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. Ukraine: Cycle of death, destruction, dislocation, and disruption ‘must stop’

    - UN News

    The “horrific conflict,” in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, the UN political and peacebuilding chief told the Security Council on Tuesday, pointing out that since her last update on 5 April, “countless Ukrainian civilians” have been killed in indiscriminate attacks, cities and towns levelled, and much of the country’s arable land “horribly disfigured by shelling”.  

  2. Rise of disinformation a symptom of ‘global diseases’ undermining public trust: Bachelet

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Societies everywhere are beset by “global diseases” including systemic inequality which have helped fuel a rise in disinformation, or the deliberate spreading of falsehoods, said the UN human rights chief on Tuesday, addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

  3. Digital Training in Pakistani Villages Yields Bumper Participation

    - Inter Press Service

    RAHIM YAR KHAN, Punjab, Pakistan, Jun 28 (IPS) - Farmer Abdul Waheed, 32, has been using his cell phone for everything but work for the past seven years. But after a recent training session he has installed six farming apps and says the move has paid off.

  4. Sustainable blue economy vital for small countries and coastal populations

    - UN News

    With the livelihoods of about 40 per cent of the world’s population living at or near a coast, the second day of the UN Ocean Conference under way in Lisbon focused on strengthening sustainable ocean-based economies, managing coastal ecosystems.

  5. Bangladesh Flood Victims Cry for Relief

    - Inter Press Service

    DHAKA, Jun 28 (IPS) - After losing everything in the recent devastating flood that swept the northeastern districts in Bangladesh, pregnant mother Joynaba Akter, her three children and her husband took refuge in a shelter centre at Gowainghat in Sylhet.

  6. NATO Summit Set to Further Militarise Europe, Expand in Africa?

    - Inter Press Service

    MADRID, Jun 28 (IPS) - The three-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-NATO Summit in Madrid (28,29, 30 June 2022) is expected to agree to considerably increase Europe’s military power, heavily weaponise Russia’s border, and further expand its presence in Africa, according to a diplomatic source.

  7. UN rights office in probe call, after Morocco-Spain migrant deaths, Texas tragedy, show need for safer pathways

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The deaths of at least 23 migrants seeking to reach Spanish territory from Morocco should be investigated urgently by both countries, the UN rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday, reacting also to reports overnight of of least 50 migrants found dead in a truck in southern Texas.

  8. Syria: Decade of brutal war left nearly 307,000 civilians dead

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Between 1 March 2011 and 31 March 2021, 306,887 civilians were killed in the on-going war in Syria - the highest estimate yet of conflict-related deaths in the country, according to a new report published by the UN rights office (OHCHR) on Tuesday.

  9. Sharing Minds Can Change the World

    - Inter Press Service

    Seoul, Bangkok, Jun 28 (IPS) - Parasite, a Korean black comedy film directed by Bong Joon-ho, shows the story of a poor family who infiltrated the household of an affluent family by getting employment by pretending to be highly qualified persons.

  10. More than 70 grave violations against children caught up in war, being recorded daily: UNICEF

    - UN News

    A “staggering” average of 71 verified grave violations a day, are committed against children by parties to conflict in more than 30 settings across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Sustainable blue economy vital for small countries and coastal populations

    - UN News

    With the livelihoods of about 40 per cent of the world’s population living at or near a coast, the second day of the UN Ocean Conference under way in Lisbon focused on strengthening sustainable ocean-based economies, managing coastal ecosystems.

  2. Bangladesh Flood Victims Cry for Relief

    - Inter Press Service

    DHAKA, Jun 28 (IPS) - After losing everything in the recent devastating flood that swept the northeastern districts in Bangladesh, pregnant mother Joynaba Akter, her three children and her husband took refuge in a shelter centre at Gowainghat in Sylhet.

  3. Climate Hypocrisy Ensures Global Warming

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 28 (IPS) - Rich country governments claim the high moral ground on climate action. But many deny their far greater responsibility for both historic and contemporary greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, once acknowledged by the Kyoto Protocol.

  4. Tackling marine pollution: Individual action, key to ocean restoration

    - UN News

    On Monday, thousands of people gathered at Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, for the first day of the long-awaited UN Ocean Conference. Riding on the global momentum generated by the event, experts are pushing for a new international commitment to combat pollution, including at sea.

