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Beyond the Hedges

3/31/11 7:00pm

National

AT&T announces merge with T-Mobile

AT&T announced a $39 billion deal to take over T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, pushing AT&T ahead of current leader Verizon Wireless in cellphone service with a 40 percent share of the market. After Verizon's 30 percent share in the telecommunications market, Sprint is highest, with a 10 percent share. AT&T argued that the merger would allow them to reach nearly 46.5 million Americans, but it would also lead to a virtual duopoly with Verizon in the market. Competition will suffer because of this dominance and could possibly lead to higher cell-phone plan costs, industry experts told The New York Times in the March 22 article "AT&T Inc."



sources: the economist& the new york times

"I saw this coming a long time ago because T-Mobile has been in the background while AT&T is dominating [with] the iPhone revolution. Hopefully they'll still be able to maintain good coverage with so many more people."

Nick Rizopoulos, Jones College freshman

GOP looks for support among conversative Dems

House Majority Party Whip Kevin McCarthy met with conservative democrats to discuss budget concerns, especially $30 billion cuts to the 2011 spending package. This package is smaller than the $61 billion package initially proposed. Republicans may anger some of their constituents with this deal; constituents may view it as "unprincipled capitulation", according to Washington Post article "House Whip McCarthy acknowledges meeting with Dems on fiscal issues." However, a deal with Democrats could help the House to vote on a spending plan for the rest of 2011 and to secure a spring vote on raising the federal debt limit. The funding bill for the $61 billion, already passed in the House, was turned in the Senate after Democrats rejected, preferring to start from the $10 billion previously agreed upon. McCarthy chose now to reach out to conservative democrats because they recently supported a mainly Republican vote to extend government funding for three weeks.

source: the washington post

 

International

Burma swears in new president

State television in Burma announced that the military government, which has ruled Burma for the last two decades, has been disbanded after Senior General Than Shwe stepped down from his position as head of the country's armed forced. The newly sworn in president, Thein Sein, is a long time ally of Shwe and served as prime minister during the military regime. The swearing in of the new hybrid administration, which Burmese call a disciplined democracy, comes after the criticized Nov. elections. Critics continue to dismiss the new regime as a reorganized form of the old. Thein's party, the military-backed USDP, was elected with 80 percent of the vote and new law allocates a quarter of parliament seats to military personnel.

source: bbc

"It doesn't look like anything has changed because the same people who were in power are still in power, if indirectly."

Amanda Wicker, McMurtry College freshman



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