F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said “The rich are different from you or me”, yet in his days, in the early years of the 20th
century, the rich were not subject to public scrutiny, and were generally an object of envy, not resentment.
If you or some family members or friends suffer from cancer, hepatitis, AIDS, asthma or other serious ailments, it’s worth your while to follow the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and other similar bilateral trade agreements.
Several developing countries are now being engulfed in new economic crises as their currency and stock markets are experiencing sharp falls, and the end is not yet in sight.
Providing water for our still growing human population is reaching crisis levels. Water is vital for agriculture, energy production and industrial processes worldwide. Floods and droughts in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States accompanied unprecedented typhoons and winter storms. While none could be linked directly to climate change, the debate surfaced. Mainstream media started covering these issues more broadly.
Until the late 1970s, only 16 countries had abolished the capital punishment for all crimes. Today, abolitionist nations are the overwhelming majority. More than two-thirds of nations, over 150 of the 193 members of the United Nations, have now rejected the death penalty or do not carry out executions.
Before the world economy has been able to fully recover from the crisis that began more than five years ago, there is a widespread fear that we may be poised for yet another crisis, this time in emerging economies.
It is now generally accepted that the North-South divide created at the end of the colonial era and the coalition of New Countries against the powerful North of the world ended with the arrival of globalisation. There are now areas of the Third World inside the North, and areas of the North inside the South.
In a radio broadcast in October 1939, Winston Churchill described communist Russia as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Many people in the West today have the same feeling about Iran under the ayatollahs. One hears many pundits refer to Iranian politics as mysterious, inscrutable, baffling and unpredictable.
At the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), held in Bali Dec. 3-7, a series of decisions was adopted aimed at streamlining trade, allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least developed countries' trade, and bolstering development in general.
There are conflicts old and new crying for solution and reconciliation, not violence, with reasonable, realistic ways out.
At this time of hope for what the new year may bring, it would be useful to look at the legacy we carry with us from the year we leave behind. It was a year full of events - wars, rising social inequality, unchecked finance, the decline of political institutions, and the erosion of global governance.
The past three years have been very important to scale up the movement to protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls and, particularly, to eliminate female genital mutilation worldwide.
The debate over structural unemployment, automation and jobless economic growth began in the 1960s as car factories replaced workers with robots.
After three decades of supposedly planned socialism (1960-1990), when government plans were often only halfway fulfilled, lost in oblivion due to lack of oversight or of realism, or in the best of cases carried out any which way just to live up to the goals, Cubans got used to waiting (with or without hope) for the political leadership, financed with heavy Soviet subsidies, to come up with the next “plan”.
A March 2012 decision by the Swedish authority supervising foundations is a ticking box of dynamite under the Nobel Peace Prize. Even presented in an official, open document, the decision has not reached the general public and become the news story it actually is.