South American countries like Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala, are known for the drug trade. At their instance, the global leaders came together at the United Nations to discuss the ways to fight the drug trade. But they were not able to go far in their approach. Though there was a consensus in investing in rehabilitation, health care, and treatment, but this would do more to end the drug trade than criminalization and prohibition.
While speaking on this Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the war has not been won in 40 years, and now there is a need for change since there is no change. The presidents of Guatemala and Mexico along with Santos agreed that the drug war is directed by the terms framed by the United States, and the effects are disastrous in their countries which are considered to the focal point for marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. In a metaphor, Guatemala President Jimmy Morales said that it is the grass that suffers when the elephants fight. He said, referring to the American law enforcement agencies and the drug cartels.
For the last two years, the three countries are striving hard with their allies to chalk out strategies for change. The present approach is mentioned in the international drug accords that were adopted in the year 1960 and 1988. In those days it was seen as an effect, law enforcement means to control drug production and trade according to international leaders. It is seen as a diplomatic red tapism by many countries like Russia, China that call for strict criminalization to fight the drug trade.
The White House is happy with the meeting and was receptive to the ideas presented by the neighbors in fighting the drug trade and production. The Secretary of State John Kerry in his statement mentioned that it is seen as an improvement in understanding more about drug dependency and means to address the substance abuse as a public health issue than criminalization challenges.
It is also mentioned that the role of United States is immense in designing the new drug policies. The US is in an indefensible position to violate the current treaties as the four states have been legalized to sell recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, the other countries are designing their ways. For instance, the Canadian government announced that a bill will be introduced in spring to decriminalize marijuana sales.
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Google is facing turmoil in Europe with the European Union slamming antitrust investigation on the company. The new law would have greater repercussions as the French lawmakers have called to restrict the search results to comply with “right to be forgotten” in their privacy laws. Google’s business model is designed on a search engine, and it could be a greater issue for the company. Meanwhile, it can turn out to be a bigger issue for the internet users as well. The question that arises is if the Europeans can hold the key to what people around the world see on the internet, the same can be followed by other countries too.
The latest on the privacy laws will be a big fallout on the high court ruling giving people the right to remove their personal search results including news article links. Now those who have contacts in the Europe can request Google to remove their search results and relevant links. In this connect Google responded that visitors are going to google. de and google.fr cannot view the restricted results while on google.com still. Moreover, Europeans can now navigate to non-European version. The French law makers fined the company for not taking sufficient steps in this direction.
Europeans when they type google.com, it takes them to their local version of Google service used by 95% of the European users. But the problem is Google has not taken enough steps to prevent people from going to google.com. In response to the regulators, the company will take action using geo-blocking to control European users. Now Google will take steps to remove links on Google.fr blocking users in France seeing the restricted links on Google sites in other countries. Virtual private network tools have to be installed to camouflage their locations. This can show pruned results in the search engine.
The best solution would be to prevent a global deletion, facilitating the sovereignty of the state to enforce their laws within their territory. This is a far call from the promise of universal accessibility of information and a step in the direction to splinternets. The problems are numerous as banning parts of the information on the web can create barriers for those browsers. Smaller service providers will not be able to build customized French versions like how Google has exercised. The easiest way would be to block the French users, but again this could mean that the world would miss out the French marketplace. At the same time, French internet subscribers will miss out on the global Internet.
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The heat on the American presidential election is on and learns how the states drive the social, economical and political system. America will be restructuring the regional infrastructure and the metro cluster that have been ignoring the national and state boundaries. Two problems have to be addressed. The infrastructure challenges have to be addressed. The issue is where and how the money is spent. Meanwhile, western European countries and Asia are moving toward a sound urban cluster backed by advanced industry. Tragically the American policy is stuck with the archaic political configuration of the 50 states.
The good news is America is headed in the director of Metropolis first system. But the states will not move in that direction. Both socially and economically the country is moving in the direction of regional and liberal metropolitan formations. This is grounded by the urban archipelagos and great cities that have their place in the global economic circles. From Boston till Washington is Northeastern megalopolis. It comprises of 50 million people constituting 20 percent of the GDP of America. These are the most important of American States, and the economic viability of these clusters are determined by the connective to these urban than which state they live in.
Remember America is not divided between the blue and red states but on the contrary between disconnected backwaters and connected hubs. Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institution says that among the 350 major metro areas in America, the cities with a population of three million people have bounced back successfully after the financial emergency. But smaller cities including Ohio, Dayton are finding it tough to re-bounce and are falling behind because of the number of disconnected little towns. The 50 state structures could mean that the resources from the federal and the state are concentrated in the capital city that is an isolated city by itself. In the end, smaller cities are disconnected from the national program and are turning into retirement hubs and immigrant colonies.
Bringing in a flexible and broader thinking is important. Initiatives are being taken in coordinating regional and metropolitan planning. There are quasi-government sections that are promoting the global economy. The present century will not see the war over territories but instead over connectivity. The only way to win this war of globalization will be to connect the American cities to maximize trade and increase investment flow improving supply chain demands. Only economic planning will determine if America will remain the superpower.