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. The Pact for the Future Must Include the Unique Needs of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Persons

    - Inter Press Service

    WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, US, May 22 (IPS) - This month, non-governmental actors from across the world recently convened in Nairobi for the UN Civil Society Conference in Support of the Summit of the Future to demand that their issues are prioritized in the Pact for the Future – which is envisaged to turbocharge the sustainable development goals.

  2. International Community Urged to End Impunity for Violence Against Healthcare in Conflicts

    - Inter Press Service

    BRATISLAVA, May 22 (IPS) - Governments and international agencies must do more to end impunity for violence against healthcare, campaigners have urged, as a new report shows that attacks on healthcare during conflicts reached a new high last year.

  3. Small Island Developing States can be Nature-Positive Leaders for the World

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (IPS) - Small island developing states (SIDS) are scattered across the globe, dotting the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, the west and east coasts of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

  4. ICC War Crimes Charges a Milestone but Falls Far Below Expectations

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    AMMAN, Jordan, May 22 (IPS) - The ICC Prosecutor’s applications for arrest warrants regarding the Situation in Palestine represent a milestone. But they are of little credit to Prosecutor Karim Khan.

  5. Droughts and floods threaten ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ across southern Africa

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Droughts and floods in southern Africa stemming from El Niño have left millions of people food insecure, warns World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain during a recent visit to Zambia – the epicentre of the crisis.

  6. ‘Critical gaps’ in understanding climate change fuel tropical disease spread

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A comprehensive review by the UN health agency has revealed critical gaps in understanding the full impact of climate change on malaria, dengue, trachoma and other tropical diseases.

  7. Haiti’s health system pushed to breaking point: UNICEF

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Haiti’s health system is now “on the verge of collapse” UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Haiti Bruno Maes warned on Wednesday, amidst an alarming decrease in the number of hospitals still functioning in the violence-wracked Caribbean nation.

  8. ‘Be part of the plan’ to end nature loss on Biodiversity Day

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The diversity of animals, plants and microorganisms on the planet is at risk due to factors such as changing land use, urbanization, overexploitation, pollution and climate change, the UN said on Wednesday, calling for action now to protect a million species from extinction.

  9. Gaza: Rafah aid situation increasingly desperate, UN teams warn

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Hostilities across Gaza reportedly continued on Wednesday, fuelling already alarming aid access problems and dire food insecurity as the main entrance routes for relief convoys remained closed or too dangerous to accessUN aid workers warned.

  10. ICC Move to Seek Warrants for War Crimes in Gaza Triggers a Backlash from US

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, May 21 (IPS) - The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to seek warrants on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has triggered a strong backlash both from the Biden administration and a group of pro-Israeli Senators in the US Congress.

    The names in the ICC arrest warrants also include Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim Al-Masri (Deif) and Ismail Haniyeh—all leaders of Hamas.

  11. More stories…

Climate

  1. Small Island Developing States can be Nature-Positive Leaders for the World

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (IPS) - Small island developing states (SIDS) are scattered across the globe, dotting the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, the west and east coasts of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

  2. Droughts and floods threaten ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ across southern Africa

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Droughts and floods in southern Africa stemming from El Niño have left millions of people food insecure, warns World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Cindy McCain during a recent visit to Zambia – the epicentre of the crisis.

  3. ‘Be part of the plan’ to end nature loss on Biodiversity Day

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    The diversity of animals, plants and microorganisms on the planet is at risk due to factors such as changing land use, urbanization, overexploitation, pollution and climate change, the UN said on Wednesday, calling for action now to protect a million species from extinction.

  4. Accelerating extinction rate triggers domino effect of biodiversity loss

    - UN News

    While nearly one million species are currently at risk of extinction, the United Nations University (UNU) is drawing attention to “co-extinctions”: the chain reaction occurring when the complete disappearance of one species affects another.

