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Tags: Christie | Angers | Israel | Backers | Half of Unemployed Have Given Up Looking for a Job | Pakistani Militants Launch New Attack on Religious Minority | Indians Now Largest Immigrant Group in 3 States

Christie Ticks Off Israel Backers; Hillary Outranks Michelle Obama

By    |   Sunday, 01 June 2014 03:24 PM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Half of Unemployed Have Given Up Looking for a Job
2. Christie 'Missed Opportunity' to Gain Jewish Support
3. Pakistani Militants Launch New Attack on Religious Minority
4. Hillary More 'Powerful' Than Michelle Obama
5. Indians Now Largest Immigrant Group in 3 States

1. Half of Unemployed Have Given Up Looking for a Job

Nearly half of all unemployed Americans, 47 percent, say they have completely given up looking for a job, a new survey reveals.

The survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the staffing firm Express Employment Professionals.

Among the 47 percent who said they agree with the statement "I've completely given up looking for a job," those who "agree completely" constitute 7 percent, another 7 percent "agree a lot," 15 percent "agree somewhat," and 18 percent "agree a little."

The survey "offers several surprising and sometimes troubling insights into how unemployed Americans are faring and what they're doing, and not doing, to get jobs," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

"It also demonstrates why the labor force participation rate is so low — many people have given up looking for a job."

The survey also found that 46 percent of the unemployed had not gone on any job interviews in the previous month, and among those out of work for more than two years, 71 percent had not gone on an interview in the prior month.

But 91 percent of respondents agree with the statement "I'm hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months."

On the other hand, 44 percent say they are "not at all willing" to relocate to a new city or town for a job, and 60 percent are not willing to move to another state to find work.

In a response that Express notes "raises issues about whether unemployment compensation should be extended or allowed to run out," 82 percent of the unemployed respondents who are receiving benefits say if their benefits were to run out, they would "search harder and wider for a job."

And 48 percent say they "haven't had to look for work as hard" thanks to unemployment benefits.

According to the survey, 45 percent of the unemployed believe the economy is most responsible for their being out of work.

"Our economy isn't recovering fast enough if our fellow Americans have lost confidence in the job market," Funk stated. "They're giving up because they think the economy is giving up on them.

"It should give policy makers a greater sense of urgency to focus on the singular goal of creating jobs."

As for the labor force participation rate Funk referred to — the percentage of all Americans holding a job — it dropped to a low of 62.8 percent in April, down from 66.1 percent at the beginning of 2004 and the lowest rate since 1978, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition to the unemployment rate, factors contributing to the low participation rate include a surge in retiring baby boomers and a sharp increase in the number of Americans on disability.

Editor's Note:

2. Christie 'Missed Opportunity' to Gain Jewish Support

A prominent Jewish media outlet is castigating New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for failing to mention Israel in his address at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York.

Christie spoke for 18 minutes at the May 18 event before a gathering of mostly Jewish dignitaries — including Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, Nobel Prize-winning activist Elie Wiesel, and casino magnate and Republican benefactor Sheldon Adelson.

"No one understands any longer who America stands with or against," Christie declared, attacking the Obama administration's foreign policy.

But not only did he make no reference to the Middle East peace process, he never even mentioned Israel by name.

"One would think that this would be an easy, shining moment for Gov. Christie to gain support and traction for his future presidential campaign by appealing to the Zionist Jewish world," The Jewish Voice said in an opinion piece.

"Unfortunately, he missed his opportunity and in fact caused harm to his future prospects."

Christie already had raised the ire of many in the Jewish community when he referred to the West Bank as the "occupied territories" in a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas in March.

"He had the chance to atone for this 'slip-up,' and instead he has worsened his position among Zionist Republicans," The Jewish Voice opined.

"This can only severely hurt Christie's campaign in the upcoming election if he cannot find ways to redeem himself."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also spoke at the awards gala in New York and did mention Israel, saying "Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state."

The Voice added: "Christie will lose important allies, such as major GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, and will find it difficult to navigate his presidential course if he does not open up about critical political matters such as allegiance with Israel."

Editor's Note:

3. Pakistani Militants Launch New Attack on Religious Minority

The murder of an American doctor in Pakistan is another example of the pervasive violence against religious minorities in the Muslim country.

Ohio-based cardiologist Mehdi Ali Qamar, 50, was born in Pakistan but has been an American citizen for more than a decade. He traveled to Pakistan to volunteer at a hospital in Punjab province. On Monday, two gunmen on a motorbike shot Qamar at least nine times in front of his wife and young son as he and family members left a cemetery after visiting relatives' graves.

Qamar belonged to a widely persecuted religious minority, the Ahmadi sect.

Ahmadis venerate a 19th-century messiah-like figure and consider themselves Muslims. But the sect is considered heretical by mainstream Muslims.

In 1974, the Mecca-based Muslim World League published a fatwa ruling that the Ahmadi sect was a "subversive movement against Islam," and called on Muslim organizations to declare Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and to boycott them socially, economically and culturally, CNS News reported.

The ruling also declared that members of the sect cannot marry Muslims or be buried in Muslim cemeteries.

Earlier in May, an Ahmadi accused of blasphemy against Islam was shot dead by a gunman who walked into the police station where he was being held.

Other Ahmadis were murdered last year in religiously motivated attacks. Ahmadi graves were desecrated, sometimes by local police, and members of the sect were effectively prevented from voting in national elections.

A spokesman for the Ahmadi community, Salim ud Din, told a newspaper that Qamar's murder was part of an ongoing campaign of hatred targeting the minority.

