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. South-South Cooperation Now Triangulates with the North

    Sunday, March 24, 2019

    BUENOS AIRES, Mar 24 (IPS) - It sounds like a contradictory play on words, but the countries of the industrialised North are currently the big supporters of South-South cooperation, as was demonstrated at the United Nations Second High-Level Conference on this subject, held in the Argentine capital.

  2. A New Window for Delhi’s Migrant Women & Girls

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    TORONTO, Mar 22 (IPS) - Marites Sison is Communications Officer at the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) When the most devastating flood in Bihar's history came in 1987, Renu Devi recalled that the rampaging waters and landslides had swept away people who were sleeping, along with their beds.

  3. South Florida's Underserved Refugee Communities

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    MIAMI, Mar 22 (IPS) - South Florida has long been known as a haven for refugees and migrants. Widely referred to as the "gateway to Latin America", 1 in every 5 Florida residents is an immigrant. Significantly, the "sunshine state" welcomes 1,000 new settlers every day.

  4. How Many Journalists are Jailed in China? Censorship Means We Don't Know

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    TAIPEI, Mar 22 (IPS) - Iris Hsu* is China correspondent for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)Reporting on China's harassment of journalists has never been easy. Lately it's been getting much harder, which suggests that conditions for the press could be worsening.

  5. Myanmar and China’s Bride Trafficking Problem

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Mar 22 (IPS) - This is part of a series of features from across the globe on human trafficking. IPS coverage is supported by the Riana Group.Women and girls from Myanmar are increasingly being trafficked as "brides" to China, a human rights group found.

  6. The System, the Youth and Democracy

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    ROME, Mar 22 (IPS) - If we ever needed a proof, to see how the political system has become self referent, and unable to update itself, the last student march, in more than 1.000 towns, is a very good example. Of course, politicians referred to it in declarations, , and the President of the European Community, an old political fox with a lot of mileage, Juncker, even kissed the hand of Grreta Thunber ( a totally demagogic gesture). But however this unprecedented youth manifestation has given life to a new initiative on climate change. We are lucky that Greta's Asperger syndrome of GRETA, , brings little empathy and more determination, so is totally improbable that she will be co-opted by flattery and recognition …

  7. International Trade Unions Condemn Recognition of Guaidó

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    STOCKHOLM, Mar 21 (IPS) - More than 60 countries have recognized Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president. But among international trade unions, support for Venezuelan self-determination is resolute.

  8. Call for Returnee Migrants to Join Forces to Fight Irregular Migration

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    COTONOU, Benin, Mar 21 (IPS) - Elhadj Mohamed Diallo wants to make sure that others won't experience what he has lived through. The former irregular migrant who has returned home to Guinea from a jail in North Africa is calling on his fellow returnee migrants to establish associations in their respective countries, which will serve as powerful platforms to combat irregular migration across the continent.

  9. 9 of the 10 Worst Global Risks are Linked to Water

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Mar 21 (IPS) - Jens Berggren is Spokesperson & Advisor at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Every year, the World Economic Forum asks some 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, business, academia and civil society across the globe to assess the risks facing the world over the decade to come.

  10. Did a Backlash Against Trump Trigger Historic Highs for US Women in Politics?

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Mar 21 (IPS) - The dramatic increase in women legislators voted into office last November and the historic high of women candidates for the 2020 presidential elections have visibly changed the male-dominated political landscape in the US.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. The System, the Youth and Democracy

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    ROME, Mar 22 (IPS) - If we ever needed a proof, to see how the political system has become self referent, and unable to update itself, the last student march, in more than 1.000 towns, is a very good example. Of course, politicians referred to it in declarations, , and the President of the European Community, an old political fox with a lot of mileage, Juncker, even kissed the hand of Grreta Thunber ( a totally demagogic gesture). But however this unprecedented youth manifestation has given life to a new initiative on climate change. We are lucky that Greta's Asperger syndrome of GRETA, , brings little empathy and more determination, so is totally improbable that she will be co-opted by flattery and recognition …

  2. Belt and Road Initiative vs Washington Consensus

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Mar 19 (IPS) - With the Washington Consensus from the 1980s being challenged, President Donald Trump withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and China pursuing its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), most notably with its own initiatives such as the multilateral Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the political and economic landscape in East Asia continues to evolve. Jomo Kwame Sundaram was interviewed about likely implications for developing countries in the region and beyond.

