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. Tonga tsunami: ‘Kids were screaming as if a war was upon us’

    - UN News

    A Tongan family’s trip to visit relatives on Mango island earlier this month turned into a nightmare, when the country was devastated by the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano, and subsequent tsunami.

  2. Military solution for Syria remains 'an illusion': Pedersen

    - UN News

    With no shifts in the frontlines in almost two years, the UN Special Envoy for Syria warnedt he Security Council about “a strategic stalemate” in the nearly 11-year-old war. 

  3. WHO: New guidance on treating complications due to unsafe abortion

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    New insights into quality of care for girls and women facing medical complications due to unsafe abortion were published on Wednesday by the UN health agency and partners.

  4. COVID-19 cases in the Americas reach highest level yet

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    More than eight million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Americas last week, the highest weekly caseload since the start of the pandemic, the head of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists on Wednesday. 

  5. Heatwave and Drought Hit South Americas Crops and Economy

    - Inter Press Service

    BUENOS AIRES, Jan 26 (IPS) - Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the three major agricultural producers in South America, are currently experiencing a prolonged period of drought and low water levels in their main rivers. This is severely impacting harvests, as well as river transport of important summer crops, with maize and soybeans the main casualties. 

  6. Bachelet: ‘We need to push back against hatred’

    - UN News

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, warned on Wednesday that “racism and xenophobia are rising sharply”, highlighting violent attacks on Jewish sites and antisemitic incidents reported in many countries.

  7. ‘We cannot abandon the people of Afghanistan’ Guterres tells Security Council

    - UN News

    With Afghanistan “hanging by a thread” six months after the Taliban takeover, the world cannot abandon the country now – for the sake of its people and overall global security, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday. 

  8. Future of Coral Reefs in the Time of Climate Change

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW JERSEY, Jan 26 (IPS) - Coral reefs are one of the world’s most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems. They provide abundant ecological goods and services and are central to the socio-economic and cultural welfare of coastal and island communities – throughout tropical and subtropical ocean countries – by contributing billions of dollars to the local and global economies, when combined with tourism and recreation.

  9. UN mourns ‘true pioneer’: Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu

    - UN News

    For the United Nations’ Secretary General, Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, who passed away this week in her home country, Ghana, was “a true pioneer.” 

  10. Battle for Palestine: & the Day When David Felled Goliath with a Stone

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 26 (IPS) - When Israeli Ambassador Gilat Erdan made an unusual presentation before the Security Council last week displaying a large rock, which he claimed, was hurled at Israeli vehicles in the Occupied Territories, a reporter at a UN press conference asked whether Palestinians will be given the right of reply--- by displaying in the Security Council chamber an Uzi sub- machine gun or a bulldozer deployed by Israeli armed forces against civilian demonstrations.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Heatwave and Drought Hit South Americas Crops and Economy

    - Inter Press Service

    BUENOS AIRES, Jan 26 (IPS) - Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the three major agricultural producers in South America, are currently experiencing a prolonged period of drought and low water levels in their main rivers. This is severely impacting harvests, as well as river transport of important summer crops, with maize and soybeans the main casualties. 

  2. Future of Coral Reefs in the Time of Climate Change

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW JERSEY, Jan 26 (IPS) - Coral reefs are one of the world’s most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems. They provide abundant ecological goods and services and are central to the socio-economic and cultural welfare of coastal and island communities – throughout tropical and subtropical ocean countries – by contributing billions of dollars to the local and global economies, when combined with tourism and recreation.

  3. Madagascar: Deadly tropical storms cause flooding, landslides

    - UN News

    Two separate tropical weather systems in Madagascar have left at least 34 dead and triggered flooding and landslides, particularly in the capital, Antananarivo, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Tuesday.

  4. Climate Inaction, Injustice Worsened by Finance Fiasco

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 25 (IPS) - Many factors frustrate the international cooperation needed to address the looming global warming catastrophe. As most rich nations have largely abdicated responsibility, developing countries need to think and act innovatively and cooperatively to better advance the South.

  5. Bringing dry land in the Sahel back to life

    - UN News

    Millions of hectares of farmland are lost to the desert each year in Africa’s Sahel region, but the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is showing that traditional knowledge, combined with the latest technology, can turn arid ground back into fertile soil.

  6. From Milan to Glasgow, young Moroccans commit to fighting climate change

    - UN News

    A new way to recycle large amounts of coffee grounds; a platform connecting young African activists; technology to produce electricity from ocean waves or recycle plastic. A new energy-efficient construction method - an innovative carpooling app. 

  7. Rare coral reef discovered near Tahiti is ‘like a work of art’, says diver

    - UN News

    One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres.

  8. Renewables Are Cheaper Than Ever - So Why Are Household Energy Bills Only Going up?

    - Inter Press Service

    Jan 19 (IPS) - Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.

  9. 2021 joins top 7 warmest years on record: WMO

    - UN News

    Last year joined the list of the seven warmest years on record, the UN weather agency said on Wednesday, and was also the seventh consecutive year when the global temperature has been more than 1°C above pre-industrial levels; edging closer to the limit laid out under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

  10. A Call to Action on Living Lands

    - Inter Press Service

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jan 17 (IPS) - If the ocean is the lifeblood of the Commonwealth, then forests are the lungs that breathe life into its whole system. From the vast boreal woodlands of Canada to the rich primary forests of Papua New Guinea, the Commonwealth covers nearly a quarter of all forest land in the world - an estimated 900 million hectares. These biodiversity havens not only house about half of all animal species on earth, they also give us clean air, water and food, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people while tackling climate change.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. WHO: New guidance on treating complications due to unsafe abortion

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    New insights into quality of care for girls and women facing medical complications due to unsafe abortion were published on Wednesday by the UN health agency and partners.

