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Dr M says 1Malaysia interpreted differently by races

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, declaring his support for the 1Malaysia concept, says the problem now was that various races in the country have different interpretations of the slogan, which had become the rallying call of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.   Due to this, he said implementing the concept would become even more difficult, reported Bernama. "I spoke to the Chinese community, the Malays and their views on 1Malaysia differ. It is difficult if they have different interpretations of the concept. Because of this,,1Malaysia needs detailed explanation," he told reporters after breaking fast in Kodiang, here last night. Dr Mahathir also said while the Najib′s administration wanted to bring changes, it had to safeguard the interest of the Bumiputeras as they still needed government help. "If they are not helped, then we are finished... we would end up like Singapore. If we practise meritocracy, it has a lot of effects. This is why I say that it can become racist because it takes away the rights of the Malays and other Bumiputeras. "If we use the merit system, half of the university students (Bumiputera) don′t qualify. (Bumiputera) traders in cities will also vanish... then i′ts finished," he added.…
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Bjørn Lomborg: the dissenting climate change voice

With his new book, Danish scientist Bjørn Lomborg has become an unlikely advocate for huge investment in fighting global warming. But his answers are unlikely to satisfy all climate change campaigners. Few statisticians can have inspired more passion than Bjørn Lomborg, the Danish academic who became famous as the author of the controversial (some would say contrarian) Skeptical Environmentalist, which set him up as perhaps the world′s best-known critic of the dominant scientific view of global warming and the ensuing climate change.   Lomborg′s prolific output has been almost matched by books rubbishing his work: critics have described him as selective, unprofessional and confused. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN′s climate change panel, has compared him to Adolf Hitler – for the statistical crime of treating human beings too much like numbers. Meanwhile, Time Magazine declared Lomborg one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004. The respected Cambridge University Press (CUP) has published many of his books in the UK and the US, and the award-winning documentary maker Ondi Timoner and X-Men films producer, Ralph Winter, are about to release a film of his 2007 book Cool It (which carries the subtitle: the first optimistic film…
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Andres Oppenheimer, Latin America’s rich should be more generous

A new report stating that Latin America’s rich have gotten richer despite the region’s economic downturn is likely to enrage populist leaders. But what should be more worrisome is that the region’s wealthy plan to give less to charity than their counterparts elsewhere.     According to the “World Wealth Report 2010” released by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, the combined wealth of Latin America’s rich — defined as people who have more than $1 million in financial investments, excluding homes and art collections — grew by 15 percent last year, just below the 19 percent world average. But if we measure the wealth of Latin America’s rich since the beginning of the 2007 world economic crisis, their financial investments grew by 8 percent, more than in any other region, the report’s authors say. This is because while the U.S. and European rich lost a big chunk or their fortunes in the 2008 stock market crash, Latin Americans benefited from having safer investments, and from seeing their incomes rise because of their countries’ strong currencies and booming stock markets. “Latin American high net worth individuals had very good growth rates,” Ileana Van der Linde, one of the study’s lead authors, told…
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Medikidz, Health issues get comics treatment

Medikidz: AN IDEA dreamed up in a Dunedin student flat is sweeping the world and this week comes home to New Zealand.   Medikidz comic books – the brainchild of former Hawke′s Bay doctor Kim Chilman-Blair – tell sick children aged 10-15 what their illness is, what medication will do and what treatments it will involve. The 34-year-old doctor said she realised while training at Auckland′s Starship hospital that there was a gap in resources available to children to tell them – in a way they would understand – what was happening to them.     After completing her degree in 2003 and while working part-time in paediatrics, she decided to take action and went back to Otago University to complete a Masters of Entrepreneurship, focusing on the idea, now called Medikidz. She joined forces with fellow Otago graduate Kate Hersov to produce the books and the pair moved to London to be closer to larger markets. They have since employed a team of 21 and published 20 comic books. Since last September′s official launch, more than 600,000 of the comics have been sold to hospitals, doctors′ clinics and families in the UK, US, India and Europe. The Medikidz are…
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U.N. selecting climate scientist to produce the fifth flagship report

The United Nations panel of climate scientist plans to tackle the way societies adapt to a changing climate and the effects of food insecurity in its next report on climate change, senior officials said on Thursday.   The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently selecting 600 to 700 climate scientist from over 3,000 nominations to produce the fifth flagship report, due in 2014, said IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri. Earlier this year the IPCC said that its last assessment report, issued in 2007, had exaggerated the pace at which Himalayan glaciers were melting and overstated how much of the Netherlands was below sea level. Those errors, coupled with persistent doubts in some quarters that human activity is warming the planet, prompted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in March to announce a review of U.N. climate science by a committee of national science academies to restore trust. Pachauri told a news conference the IPCC was looking forward to the report and recommendations of the committee at the end of August, and noted he had appeared before it a week ago.     The 2014 report will examine increasing acidity in oceans, how societies adapt to climate change, and the impact of…
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Joseph Stiglitz: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy

