Mar 17, 2010
via Global News Journal

Did the manufacture of your iPhone make someone sick?


(Corrects name of author on March 17 and 6:38 p.m. ET)
This story by Kathleen E. McLaughlin is part of an ongoing GlobalPost investigation into the supply chains that make some of your favorite electronic gadgets.  In this installment, GlobalPost examined the fallout after a factory that supplies Apple and Nokia used the toxic solvent n-hexane in violation of local codes and without proper safety equipment. Though seven current and former workers said the chemical was used on Apple touch screens, Apple refused to comment.

SUZHOU, China — The mysterious illness began with an odd tingling of the fingers one week, a creeping numbness in the feet the next.

Mar 2, 2010
via FaithWorld

Opinion: Why France is right about the burqa

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Women wearing niqabs in Marseille, December 24, 2009/Jean-Paul Pelissier

This article by Olivier Guitta originally appeared in GlobalPost.

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The burqa has nothing to do with religion. It is a way for fanatical men to control women.

PARIS, France — In his 2009 Cairo address to the Muslim world, U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned no fewer than three times the issue of the headscarf, or hijab. Each time, his purpose was to stress “the right of women and girls to wear the hijab” — but never their right not to wear it.

Mar 1, 2010
via Environment Forum

Top 5 greenest cities in the world

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This article by Beth Hodgson originally appeared in GlobalPost.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen serious discussions taking place globally as countries and cities pledge to go green.

Some cities have made greener strides than others, which puts them at the top of the list for sustainability goals.

Feb 26, 2010
via Global News Journal

The comic books that brainwash North Koreans


By Geoffrey Cain

SEOUL, South Korea — Heinz Insu Fenkl, a literature professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, has cracked one secret to understanding the bizarre regime of North Korea: by reading its comic books.

The academic, who refers to himself as an American-Korean, spends hours in his office tucked away in upstate New York, churning out English translations of the rare books (called “gruim-chaek” in North Korea) after he gathers them at shops in China and from colleagues who travel to Pyongyang.

Feb 11, 2010
via Environment Forum

Venezuela tries to make it rain


This article by Charlie Devereux originally appeared in GlobalPost.

Flying high over Venezuela’s southeastern territories, a plane banks and fires into a mass of clouds.

Venezuela is not at war with the skies but with a severe drought that has caused an electricity crisis and forced the government to resort to unconventional methods to make it rain.

Feb 8, 2010
via MediaFile

Can Toyota Digg its way out of recall crisis?

This story by Thomas Mucha originally appeared in GlobalPost.

As Toyota careened from one recall crisis to the next, the contrast was almost funny.

In one corner, we had pure Kabuki theater — a highly-stylized corporate drama playing out on the world stage.

Feb 5, 2010
via Environment Forum

Walmart accused of hypocrisy in green initiatives

Just last month, Walmart announced that it would be moving to eliminate non-biodegradable plastic bags from stores across the United States to reduce their collection in landfills. While they’ve demonstrated positive green initiatives, this week there’s been accusations of hypocrisy because they’ve been passing off a harmful, manufactured textile as sustainable.

Environmental advocates had been applauding Walmart for their plastic bag reduction goals and the installation of more energy-efficient systems. For example, coolers that only light up when a shopper’s presence is detected. So this new accusation from the Federal Trade Commission comes at a bad time.

Feb 3, 2010
via Global News Journal

Where gays do serve, openly, in the military

C.M. Sennott

In many corners of the world, the policy on gays in the military could be labeled this way: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Care.”

In the military establishments of more than 30 countries, including U.S. allies such as Israel, Canada and the United Kingdom, gays and lesbians are allowed to openly serve in their country’s military.

Feb 2, 2010
via Global News Journal

China’s tougher than before

Kathleen E. McLaughlin

China’s irate reaction to the Obama administration’s approval of a $6.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan comes at a delicate time amid already growing tensions between the two global heavyweights.

The United States appears to be taking tougher stance on China than last year and Beijing is pushing back with confidence. In their latest quarrel, China lashed out at news of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan with a swift and strident reaction, raising red flags about the emerging power’s increasingly tense relationship with the United States. (In Taiwan, most back the deal.)

Jan 31, 2010
via Environment Forum

New world wines: now from the north

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This article by Paul Ames originally appeared in GlobalPost.

The terrace of the elegant 18th-century chateau offers views over the formal French garden and fields filled with neat rows of vines.

This idyllic scene could be reminiscent of Bordeaux or the Cotes du Rhone … were it not for all the snow.