Cameron’s candid comments undermine anti-corruption conference

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, must be thanking his political stars this morning after his “caught on camera” comments that Nigeria and Afghanistan are “fantastically corrupt” were trumped (so to speak) by Queen Elizabeth II who was heard describing Chinese officials as “very rude.” Both candid comments were captured at a Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday with the Queen’s thoughts getting more media attention this morning. But at least the Queen doesn’t have to come face to face with those she was criticising today. David Cameron has to do just that as he hosts leaders from both Nigeria and Afghanistan at an anti-corruption summit in London, the BBC reports. 

Climate change cruise tourism takes off in the Arctic

This summer a massive 820-foot-long, 13-deck cruise ship called the Crystal Serenity will set sail for a month long trip through the fabled Northwest Passage, the Wall Street Journal reports. Once considered an almost impassable odyssey for mariners, in recent years this ice-choked Arctic sea route connecting the Pacific and Atlantic has become seen as a viable route for business (and now tourism) due to the rapidly decreasing summer ice cover. “The Crystal Serenity will be the largest ship that maritime officials can recall attempting the voyage. And it will be the first, large-scale cruise liner packed with tourists,” writes the WSJ. Its arrival (along with what it portends for the growth of tourism in the region) has prompting concerns that the fragile Arctic environment isn’t equipped to cope.

Hyperloop Technologies raises $80 million

To a different type of travel now and news that Hyperloop Technologies, the company that hopes to create a tube-like train carrying passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30 minutes, has raised $80 million in funding. Venture Beat reports that “the company, which is changing its name to Hyperloop One, is currently building a test track for the technology outside of Las Vegas.” The idea of a hyperloop train that could move people at super speeds by removing friction was first given popular credence by Elon Musk back in 2013. While still a pilot project the Hyperloop’s sustainability potential is intriguing. “The Hyperloop system is expected to be energy self-sufficient, powered by solar panels placed along the track. The pods will travel inside a climate-controlled tube that makes the system free from weather effects, while pylons are expected to reduce the threat from earthquakes,” Venture Beat writes.

Top hedge fund managers make more than some nations

CEOs at some publicly listed companies might be raising eyebrows for the level of executive pay they command but their rewards are nothing compared with some of the world’s largest hedge fund managers. The world’s top 25 earned $13bn last year – that’s more than the entire economies of Namibia, the Bahamas or Nicaragua. Are they worth it? Shrewd economic observers might say no. “The huge pay at the top comes despite a tumultuous year on Wall Street that has led many well-known hedge funds to lose billions of dollars and others to close down,” the Guardian notes.

Farmer fired over Big Business cartoon

Finally today, The New York Times reports on the firing of Farm News cartoonist Rick Friday after he took a dig at Big Agriculture. The offending artwork showed two farmers chatting with one saying: “I wish there was more profit in farming.” The other replies: “There is. In year 2015 the C.E.O.s of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.” This cruel and harsh critique of big business was enough for one “seed company” to pull its advertising in protest and so Friday is out of a job. 

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