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. Latin America Has Weak Defences Against the Pandemic

    Saturday, April 04, 2020

    CARACAS, Apr 04 (IPS) - Health systems in Latin America, already falling short in their capacity to serve the population, especially the poor, are in a weak position and face serious risks when it comes to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Coronavirus: Country Comparisons are Pointless Unless We Account for These Biases in Testing

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    LONDON, Apr 03 (IPS) - Suppose we wanted to estimate how many car owners there are in the UK and how many of those own a Ford Fiesta, but we only have data on those people who visited Ford car showrooms in the last year. If 10% of the showroom visitors owned a Fiesta, then, because of the bias in the sample, this would certainly overestimate the proportion of Ford Fiesta owners in the country.

  3. 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.

  4. U.N. Releases Report on Socio-economic Effects of Coronavirus

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 03 (IPS) - As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, concerns are simultaneously growing about the current and long-term effects this will have on certain demographics -- specifically, women, the youth, migrant workers, and many employees around the world. 

  5. 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.   

  6. These Migrant Workers Did Not Suddenly Fall From the Sky

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    Apr 03 (IPS) - Madness engulfs the planet. Hundreds of millions of people are in lockdown in their homes, millions of people who work in essential jobs – or who cannot afford to stay home without state assistance – continue to go to work, thousands of people lie in intensive-care beds taken care of by tens of thousands of medical professionals and caregivers who face shortages of equipment and time.

    Narrow sections of the human population – the billionaires – believe that they can isolate themselves in their enclaves, but the virus knows no borders. The global pandemic driven by the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus holds us in its grip; even as China seems to have bent the curve of infections, the charts for the rest of the world are forbidding: the light at the end of the tunnel is as dim as it has ever been.

  7. 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.

  8. Can We Use Digital Technology to Cushion the Pandemic’s Blow?

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Apr 02 (IPS) - As the world grapples with COVID-19, governments face a daunting challenge: limiting the adverse impact of a pandemic that has ground economic activity to a halt, affecting people at a scale rarely seen before.

  9. The Gaza Strip and COVID-19: Preparing for the Worst

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    GAZA CITY/JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS, Apr 02 (IPS) - The coronavirus is now present in Gaza, the populous Palestinian enclave blockaded by air, land and sea since 2007. An epidemic would be calamitous. Hamas should tighten public health measures; Israel should loosen restrictions so that medical supplies can enter and afflicted Palestinians can leave.

  10. Snapshot of Life under Lockdown in Bangladesh

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 02 (IPS) - The Coronavirus pandemic is changing how we live our daily lives. The scale of the Covid-19 and its impact on our lives is unprecedented. When humanity gets past this, the world will be a very different place than the one we have known.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. Latin America Has Weak Defences Against the Pandemic

    Saturday, April 04, 2020

    CARACAS, Apr 04 (IPS) - Health systems in Latin America, already falling short in their capacity to serve the population, especially the poor, are in a weak position and face serious risks when it comes to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Coronavirus: Country Comparisons are Pointless Unless We Account for These Biases in Testing

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    LONDON, Apr 03 (IPS) - Suppose we wanted to estimate how many car owners there are in the UK and how many of those own a Ford Fiesta, but we only have data on those people who visited Ford car showrooms in the last year. If 10% of the showroom visitors owned a Fiesta, then, because of the bias in the sample, this would certainly overestimate the proportion of Ford Fiesta owners in the country.

  3. U.N. Releases Report on Socio-economic Effects of Coronavirus

    Friday, April 03, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Apr 03 (IPS) - As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, concerns are simultaneously growing about the current and long-term effects this will have on certain demographics -- specifically, women, the youth, migrant workers, and many employees around the world. 

  4. 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.

  5. The Gaza Strip and COVID-19: Preparing for the Worst

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    GAZA CITY/JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS, Apr 02 (IPS) - The coronavirus is now present in Gaza, the populous Palestinian enclave blockaded by air, land and sea since 2007. An epidemic would be calamitous. Hamas should tighten public health measures; Israel should loosen restrictions so that medical supplies can enter and afflicted Palestinians can leave.

  6. Snapshot of Life under Lockdown in Bangladesh

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 02 (IPS) - The Coronavirus pandemic is changing how we live our daily lives. The scale of the Covid-19 and its impact on our lives is unprecedented. When humanity gets past this, the world will be a very different place than the one we have known.

  7. Coronavirus Proves Need for Free Healthcare for All-- Now

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    GENEVA, Apr 02 (IPS) - The multi-layered crisis of the Coronavirus epidemic has been a dramatic shock to everyone. But, to communities affected by HIV and AIDS, the crisis has not only brought a further shock to already vulnerable people, it has brought other reactions too – a troubling sense of déjà vu, and a passionate, empathetic, fierce solidarity with all those affected by Coronavirus.

  8. Surviving Domestic Violence in times of Covid19

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 02 (IPS) - "I come from Baglung District, a part of Dhawalagiri Zone in Nepal. My house overlooks the river. Do you know, our district is known for the suspension bridges?", her eyes glimmer for a fraction of a second and then she breathes a heavy sigh! Her right hand is still wrapped in a scarf, while with the other she pats her 17-month-old. "If I ever get a chance I will take you to my village, we have a lot of medicinal plants."

