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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Central Americans cross illegally into Mexico -- 400,235, to cite one oddly precise estimate from the Mexican National Institute of Migration -- along the country's southern border, which angles over 750 miles of river and volcanic slope and jungle at the top of Central America. Nobody knows exactly how many of those migrants are headed to the United States, but most put that figure at 150,000 or more a year, and the pace of illegal migration north has picked up dramatically over the past decade, propelled in part by the lingering aftermath of the 1970s and '80s civil wars in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. In depictions of this modern Latin American migration into the United States, the image of a great wave is often invoked, and Mexico's southern border today feels like the place in distant water where the wave first rises and swells and gathers uncontainable propulsive force.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, significantly more than the 215,000 economists were anticipating. The unemployment rate, which is drawn from a different survey of households, dropped from 6.3% to 6.1% the lowest rate since September 2008. Immediately following the news the S& amp;amp;amp;P 500, The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite were in the green, continuing positive trends seen leading up to the pre-bell release. The Dow crossed 17,000 for the first time ever seconds after the opening bell before settling around 17,050.


Thursday, July 03, 2014

Cultures are complicated, and anyone attempting to explain or group them will struggle to avoid giving offense. Political scientists Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan and Christian Welzel of Luephana University in Germany put forth their best effort by analyzing data and plotting countries on a "culture map." Their system stems from the World Values Survey (WVS), the largest "non-commercial, cross-national, time series investigation of human beliefs and values ever executed," which dates to 1981 and includes nearly 400,000 respondents from 100 countries.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Virginia Republicans appear to have outmaneuvered Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a state budget standoff by persuading a Democratic senator to resign his seat, at least temporarily giving the GOP control of the chamber and possibly dooming the governor's push to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) will announce his resignation Monday, effective immediately, paving the way to appoint his daughter to a judgeship and Puckett to the job of deputy director of the state tobacco commission, three people familiar with the plan said Sunday. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.


Friday, June 06, 2014

A classified military report detailing the Army's investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before -- both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan -- and then returned, according to people briefed on it. The roughly 35-page report, completed two months after Bergdahl left his unit, concludes that he most likely walked away of his own free will from his outpost in the darkness of night. But it stops short of concluding that there is solid evidence that Bergdahl intended to permanently desert. The report is said to contain no mention of Bergdahl having left behind a letter in his tent that explicitly said he was deserting and explained his disillusionment.


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