  5. INTERVIEW: Developing countries risk missing out on net-zero benefits, but fairer future is possible

    - UN News

    Inflation fears are subsiding, the “net-zero transition” to a clean economy could spell good news with the right policies in place, and we are still dealing with a “COVID hangover”, according to the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

  6. Biodiversity Meet Suggests New Guidelines on Synthetic Biology Amid Persisting Questions

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, May 20 (IPS) - After a week-long discussion by delegates from 196 countries, the 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advisors (SBSTTA) of UN Biodiversity has concluded with a set of recommendations on several issues, including living modified organisms (LMOs) and synthetic biology. All nations must consider the recommendations, discuss them, and possibly adopt them at the Biodiversity COP in October. However, many questions remain unanswered and unclear.

  7. Erik Solheim on Politics, Climate Change, UN Reform and Trump

    - Inter Press Service

    OSLO, May 20 (IPS) - Erik Solheim, a senior internationally renowned politician and diplomat, has long been an advocate for combining development assistance with private investment and better taxation systems in recipient countries. 

  8. World News in Brief: Myanmar violence intensifies, praise for Brazil refugee response, Baháí detainees in Yemen

    - UN News

    The UN is continuing to closely follow the deteriorating situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state where intercommunal tensions are being stoked by the military.

  9. Rising Temperatures Drive Human-Wildlife Conflict in Zimbabwe

    - Inter Press Service

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, May 17 (IPS) - Rising temperatures are being blamed for an increase in human-wildlife conflicts in Zimbabwe as animals such as snakes leave their natural habitat earlier than usual.

  10. Women Organize to Fight Coastal Erosion in Southeastern Brazil

    - Inter Press Service

    ATAFONA, Brazil, May 17 (IPS) - Sonia Ferreira watched as the sea toppled buildings all around her for years. Finally, the impact of the rise in sea levels wrecked her home in 2019. Fishermen find their access to a fishing port limited, affecting their livelihoods. The residents of the coastal town of Atafona in southeastern Brazil count their losses to rising sea levels and climate change.

  11. More stories…

Health

  1. International Community Urged to End Impunity for Violence Against Healthcare in Conflicts

    - Inter Press Service

    BRATISLAVA, May 22 (IPS) - Governments and international agencies must do more to end impunity for violence against healthcare, campaigners have urged, as a new report shows that attacks on healthcare during conflicts reached a new high last year.

  2. ‘Critical gaps’ in understanding climate change fuel tropical disease spread

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    A comprehensive review by the UN health agency has revealed critical gaps in understanding the full impact of climate change on malaria, dengue, trachoma and other tropical diseases.

  3. WHO reports major increase in sexually transmitted infections

    - UN News

    A story from UN News

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis are on the rise in most regions of the world, UN health agency WHO said in a new report on Tuesday.

  4. Syria: WHO Regional Director calls for greater investment in health sector

    - UN News

    Failure to invest in the health of the Syrian people will only deepen instability in the war-ravaged country and pose threats to regional and global security, a senior official with the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

  5. Rising Temperatures Drive Human-Wildlife Conflict in Zimbabwe

    - Inter Press Service

    BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, May 17 (IPS) - Rising temperatures are being blamed for an increase in human-wildlife conflicts in Zimbabwe as animals such as snakes leave their natural habitat earlier than usual.

  6. Afghan Women Struggle with Soaring Mental Health Issues

    - Inter Press Service

    May 16 (IPS) - Afghanistan is grappling with a growing crisis of mental illness, particularly among its women, as highlighted in a United Nations report. Officials from the mental health department at Herat regional hospital have observed a concerning uptick in the number of women afflicted by psychological disorders in the province.

  7. SBSTTA and SBIBiodiversity Meetings Crucial for the Global South Begin

    - Inter Press Service

    NAIROBI, May 14 (IPS) - The 26th meeting of the Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advisors (SBSTTA) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) started in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday. Over 1,400 delegates, including 600 representing signatories or parties from over 150 countries, are present for the seven-day meeting at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). A large number of members from Indigenous Peoples and other observer organizations, including women’s groups, are also attending the meetings.

  8. The World Must Not Abandon the Mothers of Gaza

    - Inter Press Service

    UNITED NATIONS, May 10 (IPS) - Today, as millions of children and families celebrate their mothers, my thoughts turn to the pregnant women and new mothers our teams at UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, support in more than 130 countries around the world. And I hold in my heart all those who, tragically, will never live to see their newborns.

