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. Trump Poised to Withdraw from Open Skies Treaty

    Friday, October 18, 2019

    WASHINGTON DC, Oct 18 (IPS) - KINGSTON REIF is director of disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association and SHANNON BUGOS, research assistant.The Trump administration is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the 1992 Open Skies Treatyaccording to lawmakers and media reports. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first sounded the public alarm in an Oct. 7 letter to National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien.

  2. Religious Leaders’ Plea to Member States: Honour Your Commitment to the UN

    Friday, October 18, 2019

    MOSCOW, JERUSALEM/BEIRUT/NEW DELHI/TOKYO, Oct 18 (IPS) - The authors are religious leaders and members of Religions for Peace, representing several faiths, including Christian/Orthodox, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and BuddhismOn the 8th of October, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the organisation is running out of money by the end of October - "member States have paid only 70 percent of the total amount needed for regular budget".

  3. Africa’s Investment Drive Gathers Pace

    Friday, October 18, 2019

    ROME, Oct 18 (IPS) - Headwinds are blowing amid IMF warnings of a "synchronised slowdown" in global economic growth, yet Africa's investment drive is still gathering pace, supported by intense international competition in development finance.

  4. Tuberculosis Infections Declining, But Not Fast Enough Among Poor, Marginalised: UN Health Agency

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Oct 17 (IPS) - A staggering 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) last year, the UN health agency said on Thursday, in an appeal for far greater funding and political support to eradicate the curable and preventable disease.

  5. Governments, Donors and Investors Must Put Their Money Where Their Mouths are on Gender and Climate Change

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    NAIROBI, Oct 17 (IPS) - Climate change has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. This is clear when it comes to water, for instance. The Global Commission on Adaptation Report launched at the United Nations General Assembly last week states that the number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.

  6. Beaten and Tortured for a Ransom, Lured by the Promise of a Livelihood

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    DHAKA, Oct 17 (IPS) - After his father passed away two years ago, the burden of caring for a six-member family rested on the shoulders of the now 19-year-old Farhad Hossain. He had no clue how he would support his family and pay for the education of his four younger siblings. 

  7. UN’s 75th Anniversary Shadowed by Right-Wing Nationalism, Widespread Authoritarianism & Budgetary Cuts

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Oct 17 (IPS) - When the six much-ballyhooed high-level UN meetings concluded late September, there were mixed feelings about the final outcomes.

    And civil society organizations (CSOs), who were mostly disappointed with the results, are now gearing themselves for two upcoming key climate summit meetings: COP25 in Santiago, Chile in December and COP26 in Glasgow, UK in late 2020, along with the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Women's Conference scheduled to take place in September 2020 in New York.

  8. Ghana's Grains and Groundnuts Face Increasing Contamination Amid Increasing Temperatures

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    BONO EAST REGION, Ghana, Oct 16 (IPS) - Adwoa Frimpomaah, a smallholder farmer from Dandwa, a farming community in Nkoranza, in Ghana's Bono East Region, and her two children have been consuming insect-infested and discoloured grains produced from their three-acre farm.

  9. Holding Transnational Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Abuses

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    GENEVA / LAGOS, Oct 16 (IPS) - In Geneva this week, a treaty process is underway that promises to usher in a new era for human rights around the globe.

    The process—the intergovernmental working group on the binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights—could mean that for the first time, human rights would be prioritized above corporate profits.

  10. Let Plants be Thy Medicine - You Are What You Eat

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    ILLINOIS, United States / ABUJA, Oct 16 (IPS) - United Nations World Food Day is celebrated around the world on October 16 under the theme: "Our Actions ARE Our Future. Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World". This theme is timely, especially, because across Africa and around the world, there has been a gradual rise in malnutrition and diet-related non communicable diseases, as highlighted in The Lancet study and a United Nations Report published earlier this year.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Africa’s Investment Drive Gathers Pace

    Friday, October 18, 2019

    ROME, Oct 18 (IPS) - Headwinds are blowing amid IMF warnings of a "synchronised slowdown" in global economic growth, yet Africa's investment drive is still gathering pace, supported by intense international competition in development finance.

