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

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World

  1. Creating Beauty and Worth from Bamboo Enhances the Livelihoods of Ghana’s Artisans

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    KUMASI, Ghana, Nov 12 (IPS) - Yaw Owiredu Mintah from Ghana has been working as an all-round processor of bamboo and rattan trees since the 1980s. And while he says that he can do most things with bamboo like weaving, framing and finishing, he admits, "I need to improve my skills and designs because all of us are, most of the time, doing the same things."

  2. Northeast Nigeria: Urgent Need to Combat Deadly Cholera Outbreaks

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Nov 12 (IPS) - Janet Cherono is Norwegian Refugee Council's Program Manager in MaiduguriThe number of people who have been affected by cholera in northeast Nigeria has increased to 10,000. The disease is spreading quickly in congested displacement camps with limited access to proper sanitation facilities.

  3. Lack of Funds Prevent Ugandan Communities from Investing in Cage Aquaculture

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    JINJA, Uganda, Nov 12 (IPS) - Colvince Mubiru had heard about cage fish farming on Uganda's lakes. The small business owner decided to try his hand at it and spent USD8,000 to set up farming cages for Nile Tilapia on Lake Victoria, expecting to reap a huge profit. But just six months into his enterprise, he made huge losses.

  4. Bringing Informal Workers to the Forefront of Our Economy

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    MUMBAI, India, Nov 12 (IPS) - With 81 percent of India's employed workforce being in the informal sector, we can't afford to ignore their potential. Here's how entrepreneurship could offer a solution.The image of the ‘struggling' daily wage labourer in India is one that stakeholders from across the development sector aspire to transform. Financial security, quality living conditions, and opportunity to thrive are the buzzwords in a conversation about the needs of this bracket. These workers—usually associated with the informal or unorganised sector—are assumed to represent the outliers of the national economy.

  5. Five Considerations for Pakistan’s New Minister for National Food Security and Research

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    ROME, Nov 12 (IPS) - Despite the fact that Pakistan's industrial and services sector continue to grow in importance, what happens in the agriculture sector remains critical to the performance of Pakistan's economy and the wellbeing of its people.

  6. Inside a Wagon in the Forest of Compiègne

    Sunday, November 11, 2018

    GENEVA, Nov 11 (IPS) - A century later, the consequences of the end of World War I are still today resound from the Middle East, including Syria and Kurdistan, to the shaping of financial and economic policies in Europe.

  7. Diversifying Crops to Help Overcome Drought in Brazil

    Friday, November 09, 2018

    SOUSA, Brazil, Nov 09 (IPS) - Dozens of trucks used to leave São Gonçalo every day, carrying the local agricultural production, mainly coconuts, to markets throughout Brazil, including the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, more than 2,000 kilometers away.

  8. Marco Napoli, 86, Ensured the Survival of IPS at UN

    Friday, November 09, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 09 (IPS) - Marco Napoli, who passed away on November 6, began his early professional career as a New York-based correspondent for several international news organizations, including the Italian Il Progresso News, back in the 1960s, long before he was Regional Director, IPS North America.

  9. Only Acting Together Can We Stop the Rise in Malnutrition

    Thursday, November 08, 2018

    SANTIAGO, Nov 08 (IPS) - Julio Berdegué is FAO Regional Representative, Marita Perceval is Director of UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel Barreto is Regional Director of WFPThe number of undernourished people increased for the third consecutive year in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has exceeded 39 million people. In addition, almost one in four adults is obese, while overweight affects 250 million; more than the entire population of Brazil.

  10. Making Agriculture Cool

    Thursday, November 08, 2018

    WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands, Nov 08 (IPS) - At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool'. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Creating Beauty and Worth from Bamboo Enhances the Livelihoods of Ghana’s Artisans

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    KUMASI, Ghana, Nov 12 (IPS) - Yaw Owiredu Mintah from Ghana has been working as an all-round processor of bamboo and rattan trees since the 1980s. And while he says that he can do most things with bamboo like weaving, framing and finishing, he admits, "I need to improve my skills and designs because all of us are, most of the time, doing the same things."

  2. Lack of Funds Prevent Ugandan Communities from Investing in Cage Aquaculture

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    JINJA, Uganda, Nov 12 (IPS) - Colvince Mubiru had heard about cage fish farming on Uganda's lakes. The small business owner decided to try his hand at it and spent USD8,000 to set up farming cages for Nile Tilapia on Lake Victoria, expecting to reap a huge profit. But just six months into his enterprise, he made huge losses.

  3. Bringing Informal Workers to the Forefront of Our Economy

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    MUMBAI, India, Nov 12 (IPS) - With 81 percent of India's employed workforce being in the informal sector, we can't afford to ignore their potential. Here's how entrepreneurship could offer a solution.The image of the ‘struggling' daily wage labourer in India is one that stakeholders from across the development sector aspire to transform. Financial security, quality living conditions, and opportunity to thrive are the buzzwords in a conversation about the needs of this bracket. These workers—usually associated with the informal or unorganised sector—are assumed to represent the outliers of the national economy.

  4. Diversifying Crops to Help Overcome Drought in Brazil

    Friday, November 09, 2018

    SOUSA, Brazil, Nov 09 (IPS) - Dozens of trucks used to leave São Gonçalo every day, carrying the local agricultural production, mainly coconuts, to markets throughout Brazil, including the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, more than 2,000 kilometers away.

  5. Making Agriculture Cool

    Thursday, November 08, 2018

    WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands, Nov 08 (IPS) - At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool'. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.

