From the new UN World Happiness Report…Norway has jumped from 4th place in 2016 to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Their averages are so close that small changes can re-order the rankings from year to year. Norway moves to the top of the ranking despite weaker oil prices. It is sometimes said that Norway achieves and maintains its high happiness not because of its oil wealth, but in spite of it. By choosing to produce its oil slowly, and investing the proceeds for the future rather than spending them in the present, Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies. To do this successfully requires high levels of mutual trust, shared purpose, generosity and good governance, all factors that help to keep Norway and other top countries where they are in the happiness rankings.” (World Happiness Report http://bit.ly/2nLkUE2 )

Foreign Land Purchase Ban…South Africa has proposed a new law banning foreigners directly buying agricultural land in the country as the government seeks to boost ownership for the black majority. Non-residents will be allowed to take long leases on the properties or the land should be majority owned by a black South African, according to the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill, published in the Government Gazette on Friday. The proposal is open for public comment until April 17.” (Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/2nLjfyw )

Longread of the Day…Jill Filipovic with some intense on the ground reporting from Ghana about the consequences of Trump’s new Global Gag Rule to maternal mortality and women’s health. (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/2mISqJi )

These Two New Studies Show that Our Oceans are Basically Doomed (Unless…) (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2nWg8Dg

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