Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Back to School," Aug. 27, 2011

Competition building

Perhaps annoyed by the worldwide attention generated by Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which opened as the world's tallest building in 2010, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced plans in August to build a one-kilometer-tall skyscraper in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. Bin Talal's Kingdom Holding announced on Aug. 2 that it had signed a $1.23 billion contract with the construction firm Bin Laden Group to build a 3,281-foot tower replete with a hotel, apartments, and office space. If bin Talal succeeds, his skyscraper will exceed Dubai's Burj Khalifa by more than 565 feet.

Cracked up

Perhaps striving to become the crack cocaine capital of the world, Vancouver health officials announced plans in July to provide the Canadian city's crack users with free crack pipes beginning later this year. Based on the philosophy behind Vancouver's needle-exchange program, health officials with the city say that if they can provide crack users with sterile crack pipes, the city will save money on medical treatment for diseases spread from crack user to crack user who share pipes. Meanwhile other healthcare advocates in Vancouver are agitating for a so-called safe inhalation site where the city's crack users would come and smoke crack in the presence of doctors and nurses without police interference. Vancouver already operates a taxpayer-funded site where heroin addicts may inject drugs with legal impunity in the presence of healthcare professionals.

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