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. <em>International Womens Day, 2024</em><br>Investing in Women is More than just Good Economics, its Crucial to a Sustainable Society

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Mar 05 (IPS) - The following opinion piece is part of series to mark International Women’s Day, March 8.Ponny Lim runs a thriving aquaculture enterprise in Cambodia, growing her business with the support of a United Nations programme that guarantees loans to women entrepreneurs who are beyond microfinance but not yet ready for corporate finance.

  2. <em>International Womens Day, 2024</em><br>International Womens Day/International Life Day

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    NEW YORK, Mar 05 (IPS) - The following opinion piece is part of series to mark International Women’s Day, March 8.One of the most fascinating aspects of International Women’s Day is an odd subtext. That this is all about and (only) for women. Really? Since when are the realities of one part of humanity – the part that gives birth to the rest by the way – only relevant to that one part?

  3. Gaza Massacre and Western Hypocrisy

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY, Mar 04 (IPS) - Israeli troops opened fire targeting the Palestinians, gathered around food aid trucks, killing at least 112 and injuring hundreds on 29 February. The massacre happened, about a month after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered provisional measures for Israel to refrain from all acts under the Genocide convention. Ironically Israel was supposed to report to the Court, within one month, of all measures taken in line with its order. Israel has been emboldened by a beholden US.

  4. International Women’s Day, 2024 - The Misogynistic Minority

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW YORK, Mar 04 (IPS) - A minority of the world‘s population appears to be misogynistic and continues to oppose efforts to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. The misogynistic minority cannot be permitted to undermine gender equality policies supported by large majorities of the public worldwide.

  5. International Women’s Day, 2024 - Progress Hinges on Feminist Leadership

    - Inter Press Service

    PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, Mar 04 (IPS) - Investing in inclusion requires more than electing and initiating women leaders. It requires a coordinated effort to change mindsets and systematically increase investments. This will allow feminist leaders, individually and collectively, to fully exercise their agency and counter targeted attacks on their safety and legitimacy.

  6. UN Environmental Assembly Call for Action to Address Planetary Triple Threat

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Mar 04 (IPS) - The Sixth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6) ended with delegates calling for firm actions to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss, and pollution.

  7. UN crime prevention chief pledges enhanced cooperation in Somalia

    - UN News

    The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly has highlighted the threats of transnational organized crime, terrorism, and corruption which is plaguing Somalia.

  8. ‘Clear and convincing information’ that hostages held in Gaza subjected to sexual violence says UN Special Representative

    - UN News

    Following a 17-day visit to Israel, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict reported on Monday that she and a team of experts had found “clear and convincing information” of rape, and sexualized torture being committed against hostages seized during the 7 October terror attacks.

  9. ‘Mega election’ 2024 could be a landmark for democracy: UN rights chief

    - UN News

    Dozens of elections taking place this year around the world will likely be “free from hatred” and respect the will of the people, but there are warning signs that several polls may not - from Bangladesh to Chad, Hungary, Russia and Senegal, UN rights chief Volker Türk warned on Monday.

  10. UPDATING LIVE: General Assembly meets to examine US veto of Gaza draft resolution

    - UN News

    The General Assembly is now meeting to examine the US veto of the latest Security Council draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza, where a grim, forewarned landscape of famine has seen babies and children die of starvation in recent days. Follow our live coverage here and at @UN_News_Centre.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. UN Environmental Assembly Call for Action to Address Planetary Triple Threat

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Mar 04 (IPS) - The Sixth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-6) ended with delegates calling for firm actions to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss, and pollution.

  2. Human ingenuity can help to save nature, Guterres says on World Wildlife Day

    - UN News

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for action now to protect nature in his message to mark World Wildlife Day on Sunday.

  3. UN chief appeals for greater support for small islands fighting climate change

    - UN News

    More funding is needed to support Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on the frontlines of climate change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Saturday in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

  4. From Gas to Ash: The Struggle of Nigerian Women Amidst Surging Cooking Gas Prices

    - Inter Press Service

    KWARA, Nigeria, Mar 01 (IPS) - One sunny mid-morning in Omu-Aran village, a community in Kwara State, North Central Nigeria, Iyabo Sunday sat beside a firewood stand observing her pot of beans with rice (a combination enjoyed by many in Nigeria).

