Opinion

Ian Bremmer

Political risk must-reads

By Ian Bremmer
February 14, 2014

Political risk must-reads

Eurasia Group’s weekly selection of essential reading for the political risk junkie — presented in no particular order. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections by tweeting at us via @EurasiaGroup or @ianbremmer.

Cancer ‘tidal wave’ on horizon, warns WHO” — James Gallagher, BBC News

The World Health Organization predicts that by 2035, global cancer cases will rise from 14 million to 24 million. Are economic growth and a more robust social safety net in developing countries driving these alarming gains? What could best prevent the surge in cancer?

What started the biggest population boom in history?” — Alan Weisman, Matter

Iran’s population and fertility rate ballooned in the years leading up to the 1979 revolution and through the 1980s, with fertility rates approaching nine children per woman during the Iran-Iraq War. But in 1989, Iran changed gears to avoid overpopulation — and the effect was staggering. The goal was to reduce the fertility rate to four children per woman by 2011. But the rate fell to the replacement level (2.1) by 2000, and stood at just 1.7 in 2012. How did female education factor into this precipitous decline?

Apple manufacturing partner looks to build factory in the U.S.” — Ansuya Harjani, CNBC

Foxconn’s chairman said he’s aiming to relocate sophisticated manufacturing to the U.S. Is this a product of skyrocketing labor costs in mainland China?

China and Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since ‘49” — Austin Ramzy, New York Times

Current Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou favors closer ties with Beijing… and it’s shown. Since Ma took office in 2008, cross-strait trade has almost doubled to $197 billion in 2013. But Ma’s approval rating is hovering around a dismal 10 percent; when he leaves office in two years, how will it impact relations?

Weekly bonus

The Food Index” — Oxfam

How do 125 countries stack up in terms of food — sufficient supply, affordability, quality and issues with diabetes and obesity?

Minimum Wage since 1938” — CNN Money

This interactive graph shows the change in U.S. minimum wage over the last 75 years — and the equivalent in 2013 dollars.

 

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