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Havana: soon to be a boom town? Stefan Vetter

Diplomatic thaw with the US is a gift to the Cuban economy

The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, announced simultaneously by Barack Obama and Raúl Castro yesterday, is a huge political breakthrough. The benefits to the Cuban economy…
President Obama’s immigration plan may help some illegal migrants find higher-paying jobs, helping spur some additional economic activity. Reuters

Obama’s immigration plan may give economy a little boost

An estimated 11 million undocumented residents in the United States live in daily fear of deportation. This fear permeates nearly every aspect of their lives. President Barack Obama’s executive actions…
Republican senator Mitch McConnell says the new climate deal will let China “do nothing” until 2030. Far from it. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS/AAP

FactCheck: does the new climate deal let China do nothing for 16 years?

“As I read the agreement it requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emissions regulations are creating havoc in my state and around the country.” – US Republican Senate…
Arguably for the first time, the United States and China have truly listened to one another on emissions cuts. EPA/Petar Kujundzic

US-China climate deal: at last, a real game-changer on emissions

The new US-China climate deal is a game-changer. The United States, the world’s biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025 relative to 2005 levels, while…
China’s President Xi Jinping, pictured gesturing at center, last month launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a project the US hopes to stymie. Reuters

China’s development bank plans test rising power’s strategic shift

In an influential speech in 2005, then-US deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick called on China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international community. To optimists, China’s recent efforts…
China’s embrace of technologies like solar roofs has seen it become the world’s biggest renewable energy investor. Climate Council

Australia is losing ground as the climate policy race gains pace

Climate change, now belatedly added to the agenda for this month’s G20 meeting in Brisbane, is a perennial topic whenever leaders gather for international summits. That’s understandable, given that countries…
There are high hopes that the new head of the Fed, Janet Yellen, will change the culture at the central bank and the lenders it regulates. IMF/Flickr via CC BY-NC-ND

Banking tail often wags the Fed’s regulatory dog

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has her work cut out for her if she hopes to change the culture at the world’s most important central bank. Media reports abound with evidence that the financial industry…
Australia’s reputation for strict farming standards helped its beef industry weather the BSE crisis. Malcolm Paterson/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia shouldn’t sacrifice food safety standards for free trade

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
A green trade deal would encourage the development of renewable energy in big carbon emitters such as China. Kaj17/Flickr

Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens a green trade deal

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
Australia’s approach to trade policy is more thoughtful and calculating than it is given credit for by sections of the media, academia and the public who object to current negotiations. AAP/Newzulu/Jeff Tan

Staying engaged on every front: Australia’s trade policy strategy

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is the first article in the…
An Australian Super Hornet refuels from a KC30 tanker while flying over Iraq. @VCDF_Australia/Twitter

Why Western boots should stay out of Iraq and Syria

There are two reasons why we should ignore the growing calls in the United States, Canada and Australia for Western “boots on ground” – meaning ground troops – to fight and destroy the Islamic State (IS…
US president Barack Obama addresses the 2014 UN Climate Summit. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

A view from the 2014 UN Climate Summit in New York

The 2014 UN Climate Summit has wrapped up in New York. What has progressed and what big challenges remain in the run up to and beyond the Paris negotiations in December 2015? Secretary General of the UN…
Better together. PA/PA Archive

US happy that democracy and union win the day in the UK

The average American may struggle with a keen understanding of exactly how the UK is made up, but it’s safe to say that there will be relief in the US at Scotland staying part of the Union. And, following…
Australia’s health system is good, but it’s not perfect. Dan Peled/AAP

What can we learn from other countries’ health systems?

Health systems in all wealthier countries face similar problems, but their solutions are widely different. That should mean we can learn from other countries. To explore these differences, this week The…
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25. St.Louise Post-Dispath/Pool/EPA

Epidemic of rights abuse fails black kids across the US

As the world grapples with the containment of diseases such as Ebola, there is another epidemic that demands attentive responses, policies, and actions. It is one of grave proportions regarding the violation…

US welfare inconsistent

US welfare rates are inconsistent, according to a report by economics professor Robert A. Moffitt. The report showed a decline…
Stacking the odds? Rebecca Siegel

Here be dragons? China’s economic data may not be all bad

The world’s second-largest economy has become the second-most watched and yet investors, politicians and economists are never quite clear what it is they’re looking at. China’s premier, Li Keqiang, is…

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