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. Kerala Covid-19 Response Model for Emulation

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 09 (IPS) - Within weeks, the Covid-19 epidemic was classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an epidemic of international significance, triggering a pre-agreed WHO response. By the end of the first week of April, more than 1.3 million people had been confirmed as infected, with over 65,000 deaths across the world.

  2. Alive Amidst the Mayhem of COVID-19 - A Sex Worker’s Story

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 09 (IPS) - For a Bangladeshi woman, who has worked as a sex worker since childhood, her future post-COVID-19 looks hopeless.

    Shilpy, who works at Daulatdia, the largest brothel in the country, told IPS how she now also fears for the future of her two daughters.

  3. Covid-19 & its Impact on the Work of Disarmament

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 09 (IPS) - Izumi Nakamitsu is UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Humanity has faced no challenge greater than COVID-19 since the Second World War. As this rapidly developing global health emergency places unprecedented strain on our medical, economic and social systems, we must work hard to prevent new risks for instability, unrest and conflict.

  4. Killer of Slovak Journalist Sentenced ... and Rights Groups Await further Convictions

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    BRATISLAVA, Apr 08 (IPS) - Journalists and rights activists have welcomed the jailing of a man for the murders of Slovak investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, but say others involved in the killings must be convicted too if justice is to be fully served.

  5. What Journalists Should Know About Coronavirus Cellphone Tracking

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 08 (IPS) - Governments all over the world have been considering cellphone surveillance to help track and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

  6. Asia-Pacific Response to COVID-19 and Climate Emergency Must Build a Resilient and Sustainable Future

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Apr 08 (IPS) - The unprecedented public health emergency triggered by the COVID -19 pandemic and its multi-faceted impact on people's lives around the world is taking a heavy toll on Asia and the Pacific.

    Countries in our region are striving to mitigate the massive socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, which is also expected to affect the region's economic health. In its annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020 launched today, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)expectsgrowth in Asia-Pacific developing economies to slow down significantly this year.

  7. Ending the Unthinkable Injustice of Human Chaining

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 07 (IPS) - When Akanni's mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn't help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni's father took her to a church in Abeokuta, Ogun state, in Nigeria. And then he left her there.

  8. The Future of Journalism

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    CARACAS, Apr 07 (IPS) - All over the world, journalism is going through an era of uncertainty. It is not yet clear what the business model for the news field will be, and this is happening precisely at a time when information is a central issue in every person's life.

  9. How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 07 (IPS) - A little over half of women across the globe are able to freely make choices about their sexual and reproductive health, according to the latest report based on data from 57 countries by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

    However, as much of the world has gone into lockdown, with countries implementing social distancing and restricting the free movement of people, experts are concerned that even this small gain in sexual and reproductive health may suffer negatively.

  10. Women in Africa Most Vulnerable to COVID-19 Pandemic

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    KAMPALA, Uganda, Apr 07 (IPS) - We are living in uncertain times. All of us are experiencing the Corona pandemic in various ways. For most it means quarantine and physical isolation. We worry about family members, loss of income and not knowing what the future will look like- or how long this will continue.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. Kerala Covid-19 Response Model for Emulation

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 09 (IPS) - Within weeks, the Covid-19 epidemic was classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an epidemic of international significance, triggering a pre-agreed WHO response. By the end of the first week of April, more than 1.3 million people had been confirmed as infected, with over 65,000 deaths across the world.

  2. Alive Amidst the Mayhem of COVID-19 - A Sex Worker’s Story

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 09 (IPS) - For a Bangladeshi woman, who has worked as a sex worker since childhood, her future post-COVID-19 looks hopeless.

    Shilpy, who works at Daulatdia, the largest brothel in the country, told IPS how she now also fears for the future of her two daughters.

  3. Covid-19 & its Impact on the Work of Disarmament

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 09 (IPS) - Izumi Nakamitsu is UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Humanity has faced no challenge greater than COVID-19 since the Second World War. As this rapidly developing global health emergency places unprecedented strain on our medical, economic and social systems, we must work hard to prevent new risks for instability, unrest and conflict.

  4. What Journalists Should Know About Coronavirus Cellphone Tracking

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 08 (IPS) - Governments all over the world have been considering cellphone surveillance to help track and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

  5. Asia-Pacific Response to COVID-19 and Climate Emergency Must Build a Resilient and Sustainable Future

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Apr 08 (IPS) - The unprecedented public health emergency triggered by the COVID -19 pandemic and its multi-faceted impact on people's lives around the world is taking a heavy toll on Asia and the Pacific.

