29 November 2014

  • The Italian Ministry of Labor has released data that shows its economic growth, including the creation of many jobs, is being offset by rising unemployment. The level of unemployment (13.2% of the overall population) is most drastic for youths, where it reaches 43.3%. Also somewhat troubling, the rate of inactive people (in terms of searching for employment) decreased over the same period, suggesting that the demand for jobs may far exceed the supply. Prime Minister and Secretary of the Partito Democratico, Matteo Renzi, expressed concern over the unemployment figures, but felt that there should be focus on the increased absolute number of employed individuals.
  • An inquiry has begun in Haiti over an assault on journalist Gerdy Jérémie that occurred while she was covering a protest of taxi-motorcyclists in Jacmel. The aggressive party in the case was a couple of police officers, causing first Jérémie and then the Association of Haiten Journalists to lodge complaints with the proper authorities. The complaints detail how the attacks were in violation of the police code as well as the Haitian constitution. This is one of many complaints/investigations into police assaults in Haiti. The spokesman for Haiti’s National Police Inspectorate has stated that it is hoped the police force will be strengthened in both discipline and integrity, though complaints are still frequent and serious.
  • The Ukraine is facing an energy crisis going into winter after South Africa refused supply them with coal. For many European nations, such as Germany and France, the question is how to support the Ukraine while tightening sanctions on Russia. Ironically, with few options left, it has been suggested that the Ukraine might buy from Russia, who could supply what is needed. Sergey Frolov, writing in Труд described this as being like Berlin asking Moscow to supply Baku oil for the Wehrmacht in 1941. He further demands an adherence to the ceasefire if any energy supplies are to be forthcoming. The ceasefire has been violated many times by both sides in the current conflict. (Apologies for being ideological, but the energy crisis is coal, though the pressing need in the current situation is understood.)

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