STOCKHOLM (AP) — A U.S.-based economist won the Nobel prize in economics for pioneering research that transformed widely held ideas about the labor force, showing how an increase in the minimum wage doesn’t hinder hiring and immigrants do not lower pay for native-born workers. Two others shared the award for developing ways to study these types of societal issues.
Canadian-born David Card of the University of California, Berkeley, was awarded half of the prize for his research on how the minimum wage, immigration and education affect the labor market.
The other half was shared by Joshua Angrist of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dutch-born Guido Imbens of Stanford University for their framework for studying issues that can’t rely on traditional scientific methods.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three “completely reshaped empirical work in the economic sciences.”
Together, they helped rapidly expand the use of “natural experiments,” or studies based on observing real-world data. Such research made economics more applicable to everyday life, provided policymakers with actual evidence on the outcomes of policies, and in time spawned a more popular approach to economics epitomized by the blockbuster bestseller “Freakonomics,” by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt.
ZAHRANI, Lebanon (AP) — Firefighters extinguished a huge blaze that broke out in a storage tank at one of Lebanon’s main oil facilities in the country’s south. The fire sent orange flames and a thick black column of smoke into the sky.
Energy Minister Walid Fayad said the fire broke out when workers were transferring gasoline from one storage tank to another in the coastal town of Zahrani. He said nearly 250,000 liters (66,000 gallons) of gasoline were burnt during the blaze, which lasted more than three hours. No one was reported hurt.
The fire came as cash-strapped Lebanon struggles through a serious power crisis partly due to severe shortages in fuel that have resulted in electricity cuts lasting up to 22 hours a day.
“The situation now is almost under full control,” Fayad told reporters at the facility. He said earlier that the storage tank was for the Lebanese Army.
State-run National News Agency said it was not immediately clear what caused the fire.
Lebanese troops had closed the highway linking Beirut with southern Lebanon that passes through Zahrani. The road was reopened after the fire was extinguished.
NEW DELHI (AP) — Talks between Indian and Chinese Army commanders to disengage troops from key friction areas along their border have ended in a stalemate and failed to ease a 17-month standoff that has sometimes led to deadly clashes, the two sides said.
The continuing standoff means the two nations will keep troops in the forward areas of Ladakh for a second consecutive Winter in dangerously freezing temperatures.
India’s defense ministry, in a statement, said it gave “constructive suggestions” but the Chinese side was “not agreeable” and “could not provide any forward-looking proposals.” A statement from a Chinese military spokesperson said “the Indian side sticks to unreasonable and unrealistic demands, adding difficulties to the negotiations.”
The commanders from both armies met for talks after a gap of two months at Moldo on the Chinese side in the Ladakh area.
Since February, both India and China have withdrawn troops from some faceoff sites on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Tso, Gogra and Galwan Valley, but they continue to maintain extra troops as part of a multi-tier deployment.
Troops have been added at Demchok and Depsang Plains, Indian media reports say.