  5. From AI to fast fashion, ‘world’s environment parliament’ adopts bold action plans

    - UN News

    The UN Environment Assembly adopted a ministerial declaration as it wrapped up on Friday in the Kenyan capital, together with 17 resolutions and decisions aimed at redefining the way humankind interacts with nature.

  6. World News in Brief: Another month of extreme heat, Sudan exodus continues into Chad, Zero Discrimination Day

    - UN News

    February saw more extreme heat and unusually high temperatures in both hemispheres, the UN weather agency (WMO) said on Friday.

  7. Salvadoran Poultry Farms Produce Biogas, Easing Socio-environmental Conflicts

    - Inter Press Service

    SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador, Mar 01 (IPS) - In a win-win relationship, a segment of El Salvador's agribusiness industry is taking steps to ease the tension of the historic socio-environmental conflict caused by poultry and pig farms, whose waste has caused concern and anger in nearby communities.

  8. Air Quality Sensors Boosting Nairobi’s Fight Against Air Pollution

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Feb 29 (IPS) - Deborah Adhiambo (43) has been battling mild asthma since 2022, a condition she describes as “both a health and economic burden.’’ The mother of three lives within Dandora Estate, nine miles east of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Dandora is home to Kenya’s largest open landfill, which receives more than 2,000 metric tonnes of waste daily.

  9. Senior officials call for action and solutions at UN Environment Assembly

    - UN News

    Leaders attending a major UN environmental conference in Nairobi must drive forward solutions to combat climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday.

  10. 'I Havent Forgotten Where I Came From,' says Yvonne Pinto, Incoming IRRI Chief

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY, Feb 28 (IPS) - Growing up on a small farming station in Holetta (Ethiopia), Yvonne Pinto would accompany her agriculturist father to the farm, where she would spend her time cross-fertilizing plants. Her tiny fingers making the task easier, as she would marvel at the end product of a prospective new and higher yielding variety. These formative years laid the foundation for her career in agricultural science.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. WHO: Investments and myth-busting to improve hearing

    - UN News

    Over 400 million people globally need hearing aids, a study by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals, but only 20 per cent get them due to lack of financial and human resources, as well as stigma.

  2. World News in Brief: Another month of extreme heat, Sudan exodus continues into Chad, Zero Discrimination Day

    - UN News

    February saw more extreme heat and unusually high temperatures in both hemispheres, the UN weather agency (WMO) said on Friday.

  3. Air Quality Sensors Boosting Nairobi’s Fight Against Air Pollution

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Feb 29 (IPS) - Deborah Adhiambo (43) has been battling mild asthma since 2022, a condition she describes as “both a health and economic burden.’’ The mother of three lives within Dandora Estate, nine miles east of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Dandora is home to Kenya’s largest open landfill, which receives more than 2,000 metric tonnes of waste daily.

  4. At least one in eight people now obese, warns WHO

    - UN News

    At least one in eight people on Earth are living with obesity, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, citing a newly released global medical study.

  5. Senior officials call for action and solutions at UN Environment Assembly

    - UN News

    Leaders attending a major UN environmental conference in Nairobi must drive forward solutions to combat climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday.

  6. 'I Havent Forgotten Where I Came From,' says Yvonne Pinto, Incoming IRRI Chief

    - Inter Press Service

    SYDNEY, Feb 28 (IPS) - Growing up on a small farming station in Holetta (Ethiopia), Yvonne Pinto would accompany her agriculturist father to the farm, where she would spend her time cross-fertilizing plants. Her tiny fingers making the task easier, as she would marvel at the end product of a prospective new and higher yielding variety. These formative years laid the foundation for her career in agricultural science.

  7. No medicine, no hope: Doctors describe life under Israeli attack in Gaza

    - UN News

    No communications, no medicine and little hope. That’s what operating a hospital in a war zone has become in Gaza, according to a team of doctors trapped for weeks inside the besieged Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.

  8. Female Genital Mutilation Continues Amid Sudans Conflict and Forced Displacement

    - Inter Press Service

    JUBA, Feb 27 (IPS) - Female genital mutilation (FGM) stands as one of the most egregious violations of human rights, particularly affecting women and girls worldwide. However, when conflict and forced displacement enter the equation, the horrors of FGM are exacerbated, creating a dire situation that demands urgent attention and action. Where instability and insecurity prevail, the prevalence of FGM often intensifies, exacerbated by factors such as displacement, poverty, and the breakdown of social systems.

