Demography blogger Shannon Roberts today asks the interesting question, Will we all be Africans one day soon? It is prompted by a new UNICEF report on child demographics in Africa -- in which, from a quick scan, I detect a note of anxiety rather than celebration over the continent's burgeoning population. And yet, after Asia, it is the most attractive investment destination in the world. From whichever angle you look at it, Africa is not a part of the world to be ignored.
If you have anything to do with young adults take a look at my piece on some brand new research from the US National Marriage Project -- Before 'I do': how the new relationship script can affect marital happiness. The vast majority of young people still dream about a happy marriage one day and they have a right to know what raises or reduces their chance of achieving that.
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER: Dr Michelle Cretella has written a brisk, persuasive case against legalising marijuana. She says that smoking it is unhealthy compared to tobacco and that its purported health benefits are adequately covered by other medications. Check it out.
But while I was backgrounding myself on this, I came across a YouTube video from Bloomberg on the world's most expensive cigars. These apparently come from a company in the Dominican Republic, Gurkha Cigars. A box currently costs about $25,000 -- or about $1,000 per cigar. Holy Smoke! you might say. Somehow they seem overpriced. If this is your favourite after-dinner entertainment, perhaps you could send one to MercatorNet so that we can raffle it off to raise funds for our autumn marketing drive.
+ CHECK OUT the video on our home page: "A first taste of chocolate in the Ivory Coast". This country is the world's largest producer of cocoa beans, but many of the small farmers who supply them have never had a chocolate bar. Their look of pure delight is priceless -- and also a bit sad. The disparity in wealth between there and here is incredible.
The most vieiwed article on the site today is Sheila Liaugminas' Friday post, Obama to Iraq refugees: “Today, America is coming to help". Second on the list is Three ways to happiness, with the Courage documentary film, Desire of the Everlasting Hills, in which, says Michael Cook, two men and a woman relate with scarifying honesty how they turned away from a gay lifestyle towards the love of God in the Catholic Church. Essential viewing -- for the weekend, if not before.
+ The most popular article on the site at the moment is "The truth about childbirth and death", by Carolyn Moynihan. The maternal mortality statistics which are used to bolster campaigns for abortion rights are pretty dodgy...
+ The truth about childbirth and death, by Carolyn Moynihan, is our most popular story at the moment. Although reducing deaths in childbirth is one of the main reasons for promoting abortion, the numbers are wildly exaggerated, according to a recent study.