    She pauses while tears roll down as she continues our Facetime session. "I was 16 when I had my first child and I was 17 when my arm was broken by my mother-in-law."

  9. Dangers and Lessons of Present Multiple Crises

    Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    PENANG and SINGAPORE, Apr 01 (IPS) - The Covid-19 pandemic, erupting in the background of lethargic global economy, could turn out to be the singular biggest crisis in a century. First reported in Wuhan, China, the corona virus has reached almost all countries. It has infected close to 1 million persons and caused over 40,000 deaths at time of writing; and the figures keep climbing. It is a health catastrophe which if not checked in its track would be the most serious since the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed over 50 million people.

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

    Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    AMSTERDAM/ROME, Apr 01 (IPS) - Part 1 – Addressing the Short Term Aspects

    What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? It is difficult to make predictions, because much will depend on the spread of the disease, especially in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, and the measures various Governments will take in the coming weeks and months.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Can We Use Digital Technology to Cushion the Pandemic’s Blow?

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Apr 02 (IPS) - As the world grapples with COVID-19, governments face a daunting challenge: limiting the adverse impact of a pandemic that has ground economic activity to a halt, affecting people at a scale rarely seen before.

  4. Snapshot of Life under Lockdown in Bangladesh

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 02 (IPS) - The Coronavirus pandemic is changing how we live our daily lives. The scale of the Covid-19 and its impact on our lives is unprecedented. When humanity gets past this, the world will be a very different place than the one we have known.

  5. Surviving Domestic Violence in times of Covid19

    Thursday, April 02, 2020

    NEW YORK, Apr 02 (IPS) - "I come from Baglung District, a part of Dhawalagiri Zone in Nepal. My house overlooks the river. Do you know, our district is known for the suspension bridges?", her eyes glimmer for a fraction of a second and then she breathes a heavy sigh! Her right hand is still wrapped in a scarf, while with the other she pats her 17-month-old. "If I ever get a chance I will take you to my village, we have a lot of medicinal plants."

    She pauses while tears roll down as she continues our Facetime session. "I was 16 when I had my first child and I was 17 when my arm was broken by my mother-in-law."

  6. Dangers and Lessons of Present Multiple Crises

    Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    PENANG and SINGAPORE, Apr 01 (IPS) - The Covid-19 pandemic, erupting in the background of lethargic global economy, could turn out to be the singular biggest crisis in a century. First reported in Wuhan, China, the corona virus has reached almost all countries. It has infected close to 1 million persons and caused over 40,000 deaths at time of writing; and the figures keep climbing. It is a health catastrophe which if not checked in its track would be the most serious since the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed over 50 million people.

  7. The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Developing Countries

    Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    AMSTERDAM/ROME, Apr 01 (IPS) - Part 1 – Addressing the Short Term Aspects

    What is likely to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing economies? It is difficult to make predictions, because much will depend on the spread of the disease, especially in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, and the measures various Governments will take in the coming weeks and months.

  8. West First Policies Expose Myths

    Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 31 (IPS) - As the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic shifts from China to the developed West, all too many rich countries are acting selfishly, invoking the ‘national interest', by banning exports of vital medical supplies.

  9. 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.

  10. India’s Trinity of Challenges

    Friday, March 27, 2020

    NEW DELHI, Mar 27 (IPS) - The exigencies of combatting the coronavirus pandemic on a war-footing -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide stay-at-home lockdown for 21 days to break the chain of transmission -- has certainly deflected attention from equally pressing challenges confronting India.

    The nation's capital witnessed horrific communal violence when the US President was visiting India, triggering international outrage, including from the South. The economy also deserves attention as growth has been decelerating since 2016-17. With the virus shock, the pace of expansion will contract as the economy shuts down and slides into recession.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. 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.

  2. 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.   

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Is It Time to Postpone the 2020 Climate Summit?

    Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    NEW YORK, Mar 25 (IPS) - With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet and the governments of both wealthy and poorer nations overwhelmed by the demands of managing a response, the scheduling of this year's critical UN Climate Summit is suddenly in doubt.

  8. Why Empowering National Human Rights Institutions Helps on the Quest for Healthy Earth?

    Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada, Mar 24 (IPS) - We are living in a critical time. As we face existential environmental challenges from climate crises to the mass extinction of species, it is difficult sometimes to see solutions and new ideas. This is why we all need to celebrate and give visibility to creative and courageous efforts of people and organizations striving towards a healthy planet for all.

  9. Fisherfolk Fix Both Food and Climate by Closing Fishing Grounds

    Monday, March 23, 2020

    JAKARTA, Mar 23 (IPS) - Samsul sounded very happy last Monday (Mar. 16) when recounting his experience of catching crabs worth more than $60 in a single day. 

  10. Air Pollution: A Problem We Can Solve in Our Lifetime

    Monday, March 23, 2020

    MUMBAI, India, Mar 23 (IPS) - Over the past few years, worsening air quality in India—and in north India specifically—has awakened policy makers and civil society to take urgent action.

  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