  3. Closing the Gender Gap: The Economic Benefits of Bringing more Women into the Labour Force

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    WASHINGTON DC, Mar 19 (IPS) - Era Dabla-Norris is a division chief in the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department, and Kalpana Kochhar is director of the IMF's Human Resources Department.As girls, we were raised with the belief that we could accomplish anything, and that no barrier was insurmountable. Yet, for so many women, the reality doesn't quite meet their aspirations. Things weren't exactly equal in the relatively conservative middle-class society in India where we both grew up.

  4. Climate Change: a Threat to Agriculture Undermining UN’s Goal to Eradicate Hunger

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Mar 19 (IPS) - The United Nations has vowed to eradicate extreme hunger and malnutrition on a self-imposed deadline of 2030.

    But it is facing a harsh realty where human-induced climate change – including flash floods, droughts, heatwaves, typhoons and landslides-- is increasingly threatening agriculture, which also provides livelihoods for over 40 per cent of the global population.

  5. Fighting the World’s Largest Criminal Industry: Modern Slavery

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Mar 19 (IPS) - Modern slavery and human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries and one of the biggest human rights crises today, United Nations and government officials said.

  6. It’s Simple, but Requires Determination

    Monday, March 18, 2019

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Mar 18 (IPS) - Monika Weber-Fahr, is Executive Secretary of Global Water PartnershipI am drafting this on International Women's Day - March 8 - with an eye towards World Water Day on March 22. On International Women's Day we celebrate progress in gender equality. At the same time, we recognize how much remains to be done: how many women remain excluded from decision-making across many professions. Changing this is urgent. Water – clean and accessible – is getting scarcer at an alarming rate. While working to change this, we cannot afford to exclude women.

  7. Seven Challenges for US Nominee for World Bank President

    Monday, March 18, 2019

    WASHINGTON DC, Mar 18 (IPS) - Masood Ahmed is President of the Washington-based Centre for Global Development (CGD) & former Vice President, Poverty Reduction & Economic Management, at the World Bank All incoming World Bank presidents bring a public record of their views about the bank and about development more generally. David Malpass, who is on track to become the bank's next presidenthas not been shy in criticizing the role and management of the institution he now plans to lead.

  8. Helping St. Vincent’s Fishers Maintain an Essential Industry in a Changing Climate

    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    KINGSTOWN, Mar 14 (IPS) - From an influx of sargassum in near-shore waters, to fish venturing further out to sea to find cooler, more oxygenated water, fishers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are battling the vagaries of climate change. The country is doing what it can to respond.

  9. Tobacco Industry Targets Women in Asia

    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Mar 14 (IPS) - Wendell Balderas is Media & Communications Manager & Mary Assunta is Senior Policy Advisor, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)*

    International Women's Day on 8 March recognized and celebrated the progress women are making globally. The day also acknowledged the risks, exploitation and suffering many continue to endure.

  10. Multilateralism: A Testimony

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    GENEVA and ROME, Mar 12 (IPS) - For over 70 years, the UN system has been perceived as the guardian of peace and development in the world. However, multilateralism today is undeniably under strain. The effectiveness of global institutions and of global policymaking is questioned, and alliances are fraying.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. The System, the Youth and Democracy

    Friday, March 22, 2019

    ROME, Mar 22 (IPS) - If we ever needed a proof, to see how the political system has become self referent, and unable to update itself, the last student march, in more than 1.000 towns, is a very good example. Of course, politicians referred to it in declarations, , and the President of the European Community, an old political fox with a lot of mileage, Juncker, even kissed the hand of Grreta Thunber ( a totally demagogic gesture). But however this unprecedented youth manifestation has given life to a new initiative on climate change. We are lucky that Greta's Asperger syndrome of GRETA, , brings little empathy and more determination, so is totally improbable that she will be co-opted by flattery and recognition …

  2. 9 of the 10 Worst Global Risks are Linked to Water

    Thursday, March 21, 2019

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Mar 21 (IPS) - Jens Berggren is Spokesperson & Advisor at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) Every year, the World Economic Forum asks some 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, business, academia and civil society across the globe to assess the risks facing the world over the decade to come.

