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. Muslim Women in Indias Workforce: Where Are They?

    - Inter Press Service

    Jul 30 (IPS) - Muslims are the largest minority community in India, and yet, they are highly underrepresented both in public and private institutions. According to a study conducted by the Economic Times Intelligence Group in 2015, Muslims constituted approximately 2.7 percent of mid to senior executives in the private sector. As of April 2018, only 1.33 percent of officers in the central government, holding the rank of joint secretary and above, were found to be Muslims. 

  2. What Public Health Officials Can Learn from a New Long COVID Survey

    - Inter Press Service

    ABUJA, Jul 30 (IPS) - A new survey on public awareness of long COVID by ‘Resolve to Save Lives” showed that among the 40% of Americans who were not vaccinated, seeing testimonials of those who suffer from long COVID inspired nearly two-thirds to consider the vaccine. A representative sample of nearly 2,000 Americans 18 and older took the survey between May 21 and June 10, 2021.

  3. 100,000 children in Tigray at risk of death from malnutrition: UNICEF

    - UN News

    More than 100,000 children in Tigray, Ethiopia, could suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in the next 12 months, a tenfold jump over average annual levels, UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday. 

  4. DR Congo, Ituri. Fleeing War, Weaving Life in IDP Camps of Bunia

    - Inter Press Service

    ROME, Jul 29 (IPS) - He moves aside the curtain, thin as gauze, and then bends over. The darkness dazzles for a few seconds when one enters the house—actually, a den made of earth where air and light filter through the narrow entrance. Jean de Dieu Amani Paye holds her tiny baby, wrapped in an elegant fabric, in his arms. He was a teacher of French and Latin and had a small business. He also cultivated the land: cassava, corn, sorghum, and beans.

  5. Alarming Crisis of Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists in DRC

    - Inter Press Service

    NEW DELHI, India, Jul 29 (IPS) - The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most hostile and dangerous regions for journalists. A complex conflict, deeply rooted in the country’s past, allows very little freedom, both movement and the press.

  6. First Person: ‘I’m not old enough to be a woman’ says trafficked teen

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A teenage girl who was sold for sex for the price of a few beers as a twelve-year-old, has told the United Nations how she was trafficked between Burundi and Tanzania in East Africa.

  7. From electric dreams to supercharged reality: the road race to a clean energy future

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The global Formula E electric race series, a partner with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP),  has grown in popularity since it launched some seven years ago, attracting the attention of major car manufacturers, changing people’s perceptions of electric vehicles, and bringing the world one step closer to a sustainable transport future.

  8. COVID-19 vaccine shipments boost for Africa

    - UN News

    After a near-halt of COVID-19 vaccine shipments in Africa, delivers have ramped up in recent months, the UN health agency said on Thursday. 

  9. Kenyas Huge Railway Project Is Causing Environmental Damage. Heres How

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Jul 29 (IPS) - Kenya is constructing a railway line that connects the coastal port of Mombasa and the interior of the country. It is expected to terminate at Malaba, a town on the border with Uganda, and link up with other railways that are being built in East Africa. It’s locally known as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

  10. Yemen: New World Bank funds offer lifeline to most vulnerable

    - UN News

    Three UN agencies on Thursday welcomed $127 million in new funding from the World Bank to provide lifesaving support to some of the country’s most hard hit rural families, struggling under the impact of multiple crises.  

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. What Public Health Officials Can Learn from a New Long COVID Survey

    - Inter Press Service

    ABUJA, Jul 30 (IPS) - A new survey on public awareness of long COVID by ‘Resolve to Save Lives” showed that among the 40% of Americans who were not vaccinated, seeing testimonials of those who suffer from long COVID inspired nearly two-thirds to consider the vaccine. A representative sample of nearly 2,000 Americans 18 and older took the survey between May 21 and June 10, 2021.

  2. DR Congo, Ituri. Fleeing War, Weaving Life in IDP Camps of Bunia

    - Inter Press Service

    ROME, Jul 29 (IPS) - He moves aside the curtain, thin as gauze, and then bends over. The darkness dazzles for a few seconds when one enters the house—actually, a den made of earth where air and light filter through the narrow entrance. Jean de Dieu Amani Paye holds her tiny baby, wrapped in an elegant fabric, in his arms. He was a teacher of French and Latin and had a small business. He also cultivated the land: cassava, corn, sorghum, and beans.

