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Pieces Together

THE WASTEFUL SOCIETY

"World military spending grew 45 percent in the past decade, with the United States accounting for nearly half of all expenditure, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Monday. Military spending grew six percent last year alone, according to SIPRI's annual report. In 2007, 1,339 billion dollars (851 billion euros) was spent on arms and other military expenditure, corresponding to 2.5 percent of global gross domestic product, or GDP -- or 202 dollars for each of the world's 6.6 billion people. The United States spends by far the most towards military aims, dishing out 547 billion dollars last year, or 45 percent of global expenditure. (Yahoo News, 9 June)

 

THE SCIENCE OF DENIAL

"The Bush administration has worked overtime to manipulate or conceal scientific evidence — and muzzled at least one prominent scientist — to justify its failure to address climate change. Its motives were transparent: the less people understood about the causes and consequences of global warming, the less they were likely to demand action from their leaders. And its strategy has been far too successful. Seven years later, Congress is only beginning to confront the challenge of global warming. The last week has brought further confirmation of the administration’s cynicism. An internal investigation by NASA’s inspector general concluded that political appointees in the agency’s public affairs office had tried to restrict reporters’ access to its leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen. He has warned about climate change for 20 years and has openly criticized the administration’s refusal to tackle the issue head-on." (New York Times, 4 June)

 

JAILHOUSE BLUES

"The United States has 2.3 million people behind bars, more than any other country in the world and more than ever before in its history, Human Rights Watch said Friday. The number represents an incarceration rate of 762 per 100,000 residents, compared to 152 per 100,000 in Britain, 108 in Canada, and 91 in France, HRW said in a statement commenting on Justice Department figures also released Friday.” (Yahoo News, 6 June)

 

PAY KILLERS MORE SAY THE CITY

"Now working in the City, Mr Galloway is also involved in campaigning against the limitations of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. He hopes that by

speaking out he can highlight the plight of men and women accustomed to risking their lives. "Everyone always wants a pay rise. But soldiers really do need to feel appreciated," he said." (BBC News, 5 June)