Week In The News: Ukraine In Flames, WhatsApp, Minimum Wage Debate

Cold War echoes. Kiev, Caracas on fire. Facebook buys a $16 billion dollar app. The minimum wage and jobs.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

An anti-government protester holds a firearm as he mans a barricade on the outskirts of Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Fierce clashes between police and protesters, some including gunfire, shattered a brief truce in Ukraine's besieged capital Thursday, killing numerous people. (AP)

An anti-government protester holds a firearm as he mans a barricade on the outskirts of Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Fierce clashes between police and protesters, some including gunfire, shattered a brief truce in Ukraine’s besieged capital Thursday, killing numerous people. (AP)

Who knew we’d look to Sochi and see the young women of Pussy Riot be horse-whipped by Cossacks in the street?  In 2014?  But this week we did.  In Ukraine, blood and crisis.  A whiff of Cold War.  On ice, a tough U.S. women’s hockey loss to Canada.  In high-flying business this week, Facebook pays $19 billion for an app.  WhatsApp.  At the other end of the economy, the Congressional Budget Office says a $10.10 minimum wage could cost half a million jobs.  And in North Korea, the U.N. says, hell.  This hour On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook


Michael Hirsh, chief correspondent at the National Journal. (@michaelphirsh)

Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent for POLITICO and author of the “Morning Money” column. (@morningmoneyben)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Gets Ugly — “The protests in Ukraine took an ugly turn Tuesday as thousands of demonstrators rioted in Kiev, torching cars and buildings and hurling bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with rubber bullets and stun grenades. At least 18 people were confirmed dead as we went to press, and scores were injured in the latest clashes over the Yanukovych government’s Russian rapprochement.”

New York Times: Study Finds Greater Income Inequality in Nation’s Thriving Cities — “If you want to live in a more equal community, it might mean living in a more moribund economy. That is one of the implications of a new study of local income trends by the Brookings Institution, the Washington research group. It found that inequality is sharply higher in economically vibrant cities like New York and San Francisco than in less dynamic ones like Columbus, Ohio, and Wichita, Kan.”

Bloomberg: Facebook to Buy Messaging App WhatsApp for $19 Billion — Facebook Inc. (FB), the world’s largest social network, agreed to purchase mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp Inc. for as much as $19 billion in cash and stock, the biggest Internet acquisition in more than a decade. The accord includes $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in restricted shares, Facebook said in a statement yesterday. It’s the largest Internet deal since Time Warner’s $124 billion merger with AOL in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. WhatsApp has more than 450 million members, with 1 million users being added daily.

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