What’s New March 2006

This page lists changes to this site for March 2006.

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In 1970, the rich countries of the OECD agreed at the United Nations (resolution 2626) to donate 0.7% of their GNP as official development aid to help with long term development of the poorest countries. The vast majority of the 20 or so OECD countries have never met that target (agreed to be reached early to mid 1970s), many not coming close. Since 1970 then, the total shortfall in aid (at 2003 figures) is over $2.5 trillion, a similar amount to total third world debt. However, considering that in recent years official aid has included items not intended for long term aid as originally defined, and that most aid does not go to the poorest countries (Sub-Saharan Africa has on average only received 18% of delivered aid, for example), the short fall is potentially much higher.

A White House memo reveals details of a meeting between George Bush and Tony Blair confirming what many critics charged—that the US and UK had decided to go to war against Iraq regardless of if they got a second UN resolution, or not, and even considered using illegal deception if they needed to.

The U.S. has requested $462.7 billion for the 2007 for the military budget (this does not include Iraq and Afghanistan operations). The next country, China, spends around $62.5 billion. Updated graph reflecting the U.S. and world military spending in more recent years.

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New species of birds, frogs, butterflies, palm trees, and many other plants yet to be classified, as well as animals extremely rare in other parts of the world were discovered recently in a remote mountain rainforest region of western New Guinea (Indonesia). This further highlights that conservation is more than just conserving animals; it is also about conserving their habitat.

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