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. With the UN Security Council in Paralysis, Are there New Hopes for Rohingya Muslims?

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 19 (IPS) - The 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) stands virtually paralyzed in the face of genocide charges against the government of Myanmar where over 730,000 to one million Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh since a 2016 crackdown by Myanmar's military.

  2. End Rape—an Intolerable Cost to Society

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 19 (IPS) - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is Executive Director UN Women If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape. That means a significant weapon of war gone from the arsenal of conflict, the absence of a daily risk assessment for girls and women in public and private spaces, the removal of a violent assertion of power, and a far-reaching shift for our societies.

  3. Liberation, Not Liberalization, Responsible for China’s Economic Miracle

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    BERLIN and KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (IPS) - Any balanced assessment of the so-called Chinese economic miracle will recognize that it was extremely successful, not only during the reform period from 1979, but also since Liberation in 1949 despite the setbacks of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

  4. Climate Change and Loss of Species: Our Greatest Challenges

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    ROME, Nov 19 (IPS) - Farhana Haque Rahman is Senior Vice President of IPS Inter Press Service; a journalist and communications expert, she is a former senior official of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red Lista rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

  5. “Transformational Benefits” of Ending Outdoor Defecation

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 18 (IPS) - Ending the practice of defecating in the open, rather than in a toilet, will have “transformational benefits” for some of the world's most vulnerable people, says the UN's partner sanitation body, the WSSCC (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council).

  6. Bringing Silicon Valley to Kathmandu Valley

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    KATHMANDU, Nov 18 (IPS) - For those who think that Nepal is too underdeveloped to make full use of artificial intelligence (AI), think again. That is exactly what they used to say about computers and mobile phones in the 1990s.

  7. The Ocean in Us: Ocean Action for Climate Ambition

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    NOUMEA, New Caledonia, Nov 18 (IPS) - In just under a month, countries around the world will gather for UNFCCC COP 25. The hashtag for this year's "Blue COP" is yet another reminder to us all that it is "Time For Action". We can no longer afford to wait as the effects of the climate crisis become ever more present. Vulnerable populations, whether from Small Island States, the rural heartland or the world's megacities, are becoming ever more vulnerable, and the wellbeing of people and planet continues to face its most existential threat.

  8. Africa is Better Placed Than Ever for Investment

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 18 (IPS) - The Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique engaged in a discussion titled, Invest in Africa's Space: Conversation with African Heads of State, moderated by Dr. Victor Oladokun, African Development Bank Group Director of External Relations and Communications, at the Africa Investment Forum, Johannesburg, 11 November 2019.

  9. Net Food Importer Turkey Grapples with Challenges of Food Self-sufficiency

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    VIENNA, Nov 18 (IPS) - Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country's troubled agriculture industry.

  10. ICC Gives Greenlight for Probe into Violent Crimes Against Rohingya

    Friday, November 15, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 15 (IPS) - Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity, namely deportation, which have forced between 600,000 and one million Rohingya refugees out of Myanmar, into neighboring Bangladesh since 2016.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Liberation, Not Liberalization, Responsible for China’s Economic Miracle

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    BERLIN and KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 (IPS) - Any balanced assessment of the so-called Chinese economic miracle will recognize that it was extremely successful, not only during the reform period from 1979, but also since Liberation in 1949 despite the setbacks of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

  2. Bringing Silicon Valley to Kathmandu Valley

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    KATHMANDU, Nov 18 (IPS) - For those who think that Nepal is too underdeveloped to make full use of artificial intelligence (AI), think again. That is exactly what they used to say about computers and mobile phones in the 1990s.

  3. Africa is Better Placed Than Ever for Investment

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 18 (IPS) - The Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique engaged in a discussion titled, Invest in Africa's Space: Conversation with African Heads of State, moderated by Dr. Victor Oladokun, African Development Bank Group Director of External Relations and Communications, at the Africa Investment Forum, Johannesburg, 11 November 2019.

  4. The Global Economy of Pulses: Impressive Gains and the Way Forward

    Thursday, November 14, 2019

    ROME, Nov 14 (IPS) - Pulses are highly nutritious and their consumption is associated with many health benefits. They are rich in proteins and minerals, high in fibre and have a low fat content. Pulses are produced by plants of the Leguminosae family.

    These plants have root nodules that absorb inert nitrogen from soil air and convert it into biologically useful ammonia, a process referred to as biological nitrogen fixation.

    Consequently, the pulse crops do not need any additional nitrogen as fertilizer and help reduce the requirement of fossil fuel-based chemical nitrogen fertilization for other crops.

    Expansion of pulse production, therefore, can play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

  5. World Youth Call to Governments to Ban All Hindrances to LGBTQI Communities

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 (IPS) - Governments across the world must ban all state-implemented harmful practices against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) community delegates at the ICPD25 tells IPS.

  6. ICPD25: Lessons From the East

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 (IPS) - The Japan Parliamentary Federation for Population represented by Mr Teruhiko Mashiko and its secretariat, the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA) has made a clear and concrete commitment to endorse the ICPD25 agenda. Mashiko tells IPS that Japan, as should every country driven by the well-being of its population, should create the best possible conditions to achieve the ICPD25 agenda.

