The Digital Conversationalist

Weekend Reads

#75 Weekend reads – and Pandora’s box was opened plus more

Welcome to another week of news, and of course, the Pandora Papers was an early leader in headlines around the world. A stash of 12 million leaked confidential financial records threw a light on the concealed wealth of powerful public figures around the world.

Essentially, this is how the wealthy hide their money.

While there is definite criminality and money laundering in the mix of this news story, one thing was clear – many of the people mentioned are not doing anything illegal. For me, however, in a world of rising inequality and a global economic crisis that is devastating so many, it is a moral issue and speaks to what must change as we redesign a new future.

Covid continues its advance around the world, with Alaska now the worst hit US state, and doctors have been forced to decide who lives and who dies. The US hit 700,000 deaths from Covid last week, due to the combination of vaccine refusal and the delta variant. In Florida and Texas, which accounts for 15 per cent of the country’s population, it’s experiencing more than 30 per cent of the nation’s deaths since the nation crossed the 600,000 threshold.

And the environment was a mix of many news stories, withan oil spill off the California Coast that caused major environmental damage, as well as two wet weather events of note.

Italy experienced two feet of rain falling in half a day, which has never been experienced in Europe before. In Oman, a rare tropical cyclone dumped years’ worth of rainfall, bringing deadly floods to a nation that rarely sees rain in an entire year.

The fires continue, with one in eight acres in California burned in the last decade, and while we’ve been stunned with California, in Northern Russia, it’s estimated 65,000 square miles have burned — which is more than six times the area burnt in the United States so far this year!

But don’t worry, according to the IMF, the fossil fuel industry continues to get subsidies – a meagre $11 million a minute – and a new study from the American Chemical Society shows infants ingest 10-15 times more microplastics than adults.

Probably the biggest news for me this week, is the announcement of a new Malaria vaccine – which is more than 100 years in the making!!! There are more than 100 types of malaria parasites impacting humans, and this RTS,S vaccine targets the one that is most deadly and most common in Africa, which has 94% of the cases of Malaria.

A trial showed the vaccine prevents four in 10 cases of malaria, three in 10 severe cases, and the number of children needing blood transfusions has fallen by a third. I think that’s worth celebrating.

There’s so much more going on, this is just a flavor. Dig into the news that matters below and let me know what got your attention this week?

Friend’s content and mine

Ask and ye shall receive. But only if ye asketh nicely my wonderful friend Jian Yang has the largest Barbie Doll collection in the world and he’s a really unique influencer. Great insight on his experience with PR people who want to benefit from his influence.

The Singapore mental health advocates to follow on LinkedIn big shout out to the wonderful Sha En Yeo, who made the list of Singapore mental health advocates to follow on LinkedIn. Well deserved, a fabulous lady.

I released two podcasts this week. First up, 45 ideas to inspire you to reduce your impact on the environment with Susanna Hasenoehrl – The Sustainability Speaker, Tim Wade – who speaks about winning through change, Michelle Mouille – founder of the Sustainable Mai Khao Foundation, and Joanne Flinn, The Strategic Sustainability Lady. If you are looking for a place to start making changes in your life, this is it!

We call it the Divorce Booster is a chat with my hubby, following our third booster shot less than three months after the first two jabs. It seems other’s are experiencing this too, and not necessarily because they got the booster. Do take care of yourselves.

Top 20 polluters in the world

Donation time

If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Help us feed people in Phuket or donate to the UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , , Soi Dog Foundation.  It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.

Climate crisis

Most concrete produces pollution. This concrete is made of it

Fast fashion: The dumping ground for unwanted clothes tks Steve Johnson

Forget plans to lower emissions by 2050 – this is deadly procrastination

Apple and Disney among companies backing groups against US climate bill

Babies Ingesting High Levels of Microplastics, Alarming Research Finds

Shareholders use annual general meetings to demand climate action from ASX-listed companies tks Jenni McDonald

Facebook to act on illegal sale of Amazon rainforest

Biden Administration Restores Bird Protections, Repealing Trump Rule

The Most Cost-Effective Climate Solution Available: Keep Forests Where They Are

Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds

Over two feet of rain fell in Italy in only half a day, something not seen in Europe before tks Teressa Bayes

1 in 8 acres in California has burned in last decade

You thought the U.S. fire season was bad. Russia’s is much worse.

