Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 4/18 - What's Happening Where In Ukraine, Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Friday, April 18, 2014, 10:57 AM

Economy

Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama (Michael W.)

I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticise the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.

Cost of Treatment May Influence Doctors (jdargis)

Traditionally, guidelines have heavily influenced the practice of medicine, and the latest ones are expected to make doctors more conscious of the economic consequences of their decisions — even though there is no obligation to follow them. Medical society guidelines are also used by insurance companies to help determine reimbursement policies.

Ukraine crisis: What is happening where? (jdargis)

Deposed President Viktor Yanukovych's home town, this city on the Krynka river is about 50km (30 miles) from Donetsk, the region's administrative centre. Another industrial city, with a population of around 185,000, it has coal mines, metal works, chemical factories and other manufacturing production. Yenakiyevo Iron and Steel Works is part of Ukraine's largest metal and mining group Metinvest. The Russian flag and the flag of the so-called "Donetsk Republic" are said to been hoisted over several seized government buildings.

A Single Pot Plant Uses HOW Much Water?! (jdargis)

Of course, legal agriculture isn't a paragon of environmental responsibility, and criminal pot farms aren't the only operations wreaking water havoc in California. As I wrote recently, the state's ag-heavy Central Valley is currently in the midst of sucking dry its fossil water resources, driven largely by a boom in tree nut production and a near-complete lack of regulation of groundwater pumping. The situation has gotten so dire that even big farming interests, which have for decades fought back any pumping regulations, are openly considering the possible need for smarter water rules.

Why climate change hits the world’s poor harder (jdargis)

Sea level rise, while considerably less sudden than a flash flood, also threatens many poor, low-lying coastal areas and islands. More than 175 million people live on the Ganges-Brahmaputra and Mekong River deltas, for example, where large amounts of food are grown. Rising sea level means worse flooding, invading saltwater, and a loss of land, displacing many and eliminating their livelihoods.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It... and He Feels Fine (jdargis)

The first thing that Kingsnorth did was draft a manifesto. Also called “Uncivilization,” it was an intense, brooding document that vilified progress. “There is a fall coming,” it announced. “After a quarter-century of complacency, in which we were invited to believe in bubbles that would never burst, prices that would never fall . . . Hubris has been introduced to Nemesis.”

Beijing’s Bad-Air Days, Finally Counted (jdargis)

The wide discrepancy is because the U.S. has tighter standards for concentrations of PM2.5 — tiny particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 microns in length that are harmful to human health. The U.S. limit for a “good” day is a PM2.5 concentration of no more than 12 micrograms per cubic meter. By comparison, China’s limit for a “good” day is 34 micrograms per cubic meter.

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds' (Suzie G.)

At an event on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa. Anyone receiving the seeds must pledge not to restrict their use by means of patents, licenses or any other kind of intellectual property. In fact, any future plant that's derived from these open source seeds also has to remain freely available as well.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 4/17/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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