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Op-Ed

Investigate Morsi’s death

By Chandra Muzaffar Immediately after Dr Mohammed Morsi’s death on the 17th of June 2019, a number of organisations and individuals had called for a thorough, independent investigation into the cause of his death while on trial in a Cairo court for espionage charges. The United Nations was one of the organisations that demanded an independent investigation. There is no ... Read More »

The WFP man was surprised as this man politely declined per diem in dollars

Mostafa Kamal Majumder After the April 29, 1991, devastating cyclone that ravaged the Southeastern coastal belt of Bangladesh with the official death toll put at 140,000; a spectacular post-cyclone agricultural recovery was achieved in the Kutubdia Island Upazila of Cox’s Bazar. The polder embankment around the island was rebuilt. Monsoon rains helped wash away the saline water whipped up by ... Read More »

15 inspiring women leading in the AgTech Sector

From Danielle Nierenberg Women in the food system and technology sectors face a lot of obstacles. The agriculture sector is rapidly incorporating new technologies and innovations, but the sector often falls flat in incorporating women into AgTech. Women in the sector make on average 61 cents to the dollar in wages compared to their male counterparts, and women-led startups receive ... Read More »

ILO’s Non-binding treaty to end harassment at workplace?

By Thalif Deen UN, Jun 26, 2019 (IPS) – Against the bbackdropof widespread charges of sexual abuse and harassment at workplaces– including the United Nations– the International Labour Conference (ILC) last week adopted a “Convention” and a set of “Recommendations” to protect workers and employees worldwide. According to the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation (ILO), whose broad policies are set by ... Read More »

Rise of superbugs – and why industrial farming to blame

The massive use of antibiotics, fungicides and herbicides in industrial farming is contributing to the undermining of live-saving human medicines. By GRAIN Over the past few months, we’ve been inundated with alarming new evidence on how our industrial society is wreaking havoc upon other species and the rest of the natural environment. Not a week goes by without the emergence ... Read More »

Poorest nations weighed down by fastest growing populations

By Thalif DeenReprint| UN, Jun 24 2019 (IPS) – With a new report projecting a rise in population, specifically in Asia and Africa, the United Nations has warned that continued rapid population growth presents enormous challenges for sustainable development in the world’s 134 developing nations. Among them, the heaviest impact will be on the 47 least developed countries (LDCs), described ... Read More »

Opposition win in Istanbul a blow to Turkey’s Erdogan

Istanbul, Jun 24 (AP/UNB) — The opposition candidate for mayor of Istanbul celebrated a landmark win Sunday in a closely watched repeat election that ended weeks of political tension and broke the long hold President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party had on leading Turkey’s largest city. “Thank you, Istanbul,” Ekrem Imamoglu, 49, said to the tens of thousands of people who ... Read More »

More than 700mn people still live on less than $1.90 per day

Akihiko Nishio Over the past quarter-century, the world has made enormous advances in the fight against extreme poverty. In that time, more than one billion people have risen out of its deadly grip. While this is a remarkable achievement, more than 700 million people still live on less than $1.90-per-day. That’s roughly one in every 10 people on the planet ... Read More »

The re-awakening of compassion

If all youth were to work together with similar mind, similar heart, similar compassion, as the young members of Revolution to Improve Bangladesh are doing, there is no doubt an enormous difference would be made Sir Frank Peters A revolution is taking solid root in a village near Gazipur and it’s one that even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the ... Read More »

Desertification ‘more dangerous, more insidious than wars’

By Desmond Brown Ankara, Jun 18 2019 (IPS) – Businesses are being encouraged to follow the lead of the youth to halt desertification, reduce degradation, improve agricultural sustainability and restore damaged lands. “The youth is a very particular case. The youth give me a lot of hope because I see their passion, and I see their vision,” head of the ... Read More »

Beyond the EU budget zero-sum game

by Leonardo Costa Discussion of the EU budget brings strife between supposed net contributors and beneficiaries. Yet the picture is more complex and Europe-wide taxation offers a way out. When it comes to the budget for the European Union, the debate is dominated by which member states are net contributors and which net beneficiaries. This has been a barrier to ... Read More »

New UK rules to end gender stereotypes in ads may go further

by Magadlena Zawisza Advertisers still often hit consumers with gender stereotypes. And do they often miss—at their own business expense. Remember the infamous ‘beach body ready’ campaign from 2015 for the supplement brand Protein World? It’s the one that challenged passersby with a steel-gazed, bikini clad, perfectly toned model and the slogan ‘Are you beach body ready?’. And what about ... Read More »

Older and wiser?—when govts get it wrong on pensions reform

by Steve Coulter on 18th June 2019 Greater dependency ratios may imply pensions reform—but not that it be unfair. Europe is turning grey. By 2060 over a quarter of the EU’s population will be over 65. Ageing is accelerating as the baby-boom generation retires and average life-spans continue to increase. But while most of us are celebrating the fact that ... Read More »

No continent, no country not impacted by land degradation

By Desmond Brown Ankara, Jun 17 2019 (IPS) – The coming decades will be crucial in shaping and implementing a transformative land agenda, according to a scientist at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) framework for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). UNCCD-Science Policy Interface co-chair Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster, who spoke with IPS ahead of the start of activities to ... Read More »

