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    Today, around 21,000 children died around the world. This daily tragedy, from poverty and other preventable causes, rarely makes headline news.

    Latest world news

    World

    1. Afghanistans Girls Need our Unwavering Support in Education

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      NEW YORK, Sep 09 (IPS) - The Taliban takeover of government in Kabul is just days old, and the eyes of Afghans and the world are cautiously watching and hopeful to see them stand by their word and ensure that girls’ education be promoted and protected.

    2. The Forbidden Love

      - Inter Press Service

      DHAKA, Bangladesh, Sep 08 (IPS) - Abandoned by family and friends, transgender people in Bangladesh are subject to extensive daily abuse. The existing and continuously growing transphobia and homophobia in society are obstacles in the lives of this group. The people featured here from the LGBTQ+ community share a wide variety of narratives.

    3. General Assembly President calls for halt to nuclear tests

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      The President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, on Wednesday called for an end to nuclear tests, as ambassadors gathered to commemorate the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed annually on 29 August. ?

    4. COVID-19: ‘Unacceptable’ deals and delays, hampering lifesaving COVAX deliveries

      - UN News

      While 80 per cent of citizens in high and upper-middle income nations have had a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, that figure stands at just 20 per cent for?those living below?the top tiers, according to a joint statement issued by UN and partner agencies, responsible for the multilateral COVAX initiative to provide equal access for all.?

    5. Make mental health a priority across the board, UN chief urges

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      Mental health and psychosocial support must be seen as integral?to all?humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programmes?across the UN,?the?Secretary-General said?on?Wednesday.??

    6. National ownership critical, once guns fall silent, Security Council hears

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      Although UN peacekeeping?missions?can help put a country on the right track following conflict, only?a commitment from national governments?can?keep it there over the long term, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a Security Council meeting on Wednesday to examine support for?the transition towards lasting peace.??

    7. Climate action: Guterres hails Latin American and Caribbean leadership

      - UN News

      The UN chief on Wednesday?commended?the leadership of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on climate action.?

    8. Yemen: ‘Climate of fear’ grows, all sides to blame, say rights experts

      - UN News

      There has been no let-up in more than six years of conflict in Yemen, as a growing “climate of fear” among civilians continues, a panel of UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.

    9. Meningitis outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo: WHO

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      A?deadly?outbreak of meningitis has been declared in a?northeastern?province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the World Health Organization (WHO) have been supporting health authorities to deploy an initial emergency?response?team.?

    10. A Regional Agreement for a Healthy Eco-Sytem in Latin America & the Caribbean

      - Inter Press Service

      VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sep 08 (IPS) - In August 31st 2021, five Nations including Costa Rica - the country where the Escazú Agreement was adopted - announced publicly working towards a proposal for UN Human Rights Council to recognize globally the right to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment at its 48th session in September.

    11. More stories…

    Health

    1. COVID-19: ‘Unacceptable’ deals and delays, hampering lifesaving COVAX deliveries

      - UN News

      While 80 per cent of citizens in high and upper-middle income nations have had a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, that figure stands at just 20 per cent for?those living below?the top tiers, according to a joint statement issued by UN and partner agencies, responsible for the multilateral COVAX initiative to provide equal access for all.?

    2. Make mental health a priority across the board, UN chief urges

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      Mental health and psychosocial support must be seen as integral?to all?humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programmes?across the UN,?the?Secretary-General said?on?Wednesday.??

    3. Meningitis outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of the Congo: WHO

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      A?deadly?outbreak of meningitis has been declared in a?northeastern?province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the World Health Organization (WHO) have been supporting health authorities to deploy an initial emergency?response?team.?

    4. COVID-19 Delta variant still ‘most concerning’, say WHO experts

      - UN News

      Even with the emergence of the new Mu COVID-19 variant, the Delta strain remains the top concern globally, appearing to “outcompete” others, senior officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

    5. End Vaccine Apartheid

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 07 (IPS) - Vaccine costs have pushed many developing countries to the end of the COVID-19 vaccination queue, with most low-income ones not even lining up. Worse, less vaccinated poor nations cannot afford fiscal efforts to provide relief or stimulate recovery, let alone achieve Agenda 2030.

    6. WHO to G20 Health Ministers: Meet COVID-19 pledges, support regional vaccine manufacturing

      - UN News

      Despite hopes that by now the pandemic would be under control, the head of the UN’s health agency told the G20 leading industrialized nations Health Ministers Meeting in Rome on Sunday that?“the opposite is true”.

