WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats overwhelmed outnumbered Republicans and pushed a pair of President Barack Obama's high-profile nominees through the Senate on Tuesday, the first to win confirmation since the chamber weakened the age-old filibuster.
By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - During the early days of "Abenomics," U.S. businesses were optimistic they could convince Japan's government to make a small change to the nation's tight immigration rules to let more household helpers into the country. But a year after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office, an idea that some thought might be an easy win for immigration reform while meeting a stated aim of Abe's growth strategy has made no apparent progress. If Abe's government drags its feet on one small step, it suggests scant prospects for any broader measures to let in foreign workers any time soon - which many experts say will be necessary for Japan to sustain its economic growth in the face of a rapidly shrinking workforce. "Japan needs to let in more foreign workers to solve its population problem," said Hidenori Sakanaka, former head of the Tokyo Immigration Bureau.
By Rosa-Tania Valdes HAVANA (Reuters) - For sure it's just what Nelson Mandela would have wanted, but does it amount to more than that? The historic handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg was greeted on the streets of Cuba with surprise and hopes of improved relations. Reaction was more muted in Miami, where Cuban exiles have had a hard time accepting Mandela's respect for Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Castro's smile as Obama moved to shake his hand on the way to speak at the ceremony was seen by many Cubans as a signal of reconciliation, after more than a half-century of bitter ideological and political differences between the two countries whose shores are separated by only 90 miles.