The Japanese government announced that their economy shrank by 0.8% in the second quarter of the year and therefore into recession for the fifth time in seven years.
The announcement of the figures that covered economic growth (or the lack thereof) from July to September of this year came on the heels of a 0.7% loss in the previous quarter.
The back to back contractions have sent a shockwave across the world’s third largest economy and may increase the pressure on Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his tough fiscal policies.
Abenomics as the suite of policies are referred to, is basically a shock therapy meant to revive the stagnant growth rates in Japan.
As Bloomberg explains Abenomics:
“The central plan is built on unprecedented monetary easing, government spending and business deregulation to snap Japan out of its malaise. He calls it a “three-arrow” strategy, borrowing the image from a Japanese folk tale that teaches that three sticks together are harder to break than one.”
A recent IMF study on Abenomics made it clear how much was at stake for Japan, and how hard it would be for the Prime Minister to actually pull it off.
From the IMF study:
“What was being attempted under Abenomics was unprecedented, and nothing less than a leap from a low-growth deflationary equilibrium to a new equilibrium characterized by positive inflation and higher sustained growth. This requires a parallel shift toward more risk taking, requiring changes in expectations and behavior by businesses, consumers, and financial institutions. Confidence would be key, in both Japan’s growth prospects as well as the government’s ability to carry out needed reforms.”
So what caused the retraction and most recent recession in Japan?
“A big drop in inventory was the largest factor behind a third-quarter contraction. Weak capital spending was a concern, but excluding these factors, the GDP figures were not so bad,” Takeshi Minami, the chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute told Reuters.
Despite the bad news, Japan is somewhat used to the up and down nature of growth in the country and faces larger long term causes for the crisis- including a dangerously rapidly graying nation.
But will Abe and his bold form of reform survive to find another day? Only time will tell.
Cover Photo Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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“Peace”: You Have To Read This Powerful Poem About Police ViolenceBy Contributor
By Courtney Anderson
They take our lives every day.
Shoot us in the back.
In front of family,
They leave us in the streets.
And Cuff our dead bodies.
They lie about us.
Drag our names,
through the mud.
We deserve our deaths, they say.
We killed ourselves.
We always kill ourselves, they say.
Our lives are played on social media.
And so are our deaths.
And our killers go free.
They ask for our
Peace! Peace! Be Peaceful! Have Peace!
Be peaceful as we slaughter you!
Stand still as we shoot.
Paint our streets with your Blood.
And above all, have Peace!
There is no peace.
There is no peace.
There is no peace.
There will be no peace.
As long as they live,
and we die,
There will be No Peace.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Annette Bernhardt/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 1,057
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Are There Too Many Bowl Games?By Alex Austin
Ah, the FBS Bowl games.
A litany of college football action stretching from December 19 through January 11, encompassing 41 games and involving 80 teams. From the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl to the National Championship Game.
But while each of these games bring their own sense of basic enjoyment, even more so for the players and fans of those who are deemed worthy to compete in them, the basic question must be raised: are there too many bowl games?
In short, yes there are.
While it is a treat to have as much college football as humanly possible, and there is no shortage of pride when it comes to these post-season games, there are certainly too many in existence.
To understand why there are too many, one must understand what the bowls are meant to represent.
They are meant to be a reward, a pat on the back for success during the season.
However, in recent years, the meaning of “success” has become stretched.
For example, the Cure Bowl features a 5-7 team (San Jose State) facing a team that needed a win on the final weekend to reach .500 (Georgia State).
Another interesting thing that the bowls bring to the fans is an opportunity to see teams play against opponents that they would never face otherwise. But this novelty is undermined this year by the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, which features two teams from the Mountain West Conference (Nevada and Colorado State).
How do so many absurd bowl match-ups come about? For starters, take in this statistic. Of the 128 FBS programs in the country, a whopping 62.5% of teams make it to the post-season in some respect.
This makes a mockery of the idea of the post-season, and calls into question their true purpose (which is to make money for the numerous sponsors and TV networks).
The real question is not if there are too many bowl games. The real question is how many bowl games should there be.
The answer to this question: 14.
To put it simply, only the top 26 teams, as ranked in the final College Football Playoff standings, should qualify for the post-season. These are the teams that not only have good, if not excellent, records, but they showcase the best of the conferences (and Independent teams). Why one more than the standard 25-team rank? On the surface, it is because an even number of teams must be chosen. But pragmatically, it is to allow for the inclusion of the best military academy (if not already ranked).
