Stories written by A. D. McKenzie

Poetry, Politics and the French Far Right

As acclaimed writers arrived in France this week for an international poetry festival, many expressed shock at finding that 25 percent of the country's vote had gone to a far-right party in elections for the European Parliament.

Behind Glamour, Cannes Film Festival Puts Spotlight on Human Rights

Forget about 'Grace of Monaco'. Some of the most noteworthy films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival deal with human rights and the fight for press freedom, and they come from directors who have had to overcome financing, censorship or infrastructure difficulties to tell stories that they believe need telling. 

Leadership Growing Young

Fidelis Molao was 33 when he ran in elections to become a member of parliament in Botswana for the first time in 2010. He was one of the youngest MPs in the country at the time, and still is. He has long championed youth rights.

Reproductive Rights Have a Rocky Ride

For policy makers and activists working for sexual and reproductive health and rights, it’s been a long road since the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994.

Renewing Electricity Across Borders

Hervé Gouyet knows firsthand the difference electricity can make in the lives of both isolated rural communities and those who have just suffered a natural disaster.

Some Cartoons Aren’t Funny

A woman and her husband are seated at a table. As she talks, he seems to be ignoring her, his head hidden behind a newspaper.

It’s Rubbish to Waste Like This

Before one reaches the premises of the Società Recupero Imballaggi (SRI), the smell in the air announces that this company in the southern Italian region of Campania deals with waste.

Immigration Key in Norway Election

On a sunny day at the end of August, the popular Karl Johans pedestrian street in Oslo pulsed with folk music as three young women and a man played stringed instruments and belted out English and Norwegian lyrics.

World’s Top Chefs Cook for Change

For Denmark’s leading chefs, it’s not only the “taste” that counts. Many have an ambitious goal to “revise the relationship between people and food,” use local ingredients, produce less waste and go completely organic.

French Town Makes Environment Everyone’s Business

Christina E. is a mother of three who lives in an apartment building in an upscale neighbourhood in Paris. As someone who prepares meals daily, she wishes she had a place besides her household garbage bin where she could put biodegradable waste.

Cartoons Lead the Way From Humour to Dialogue

By now, most movie fans know that American actor Leonardo DiCaprio was in this southern French city for the annual Cannes Film Festival. But fewer people are aware that Willis from Tunis and Kichka of Israel were also here.

Getting Past Aid to Develop

With the level of Western aid to the world’s poorest countries declining amid the global financial crisis, economists are calling for “innovative” means of development that range from proper taxation of multinationals to laws that ensure gender equality.

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.

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