  2. Beaten and Tortured for a Ransom, Lured by the Promise of a Livelihood

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    DHAKA, Oct 17 (IPS) - After his father passed away two years ago, the burden of caring for a six-member family rested on the shoulders of the now 19-year-old Farhad Hossain. He had no clue how he would support his family and pay for the education of his four younger siblings. 

  3. Global Challenges for the ‘NextGen’

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    MELBOURNE, Oct 15 (IPS) - Success has many parents – so the saying goes. In the case of the massive successes of international agricultural research, no one person can claim parentage.

    There are heroes along the way such as Norman Borlaug and his early cereal breeding, and the team that eliminated the cattle disease Rinderpest from the world – smallpox is the only other disease that has been totally eradicated. Another is the founder of The Crawford Fund, Derek Tribe, who was also instrumental in the creation of what is now the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which I chair.

    However, it would be more correct to highlight the thousands of scientists who have contributed to the world's greatest feat of feeding an extra three billion people when pundits said it was impossible.

  4. OECD Tax Reform Proposal Could Be Better

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 (IPS) - The OECD Secretariat published its proposed ‘unified approach' to reform international tax rules to address tax challenges posed by digitalization on 9 October 2019.

    Under current rules, there is little chance of a company being taxed without its physical presence in the country concerned. But digitalization enables many businesses to remotely conduct economic activities affecting a national economy without a direct physical presence.

  5. Free Trade is Dead

    Monday, October 14, 2019

    HANOVER/ BRUSSELS, Oct 14 (IPS) - In recent years, global trade and trade policy have become central socio-political issues. The planned EU-US trade agreement TTIP triggered an unprecedented storm of indignation and resistance.

  6. Rural Poverty Is Still a Scar on the Soul of Colombia, but a New Program Supporting Agri-Entrepreneurship Can Help Heal the Wounds

    Monday, October 14, 2019

    LIMA, Peru, Oct 14 (IPS) - Rural poverty and inequality continue inflicting large swaths of population in Colombia, especially in rural areas. This situation, endemic since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, was at the root of the 50-year long conflict that shattered the country, leaving 220,000 deaths and 5.7 million displaced persons, and devastating a significant part of the rural areas, where government services and infrastructure vanished.

  7. Austerity, the “New Normal”

    Friday, October 11, 2019

    WASHINGTON DC, Oct 11 (IPS) - While this week Ministers of Finance and economists meet in Washington to confront global economic challenges at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetingsthe majority of the world population lives with austerity cuts and see their living standards deteriorating. World leaders must reverse this trend.

  8. Global Climate Change Investment Heavily Tilted Towards Mitigation and Low on Adaptation

    Tuesday, October 08, 2019

    INCHEON, South Korea, Oct 08 (IPS) - Good news: the graph depicting climate investments has been steadily increasing. Climbing from the 2012 figure of $360 billion in climate investments across the world to close to $600 billion currently.

  9. ‘Salty’ Concern: Tackling High Salt Consumption in China

    Monday, October 07, 2019

    NEW DELHI, India and JONESBORO, US, Oct 07 (IPS) - China's almost meteoric transition from a being a low income to a middle income country within a span of four decades is often perceived as a miracle analogous to the post Second World War Japanese economic development experience.

    China's GDP rose from $200 current United States dollars (US$ henceforth) in 1978 to $9,470 current US$ in 2018 (World Development Indicators, The World Bank). Unsurprisingly, China's rapid and near sustainable growth has attracted widespread interest among academics and policy makers alike.

  10. Africa’s Mineral Wealth May Just have to Stay in the Ground to Protect a Changing Climate

    Monday, October 07, 2019

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Oct 07 (IPS) - As a result of climate change, resource extraction industries in Africa will be impacted by asset stranding, researchers say.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Africa’s Investment Drive Gathers Pace

    Friday, October 18, 2019

    ROME, Oct 18 (IPS) - Headwinds are blowing amid IMF warnings of a "synchronised slowdown" in global economic growth, yet Africa's investment drive is still gathering pace, supported by intense international competition in development finance.