How indigenous people in Sikkim united in anti-dam movement

by Sahana Ghosh on 17 June 2019 • Territoriality through traditional self-governance played a key role in successful and sustained anti-dam protests by two indigenous communities in Lachen and Lachung in the eastern Himalayas. • While many anti-dam protests have not been successful in northeast India, they worked in Sikkim’s Lachen and Lachung because of the deployment of notions of ... Read More »

This time is different

by Branko Milanovic Marx once wrote of the temptation, confronted with a new historical situation, to summon up the ‘borrowed language’ of the past. He’s still right, writes Branko Milanovic. Le hasard ne profite qu’aux esprits préparés (Chance favours only those who are primed) Louis Pasteur Several days ago, as I went through my ‘library’, I noticed Georges Sorel’s Reflections ... Read More »

What’s wrong with environmental impact assessments?

by Maxwell Gomera Cambridge – Walhi, Indonesia’s largest environmental organization, recently took the government to court for issuing construction permits to a Chinese company based on what they allege was a “deeply flawed” environmental impact assessment. In fact, Wahli contends, the $1.5 billion Batang Toru dam project will have severe ecological consequences, including the likely extinction of the world’s rarest ... Read More »

Islands of climate innovation

by Mike Eman Oranjestad – To live in a small island state today is to reckon regularly with the cruellest irony of climate change. Islands contribute little to global warming, but they are the first to suffer from its devastating effects and the least equipped to manage them. As carbon dioxide emissions from larger, wealthier industrialized countries continue to warm ... Read More »

24bn tons of fertile soil globally; 8% GDP of poor nations lost annually

Dhaka, June 17 – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8 percent annually. “We must urgently change such trends,” he said in a message marking the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought that falls on June 17. He said protecting and restoring land – and better using ... Read More »

Notre Dame of Gaza: Our Mosques, Churches are also burning

By Ramzy Baroud 24 Apr 2019 – As the 300-foot spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris tragically came tumbling down on live television, my thoughts ventured to Nuseirat Refugee Camp, my childhood home in the Gaza Strip. Then, also on television, I watched as a small bulldozer hopelessly clawed through the rubble of my neighborhood mosque. I grew ... Read More »

Asia-Pacific Region falters on UN development goals

By Thalif Deen UN, Jun 14, 2019 (IPS) – UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed told a Chatham House meeting in London last week that the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), one of the legacies of the late Secretary-General Kofi Annan, “spawned tremendous progress” in the battle against poverty worldwide. She pointed out that the number of people living on less ... Read More »

Social imbalances in the EU

by Sylvia Schmidt Despite the economic recovery of recent years, persistent social imbalances—such as those affecting women and young people—must be taken into account in the debate on Europe’s future. In the wake of the European Parliament elections, this autumn a new European Commission will start its mandate. As the political changing of the guard approaches, debates on the future ... Read More »

Developing technologies for zero-carbon economies

By Nils Røkke Trontheim, Norway, Jun 11 (IPS) – Never before has half a degree (0.5C) meant so much for humanity. We are behaving as if we have time to deal with climate change. We don’t. The main problem is that we believe we must sacrifice growth and prosperity for the sake of decarbonisation. We don’t. Increase investments We can ... Read More »

Big data and its enclosure of the commons

by Ekkehard Ernst Digital dystopias are overdone but inequality is rising. The answer lies in treating data as a commons and Big Data as a collective-action problem. The fear of the machine is back. Dystopian views of a world without jobs abound as autonomous vehicles, humanoid robots and super computers are thought to replace human workers. Recent progress in artificial ... Read More »

Society: Financialisation destroys social solidarity

By Michael Lim Mah Hui and Jomo Kwame Sundaram Penang and Kuala Lumpur, Jun 4 2019 (IPS) – Finance has not stopped at dominating the real economy. The tentacles of finance have reached into significant, if not most parts of society. Gerald Davis characterises modern society, where finance is dominant, as a ‘portfolio society’, in which aspects of social life ... Read More »

Mothers in the US are dying: What are we doing to save them?

By Juan Pablo Segura Washington DC, Jun 7 2019 (IPS) – The maternal mortality rate in the United States is the highest of any developed country – and the rate is rising. The US is currently the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world. Few to none of these maternal deaths are due to medical mismanagement. Instead, ... Read More »

China should lead on air pollution

by Kris Hartley, Asit K. Biswas Singapore/Hong Kong – The United Nations expects 68% of the world’s population to live in urban areas by 2050. As governments scramble to manage this flood of urban migration, they must address not only basic needs such as housing and employment but also issues impacting liveability and public health – including air pollution. Nowhere ... Read More »

Japan’s government must exit coal

by Jan Erik Saugestad OSLO – Following the abdication of Emperor Akihito, Japan announced that its new imperial era would be called Reiwa (“beautiful harmony”). But if the Reiwa era is to live up to its name, Japan’s government must follow the lead of the country’s energy investors and utilities, and begin to exit coal and move into renewables. The ... Read More »

Planning can save the Planet: China chooses renewable energy

By Sara Flounders 23 Apr 2019 – The very corporations that are responsible for the problem are denying global warming, with immediate consequences for the whole world. Carbon emissions from the burning of oil, gas and methane are heating the planet, creating a crisis of rising sea levels, droughts, extreme weather, poisoned ground water and polluted air that puts all ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s sacred games

By Satya Sagar In the times we live in, where smoke and mirrors are the world’s two chief weapons of war, fiction is a better guide to contemporary events than ‘facts’ presented by governments and media. A case in point is the horrific Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, that killed over 250 and maimed scores of people, and has ... Read More »