Plastic found in most table salts, especially ones from Asia | Quartz


There’s microplastic in that table salt.

A study published Tuesday (Oct. 16) in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found microplastics in more than 90% of the packaged food-grade salt—also known as table salt—for sale in stores.

The team, from South Korea’s Incheon National University and Greenpeace East Asia, sampled 39 brands of salt harvested in 21 countries. Only three of the samples had no detectable microplastics.

Microplastics are virtually everywhere.

Source: Plastic found in most table salts, especially ones from Asia — Quartz

EU energy at the helm


The European Union is ready to make another political push in resolving the Russian gas transit via Ukraine and wants to make sure that Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream, if the latter is extended to the European market, are fully compatible with EU law, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič told New Europe in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of GLOBSEC’s Tatra Summit 2018 in Slovakia on October 6.

Regarding ongoing Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks, Šefčovič reminded that there was “a quite constructive trilateral meeting on the level of ministers” before the summer break that included the CEOs of National Joint-Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine and Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.

Source: EU energy at the helm

US, Saudi tension over Khashoggi disappearance makes oil market nervous


The incident of the journalist’s disappearance and diplomatic escalation opens a new source of risk for oil prices.

“We’re going to be seeing more volatility around this because it depends on what the Saudis reaction is going to be,” Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management in London, told New Europe by phone on October 15.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you see some significant spikes in the price but not based on demand, it will be based on political reaction,” he added. He noted, however, that it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia will retaliate by constricting oil supply.

Source: US, Saudi tension over Khashoggi disappearance makes oil market nervous

What Is Wrong With The Nordic Model? | Social Europe

The strong performance of far-right parties in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland is regularly traced to dissatisfaction with the EU.

Many conservative commentators will suggest that membership of the single market forces traditionally liberal and free-trade oriented Nordic states to work within an economic straitjacket, compromising growth, and the quality of economic institutions.

It is an argument taken further by the populists: free movement of persons within the EU leads to the admission of large numbers of ‘undesirables’, poisoning traditional Nordic societies. This is rhetoric UK readers might recognize.

But is the EU the root cause?

Source: What Is Wrong With The Nordic Model? • Social Europe

Why Did The Populist Far Right In Sweden Make Gains? | Social Europe

SD’s (Sweden Democrats) success has been closely associated with the fact that men both represent and vote for the party.

Of course, one can speculate that men have values ​​that are more attracted to, for example, SD’s second in command Mattias Karlsson’s violent rhetoric of “winning or dying”. Some men can certainly also be attracted to the nostalgia the party represents in terms of traditional gender values or xenophobia.

Source: Why Did The Populist Far Right In Sweden Make Gains? • Social Europe

World Bank’s measure of poverty is flawed | Quartz Africa


If we are to have a serious debate about world poverty on End Poverty Day, we have to start by acknowledging that the global problem of poverty is far more extensive than World Bank rhetoric would have us believe.

Two big factors need to be confronted.

The first is that the majority of the world’s poor live in countries that have experienced strong economic growth.

The second is that the growth strategies these countries have practised create and reproduce poverty.

Source: World Bank’s measure of poverty is flawed — Quartz Africa

Silicon Valley is awash with Saudi Arabian money. Here’s what they’re investing in. | Quartz


The US has a cozy relationship with the country. Saudi Arabia was the first foreign country Donald Trump visited as president, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner has a chummy relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the leader of the country’s absolute monarchy since 2017. Trump has stood by the monarch without criticism since entering the White House.

Last year, Trump said in a speech before Arab leaders in the Saudi capital of Riyadh that he was not interested in pressuring them on human rights.

Source: Silicon Valley is awash with Saudi Arabian money. Here’s what they’re investing in. — Quartz

Hacked, scammed and on your own: navigating cryptocurrency ‘wild west’ | Reuters


Far from unusual, the episode is emblematic for a market where few rules apply and where investors’ faith in the blockchain technology goes hand in hand with the belief that it also helps criminals cover their tracks so well that trying to catch them is a fool’s errand.

A decentralized currency system like bitcoin, or another form of virtual currency is not governed by any entity, suspicious reporting activity, and any anti-money laundering compliance,” Patrick Wyman, FBI supervisory special agent at the financial crimes section of the agency’s anti-money laundering unit, told Reuters.

Source: Hacked, scammed and on your own: navigating cryptocurrency ‘wild west’ | Reuters

Trump says Saudi journalist likely dead; Turkey searches for remains | Reuters


Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the remains of Khashoggi more than two weeks after he vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters.

Trump, who has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, had likely been killed.

Source: Trump says Saudi journalist likely dead; Turkey searches for remains | Reuters

Related>

Celebrity endorsements aren’t kingmakers, but they may be tiebreakers | TheHill


No, celebrity politics is not new.

What does appear to be new is the seriousness with which we approach celebrity politics. Indeed, since Swift endorsed two Democrats (Jim Cooper and Phil Bredesen) running for office in her home state of Tennessee, many have asked: Do celebrity endorsements actually work? Until recently, the received wisdom among political scientists was: “Of course not!”

But a growing body of evidence leads inescapably to the conclusion that celebrity effects are real.

Source: Celebrity endorsements aren’t kingmakers, but they may be tiebreakers | TheHill