Cigar Jack passes along this story about “faith leaders” soliciting the government to place tobacco regulation under the auspices of the FDA. The proposed legislation, which has twice been left languishing in the U.S. House of Representatives, “would give the FDA authority over the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.”
That commercial, the one where all the celebrities and guys in collars and habits are talking about raising your “voice” for the world’s poor, has been nominated for an Emmy award for best TV commercial.
It’s hard to be a great power if your population is shriveling. Europe’s birthrates have dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children for each woman of childbearing age. For Western Europe as a whole, the rate is 1.5. It’s 1.4 in Germany and 1.3 in Italy. In a century — if these rates continue — there won’t be many Germans in Germany or Italians in Italy. Even assuming some increase in birthrates and continued immigration, Western Europe’s population grows dramatically grayer, projects the U.S. Census Bureau. Now about one-sixth of the population is 65 and older. By 2030 that would be one-fourth, and by 2050 almost one-third.
Nearly 1,000 people were on three trains that collided in southern Pakistan Wednesday morning, killing at least 107 people and injuring 800 more. Police now say the death toll is at least 150. One train, the Karachi Express, rammed into the back of another, the stationary Quetta Express, after missing a signal causing several cars to derail. The derailed carriages were then hit almost simultaneously by a third train, the oncoming Tezgam Express, which was taking passengers from Karachi north to Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad. It is well known that Pakistan’s railways are antiquated, and dozens of people have been killed in train accidents in recent years.
Today is the UN-sponsored World Population Day, which most of us have never heard of, I’m sure. From the name, I cynically (and rightly) assumed that rather than celebrating human life, this day would instead address many of the spurious “crowded planet” concerns put forth most popularly in Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (first edition 1968).