02 Mar

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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In Crimea, citizens stand for
self defense and Mother Russia


Andrew Lubimov/AP

by Sam Narod

In port city of Sevastopol, people wave Russian flags and staff checkpoints to keep out those from Kiev and the West


Ukraine Uprising


Foreign policy

Pakistani activists of Sunni Tehreek shout anti-Taliban slogans during a protest rally in Lahore on Feb. 28, 2014. The Pakistani Taliban announced a truce Saturday. Arif Ali/AFP/Getty

Pakistan Taliban announce truce

Announcement of month-long cease-fire comes after talks fell apart in wake of deadly Taliban attack on Pakistan troops

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said Saturday that the group will observe a one-month cease-fire as part of efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the government.

Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid emailed reporters a notice saying the top leadership of the group has instructed all of its units to comply with the cease-fire.





Ukraine Uprising




A nun’s secret ministry brings hope to the transgender community

Nathan Schneider explores the unresolved challenge of transgender identity for the Catholic Church




Religion, Spirituality & Ethics


Veterans In Depth

Working in the USA

Guns in America

The Guardian

Ukraine PM warns of war as Russian military seizes control in Crimea

Kiev puts armed forces on full combat alert, while UN security council holds emergency session to discuss crisis

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Pro-Russian militants in Ukraine

Live 2 Mar 2014: Ukrainian PM warns of war in case of further escalation Russian senate approves use of Russian military in Ukraine


IBM logo

IBM fires small-town workers for Wall Street numbers. That’s the good part

Heidi Moore (updated)

Heidi Moore: The anatomy of a layoff – by way of message board – reveals the powerlessness of company towns today

Endicott is a small town – a village, really – outside Binghamton, New York. It used to swarm with the energy of IBM employees. IBM put Endicott on the map. The tech giant had its first headquarters there in 1906, and the site is still called “Plant No 1” in company lore, commemorated with a nine-page chronology and photo album on IBM’s website. Endicott was the center of IBM innovation, playing home to annual conventions of engineers and experts in “tent cities“. At its height, the town – of around 13,000 people – counted 11,000 IBM employees in 16 office buildings.

Now most of those buildings are filled by the employees of other companies. According to an employee group known as the Alliance@IBM, Big Blue has only 720 employees left in Endicott, all in one building.

IBM lost a few more employees there last week, with a giant round of jobs cuts that swept through Endicott and other small towns where the computer powerhouse has a disproportionate effect on local economies: Essex Junction, Vermont; Rochester, Minnesota; Dubuque, Iowa; Poughkeepsie, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and Columbia, Missouri.

The target of employees’ ire is not just IBM; it’s the deal with the devil that they think IBM has struck with Wall Street. The less formal name for the Faustian contract is the 2015 roadmap, as it is known around IBM. Its premise is simple: IBM wants to deliver $20 earnings per share to its stockholders by 2015. That’s not exactly an easy task considering that right now, IBM’s EPS is $14.94 per share. As the company draws near its self-imposed deadline, investors seem to be skeptical, pushing its stock price down. IBM stock currently trades at $185, down 15% from its highest point in the past year.


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