Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Protect job, defuse demographic time bomb – have babies!

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Worried about losing your job during the economic crisis?

 

Then make the most of Germany’s generous parental benefits and job protection for parents on baby leave, and take time off to procreate.  That’s at least the message coming from a leading economist in Germany, who is urging the government to do even more for young families, and echoing loudly in the German media.

 

It may seem counterintuitive — traditionally, birth rates are seen falling during downturns, as people fear for their jobs, worry about a fall in income and seek to reduce costs — but some politicians and researchers say using the recession to have children could be advantageous for all: individuals, companies and the future economy.

 

Not only does parental leave help avoid being discharged, but you might also be doing your small part to defuse a demographic and economic time bomb, as low birth rates mean average ages are creeping up and putting pressure on the pension, health and welfare system.

 

And your temporary absence may be good for companies too, many of which are implementing shorter working hours to keep on qualified staff while adjusting to the current slide in demand.

from Africa News blog:

Africa back to the old ways?

The overthrow of Madagascar’s leader may have had nothing to do with events elsewhere in Africa, but after four violent changes of power within eight months the question is bound to arise as to whether the continent is returning to old ways.

Three years without coups between 2005 and last year had appeared to some, including foreign investors, to have indicated a fundamental change from the first turbulent decades after independence. This spate of violent overthrows could now be another reason for investors to tread more warily again, particularly as Africa feels the impact of the global financial crisis.

from Africa News blog:

Sign of change in Zimbabwe?

President Robert Mugabe joined the mourning for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wife on Tuesday and called on Zimbabweans to end violence and support his old rival to help rebuild the country.

The death of Susan Tsvangirai in a road crash in which her husband was also injured has, at least on the surface, brought about a show of unity between Zimbabwe’s bitterest foes that might never have looked possible.

Will Zimbabwe deal ever work?

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Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters at Harare airportZimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sworn in two vice-presidents ahead of talks on power-sharing. He has also allocated important ministries to his ZANU-PF parties.

It’s a familiar pattern.

Mugabe imposes his will and MorganTsvangirai’s opposition cries foul.

Will former South African President Thabo Mbeki be able to mediate a breakthrough? After being ousted as president by his ANC party, he might not be so confident to be seen walking hand in hand with Mugabe at the airport as he has in the past.

Does crisis give China new opportunity in Africa?

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chinese-workers-in-kenya.jpgWith the West reeling from the financial crisis and pulling back some of its investment in Africa, could China step into the breach and expand its footprint on the continent - a presence that already worries Western powers?

On the face of it, China, which is relatively unscathed by the crisis, has a golden opportunity to exploit Western disarray and increase its financial and political penetration of the continent. Already there are signs that Africans are starting to look away from the West and towards other emerging markets, especially China, as they watch the banking chaos in the traditional capitalist markets.

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