The Microsoft founder urged the UK to keep spending at least 0.7% of national income on foreign aid, saying it was proof of its goodwill and humanity. [...] More than £12bn was spent in aid in 2015. Some newspapers and Conservative MPs argue the figure is too large and too wasteful, and some of it would be better spent on schools and hospitals in the UK.
Many who speak Q’eqchi never learned to read or write it. And even if they did, it’s Spanish that’s the lingua franca at colleges, employers, and any other opportunity for economic growth. In turn, the nonprofit Choice Humanitarian–backed by Microsoft’s Edge team and the agency Pixel Lab–has launched a pilot program called Accent to teach 18 women from Chulac, Guatemala, how to read and speak Spanish.
Microsoft’s call for a Digital Geneva Convention, outlined in Smith’s blog post last week, has attracted the attention of the digital policy community. Only two years ago, it would have been unthinkable for an Internet company to invite governments to adopt a digital convention. Microsoft has crossed this Rubicon in global digital politics by proposing a Digital Geneva Convention which should ‘commit governments to avoiding cyber-attacks.'
The Geneva Convention, signed by war-weary nations in August 1949, now binds 196 countries to protect civilians in war zones. Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, argues that the U.S. and other countries now need to draw up a digital equivalent to protect civilians and companies caught in the crossfire of constant cyberwar.
Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen revealed the plans in an interview, saying that companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft “affect Denmark just as much as entire countries”. “These companies have become a type of new nations and we need to confront that,” Samuelsen said. Samuelsen said that the ambassadorship, which has not yet been filled, Denmark will work toward better relationships with the American tech firms.
As a handful of students gathered to learn a new language at the Microsoft store in New York City, a different set of students gathered a world away in Nigeria to embark on a similar journey. The language in both cases is coding, and Microsoft executives are making it a global cause. “Coding is a universal language,” said Dona Sarkar, principal product manager at Microsoft. “Coding is the language of solving problems.”
Funded by a $40 million investment from Microsoft Corp., the University of Washington and China’s elite Tsinghua University will launch a new program in Seattle in the fall of 2016 to focus on technology and design innovation—a cooperative move between nations for whom technology has been a sore point in recent years. The “Global Innovation Exchange” will represent the first physical presence by a Chinese research university on U.S.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a $1 million donation to assist in the development of a high-tech interactive exhibit at the United States Diplomacy Center (USDC). The Department of State will provide the space, staff, and security for the museum, which is intended to honor the history and significance of diplomacy in America.