Outside the Bubble 12/4/13

Nuclear Deal for Iran

This weekend in Geneva, Iran and six world powers, the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, reached a deal to limit the Teheran nuclear program. President Obama claims that this deal has “opened a new path toward a world that is more secure” (Al Jazeera, “World powers reach nuclear deal with Iran at Geneva talks,” 11.23.2013).

There are four key provisions raised from the deal. The first is that there will be no enrichment of uranium above 5 percent U-235, meaning that any materials that contain more than 5 percent must be blended down or be changed to a form not usable for weapons.

The second is that no more centrifuges, which play an important role in enriching U-235, can be installed or produced. The last provision is full access of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect nuclear facilities, which includes daily visits to Natanz and Fordow, two top-secret plants, and continuous camera surveillance (Forbes, “Iranian Nuclear Deal is a Good One,” 11.30.2013).

For agreeing to these provisions, Iran is relieved of some of their sanctions to help their economy. They are going to be paid $7 billion, which has been frozen abroad by the sanctions. However, most of the assets, around $100 billion, will remain frozen abroad (Global Post, “Iran, World powers to discuss Geneva deal on weekend,” 12.3.2013).

The Geneva accord is an interim deal and will be reviewed in six months. Meanwhile, the deal has caused strong reactions from nearby countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal a “historic mistake” and is worried about the safety of Israel as a result. US Secretary of State John Kerry responded that Israel has actually been made safer from the deal because “we are going to have insights to their program that we did not have before” (Al Jazeera, “Iran Nuclear Deal: Mixed Global reactions to Geneva accord,” 11.24.2013). In addition, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has claimed that Tehran will never completely abandon the heavy-water reactor at Arak (Reuters, “Iran says to continue building at Arak nuclear site despite deal,” 11.27.2013).

 

Huge Crowds for Black Friday

Black Friday sales create opportunities for people to buy goods they would usually not be able to afford and for businesses to have a booming start to the holiday shopping season. Black Friday originated in Pennsylvania due to the number of people the police had to deal with the day after Thanksgiving. The police department coined the term due to the mayhem created by the traffic jams, the crowds and the brawls that occur over cheap products.

This day is known for the violence it causes: last year, two people were shot in Florida in a fight over a parking spot outside of a Walmart. In addition, black ink is used by accountants to signify a profitable day when recording profit entries, so it is also interpreted as a successful Friday for retailers across the country.

Annually, the National Retail Federation releases shopper counts after Thanksgiving weekend. The number of shoppers this year was the highest it has ever been: an estimated 248 million shoppers from around the world participated. The estimated profits made in sales were around $57.4 billion, which is a decrease from last year’s $59.1 billion (USA Today, “Thanksgiving shopping becomes social, but spending down,” 12.2.2013).

All the hype that is built up toward Black Friday sales inevitably leads to accidents and violence. This year’s Black Friday caused one death and almost 20 injuries. On Friday morning, a car of teenagers driving back at 7:24 a.m. from a night of shopping got into an accident after the driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a gas sign. The driver died from the crash while the four passengers were all injured and are currently at CaroMont Regional Medical Center (Gaston Gazette, “Teen returning home from Black Friday shopping killed in wreck,” 11.29.2013). Although this accident did not directly occur at a Black Friday sales site, it is still considered a related incident. Other incidents included a shopper getting pepper-sprayed and arrested by police for disorderly conduct and arguing with the store manager (NBC, “Shopper pepper sprayed, arrested in argument over TV,” 11.29.2013) and the trampling of an 11-year-old girl at a Walmart.

 

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