He said leaflets have been circulated calling for the murder of Ahmadis and declaring that treatment at the hospital where Qamar was working was "haram" — religiously prohibited.

"The murder of the doctor who served fellow human beings without discrimination is most painful," Salim ud Din said. "In order to put a stop to murders in the name of faith, it is essential to ban hate-promoting literature, and those who issue fatwas legitimizing murder of innocent people should be brought to justice."

Ahmadis, like Christians and other minorities, are disproportionately targeted under Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

As the Insider Report disclosed three weeks ago, a prominent human rights lawyer in Pakistan was shot dead on May 7 because he was defending a man accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad, a capital offense in Pakistan.

About half of those charged under the laws since 1988 have been non-Muslims, who comprise just 2 percent of the population.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said it is aware of 17 Pakistanis currently on death row for blasphemy, and 19 serving life terms in prison.

Editor's Note:

4. Hillary More 'Powerful' Than Michelle Obama

Hillary Clinton may be out of a job at the moment — or between jobs — but she still ranks No. 6 on Forbes' list of "The World's Most Powerful Women 2014," ahead even of first lady Michelle Obama.

Forbes states that its annual list showcases "the top politicians, finance and business leaders, activist billionaires, and celebrities who matter."

The ranking is compiled according to women's money, media momentum, spheres of influence, and impact.

Forbes notes that Clinton is "the only first lady to become a U.S. senator turned viable presidential candidate turned secretary of state. Now a private citizen and cofounder of The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, she continues to be one of the most watched-and-listened-to women on the planet.

"Bets are on that she will be the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, and possibly the first woman elected to the Oval Office."

At the top of the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has made the list 10 times in the past 11 editions — nine times as No. 1. She was first elected in 2005 and was an original architect of the 28-member European Union.

No. 2 is Janet Yellen, the new chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the first woman to head the most influential bank in the world.

Next is philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, followed by Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil, the seventh largest national economy, and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the 188-nation International Monetary Fund.

After Clinton at No. 6 comes No. 7 Mary Barra, who became the CEO of General Motors in January.

Michelle Obama, No. 8, has campaigned against childhood obesity and promoted healthy eating.

Rounding out the top 10 are Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, and Virginia Rometty, chairwoman and CEO at IBM.

The top-ranking women from the entertainment industry are Oprah Winfrey (No. 14) and Beyonce Knowles (No. 17).

Eight women who were on the inaugural list in 2004 are still on the list this year: Gates; Clinton; Winfrey; Lagarde; Queen Elizabeth II; PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi; Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment; and Ho Ching, CEO of Singapore-based Temasek.

Those dropping off the list this year include former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Kathleen Sebelius, the former head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Editor's Note:

5. Indians Now Largest Immigrant Group in 3 States

Mexicans are easily the largest immigrant group in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of all foreign-born residents — far ahead of Chinese immigrants, the No. 2 group comprising 5 percent of America's 40 million immigrants.

But Mexicans do not make up the largest immigrant group in 17 states.

A century ago, immigrants hailed largely from Europe, and Germans accounted for 18 percent of all immigrants. They made up the largest immigrant group in 17 states, mostly in the Midwest and Southeast, along with California, Oregon, and Maryland.

The second-largest immigrant group in 1910 was from Russia and the nations that would become the U.S.S.R., accounting for 11 percent of all immigrants. But they were the largest group only in New York, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

Mexican immigrants dominated in only three states or territories — Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Immigrants from the United Kingdom comprised the largest group in five Mountain States in the West, along with Alabama and Virginia. Canadians were the largest group in most of New England, plus Washington, Michigan, and Alaska.

Norwegian immigrants dominated in the Dakotas, Swedish immigrants in Minnesota, Austrian newcomers in Pennsylvania, Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, Irish immigrants in Delaware and Connecticut, and Italians in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Nevada, and New Jersey.

But since 1965, when Congress passed legislation that opened the nation's borders, immigrants have for the most part hailed from Latin America.

In 2010, Mexicans comprised the largest immigrant group in 33 states. Immigrants born in Canada dominated in Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.

Somewhat surprisingly, immigrants from India now form the largest group in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Immigrants from the Dominican Republican are the largest group in New York and Rhode Island, and those from El Salvador dominate in Maryland and Virginia.

Jamaican immigrants are No.1 in Connecticut, Chinese in Massachusetts, and Cubans in Florida.

Immigrants from the Philippines are the largest group in both Hawaii and Alaska.

In the Pew report, countries are defined by their modern-day boundaries, which may differ from their historical boundaries.

Despite all the attention being focused these days on calls for immigration reform to deal with the "waves" of immigrants now in the country, immigrants actually accounted for a larger share of the U.S. population in 1910 than they do today.

In 1910, there were 13.7 million immigrants comprising 14.9 percent of the nation's 92.25 million population. In 2010, the 39.89 million immigrants accounted for 12.9 percent of America's 309.2 million population.

The percentage bottomed out at 5 percent in 1970.

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Editor's Note:


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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Half of Unemployed Have Given Up Looking for a Job 2. Christie 'Missed Opportunity' to Gain Jewish Support 3. Pakistani Militants Launch New Attack on Religious Minority 4. Hillary More 'Powerful' Than Michelle...
Christie, Angers, Israel, Backers, Half of Unemployed Have Given Up Looking for a Job, Pakistani Militants Launch New Attack on Religious Minority, Indians Now Largest Immigrant Group in 3 States, Hillary More Powerful Than Michelle Obama
Sunday, 01 June 2014 03:24 PM
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