Some incredibly sad news about Senator Ted Kennedy. The New York Times reports Senator Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. “Tests performed over the weekend at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston indicated that Mr. Kennedy, 76, has a type of cancer known as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe, the upper left portion of his brain.”
News of the diagnosis was greeted by “stunned silence” at a weekly lunch conference for Senate Democrats, said Senator Ben Nelson, of Nebraska. Mr. Nelson said that Senator John Kerry, of Massachusetts, who had spoken with Mr. Kennedy, reported that “Senator Kennedy is quite optimistic.”
According to a report in The Guardian, the World was ‘more peaceful’ in 2008. According to the Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index Ratings, the top five most peaceful countries are: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, and Japan. The index measures “internal and external turmoil in 140 countries. Only one of the G8 countries [Japan], the world’s most economically powerful nations, makes it into the top ten of the survey”.
Unsurprisingly, the five least peaceful nations are Israel (136), Afghanistan (137), Sudan (138), Somalia (139), and Iraq (140). But, “the survey suggests that the world is a marginally more secure place than it was a year ago.”
Small, stable, democratic countries are the most peaceful, according to the index, but economic is not seen as a guarantee of a high ranking. Of the G8 countries, France (36), the United Kingdom (49), the United States (97), and Russia (131) did not even make it into the top thirty…
“On average, scores for level of organised conflict (internal) and violent crime, political instability and potential for terrorist acts have all got marginally better,” according to the summary of the index. In contrast, the world’s armed services have grown on average per country, as has the sophistication of their weaponry.
“The world appears to be a marginally more peaceful place this year,” said Steve Killelea, the Australian technology entrepreneur and founder of the Global Peace Index. “This is encouraging, but it takes small steps by individual countries for the world to make greater strides on the road to peace.”
Four at Four continues with news from Iraq and “Honey From the Hood”.