* Troops to occupy rice plant in Venezuela (Tyler Bridges, Kansas City Star)
CARACAS, Venezuela | Government troops will occupy Venezuela’s biggest rice-processing plant today, President Hugo Chavez announced Sunday, as the socialist leader expanded his crackdown on private companies that evade government price caps on their products.“They call me a tyrant and a dictator,” Chavez said, referring to his opponents. “But I…
* Too early to tell if Dallas ISD’s new standards are curbing dropouts (Denton Record-Chronicle)
Dallas school officials were widely lampooned last fall after creating new grading standards that critics said eliminated deadlines, minimized homework and gave students automatic retests on flunked exams.
* Rate cut likely alongside ‘print money’ strategy (Times Online)
After five rate cuts in as many months, the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee looks set to use the big guns in its efforts to keep inflation near the 2 per cent target. The minutes of the February meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and comments by many of the Bank’s leading figures since then indicate that the MPC is set to print money in an extra effort to boost the money …
* Deficits soar amid market turmoil (Telegraph)
The pension plans are now in their worst position for a year as their assets have tumbled due to the recent stock market falls, according to data from Aon Consulting, an employee risk and benefits management company.
* Depression will last for years, says Federal Reserve (Village News)
Buried in the minutes of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve was this warning: All participants anticipated that unemployment would remain substantially above its longer-run sustainable rate at the end of 2011, even absent further economic shocks; a few indicated that more than five to six years would be needed for the economy to converge to a longer-run path characterized by sustainable r…
* Argentina Plans Squeeze on Farmers (Matt Moffett, Wall Street Journal)
BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is preparing plans to broaden state intervention in agrarian markets, trying to tighten the screws on dissident farmers who are already unhappy about high export taxes.
* Mexico’s peso weakens to record low of 14.89 to the dollar (E. Eduardo Castillo)
MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate a quarter point Friday to boost the country’s sagging economy, which has been pummeled recession in the U.S.
* Grade Inflation Isn’t Everywhere (National Review)
Ive been reading Phi Beta Cons since it started and love what you guys are doing there, but wanted to comment in particular on the topic of grade inflation. Our founder (Claude Comair) has always given us a clear direction with the quote we do not reward effort we reward results. There have been core classes at DigiPen where half the class received a failing grade (yes, the students were m…
Prominent Zimbabwean rights activist Jestina Mukoko was granted bail Monday after three months in detention, but she was unable to leave a hospital.Mukoko was taken from her home in early December and held in an undisclosed location until being jailed Dec. 23. She’s accused of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe in charges that have been dismissed as trumped up.Prime Min…
* Experts ponder threshold for mortgage help (Gannett News Service)
Under its new mortgage-relief plan, the Obama administration is staking a claim that most homeowners facing foreclosure should be able to pay 31 percent of their gross income for a mortgage.