Many Americans fear that Mexico is a state on the verge of failure, but major changes are underway. We hear about education, investment and the astonishing drop in illegal immigration to the United States. Also, President Karzai’s half-brother is killed in Afghanistan, and the light-bulb battle on Capitol Hill.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, was shot to death today by an associate so trusted he was allowed to bring a pistol into Wali Karzai's home in Kandahar. Karzai's bodyguards immediately killed the assassin, Sardar Mohammed. Matthieu Aikins, who writes for Harper's, Foreign Policy and other publications, joins us from Kabul.
Matthieu Aikins, Harper's
In the 1990's, conditions in Mexico produced a flood of illegal immigrants to the United States. Harsh new state laws, tougher border enforcement and criminal gangs make crossing into the US without papers a lot harder than it used to be. But 90 percent of the Mexicans who want to cross illegally can actually make it. So why has the flood of illegal immigrants been reduced to a trickle? The biggest reason is education, producing more children with greater skills than their parents. With investment creating new jobs, they want to stay home. Mexico has by no means solved all its problems, but it's changing fast — with not just one, but two middle classes. We hear what it all means for the US.
In 2007, George W. Bush signed a bipartisan bill to set national standards for energy efficiency. Federal law now requires that light bulbs use 25 to 30 percent less energy starting next year, 65 percent less by 2020. It doesn't ban traditional incandescent bulbs, but requires a different technology. Many Republicans now claim one provision is an infringement on individual freedom. Democrats accuse the GOP of cutting procedural corners to open debate on the matter. Should Americans be required to change to compact fluorescents? Andrew Restuccia covers energy and the environment for The Hill.
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