A $45-million infrastructure upgrade could give clean drinking water and provide sanitation to a million people in Namibia and Angola.

A $45-million infrastructure upgrade could give clean drinking water and provide sanitation to a million people in Namibia and Angola.

COTE D’IVOIRE: U.S., U.N. Press Gbagbo to Yield

As forces loyal to Ivorian President-elect Alassane Ouattara closed in on Abidjan Thursday, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for the incumbent president, Laurent Gbabgo, to immediately step down.

“Bold Decisions” Needed in AIDS Struggle

A new report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released Thursday found progress in combating HIV/AIDS worldwide to be promising, yet inadequate to meet the needs of the 33.3 million people estimated to be living with HIV in 2009.

Thousands rally in Bahrain. Credit: Suad Hamada/IPS

BAHRAIN: Slashing Levies to Help Businesses Cope With Unrest

Bahrain is considering slashing or putting on hold levies on businesses to help them cope with the deteriorating economy, with losses topping an estimated 500 million dollars since the beginning of unrest here in February.

Edna dos Santos-Duisenberg, chief of the creative economy and industries programme at UNCTAD, speaks to the press. Credit: Camila Viegas-Lee

A Creative Boost for South-South Cooperation

In a rare and timely collaboration, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) teamed up with the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to produce a report on the urgent need for developing nations to pour effort and resources into their so-called creative economies.

French economist Esther Duflo Credit: A. D. McKenzie/IPS

Combating Poverty With ‘Poor Economics’

French economist Esther Duflo thinks poverty can be alleviated or even eradicated with the right policies. All it takes is for politicians to "translate research into action," implementing programmes that have been shown to work.

Black-browed albatross near the Beagle Channel, Argentina Credit: Creative Commons

ARGENTINA: Cutting-Edge Model of Coastal Protection

Governments, environmentalists and private companies have just under four years to establish joint management of 43 protected areas on Argentina’s Atlantic coast, one of the world’s most productive and best preserved biomes.

Israel Warns Against Recognition of Independent Palestine

The Israeli government has warned the U.N. Security Council and the EU that it will resort to unilateral countermeasures if the international community recognises Palestine as an independent state at the U.N. General Assembly session next September.

Swaziland's health minister Benedict Xaba receiving donated medical supplies from UNICEF. Swaziland gets limited help of this nature. Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

Swaziland’s Middle-Income Status Reflects Only King’s Lifestyle

While Swaziland struggles to alleviate its fiscal crisis with foreign aid because of its World Bank classification as a lower middle-income country, the government has increased the budget for King Mswati III, Africa’s last remaining absolute monarch and one of the richest royals in the world.

JAPAN: Disaster Highlights Economic Vulnerability

As authorities struggle to control dangerous radioactive material spilling from the quake ravaged Fukushima nuclear power reactors, a more difficult question has begun to unsettle Japan: is the country’s post-war prosperity as invincible as was believed till now?

CUBA: Forum Calls for Decentralisation, to Boost Participation

The annual Critical Observatory Social Forum discussed the need for new spaces of dialogue, debate and participation in Cuba, including the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and decentralisation to empower local communities.

ZIMBABWE: Fears for Next Generation of Women Leaders

Zimbabwe's veteran women politicians fear there are no younger women coming up through the ranks to replace them. Measures to improve women's representation have achieved little and young women are absent from the traditional entry points into politics.

Zimbabwe’s Braying Cavalry in Campaign for Literacy

Across Zimbabwe, economic and political crisis has forced students to do without books, classroom furniture, teachers - the basics of a conducive learning environment. These learners cannot go to libraries, so the libraries have gone to them.

MALAWI: Putting Knowledge Into Practice in Childbirth

Post-partum haemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. A decade of applying research to midwifery practice in one Malawi district demonstrates that PPH is quite easy to prevent.

U.S.-SYRIA: Neo-Cons Target Assad Regime

Despite the clear opposition of the Barack Obama administration and apparent ambivalence on the part of the right-wing government in Israel, neo-conservative hawks here have set their sights on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who they hope will be the next domino to fall to the so-called "Arab Spring".

CUBA-US: Carter Visit Puts Problems on the Table

During former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's three-day visit to Cuba, which ended Wednesday, the main problems to be resolved in order to reduce tension and move towards an eventual improvement in relations between the two countries were put on the table.

U.S.: Budget Cuts Threaten Handful of Beds for Homeless Youth

When Malika, 21, fled her parents' house in the U.S. state of Virginia three years ago to escape a forced marriage in Iran, she did not expect to end up homeless and living in shelters.

Some analysts see Obama's approach to the uprisings in the region as hinging on concessions to allies' "red lines" for reforms. Credit: White House Photo, Pete Souza

MIDEAST: Washington’s Patchwork Policy on Democracy

While a NATO-led coalition continues to enforce a no-fly zone in a Libya that seems to be on the brink of catastrophe, the Barack Obama administration has yet to formulate a set of guiding principles in dealing with ongoing protests throughout the region in countries like Bahrain.

Vendors in Luanda: rhetoric about need for human development has not changed reality for the poor. Credit:  Louise Redvers/IPS

Least Developed Countries Stagnate Under Ailing Strategies

A report released Tuesday by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the Fourth Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) slated to take place in Istanbul, Turkey in early May expressed a strong critique of the snail's pace of development, but stopped just short of calling for radical new policies to be implemented.

BOTSWANA: Capital Upgrade for City’s Sewers

The evidence of Gaborone's inadequate sewerage system hangs in the air over the Botswana capital's low income area. Pit latrines dominate, and residents complain that the city doesn't empty them frequently enough. But the end may be in sight.

Developments on state land sold in 6th October City, South of Cairo. Credit: Emad Mekay/IPS

CORRUPTION: Post-Mubarak Egypt Probes Public Land Contracts

Egyptian authorities have opened dozens of criminal investigations into hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public land contracts that were awarded illegally to real estate developers associated with former President Hosni Mubarak without proper procedures at below market rates.

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