For the Global Thinker

Friday, March 29, 2013

'Underwear bomber' was working for the CIA

Bomber involved in plot to attack US-bound jet was working as an informer with Saudi intelligence and the CIA, it has emerged.


Iraq, Afghan wars will cost to $4 trillion to $6 trillion, Harvard study says

 A new study has put the total cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars at between $4 and $6 trillion. By my calculation that's more than $40,000 per American household. And of course that's just the financial cost, not including the toll in American or Iraqi lives.
 To put that sum in perspective, the mid-range figure of $5 trillion is enough (by UNESCO numbers) to get all the remaining unschooled kids in the world through primary school for the next 312 years. In other words, for the first time in the history of the world, we would have had universal literacy--and education often fights extremism more effectively than bombs.
Read more here...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

“As a culture, we’ve become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. And we could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco.” 


Also worth checking out...

It's Time to Upgrade Your Biological Software


Friday, March 8, 2013

Will the Middle Class Shake China?

Cultivating and satisfying the middle class was now an explicit part of the Party’s recipe for holding onto power.
A decade later, Chinese politics have not achieved that goal. The Chinese middle class— defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as those with the means to make spending decisions beyond just subsistence—is almost certainly growing: it is now about ten per cent of China’s population, and on pace to be forty per cent by 2020. But when it comes to politics, the Chinese government risks losing the support of the middle class...

This year, Bloomberg News reports a sharp increase in what we might call the Oligarch Index: the number of legislators who are on the list of China’s richest people grew seventeen per cent, from seventy-five to ninety—each with an average fortune of $1.1 billion.
The U.S. Congress has its own plutocracy problem, but in this case any equivalence is false. The House, Senate, and upper levels of the U.S. federal government do not boast a single billionaire (the Chinese government has scores of them)...

Read more here...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mexico's Disappeared

The full human cost of Mexico bloody drug war during the last six years is only now becoming apparent. Nearly 70,000 people died and more than 26,000 went missing between 2006 and 2012. 

A scathing new report by Human Rights Watch casts substantial blame for the problem on the country's security forces, which it says have not only been implicated in many of the underlying crimes but have failed to adequately investigate claims by friends and family members of the victims. The result, the report says, is the "most severe crisis of enforced disappearances in Latin America in decades."

Read more here... 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Plan an Around the World Trip

I stayed at a guesthouse in this area...great memories...

My round the world trip took a decade...but maybe yours can be shorter...If you want it to be....

Itʼs the ultimate trip: circumnavigating the planet, and stopping off wherever takes your fancy. Great for travellers who want to see it all, or who are just plain indecisive. But booking a round-the-world (RTW) trip can be a complex business. Hereʼs our guide to getting started.

How to do it

The most economical way to circumnavigate is to buy a round-the-world air ticket that uses one airline alliance. Theoretically, any routing is possible, but knowing how the RTW booking system works will make your trip cheaper. For example, the Star Alliance, a coalition of 27 airlines, offers a RTW ticket with a maximum of 15 stops. Its member airlines fly to 1185 airports in 185 countries

Read more here...