    7. Internationally Trained Medical Doctors are Part of the Solution in Post-Covid-19 Canadian Healthcare System

      - Inter Press Service

      Sep 03 (IPS) - Access to quality healthcare is a basic human right, but for many, especially those in vulnerable communities, the right is not?fully realized.

    8. Haiti earthquake: Waterborne disease poses new threat to children

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      A crippling earthquake followed by plummeting rains have put some 540,000 children in southwest Haiti at risk of life-threatening waterborne diseases, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned.

    9. Improving air quality ‘key’ to confronting global environmental crises

      - UN News

      With environmental events becoming increasingly interconnected, a new global report on air pollution published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Thursday underscores that improved air quality is “key to tackling the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste”.

    10. COVID-19: Africa could miss goal to vaccinate millions by month’s end

      - UN News

      Africa could miss the goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable 10 per cent of its population against COVID-19 before the month ends, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

    11. More stories…

    Economy

    1. Afghanistans Girls Need our Unwavering Support in Education

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      NEW YORK, Sep 09 (IPS) - The Taliban takeover of government in Kabul is just days old, and the eyes of Afghans and the world are cautiously watching and hopeful to see them stand by their word and ensure that girls’ education be promoted and protected.

    2. COVID-19: ‘Unacceptable’ deals and delays, hampering lifesaving COVAX deliveries

      - UN News

      While 80 per cent of citizens in high and upper-middle income nations have had a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, that figure stands at just 20 per cent for?those living below?the top tiers, according to a joint statement issued by UN and partner agencies, responsible for the multilateral COVAX initiative to provide equal access for all.?

    3. End Vaccine Apartheid

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 07 (IPS) - Vaccine costs have pushed many developing countries to the end of the COVID-19 vaccination queue, with most low-income ones not even lining up. Worse, less vaccinated poor nations cannot afford fiscal efforts to provide relief or stimulate recovery, let alone achieve Agenda 2030.

    4. The Main Contradiction of the Modern Era

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      BERLIN, Sep 06 (IPS) - The main contradiction of the modern era, and indeed of all human history, is not between capitalism and socialism, and not even between authoritarianism and democracy, but between individualism and collectivism, between public and personal interests.

      Countries that are getting ahead in the economic race allow themselves the luxury of individualism, prioritizing human rights, which ultimately undermines their political and economic power and causes their decline and the rise of more collectivist civilizations. It is literally the story that is as old, as the world itself…

    5. Afghanistan: A Swedish Officer’s Point of View

      - Inter Press Service

      STOCKHOLM / ROME, Sep 06 (IPS) - Like most of us, I rely on news media to find an explanation to tragedies I watch on TV. Neverthelss, some of my opinions about the Afghan tragedy have furthermore been influenced by talks I once had with my friend Bernth Dagerklint. We had for some years been working as teachers at a high school, though this was not Bernth’s main occupation. Most of the time, he served as an officer during international, armed campaigns supported by the Swedish government. He had been to former Yugoslavia, the West Bank and not the least in Afghanistan, where he since 2003 on several occasions worked as ”instructor” for Afghan officers.

    6. Afghanistan – Another Viet Nam?

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      ROME, Sep 06 (IPS) - There are several points of similarity between the war in Afghanistan and the war in Viet Nam. The Taliban, like the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, proved to be formidable tacticians and fighters. They managed to contain a far better equipped opponent and mount effective counteroffensives; access sufficient domestic and foreign funding to pay their fighters and support their families; build a formidable intelligence network; and acquire necessary technical capabilities in areas such as repair and maintenance of small arms.

    7. Lebanon: Almost three-quarters of the population living in poverty

      - UN News

      Poverty in Lebanon has drastically increased over the past year and now affects about 74% of?the?population, warned the UN?Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)?on?Friday.?

    8. IUCN Congress to Push for Stronger Regulations against ‘Imported Deforestation’

      - Inter Press Service

      BHUBANESWAR, India, Sep 02 (IPS) - As Arti Prasad rode the Kuala Lumpur Pavilion mall escalator up to the third floor, a pair of luscious lips pouted down at her. Next to the towering and oversized lips, the vibrant red shades of lipstick on the giant screen immediately caught the 36-year-old Indian tourist’s fancy.

    9. 4.1 billion lack social safety net, warns UN labour agency

      - UN News

      More than four billion people live without any welfare protection today to cushion them from crisis, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO)?said?on Wednesday, while highlighting how the COVID-19 crisis has pushed up government spending by some 30 per cent.

