This Week’s Top 10 (8/05/07-8/11/07)

  1. Poverty and Riches in Booming India: Tomorrow’s World Power Turns 60 from Der Spiegel

    It’s been 60 years since India won its independence and the country of Mahatma Gandhi is now on track to becoming a global power. But the country’s new prosperity remains elusive for many, with millions of farmers still leading lives of abject misery. SPIEGEL visits five very different places to see what India’s future holds.

  2. ‘Ladies’ Detective’ film brings Tinsel Town to tiny Botswana from Christian Science Monitor

    Alexander McCall Smith’s hit book series set in Botswana is bringing big-screen money the African country.

    This month, filming started on the first international movie ever to be shot in Botswana – The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, a movie based on Alexander McCall Smith’s hit book series of the same name.

    This means that [Botswana film producer Portia Molebedi Sorinyane] has a gig as an assistant producer. It also means that her country of 1.7 million, whose economy is almost entirely dependent on diamond mining, may be the latest nation to cash in on Tinseltown’s Africa fad and launch a lucrative new industry.

  3. Hack Hack, Cough Cough: The Olympics in China
    Mistakes of Olympian proportions from FP Passport

    Much ink has been spilled about how human-rights advocates are using the Olympics to embarrass the Chinese government. (Just now, Canadian pro-Tibet activists got in trouble for hanging a cheeky banner on the Great Wall.) The air-pollution issue only raises further questions about the wisdom of picking China to host the 2008 Olympics.

    Athletes Struggle for Air Amid China’s Pollution from NPR (Duration: 4:26)

    One year before the Beijing Olympics begin, air pollution in China is causing a lot of concern.

    This September, the Women’s World Cup of Soccer will take place in China. Recently, the Canadian team traveled to Beijing to train, and found breathing was not easy.

    The team’s exercise physiologist, Greg Anderson, talks with Michele Norris.

  4. Wal-Mart pays Mexican teens $0 an hour from Boing Boing

    The young (14+) teenagers that Wal-Mart employs as after-school baggers at its Mexican stores earn nothing at all — paid only in tips. Technically, this complies with local labor laws, while violating the hell out of their spirit.

  5. Latin American Banana Farmers Sue Over Pesticides from Treehugger

    At least 5,000 agricultural workers from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama have filed five lawsuits in the United States. The farmers claim that exposure in the 1970s to dibromochlorpropane (DBCP), a pesticide banned in the United States in 1979 for its reproductive toxicity, left them bereft of the pitter-patter of little feet.

    Classified by the U.S. Environmental Agency as a “probable human carcinogen,” DBCP is a fumigant designed to eradicate a worm that infests the roots of banana trees and causes the fruit to develop a mottled appearance. (As if American supermarket shoppers would tolerate blemished bananas. The nerve.)

    “This is the first time any case for a banana worker has come before a U.S. court,” Duane Miller, one of the attorneys representing more than 30 Nicaraguan plaintiffs who worked on plantations from 1964 to 1990, tells BusinessWeek.

  6. House Passes Clean Energy Bills Including National Renewable Energy Standard from It’s Getting Hot In Here

    The House passes crucial clean energy legislation [ H.R.3221 and H.R.2776], but challenges still await in the form of a contentious conference committee and a possible presidential veto.

    The nearly $16 billion in clean energy appropriations in the two bills are funded by eliminating oil and gas company tax breaks and closing loopholes and correcting mistakes in current tax and royalty laws.

  7. Lenovo targets Chinese farmers from PSD Blog

    The world’s third largest computer producer will release a $199 PC to rural China. In the countryside, where nearly 800 million people live, incomes average at $560 a year and have been growing at an annual rate of 10 percent.

    Additionally, later this year, Lenovo will start furbishing its computers with Linux instead of Windows operating system – a move that may potentially further lower the price, and undercut Dell.

  8. Startup: Rwanda from CNN’s Business 2.0

    Rwanda is home to one of the most hopeful, if little noticed, transformations in the bottom-line world of business. An African killing field, roughly the size of Vermont, turning into a mecca for venture capitalists?

  9. Rural Biogas, Global Carbon Market from World Changing

    A renewable energy project in the North Kolar district of Karnataka, South India, has helped villagers adopt clean energy solutions while also generating emissions “credits” that can be sold on the international carbon market.

  10. ENVIRONMENT-PAKISTAN: Drip Irrigation – Answer to Water Shortages from IPS

    Faced with acute water shortages, the Pakistan government has launched a 1.3 billion US dollar subsidised drip irrigation programme that could help reduce wastage over the next five years.

In the “worst PR move EVER” news:
Johnson & Johnson sues the American Red Cross over use of the … uh .. red cross from IHT

The Buzz Out Loud Crew from CNET guesses that the maligned PR team resigned in shock and horror at the move.