  9. World News in Brief: Vaccine ‘patches’ trial shows promise, lowering catheter infection risk, Guantanamo detainee facing revictimisation

    - UN News

    Few enjoy having injections and if you have children, you probably like them evenless when it’s time for their mandated vaccine shots.

  10. Beyond the Fields: Unraveling Zambia's Drought Crisis and the Urgent Call for Climate-Health Solutions

    - Inter Press Service

    LUSAKA, May 08 (IPS) - For most families in Zambia, April is traditionally a month of plenty—it is typically the beginning of a harvest season for various food and cash crops. Both fresh and dried maize, groundnuts, pumpkins, and a whole variety of both traditional and exotic food crops are usually in full supply and readily available for consumption, supporting household food security and nutrition.

  11. More stories…

Economy

  1. Small Island Developing States can be Nature-Positive Leaders for the World

    - Inter Press Service

    A story from Inter Press Service, an international news agency

    UNITED NATIONS, May 22 (IPS) - Small island developing states (SIDS) are scattered across the globe, dotting the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, the west and east coasts of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

  2. INTERVIEW: Developing countries risk missing out on net-zero benefits, but fairer future is possible

    - UN News

    Inflation fears are subsiding, the “net-zero transition” to a clean economy could spell good news with the right policies in place, and we are still dealing with a “COVID hangover”, according to the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

  3. More Diversified Trade Can Make Middle East & Central Asia More Resilient

    - Inter Press Service

    WASHINGTON DC, May 17 (IPS) - Dislocations from the pandemic, geoeconomic fragmentation, and Russia’s war in Ukraine have shifted world trade dynamics. While this has created challenges, the redirection of trade has also generated new opportunities, particularly for the Caucasus and Central Asia.

  4. Solomon Islands: A Change More in Style than Substance

    - Inter Press Service

    LONDON, May 16 (IPS) - There’s change at the top in Solomon Islands – but civil society will be watching closely to see whether that means a government that’s grown hostile will start doing things differently.

    Jeremiah Manele is the new prime minister, emerging from negotiations that followed April’s general election. He’s part of OUR Party, led by outgoing four-time prime minister Manasseh Sogavare. The party came first, winning 15 of 50 constituencies, but several incumbents who stood for it lost their parliamentary seats, and Sogavare only narrowly held his. Weakened, Sogavare stood aside to allow Manele to prevail as the consensus candidate of the post-election coalition his party stitched together.

  5. UN forum in Bahrain closes with calls to support women entrepreneurs in conflict areas

    - UN News

    The bi-annual UN forum on entrepreneurship and innovation wrapped up its work in Bahrain on Thursday focusing on women entrepreneurs from conflict zones, who stressed the importance of investing in their activities as a means of building peace, security, and stability in their communities.

  6. Global economic growth improves but ‘downsides’ lurk

    - UN News

    The global economic picture has improved since January, but vulnerabilities remain, the mid-year update of the World Economic Situation and Prospects report published on Thursday has revealed.

  7. Chronicle of a Catastrophe Foretold

    - Inter Press Service

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 15 (IPS) - The IMF warns of a decade ahead of ‘tepid growth’ and ‘popular discontent’, with the poorest economies worst off. But as with inaction on Gaza, little is being done multilaterally to avert the imminent catastrophe.

  8. UN forum in Bahrain endorses declaration on entrepreneurship and innovation for the SDGs

    - UN News

    Delegates attending a UN forum in Bahrain endorsed on Wednesday a declaration calling on the international community to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a strong emphasis on including women, youth, persons with disabilities and productive families in these efforts.

  9. UN forum in Bahrain: Innovation as the key to solving global problems

    - UN News

    A major UN forum opened on Tuesday in Bahrain. Its mission: to empower entrepreneurial leaders who can build a brighter future and achieve sustainable development for all.

  10. South Africa will be President of G20 in 2025: Two much-needed Reforms it Should Drive

    - Inter Press Service

    PRETORIA, South Africa, May 13 (IPS) - South Africa will play an important international role in 2025 as president of the G20. The G20 is a group of 19 countries as well as the African Union and the European Union. Between them they represent 85% of global economy, 75% of world trade and 67% of global population. The G20 defines itself as the premier multilateral forum for international economic cooperation.

  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

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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