1) The Guardian on the 21st century African land grab. In 20 or more African countries “land is being bought or leased for intensive agriculture on an immense scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era.
An Observer investigation estimates that up to 50m hectares of land — an area more than double the size of the UK — has been acquired in the last few years or is in the process of being negotiated by governments and wealthy investors working with state subsidies. [...]
The land rush, which is still accelerating, has been triggered by the worldwide food shortages which followed the sharp oil price rises in 2008, growing water shortages and the European Union's insistence that 10% of all transport fuel must come from plant-based biofuels by 2015.
In many areas the deals have led to evictions, civil unrest and complaints of “land grabbing”.
One of the countries is Ethiopia. It's “one of the hungriest countries in the world with more than 13 million people needing food aid, but paradoxically the government is offering at least 3m hectares of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world's most wealthy individuals to export food for their own populations.”
2) Serial Consign on airlocks.
3) Foreign Policy on China's golf obsession. “While between 100 and 300 courses are expected to be built [on China's tropical island province of Hainan], the most mysterious project — and by far the most audacious — is the latest offering from Hong Kong's Mission Hills Group, already owners of a 12-course resort in southern China's Guangdong province. Its Hainan club, when completed, will be the world's largest, with some 22 courses covering an area nearly 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.”
4) Wikipedia on the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association.
5) Spiegel on the garbage of Naples. “The Italian-German solid-waste profiteering scandals provide insights into a booming industry. According to investigations by Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), up to two million tons of household waste have already been dumped illegally in German waste dumps and former landfills.”