DINNER PARTY INTEL: Satellite for farmers
The Western Cape’s agriculture department is using Sentinel-2 Earth observation satellite imaging technology to promote sustainable farming
1. Decolonise Diego Garcia
The International Court of Justice says Britain should relinquish its control of the Chagos Archipelago, which it "wrongfully" seized from Mauritius in the 1960s, and from which the inhabitants were evicted so the US could build an airbase on the largest atoll, Diego Garcia. The Mauritius-based Chagos Refugees Group was elated. The court considered the matter at the request of the UN General Assembly. A UK foreign office spokesperson said: "This is an advisory opinion, not a judgment. Of course, we will look at [it] carefully."
2. Bezos gives
Confounding critics who say he’s tightfisted, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has emerged as the US’s biggest donor to charity. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of the US’s top 50 donors, Bezos gave $2bn to good causes in 2018 — a mere 1.5% of his estimated $137bn fortune. Second was former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg ($767m; $6bn over the years) and third Pierre and Pam Omidyar of eBay ($392m). Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, at seventh, gave $213m to various causes. A total $7.8bn was donated last year, a steep drop from the $14.7bn in 2017. Bill Gates has over the years donated $45bn to global poverty alleviation and education.
3. Satellite for farmers
The Western Cape’s agriculture department is using Sentinel-2 Earth observation satellite imaging technology developed by the European Space Agency to promote sustainable farming, enable more rapid assessment of natural disasters and study the impact of climate change. With 10m-20m spatial resolution, a five-day revisit frequency and free data access, it is a big improvement on existing agricultural remote-sensing products. A Sentinel portal will provide free, rapid access to near real-time information on veld and crop conditions to the province’s farmers.