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. Safeguarding Africa’s Food Security in the Age of COVID-19

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    Jun 05 (IPS) - Food security in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat. The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples. The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food.

  2. Philippines' Senior Citizens Vulnerabilities Increases Because of COVID-19 Lockdown

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    HYDERABAD, India, Jun 05 (IPS) - In the Philippines, May has long been a month of joy when farmers harvest their rice crop and celebrate the Pahiyas harvest festival. But this year, the mood was somber. The food production and supply system also affected, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, and the economy frozen. As a result, millions of Filipinos, especially senior citizens, are now looking at an uncertain future.

  3. The Bible, Donald Trump and Plastic

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    STOCKHOLM / ROME, Jun 05 (IPS) - Another episode of the spectacular show that could be called The Greatest Story Ever Told: The Saga of the Trump Presidencyscripted and acted by Trump himself, took place on 1st of June.

  4. Covid-19: Caring for Care Workers

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 05 (IPS) - COVID-19 has brought the world to a halt. Nations, businesses, and schools have closed, and billions are confined to their homes. Yet millions of care workers step out daily to keep the lights on and support those in need.

  5. Migrant Women Exploited by Those They Trust

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    NEW YORK, Jun 04 (IPS) - Maliha Masud (25), was promised an affluent life and opportunities for higher education. A bright student studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she wanted to complete her studies and become someone her parents would be proud of. She was promised an opportunity to get her Master's degree from a good university in the United States but, two years later, was left battered and wounded at the doorstep of a shelter.

  6. Shedding Some Light at the End of the Covid-19 Tunnel: Plotting a Way Forward

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    DHAKA, Bangladesh, Jun 04 (IPS) - Lockdowns have been the main measures to ‘flatten the curve' of COVID-19 infections. But lockdowns typically incur huge economic costs, distributed unevenly in economies and societies. In fact, some governments acknowledged that they were choosing ‘life over economy'.

  7. The Struggle for Land and Food in the Locked-down Philippines

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    ROME, Jun 04 (IPS) - Landless farmers who produce rice for the landlords of big "haciendas" can't get more than a little pocket money from their harsh work—not enough to provide diverse and healthy food for their families. Seasonal workers on sugar-cane plantations know that they can count on only six months of earnings. When summer arrives, those whose irrigation facilities have been destroyed by typhoons, or those who never had any, struggle while waiting for the rain.

  8. We Arabs Ask No Favors.....

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    GENEVA, Jun 04 (IPS) - In these difficult times for the Palestinian people and for justice, the Government of Israel is proposing to add further to the turmoil by unilaterally absorbing large swathes of the Palestinian West Bank of the Jordan River. It might therefore be fitting to remind the world of the chronology of the events leading up to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948.

  9. COVID-19: Reset Food Systems Now for a Better Future

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    MILAN, Italy, Jun 04 (IPS) - The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inherent fragility of food systems, Marta Antonelli told an international video conference organised by the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition (BCFN).

  10. George Floyd: US' Week of Broken Glass and Broken Dreams

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    NEW YORK, Jun 04 (IPS) - The United States has been a story of broken dreams and broken glass this past week.

    Once again, an unarmed black man died at the hands of a white police officer, with George Floyd being pinned to the ground under a lawman's knee in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as stunned passersby made cell-phone videos of the incident to post on social media.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. Safeguarding Africa’s Food Security in the Age of COVID-19

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    Jun 05 (IPS) - Food security in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat. The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples. The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food.

  2. Philippines' Senior Citizens Vulnerabilities Increases Because of COVID-19 Lockdown

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    HYDERABAD, India, Jun 05 (IPS) - In the Philippines, May has long been a month of joy when farmers harvest their rice crop and celebrate the Pahiyas harvest festival. But this year, the mood was somber. The food production and supply system also affected, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, and the economy frozen. As a result, millions of Filipinos, especially senior citizens, are now looking at an uncertain future.

  3. The Bible, Donald Trump and Plastic

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    STOCKHOLM / ROME, Jun 05 (IPS) - Another episode of the spectacular show that could be called The Greatest Story Ever Told: The Saga of the Trump Presidencyscripted and acted by Trump himself, took place on 1st of June.

