Geopolitics





Reports Peter Aldhous on New Scientist:

It’s easy not to trash the planet — if you’re dirt poor and die young. But is it possible for all of us to live long and satisfying lives without costing the Earth? That’s the question behind a measure of national well-being called the Happy Planet Index (HPI). Its latest update, released this week ahead of the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development, names Costa Rica as the world’s most “developed” nation and puts the US on the sick list.

To show how different the world looks when viewed according to the HPI, rather than conventional wealth, New Scientist applied distorting lenses. In the top map, countries are sized according to their GDP, and shaded by GDP per capita. As sub-Saharan Africa almost shrinks from view, western Europe, the US and Japan swell and flush a deep red.

But this wealth has fuelled massively unsustainable use of natural resources. Nic Marks of the New Economics Foundation in London developed HPI as an alternative measure, “to capture the tension between good lives now and good lives in the future”…


I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. No doubt Mitt Romney will be quick to turn this into an anti-Obama attack ad. Writes Zach Carter at the Huffington Post:

A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

The leaked document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration’s trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive.

“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a written statement…




Reports ABC News: A senior Australian Defence Force officer has revealed details of how the Royal Australian Air Force deploys Israeli-owned drones for battlefield surveillance and to target anti-government Islamic fighters in…




Via Media Roots:

For the last half century, an organization comprised of the .001% of the world’s elite called the Bilderberg Group has met annually around the world with almost no official press coverage. During the meetings, the top 140 of the world’s power brokers in banking, oil, food, media, defense, royalty and politics are believed to make policy decisions behind closed doors that affect the rest of the world.

From Thursday, May 31st to Sunday, June 3rd, the annual Bilderberg Conference took place at the Westfields Marriot in Chantilly, Virginia, a city located right next to Washington, DC. I went to cover this year’s Bilderberg Conference and mass protests that took place all weekend for RT TV. People across many political spectrums — including Ron Paul libertarians to Occupy Wall Street protesters — joined together to rally against the covert meeting of the minds, in which the protesters claim sets a global agenda to perpetuates their own power structure while subjugating the rest of humanity…


USA! USA! So says CBS News:

But why? It’s largely due to America’s reputation as the gold standard in sperm, Time magazine senior editor Jeffrey Kluger said Thursday on CBS This Morning.

“As with any other good product, the two keys are quality control and versatility, variety of product. We have very, very strict (Food and Drug Administration) controls on who can donate and how heavily they have to be screened. We also have a multi-ethnic population, which means we’re very appealing to the world because people can come in from Japan, from Brazil, anywhere else and find a genetically, ethnically matching baby.”

There are now nearly 700 sperm banks in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration. The fertility industry in the U.S. has grown from $979 million in 1988 to a projected $4.3 billion in 2013, according to Marketdata, an industry analysis and market studies publisher. Men are paid based on quality standards, such as their level of health, height and education. A man can make $500 per donation, and up to $60,000 annually, according to the Time magazine report…


We invented Democracy (with a capital “D”). Writes Derek Thompson in the Atlantic:

Greece is the hardest-working country in the EU! According to Greece. And only Greece.

According to Britain, Germany, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic, it’s the laziest country in Europe.

Meanwhile, Germany is the most respected EU country, according to the Pew Global report, European Unity on the Rocks. And Greece appears to be living in a bizarro universe where 78% of its respondents held negative views of Germany. Three in five Greeks said their country had Europe’s hardest working citizens. Half of the rest of the respondents from the other seven nations said Greece had the laziest workforce in Europe…






Robert MugabeDavid Usborne writes in the Independent:

Never mind that Robert Mugabe is under a travel ban for his cruel stewardship of Zimbabwe since independence. The United Nations, in its wisdom, has designated him a “leader for tourism” and chosen the Victoria Falls, shared with Zambia, as the venue for a holiday industry conference next year.

At the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), based in Madrid, the thinking seems to be: “If the old man can’t visit us then we should visit him.”

The honour was made official when UNWTO head, Taleb Rifai, arrived at the Falls for a ceremony to name Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosts of the 2013 conference … Kumbi Muchemwa, a spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said: “I can’t see any justification for the man being an ‘ambassador’. An ambassador for what? The man has blood on his hands. Do they want tourists to see those bloody hands?”…


Via We Are Change: For decades, a shadowy and secret elite organization called the Bilderberg Group has plotted policy together that subjugates humanity under the cover of darkness. On the first day…


Writes Jon Evans on TechCrunch: The government of Syria uses made-in-California technology from BlueCoat Systems to censor the Internet and spy on its pro-democracy activists (who are regularly arrested and tortured, not…



Reports Aviation Week: Mankind’s next objective in space exploration should be the establishment of a permanent international base on the Moon, in the “professional opinion” of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, instead…