What’s New February 2006

This page lists changes to this site for February 2006.

See below for other updates and to get notified of changes to the site.

We often hear leaders from rich countries telling poor countries that aid and loans will only be given when they show they are stamping out corruption. While that definitely needs to happen, the rich countries themselves are often active in the largest forms of corruption in those poor countries, and many economic policies they prescribe have exacerbated the problem. Corruption in developing countries definitely must be high on the priority list, but so too must it be on the priority list of rich countries.

A new article covers some global aspects of health issues, such as the impact of poverty, the nature of patent rules at the WTO, and pharmaceutical company interest, as well as some global health initiatives.

The scientist said there were fresh efforts to silence him because he had said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth “a different planet.” Reporting this, The New York Times also notes there have been other such disputes recently whereby “many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.” Scientists whose points of view are aligned to administration lines, however, see few signs of such restrictions. Aside from the concerns to stifle such scientists ability to speak out, this latest episode also reveals the extent to which such a top scientist is concerned about the impact of climate change.

When the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline project started in 2000, there were hopes that the combination of investment from the World Bank, Exxon-Mobil, the respective governments involved, in conjunction with independent oversight, would see the project and its revenues be put to good use, such as poverty alleviation. Since the inception of the project, Amnesty International has criticized the oil company and governments of not respecting human rights, and the frustrated independent organization has complained about the lack of resources from the two groups, as well. Furthermore, the Chad government signed into law access to its own bank account held by the World Bank for future generation of people in Chad, arguing that it needed poverty alleviation resources now. A small update has been added to the poverty around the world page under the World Bank section.

Both sellers and recipients may be involved in bribery. And, this is not limited to third world countries. This may not be a new revelation, but some additional information has been added regarding this.

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