Tuesday News And Notes

Fiscal Cliff Solution Emerges As Deadline Looms
Discussions between House Republicans and President Obama moved forward with prospects of a deal growing after Speaker Boehner offered more concessions on imposing higher taxes on the wealthy. The rubber will hit the road when Boehner meets with his caucus on Tuesday morning to gain their support for the deal.

Defense Industry Already Preparing For Sequestration
But for the defense industry, which faces large budget cuts if a deal is not reached, has already felt the impact of the showdown because sequestration does not apply to already existing vehicles and weapons contracts.

“That’s an important point, because if you’re a defense contractor, whatever you’re working on now is something that has already been obligated, and that will continue until the money runs out,” says Todd Harrison, senior fellow in the Defense Budget Studies program at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington.

He adds that small companies that are already talking about layoffs are “self-sequestering.”

Japan’s Liberal Democrats Win Landslide Election
Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party emerged as victors in Japan’s election on Monday. The LDP won an overwhelming victory claiming as many as 300 seats, and China immediately responded calling for leaders to resolve the ongoing stalemate with China over who owns islands in the South China Sea.

“We think the most pressing issue is that Japan must show sincerity and take practical steps to appropriately deal with the present situation and work hard to resolve the issue and improve relations between the two countries,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, according to BBC News.

Michael Auslin writes in Foreign Policy that “shows no sign of backing down over the issue, and reiterated the day after the election that the Senkakus are indisputably Japanese territory.”

Social Networking Spreading Across The Globe
A recent Pew Center survey found that people in Arab nations are more likely to voice their opinions through social networks and that cell phones are commonplace in a growing majority of the world.

“Technologies like these are especially popular among the young and well educated. In almost every country polled, people under age 30 and those with a college education are more likely to engage in social networking and to use a smart phone,” the study found.

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