    10. Is Canada Missing out on Leveraging ITMDs in it’s Healthcare Plans?

      - Inter Press Service

      A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

      NEW DELHI, India, Aug 31 (IPS) - With elections right round the corner in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said that a re-elected Liberal government would spend billions in the coming years to hire family doctors. This report says, Justin Trudeau promised that the Liberals would spend $3 billion over four years starting in 2022 to hire 7500 family doctors and nurses as well as tax and student loan incentives for health professionals who set up shop in rural or remote communities and also pledges an extra $6 billion to wrestle with wait lists.

    11. More stories…

    Climate

    1. Climate action: Guterres hails Latin American and Caribbean leadership

      - UN News

      The UN chief on Wednesday?commended?the leadership of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on climate action.?

    2. A Regional Agreement for a Healthy Eco-Sytem in Latin America & the Caribbean

      - Inter Press Service

      VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sep 08 (IPS) - In August 31st 2021, five Nations including Costa Rica - the country where the Escazú Agreement was adopted - announced publicly working towards a proposal for UN Human Rights Council to recognize globally the right to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment at its 48th session in September.

    3. Climate Crisis Drives Up Cost of Electricity and Brings Big Changes in Brazil

      - Inter Press Service

      RíO DE JANEIRO, Sep 08 (IPS) - As most of the world seeks to modify its energy mix to mitigate climate change, Brazil has also been forced to do so to adapt to the climate crisis whose effects are being felt in the country due to the scarcity of rainfall.

    4. From locusts to cyclones: The human cost of interlinked disasters

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      Many extreme environmental events have a devastating effect on people’s lives, and a new UN report reveals that many of them are linked by the same underlying causes. On the day the study is released, we look at the impact of a locust swarm on a Kenyan farmer, and the ways that Cyclone Amphan affected an Indian worker.

    5. Human activity the common link between disasters around the world, says UN report

      - UN News

      Disasters such as cyclones, floods, and droughts are more connected than we might think, and human activity is the common thread, a UN report released on Wednesday reveals.

    6. Blue sky thinking: 5 things to know about air pollution

      - UN News

      Around 90 per cent of people go through their daily lives breathing harmful polluted air, which has been described by the United Nations as the most important health issue of our time. To mark the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, on 7 September, UN News explains how bad it is and what is being done to tackle it.

    7. Drop coal or climate change will ‘wreak havoc’ across Australian economy

      - UN News

      Climate change will “wreak havoc” across the Australian economy if coal is not rapidly phased out, a senior UN official warned on Monday.?

    8. Climate action essential to cool ‘season of fire and floods’ worldwide: Deputy UN chief

      - UN News

      A story from UN News

      With extreme weather events?increasingly?impacting countries across the world, the?deputy?UN?chief on Monday?underlined?the importance of limiting temperature rise to the internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.?

    9. Air quality improvements from COVID lockdowns confirmed

      - UN News

      COVID-19 lockdowns brought rapid and “unprecedented” improvements in air quality in some parts of the world - but not enough to halt climate change caused by global warming, UN weather experts said on Friday.

    10. The Future of Food & Water Systems in Pakistan & Central Asia?

      - Inter Press Service

      COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Sep 03 (IPS) - An intense monsoon season in Pakistan means the country’s food system faces the challenge of both extreme floods and extended droughts.

      In an effort to address these challenges through cross-sectoral collaboration, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, IWMI’s Country Representative for Pakistan and Regional Representative for Central Asia, convened a regional dialogue in advance of the UN Food Systems Summit (which is scheduled to take place at the United Nations, September 23) .

    11. More stories…

    More news by World, Economy, Environment, Geopolitics, Health, Human Rights, More news topics

    World news powered by Inter Press Service International News Agency and UN News

    Issues in depth

    Latest

    Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

    Many are afraid that tackling climate change is going to be too costly. But increasingly, studies are showing action will not just be cheaper than inaction, but could actually result in economic, environmental and even health benefits, while improving sustainability.

    Read “Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction” to learn more.

    Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction

    The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing.

    Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

    This section looks at what causes climate change, what the impacts are and where scientific consensus currently is.

    Read “Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction” to learn more.

    COP20—Lima Climate Conference

    An overview of the Climate Change Conference (also known as COP 20), held in Lima, Peru in December 2014.

    While it seemed like it was a successful meeting, because developing nations were committed to drawing up their own plans for emissions reductions for the first time, a number of important issues were left undecided such as how financing would work.

    This page is an overview of the Lima Climate conference.

    Read “COP20—Lima Climate Conference” to learn more.

    Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

    An overview of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa that has been described by the World Health Organization as the largest, most severe and most complex outbreak in the history of the disease.

