Author Archives: Karl Reiner

The blockade of 1914-19

A hundred years ago, World War I was ravaging Europe. The grinding trench warfare was bleeding the armies of the European powers and the Ottomanblock-3 Empire at a fearsome rate. Although it was unanticipated in 1916, the massive, destructive and fateful watershed of the early twentieth century was pushing nations and much of the existing social order closer to the breaking point.

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Global occurrences of interest

According to recently released data, the median real household income in the U.S. jumped 5.2% or $2,800 in 2015. During that time, the nation’s poverty rate dropped from 14.8% to 13.5%, the largest percentage point drop since 1999.ineq-4 Although gains were made, the incomes of low-wage and middle income earners remain lower than before the financial crisis. The troubling inequality trend remained unbroken as the incomes of the richest Americans continued to accelerate, pulling ahead of the rest of the wage earners.

According to recent estimates, the world economy grew by 2.7% in the second quarter of 2016. India was in the lead with a growth rate of over 7%. India and China together accounted for 63% of second quarter worldwide economic growth. When compared to a year earlier, the second quarter growth rate in the U.S. was an estimated 1.2%. The American economy is now expected to grow 1.5% for the year.

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Reform in the Persian Gulf countries

For the near future, petroleum will remain important to the economies of thed-storm-map industrialized nations. When Kuwait was overrun by Iraqi forces in August 1990, the United States put together the international coalition that drove the Iraqisds-1 out, liberating Kuwait in February 1991. Due to more recent disturbing events, the significance of that 1991 military campaign has almost faded from public memory. The Persian Gulf region has sadly remained a very problematic and troubled area.

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Arizona-Mexico border happenings

Mr. Trump’s recent visit to Mexico was immediately followed by the harsh speech on immigration he made in Phoenix. The two political events have generated a wave of resentment in Mexico, the Mexican public views the visit as a humiliation. A recent poll revealed that 85% of Mexicans considered thetrump-mex-v invitation and visit to be a mistake, a very bad idea. As a consequence, Mexico’s finance minister, an economist educated at MIT, has quit the government. The Mexican president’s decision to host Trump backfired badly, creating a major political problem for his administration. If the purpose of the Trump trip was to display the candidate’s savvy diplomatic skills during a visit to a foreign country, it flopped badly.

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Saudi Arabia’s big gamble

In the early 1970s, Saudi Arabia had a population of 5.6 million and the nation’s literacy rate was 15%. The situation changed over time as the governmentSA 3 invested hundreds of billions of dollars in modernizing and improving infrastructure, health care, educational systems and nearly every other physical aspect of Saudi life. Today, Saudi Arabia, which is one-fifth the size of the U.S. and mostly sandy desert, has a population of over 27 million and is 95% literate. Riyadh, the capital, has grown into a city of over 6 million. The country is oil rich, it contains around 16% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and Saudi Arabia is the planet’s largest exporter of petroleum.

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The July 1916 Somme Offensive

A hundred years ago, the empires of Europe were engaged in fighting World War I. By the time the war ended in November 1918, four of the warring empires, the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman would be demolished.Somme 1 Instead of ensuring peace, the war to end all wars would help set the stage for World War II. Many of the forces unleashed by World War I continue to affect global affairs to this day, especially in the Middle East.

By the summer of 1916, the machine gun had proved itself as a defensive weapon. Firing up to 500 rounds per minute, its ideal range was 2,000 yards, but it was still fairly accurate at 4,000. The deadly effect of machine gun fire helped immobilize the combatant armies. On the Western Front, the battle line had become a 400 mile system of trenches running across northwestern France from the English Chanel to the Swiss border.

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