  4. Covid-19: Caring for Care Workers

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 05 (IPS) - COVID-19 has brought the world to a halt. Nations, businesses, and schools have closed, and billions are confined to their homes. Yet millions of care workers step out daily to keep the lights on and support those in need.

  5. Migrant Women Exploited by Those They Trust

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    NEW YORK, Jun 04 (IPS) - Maliha Masud (25), was promised an affluent life and opportunities for higher education. A bright student studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, she wanted to complete her studies and become someone her parents would be proud of. She was promised an opportunity to get her Master's degree from a good university in the United States but, two years later, was left battered and wounded at the doorstep of a shelter.

  6. Shedding Some Light at the End of the Covid-19 Tunnel: Plotting a Way Forward

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    DHAKA, Bangladesh, Jun 04 (IPS) - Lockdowns have been the main measures to ‘flatten the curve' of COVID-19 infections. But lockdowns typically incur huge economic costs, distributed unevenly in economies and societies. In fact, some governments acknowledged that they were choosing ‘life over economy'.

  7. The Struggle for Land and Food in the Locked-down Philippines

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    ROME, Jun 04 (IPS) - Landless farmers who produce rice for the landlords of big "haciendas" can't get more than a little pocket money from their harsh work—not enough to provide diverse and healthy food for their families. Seasonal workers on sugar-cane plantations know that they can count on only six months of earnings. When summer arrives, those whose irrigation facilities have been destroyed by typhoons, or those who never had any, struggle while waiting for the rain.

  8. COVID-19: Reset Food Systems Now for a Better Future

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    MILAN, Italy, Jun 04 (IPS) - The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inherent fragility of food systems, Marta Antonelli told an international video conference organised by the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition (BCFN).

  9. Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Now?

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Jun 04 (IPS) - "Before there can be truth there must be a true man"-- Chuang-TzuIn the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, the much-anticipated 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the WHO concluded without any major controversies or disagreements.

  10. Covid-19 Recessions: This Time It’s Really Different

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    BERLIN and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 04 (IPS) - The world economic contraction so far this year is largely due to measures, especially at the national or local level, to contain or prevent Covid-19 contagion, particularly those restricting business operations, thus reducing economic activity, output, incomes and spending.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Safeguarding Africa’s Food Security in the Age of COVID-19

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    Jun 05 (IPS) - Food security in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat. The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples. The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food.

  2. Shedding Some Light at the End of the Covid-19 Tunnel: Plotting a Way Forward

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    DHAKA, Bangladesh, Jun 04 (IPS) - Lockdowns have been the main measures to ‘flatten the curve' of COVID-19 infections. But lockdowns typically incur huge economic costs, distributed unevenly in economies and societies. In fact, some governments acknowledged that they were choosing ‘life over economy'.

  3. The Struggle for Land and Food in the Locked-down Philippines

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    ROME, Jun 04 (IPS) - Landless farmers who produce rice for the landlords of big "haciendas" can't get more than a little pocket money from their harsh work—not enough to provide diverse and healthy food for their families. Seasonal workers on sugar-cane plantations know that they can count on only six months of earnings. When summer arrives, those whose irrigation facilities have been destroyed by typhoons, or those who never had any, struggle while waiting for the rain.

  4. COVID-19: Reset Food Systems Now for a Better Future

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    MILAN, Italy, Jun 04 (IPS) - The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inherent fragility of food systems, Marta Antonelli told an international video conference organised by the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition (BCFN).

  5. Covid-19 Recessions: This Time It’s Really Different

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    BERLIN and KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 04 (IPS) - The world economic contraction so far this year is largely due to measures, especially at the national or local level, to contain or prevent Covid-19 contagion, particularly those restricting business operations, thus reducing economic activity, output, incomes and spending.

  6. Lifelines in Danger

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    Jun 04 (IPS) - The COVID-19 pandemic is crippling the economies of rich and poor countries alike. Yet for many low-income and fragile states, the economic shock will be magnified by the loss of remittances—money sent home by migrant and guest workers employed in foreign countries.

  7. How the Great Lockdown Saved Lives

    Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    Jun 03 (IPS) - Since the COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China in late December 2019, the disease has spread to more than 200 countries and territories. In the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment, governments worldwide have responded by implementing unprecedented containment and mitigation measures—the Great Lockdown. This in turn has resulted in large short-term economic losses, and a decline in global economic activity not seen since the Great Depression. Did it work?