  5. Put women’s rights ‘front and centre’ of climate policies: Bachelet

    - UN News

    Although climate change threatens everyone, women and girls often suffer its harshest and most violent consequences, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Monday. 

  6. Global Biodiversity Agenda: Nairobi Just Added More to Montreal's Plate

    - Inter Press Service

    Nairobi, Jun 27 (IPS) - As the last working group meeting of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Agenda concluded here on Sunday, the delegates’ job at COP15 Montreal just got tougher as delegates couldn’t finalize the text of the agenda. Texts involving finance, cost and benefit-sharing, and digital sequencing – described by many as ‘most contentious parts of the draft agenda barely made any progress as negotiators failed to reach any consensus.

  7. Healthy Planet Needs Ocean Action from Asian and Pacific Countries

    - Inter Press Service

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Jun 27 (IPS) - As the Second Global Ocean Conference opens today in Lisbongovernments in Asia and the Pacific must seize the opportunity to enhance cooperation and solidarity to address a host of challenges that endanger what is a lifeline for millions of people in the region.

  8. ‘When it Comes to Gender Equality, Our Best is Not Good Enough’: says Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW DELHI, India, Jun 27 (IPS) - The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted lives all over the world. According to this reportgender is emerging as a significant factor in the social, economic and health effects of Covid-19. Women have been hit much harder socially and economically than men. The greatest and most persistent gender gap was seen in employment and uncompensated labour, with 26% of women reporting loss of work compared with 20% of men globally in September 2021.

  9. Guterres outlines four recommendations to help us all ‘Save Our Ocean’

    - UN News

    At the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to commit and unite around the protection and preservation of our seas.

  10. Exploring the largest ocean reef restoration project in the Americas: ‘One Million Corals for Colombia’

    - UN News

    The marine treasures of Colombia are often overlooked, as the country is known more for its mountains and the colourful towns that dot its coffee region. But just below the waves, a vibrant undersea world with over a thousand square kilometres of coral reef awaits those who take the plunge.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. Roe Overturned: What You Need to Know about the US Supreme Court Abortion Decision

    - Inter Press Service

    BOSTON, USA, Jun 27 (IPS) - After half a century, Americans’ constitutional right to get an abortion has been overturned by the Supreme Court. The ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – handed down on June 24, 2022 – has far-reaching consequences. The Conversation asked Nicole Huberfeld and Linda C. McClainhealth law and constitutional law experts at Boston University, to explain what just happened, and what happens next.

  2. UN drug report shines light on cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine trends

    - UN News

    Legalized cannabis use in some countries and states appears to have accelerated daily use and related health impacts, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed in a new report released on Monday.

  3. Urgent Need to Enact Proposed Law to Secure Sexual and Reproductive Health in East Africa Countries

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Jun 27 (IPS) - The Ministry of Health in Kenya recently reported that about 700 teenage girls got pregnant daily over a two-month period, in this year alone. What is more is that during this period, 98 adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19 contracted HIV every week in this time period

  4. ‘When it Comes to Gender Equality, Our Best is Not Good Enough’: says Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW DELHI, India, Jun 27 (IPS) - The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted lives all over the world. According to this reportgender is emerging as a significant factor in the social, economic and health effects of Covid-19. Women have been hit much harder socially and economically than men. The greatest and most persistent gender gap was seen in employment and uncompensated labour, with 26% of women reporting loss of work compared with 20% of men globally in September 2021.

  5. Monkeypox not presently a global public health emergency: WHO

    - UN News

    The monkeypox outbreak does not currently constitute a global public health concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday, though “intense response efforts” are needed to control further spread.

  6. Life-saving relief continues to reach quake-hit eastern Afghanistan

    - UN News

    Emergency lifesaving aid relief continued to flow into quake-hit eastern Afghanistan on Friday, as UN humanitarians and partners rushed to help the most vulnerable communities.

  7. Monkeypox: Amid uncertainty, global situation ‘cannot be ignored’ says WHO chief

    - UN News

    Addressing the first meeting of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee on Thursday over the global Monkeypox outbreak, the WHO chief told members that person-to-person transmission was ongoing, and “likely underestimated”.

  8. Global hunger crisis pushing one child per minute, into severe malnutrition

    - UN News

    Because of the global hunger crisis, every single minute, one child is pushed into life-threatening, severe malnutrition.