  2. COVID-19 cases in the Americas reach highest level yet

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    More than eight million new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Americas last week, the highest weekly caseload since the start of the pandemic, the head of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists on Wednesday. 

  3. Youth Have the Spirit to Change Trajectory of Leprosy, says Yohei Sasakawa

    - Inter Press Service

    Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 25 (IPS) - Yohei Sasakawa said the youth have the power to change the world, and their participation in removing the stigma and myths about leprosy is crucial to the campaign to end the disease.

  4. Community Organization and Solidarity in Peru Tackle Hunger in Pandemic

    - Inter Press Service

    LIMA, Jan 24 (IPS) - It's nine o'clock in the morning and Mauricia Rodríguez is already peeling garlic to season the day's lunch at the Network of Organized Women of Villa Torreblanca, one of more than 2,400 solidarity-based soup kitchens that have emerged in the Peruvian capital in response to the worsening poverty caused by the partial or total halt of economic activities in the country due to COVID-19.

  5. ‘No free ride’ for COVID, it's here ‘for the foreseeable future’: Tedros

    - UN News

    The world must accept that COVID-19 is with us “for the foreseeable future”, even if it is possible to end the acute phase of the pandemic this year, UN health agency chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday.

  6. Covax, the Developing World's Hope against COVID, Has Made It Only Halfway

    - Inter Press Service

    CARACAS, Jan 20 2022 (IPS) - The Covax initiative, the hope of the countries of the developing South to immunize their populations against COVID-19, only met half of its goals in 2021. And as 2022 begins, and the omicron variant of the virus is spreading fast, the scheme still depends on the decisions of pharmaceutical companies and the goodwill of donor governments.

  7. Health Workers Lauded for Role in Leprosy Treatment During Pandemic

    - Inter Press Service

    Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 20 (IPS) - The human rights of people affected by leprosy are central to Yohei Sasakawa’s concept of a leprosy-free world.

  8. Cases drop for first time as Africa’s fourth COVID-19 wave ebbs

    - UN News

    For the first time in Africa since the peak of the Omicron wave, weekly COVID-19 cases dropped significantly and deaths dipped, the World Health Organization (WHO) informed on Thursday. 

  9. Count Me in: Working Together for Disability Inclusion in Guatemala

    - Inter Press Service

    GUATEMALA CITY, Jan 20 (IPS) - “Persons with disabilities are capable and equal. It is time the world understands that,” says Antonio Palma, a UN Volunteer at the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Guatemala. Antonio, who has a visual impairment, expresses what many other persons with disabilities feel. Ignored, mistreated, misunderstood, underestimated, condescended to.

  10. Americas: ‘Smart’ use of rapid tests critical amid COVID surge

    - UN News

    COVID-19 cases continue to accelerate in the Americas amid increased demand for testing, the head of the regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. 

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Heatwave and Drought Hit South Americas Crops and Economy

    - Inter Press Service

    BUENOS AIRES, Jan 26 (IPS) - Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the three major agricultural producers in South America, are currently experiencing a prolonged period of drought and low water levels in their main rivers. This is severely impacting harvests, as well as river transport of important summer crops, with maize and soybeans the main casualties. 

  2. Our Global Food Systems Are Rife with Injustice: Here's How We Can Change This

    - Inter Press Service

    Jan 25 (IPS) - The pandemic – alongside growing threats from climate change, widespread malnutritioneconomic instability and geopolitical conflict – has heightened problems with the ways we produce, distribute and consume food. And it’s made clear the urgent need to make global food systems more just.

  3. Rising caseloads, disrupted recovery, higher inflation: New IMF forecast

    - UN News

    The global economy is entering 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Tuesday, in an update to their World Economic Outlook (WEO). 

  4. Climate Inaction, Injustice Worsened by Finance Fiasco

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 25 (IPS) - Many factors frustrate the international cooperation needed to address the looming global warming catastrophe. As most rich nations have largely abdicated responsibility, developing countries need to think and act innovatively and cooperatively to better advance the South.

  5. Community Organization and Solidarity in Peru Tackle Hunger in Pandemic

    - Inter Press Service

    LIMA, Jan 24 (IPS) - It's nine o'clock in the morning and Mauricia Rodríguez is already peeling garlic to season the day's lunch at the Network of Organized Women of Villa Torreblanca, one of more than 2,400 solidarity-based soup kitchens that have emerged in the Peruvian capital in response to the worsening poverty caused by the partial or total halt of economic activities in the country due to COVID-19.

  6. Up to 70% of Children in Developing Countries to Be Left Unable to Read?

    - Inter Press Service

    MADRID, Jan 24 (IPS) - “Unless we take action, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who are unable to read could increase from 53 to 70 percent.”

  7. Renewables Are Cheaper Than Ever - So Why Are Household Energy Bills Only Going up?

    - Inter Press Service

    Jan 19 (IPS) - Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.

  8. Key Pillars Mostly in Place to Speed up Africa's Free Trade in 2022

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 19 (IPS) - The official start of free trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 moved a major continental aspiration closer to reality.

  9. Afghanistan: 500,000 jobs lost since Taliban takeover

    - UN News

    More than half a million people have lost or been pushed out of their jobs in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

  10. More Progressive Taxation Needed for Social Progress

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 18 (IPS) - Governments must innovatively develop progressive means to finance the large-scale social spending needed to improve lives and livelihoods, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. More egalitarian tax reforms should enable governments to equitably mobilize desperately needed revenue to advance sustainable development for all.

  11. More stories…

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Issues in depth

Latest

Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

80% of the world population lived on less than $10 a day in 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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