Stories written by A. D. McKenzie

Thailand Negotiating ‘Worrying’ Deal With EU

The negotiations launched this week for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the European Union have raised concerns among both Thai and European non-governmental organisations, who fear that EU demands could have a negative impact on Thailand’s progressive public health policies.

Timbuktu Reclaims Its Treasures

Despite uncertainty and the ongoing conflict, Mali will work to rebuild and safeguard its cultural heritage, says the West African country’s minister of culture Bruno Maïga.

The Energy Is in the Nuclear Talk

Nuclear energy and defence deals will be high on the agenda when French President François Hollande makes a state visit to India this week, but few analysts expect any solid contracts to result from the two-day trip Thursday and Friday.

Cautious Welcome for ‘Robin Hood’ Tax

Non-governmental organisations across Europe welcomed the move by 11 European Union countries Tuesday to move forward with the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT), but they urged national governments to ensure that a part of the revenues would be allocated to development.

Peering into the Energy Crystal Ball

Trying to predict the future of the energy sector is like trying to predict the weather in London in an era of global warming. But delegates had a go at it during the three-day World Future Energy Summit that ended in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 17.

desert_winds_300

Peering into the Energy Crystal Ball

Trying to predict the future of the energy sector is like trying to predict the weather in London in an era of global warming. But delegates had a go at it during the three-day World Future Energy Summit, which ended in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 17.

Steve Howard of Ikea

Policy + Profit + People = Sustainable Power?

Renewable and sustainable energy could emerge from a basic equation, according to some business leaders at the International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC), hosted by the World Future Energy Summit taking place in Abu Dhabi this week. Politicians need to implement the right policies that would boost the green energy sector and cause people to change their behaviour, and this would be akin to letting the sunlight in, to simplify the message from IREC, which acts as a common platform for government, the private sector and civil society to discuss renewable energy. 

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Would those long treks through airport corridors become more tolerable if travellers knew they were creating electricity with each weary footstep? Some enterprising young people at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi certainly think so. They dream of installing piezoelectricity tiles at airports as a way of generating clean energy.

Brazil’s Economic Model Offers Ray of Hope

As governments struggle to find ways out of the persistent global financial crisis, Brazil’s development model offers an alternative path to recovery and growth, according to some economists and politicians.

India Shrugs Off UK Aid Cuts, Despite Poverty

As India forges ahead with a host of trade agreements with various European countries, including France, some Indian commentators say the country can well do without the “paltry” sum in financial aid it currently receives from the United Kingdom.

Migrant Women Trapped in Sex Trade

When French police broke up a Nigerian human trafficking ring that allegedly forced young migrant women into prostitution, the arrests cast a sharp light on the plight of what the authorities called “modern-day slaves”, here and throughout Europe.

UNESCO Meet Boosts Traditional Medicine

Jean-Pierre Georges Foucault is a former scientist who is used to dealing with fact and evidence. But when a friend became ill and had excruciating pain, he accompanied her to a traditional healer who, with the placing of his hands, managed to effect a reduction in the pain.

Family Planning Summit Offers New Hope

The Summit on Family Planning that is taking place in London on Wednesday is a bid to get governments around the world to commit more resources to safeguarding women’s reproductive rights, according to the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Parliamentarians Track Progress on Reproductive Rights

Have women around the world become more empowered in their reproductive health and rights over the past 18 years? This is one of the questions that some 300 parliamentarians from around the world will be examining when they meet in Istanbul, Turkey, this week for the Fifth International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) programme of action.

French Environmentalists Want ‘Green’ Without the ‘n’

As France’s president-elect Francois Hollande prepares to form a new government, many environmentalists are calling for the appointment of an ecology minister with real power who can deliver on promises to reduce the use of nuclear power as well as cut carbon emissions.

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