Bill Clinton hosts jobs and economic forum in Chicago

Xinhua English
June 29, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Seeking to help the U.S. domestic economy recover from the recession and cut down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate, former U.S. president Bill Clinton kicked-off a two day forum here on Wednesday, while touting Chicago as a model of innovation and economic resurgence.

Clinton, whose eight-year stint at the White House saw the U.S. economy prosper, urged American banks to unlock an estimated $2 trillion in cash for loans.

He also encouraged companies to invest within America another existing $2 trillion dollars in their reservoir, and called on more jobs training to fill as much as three million jobs currently available but remain vacant because of mismatch in qualification.

By filling the three million available jobs, unemployment rate will already be significantly reduced and create a more optimistic economic atmosphere, Clinton said.

On the first day of the event, Clinton has already secured the financial commitment of four organizations, including a 10 billion dollars in capital from the labor group AFL-CIO to be spent for public infrastructure repairs for the next five years.

To read the full story, please visit Xinhua English

Former Chicagoan is first female IMF chief

Xinhua English
June 28, 2011

By Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde made history Tuesday by becoming the first female managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and her appointment received wide praise in Chicago, where she once served as chairman of one of the world’s largest law firms.

At the same time, international finance experts agree Lagarde’s leadership and financial skills will be immediately tested with the current crisis in Greece that is threatening to undermine Europe and the entire global economy.

“Christine was an effective leader who used her intellect, discipline and diplomacy to take our firm to new heights,” the law firm Baker & McKenzie said in a statement to Xinhua. “As the first female chair of a global law firm, she inspired so many of us with her grace, humanity and consensus-building approach, leaving a lasting impact on our firm and on the legal profession.”

Those skills would prove helpful as Lagarde navigates the turbulent current economic and political landscape, said Prof. Martin Eichenbaum, co-director of the Center for International Economics and Development at Chicago’s Northwestern University.

To read the full story, please visit Xinhua English

Jewish Republicans see Obama as one-termer

Huffington Post and Patch.com
June 27, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

 

SKOKIE, Ill. – Between analyzing the electoral prospects of Republican presidential candidates and ridiculing the “level of mental illness among liberal Jews,” members of the Republican Jewish Coalition(RJC) gathered in Skokie last week to discuss how they could help defeat President Obama in 2012.

The standing-room only crowd came from throughout Illinois to fill a conference room at Holiday Inn, where they listened to political analysts and Republican scholars offer political red meat against Obama, whom one speaker accused of being “more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinians.”

Michael Menis, president of RJC’s Chicago chapter, told Skokie Patch that his group was alarmed at Obama’s policies toward Israel.

“There’s concern in the Jewish community as far as President Obama’s allegiance to the United States’ long-time ally Israel,” he said. “Through his rhetoric and his actions, he seems to have departed from the policy that we’ve seen coming from other presidential administrations since the creation of Israel in 1949.”

Menis said the meeting’s heavy turnout on June 23 was a good indication that RJC members could be invaluable in helping efforts to elect a GOP president in 2012.

To read the full story, please visit Skokie Patch.com

Vandals hit 42nd Chicago Gay Pride parade

Xinhua English
June 26, 2011

By Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Hundreds of thousands of people went on to celebrate significant progress in the gay rights movement at Chicago’s 42nd Gay Pride parade on Sunday, despite vandals’ slashing tires of at least 51 floats before the start of the annual festival.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told Xinhua that the celebration “takes on an added significance this year because of the fact that Illinois has passed and signed the civil union bill into law.”

Madigan said that while the state’s civil union law is not considered as gay marriage law like that of New York, she is “very proud” of the legislation “recognizing people’s relationships and give them equal rights that they deserve.”

“Every state is going about providing equality to people,” Madigan added. “I think we will see a lot of changes to take place across the country over the next few years.”

To read the full story, please visit Xinhua English

Chicago to host G8, NATO summits in 2012

Xinhua English
June 23, 2011

By Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Chicago, the hometown of U.S. President Barack Obama, will welcome world leaders to this city by the lake as it will host the Group of Eight (G8) and NATO summits next year.

“Next May, in Chicago, we will host a summit with our NATO allies and partners to shape the next phase of this transition,” Obama said Wednesday in a televised speech to the nation announcing the complete withdrawal of 100,000 American combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

The two events from May 15 to 22 will put Chicago on the international stage, as the world’s most powerful nations meet together to discuss the future of Afghanistan, NATO and the Middle East among other global issues.

The news is a major boost to the third largest American city, which lost its bid to host the 2016 Olympics and has seen a decline in the number of tourists last year.

To read the full story, please visit Xinhua English

Biden in Chicago to raise funds for Obama, epilepsy research

Xinhua English
June 22, 2011

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Splitting his time between political and civic events in Chicago, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden flew in on Tuesday to raise funds for the 2012 reelection campaign of President Barack Obama and for a group that funds epilepsy research.

Biden met donors with deep pockets and collected 5,000 to 35,000 U.S. dollars per person. In return, Biden met donors privately at a restaurant by Lake Michigan.

The money raised goes to the Obama Victory Fund, which hopes to bring in 60 million dollars by the end of June, according to news reports.

To read the full story, please visit Xinhua English

Illinois governor to address CME threat to leave Chicago

Xinhua English
June 11, 2011

By Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vowed Thursday to address the concerns of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), following reports that the world’s largest options and futures market is considering moving some of its operations out of Chicago over the issue of higher corporate taxes.

“I really believe that the best place for these markets is right here in Illinois,” said Quinn during an event promoting the state’s bio-technology innovation. “I’m sure we can work together. If somebody has a particular issue, or concern, or interest in something, we sit down with them and work it out.”

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