Below is this writers personal list of which bowl games should exist. Some of these may not be the heaviest hitters on the normal schedule (and one doesn’t even really exist), but there are reasons for all of them.
- Military Appreciation Bowl (Annapolis, MD) – This game already features the top military academy. In the event that one of the academies makes it to the CFP, the naming tag still works.
- Detroit Bowl (Detroit, MI) – Currently, the bowl game in Detroit is called the Quick Lane Bowl. Give this a new name and continue to play it, because there deserves to be at least one bowl game not in the south or west.
- Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu, HI) – Just as the NFL Pro Bowl used to be played in Hawai’i as a sort of vacation destination, this will allow college players who normally wouldn’t play in that city/state to enjoy the experience.
- Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) – Normally a very solid bowl game. Could be used for the SEC, ACC, and/or Big East teams in the 20-26 range in the rankings.
- Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) – Mainly here because Texas is too big (both in size and football fanaticism) to only hold one bowl game. Good site for Big 12, SEC, AAC, Sun Belt and/or C-USA competition.
- Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego, CA) – Who wouldn’t want to go to sunny San Diego for a bowl game? Not to mention that the Mountain West teams could use a closer bowl destination.
- Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) – A staple of the bowl game schedule. Usually includes an SEC team, but this year is hosting an ACC-AAC match-up.
- Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) – Another bowl game with a lot of history which falls just outside the “Big 5”. Would be a nice fit between the New Year bowls and the National Championship.
- Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) – The “granddaddy of them all”. Will of course continue the Big 10 vs. Pac-10 history.
- Fiesta Bowl (Phoenix, AZ) – Not as historic as the other FBS bowls. Good place for the match-up of next two teams behind the playoff contenders.
- Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX) – A major bowl in the house that Jerry Jones built. Kind of wish they still used the proper Cotton Bowl, but that’s life.
- Orange Bowl (Miami, FL) – Historically the place for the ACC champions vs. Big East champions match-up. Few places better to hold a football game outside in January.
- Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) – Normally reserved for the top SEC team. In the age of the CFP, it continues to be held in high regard.
- National Championship Game (Various) – The one game to decide the champion. Will continue to bounce around the five FBS bowl sites.
Now this plan probably isn’t perfect, and there would be some hiccups in the early years. But eventually, everyone would adjust just as they have adjusted to the new playoff system.
In the end, while not everyone will be happy, enough people will be to keep this bowl game line-up intact and bring the bowl games back into reverence as the games which decide who the best teams really are.
Cover Photo Credit: Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 828
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“Geris Hilton:” Man At Center Of Racist Facebook Thread Speaks Exclusively To Rise News, Feels VictimizedBy Contributor
By KC Mason
Gerod Roth, more commonly known as Geris Hilton, became arguably one of the most hated men on the Internet this past week for a Facebook thread that went down a dark, racist path. He spoke to Rise News in an exclusive interview about what happened and why he believes he is a victim.
To sum up the social media firestorm: Roth took a photo with Cayden, the three year old son of one of his coworkers Sydney Jade. Roth made the photo his profile picture on Facebook and his Facebook friends started to make racially charged comments about Cayden. Roth did not remove the comments and added to the conversation that the child was “feral.” Weeks later, the post went viral and Roth was forced out of his job. While his former company said they fired him, Roth said that he quit before the controversy. While Roth claims some of the screenshots of the conversation circulating are photoshopped, he admits that he did make the comment calling the child “feral.”
The questions for this interview are based in part on the public statement Roth posted to his Facebook account on October 6th.
Q: You said that you feel that you were targeted, what do you think caused you to be targeted in this way?
Roth: Awhile back I went on this huge rant on Facebook, and part of the rant was that, ‘it’s not just black lives that matter; all lives matter.’ I went on to kind of elaborate in the comments section and I was like, ‘I don’t mean that black lives don’t matter; I support the movement and I support #BlackLivesMatter, I just don’t like that the message has been misconstrued by some people to advocate killing cops and white people in protest.’ That’s not what it means and that’s not what it’s about. I support the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole; police brutality is a real issue. It’s a very real problem in our modern day society. I agree that these issues need to be addressed, but I don’t agree with some skewed interpretations of the movement. That’s exactly where I think this whole ordeal derived from. I think that someone in my friends network did not like my opinion on the matter, and then saw an opportunity in my profile picture and took advantage of it.
