iFive: Google-Verizon Pact, China’s Eco Tax, Facebook’s Friendster Patents, Wyclef for Prez, Model Blood Diamonds

Run for your life! Or cuddle up? From Wyclef to supermodels to China and Facebook, here’s what you missed overnight.


1. Google and Verizon have reportedly made a pact on how they will
handle Internet traffic, side-stepping the net neutrality debate and
sending Web-wonks into a frenzy today. It’s good news if true: The deal
would restrict Verizon from slowing the content that travels over its
wires. But it won’t apply to mobile data, which is bad news– especially now that Google is seeing over 200,000 Android activations per day.


2. China may soon test an environmental tax in four rural provinces. The carbon tax is not a new idea–it’s being considered in India, Taiwan, was nearly passed in France, and is already working in Sweden and the Netherlands. A few U.S. states have passed some form of carbon tax as well, but it’s still a subject of intense debate here. But with news today that China has overtaken the U.S. in wind power production, and Beijing’s pledge to cut C02 production by 45% per unit of GDP by 2020, the U.S. is beginning to look like a laggard.

3. Facebook has a friend in Jonathan Abrams. The social networking giant has acquired 18 patents from Friendster, the pioneering social networking site founded by Abrams, for $40 million.

4. Wyclef is running for President of Haiti. He’s expected to detail his plans tonight on Larry King Live.


5. Naomi Campbell admits in court to receiving a few “very small, dirty looking stones” at the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor at
the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, but added she was
not sure who the diamonds were from.
Will Leonardo DiCaprio come to her rescue?

About the author

Jenara is an overseas reporter for Fast Company and a freelance writer/producer in Asia, regularly on CNNGo, and a graduate of Harvard and UC Berkeley.