Eurozone unemployment was at record 11.4 percent in August
PARIS — Unemployment in the eurozone hovered at a record 11.4 percent in August, according to data released Monday, underscoring the pain inflicted by the slowing world economy and the financial problems plaguing many of the countries that share the euro.
Unemployment in the 17 nations that use the euro was at 11.4 percent in August, according to Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union.
The agency also revised the figures for June and July to 11.4 percent, up from the previously reported 11.3 percent, which was a record level for the region since the introduction of the euro in 1999.
The jobless numbers, which compare with the August rate of 8.1 percent in the United States, suggest that Europe’s recession is deepening, despite the continued efforts of policymakers and finance ministers to cure the region’s malaise.
Unemployment in Greece and Spain, currently the eurozone’s most economically troubled members, reached euro-era highs.
—David Jolly and Raphael Minder, The New York Times
US sends aircraft to Okinawa despite fierce opposition
The U.S. military sent the first batch of a sophisticated but accident-plagued new aircraft to an air base on Okinawa on Monday, going forward with its planned deployment despite unexpectedly fierce opposition by islanders and warnings that any crash could threaten the huge U.S. military presence on the island.
The first six of the MV-22 Osprey aircraft arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from another base on mainland Japan where they had undergone test flights, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.
The United States is counting on the deployment to serve as part of the Obama administration’s plan to increase the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and offset the growing strength of China and a nuclear-armed North Korea.
The Osprey — whose tilting rotors allow it to take off like a helicopter but fly like a fixed-wing aircraft — flies four times as far as the Vietnam-era helicopters it is replacing, putting the more than 15,000 Marines on Okinawa within reach of potential hot spots like Taiwan and a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
The Japanese government has backed the deployment, apparently at least partly out of hopes that it will help deter China’s recently assertive claims to those islands, which Japan controls.
—Martin Fackler, The New York Times
Video appears to show US journalist held in Syria
TRIPOLI, Libya — A website that supports the Syrian government publicized a video clip Monday that showed Austin Tice, a U.S. freelance journalist, to be alive but held hostage by what appeared to be Islamist militants. It was the first glimpse of Tice since Aug. 13.
Questions about the origin of the undated clip and the anomalies in it raised doubts about its authenticity, but colleagues and relatives confirmed that a masked figure with long hair and a scruffy beard appeared to be Tice, 31, a former Marine whose work has been published in McClatchy Co. newspapers, The Washington Post and other news outlets.
The 47-second video, with the headline “Austin Tice Still Alive,” shows frightening scenes of masked gunmen jerking Tice along a trail through low hills. One captor holds what looks to be a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Tice kneels and the men force him to repeat in clumsy Arabic the prayer that Muslims traditionally recite before dying. Tice then says in English, “Oh, Jesus. Oh, Jesus,” sounding breathless and frightened. Then he lowers his head, and the video ends with him, unhurt, resting his head on the arm of a captor.
Several analysts said that the video appeared to be staged and that it lacked the customary form and polish of jihadist videos. The men hid their faces, and no group was identified claiming responsibility for Tice’s capture or the video, which was posted on YouTube by an unknown user instead of over a jihadist website, as militant groups prefer.
—David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times
Google leapfrogs Microsoft
SEATTLE — For Microsoft, it was bad enough when Apple’s stock market value surpassed its own in 2010. Now Google, a company that didn’t even exist 15 years ago, just did the same thing.
On Monday, a slight bump in Google’s share price and a drop in Microsoft’s gave Google a market capitalization of $249.19 billion, just ahead of Microsoft’s $247.44 billion. Google’s market value also edged past that of Wal-Mart Stores, making it the third most valuable U.S. company behind Apple and Exxon Mobil. Market value is determined by multiplying a company’s stock price by the number of shares it has outstanding.
It was one more sign that the technology industry has entered what some call a post-PC era. Investors are becoming more bullish on the growth opportunities ahead for Google, a company whose fortunes are predicated on the Internet and, increasingly, on mobile devices and services.
Microsoft, meanwhile, has not been able to shake the view that its software business is still largely beholden, in one way or another, to the PC, a technology that is now looking stale next to younger, faster-growing devices like the smartphone and tablet. Microsoft’s software business, though still highly profitable, is not growing the way it once was.
Microsoft once had one of the technology industry’s highest-flying stocks, but its shares have stagnated over the past decade after many big investments by the company, especially in the consumer market, failed to pay off. Its Bing search engine is a big money-loser and a distant second in the market behind Google. Its mobile software business has been marginalized by Apple and Google with their iPhone and Android products.
—Nick Wingfield and Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times