News headlines in January 2020

  1. WHO Declares Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency, Highlights Need to Support Countries ‘Weaker Health Systems’

    Friday, January 31, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (IPS) - Weeks into widespread panic about the "Coronavirus" that has so far killed at least 170 people in China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday declared it a public health emergency. As of Friday, the disease had spread to all the regions in Mainland China, with more than 7,500 cases in the country alone, according to the BBC

  2. India's Unique Water Purification Wetland Could Soon Become Extinct

    Friday, January 31, 2020

    KOLKATA, India, Jan 31 (IPS) - World Wetlands Day is on Sunday, Feb. 2. IPS senior correspondent Manipadma Jena marks the day by visiting the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), a unique wetland that operates as a natural water purification ecosystem.

    Ramkumar Mondal's farm is awash in a brilliant yellow mustard bloom. A flock of grey cranes peck for food amidst the shallow watergrass. But Mondal's fishpond digs in there like a do-or-die last sentinel as nearby high-rise buildings, a symbol of development and encroachment, menacingly tower over the fishpond, permanently blocking the eastern sun so essential for the pondwater to convert sewage into fish-feed.

  3. The Role of Sherpas in Nature Conservation as Guardians of the Himalayas

    Friday, January 31, 2020

    KATHMANDU, Nepal, Jan 31 (IPS) - Since I was a kid, I grew up with adventures and stories of famous characters of the books of Jack London: White Fang, Make a Fire… and the incredible ode to perseverance of Martin Eden.

  4. Our Message at Davos: Water & Sanitation Are a Critical Line of Defence Against Climate Change

    Friday, January 31, 2020

    LONDON, Jan 31 (IPS) - There was only one topic on everyone's lips at Davos this year – climate change. The headlines focused on the cold war between Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump, but there was much greater consensus among those gathered for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

  5. Coronavirus Spread Now a Global Emergency Declares World Health Organization

    Friday, January 31, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (IPS) - The rise in new coronavirus cases outside China, now constitutes a global health emergency, the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee declared on Thursday, calling on all countries to take urgent measures to contain the respiratory disease.

  6. New Challenges to Growth in Latin America & the Caribbean

    Thursday, January 30, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Jan 30 (IPS) - Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean stagnated in 2019, continuing with the weak growth momentum of the previous five years and adding more urgency and new challenges to reignite growth.

  7. US Mideast Peace Plan: Israelis Offered the Cheese & Palestinians the Holes

    Thursday, January 30, 2020

    UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30 (IPS) - The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has described the much-ballyhooed US Middle East peace plan as "more like Swiss cheese-- with the cheese being offered to the Israelis and the holes to the Palestinians".

  8. ‘Organic is the Future’

    Thursday, January 30, 2020

    HIMALAYAS, India, Jan 30 (IPS) - Vandana Shiva, a pioneer of organic farming in India, is incensed by the 2019 draft law to compulsorily register all seeds used by farmers. On a wintry afternoon, at her farm Navdanya in the Himalayan foothills, the noted ecologist spoke on the future of the organic farming movement in India. Excerpts:

  9. Inclusive Education Still Evades People with Disabilities

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    DJIBOUTI CITY, Jan 29 (IPS) - Neema Namdamu, 42, grew up in the village of Bukavu in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo  where children with disabilities were considered a curse.

    As a child Namdamu contracted polio, leaving her paralysed from the waist down. Her neighbours advised her mother to do what they felt was the "right thing": leave the child alone in a hut until she died of starvation.

  10. Urbanization as a Path to Prosperity

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    WASHINGTON DC, Jan 29 (IPS) - Growing up in New York City in the 1970s, Edward Glaeser saw a great metropolis in decline. Crime was soaring. Garbage piled up on sidewalks as striking sanitation workers walked off the job. The city teetered on the edge of bankruptcy.