Chile’s Earthquake Reconstruction Hindered by Delays and Profiteering

Two years after the earthquake and tsunami in south-central Chile, the worst natural disaster to hit the country in half a century, thousands of families who saw their homes destroyed are still waiting for a solution.

INDIA: Kashmir Missing Its ‘Demographic Dividend’

Kashmir is missing out on a ‘demographic dividend’ and unable to cash in on its youthful population for lack of initiatives from a state government bogged down by a two-decade-old armed insurgency.

Israeli Poll on Iran Undercuts Netanyahu on Eve of Major Meet

On the eve of a critical set of meetings here between top U.S. and Israeli officials, a new survey finds little backing among the Israeli public for a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities without Washington's approval.

Index Offers Improved Method to Gauge Women’s Progress

If an organisation wants to monitor how its projects in the developing world are affecting women in specific areas of female empowerment, it probably can't, as it lacks the proper tools. But a new system, the "Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index", is working to change that.

China is expanding loans to Latin America using the yuan instead of the dollar. Credit: Kit Gillet/IPS

Latin America, Testing Ground for Chinese Yuan

China is looking to Latin America to experiment with the yuan, or renminbi, to replace the dollar, taking advantage of the growth in Chinese trade and investment in this region. But because the volume is still insignificant, it is not yet clear what impact the currency will have on economies in the region.

U.S.: A Musical Movement for Liberation

Inside a dimly lit restaurant in New York City's historic Harlem neighbourhood, on an unusually warm night in the middle of February, an audience of 120 people sits spellbound while a forgotten gem is dusted off, polished and presented to the crowd.

A nutritionist assesses the health of a child: red indicates severe malnutrition. Credit:  Kristin Palitza/IPS

Drought in Sahel Affects Urban Cameroonians

Sala Aminata, a housewife from the Logone and Shari Division in Cameroon’s Far North Region, looks at her six kids with apprehension as she tries to figure out how to feed them with her meagre salary.

Valerie Amos, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, has repeatedly asked to meet with Syrian officials. Credit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Syria Stalls Senior U.N. Official’s Visit to War Zone

The United Nations, which remains politically deadlocked over the drawn-out crisis in Syria, has hit another roadblock, this time over humanitarian assistance to the thousands of men, women and children caught up in the 11-month-old conflict.

Sri Lanka Rattled by Planned UN Rights Resolution

Strung across the main road leading away from the international airport is a banner that has an intriguing message: ‘USA, Pls Do Not Support Terrorism’.

Community radio operator at La Cotorra. Credit: Courtesy of La Cotorra FM

URUGUAY: Community Radios Have Innovative Law, But Are Off the Air

Uruguay took a giant step towards more democratic media when it passed a law on community radio broadcasting in 2007. But although regulations for the law were approved in late 2010, many broadcasters are now off the air and waiting to be assigned a frequency.

Caribbean Hit Hard by Sargassum Seaweed Invasion

When scientists speak of the Sargasso Sea, which occupies part of the Atlantic Ocean, there is usually little mention of things drifting out because of the immobile currents.

The Barotse Flood Plain, about 190 kilometres long and 70 km wide, floods during the peak rainy season that starts in late January.  Credit: Lewis Mwanangombe/IPS

ZAMBIA: No Longer “Waiting for the Mangoes to Ripen”

Eight years ago when Mary Sitali’s husband divorced her, by sending a traditional letter to her parents saying that he no longer wanted her and they could "marry her to any man of your choice - be he a tall or a short man, the choice being entirely yours," she returned to her village in rural Zambia with their two children and no way of supporting them.

Tunisia Summit Highlights Glaring Absence of Unity on the ‘Syria Question’

In the Friends of Syria meeting held in Tunis last week, Gulf Arab monarchies offered nearly unqualified support for the Syrian opposition, while the democratic states were more cautious.

A group of Kashmiri university students. Credit: Athar Parvaiz/IPS

INDIA: Kashmir Missing Its ‘Demographic Dividend’

Kashmir is missing out on a ‘demographic dividend’ and unable to cash in on its youthful population for lack of initiatives from a state government bogged down by a two-decade-old separatist insurgency.


DR CONGO: Farmers’ Organisations Slam New Agriculture Law

Farmers' organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo say the country's new Agriculture Law – enacted last December – could lead to many smallholder farmers losing their land.

Rural Women Are Leading the Way – Will the World Follow – Part 2

The United Nations’ 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) opened Monday in New York, with the empowerment of rural women high on a list of priorities for this year.

Correcting the Record of Haiti’s Earthquake

The world reacted swiftly to Haiti's catastrophic 7.0 earthquake in 2010. The United States shipped in 20,000 troops, some to perform lifesaving medical procedures, others to protect aid workers from earthquake victims deemed dangerous. Movie stars, criminals and other prospective parents rushed to adopt motherless Haitian babies.

‘When’ to Attack Iran, Not ‘If’

"The quiet before the storm" is how Israeli pundits describe the countdown – not to Israel going solo on Iran’s nuclear and military installations, but to the meeting between due Monday next week between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

U.S. Voters Increasingly Alienated by Two Major Parties

A new book shows there are now more U.S. voters who identify as independent than as Democrats or Republicans, despite the fact that the two major parties maintain their virtual stranglehold on U.S. politics and, so far, on the 2012 presidential election process.

Warming to Ignite the Carbon Bomb

Rising temperatures are drying out northern forests and peatlands, producing bigger and more intense fires. And this will only get much worse as the planet heats up from the use of ever larger amounts of fossil fuels, scientists warned last week at the end of the major science meeting in Vancouver.

Women Journalists in Cuba Revive Transgressive Group

More than 15 years after the "deactivation" in Cuba of the Association of Women Communicators (MAGIN), its members remain united in an informal network that transcends any specific political situation and has become a reference for the new generations.

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