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Memorable days: Tough first few months to assert as editor

Mostafa Kamal Majumder After taking over as editor of The New Nation in May I spent some tough months for a variety of reasons. The proprietor used to subsidise the paper with his earnings from the Daily Ittefaq. The paper had about 100 journalists and general employees. The monthly salary bill was around Taka four hundred thousand which the paper ... Read More »

Reproductive rights of women and girls under lockdown

BEIRUT / GENEVA, May 28 2020 (IPS) – Health systems around the world are prioritising health care services and equipment to treat people diagnosed with Covid-19, which means that many procedures deemed to be elective and non-essential are being suspended or simply not provided. Abortion, for instance, has been categorised as a non-essential health service by some States, while others ... Read More »

Wordsmith par excellence

Sudhirendar Sharma No contemporary poet has been capable of engineering thoughts on social awakening through poetic lyricism. Such has been its lyrical contemporariness that ‘main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya’ has been taken to heart by even the millennial generation, justifying the adage ‘you can’t have enough of Sahir’ which best describes the work of iconic poet and lyricist ... Read More »

Memorable days in the career of an unsung newspaper editor

Mostafa Kamal Majumder When I was offered to be the editor of The New Nation, Dhaka on 4 May 2005, I had already worked there as Executive Editor for nearly two years. I thought it was time for me to take responsibility. The management of the paper was happy with the services I rendered as Executive Editor under editor Mohiuddin ... Read More »

Are the SDGs in reverse gear?

By Saida Ali NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 2020 (IPS) – When I was a little girl, my mother told us the story of a woman who escaped from a monster by cooking stones: when the monster fell asleep waiting for his dinner, the woman ran for her life. Read More »

India’s Draft EIA 2020 to weaken the EIA process: SANDRP

SANDRP Experience of the current Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process under the current EIA notification of Sept 2006 tells us that the process needs strengthening in every aspect. The Narendra Modi government has now proposed a new EIA notification, whose draft has been made public, strangely during the lockdown period. The draft notification, instead, proposes weakening of the whole EIA ... Read More »

Nakba: A Call For Justice In Palestine

By Jafar M Ramini May 15th was the 72nd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) and counting. I say ‘and counting’ because the theft of our land, the occupation, the siege on Gaza, the disposition of our people, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and replacement of the Palestinian nation with Jews with dual nationality from around the world continues more ... Read More »

Sans universal health care we’re sitting ducks for pandemics

By Siddharth Chatterjee NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 2020 (IPS) – We live in a different world to the one we inhabited six short months ago. With more than 4 million people infected and over 280,000 dead globally by mid-May 2020, Covid-19 has ruthlessly exposed the vulnerability of a globalised world to pandemic disease. People are slowly coming to terms with ... Read More »

Coronavirus leads to nosedive in Latin America remittances

By Humberto Márquez CARACAS, May 18 2020 (IPS) – Remittances that support millions of households in Latin America and the Caribbean have plunged as family members lose jobs and income in their host countries, with entire families sliding back into poverty, as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis and global economic recession. Read More »

Albeiro Vargas: a must watch family documentary

If you are not moved by the content of this documentary, check your pulse to see if you are alive Sir Frank Peters And now here’s something that offers respite from the depressing Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic reports… and hope for humanity. It’s delivered in litre-size Albeiro Vargas, an extraordinary 9-year-old from Colombia. Read More »

Freedom of religion and the Covid-19 pandemic

By Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi Any place on earth can be a mosque and prayer can be offered wherever there is the presence of God. The movement restriction order is preventing us from going outside but it does not prevent us from going within the recesses of our soul to discover the untapped spiritual force within. Read More »

Vitamin not a ‘miracle cure’ but may fight Covid-9

A new study from researchers at Trinity College Dublin has hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to higher mortality rates from COVID-19. Published in the Irish Medical Journal, the report analyzed vitamin D levels of older people in countries heavily affected by the coronavirus and found that places with high death rates from COVID-19, including Italy and Spain, ... Read More »

Modern slavery in Asia Pacific fuelled by poverty, migration

By Neena Bhandari SYDNEY, Australia, May 15 2020 (IPS) – Aged 17, Moe Turaga was saddled with the responsibility of providing for his mother and young siblings when a family member approached him with the promise of a job and education in Australia. Dreaming of a bright future for himself and his family, he seized the opportunity and left the ... Read More »

COVID-19 blows away myth of First & Third World competence

JOHANNESBURG, May 15 2020 (IPS) – One of the planet’s – and Africa’s – deepest prejudices are being demolished by the way countries handle COVID-19. For as long as any of us remember, everyone “knew” that “First World” countries – in effect, Western Europe and North America – were much better at providing their citizens with a good life than ... Read More »

Healthy Oceans: Keeping Asia and the Pacific Afloat

By Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana BANGKOK, Thailand, May 13 2020 (IPS) – Memories of idyllic beaches and sonorous waves may seem far away while we remain at home. Yet, we need not look far to appreciate the enduring history of the ocean in Asia and the Pacific. For generations, the region has thrived on our seas. Our namesake bears a nod ... Read More »

Stay home? Wash hands? But 1.8b homeless; 3.0b sans water

By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS, May 14 2020 (IPS) – The relentless battle against the devastating coronavirus pandemic has been underlined by several widespread advisories from health experts – Stay home. Wash your hands. Wear mask. Keep social distance. But the UK-based WaterAid and UN Habitat in Nairobi point out the paradox in at least two of the warnings: a ... Read More »

Can graft risks be mitigated not hindering Covid-19 response

Ed Olowo-Okere As governments respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the need for speed can lead to short-circuiting the normal procedures designed to control corruption risks. The circumstances of the pandemic can make traditional oversight even more challenging. Moreover, the nature of an emergency response itself can open new avenues for corruption. At its worst, corruption could lead to unnecessary ... Read More »

Housing is both a prevention & cure for Covid-19

By Maimunah Mohd Sharif and Leilani Farha NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 2020 (IPS) – Public health officials are calling the “stay home” policy the sacrifice of our generation. To flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections, this call of duty is now emblazoned on t-shirts, in street art and a celebrity hashtag. Read More »

COVID-19 has not slowed down ecological women farmers

Huasao, Peru, May (IPS/Mariela Jara) – It’s eight o’clock in the morning and Pascuala Ninantay is carrying two large containers of water in her wheelbarrow to prepare with neighbouring women farmers 200 litres of organic fertiliser, which will then be distributed to fertilise their crops, in this town in the Andes highlands of Peru. Read More »

Biodiversity or Bust

By Tudor Alexis TORONTO – The blame game has begun. The number of COVID-19 victims is still unknown, but there is a stream of hate and misinformation pervading timelines. The damage of disinformation and the virus itself to families and communities is equal to our failure to ensure that science, not rhetoric, shapes policy. Studies show that it is more ... Read More »

34 movies to take you inside global food system from home

Danielle Nierenberg One of the most powerful ways to learn about the food system is through those on the front lines. And as we shelter at home during this pandemic, documentaries can help transport us directly to farms, processing facilities, grocery stores, corporate boardrooms, and protest marches across the food chain. Read More »

Need for a new architecture on international public finance

Coventry, United Kingdom, 6 May (Celine Tan) – The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the systemic failures of the international framework for development cooperation and international public finance. Based on an outdated, post-war system that is premised on charity, not solidarity, the current architecture of public finance aggravates power asymmetries and socioeconomic and geopolitical inequalities and is inadequate for dealing with ... Read More »