  2. Governments, Donors and Investors Must Put Their Money Where Their Mouths are on Gender and Climate Change

    Thursday, October 17, 2019

    NAIROBI, Oct 17 (IPS) - Climate change has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. This is clear when it comes to water, for instance. The Global Commission on Adaptation Report launched at the United Nations General Assembly last week states that the number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.

  3. Global Challenges for the ‘NextGen’

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    MELBOURNE, Oct 15 (IPS) - Success has many parents – so the saying goes. In the case of the massive successes of international agricultural research, no one person can claim parentage.

    There are heroes along the way such as Norman Borlaug and his early cereal breeding, and the team that eliminated the cattle disease Rinderpest from the world – smallpox is the only other disease that has been totally eradicated. Another is the founder of The Crawford Fund, Derek Tribe, who was also instrumental in the creation of what is now the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which I chair.

    However, it would be more correct to highlight the thousands of scientists who have contributed to the world's greatest feat of feeding an extra three billion people when pundits said it was impossible.

  4. The IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere – What it means for Africa’s coastal cities

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    Oct 15 (IPS) - The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate highlights the urgency of prioritising ambitious and coordinated actions to address the unprecedented and continuing changes that are taking place in the ocean and cryosphere (Earth's frozen lands).

  5. Making a Whale of a Difference to Marine Conservation

    Monday, October 14, 2019

    SYDNEY, Australia, Oct 14 (IPS) - The thrill of watching a whale up close or schools of dolphins frolicking in an ocean are much sought after experiences today, boosting the demand for tours that provide people the opportunity to see these marine animals in their natural habitats. But becoming a major tourist drawcard has also exposed cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their environs to risks and challenges.

  6. Justin Trudeau´s Blackface

    Friday, October 11, 2019

    STOCKHOLM / ROME, Oct 11 (IPS) - Politics is a dodgy game, maybe even more so if you represent political views based on a moral approach.

    When the charismatic Justin Trudeau, son of a cosmopolitan liberal who served as Canada´s Prime Minister for 16 years, in 2015 was elected Prime Minister it was within a global political climate different from what it is today.

    Barack Obama was in the White House, Angela Merkel served her third period as German Chancellor, and the UK Government had not yet announced its country's withdrawal from the EU. Nevertheless, Russia had three months before Trudeau´s election annexed Crimea, while Viktor Orbán´s Hungarian government the month before initiated the construction of a 4 metres high barrier along its nation´s eastern and southern borders to keep immigrants out.

  7. Global Climate Change Investment Heavily Tilted Towards Mitigation and Low on Adaptation

    Tuesday, October 08, 2019

    INCHEON, South Korea, Oct 08 (IPS) - Good news: the graph depicting climate investments has been steadily increasing. Climbing from the 2012 figure of $360 billion in climate investments across the world to close to $600 billion currently.

  8. Africa’s Mineral Wealth May Just have to Stay in the Ground to Protect a Changing Climate

    Monday, October 07, 2019

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Oct 07 (IPS) - As a result of climate change, resource extraction industries in Africa will be impacted by asset stranding, researchers say.

  9. Ground-breaking Clean Air Protocol to Guard Human Health and the Planet, Enters into Force

    Saturday, October 05, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Oct 05 (IPS) - European and North American countries will take a major stride in cleaning up the atmosphere next Monday, 7 October, through the implementation of an amended legally binding treaty to limit the amount of emissions polluting the air.

  10. Can Cities Save the World?

    Friday, October 04, 2019

    Oct 04 (IPS) - By 2050 two thirds of the world's population will live in cities, and that infrastructure could be the key to managing the climate crisis, if we act now.

  11. More stories…

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

World news powered by Inter Press Service International News Agency

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