  3. VIDEO: Water for All - World Water Day 2019

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    ROME, Mar 19 (IPS) - Water is a precondition for human existence, and for the sustainability of our planet. It is entwined with almost everything human, from climate change and global economy to gender issues and human rights.

  4. Climate Change Also Affects Mental Health in Mexico

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    MEXICO CITY, Mar 19 (IPS) - Minerva Montes lost her home on Holbox Island in 2005 when Hurricane Wilma hit the Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. Rebuilding her home was quicker and easier than overcoming the psychological aftermath of the catastrophe.

  5. Climate Change: a Threat to Agriculture Undermining UN’s Goal to Eradicate Hunger

    Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Mar 19 (IPS) - The United Nations has vowed to eradicate extreme hunger and malnutrition on a self-imposed deadline of 2030.

    But it is facing a harsh realty where human-induced climate change – including flash floods, droughts, heatwaves, typhoons and landslides-- is increasingly threatening agriculture, which also provides livelihoods for over 40 per cent of the global population.

  6. Q&A: Caribbean Losing Momentum on Climate Change and Concerted Action is Needed

    Monday, March 18, 2019

    CASTRIES, Mar 18 (IPS) - In 2015, the Caribbean was "the region that could" on the climate change scene. Countries rallied under the ‘1.5 to Stay Alive' banner, in the face of an existential threat. The now former Sustainable Development Minister of Saint Lucia Dr. James Fletcher emerged as a climate change champion at the time. But now, three years on, the scientist is giving regional climate action a C- in an assessment.

  7. US Survey Finds Lack of Awareness on Global Warming

    Monday, March 18, 2019

    WISCONSIN, USA, Mar 18 (IPS) - Yash Bhandari is research editor at Rockay, a clothing manufacturer that focuses on the exclusive use of eco-friendly and recyclable materialsThe U.N.'s World Water day is fast approaching as the state of the world's consumable water supply remains dismal. Billions of people face at least the very real risk of scarcity, if they're not facing scarcity already; and about a third of the world's groundwater systems are in danger of becoming depleted.

  8. Seven Challenges for US Nominee for World Bank President

    Monday, March 18, 2019

    WASHINGTON DC, Mar 18 (IPS) - Masood Ahmed is President of the Washington-based Centre for Global Development (CGD) & former Vice President, Poverty Reduction & Economic Management, at the World Bank All incoming World Bank presidents bring a public record of their views about the bank and about development more generally. David Malpass, who is on track to become the bank's next presidenthas not been shy in criticizing the role and management of the institution he now plans to lead.

  9. Climate Strike: Hundreds of Thousands United for the Planet’s Future

    Saturday, March 16, 2019

    ROME, Mar 16 (IPS) - Friday, Mar. 15, hundreds of thousands of young people across the world took to the streets to join the climate strike. "We are demonstrating today for our planet and for our future. This is the place where we and those who come after us will live," Jennifer, a 16-year-old girl from Rome, the Italian capital, was one of those who opted to join the protests rather than attend school, told IPS.

  10. Women Take the Lead Tackling Climate Change in Bangladesh

    Friday, March 15, 2019

    LONDON / DHAKA, Mar 15 (IPS) - Jonathan Farr is WaterAid's Senior Policy Analyst on water security & climate change, based in London & Samia Mallik is WaterAid Bangladesh's Communications Officer, based in Dhaka.

    The stakes are high for women when faced with a warming world – their livelihoods jeopardised by labour markets that tend to put men first, their family responsibilities increasing rapidly in the face of droughts and flooding, and politicians who refuse to acknowledge the challenges they face. The story of those living on the frontline of a harsher climate is simply not being heard.

  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