  3. COVID-19 vaccine shipments boost for Africa

    - UN News

    After a near-halt of COVID-19 vaccine shipments in Africa, delivers have ramped up in recent months, the UN health agency said on Thursday. 

  4. Yemen: New World Bank funds offer lifeline to most vulnerable

    - UN News

    Three UN agencies on Thursday welcomed $127 million in new funding from the World Bank to provide lifesaving support to some of the country’s most hard hit rural families, struggling under the impact of multiple crises.  

  5. Countries urged to develop pandemic preparedness and response treaty

    - UN News

    A senior official with the World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted the need for a global treaty on pandemic preparedness and response, urging countries to “seize the moment” and support its development. 

  6. Water Scarcity: Coming Soon

    - Inter Press Service

    HAMILTON, Ontario, Canada, Jul 29 (IPS) - In 1995, a highly-respected water expert in South Africa, Bill Pitmanin very concise terms illustrated that the country, already battling a growing lack of water then, would likely run out in 25 years if it did not increase its supply.

  7. To Prevent Teenage Pregnancies in Sub Saharan Africa, It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child

    - Inter Press Service

    DISSIN, Burkina Faso, Jul 28 (IPS) - Honorine Meda is 23. Cycling through her hometown of Dissin, in Burkina Faso’s verdant southwest, she smiles, waves and stops to chat with one of the girls she counsels.

  8. Golden Rice: Triumph for Science

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    SINGAPORE, Jul 28 (IPS) - After almost two decades, Golden Rice was approved last week by the Philippines authorities for use as food. This together with the approval of the bioengineered Bt eggplant represents a landmark victory of science over misinformation; it will provide consumers with improved nutrition (Golden Rice) and safer food (Bt eggplant).

  9. On World Hepatitis Day, WHO calls to eliminate disease by 2030

    - UN News

    The UN health agency pointed out on Wednesday, World Hepatitis Day, that every 30 seconds a person dies from a hepatitis-related illness and called for all countries to work together to eliminate this preventable disease as a public health threat by 2030.  

  10. COVID-19 infections rise, Delta variant spreads to 132 countries

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    COVID-19 infections rose eight per cent last week to more than 3.8 million, the UN health agency reported on Wednesday.  

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Kenyas Huge Railway Project Is Causing Environmental Damage. Heres How

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Jul 29 (IPS) - Kenya is constructing a railway line that connects the coastal port of Mombasa and the interior of the country. It is expected to terminate at Malaba, a town on the border with Uganda, and link up with other railways that are being built in East Africa. It’s locally known as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

  2. To Prevent Teenage Pregnancies in Sub Saharan Africa, It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child

    - Inter Press Service

    DISSIN, Burkina Faso, Jul 28 (IPS) - Honorine Meda is 23. Cycling through her hometown of Dissin, in Burkina Faso’s verdant southwest, she smiles, waves and stops to chat with one of the girls she counsels.

  3. Golden Rice: Triumph for Science

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    SINGAPORE, Jul 28 (IPS) - After almost two decades, Golden Rice was approved last week by the Philippines authorities for use as food. This together with the approval of the bioengineered Bt eggplant represents a landmark victory of science over misinformation; it will provide consumers with improved nutrition (Golden Rice) and safer food (Bt eggplant).

  4. Stepping Up to Meet Low-Income Countries Pandemic Recovery Needs

    - Inter Press Service

    WASHINGTON DC, Jul 27 (IPS) - Low-income countries have been hard hit by the pandemic. Their large financing needs are only likely to grow as they deal with the crisis and its economic aftermath.

  5. Protecting Plants Will Protect People and the Planet

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    ROME, Jul 26 (IPS) - Back-to-back droughts followed by plagues of locusts have pushed over a million people in southern Madagascar to the brink of starvation in recent months. In the worst famine in half a century, villagers have sold their possessions and are eating the locusts, raw cactus fruits, and wild leaves to survive.

  6. Beware UN Food Systems Summit Trojan Horse

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jul 26 (IPS) - Undoubtedly, the world needs to reform existing food systems to better serve humanity and sustainable development. But the United Nations World Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) must be consistent with UN-led multilateralism.

    For the first time ever, the World Economic Forum (WEF), a partnership of some of the world’s most powerful corporations, is partnering the UN in launching the Summit, now scheduled for September, with its ‘Pre-Summit’ beginning today.

