Many Latin American countries depend on remittances from migrant workers who leave their home countries for financial opportunities across the globe. But according to a study done by the Inter-American Development Bank, in this global recession a lot of migrants aren’t able to send as much money as they used to. Joining The Takeaway is Efrain Jimenez, a 34-year-old auto mechanic in the San Fernando Valley in California who moved to the U.S. from Mexico. He’s been able to send his parents as much money as he used to because of the slowdown in business at his shop. Also joining the show is Robert Meins a remittance specialist for the Inter-American Development Bank who does research on the amount of remittances sent across the globe and its economic effect.
"Fundamentally, migration is the result of a developmental imbalance. So the fact that it is very difficult for people to find jobs in Latin America is one of the things that most drives migration." — Remittance specialist Robert Meins on immigrant workers in the U.S.
The Takeaway is drilling down into the recession with our friend and contributor Paddy O’Connell, the host of BBC’s Broadcasting House. Paddy has been looking at how the recession is affecting people and businesses in one square mile of the city of Chicago.
When New York Times National Legal Correspondent John Schwartz was called for jury duty, he Googled the defendant's name because it sounded familiar. When he realized his error, he also realized he wasn't alone. The use of BlackBerrys and iPhones by jurors serving on legal cases is wreaking havoc on trials around the country. The Takeaway talks to John Schwartz about whether trials need to change or whether technology will change trials.
In trying economic times, even the most popular brands fade away. In the UK the famous American brand Woolworth's has all but shuttered its windows, save for one store that's survived by re-inventing itself. Can American businesses take a lesson? The Takeaway talks with Woolworth's owner, that is, Wellworth's owner Claire Robertson of Dorchester, England and with branding expert Elizabeth Talerman about what it takes to make or break a brand in tough economic times.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are busy pointing fingers in the fallout over the $165 million bailout of AIG and the executive bonuses. There's more to come today, as AIG boss Edward Liddy testifies in front of furious U.S. lawmakers at a House subcommittee. The Takeaway talks to Todd Zwillich from Capitol News Connection for the reaction, the political implications and what's ahead.
"You don't have enough fingers on both your hands to count all the fingers that were pointed yesterday in every direction."
— Todd Zwillich or Capital News Connection on reactions to the AIG bonuses
See reactions from Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chuck Grassley in this clip from Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
Yesterday, the Kremlin announced a massive modernization of its military, which sent Cold War shivers through the West. White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said President Medvedev’s statement that NATO expansion is prompting the military upgrade is “not on base” and was merely meant for Russian ears. But you might not know that from what the Russian defense minister said. For more, we turn to the BBC Russian Affairs analyst, Steven Eke, who's in London.
Watch this clip from Russia Today to see Medvedev's statement on expansion.
Is President Obama planning an expansion of operations in Pakistan? He very well might be. An article in today's New York Times reveals that President Obama and his national security advisers are considering expanding the American covert war in Pakistan far beyond the tribal regions on the border. The Takeaway talks to The New York Times' terrorism correspondent Eric Schmitt about this news.
Today President Obama kicks off his Southern California tour. Using an old fashioned medium, he’ll be hearing from beleaguered Americans at a town hall meeting. Tomorrow night he’ll talk to the nation by way of Jay Leno. In a time of crisis is President Obama effectively modernizing FDR’s fireside chats? To assess if Obama is learning from FDR's example we’re joined by Jonathan Alter. He’s the senior editor at Newsweek and author of The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope.
In China, the number 8 means luck. And the Chinese government has been insisting that the economy will grow no less than 8% this year, but the impact of the global economic slowdown is starting to effect China. Now the World Bank estimates China's growth figure for this year will be closer to 6.5%, which isn't lucky at all. Particularly since many analysts say 8% is the threshold growth China needs in order to stave off political unrest. For more, The Takeaway talks to Quentin Somerville, the BBC's correspondent in Beijing.
For another look at the importance of the number 8, watch the classic Schoolhouse Rock song "Figure Eight."
There's a polar bear meeting in Norway this week, where politicians are considering how to handle the dire predictions surrounding the fate of our arctic friend. And this meeting got us thinking: in the face of a warming globe, is extinction the only option? Are organisms, along with a little thing called natural selection, finding a way to beat this formidable foe? We hope Warren Allmon, a paleontology professor at Cornell who specializes in macroevolution, can shed some light on our queries. Mr. Allmon is also the director of the Museum of the Earth.
Polar Bear S.O.S. has enlisted children to spread the word about the animal's plight. Hear their message below.