  9. Stronger Healthcare Systems Critical for Africa's Socioeconomic Transformation

    - Inter Press Service

    KIGALI, Jun 22 (IPS) - Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare systems globally have battled to deal with the repercussions unleashed by the disease. From the outset, Africa was considered particularly vulnerable due to several factors: limited healthcare provision in some areas, high prevalence of HIV and TB in a number of countries, and limited fiscal room to respond to the pandemic’s financial impacts.

  10. The Sustainable Use of Wild Species is Important for Everyone

    - Inter Press Service

    BONN, Germany, Jun 22 (IPS) - You probably use wild species far more often than you realise. For many people, especially in more developed economies, the use of wild species sounds like something quite removed from their everyday lives – something perhaps more relevant to other people, in other countries.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Sustainable blue economy vital for small countries and coastal populations

    - UN News

    With the livelihoods of about 40 per cent of the world’s population living at or near a coast, the second day of the UN Ocean Conference under way in Lisbon focused on strengthening sustainable ocean-based economies, managing coastal ecosystems.

  2. Climate Hypocrisy Ensures Global Warming

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 28 (IPS) - Rich country governments claim the high moral ground on climate action. But many deny their far greater responsibility for both historic and contemporary greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, once acknowledged by the Kyoto Protocol.

  3. Healthy Planet Needs Ocean Action from Asian and Pacific Countries

    - Inter Press Service

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Jun 27 (IPS) - As the Second Global Ocean Conference opens today in Lisbongovernments in Asia and the Pacific must seize the opportunity to enhance cooperation and solidarity to address a host of challenges that endanger what is a lifeline for millions of people in the region.

  4. ‘When it Comes to Gender Equality, Our Best is Not Good Enough’: says Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW DELHI, India, Jun 27 (IPS) - The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted lives all over the world. According to this reportgender is emerging as a significant factor in the social, economic and health effects of Covid-19. Women have been hit much harder socially and economically than men. The greatest and most persistent gender gap was seen in employment and uncompensated labour, with 26% of women reporting loss of work compared with 20% of men globally in September 2021.

  5. First Person: The Barbadian entrepreneur turning sargassum into money

    - UN News

    Sargassum seaweed has blighted many of the beaches on Barbados for several years. Joshua Forte, a local entrepreneur, is convinced that it can be turned into a valuable commodity, and turned into highly effective, organic compost.

  6. Digital Tools Complement Organic Farming at Islamic School in Indonesia

    - Inter Press Service

    CIWIDEY, West Java, Indonesia, Jun 24 (IPS) - It appears to be business as usual at the Al-Ittifaq pesantrenthe local term for an Islamic boarding school. Yadi and Rezki, both 18, join the subuhpre-dawn prayer, in the local mosque. After a session of religious meditation, along with other santrisor students, the two study science in a pre-dawn class for about 30 minutes.

  7. Digital Technology Buoys Indonesian Catfish Farmers

    - Inter Press Service

    INDRAMAYU, Indonesia, Jun 24 (IPS) - For years Indramayu has been known as one of Indonesia’s rice centres. The district in West Java is the country’s number one rice producer, generating 1.3 million tons of husked rice in 2021, according to Indonesia’s Centre of Statistics (BPS). The country’s total rice production was 54 million tons.

  8. Across Asia and the Pacific, Digitalization of Rural Communities is Leading the Way to a Better Future - But the Goal is to Leave No One Behind

    - Inter Press Service

    BANGKOK, Jun 24 (IPS) - It wasn’t that long ago that Internet connectivity faded the moment one left a populated area like a city or big town – “no service” was the take-away message back then. But thanks to 3G, 4G and now 5G mobile technology, coupled with widespread installation of cellular towers in rural areas region-wide, that little message shows up much less frequently.

  9. Indigenous Communities Want Stake in the New Deal to Protect Nature

    - Inter Press Service

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Jun 23 (IPS) - In early June 2022, more than 30 people from the Maasai community in the Loliondo division in Tanzania’s northern Ngorongoro District were reportedly injured, and one person died following clashes with security forces over the demarcation of their ancestral lands for a new game reserve.

  10. The Sustainable Use of Wild Species is Important for Everyone

    - Inter Press Service

    BONN, Germany, Jun 22 (IPS) - You probably use wild species far more often than you realise. For many people, especially in more developed economies, the use of wild species sounds like something quite removed from their everyday lives – something perhaps more relevant to other people, in other countries.

  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