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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

News Briefs

U.S. Battles for Influence in Latin America

The U.S., used to have lots of influence in Latin America, but is now competing with China to call the shots in Brazil and Honduras. U.S. still remains the dominant player in Latin America, but its clout is curtailed by Brazil’s rise to a regional power, the influence of anti-American nations led by oil-rich Venezuela, and the growing and evolving China, which sees Latin American resources as key to its own economic growth. The Obama administration, though popular in much of the region, argues over many issues including Cuba, the use of the U.S. military’s bases in Colombia, and how to best resolve the Honduran crisis.

South Africa Needs Help Combating AIDS

South African President Jacob Zuma advocated for more treatment for all HIV-positive babies and other at-risk individuals. This is a positive change from his predecessor’s disastrous policies on HIV/AIDS. For World AIDS Day last Tuesday, Mr. Zuma also said he too will get an HIV test, which was an important gesture for a culture where the stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS remains high. South Africa has the world’s largest population of HIV-positive people. There are about 5.7 million citizens suffering from HIV/AIDS according to the United Nations. The U.S. said it would donate an additional $120 million to South Africa for antiretroviral drugs for the next two years to help the country meet a growing need.

Federal Reserve Speaks about Rebuilding U.S. Economy

Federal Reserve officials used to be confident about what to do when they saw bubbles building in prices of stocks, houses or other assets. Now, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke faces a confirmation hearing last Thursday that he and others at the central bank are rethinking the hands-off approach they’ve followed over the past decade. In light of a burst housing-and-credit bubble, Mr. Bernanke now calls financial booms “perhaps the most difficult problem for monetary policy this decade. Bernanke and his colleagues are re-evaluating the idea that there is little they can do to prevent bubbles from inflating. Asian property prices are going up and gold prices continue to exceed records almost daily, this debate comes at a crucial time. Mr. Bernanke wants to use his powers as a bank regulator to stop rising bubbles, but the Senate Banking Committee is considering stripping the Fed of its regulatory power.