Here are our top picks on what the world is saying about the U.S. today.
The recent horrific accident in a Bangladeshi factory, in which a roof collapsed and killed over 650 people, has shaken the global garment trade. And while authorities in Europe, Australia, Canada and the U.S. are reconsidering imports from Bangladesh, Sharif As-Saber writing in The Conversation says consumer boycotts of sweatshop products will not go far enough. “The working conditions in these factories are, in most cases, horrible with lack of sufficient space, light and supply of drinking water. They are literally ‘death traps’ with workers locked inside to prevent theft, leaving no way to escape disasters such as fire.”
As-Saber lays out several prescriptions, all of which should focus on businesses and governments forcing change at every level, from the home country creating and implementing strict safety laws, to multi-national companies requiring regular audits at every level of their supply chains.
Obama bets on natural gas
The Financial Times reports that President Barack Obama’s energy policy will increasingly depend on a rise in natural gas exports. The Department of Energy is currently considering approving several new export terminals, and will likely give the go-ahead to one in Texas in the coming months. The industry, however, is concerned that more exports will drive up the cost of gas in the U.S.
New drilling techniques like fracking have allowed companies to tap into the vast reserves of gas under North America’s shale fields, making natural gas far cheaper in the U.S. than it is in Europe or Asia. The FT writes that the Obama administration has made energy a key part of its larger plan for national security and international diplomacy.
Aerosmith has cancelled a much anticipated show date in Jakarta on May 11. While the band did not specify why the show was called off, the assumption is safety concerns. Indonesian officials say two people were detained last week over a plot to bomb an embassy in Jakarta “as radicals rallying in the city called for “jihad in Myanmar” to avenge the death of Muslims in clashes with Buddhists,” reports AFP in a story carried by The Rappler. It all sounds like more heat than Aerosmith wanted to draw, despite the fact that 85 percent of the tickets had been sold.
The band told fans in a written statement: “We want to apologize to all our fans who were expecting to see us and hope that one day we can make it up to them.”