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The Week in Review

Global warming, it turns out, is holding off Earth’s next Ice Age. A study by Cambridge University researcher Luke Skinner suggests that sometime in the next 1500 years a devastating new Ice Age will descend on Planet Earth, but greenhouse gasses, keeping the planet warm, will hold the ice back. Climate science continues to surprise.

The war of words between Washington and Iran heated up this week. Treasury Secretary Geithner was in Asia this week, drumming up support for stronger Iran sanctions. China balked but Japan promised to slow oil imports. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad toured Latin America’s fringe countries — he tried to use the trip to poke Obama in the eye but succeeded mostly in embarrassing himself and making it clear that Iran has few influential friends left.

Also in the Middle East, Turkey’s government tightens its restrictions on civil society. Globally, food prices are down — good news. Red tape is holding back green projects like solar panels in Death Valley. Goodluck Jonathan tried to turn off Nigeria’s costly oil subsidies but was met with riots, strikes, and turmoil.

In domestic news, supporters are jumping ship from California’s high speed rail system, even as Governor Brown doubles down on what is becoming an expensive pipe-dream. Closer to Via Meadia headquarters, Wall Street firms are cutting salaries and bonuses, something that will please the OWS protestors. Yet those big salaries and bonuses, and the tax income they generate for the city and the state, provide jobs and services for a lot of middle class New Yorkers. Another big piece of news: Head Start, an important part of federal education aid, is starting to look like a huge flop.

In Pakistan, there were rumbles of a coup. In the old days, the military would roll into Islamabad with tanks; today, military leaders pull the strings through the Supreme Court and opposition political parties to fight the corrupt civilian elite. In the end, everyone loses.

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