The good food movement is growing. In 2018, sales of natural, organic, and functional food and beverages grew 6.6% to $152 billion, while sales of conventional food and beverages contracted 0.2%.

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IBM has three new AI (artificial intelligence) tools to assist in the battle against cancer, and recently decided to make them open-source (i.e., freely available to medical researchers). The hope is that this will lead to more treatments being developed more quickly.

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Once again, Rancho Santana, our resort in Nicaragua, was voted one of the 10 best in Central America. In fact, with over 600,000 votes received, Conde Nast Traveler rated it #3. LINK

 

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A court in France has ruled that a man who died from a heart attack after having sex during a business trip had suffered a work-related accident and that his employer was liable.

That sounds like a joke, right?

It’s not.

When it comes to business issues, France is the San Francisco of Europe. Although all companies working within the European Economic Community must abide by the same hundred-thousand arcane and often contradictory rules, France adds to the business owner’s stress by the way it interprets regulations.

An example: One of our employees in Paris – let’s call him Pierre – showed up to work one day with a note from his psychiatrist. The note explained that Pierre had a “psychological aversion to labor” and that until it “went into remission,” he was to receive his full pay without being subjected to the experience that made him sick – i.e., working. We had to pay him for something like 18 months while he sat at home, working (we later discovered) freelance.

That is the story I always told to indicate how far the French have gone towards protecting “workers’ rights.”

From now on, I’ll be telling the new “work-related heart attack” story.

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In an article posted on History.com, Christopher Klein points out that the Founding Fathers passed the country’s first whistleblower protection law just seven months after signing the Declaration of Independence. The government even footed the legal bills. You can read the article here.

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There are currently 7,111 spoken languages in the world. About 40% of them are spoken by fewer than 1,000 people and are in danger of disappearing.

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