Stories written by A. D. McKenzie

Jazz as a Force for Peace and Freedom

Against the backdrop of civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland, the fourth annual International Jazz Day was celebrated with events around the world and appeals for peace, unity and dialogue.

Giving African Artists Their Names

Quick now, can you name a famous African sculptor from the 1800s or even the early 20th century?

Singapore Arts Fest Pushes Boundaries Beyond Tradition

As Singapore mourns the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the late former prime minister’s vision of a dynamic and vibrant state is being reflected in a major arts festival in France.

Mobile Technology a Lever for Women’s Empowerment

Providing women with greater access to mobile technology could increase literacy, advance development and open up much-needed educational and employment opportunities, according to experts at the fourth United Nations’ Mobile Learning Week conference here.

Press Looks at Future After “Charlie”

In the wake of last week’s attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, a heated battle of opinion is being waged in France and several other countries on the issue of freedom of expression and the rights of both media and the public.

Attack on French Magazine a “Black Day” for Press Freedom

“They are cowards who react to satire by going for their Kalashnikovs.” That was how renowned French cartoonist Plantu described the killers of 10 media workers and two policemen in Paris Wednesday.

Want Economic Growth? Lessen Inequality

For years, many policy makers, including economists, have clung to the belief that if states do nothing to boost income equality, market forces will cause wealth to trickle down to the poorest citizens and contribute to overall growth.

A Billion Tons of Food Wasted Yearly While Millions Still Go Hungry

In his parody of the Michael Jackson hit “Beat It”, the American satirist and singer Weird Al Yankovic has a parent urging his son to eat the food on his plate, warning that “other kids are starving in Japan”.

Sustaining the Future Through Culture

International experts working in the creative sector are calling for governments to recognise the integral role that culture plays in development and to ensure that culture is a part of the post-2015 United Nations development goals, to be discussed next year.

French Add Voice to Global Climate Action

As if to highlight the reality of climate change, the rain came pouring down here as demonstrators prepared to rally for political action to combat global warming.

Pushing for Cities to Take Lead on Climate Change

If former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg had used the Vélib’ - Paris’ public bicycle sharing system - to arrive at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development here Wednesday, he might have sent a stronger message about the need for cities to be “empowered to take the lead in combating climate change”.

‘Breaking Silence’ on the Slave Trade

The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave opened many people’s eyes to the barbarity of slavery and fuelled some discussion about that period in world history. But the film is just one of the many initiatives to “break the silence” around the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade and to “shed light” on its lasting historical consequences.

‘Zero Tolerance’ the Call for Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation

Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.

Inequality Blocks Path to “Gold” in Latin America

Inequality, poor infrastructure and declining trade are some of the problems that Latin America needs to overcome if the region truly wishes to achieve a “golden age”, according to Peru’s President Ollanta Humala.

Anti-Poverty Activists Welcome G7’S Renewed ‘Commitment’

Activists working to alleviate poverty worldwide gave a guarded welcome to the renewed commitment to development that G7 leaders made during their meeting in Brussels this week.

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