No one can say they weren′t warned. A decade ago, newly sacked from his job as chief economist at the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz laid bare how the global economy ideologues at the US ­Treasury and the International Monetary Fund had botched the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. It was a full-on attack from a Washington insider and it hurt, especially when Stiglitz said many of those responsible for forcing countries such as Thailand and Indonesia into deeper, longer recessions were "third-rate graduates from first-rate universities".   He concluded his essay in the New Republic by warning the IMF and the US Treasury that unless they began a dialogue with their critics "things will continue to go very, very wrong". Now they have. The Asian crisis of 1997-98 was merely the warm-up act for the events of the past two and a half years. Problems that first surfaced on the periphery of the global economy gradually worked their way to its core – the United States. The warnings of Stiglitz and a handful of other ­dissident voices were ignored, as a naïve ­belief in the self-correcting ­nature of markets allowed the conditions to develop for the biggest financial and…
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Muhammad Yunus: urge companies to start social business programs

The pioneer of micro credit, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, is coming to Australia to urge companies to start social business programs. A rare example of a business champion winning a Nobel prize, he is visiting Sydney and Melbourne on March 8 and 9 to speak to people in the private sector "to see if social business makes sense to them".     Professor Yunus believes such projects might work especially well in indigenous Australia. He has developed this new concept over the past two years -- following the resounding success of his micro-credit scheme, for which he launched the Grameen Bank in his home country of Bangladesh. Through social business, he said, firms apply their technology, management and design skills to solving a poverty or ill-health challenge, and retrieve their outlays -- but at cost, without making a profit. In Bangladesh, French dairy giant Danone has formed a social business firm in partnership with Grameen to manufacture and distribute yoghurt, boosted with extra nutrients, to children suffering from malnutrition. German chemical conglomerate BASF has also joined a social business with Grameen to produce mosquito nets impregnated with defensive chemicals to guard against malaria. Other firms have begun delivering…
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Branson warns that oil crunch is coming within five years after the peak oil

Sir Richard Branson and fellow leading businessmen will warn ministers this week that the world is running out of oil and faces an oil crunch within five years. The founder of the Virgin group, whose rail, airline and travel companies are sensitive to energy prices, will say that the ­coming crisis could be even more serious than the credit crunch       "The next five years will see us face another crunch – the oil crunch. This time, we do have the chance to prepare. The challenge is to use that time well," Branson will say."Our message to government and businesses is clear: act," he says in a foreword to a new report on the crisis. "Don′t let the oil crunch catch us out in the way that the credit crunch did." Other British executives who will support the warning include Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy group, and Brian Souter, chief executive of transport operator Stagecoach. Their call for urgent government action comes amid a wider debate on the issue and follows allegations by insiders at the International Energy Agency that the organisation had deliberately underplayed the threat of so-called "peak oil" to avoid panic…
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John Bruton,Elected to Ingersoll Rand Board a leading diversified industrial firm

The Board of Directors of Ingersoll-Rand plc a leading diversified industrial firm, yesterday elected John Bruton, former European Union Ambassador to the United States, as a member of the Board.     Mr. Bruton served as EU Ambassador to the United States for five years, having been appointed to the post in November 2004 after serving as a Vice President of the European People′s Party. Mr. Bruton also served as the Prime Minister of Ireland from 1994 to 1997, and helped transform Ireland into one of the world′s leading economies. While Prime Minister, Mr. Bruton also presided over an Irish EU Presidency in 1996 and helped finalize the Stability and Growth Pact, which governs the management of the single European currency, the Euro. "Ingersoll Rand, the industrial firm, is privileged to benefit from Mr. Bruton′s long and successful career of public service on behalf of Ireland and Europe," said Herbert L. Henkel, chairman of Ingersoll Rand. "Mr. Bruton has extraordinary insight into critical regional and global economic, social and political issues, and his perspective and guidance will be greatly valued as we continue to execute our company′s strategic plan." Mr. Bruton holds a B.A. in Economics and Politics from University…
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Kevin Bertram: Despite Cost, Political Campaigns Try Mobile

Many political campaigns have begun to incorporate mobile elements such as mobile sites, SMS, and apps. However the channel has not been universally embraced by new media political consultants - and has even raised some hackles among those who see it as a costly distraction from their bread and butter Internet efforts.   "What I′ve found is that a large portion of new media folks view mobile as [something flashy]," said Kevin Bertram, CEO of Distributive Networks, a mobile marketing firm that does work for political campaigns and corporate advertisers. Because SMS text messaging programs, and development of mobile applications and sites "have fairly high upfront costs, new media consultants are definitely choking at the costs associated with them," he said. Compared to setting up a Twitter account or Facebook page, for example, "Setting up a short code, setting up a platform - it′s a much more significant cost and effort and I think there′s resentment because new media was the red headed stepchild for so long and now that it′s finally getting some respect, people don′t want to give up those hard earned dollars." While he recognizes such financial considerations as "very reasonable," Bertram said, "I think that it′s…