    The epidemic began at the end of 2013, in Guinea. From there it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Many of the affected countries face enormous challenges in stopping its spread and providing care for all patients.

    Thousands of people have died and many are at risk as the fatality rate from this virus is very high. As the crisis worsens, as well as the enormous health challenges involved, the social and economic consequences may set these countries back, reversing some gains a number of these countries have made in recent years.

    Read “Ebola Outbreak in West Africa” to learn more.

    Foreign Aid for Development Assistance

    In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually.

    Since that time, billions have certainly been given each year, but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target.

    For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.

    Net ODA in dollars and percent of GNI

    Furthermore, aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. Common criticisms, for many years, of foreign aid, have included the following:

    • Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from donor countries
    • Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most
    • Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
    • Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.

    This article explores who has benefited most from this aid, the recipients or the donors.

    Read “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance” to learn more.

    Nature and Animal Conservation

    Preserving species and their habitats is important for ecosystems to self-sustain themselves.

    Yet, the pressures to destroy habitat for logging, illegal hunting, and other challenges are making conservation a struggle.

    Read “Nature and Animal Conservation” to learn more.

    More updates

    Most Popular

    Poverty Facts and Stats

    Most of humanity lives on just a few dollars a day. Whether you live in the wealthiest nations in the world or the poorest, you will see high levels of inequality.

    80% of the world population lived on less than $10 a day in 2005

    The poorest people will also have less access to health, education and other services. Problems of hunger, malnutrition and disease afflict the poorest in society. The poorest are also typically marginalized from society and have little representation or voice in public and political debates, making it even harder to escape poverty.

    By contrast, the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from economic or political policies. The amount the world spends on military, financial bailouts and other areas that benefit the wealthy, compared to the amount spent to address the daily crisis of poverty and related problems are often staggering.

    Some facts and figures on poverty presented in this page are eye-openers, to say the least.

    Read “Poverty Facts and Stats” to learn more.

    Global Financial Crisis

    Following a period of economic boom, a financial bubble — global in scope — burst, even causing some of the world’s largest financial institutions have collapsed. With the resulting recession, many governments of the wealthiest nations in the world have resorted to extensive bail-out and rescue packages for the remaining large banks and financial institutions while imposing harsh austerity measures on themselves.

    Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparent socializing of the costs while privatizing the profits. Furthermore, the institutions being rescued are typically the ones got the world into this trouble in the first place. For smaller businesses and poorer people, such options for bail out and rescue are rarely available when they find themselves in crisis.

    Plummeting stock markets at one point wiped out 33% of the value of companies, $14.5 trillion. Taxpayers bailed out their banks and financial institutions with large amounts of money. US taxpayers alone have spent some $9.7 trillion in bailout packages and plans. The UK and other European countries have also spent some $2 trillion on rescues and bailout packages. More is expected. Much more.

    Such numbers, made quickly available, are enough to wipe many individual’s mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

    Taxpayers are paying for some of the largests costs in history

    This problem could have been averted (in theory) as people had been pointing to these issues for decades. However, during boom, very few want to hear such pessimism. Does this crisis spell an end to the careless forms of banking and finance and will it herald a better economic age, or are we just doomed to keep forgetting history and repeat these mistakes in the future? Signs are not encouraging as rich nations are resisting meaningful reform…

    Read “Global Financial Crisis” to learn more.

    Causes of Poverty

    Poverty is the state for the majority of the world’s people and nations. Why is this? Is it enough to blame poor people for their own predicament? Have they been lazy, made poor decisions, and been solely responsible for their plight? What about their governments? Have they pursued policies that actually harm successful development? Such causes of poverty and inequality are no doubt real. But deeper and more global causes of poverty are often less discussed.

    Read “Causes of Poverty” to learn more.

    Climate Change and Global Warming

    The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

    This section explores some of the effects of climate change. It also attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

    Read “Climate Change and Global Warming” to learn more.

    Environmental Issues

    Environmental issues are also a major global issue. Humans depend on a sustainable and healthy environment, and yet we have damaged the environment in numerous ways. This section introduces other issues including biodiversity, climate change, animal and nature conservation, population, genetically modified food, sustainable development, and more.

    Read “Environmental Issues” to learn more.

    Racism

    Racism is the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns. This article explores racism from around the world.

    Read “Racism” to learn more.

    More articles

    Topical

    Global Financial Crisis

    Following a period of economic boom, a financial bubble — global in scope — burst, even causing some of the world’s largest financial institutions have collapsed. With the resulting recession, many governments of the wealthiest nations in the world have resorted to extensive bail-out and rescue packages for the remaining large banks and financial institutions while imposing harsh austerity measures on themselves.

