Press Review April 16th 2014

Google Inc. has acquired solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace. This is part of the company’s strategy to deliver wireless Internet access to remote parts of the world. According to Reuters, Titan is developing a variety of solar-powered ”atmospheric satellites,” which are designed to stay aloft indefinitely, providing aerial and telecommunications services at 1/100th the cost of current satellite platforms. Watch a video report by Ben Gruber here.

Image courtesy of Titan Aerospace
Image courtesy of Titan Aerospace

Should Internet access be included to the list of human rights? Ambassador Yvette Stevens of Sierra Leone certainly thinks so. In countries with expensive and unreliable internet connections, citizens tend to be put at a disadvantage in terms of access to information and education. You can watch an interview with the Ambassador here; the post also includes a brief interview with Michele Woods, of WIPO, about diversity, gender equity, and international organizations. 

A draft law passed by the European Parliament on Tuesday would enable EU workers moving to a different EU country to take their full pension rights with them. Under existing rules, people who move between member states risk losing entitlements built up over a period that is not deemed long enough by the state to which they move. The law still needs to be approved by the Council of Ministers, which is part of the EU’s legislative body and is composed of national ministers from each member state. 

As Ukrainian authorities have launched an ‘anti-terrorist’ operation, after pro-Russian separatist militiamen took over government buildings in a number of eastern cities, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. In a telephone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin stated that Kiev had “embarked on an anti-constitutional course” by using force against the rebels. Meanwhile, the US is considering further sanctions towards Russia, who it sees as stoking tensions in neighboring Ukraine. However, no sanctions are expected before Thursday’s four-power talks between the US, the EU, Russia, and Ukraine.

In the Press Review section of the GovFaces blog you will find regular updates on important social, political, and economic issues of the day. Items presented here and in the Analysis & Opinion sections do not necessarily reflect the views of GovFaces.