    Countries in our region are striving to mitigate the massive socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, which is also expected to affect the region's economic health. In its annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020 launched today, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)expectsgrowth in Asia-Pacific developing economies to slow down significantly this year.

  6. Ending the Unthinkable Injustice of Human Chaining

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 07 (IPS) - When Akanni's mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn't help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni's father took her to a church in Abeokuta, Ogun state, in Nigeria. And then he left her there.

  7. How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 07 (IPS) - A little over half of women across the globe are able to freely make choices about their sexual and reproductive health, according to the latest report based on data from 57 countries by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

    However, as much of the world has gone into lockdown, with countries implementing social distancing and restricting the free movement of people, experts are concerned that even this small gain in sexual and reproductive health may suffer negatively.

  8. Women in Africa Most Vulnerable to COVID-19 Pandemic

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    KAMPALA, Uganda, Apr 07 (IPS) - We are living in uncertain times. All of us are experiencing the Corona pandemic in various ways. For most it means quarantine and physical isolation. We worry about family members, loss of income and not knowing what the future will look like- or how long this will continue.

  9. Green Counter-Revolution in Africa?

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Apr 07 (IPS) - In 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation jointly launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The African Green Revolution Forum claims AGRA is the "world's most important and impactful forum for African agriculture".

  10. The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries - Part 2

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    AMSTERDAM/ROME, Apr 06 (IPS) - What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? In the first of this two part article we looked at possible short term disruptions and discussed actions by the private sector and Governments.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Kerala Covid-19 Response Model for Emulation

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 09 (IPS) - Within weeks, the Covid-19 epidemic was classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an epidemic of international significance, triggering a pre-agreed WHO response. By the end of the first week of April, more than 1.3 million people had been confirmed as infected, with over 65,000 deaths across the world.

  2. Alive Amidst the Mayhem of COVID-19 - A Sex Worker’s Story

    Thursday, April 09, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 09 (IPS) - For a Bangladeshi woman, who has worked as a sex worker since childhood, her future post-COVID-19 looks hopeless.

    Shilpy, who works at Daulatdia, the largest brothel in the country, told IPS how she now also fears for the future of her two daughters.

  3. Asia-Pacific Response to COVID-19 and Climate Emergency Must Build a Resilient and Sustainable Future

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Apr 08 (IPS) - The unprecedented public health emergency triggered by the COVID -19 pandemic and its multi-faceted impact on people's lives around the world is taking a heavy toll on Asia and the Pacific.

    Countries in our region are striving to mitigate the massive socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, which is also expected to affect the region's economic health. In its annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020 launched today, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)expectsgrowth in Asia-Pacific developing economies to slow down significantly this year.

  4. Green Counter-Revolution in Africa?

    Tuesday, April 07, 2020

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Apr 07 (IPS) - In 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation jointly launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The African Green Revolution Forum claims AGRA is the "world's most important and impactful forum for African agriculture".

  5. The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries - Part 2

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    AMSTERDAM/ROME, Apr 06 (IPS) - What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? In the first of this two part article we looked at possible short term disruptions and discussed actions by the private sector and Governments.

  6. Reimagining Farming Post-Covid Pandemic

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    ROME, Apr 06 (IPS) - Together with medical services and transportation, farming and food production have been correctly identified as 'essential services' by all countries under lockdown.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has not yet made a dent in the food supply and so far, there are no reports of shortage of essential food and agricultural goods.

    All cities and towns are actively coordinating with government agencies, farms, businesses and transport companies to maintain the supply chain and ensure full availability of food for the population,

  7. Human Rights and Compassion Must Guide Enforcement of COVID-19 Mitigation

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 06 (IPS) - Covid-19 infections continue to rise, bringing normal life to a virtualstandstill and causing countries to shut themselves off from the rest of the world.

  8. Pandemic Crisis May Trigger Societal Restructuring

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    PENANG and SINGAPORE, Apr 06 (IPS) - The Chinese word for crisis consists of two characters - "weiji". Wei means danger and ji means opportunity. Every crisis is pregnant with danger and risks but also with opportunities – for some to make money, for others to learn valuable lessons, and for society to reorient or restructure its priorities, institutions and even the system.

  9. Martin Khor, Third Worldist

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    PENANG, Apr 03 (IPS) - Martin Khor Kok Peng passed away just after the end of the first quarter of 2020. He leaves behind an unusually rich legacy. Atypically for people mainly working in the worldideas, he was also a very practical and pragmatic activist who successfully built and sustained several important initiatives which will live on after him.