Occurrence of Polyethylene Terephthalate and Polycarbonate Microplastics in Infant and Adult Feces tks Susanna Hasenoehrl

Brazil: Strong winds cause sandstorm in São Paulo

Work on complex systems, including Earth’s climate, wins the physics Nobel Prize

The climate crisis is destroying the human rights of those least responsible for it

A rare ecological gem is slicked with spilled oil — again

An Open Letter from U.S. Scientists Imploring President Biden to End the Fossil Fuel Era tks Robert Kirubi

Parag Khanna on the forces creating a new geography of opportunity

Jet stream could lurch off course by 2060 and drive extreme weather in US and Europe, study warns

Exxon and BP called to testify on climate after ‘troubling’ new documents

‘Major’ Oil Spill Off California Coast Threatens Wetlands and Wildlife

World’s oldest tropical rainforest handed back to Aboriginal owners in historic deal

Cities are turning into rivers? Severe floods in Liguria, Italy – tks Sophia Henri


They Had the Vaccines and a Plan to Reopen. Instead They Got Cold Feet.

47 countries to be removed from red list in dramatic travel reshuffle tks Mireille Barber

What You Need to Know About Merck’s New Covid Treatment Pill

In many rich countries covid-19 has slashed life expectancy to below 2015 levels

Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid ‘miracle’ drug

I’m entitled not to listen to Sage, says Sajid Javid tks Pooneh Fooladi

Study reveals why some people get Covid toe condition

Battling Delta, New Zealand Abandons Its Zero-Covid Ambitions

To Prevent the Next Pandemic, Scientists Seek One Vaccine for Many Coronaviruses

‘Not just a number.’ COVID deaths pass 700,000 in U.S. amid vaccine refusal, delta variant

A few skeptical U.S. hospital workers choose dismissal over vaccine

In Alaska’s Covid Crisis, Doctors Must Decide Who Lives and Who Dies

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager says vaccine is ‘not a limit on freedom’

Global Politics

Deadly attack hits Kunduz mosque during Friday prayers

Australia ends controversial asylum detention deal with Papua New Guinea

ICAC is not a curse, and probity in government matters. The Australian media would do well to remember that tks Willie Wahlin

Let the light in: why the Guardian is publishing the Pandora papers

What the ‘Pandora Papers’ show about how the powerful hide money from public view

Pandora Papers: A Money Bomb With Political Ripples

Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed

Pandora Papers: Uhuru Kenyatta family’s secret assets exposed by leak

Pandora Papers: World leaders deny wrongdoing after leaks

Pandora Papers: How leak is being reported around the world

Pandora Papers: The secret owners of UK property worth billions

NSW must do better than Dominic Perrottet as premier tks Phillipa Edwards

Report finds Trump’s DC hotel lost $70m during his presidency

Business and Technology

Global Deal to End Tax Havens Moves Ahead as Nations Back 15% Rate tks Joanne Flinn

Clearly, Facebook Is Very Flawed. What Will We Do About It?

We need to talk about Facebook PR guy Andy Stone

The Whistleblower’s Guide to Fixing Facebook

Buckle up because global markets are in for a bumpy ride in the days and months ahead

World’s Biggest Stock Market Loser Just Keeps Falling

Whistleblower: Facebook is misleading the public on progress against hate speech, violence, misinformation

Frances Haugen: Facebook whistleblower reveals identity

Facebook ‘tearing our societies apart’: key excerpts from a whistleblower tks Aysen Yilmaz

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp reconnecting after nearly six-hour outage

Recession warning: ‘Biggest crash in world history’ to hit gold, silver and Bitcoin

Keppel O&M completes construction of 2 offshore substations in renewable energy push tks Susanna Hasenoehrl

Social issues and humanity

Historic go-ahead for malaria vaccine to protect African children

Parents convicted in first university admissions scandal trial

The Attack Of The Civilization-State

A preacher on TikTok and a politician on Facebook spark concerns over Malaysia’s racial divide

Texas abortion: US appeals court reinstates near total ban

Texas abortion: Judge temporarily blocks enforcement of law

Opioid crisis: US pharmacies face moment of truth as trial begins

The flood that drowned American dreams

French Church abuse: 216,000 victims since 1950

American Gentry

As abortion debate heats up, perceptions of Supreme Court change

The Social Security Trap

Church sex abuse: Thousands of paedophiles in French Church, inquiry says

Housing Boss Earns $1 Million to Run Shelters Despite a Troubled Past

Abortion rights march: Thousands attend rallies across US

Chimamanda Embarrass Europe By Reminding them if their Horrific Acts Towards Africans – tks Robert Kirubi

Passion, humour, history

Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov share award

Nobel prize for literature 2021 awarded to Zanzibar-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah

HBO releases House of the Dragon teaser trailer

Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!



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