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Top 10 Takeaways From the G7

The leaders of the G7 met in Schloss-Elmau, Germany June 7th through the 8th to collaborate on a variety of topics ranging from international security to climate change and global health. The G7 Leaders’ Declaration, released at the end of the summit, highlights key commitments made during the summit. Here are the top 10 takeaways, in no particular order.

Photo Friday: The New Green Pope

Pope Benedict XVI was deemed the “Green Pope” and it appears his successor, Pope Francis, has a green streak as well. Francis’s highly anticipated encyclical, released June 18, focuses on the controversial topic of climate change.

Since first entering the country last month, MERS (middle east respiratory syndrome) has infected more than 150 people in South Korea. Individuals in and surrounding the nation fear for their health in the midst of a dwindling economy. South Koreans are staying home, tourists are avoiding the region, and the private sector is doubting South Korea’s economic viability. The nation seemingly views the outbreak as a second-coming of the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic that depressed Asia’s economy 12 years ago.

Photo Friday: One Blogger, 1000 Lashes, and the Fight for Free Speech

A cane slammed against Raif Badawi for the fiftieth and final time of the day while a lively crowd cheered, “Allahu Akbar”(God is greatest). 31-year-old Badawi’s shackled, motionless body mirrored his expressionless face as he restrained from exhibiting pain. Five months later, Saudi Arabia’s supreme court confirmed Badawi’s punishment for insulting Muslim religious figures and disobeying Saudi Arabia’s technology laws.

Japan’s maglev train reached a world record speed of approximately 370 mph back in April, dwarfing the 100 mph of the average Amtrak train in the US.

Two Years Later: The Patriot Act Falls

Two years ago, Americans learned that, despite assurance of the contrary, their government collected domestic phone records and effectively monitored private, individual activity within the United States. Flash forward to June 1, 2015 when the Patriot Act, which includes broad definitions that enabled this behavior, expired. Following fierce Senate debate, the USA Freedom Act replaced the Patriot Act in a 67 to 32 vote on June 2. This bill allows resumption, with heightened restrictions, of surveillance operations that ceased at 12:01 on Monday morning.

In a special episode of the Pangea podcast—in partnership with the Council of American Ambassadors Diplomatic Courier, and the Meridian International Center—Ambassador John Maisto, who served as U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua and Venezuela under President Bill Clinton, shares observations from his recent trip to Cuba and delivers insights on the changing relations between the United States and Cuba.

Expo Milano 2015, Milan’s recently opened World’s Fair, showcases the future of sustainable agriculture with a fully functioning 9,250 square-foot vertical farm. In 1991, Dickson Despommier, Emeritus Professor of Microbiology and Public Health at Columbia University and the host of this video, ingeniously identified vertical farming as a solution for food and space shortages in urban areas. Vertical farming proves more environmentally conscious and spatially viable than traditional farming techniques, cementing its functionality as the population exceeds nine billion in 2050. Further confirming the essentialness of modernizing agriculture, the United Nations predicts a mandatory 70% increase of food production in the next 35 years to accommodate a growing population.

The Future of Food Is Now

Diplomatic Courier magazine and Mars, Incorporated will co-host an innovative summit on the Future of Food to usher the World Expo Milano in May 2015. The next installment in the rich global history of world expositions and world’s fairs, Expo Milano 2015 promises to be a visceral, analytical look at global issues in the year 2015.

Two Billion Suffering: Gallup Asks Women How They Rate Their Lives

How do women around the world rate their lives? In the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, Gallup World Poll released the most recent results of a global survey that asked women just that. The results were presented on March 4 at the annual Global Women Summit hosted by Diplomatic Courier and Women’s Democracy Network.

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