  6. Africa’s Giant Blue Economy Potential

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 06 (IPS) - Mr. Toshitsugu Uesawa is Japan's Ambassador to Kenya and Siddharth Chatterjee is the UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya.With good reason, Africa is excited over the prospects of sharing in the multi-trillion maritime industry, with the continent's Agenda 2063 envisioning the blue economy as a foremost contributor to transformation and growth.

  7. The Caribbean Island of Mayreau Could be Split in Two Thanks to Erosion

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

    KINGSTOWN, Nov 06 (IPS) - As a child growing up in Mayreau four decades ago, Filius "Philman" Ollivierre remembers a 70-foot-wide span of land, with the sea on either side that made the rest of the 1.5-square mile island one with Mount Carbuit. 

  8. Lessons for the ‘Rest’ from ersatz miracles

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Nov 06 (IPS) - Of the ten fastest growing economies since 1960, eight are in East Asia. Two main competing explanations claimed to explain this regional concentration of catch up growth since the late 20th century, often referred to as the East Asian miracle.

  9. Caribbean Looks to Protect its Seafood From Mercury

    Monday, November 05, 2018

    PORT-OF-SPAIN, Nov 05 (IPS) - Four Caribbean countries have done an inventory of the major sources of mercury contamination in their islands, but a great deal of work still needs to be done to determine where and what impact this mercury is having on the region's seafood chain.

  10. Thursday, November 01, 2018

    SEOUL, Nov 01 (IPS) - While major countries have pledged to be powered entirely by renewable energies in order to stop greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, there are a number of states that are investigating ways to implement this transition quickly in order to achieve their goals ahead of this deadline.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Northeast Nigeria: Urgent Need to Combat Deadly Cholera Outbreaks

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Nov 12 (IPS) - Janet Cherono is Norwegian Refugee Council's Program Manager in MaiduguriThe number of people who have been affected by cholera in northeast Nigeria has increased to 10,000. The disease is spreading quickly in congested displacement camps with limited access to proper sanitation facilities.

  2. Diversifying Crops to Help Overcome Drought in Brazil

    Friday, November 09, 2018

    SOUSA, Brazil, Nov 09 (IPS) - Dozens of trucks used to leave São Gonçalo every day, carrying the local agricultural production, mainly coconuts, to markets throughout Brazil, including the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, more than 2,000 kilometers away.

  3. Rainwater Harvesting Eases Daily Struggle in Argentina's Chaco Region

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

    LOS BLANCOS, Argentina, Nov 06 (IPS) - "I've been used to hauling water since I was eight years old. Today, at 63, I still do it," says Antolín Soraire, a tall peasant farmer with a face ravaged by the sun who lives in Los Blancos, a town of a few dozen houses and wide dirt roads in the province of Salta, in northern Argentina.

  4. Africa’s Giant Blue Economy Potential

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 06 (IPS) - Mr. Toshitsugu Uesawa is Japan's Ambassador to Kenya and Siddharth Chatterjee is the UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya.With good reason, Africa is excited over the prospects of sharing in the multi-trillion maritime industry, with the continent's Agenda 2063 envisioning the blue economy as a foremost contributor to transformation and growth.

  5. The Caribbean Island of Mayreau Could be Split in Two Thanks to Erosion

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

    KINGSTOWN, Nov 06 (IPS) - As a child growing up in Mayreau four decades ago, Filius "Philman" Ollivierre remembers a 70-foot-wide span of land, with the sea on either side that made the rest of the 1.5-square mile island one with Mount Carbuit. 

  6. Amitav Ghosh prepares 'Gun Island' for publication in 2019

    Monday, November 05, 2018

    TAIPEI, Nov 05 (IPS) - Amitav Ghosh is one of the world's top novelists writing in the English language today, and Brooklyn-based author of "The Ibis Trilogy" has a new novel set for publication in June 2019.

  7. Ambitious Agenda, Ambitious Financing? UNGA Shows a Long Way Still to Go for SDGs

    Monday, November 05, 2018

    LONDON / NEW YORK, Nov 05 (IPS) - John Garett & Kathryn Tobin, WaterAid There was a much-needed focus on financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the September 2018 opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

  8. Caribbean Looks to Protect its Seafood From Mercury

    Monday, November 05, 2018

    PORT-OF-SPAIN, Nov 05 (IPS) - Four Caribbean countries have done an inventory of the major sources of mercury contamination in their islands, but a great deal of work still needs to be done to determine where and what impact this mercury is having on the region's seafood chain.

  9. Central American Farmers Face Climate Change Without Insurance

    Friday, November 02, 2018

    SAN SALVADOR, Nov 02 (IPS) - Disconsolate, Alberto Flores piles up on the edge of a road the few bunches of plantains that he managed to save from a crop spoiled by heavy rains that completely flooded his farm in central El Salvador.

  10. Cholera Threatens a Comeback Worldwide

    Friday, November 02, 2018

    TEXAS, USA, Nov 02 (IPS) - Cholera outbreaks across history regularly killed a hundred thousand or more. It isn't well known today because it was essentially eliminated in the Western world.

  11. More stories…

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Issues In depth

Latest

Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

Posted Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Sunday, February 01, 2015.

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

Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015.

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

Posted Saturday, September 27, 2014.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Sunday, January 19, 2014.

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

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

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.

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

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Sunday, August 08, 2010.

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

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

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

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

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

Last updated Sunday, June 30, 2013.

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