World and Nation

Shorts (right)

A Hiring Bind For Foreigners and Banks

What could be worse than graduating from an American business school this year with an interest in banking?

Being such a graduate who is not a U.S. citizen.

A provision in the economic stimulus package limits the hiring of foreign workers by any company receiving government bailout money. In finance, that is nearly every big employer.

At least one financial institution, Bank of America, has rescinded job offers to foreign citizens, citing the new law, signed by President Barack Obama last month.

Some banks are quietly trying to sidestep the limits — and perhaps to make good on their job offers — by finding positions abroad for noncitizens, according to college officials.

Financial institutions seem to be tiptoeing around the core debate about whether it is best to protect American jobs or allow unfettered competition, wishing not to alienate the very lawmakers who are dispensing taxpayer money that is keeping some of them afloat.

Skeptics Gather to Discuss Global Warming

More than 600 self-professed climate skeptics are meeting in a Times Square hotel this week to challenge what has become a broad scientific and political consensus: that without big changes in energy choices, humans will dangerously heat up the planet.

The three-day International Conference on Climate Change — organized by the Heartland Institute, a nonprofit group seeking deregulation and unfettered markets — brings together political figures, conservative campaigners, scientists, an Apollo astronaut and the president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus.

Organizers say the discussions, which began Sunday, are intended to counter the Obama administration and Democratic lawmakers, who have pledged to tackle global warming with legislation requiring cuts in the greenhouse gases that scientists have linked to rising temperatures.

The meeting participants hold a wide range of views on climate science. Some concede that humans probably contribute to global warming, but they argue that the shift in temperatures poses no urgent risk. Others attribute the warming, along with cooler temperatures in recent years, to solar changes or ocean cycles.

But large corporations like Exxon Mobil, which in the past financed the Heartland Institute and other groups that challenged the climate consensus, have reduced support. Many such companies no longer dispute that the greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels pose risks.

From 1998 to 2006, Exxon Mobil, for example, contributed more than $600,000 to Heartland, according to annual reports of charitable contributions from the company and company foundations.