U.N. Threatens Ivorian Leaders With Possible War Crimes

The United Nations has warned the beleaguered president of Cote d’Ivoire and his military leaders that they may well go the way of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir: face charges of war crimes and genocide before the international criminal court.

Every child counts in immunisation, officials say. Credit: Naimul Haq/IPS

HEALTH-BANGLADESH: Equity Key to Cutting Child Mortality

Poverty remains one of the problems of Bangladesh, but it has made, and continues to make, key progress when it comes to preventing deaths among its children.

Tunisian Unrest Stirs Arab World

As Western countries were busy celebrating Christmas and dealing with air traffic holiday delays because of snow blizzards, the tranquil North African country of Tunisia was going through events that would have been thought unthinkable just three weeks ago - public unrest that saw thousands demonstrate against the regime of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

DEVELOPMENT: Running Out of Engineers

As Brazil looks ahead to hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, the country is struggling to line up the technical workers necessary for these projects, officials say.

RIGHTS-CHINA: Crackdowns Do Little to Address Sex Work

Authorities in China are lauding a sweeping crackdown on prostitution across the country in recent months. But the sex trade continues to thrive in this booming nation, while services and support for women working in the industry remain inadequate, experts say.

BURMA: Junta’s Drug ‘Exports’ to China Test Economic Ties

As military-ruled Burma prepares to unveil its new political cast, an enduring link between the junta and the country’s notorious drug lords is poised to come under the spotlight.

SOUTH AMERICA: Closer to a Palestinian State

With the string of announcements in South America of recognition of a Palestinian state this month, the region's integration process showed a new interest in and capacity to reach common positions in the realm of foreign policy.

"Casa de Pudin" in Santo Domingo. Credit: Jon Anderson/IPS

A Caribbean Cinderella: St. Domingo’s Colonial Zone

Santo Domingo de Guzmán was the New World’s first colonial city, the Spanish Empire’s capital, the Catholic Church’s Rome in the West Indies, and Francis Drake’s most coveted prize.

Student Drop Out Rate on the Increase Despite Free Education

2010 will go down in history as the year when the first batch of pupils to benefit from the government’s introduction of free primary education sat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).

GUATEMALA: New Law Hits Drug Cartels, Corrupt Officials Where They Hurt

A new law that will allow Guatemalan courts to seize goods and assets obtained through illegal activities, including drug trafficking and corruption, is being hailed as the new hope in fighting organised crime.

An African oil palm plantation in the Amazonian state of Pará. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Climate Change Means New Crop Health Concerns

Farming around the globe, already reeling from drought, heat waves and major storms, will have to prepare for the new challenges that global warming will bring, especially in the form of pests and disease.

African oil palm plantations in the state of Pará. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Oil Palm Plantations Expand on Degraded Land in Amazon

Brazil hopes to eventually become a major producer of palm oil, thanks to the expansion of this new exotic monoculture crop in the eastern Amazon jungle, where eucalyptus plantations are also mushrooming on broad swaths of already deforested land.

Vegetable pack from small scale farmers  Credit: Fadela Slamdien/IPS

AGRICULTURE – SOUTH AFRICA: Small Scale Farmers Face Uphill Battle

Just before sunrise 39-year -old Alan Simons, an emerging small-scale farmer, gets ready for his usual nine-hour day of harvesting, packing and deliveries. In his black Nissan van he drives ten kilometres to the seaside town of Strand outside of Cape Town to pick up his six workers, all of who are women.

Assumptions on Overfishing Challenged

For decades, fisheries around the world have relied on practices that take for granted certain assumptions about the industry, such as protecting younger fish while exploiting older fish and using trophic levels to monitor the health of fisheries. Recently, however, some scientists have begun to question these unanimously accepted practices. Experts are beginning to think that the science behind the global fishing industry may be completely wrong.

CHINA: Scientists Push Desalination To Meet Water Shortages

While China faces grave water shortages, researchers at institutions across the country are working on new water- saving and desalination technologies that they hope can alleviate the crisis in the crucial years to come.

BIODIVERSITY: A Year for Limited Optimism

Nearly 12 months ago, when the U.N. heralded 2010 as the ‘International Year of Biodiversity’, unrealistic goals seemed to indicate failure for the ambitious initiative. But now that the year is drawing to a close, some experts also see the year’s progress as encouraging, and a reason for optimism.

EASTERN EUROPE: Playing Dice With Migrants

Over the past years, acceptance rates for asylum-seekers in Central and Eastern Europe have been decreasing slowly but steadily. Even for those who do receive protected status, life is a gamble.

Intravenous drug users are the last in line to get support from government-run AIDS programme. Credit: Fahim Siddiqi/IPS

PAKISTAN: When Men Fear Telling Their Wives About HIV

As a peer educator at a local HIV/AIDS organisation, Ahmad (not his real name) has taken care to teach his own wife anything and everything he knows about the disease.

Renu Devi of Bagwanpur Rati village in India's Bihar state with her children who take the Vitamin A doses. Credit: Sujoy Dhar/IPS

HEALTH-INDIA: Vitamin A Doses Keep Child Malnutrition Away

With three small children to raise in a dirt-poor village in eastern India’s Bihar state, farm labourer Renu Devi is an unsung rural supermom who shuttles between home and field every day.

Motherhood Matters

We are two-thirds of the way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals - in terms of time, not by way of meeting the target. Achievements are failing widely in the march to the 2015 targets agreed by world leaders in 2000. But there are successes too, and five years still to go over which speeded up efforts can go a long way to fighting poverty and to promoting health and education -- aims that are at the heart of the eight MDGs. IPS here reports on the progress and the shortfalls on way to those goals.

MEDIA-HONDURAS: Ten Murders and No Justice

The murder of Henry Suazo, a correspondent for a radio station based in the capital, brought this year's death toll for reporters in Honduras to 10, and made this Central American nation the second most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America, after Mexico.

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