Nation roundup for November 12
Record number of foreign students
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students are flocking to U.S. colleges and universities, helping to drive the number of international students studying in America to record levels.
Similarly, all-time high numbers of American students are studying abroad, although there are far fewer and they tend to do much shorter stints than students coming to the United States.
The findings are in an analysis being released Monday that was conducted by a nonprofit group that worked with the State Department. They say international education programs do more than advance cultural enrichment; they also are an economic boon to communities that host foreign students and to the students themselves, who improve their job competitiveness.
Foreign students contribute about $24 billion annually to the U.S. economy and about two-thirds of them primarily pay their own way or their families do, according to the Institute of International Education and the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
All told, 819,644 students came to the United States to study abroad in the 2012-13 school year. The highest numbers were from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. That’s a record high, with a 7 percent increase from a year earlier and 40 percent from more than a decade ago. Despite the increases, international students make up less than 4 percent of all students.
Another record high for the Dow
NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average rose to another all-time high on Wall Street Monday.
The market edged higher from Friday, when it got a lift from an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report for October. The surge in hiring made investors more optimistic that the U.S. economy is getting stronger. Stock trading volume was among the lowest of the year, and bond markets were closed for Veterans Day. Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange held a moment of silence in observance of the holiday.
The Dow has advanced for five straight weeks and is up 20 percent so far this year. The last time the Dow had a bigger gain for a whole year was 2003, when it rose 25 percent.
Other major indexes have also surged. Stocks have been propelled higher this year by economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve, a gradually improving economy and rising company earnings.
Given that the market is “up hugely” this year, investors may be hesitant to put more money into stocks, said Andres Garcia-Amaya, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds.
Pope rep speaks to U.S. bishops
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Vatican ambassador to the U.S., addressing American bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected, said Monday they should not “follow a particular ideology” and should make Roman Catholics feel more welcome in church.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano noted the challenges from broader society to Christian teaching. He cautioned that the bishops’ witness to faith would be undermined if they failed to live simply. Francis, in office for eight months, has captured attention for eschewing some of the pomp of the papacy, including his decision to live in the Vatican hotel and his use of an economy car.
“There has to be a noticeable lifestyle characterized by simplicity and holiness of life. This is a sure way to bring our people to an awareness of the truth of our message,” said Vigano, the apostolic nuncio based in Washington.
“The Holy Father wants bishops in tune with their people,” Vigano said, noting that he visited the pope in June. “He made a special point of saying that he wants pastoral bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology.”
In a September interview, Francis said Catholic leaders should give greater emphasis to compassion and mercy, arguing the church’s focus on abortion, marriage and contraception has been too narrow and alienating.
Secession sought in rural Colorado
AKRON, Colo. (AP) — The nation’s newest state, if rural Colorado residents had their way, would be about the size of Vermont but with the population of a small town spread across miles of farmland. There wouldn’t be civil unions for gay couples, legal recreational marijuana, new renewable energy standards, or limits on ammunition magazines.
After all, those were some of the reasons five counties on the state’s Eastern Plains voted on Election Day to approve the creation of a 51st state in the first place.
Secession supporters know the votes were symbolic, designed to grab the attention of a Democratic-controlled Legislature. They say the vote results emphasize a growing frustration in conservative prairie towns with the more populous and liberal urban Front Range, which has helped solidify the Democrats’ power.
“We can’t outvote the metropolitan areas anymore, and the rural areas don’t have a voice anymore,” said Perk Odell, 80, a lifelong resident of Akron in Washington County, which voted to secede.
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