1 Few winners from US debt meltdown (Straits Times) Almost no one will limp off the scorched earth of Washington’s latest political debacle boasting of a clear win. Instead, the aftermath of a debt default near miss and 16-day government shutdown is turning into a game of “Who is the biggest loser?”
Republicans trashed their own political brand, President Barack Obama saw his approval ratings sink, and America flirted with squandering its reputation as the world’s financial safe haven. “There are no winners here,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. For once, the spin reflected political reality.
2 Nearly 30m are modern-day slaves (BBC) Nearly 30 million people around the world are living as slaves, according to a new index ranking 162 countries. The Global Slavery Index 2013 says India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery at 14 million. But Mauritania has the highest proportional figure with about 4% of its population enslaved. The report’s authors hope it will help governments tackle what they call a “hidden crime”.
The index was compiled by Australian-based rights organization Walk Free Foundation using a definition of modern slavery that includes debt bondage, forced marriage and human trafficking. “A lot of governments won’t like hearing what we have to say,” WFF chief executive Nick Grono said. The organisation’s estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. The International Labour Organisation estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour.
India, China, Pakistan and Nigeria have the highest numbers of people enslaved, the charity said. Together with five other countries, they account for three-quarters of the total estimated number of people in modern slavery worldwide. The report said India’s ranking was mostly due to the exploitation of Indians citizens within the country itself. While the highest proportion of slaves is in Mauritania, with many people inheriting slave status from their ancestors, Haiti is second in the index and Pakistan is third.
3 Indians lead in business trips (Khaleej Times) Indian employees are global leaders when it comes to business travel with over 40 percent going on at least five trips annually, a survey has revealed. “Forty-four percent Indians, followed by 39 per cent of people from Thailand are frequent business travellers, who are taking more than five trips a year,” said the survey by online travel portal Expedia.com.
Future of Travel – an analysis of behaviour and preferences among employed adults aged 18 and above, was conducted online between Aug 20 and Sep 12, among over 8,500 respondents in 24 countries. Indians at 34 per cent are second highest global leisure travellers after Thailand, where 39 percent of the people indulge in this category of travel. The survey also revealed that 92 per cent of Indians use a smart phone or a tablet for personal or business reasons, higher than the global average of 75 per cent.