, recent tech IPOs continued to struggle. Groupon closed Friday at $4.75, down 82% from its Nov-2011 IPO price. Zynga closed at $3.00, down 68% from its Dec-211 IPO price. Facebook closed at $19.05, down 50% from it May-2012 IPO price. The disastrous declines have been blamed on the companies failing to meet extraordinary growth expectations as well as increases in supply of stock following the expiration of short lockup period.
Top PolicyMic stories – Should I Get An MBA? The Biggest Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Doing This (Aneil Mishra) – You are much more likely to earn an MBA for the right reasons if you consider these four questions.
5 Myths That Have Helped Make Julian Assange a Hero (Zachary Taylor) – The founder of WikiLeaks is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and claims to be a persecuted dissident. The reality of the situation is very different.
This Video Explains What Barack Obama Will Do In His Second Term (Chris Miles)Obama has been relatively quiet in election 2012. His new video, "We've Come Too Far to Turn Back Now," lays out what he plans to do once re-elected.
What the English Premier League Can Teach Us About American Politics (Robert Lee) – The English Premier League, the world's best football (soccer) league, can teach us a few things about racism, bailouts and competition.
Government Inability to Eliminate Racism is Why We Need the One Human Race Act (John Ashman) – One of our greatest shames in America has been our desperate need to collect and utilize racial data. It's time to leave race behind and move on.
The Pakistani Will and Kate: Why Malik and Mirza Are More Important For Pakistani Media Than Real Issues (Abdul Siddiqui) – The credibility of the Pakistani media is being damaged by insensitive reporting, poor story selection, and rampant corruption with the organizations.
Interns Speak Out: A New Blog For Interns to Vent Their Frustrations (Syra Sharif)– With record numbers of millennials taking paid or unpaid internships, blogs aimed at interns help students and others interested in internships navigate their experiences.
Can You Guess Who Makes 23¢ an Hour to Make Stuff for the Pentagon? Hint: They're Not in China (Liam Crawford) – Federal prisoners are being used as cheap labor in key industries. This hurts the competition. Is it worth the money saved in tax expenditure?
What we’re reading – The politically incorrect guide to U.S. interests in the middle east (FP); Why mega-events may not mean mega-bucks (WSJ); U.S. says Iraqis arehelping Iran to skirt sanctions (NYT); Assange berates United States from Ecuador's London embassy (Reuters).