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. 130 Countries Promise to Protect and Invest in Health Care Workers

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 23 (IPS) - The countries signed a statement in support of the 2021 International Year of Health and Care Workers. The statement was launched at an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. One hundred and thirty countries have signed a statement recognising the efforts of health care workers, first responders and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic – "one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations".

  2. Small businesses unprepared for pandemic-sized climate shock ‘every decade’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

      Small businesses which make up more than half of the global workforce were 2.5 times more likely to go under than larger firms in the first months of COVID-19, the International Trade Centre (ITC) said on Wednesday, warning that the impact of climate change could cause pandemic-scale disruption “every decade”.

  3. Maldives General Assembly Presidency Renews Hope for Small Island Developing States

    - Inter Press Service

    JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Jun 23 (IPS) - Earlier this month, Abdulla Shahid, the Maldives’ foreign minister, was elected President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which commences in September.

  4. Digital Media on the Frontline: Supporting the Ones who Support the Rest

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW YORK, Jun 22 (IPS) - For Dr Farzana Khan, a frontline worker and a second-generation immigrant from Pakistan living in California, social media helped her connect and realign herself during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  5. Link between education and well-being never clearer, UN pushes for ‘health-promoting’ schools

    - UN News

    With school closures triggered by COVID-19 disrupting both education and access to nutritious meals, two UN agencies on Tuesday launched new measures to help improve the well-being of 1.9 billion school-aged children and adolescents around the world. 

  6. Time running out to prevent ‘worst case scenario’ arising in Afghanistan

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    With all the major indicators for Afghanistan’s security and development looking “negative or stagnant” as international troops withdraw, the threats that lie ahead cannot be overstated, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

  7. Great Barrier Reef in danger, UN World Heritage Committee draft report finds

    - UN News

    A United Nations body is recommending that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef be included on a list of world heritage in danger, according to a draft report issued on Monday, a move which has been heavily criticized by the Australian Government.  

  8. Famine knocking at the door of 41 million worldwide, WFP warns

    - UN News

    Famine is already present in four countries but millions more people are at risk, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday, underscoring the need for urgent funding and humanitarian access to reach those in need. 

  9. ‘Invisible’ stateless people could miss out on COVID-19 jabs, UNHCR warns

    - UN News

    Millions of stateless people around the world could miss out on COVID-19 vaccinations because they lack identity papers and are essentially “invisible to the authorities”.

  10. The Importance of Being Listed: Why Politics Threaten the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict

    - Inter Press Service

    WASHINGTON DC, Jun 22 (IPS) - Frontline workers who document and respond to violations against children have faced a particularly challenging last year, from the impact of Covid-19 on operations and child protection to the record levels of displacement worldwide to the ever-worsening threats from militaries and non-state armed groups.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. 130 Countries Promise to Protect and Invest in Health Care Workers

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 23 (IPS) - The countries signed a statement in support of the 2021 International Year of Health and Care Workers. The statement was launched at an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. One hundred and thirty countries have signed a statement recognising the efforts of health care workers, first responders and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic – "one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations".

  2. Digital Media on the Frontline: Supporting the Ones who Support the Rest

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW YORK, Jun 22 (IPS) - For Dr Farzana Khan, a frontline worker and a second-generation immigrant from Pakistan living in California, social media helped her connect and realign herself during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. Link between education and well-being never clearer, UN pushes for ‘health-promoting’ schools

    - UN News

    With school closures triggered by COVID-19 disrupting both education and access to nutritious meals, two UN agencies on Tuesday launched new measures to help improve the well-being of 1.9 billion school-aged children and adolescents around the world. 

  4. Boldly Finance Recovery to Build Forward Better

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 22 (IPS) - COVID-19 has become a “developing country pandemic”, retreating from the North’s mass vaccination. With developing countries heavily handicapped, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns of a “dangerous divergence”.

  5. COVID-19: First mRNA vaccine tech transfer hub a ‘great step forward’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting a South African consortium in establishing the first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub, the UN agency announced on Monday. 