Q: People online have been shaming you for comments that your Facebook friends made on your profile picture. You admitted in your public statement on Facebook that you did consider some of those people to be friends and have since unfriended them, but how many of your Facebook friends do you know and consider friends in real life?
Roth: 90 percent of the people on my Facebook are people that I’ve never met in person. I cannot vouch for their character and I definitely don’t condone or support everything they post. They’re just networking and EDM industry connections.
Q: Do you know when the comments on your profile originally took a racist turn?
Roth: Unfortunately, no. When looking back at the screen caps, they all just say ‘September 16’ so there’s no way for me to track the time stamp on them. I wasn’t watching as it was happening. I’m very infrequent with my actual Facebooking, even though my work does deal with Facebook. Most of the time I’m involved in messages back in forth with people trying to set up and conduct interviews and stuff like that. When I did finally look at my notifications that’s when I saw the [racist] remarks and I told people, ‘you guys need to stop. This is my public profile. Stop. Cayden’s mom is on this page. Stop.’
Q: Can you explain why you didn’t delete the racist comments after asking people to stop?
Roth: Personally for me, looking back at it, I just didn’t think to actually delete the comments. That’s the honest to God truth. It was just a lackadaisical moment. I’m very busy, I’m in my office dealing with stuff in my professional job with PMG, I was just busy and I overlooked it. I sent the comment out asking people to stop; I didn’t really have time to go through and delete all the comments.
Q: Do you know as of yet who originally photoshopped the screenshot that went viral?*
Roth: I’ve been looking everywhere. I literally have a brigade of people on Facebook and Twitter looking for it. I’m going through Facebook customer service, trying to find and verify the origin of the photoshopped screenshot, but to no avail whatsoever.
Q: You’ve mentioned that there’s ongoing investigations into this issue, what can you tell us about that?
Roth: I could say that there is an investigation, although I’m not sure if that’s the proper or legal term for it. I don’t know if it’s even at a legal level yet, but there’s a lot of research being done by many individuals and organizations. Right now they’re just collecting data- screenshots, tweets, Facebook posts, everything.
Q: There are many other offensive screenshots/posts coming out from Twitter and Facebook accounts that all claim to be you but that have been called fake by you and your supporters. Do you have any information on these fake accounts?
(fake facebook messenger screenshot, one fake twitter account, specific post from fake account)
Roth: The posts coming from these fake accounts are ridiculous. Honestly, me and my friends have shut down at least 10 fake accounts at this point. That’s across platforms. I never knew how hard it is to monitor people on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all at once.
When asked about this post:
Q: What about that Twitter account that made a joke about Cayden’s mom being mad that you turned her down?
Roth: I can most definitely attest to the fact that that is not my account.
At this point I think the public is really looking at, you know, my Facebook account. That’s where everything originated; it’s the root of the problem. I feel like everyone’s just looking at that Facebook account, especially after I released my public statement. I made everything public. Everyone’s able to comment and say a piece of their mind.
Q: You said that news outlets and PMG falsely reported the reasons for your leaving PMG. Could you elaborate on that?
Roth: I was their Director of Operations, the HR manager, but I got a letter of termination on the 29th [of September] and this story came out around the 1st or 2nd [of October]. Basically they got that completely turned around. PMG kinda turned on me and slandered my name.
Q: So if you weren’t fired due to racism, why did you get terminated?
Roth: It was a mutual decision. I left with a full severance package due to organizational restructuring.
Q: Did they withdraw the severance package?
Roth: No, I received the severance package on Friday [October 2nd] this last week when they were already aware of what was going on.
Q: You said they withdrew their original statement and released another, did they ever admit to misrepresenting you and the reasons you left the company?
Roth: They never admitted to it, but they told Fox 5 yesterday [October 5th] that I left of my own accord/ for different reasons. That’s the only place they’ve said anything [like that].
Q: It’s been reported that, in addition to losing your job with PMG, you also lost your job with Your EDM. What can you tell us about that situation?
Roth: Unfortunately I’m officially terminated from Your EDM.
Q: In conclusion, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Roth: I’m so floored right now. I really cannot comprehend what has been going on the last few days with people only getting one side of the story and people blindly going off of doctored screenshots. The media is guilty of blowing things out of proportion, taking a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ approach and it’s ruining journalism.
Disclaimer: KC Mason is a friend of Roth’s. However we felt it appropriate for their Q&A session to be published publicly.
*Rise News could not authenticate whether some images circulating on social media were photoshopped or not. This question was asked in direct response to a prior statement by Roth.
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