News headlines in February 2016, page 3

  1. Obama in Cuba: the Reasons for His Trip

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    MIAMI, Feb 24 (IPS) - At this stage of the process that began in December 2014 with the surprise announcement of the opening of relations between the United States and Cuba, hardly anything counts as spectacular news. The detail in the decision by Washington and Havana that made news in the traditional sense (man bites dog) was that the plan to sit down and talk implied that Cuba gave up its prior demand that the embargo be lifted. The United States, for its part, accepted that Cuba did not undertake to make any special changes to its own political system.

  2. Hopes and `Honour` Killings

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    Feb 24 (IPS) - PRIME Minister Nawaz Sharif recently watched A Girl in the River: The Price of ForgivenessSharmeen Obald Chinoy`s Oscar-nominated documentary about `honour` killings. In a statement following the screening, he told Ms Chinoy and his audience that there is no `honour` in murder.

  3. Fall in Commodity Prices Rings Alarm Bells in Papua New Guinea

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    CANBERRA, Australia, Feb 24 (IPS) - Resource-rich Papua New Guinea (PNG) is seen as an economic powerhouse in the Pacific Islands with a state-led focus on resource extraction initially expected to drive one of the world's highest growth rates of 15 per cent last year. But in the wake of falling commodity prices, GDP growth has plummeted from 8.5 per cent in 2014 to a forecasted 3 per cent this year. As the government faces a growing deficit between revenue and expenditure, exacerbated by high public debt, experts in the country believe greater efforts to diversify the economy are essential.

  4. Obama and Raúl Castro to Launch New Era with Historic Visit

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    HAVANA, Feb 23 (IPS) - U.S. President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro will go down in history as two statesmen who managed to overcome more than half a century of hostility to bring back together two neighbouring countries with too many shared interests to remain at loggerheads.

  5. Will We One Day Reunite as 'Akhand Bharat'?

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Feb 23 (IPS) - INDIA'S ruling BJP's General Secretary, Mr. Ram Madhav, recently said in an interview to Al Jazeera that the RSS, his core organisation, still believes that one day Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, "which have for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and 'Akhand Bharat' will be created". The idea of Akhand Bharat is a dream of the RSS, and of the BJP, which is a right-wing party with close ideological and organisational links to the former, and of other Hindutvadi organisations and their adherents. I am not going to speak for Pakistan. But, whether future generations of Bangladeshis will reunite their country with India will depend fully on those generations that are probably yet to be born.

  6. Groundwater Crisis Worsens Food Insecurity

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Feb 23 (IPS) - Sijabuliso Nleya has been kept busy in the past few weeks digging up sand. He is not a sand poacher like scores of people who local district councils across the country say are digging along dry river beds for sand used in the construction of houses. "The situation is terrible," said Nleya, who owns a plot in Douglasdale, a small farming community on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

  7. Mideast Arms Supplies Continue Despite Falling Oil Prices

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 22 (IPS) - The continued decline in oil prices is threatening to have a direct and indirect impact on several fronts, including development aid, migrant workers and remittances, voluntary contributions to UN agencies, humanitarian assistance to refugees and infrastructure-building in the Gulf countries.

  8. Argentina’s Ties with China: Pragmatism over Politics

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    BUENOS AIRES, Feb 22 (IPS) - Argentina's new government is reviewing several major projects to be carried out jointly with China. But aside from a few changes in priorities, the administration is not expected to put the brakes on an alliance that Beijing classifies as strategic.

  9. UNDP at 50 Seeks Broad Coalition Targeting Sustainable Development

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb 22 (IPS) - Fifty years ago, one in every three people around the world was living in poverty. It was against that backdrop that the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, was founded in 1966.

    Ever since, UNDP has been a leader in working for a more fair and prosperous world for all. We have worked with governments, civil society, the private sector, and philanthropy to empower people and build resilient nations.

  10. Africa Launches Largest Trading Block with 620 Million Consumers

    Monday, February 22, 2016

    MADRID/CAIRO, Feb 22 (IPS) - In Egypt more than 1,500 public and private business delegates and state leaders agreed on 20-21 February to mobilise massive investments for the implementation of Africa's largest trading bloc whichwas created last year by 26 African countries with a total of 620 million consumers and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) nearing 1,2 trillion dollars.The agreement crowned the "Africa 2016" investment forum held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm El Sheikh with the participation of business leaders together with government officials and heads of international organisations to discuss trade and investment as engines of progress. African heads of state and government from Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria and the, Sudan took part in the forum.