Short Takes: News From All Over

Naturally Green
By Angela Caputo, Conscious Choice
You don’t have to go back to the land or have beaucoup bucks to experience green living. At least not in Chicago, where wind turbines, solar panels, and duel-flush toilets aren’t reserved for just the eco-savvy and ultra rich. Thanks in part to city programs and subsidies, sustainable building and architecture is now accessible to residents of condos, suburban homes, and affordable housing projects. — Grace Hanson

Medical Mystery
By Larry Krotz, The Walrus
In a shantytown outside Nairobi, doctors have discovered what could be the key to an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine: a small population of sex workers who seem to be immune to the disease. Though prostitutes in Kenya face an 80 percent infection rate — eight times greater than the rest of the country’s population — some of the women have remained HIV/AIDS-free for more than a decade. — Danielle Maestretti

America’s 10 Worst Greenwashers
By Staff, The Green Life
Ford Motor Company was the leader of the pack in this year’s list of the 10 worst greenwashers — companies and organizations that use deceptive marketing and public relations in order to appear eco-friendly. The company has spent millions advertising its Escape hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), yet its fleet boasts the worst gas mileage of any major auto maker. The annual ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ report, from the environmental group The Green Life, takes to task six companies, three trade associations, and one government agency for inflating their environmental performance. — Leif Utne

When One World Isn’t Enough
By Staff,
Al Nakheel Properties reportedly has begun construction on a conglomeration of more than 200 man-made, private islands off the coast of Dubai. The set-up imitates earth’s continental arrangement and will become a sort of Disney World Epcot center for the affluent elite, with the islands themed according to the countries they represent. — Marca Bradt

Leaving Adults Behind
By Alexa Rose Steinberg, The Nation
Adult literacy programs are under threat of being squeezed from the budget. President Bush has justified the move by claiming that the programs are ineffective, and the public tends to associate the issue with tax-draining projects catering to immigrant communities. Both positions are dubious and need to be debunked to save a worthy endeavor that lifts adults — and children — out of the fog of illiteracy. — Hannah Lobel

ChoicePoint Wins Menace Award
By Joanna Glasner,
Data broker ChoicePoint topped this year’s US Big Brother Awards with the ‘Lifetime Menace’ prize for cashing in on privacy by hawking personal data to criminals. Other honorees include a California elementary school that brought ‘taking attendance’ to new levels by using radio-frequency ID tags, and the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for a proposal to collect data on 15 million school children. — Hannah Lobel,1848,67240,00.html

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