  7. New ECOSOC President aims to maximize ‘reach, relevance and impact’

    - UN News

    The role of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in promoting development has become “even more critical” as a way of guiding and informing the COVID-19 pandemic response worldwide, Collen Vixen Kelapile said on Friday, speaking for the first time as the UN body’s president. 

  8. Rwandan Farmers Pin Hopes on New Tech to Tackle Food Losses

    - Inter Press Service

    KIGALI, Rwanda, Jul 22 (IPS) - Rwanda is trying to reduce post-harvest loss by relying on new technologies to increase the amount of food available for consumption and help smallholder farmers confront some challenges caused by the overproduction of staple crops.

  9. Liverpool’s historic waterfront removed from World Heritage List

    - UN News

    Historic docklands and buildings in the UK city of Liverpool have been removed from the UN cultural body UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, it announced on Wednesday.

  10. European Duplicity Undermines Anti-Pandemic Efforts

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 20 (IPS) - Despite facing the world’s worst pandemic of the last century, rich countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) have blocked efforts to enable more affordable access to the means to fight the pandemic.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. From electric dreams to supercharged reality: the road race to a clean energy future

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The global Formula E electric race series, a partner with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP),  has grown in popularity since it launched some seven years ago, attracting the attention of major car manufacturers, changing people’s perceptions of electric vehicles, and bringing the world one step closer to a sustainable transport future.

  2. Kenyas Huge Railway Project Is Causing Environmental Damage. Heres How

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, Jul 29 (IPS) - Kenya is constructing a railway line that connects the coastal port of Mombasa and the interior of the country. It is expected to terminate at Malaba, a town on the border with Uganda, and link up with other railways that are being built in East Africa. It’s locally known as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

  3. Revamped UN System Crucial for a Changing World

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    LETHBRIDGE, Canada, Jul 29 (IPS) - From an international humanitarian perspective, the first half of 2021 has been disappointing. We’re no further ahead in ending the conflict in Syria and Yemen. From the fledgling democracy that it had become, Myanmar has descended into what most of its people had hoped was a bygone era of military rule. And in Ethiopia, where its Prime Minister, Ably Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, armed conflict in Tigray is preventing the 2020 winners of the very same prize, the World Food Programme, from delivering the food needed to stop at least 350,000 Ethiopians from starving to death.

  4. Water Scarcity: Coming Soon

    - Inter Press Service

    HAMILTON, Ontario, Canada, Jul 29 (IPS) - In 1995, a highly-respected water expert in South Africa, Bill Pitmanin very concise terms illustrated that the country, already battling a growing lack of water then, would likely run out in 25 years if it did not increase its supply.

  5. Golden Rice: Triumph for Science

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    SINGAPORE, Jul 28 (IPS) - After almost two decades, Golden Rice was approved last week by the Philippines authorities for use as food. This together with the approval of the bioengineered Bt eggplant represents a landmark victory of science over misinformation; it will provide consumers with improved nutrition (Golden Rice) and safer food (Bt eggplant).

  6. Water Poverty: The Political Connection

    - Inter Press Service

    LISBON, Portugal, Jul 28 (IPS) - The water we drink and the air we breathe are the basis of life. With universal access to clean water and sanitation, we will be healthier, our economies will be stronger, gender equality will be more achievable, and more children will stay in school.

  7. Child Rights Experts Warn that Displaced Children and Young People Risk Being Wiped Out of the Education System

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, KENYA, Jul 27 (IPS) - The difficulties in accessing education faced by children and young people forcibly displaced from their homes were today laid bare in a virtual high-level roundtable convened by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UK and Canada.

  8. Outstanding sites added to UNESCO World Heritage List

    - UN News

    An ancient temple in India and a “cultural landscape” in Spain have become two of the latest sites to be registered on the UN’s prestigious World Heritage List. 

  9. UN climate science talks open amid heatwaves, floods and drought

    - UN News

    Negotiations began on Monday to approve a UN science report which will anchor high level summits later this year, charged with boosting climate action worldwide.

  10. Support mangrove conservation, UNESCO chief says

    - UN News

    The world is waking up to the importance of mangroves, a senior UN official said on Monday, underscoring the need for everyone to support restoration and protection of these crucial habitats. 

  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