  10. What More than COVID-19 to Jolt G20 into Collective Action?

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    BERLIN, Germany, Apr 03 (IPS) - My recent study on "The [email protected]: Time to shift gears" 1 shows that, during the past decade, the main joint, collective action of the G20 has been to issue communiqués and other types of statements.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Asia-Pacific Response to COVID-19 and Climate Emergency Must Build a Resilient and Sustainable Future

    Wednesday, April 08, 2020

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Apr 08 (IPS) - The unprecedented public health emergency triggered by the COVID -19 pandemic and its multi-faceted impact on people's lives around the world is taking a heavy toll on Asia and the Pacific.

    Countries in our region are striving to mitigate the massive socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, which is also expected to affect the region's economic health. In its annual Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020 launched today, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)expectsgrowth in Asia-Pacific developing economies to slow down significantly this year.

  2. The Boardwalk For Birds: Protecting Lake Victoria’s Dunga Beach Wetland

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    KISUMU, Kenya, Apr 06 (IPS) - At around 11am on a Saturday, Luke Okomo arrives at Dunga Beach, on the outskirts of Kenya's Kisumu City, and heads straight to what is known as the 'Dunga Papyrus Boardwalk'.

  3. Growing Youth Activism for Environmental Protection in Africa

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 06 (IPS) - The mining sector in Africa is facing radical change as youth activists take action against the environmental degradation caused by mining industries. Tensions between activists and the mining industry have raised, however, concerns over human rights abuses.

  4. Pandemic Crisis May Trigger Societal Restructuring

    Monday, April 06, 2020

    PENANG and SINGAPORE, Apr 06 (IPS) - The Chinese word for crisis consists of two characters - "weiji". Wei means danger and ji means opportunity. Every crisis is pregnant with danger and risks but also with opportunities – for some to make money, for others to learn valuable lessons, and for society to reorient or restructure its priorities, institutions and even the system.

  5. Martin Khor, Third Worldist

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    PENANG, Apr 03 (IPS) - Martin Khor Kok Peng passed away just after the end of the first quarter of 2020. He leaves behind an unusually rich legacy. Atypically for people mainly working in the worldideas, he was also a very practical and pragmatic activist who successfully built and sustained several important initiatives which will live on after him.

  6. In memoriam ‒ Martin Khor

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    GENEVA, Apr 03 (IPS) - We are greatly saddened by the passing of Martin Khor, a long-time friend and colleague, an undaunted fighter for the poor and underprivileged, a passionate believer in a more balanced and inclusive multilateralism, a rare intellectual and eloquent orator, an icon of the Global South worthy of veneration, greatly respected for his struggle for justice and fairness against the dominance and double-standards of big economic powers.   

  7. Walking the Talk on Climate Change after the Pandemic: Reorienting State-Owned Enterprises towards Sustainability

    Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    MEXICO, Mar 31 (IPS) - This year started with the news of the appearance of a new virus, COVID-19. The impact and severity of its effects in public health, mortality and the world economy are overwhelming. No public health system was prepared for this crisis, and yet governments are reacting deploying different policies to mitigate the crisis, and recover as fast as possible.

  8. Harness Youth to Change World's Future

    Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    NEW YORK, Mar 31 (IPS) - Vanessa Nakate of Uganda may have been cropped out of a photograph taken at the World Economic Forum, but she along with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg have made the climate crisis centre stage.

  9. Mexico's Plan to Upgrade Hydropower Plants Faces Hurdles

    Monday, March 30, 2020

    MEXICO CITY, Mar 30 (IPS) - Water security and profitability are the Achilles heels of the plan to modernise 60 hydroelectric plants in Mexico, drawn up by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

  10. Zimbabwe's Afforestation Challenge

    Friday, March 27, 2020

    BULAWAYO, Mar 27 (IPS) - "I have never planted a tree in my life," laughs Jairos Saunyama, a tobacco farmer, revelling at the absurdity of the question of whether he is involved in the country's afforestation efforts. Sawunyama is one of thousands of farmers who are blamed by local conservationists for turning the country's forests into deserts and dust bowls.

  11. More stories…

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

Issues In depth

Latest

Action on climate change is cheaper than inaction

Posted Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Sunday, February 01, 2015.

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

Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015.

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

Posted Saturday, September 27, 2014.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Sunday, January 19, 2014.

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

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

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.

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

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Sunday, August 08, 2010.

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

Last updated Sunday, March 24, 2013.

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

Last updated Monday, February 02, 2015.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Sunday, September 28, 2014.

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

Last updated Monday, January 07, 2013.

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

Last updated Sunday, June 30, 2013.

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