All sorts of rumors are being peddled these days about anti-Israel boycotts in Europe. Here's a tip: don't buy everything you hear. European activists are certainly upset about the military crackdown in the West Bank, but they're not having much economic impact.
They drew blanket press coverage and a watchful audience of New York police, but mainly on the strength of past protest performances. From Seattle to Davos, the riotous anti-globalization road show had pressed its case that rising trade and capital flows are bringing nothing but oppression and instability to the developing world.
Criminals can be predictable. A pickpocket might buy a tank of gas, fancy jewelry and the latest computer in one frenzied hour with a stolen credit card. That's why a legitimate cardholder on a rapid-fire shopping spree may find the credit-card company asking for verification.
Giant multinational corporations aren't often seen as saviors of the rain forest. But this past May an American environmental nonprofit called The Nature Conservancy persuaded General Motors to part with $10 million for rebuilding a Brazilian rain forest devastated by water-buffalo ranching.
Now you've seen everything: a giant multinational getting credit for saving the rain forest. Prodded by an NGO called The Nature Conservancy, General Motors recently parted with $10 million to help rebuild a Brazilian forest that had been devastated by water-buffalo ranching.
Online security is about to shift into higher gear in Europe: as of July 19, electronic signatures will hold the same legal status as handwritten ones. Eventually, European Union citizens will be able to authenticate electronic versions of mortgages, tax returns or health records by attaching their own personal code.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about England that one of the most significant drawbacks of this otherwise lush and prosperous nation was the "darkness of its sky." As he put it, "Night and day are too nearly of a color." A century later, Britons are now battling an even drearier climate.
With British elections coming next week, Web surfers have plenty of opportunity to sample the spectacle. They can get hard news from www.voxpolitics.com, or stage Space Invaders-style battles between the forces of Labour's Tony Blair and Conservative candidate William Hague www.friendlygiants.com.