Illustrations by Istvan Banyai
President Bush’s “trade promotion authority—the law allowing him to negotiate international trade deals and present them to Congress for a yes-or-no vote—expires today. To renew it, the White House must broker a deal with Democrats who want protections for workers (foreign and domestic) and the environment included in future trade pacts.
One-armed bandits may get a workout in Vegas this weekend: Wedding halls in Sin City are expecting a flood of couples betting that the triple-seven date (7/7/07) will bring a little luck to their nuptials.
Al Gore plays host to environmentally minded music fans the world over with Live Earth, a 24-hour series of seven concerts on seven continents that’ll feature 150 pop luminaries (including Madonna, the Police, and Kanye West) raising awareness and money to fight global warming.
Aging British soccer god David Beckham has crossed the pond to play Major League Soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy beginning today. Beckham’s reputed five-year, $27.5 million contract is expected to pay off more on the marketing front than on the soccer field.
Private Jesse Spielman goes to trial today, accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdering her and her family. Spielman maintains his innocence. Three others charged in the case already pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from five to 100 years.
India’s supreme court hears a dispute today between the country’s upper and lower classes over quotas for the “socially and educationally backwards” classes in elite schools, a vestige of caste laws from the 1930s. India’s quota system is one of the world’s most formal and rigid.
In response to a sharp increase in text-messaged layoffs, South Korea, a country mad for thumb-typing, will change its employment laws in July and require employers to provide hard copies of pink slips.
President Bush has set himself an August deadline for the formidable task of passing immigration reform that will satisfy conservative hard-liners, who want to seal the borders, and moderates, such as members of the business community, who want to maintain some openness. An early proposal includes guest-worker visas and a legalization program for certain illegal aliens; both require applicants to leave the country and pay steep fines.