  7. A New Deal for Sustainable Development

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR and SYDNEY, Nov 13 (IPS) - Almost nine decades ago, newly elected US President Franklin Roosevelt introduced the New Deal in 1933 in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal consisted of a number of mutually supportive initiatives, of which the most prominent were: a public works programme financed by budget deficits; a new social contract to improve living standards for all working families, including creation of the US social security system; and financial regulation to protect citizens' assets and channel financial resources into productive investments.

  8. How can Taps, Toilets & Good Hygiene Help Ensure Sustainable & Resilient Agricultural Supply Chains?

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    LONDON, Nov 12 (IPS) - Water underpins the global economy and agriculture is by far the world's largest water consumer, accounting for 70% of freshwater withdrawals. Global water demands are projected to increase by 55% by 2050 and climate change will present further pressures on water accessibility.

  9. Cairo Dream Requires $264 Billion to Deliver Women’s Call for Justice and Bold Leadership

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 (IPS) - For each of the 830 women dying each day from pregnancy complications and childbirth, an estimated 20 others suffer serious injuries, infections or disabilities.

    This is the reality that millions of women face, and informs the Nairobi Summit's three critical commitments which are to bring preventable maternal deaths, gender-based violence and harmful practices, as well as unmet need for family planning, to zero. To achieve this objective money is needed.

  10. Nairobi Summit to Redouble Efforts to Urgently Deal with Reproductive Rights for Women and Girls

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 (IPS) - More than 6 000 delegates in the population development sector are gathering in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi this week to renew the promise made to girls and women 25 years ago in Cairo.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Climate Change and Loss of Species: Our Greatest Challenges

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    ROME, Nov 19 (IPS) - Farhana Haque Rahman is Senior Vice President of IPS Inter Press Service; a journalist and communications expert, she is a former senior official of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red Lista rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

  2. The Ocean in Us: Ocean Action for Climate Ambition

    Monday, November 18, 2019

    NOUMEA, New Caledonia, Nov 18 (IPS) - In just under a month, countries around the world will gather for UNFCCC COP 25. The hashtag for this year's "Blue COP" is yet another reminder to us all that it is "Time For Action". We can no longer afford to wait as the effects of the climate crisis become ever more present. Vulnerable populations, whether from Small Island States, the rural heartland or the world's megacities, are becoming ever more vulnerable, and the wellbeing of people and planet continues to face its most existential threat.

  3. The Global Economy of Pulses: Impressive Gains and the Way Forward

    Thursday, November 14, 2019

    ROME, Nov 14 (IPS) - Pulses are highly nutritious and their consumption is associated with many health benefits. They are rich in proteins and minerals, high in fibre and have a low fat content. Pulses are produced by plants of the Leguminosae family.

    These plants have root nodules that absorb inert nitrogen from soil air and convert it into biologically useful ammonia, a process referred to as biological nitrogen fixation.

    Consequently, the pulse crops do not need any additional nitrogen as fertilizer and help reduce the requirement of fossil fuel-based chemical nitrogen fertilization for other crops.

    Expansion of pulse production, therefore, can play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

  4. Will Artificial Intelligence Help Resolve the Food Crisis?

    Thursday, November 14, 2019

    UNITED NATIONS, Nov 14 (IPS) - When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a global appeal for "zero hunger" on World Food Day last month, he provided some grim statistics rich in irony: more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, he said, while two billion people are overweight or obese.

  5. Rock Glaciers Supply Water to Highlands Communities in Argentina

    Thursday, November 14, 2019

    EL CÓNDOR, Argentina, Nov 14 (IPS) - In Argentina's Puna region, at 4,000 metres above sea level, the color green is rare in the arid landscape, which is dominated by different shades of brown and yellow. In this inhospitable environment, daily life has improved thanks to a system of piping water downhill from rock glaciers to local communities.

  6. How can Taps, Toilets & Good Hygiene Help Ensure Sustainable & Resilient Agricultural Supply Chains?

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    LONDON, Nov 12 (IPS) - Water underpins the global economy and agriculture is by far the world's largest water consumer, accounting for 70% of freshwater withdrawals. Global water demands are projected to increase by 55% by 2050 and climate change will present further pressures on water accessibility.

  7. Urgent Need to Replace Competition with Cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin

    Thursday, November 07, 2019

    NUR-SULTAN CITY, Kazakhstan, Nov 07 (IPS) - The water resources in Central Asia's Aral Sea Basin support the lives and livelihoods of about 70 million people — a population greater than Thailand, France, or South Africa.

  8. Italy’s Olive-Oil Industry Sees Simmering Threats from Climate Change and Nasty Bacteria

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019

    ROME, Nov 06 (IPS) - Poor weather and disease have killed millions of trees and decimated yields in Italy's olive country, and consumers can taste the difference.

  9. Burkina Faso: Climate Change Triggers Rural Exodus

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019

    OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 06 (IPS) - Ibrahim Harouna and his neighbours sit under a tree at his uncle's house, playing chess and chatting amid the simmering heat of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

  10. Europe’s Green Deal is Turning Red

    Wednesday, November 06, 2019

    KIEL, Germany, Nov 06 (IPS) - Global temperatures are set to rise by a catastrophic 3°C by the end of the century unless we take major action. The next 10 years in particular are crucial.

  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