  8. This Year of Living Dangerously

    Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    KUALA LUMPUR and SYDNEY, Jun 02 (IPS) - Indonesia's founding President Sukarno delivered his annual Independence or National Day address on 17 August 1964 anticipating the forthcoming year as Tahun vivere pericolosothe ‘year of living dangerously'. 2020 may well be the world's turn, and not only due to the obvious Covid-19 threat to the world.

  9. Beyond the Crisis

    Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Jun 02 (IPS) - Now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to build a better world

    Looking back to the start of 2020, the world has changed almost beyond recognition. To protect public health, the global economy was put into stasis. Shops closed, factories were mothballed, and people's freedom of movement was severely curtailed.

    No country has escaped the health, economic, and social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Tragically, more than 260,000 people have died and millions have been infected. The IMF is projecting global economic activity to decline on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. It is truly a crisis like no other.

  10. The Consequential Effects of Covid-19 on the Climate Crisis

    Monday, June 01, 2020

    ACCRA Ghana, Jun 01 (IPS) - The tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated challenges have thrown our world into chaos, with the virus destroying lives and livelihoods in its path.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Safeguarding Africa’s Food Security in the Age of COVID-19

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    Jun 05 (IPS) - Food security in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat. The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples. The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food.

  2. The Bible, Donald Trump and Plastic

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    STOCKHOLM / ROME, Jun 05 (IPS) - Another episode of the spectacular show that could be called The Greatest Story Ever Told: The Saga of the Trump Presidencyscripted and acted by Trump himself, took place on 1st of June.

  3. Covid-19: Caring for Care Workers

    Friday, June 05, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 05 (IPS) - COVID-19 has brought the world to a halt. Nations, businesses, and schools have closed, and billions are confined to their homes. Yet millions of care workers step out daily to keep the lights on and support those in need.

  4. Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Now?

    Thursday, June 04, 2020

    BANGKOK, Thailand, Jun 04 (IPS) - "Before there can be truth there must be a true man"-- Chuang-TzuIn the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, the much-anticipated 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the WHO concluded without any major controversies or disagreements.

  5. WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2020

    Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    Jun 03 (IPS) - My name is Emma, I'm 10 years old, and I live in Canada. I am sharing this video with you, today, because I learned at school that my future – the future of all children – will be determined by what we do together today.

  6. How to Transform UN’s Environmental Goals into a People’s Agenda for Africa

    Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    BRANDENBURG, Germany, Jun 03 (IPS) - The UN will commemorate World Environment Day 2020 on Friday June 5The COVID-19 insurgence has highlighted the need for multilateral cooperation among sustainability stakeholders. As the journey towards achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is fraught with imminent global challenges, global environmental leaders agree that now is the time to act collectively for nature, leaving no one behind.

  7. Prioritising Life or the Economy Will Determine the Post-Pandemic Focus in Urban Areas

    Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 02 (IPS) - The first priority in the COVID-19 pandemic was to save lives, in an effort to avoid even more devastating economic losses if strict lockdown and isolation were not put in place.

  8. Beyond the Crisis

    Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Jun 02 (IPS) - Now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to build a better world

    Looking back to the start of 2020, the world has changed almost beyond recognition. To protect public health, the global economy was put into stasis. Shops closed, factories were mothballed, and people's freedom of movement was severely curtailed.

    No country has escaped the health, economic, and social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Tragically, more than 260,000 people have died and millions have been infected. The IMF is projecting global economic activity to decline on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. It is truly a crisis like no other.

  9. Two-thirds of Tropical Forests ‘Under Threat in Next Decade’

    Monday, June 01, 2020

    SÃO PAULO, Brazil, Jun 01 (IPS) - Tropical forests can develop resistance to a warmer climate, but 71 per cent will come under threat in the next decade if global average temperatures reach two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a new study warns.

  10. The Consequential Effects of Covid-19 on the Climate Crisis

    Monday, June 01, 2020

    ACCRA Ghana, Jun 01 (IPS) - The tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated challenges have thrown our world into chaos, with the virus destroying lives and livelihoods in its path.

  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