Morning briefing: borders prove porous

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Each day through the Monitor's Daily News Briefing, we offer readers a three-page overview of stories that our editors consider most important. An e-mail prompt at 5 a.m. (Eastern Time, US) tells you that the briefing is there. I'm planning to put the "Editor's View" column on the Connecting the Dots blog Monday through Friday around mid-morning. To get a jump on the day, I'd like to invite you to subscribe to the briefing. You can find a subscription form by clicking here.

Here's today's briefing:

If there's one thing the 21st century has taught us, it's that we live in a world where borders are less rigid than ever. From the global economic crisis to the environment, from terrorism to public health, no nation is an island. In today's Daily News Briefing, the Monitor's Sara Miller Llana reports on the economic impact of the swine flu outbreak on Mexico. Labor, goods, services, families, business partnerships – all such relations between the US could be affected by Mexico's struggle.
In el Norte, meanwhile, Mark Trumbull writes about General Motors's restructuring plan, which includes the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand. In a world where GM's brands compete with high-quality vehicles from Japan, Korea, and Germany, the US carmaker has had to adjust.
And in another part of the world, Caryl Murphy writes from Saudi Arabia about the restive Shiite population in the Gulf as tensions rise between the West and Iran over the Iranian nuclear program.
Each of these stories has implications far from the dateline under which they were written. Each shows how important it is for governments, businesses, and alert concerned readers to understand that very little happens in isolation.
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