  6. Education Cannot Wait for Refugee Children in Crisis, says Yasmine Sherif

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW YORK, Jun 19 (IPS) - With financing, the number of out-of-school refuges could be reduced to zero, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) says, as the world commemorates World Refugee Day.

  7. COVID-19: Vaccines donated next year, ‘too late for those who are dying today’

    - UN News

    Millions more COVID vaccines need to be donated now to save lives and help the UN health agency reach the key global target of having 70 per cent of all national populations vaccinated, by the middle of 2022. 

  8. For People with Disabilities, COVID-19 Lays Bare the Weaknesses in Social Safety Nets

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 18 (IPS) - People with disabilities were particularly hard hit by the social and economic impacts of efforts to control COVID-19.

  9. One in every 100 dies by their own hand, each suicide ‘a tragedy’ – WHO

    - UN News

    New research published by the UN health agency on Thursday revealed that suicide remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide – taking more lives each year than HIV, malaria, breast cancer, war and homicide.

  10. Apocalypse Now? Christian Fundamentalists and COVID-19

    - Inter Press Service

    STOCKHOLM / ROME, Jun 17 (IPS) - Like most male Swedes of my age I had to enter obligatory military service for almost a year. In my barrack was a “born-again-Christian” who when he became angry shouted “Now you mock me, but when the Last Judgement has come I will sit in heaven and smile down at you while you burn in Hell!” Since then I have wondered about the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. It was written by a frustrated Christian man who by the end of 100 CE by Roman authorities had been deported to an isolated island where he wrote a long letter to Christian congregations in Asia Minor.

    Getting hard to breathe
    hard to believe in anything
    at all, but fear.
    Peter Gabriel, Mother of Violence

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Small businesses unprepared for pandemic-sized climate shock ‘every decade’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

      Small businesses which make up more than half of the global workforce were 2.5 times more likely to go under than larger firms in the first months of COVID-19, the International Trade Centre (ITC) said on Wednesday, warning that the impact of climate change could cause pandemic-scale disruption “every decade”.

  2. Maldives General Assembly Presidency Renews Hope for Small Island Developing States

    - Inter Press Service

    JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Jun 23 (IPS) - Earlier this month, Abdulla Shahid, the Maldives’ foreign minister, was elected President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which commences in September.

  3. Three Million in Three Years: Jamaicas Tree-Planting to Tackle Climate Change

    - Inter Press Service

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 22 (IPS) - By the time he is finished, Dr. Satyanarayana Parvataneni expects he will be responsible for planting over 200,000 tree seedlings in Jamaica. It is an effort driven by a desire to preserve the planet for the next generation, as well as the one of the largest contributions to date to a national effort to plant three million trees in three years.

  4. Boldly Finance Recovery to Build Forward Better

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 22 (IPS) - COVID-19 has become a “developing country pandemic”, retreating from the North’s mass vaccination. With developing countries heavily handicapped, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warns of a “dangerous divergence”.

  5. Pandemic ‘rolled back’ sustainable development funding for weak economies: UNCTAD

    - UN News

    Financial assistance to the world’s 83 weakest economies fell by 15 per cent in 2020, to $35 billion as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UN trade and development experts UNCTAD said on Monday.

  6. The Dictators Daughter or the Farmers Son?

    - Inter Press Service

    LIMA, Peru, Jun 21 (IPS) - Peru’s first round of elections on 11 April saw voters choosing between 18 presidential candidates with no one candidate leading by an impressive margin.

  7. Sustainability solution or climate calamity? The dangers and promise of cryptocurrency technology

    - UN News

    The negative environmental impact of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has been widely covered in the press in recent weeks and months, and their volatility has also been flagged as a cause for concern. Nevertheless, the UN believes that blockchain, the technology lying behind these online currencies, could be of great benefit to those fighting the climate crisis, and help bring about a more sustainable global economy.

  8. To Fund Grand Inga Using Green Hydrogen, Equity and Ethics Matter

    - Inter Press Service

    PARIS, Jun 18 (IPS) - Visions of Grand Inga, a proposed massive hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) powering much of Africa, have excited energy experts, investors, and governments for decades.  The announcements this week by the Australian companyFortescue Metals Groupand its chairmanbillionaire Andrew Forrestof their plans to develop Inga for green hydrogen exports brings this vision a little closer to reality. 

