- Jon finally starts his own blog, so he’ll stop writing lengthy obscure comments on my blog, and will have fun playing with his own toy. Check it out. It’s already a classic.
- Al Gore moved a step closer to sainthood when he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, in a move which has prompted Arianna Huffington to wonder if anyone has ever won an Oscar and a Nobel Prize in the same year? It certainly makes me wonder if he won’t become a candidate to another – altogether more important – race…
- Arms to Africa? Alan Hudson at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) steps into the debate on the BAE Systems sale of expensive air traffic control systems to Tanzania, opening it up to broader questions of policy coherence towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals;
- The Gates Foundation displays its double standards and lack of coherence for investing into oil companies that are operating in Nigeria and are causing those very health problems they are trying to solve;
- The Guardian reports on how Kenya fell in love with its stock market. From trendy businessmen, to farmers from the provinces, everyone seems to be profiting from this bull market, but how long will it last before it bursts? [via Africa Unchained]
- Giuliano Amato (former Italian PM, now Minister of Interior and chair of the Action Committee for European Democracy) writes an insightful piece on the FT about the future of the Constitution (or how we might quietly be allowed to bury it, while pushing forward by other means those bits that matter, like an EU Foreign Minister!) [via Nanne]
- J. Ignacio Torreblanca takes the lead from the recent revelations by El Pais, in which US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is said to have admitted to Europe’s Foreign Ministers that the US did violate their sovereignty to kidnap and remove from their territories suspected terrorists, to assess the (positive) state of Europe’s nascent public sphere.
- Jérôme Guillet on Foreign Policy gets Gazprom and Russia off the hook, and blames instead the European leaders, who are trying to distract the public from the mess they’ve made of European energy policy;
- The Hermitage Foundation ranks Russia just below Communist China in their Index of Economic Freedom, a statement that is already generating fierce arguments across the blogsphere on the nature of economic freedom and on the motives of the Foundation itself [via Siberian Light];
The United States
- That old fox of George Soros causes a huge mayheam when he proclaims that the US should not fail to recognize its mistakes in Iraq, in the way Germany, Turkey and Japan did, and adds that the country needs to start thinking about a process of de-Nazification. Read Steve Clemon’s powerful commentary on the issue, which lashes out at Soros’ most vitriolic attack, Martin Perez’s The Madness of King George. [via The Huffington Post’s Blog];
- Barack Obama ends months of speculation by launching his presidential bid, which will pitch him against Hillary Clinton in an attempt to revitalize the Democratic Party’s chances of success.
Information Technology and Innovation
- See this webcast from the World Economic Forum’s panel discussion on The Impact of Web 2.0 and Emerging Social Network Models, starring Caterina Fake (Flickr), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Mark G. Parker(Nike) and Viviane Reding (EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media) – the most intersting bit arrives 35′ in, with a discussion on democracy and Web 2.0.
- Read these three pieces of a global picture that is emerging of governments and corporations moving away from Microsoft and towards open source. 1) France: the French automaker Peugot Citroen has announced that over the next several years they will be integrating up to 20,000 Novell SUSE desktops as well as 2,500 SUSE servers into their facilities. (Let’s hope that, in Novell, Peugeot Citroen hasn’t bought a lemon.) 2) Sweden: the Swedish Armed Forces has made a decision to migrate its Windows NT servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 3) Russia. VE3OGG writes: “It would seem that after the recent Russian piracy debacle that could see a school headmaster jailed in a Siberian work camp for purchasing pirated copies of Windows for his school, the Ministry of Education in Russia has decided that the school boards will no longer be purchasing any commercial software.” [via Jon]