The global economy loses $3.6 trillion to corruption each year, says U.N.

Secretary-General António Guterres said corruption is "an assault on the values of the United Nations."

  • December 9 marked International Anti-Corruption Day.
  • The U.N. has mounted an international campaign to equip individuals, organizations, businesses and governments with tactics they can use to combat corruption in their countries.
  • In a 2017 survey, 25% of worldwide respondents said they had had to pay a bribe to access public services in the past 12 months.
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The silent Chinese propaganda in Hollywood films

China's rise has necessitated a global PR push. It includes influencing how the movies you watch depict China.

President Xi Jinping and Brad Pitt in World War Z. (Image: Big Think/Getty)
  • China will soon overtake the U.S. as the world's largest market for films, and it is using that fact to influence how it is depicted by Hollywood.
  • While Chinese investors have been interested in buying shares of studios for a while, the real power lies in deciding which movies get into China at all.
  • The influence is often subtle, but may have already derailed a few careers in the name of politics.
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A world first: Luxembourg's public transport to be free for all

Luxembourg will offer the world's first fare-free public transit system, but is there really such a thing as a free ride?

(Photo from Wikimedia)
  • To combat congestion, Luxembourg aims to become the first country to implement fare-free public transit services.
  • Other European nations are considering similar courses, but across the pond the United States continues to fumble its public transportation to deleterious effects.
  • Luxembourg's goal is noble, but it will have to overcome historic trends showing such fare-free systems rarely work in the long run.
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Bitcoin and blockchain jobs are booming — and they pay well

Research shows that employers are working to find more talent in the blockchain space, and they're willing to pay higher rates for it.

Glassdoor Economic Research
  • A study by Glassdoor found that demand for blockchain work has risen 300% since last year.
  • Glassdoor reported the median starting salary for blockchain job openings was over $32,000 higher than the median US salary, an increase of 61.8%.
  • Despite the issues in the current crypto market, blockchain technology appears to have a bright future.
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Why SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is launching 64 tiny satellites into orbit

The companies launching satellites aboard the SpaceX rocket hope to revolutionize the Internet of Things.

NASA
  • SpaceX is providing the rocket for the mission, while a Seattle-based company organized the payload.
  • The mission will deploy satellites from various providers, including startups and government agencies.
  • Most of these providers hope to be the first to build a new kind of network to support the Internet of Things.
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