  9. The Energy Revolution Is Here: How to Be Part of It

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 18 (IPS) - The industrial revolution took 100 years. The digital revolution, two decades. The next global revolution, the energy revolution, has already begun. But how fairly and how fast it happens is the biggest challenge of our time.

  10. UN chief urges debt relief extension for middle-income countries

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Innovative measures to address debt are required to help the world’s more than 100 middle-income countries expand their economies and exit the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the General Assembly on Thursday. 

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Small businesses unprepared for pandemic-sized climate shock ‘every decade’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

      Small businesses which make up more than half of the global workforce were 2.5 times more likely to go under than larger firms in the first months of COVID-19, the International Trade Centre (ITC) said on Wednesday, warning that the impact of climate change could cause pandemic-scale disruption “every decade”.

  2. Great Barrier Reef in danger, UN World Heritage Committee draft report finds

    - UN News

    A United Nations body is recommending that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef be included on a list of world heritage in danger, according to a draft report issued on Monday, a move which has been heavily criticized by the Australian Government.  

  3. Three Million in Three Years: Jamaicas Tree-Planting to Tackle Climate Change

    - Inter Press Service

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 22 (IPS) - By the time he is finished, Dr. Satyanarayana Parvataneni expects he will be responsible for planting over 200,000 tree seedlings in Jamaica. It is an effort driven by a desire to preserve the planet for the next generation, as well as the one of the largest contributions to date to a national effort to plant three million trees in three years.

  4. Sowing Water: A Cuban Farm's Bid for Sustainability

    - Inter Press Service

    HAVANA, Jun 21 (IPS) - Cuban farmer José Antonio Casimiro found in the ageold technique of sowing water an opportunity to meet his farm's water needs and mitigate the increasingly visible effects of climate change.

  5. FROM THE FIELD: Restoring Dutch ‘green deserts’

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The Western Peat Meadows of the Netherlands look like classic Dutch countryside (cows, windmills and green fields), but the views mask a significant loss of biodiversity, caused by intensive farming methods. As the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration begins, a local organisation is planning to restore 100 million of hectares of land, across the world.

  6. Sustainability solution or climate calamity? The dangers and promise of cryptocurrency technology

    - UN News

    The negative environmental impact of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has been widely covered in the press in recent weeks and months, and their volatility has also been flagged as a cause for concern. Nevertheless, the UN believes that blockchain, the technology lying behind these online currencies, could be of great benefit to those fighting the climate crisis, and help bring about a more sustainable global economy.

  7. Education Cannot Wait for Refugee Children in Crisis, says Yasmine Sherif

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW YORK, Jun 19 (IPS) - With financing, the number of out-of-school refuges could be reduced to zero, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) says, as the world commemorates World Refugee Day.

  8. To Fund Grand Inga Using Green Hydrogen, Equity and Ethics Matter

    - Inter Press Service

    PARIS, Jun 18 (IPS) - Visions of Grand Inga, a proposed massive hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) powering much of Africa, have excited energy experts, investors, and governments for decades.  The announcements this week by the Australian companyFortescue Metals Groupand its chairmanbillionaire Andrew Forrestof their plans to develop Inga for green hydrogen exports brings this vision a little closer to reality. 

  9. The Energy Revolution Is Here: How to Be Part of It

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 18 (IPS) - The industrial revolution took 100 years. The digital revolution, two decades. The next global revolution, the energy revolution, has already begun. But how fairly and how fast it happens is the biggest challenge of our time.

  10. Call for Political Belt-tightening to Prevent Drought Becoming the Next Pandemic

    - Inter Press Service

    BHUBANESWAR, India, Jun 17 (IPS) - June 17 is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. A new report shows that climate change, overuse and conversion for agriculture, cities and infrastructure, which also drive drought and desertification, have already degraded one fifth of the planet’s land area.

    “Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it.”

  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