According to Forbes there are a record 1,826 billionaires in the world, an increase of 181 in the past 12 months.
Bill Gates (Microsoft) has now been top of the list for 16 of the last 21 years with $79.2bn. In second place is Carlos Slim Helu $77.1bn (Phones and construction in Mexico). Warren Buffett (Global Investor) regained third place in the list with a net worth of $72.7bn, from Amancio Ortega, the founder of Spanish fashion chain Zara, with $64.5bn to his name.
In the United States (and probably also in Canada and Great Britain), when a corporation is forced to pay punitive damages, those damages can be claimed as a cost of doing business whereas those people receiving the payout must claim the money as taxable income. For example, BP was whacked with over $42 billion in fines for the Gulf oil spill. It can claim 80% of that as a tax deduction which means that the taxpayer is on the hook for most of it.
The UK is facing a significant skills shortage, with 1.4 million "digital professionals" estimated to be needed over the next five years.
To introduce digital knowledge to younger children, the BBC is giving 1 million "Micro Bit" computers to schools in the UK. When it launches in September it will be compatible with three coding languages - Touch Develop, Python and C++.
In the US, bottled water is regulated by the FDA and is not bound by EPA standards (which are more stringent). Tap water is regulated by the EPA and must undergo regular testing for microbes, bacteria and other contaminents. The EPA requires that public water suppliers use certified labs to test their water. Bottled water suppliers are under no such requirement. Public water suppliers must issue notifications when problems are detected. Again, this is not required of bottled water suppiers.
And yet, people have been suckered into paying up to 2000 times the cost of tap water for water which is no better, and in many cases worse, than that available from public utilities.
Wei-Hock Soon, is an aerospace engineer who has published several papers that question the link between human emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming. It was recently discovered that Soon had received more than $1.2 million over the last decade from the fossil fuel industry.
Electric carmaker Tesla is building the world’s largest lithium ion battery factory, called “Gigafactory I” just east of Reno, Nevada. When completed in 2017 it will produce more lithium ion power packs then the combined present worldwide production of such devices. Customers will be Tesla and other electric car makers, and Electric Power companies.