Venetian Paradox – Tourism is booming in Venice but, as the number of tourists grows, the number of Venetians decreases, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Every year, roughly 20 million tourists flock to the northeastern Italian city of 60,000 but burgeoning tourism has resulted in higher housing and living costs and a dearth of jobs outside tourism, and has prompted residents to move elsewhere. ”The imbalance between normal life and the demands of mass tourism,” wrote the CSM, “means that many Venetians feel that their city is slowly turning into a vast heritage theme park, a virtual film set which caters only for its daily tide of visitors.”
Income Inequality — A new report shows that global wealth inequality is at a 20-year high and growing, notes the BBC. The Born Equal report by Save the Children said that the wealthy in most of the 32 developing countries surveyed increased their share of national income since the 1990s. Inequality could hamper progress in improving living standards for the poor and is “particularly pronounced among children and affects their well-being,” wrote the BBC.
Inflation in India — High inflation in India is hindering the government’s efforts to revive the economy, whose growth rate has slowed from last year’s 8% to 5.5% this year, reports VOA News. The central bank said in a report this week that persistently high inflation is a greater concern than slowing growth, as rising food and fuel prices affect consumption, especially among the poor. Although New Delhi wants the central bank to lower interest rates, the central bank has yet to do so, “saying inflation is unlikely to taper off in the coming months,” wrote VOA.
Journalist on Trial – A prominent Greek journalist, who published the names of 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts, has gone on trial in Athens for breach of privacy, the BBC reports. Costas Vaxevanis told the BBC that he thought politicians should be prosecuted for not revealing the names, but Greek officials have said that there is no proof that anyone on the list had done anything illegal. The names of the list, which includes politicians and prominent businessmen, have been said to spark fury among Greeks, and the left-wing party Syriza charged that the prosecution was political as the Greek people are asked to “suffer the consequences of the harshest and class-oriented policy ever known to Greece,” the Athens News reports.
China’s Syria Proposal – China has proposed a new initiative to handle the escalating violence in Syria, which includes a “phased, region-by-region ceasefire and the establishment of a transitional governing body,” Reuters reports. The plan was proposed to Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. Arab League joint peace envoy on Syria, who has advocated for cease-fires in the past. Brahimi met with Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi, who said the “world should act with greater urgency to support Brahimi’s mediation efforts.” The Chinese proposal comes as the United States advocated for an overhaul of Syria’s opposition leadership, Reuters adds.
Britain’s Budget Debate – The New York Times explains why Prime Minister David Cameron’s parliamentary defeat Wednesday not only made for good headlines (“Nightmare on Downing Street”), but also explained the tension surrounding the budget vote, which aimed to cut the budget to Brussels over the next seven years as the E.U. officials worked to raise funding to the coalition to over €1 trillion. The Guardian adds that Cameron’s defeat will pressure the PM to “take a harder line in talks on the E.U. budget at a summit in Brussels later this month.” Cameron has said that he wants E.U. spending to rise with inflation, a “real-terms freeze,” rather than a cut.