HopeTracker Cultural Creative News July 27, 2009

Tesia Secures $465m Loan from the US, to Build Sexy, Electric Car

July 27, 2009

The Financial Times reports that Tesla has secured a $465m loan from the US Department of Energy, earmarked for greener car technology to advance the production of its glamorous, groundbreaking electric roadster that accelerates from zero to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and emits no carbon dioxide.

Tesia was one of just three companies, alongside Ford Motor and Nissan, to have made it through an arduous application process, and will be using the money to build production facilities for electric powertrains and for its planned Model S, a $50,000 battery-powered sedan. 

Tesia could move from the rarefied world of roadsters to the broader mass market. This news comes a month after Daimler agreed to pay $50m for just under 10 per cent of Tesla.

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2 West Bank Settlements with an Open Mind? Is It Too Much to Hope for?

July 27, 2009

American envoy George MItchell is in the Middle East. Today’s NYT gives us a new twist into the Gaza/Israel conflict, with a focus on two ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlementss Modiin Illit and its sister community, Beitar Illit.

Modiin Illit and its sister community, Beitar Illit, are entirely ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlements. via Rina Castelnuovo for The New York TimesUnlike settlers who believe they are continuing the historic Zionist mission of reclaiming the Jewish homeland, most ultra-Orthodox do not consider themselves settlers or Zionists and express no commitment to being in the West Bank, so their growth in these settlement towns, situated just inside the pre-1967 boundary, could be redirected westward to within Israel.

Half of all growth in Israel’s settlements comes from these two towns.

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Friends of the Earth UK ex-Director Says: It’s easy being green

July 26, 2009

Friends of the Earth, former UK director Tony JuniperBrits Tony and Sue Juniper share practical, executable tips for Going Green in today’s London Times. The former director of the UK branch of Friends of the Earth reflects on the evolution of environmental concerns into a mainstream movement.

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Marijuana and the Answer to California’s Fiscal Crisis: Are They One and the Same?

July 24, 2009

I think we can all agree that divine intervention is required to solve California’s budget deficit, restoring balance to the world’s eight-largest economy.

If the above-preferred solution doesn’t work, then how about marijuana?

Time asked this question today, with no pretense. Before we all heehaw, or scream bloody-murder, perhaps the article Marijuana Legalization: Help for California Budget Woes? bears reading, so that we have informed dialogue rather than just a bunch of yelling and screaming.

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The Duke of Cambridge, London’s Hallmark Gastropub

July 24, 2009

Eco-Chick brings us news of The Duke of Cambridge, the only gastropub to be certified by the Soil Association. This is not new news. Popping over to the website, the Duke of Cambridge has been open since 1998, serving delicious organic food, carefully sourced from independent producers, while keeping their food miles super-low. 80% of food and beverage served by The Duke of Cambridge is from the Home countries.

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Hamas Shifts Strategy

July 24, 2009

n Gaza City, a poster advertised a movie about Emad Akel, commander oIf the Hamas military wing who was killed by Israel. via NYTimesThe NYTimes reports today that Hamas has shifted its strategy in Gaza, moving away from guns, bombs, and terrorist tactics to a “culture of resistance.”

Turning to art, recent days have produced a play, a movie premier, an art exhibit, a book of poens being published, and a television series, most of it state-sponsored and focused on the Palestian ‘problem’. According to the NYTimes, there are also plans for a documentary competition.

“Armed resistance is still important and legitimate, but we have a new emphasis on cultural resistance,” noted Ayman Taha, a Hamas leader and former fighter. “The current situation required a stoppage of rockets. After the war, the fighters needed a break and the people needed a break.”

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Wal-Mart Announces Green Sustainability Index

July 23, 2009

The world’s largest retailer made a groundbreaking announcement last week that they will develop a worldwide sustainable product index, attaching an eco-rating on all grocery products sold at their stores.

This is not the first major move for Wal-Mart in ‘going green’ but it will drive a stake in the ground around Wal-Mart’s intention to be perceived as a leader in sending a message that environmental credentials will matter to consumers in the future. via Australian Food News

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Mini ‘Summit’ of Imams and Rabbis Convene in NYC

July 20, 2009

Chairman Russell Simmons shares details of the arrival of over two dozen Chief imams and rabbis as part of an interreligous mission to strengthen Muslim-Jewish relations and combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the US and Europe.

The mission is hosted by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) in conjunction with the World Jewish Congress United States and the Islamic Society of North America.

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Pelosi Negotiates and Navigates Health Care Reform

July 20, 2009

In a Politico interview, America’s Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi proposes ‘softening’ the health care budget package surcharge to incomes of $1 million annually for families, and $500,000 or an individual. Presently, the bill targets the surcharge on families making $350,000 a year, or an individual with $280,000.

Pelosi now faces more pressure than she ever has in her career — obligated to repeatedly deliver tough votes for an ambitious and popular president, but anxious to minimize the midterm election losses that traditionally befall the party holding the White House.