  9. World News in Brief: Noncommunicable diseases in emergencies, aid plan for Haiti, peace efforts in CAR

    - UN News

    People caught up in humanitarian emergencies are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), UN agencies and partners warned on Tuesday.

  10. General Assembly President calls for solidarity with Ukraine as ‘needless war’ reaches two-year mark

    - UN News

    UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis urged countries to stand with the people of Ukraine “in their quest for justice and peace” during a meeting on Friday to mark two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. UN crime prevention chief pledges enhanced cooperation in Somalia

    - UN News

    The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly has highlighted the threats of transnational organized crime, terrorism, and corruption which is plaguing Somalia.

  2. First Person: Water and electricity ‘will save us from famine’

    - UN News

    An initiative to rapidly develop villages in some of the most drought-prone and poorest rural areas of southern Madagascar could help people to avoid the danger of famine, according to people benefiting from a collaboration with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP).

  3. Salvadoran Poultry Farms Produce Biogas, Easing Socio-environmental Conflicts

    - Inter Press Service

    SAN MIGUEL, El Salvador, Mar 01 (IPS) - In a win-win relationship, a segment of El Salvador's agribusiness industry is taking steps to ease the tension of the historic socio-environmental conflict caused by poultry and pig farms, whose waste has caused concern and anger in nearby communities.

  4. Gazans eating wild plants to survive

    - UN News

    UN News has learned that out of desperation, some Gazans have resorted to selling wild plants with little nutritional value, in the markets of their devastated enclave. In this special report, Ziad Taleb spoke to some of the young people trying to make a living, despite the ever-present dangers.

  5. Africa’s Debt Crisis Needs a Bold New Approach and a Way Forward

    - Inter Press Service

    PRETORIA, South Africa, Feb 28 (IPS) - It hasn’t been easy for African states to finance their developmental and environmental policy objectives over the past few years. Recent events suggest that the situation may be improving. For the first time in two years, three African states have been able to access international financial markets, albeit at high interest rates. Kenya, for example, is now paying over 10% compared to about 7% in 2014.

  6. Hapless New Year for Global South

    - Inter Press Service

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Feb 28 (IPS) - As dire economic predictions for 2023 did not materialise, pundits began 2024 far more optimistically. But policy ghosts from the last half-century will likely undermine such wishful thinking.

  7. World News in Brief: Air travel boom erases COVID dip, ‘disturbing’ new anti-LGBT bill in Ghana, rights abuses in Crimea

    - UN News

    The UN aviation agency on Wednesday announced that air traffic levels are operating at around two per cent above their high in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic grounded much of the world’s population in lockdown.

  8. Universal connectivity gets a $9 billion private sector boost

    - UN News

    The mobile phone industry has pledged over $9 billion towards the goal of connecting the world, said the chief of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on Monday, addressing the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

  9. No God but Greed: Slavery and Indifference

    - Inter Press Service

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb 23 (IPS) - At Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen there is a great painting made in 1797 by the Danish Golden Age painter Jens Juel. It depicts one of Denmark’s richest merchants at the time – Niels Ryberg, his newlywed son Johan Christian, and the son’s bride, Engelke. Johan Christian makes a gesture as though to show off the family estate. There is a strong feeling of harmony between the people and the countryside in which they are placed. The picture reflects the new interest in nature that emerged all over Europe towards the end of the 18th century. It also demonstrates how Denmark’s new, rich bourgeois wished to carry themselves in the style of the aristocracy, a social class which dominance they were infringing. Ryberg and his son appear just as distinguished as the aristocrats that used to be portrayed by Jens Juel.

  10. The World Social Forum: The counterweight to the World Economic Forum

    - Inter Press Service

    KATHMANDU, Nepal, Feb 23 (IPS) - This week the 2024 annual meeting of the World Social Forum (WSF) was held in Nepal. There were fifty thousand participants from over 90 countries, exchanging strategies to address the multiple global crises, from climate catastrophes to unfettered capitalism, inequality, social injustice, wars and conflict.

  11. More stories…

More news by World, Economy, Environment, Geopolitics, Health, Human Rights, More news topics

World news powered by Inter Press Service International News Agency and UN News

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