Good reads: fresh Facts, and provocative Opinions

Brian Brennan writes that millionaires Maurice and Harrold King, whose land joined Canada's largest conservation easement, always gave the outward impression they were barely keeping the wolf from the door. King Ranch, Alberta Photo by Karol Dabbs @ 2016
Brian Brennan writes that millionaires Maurice and Harrold King, whose land joined Canada’s largest conservation easement, always gave the outward impression they were barely keeping the wolf from the door. Above, the King Ranch, Alberta. Karol Dabbs @ 2016

KINGS OF THE RANCH. By Brian Brennan   Feature

After a historic cattle ranch was added to a major conservation site in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, the two eccentric brothers who originally owned the ranch were again in the spotlight. Although they saw the property appreciate in value to an estimated $6 million during the 60 years they lived and worked on it, Maurice and Harrold King always gave the outward impression they were barely keeping the wolf from the door. They were squabbling bachelors who disagreed about almost everything yet couldn’t live without one another.

Inequality threatens democracy — investors. By Laurie Goering  Report

Global wealth inequality is becoming a fundamental risk to democracy and to economies around the world as more people feel government rules are “rigged” in favour of the rich leave them with few options, say investors and governance experts.

Move everything, to curb climate change — investors. By Laurie Goering   Report

 Meeting the goals of a new global agreement to tackle climate change will require social change on an almost unprecedented scale,  sustainable investment experts told a global conference. That includes shifting trillions of dollars each year into renewable energy – up from $345 billion last year – and making everything from transport to agriculture and consumer products much greener very quickly.

Khamis, 24, (Back) and Khlouf, 25, prepare an artificial limb inside a mobile truck clinic in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria March 20, 2016. Two university students forced to interrupt their studies have learnt to make and fit hundreds of new limbs in the past four years in opposition-held areas of Syria. A mobile clinic operating from a truck has gone some way to improve access to treatment. While most patients are between 15 and 45, the clinic also helps children and the elderly with replacement limbs. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi SEARCH "SYRIA AMPUTEE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIESSyria’s mobile amputee clinic, photo-essay. By Khalil Ashawi  Magazine

In what looks like an ordinary white truck, two men are helping victims who have lost limbs in the conflict in Syria to walk, play, and even herd sheep again.  The five-year war between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and insurgents has killed at least 250,000 people and wounded many more. Most of the wounded are between 15 and 45, but the clinic also fits children and the elderly with replacement limbs.

The fix: world waterworks near obsolescence, Erica Gies   Report

Globally, water systems in developed countries are nearing the end of their useful life. The lead-poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, was a wake-up call. Can innovative technology and financing prevent the next disaster?

In Commentary:

The despair and death of America’s middle-aged women, Penney Kome, Over Easy column

Americans are dying in their prime years, especially middle-aged white women. The rise of an entire population’s death rate shows the folly of America’s insistence that health care is a private matter and not a public responsibility.

Why I fear Americans more than terrorists, Tom Regan, Summoning Orenda column

A true story of living in a country overwhelmed with firearms, and how it constantly leads to you imagine the worst. About a month ago, I went to see the movie Zootopia with my family in Frederick, Maryland. We like to sit close to the screen, so we planted ourselves about six or seven rows back. I noticed a tall young man sitting in the very front row, but didn’t think much about it at first. As the pre-show features came to an end, that changed.

Jim McNiven’s Thoughtlines column and Jonathan Manthorpe‘s International Affairs column will return next week.



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