    Some of the bail-outs have also led to charges of hypocrisy due to the apparent socializing of the costs while privatizing the profits. Furthermore, the institutions being rescued are typically the ones got the world into this trouble in the first place. For smaller businesses and poorer people, such options for bail out and rescue are rarely available when they find themselves in crisis.

    Plummeting stock markets at one point wiped out 33% of the value of companies, $14.5 trillion. Taxpayers bailed out their banks and financial institutions with large amounts of money. US taxpayers alone have spent some $9.7 trillion in bailout packages and plans. The UK and other European countries have also spent some $2 trillion on rescues and bailout packages. More is expected. Much more.

    Such numbers, made quickly available, are enough to wipe many individual’s mortgages, or clear out third world debt many times over. Even the high military spending figures are dwarfed by the bailout plans to date.

    Taxpayers are paying for some of the largests costs in history

    This problem could have been averted (in theory) as people had been pointing to these issues for decades. However, during boom, very few want to hear such pessimism. Does this crisis spell an end to the careless forms of banking and finance and will it herald a better economic age, or are we just doomed to keep forgetting history and repeat these mistakes in the future? Signs are not encouraging as rich nations are resisting meaningful reform…

    Read “Global Financial Crisis” to learn more.

    Climate Change and Global Warming

    The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing. Many are agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

    This section explores some of the effects of climate change. It also attempts to provide insights into what governments, companies, international institutions, and other organizations are attempting to do about this issue, as well as the challenges they face. Some of the major conferences in recent years are also discussed.

    Read “Climate Change and Global Warming” to learn more.

    Food and Agriculture Issues

    Food and agriculture goes to the heart of our civilizations. Religions, cultures and even modern civilization have food and agriculture at their core. For an issue that goes to the heart of humanity it also has its ugly side.

    This issue explores topics ranging from the global food crisis of 2008, to issues of food aid, world hunger, food dumping and wasteful agriculture such as growing tobacco, sugar, beef, and more.

    Read “Food and Agriculture Issues” to learn more.

    Foreign Aid for Development Assistance

    In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7% of their gross national income as official international development aid, annually.

    Since that time, billions have certainly been given each year, but rarely have the rich nations actually met their promised target.

    For example, the US is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7% target.

    Net ODA in dollars and percent of GNI

    Furthermore, aid has often come with a price of its own for the developing nations. Common criticisms, for many years, of foreign aid, have included the following:

    • Aid is often wasted on conditions that the recipient must use overpriced goods and services from donor countries
    • Most aid does not actually go to the poorest who would need it the most
    • Aid amounts are dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products while rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products
    • Large projects or massive grand strategies often fail to help the vulnerable; money can often be embezzled away.

    This article explores who has benefited most from this aid, the recipients or the donors.

    Read “Foreign Aid for Development Assistance” to learn more.

    Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens; Undermining Democracy

    Through tax havens, transfer pricing and many other policies — both legal and illegal — billions of dollars of tax are avoided. The much-needed money would helped developing (and developed) countries provide important social services for their populations.

    Some tax avoidance, regardless of how morally objectionable it may be to some people, is perfectly legal, and the global super elite are able to hide away trillions of dollars, resulting in massive losses of tax revenues for cash-strapped governments who then burden ordinary citizens further with austerity measures during economic crisis, for example. Yet these super elite are often very influential in politics and business. In effect, they are able to undermine democracy and capitalism at the same time.

    As the global financial crisis has affected many countries, tackling tax avoidance would help target those more likely to have contributed to the problem while avoid many unnecessary austerity measures that hit the poorest so hard. But despite rhetoric stating otherwise, it does not seem to high on the agenda of many governments as you might think.

    Read “Tax Avoidance and Tax Havens; Undermining Democracy” to learn more.

    World Military Spending

    World military spending had reduced since the Cold War ended, but a few nations such as the US retain high level spending.

    In recent years, global military expenditure has increased again and is now comparable to Cold War levels. Recent data shows global spending at over $1.7 trillion. 2012 saw the first dip in spending — only slightly —since 1998, in an otherwise rising trend.

    After a decline following the end of the Cold War, recent years have seen military spending increase

    The highest military spender is the US accounting for almost two-fifths of the world’s spending, more than the rest of the G7 (most economically advanced countries) combined, and more than all its potential enemies, combined.

    Read “World Military Spending” to learn more.

    More issues

    “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.” — Bertrand Russell, Roads to Freedom

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