Ina Fried

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Bill Clinton Highlights Global Cellular Success Stories as CTIA 2012 Wraps Up

Former President Bill Clinton spoke Thursday on how the growing ubiquity of cellphones is dramatically changing lives throughout the world.

In the final speech of the CTIA trade show in New Orleans, Clinton talked about how cellphones are enabling the first banking in Haiti, allowing people to detect counterfeit drugs in Africa and connecting refugees throughout the globe.

Wireless technology is also going to help in America’s battle to control healthcare costs, which now account for 18 percent of U.S. spending.

Clinton also spoke about the need for bipartisanship and the consequences that can and do occur when people don’t work together to solve the tough problems facing society. He pointed to examples in Costa Rica and Brazil where people of different viewpoints are coming together even on issues with no clear solution.

The 42nd president began his talk on a light note, pointing out that among the findings of the genome project is that most humans have between 1 percent and 4 percent Neanderthal DNA.

“My wife and daughter weren’t surprised,” Clinton quipped. “They already knew I was part Neanderthal, but they were stunned to find they were too.”

Just a reminder, even though CTIA wraps up later on Thursday, our coverage will continue in the coming days as we share some interesting stories we found through meetings and our tour of the show floor.

(Thanks to Taylor Hatmaker for the photo.)

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