Stories written by A. D. McKenzie

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.

Hollande supporters say "Get Lost", as Sarkozy once did. Credit: A.D.McKenzie/IPS.

France Dreams of Equality Again

With Nicolas Sarkozy’s swerve to the far-right ending in failure, French Socialist voters say they are looking forward to a more egalitarian and unified France.

France Caught Between Right and Left

French workers turned out in droves on May 1, International Workers’ Day, to back their political candidates ahead of the second round of the French presidential elections next Sunday. But France’s "working class" has largely turned to the Far Right, after a long tradition of voting Left.

When Immigrants Become the Football

Candidates in the French presidential election are coming to use the word ‘immigrant’ like a ball to be kicked around from one side to another, analysts say. "Boot all the immigrants out, and everything will be fine. That’s the seductive and deceptive message from some candidates," says French professor Nonna Mayer.

Europe Urges More Development Aid for Women

Though United Nations experts agree that governments should focus on empowering girls and women as a key to managing a world of seven billion people, not enough is being done for women’s rights in developing countries, aid advocates say.

‘Arms Easier to Trade Than Bananas’

The lack of international regulation in the trade of conventional arms is a "scandal" that must be brought to an end, said a coalition of non-governmental organisations as they heightened their campaign this week for a comprehensive United Nations treaty.

DEVELOPMENT: Uniting Against Extreme Poverty

When Louisamène Joseph Alionat unexpectedly began singing in a packed hall at the United Nations cultural agency here this week, it was an attempt to give encouragement to her peers engaged in the uphill battle of trying to end extreme poverty.

DEVELOPMENT: France Steps Forward With Robin Hood Tax

The decision by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to push ahead with a financial transactions tax (FTT) may be a political ploy ahead of elections, but it has the approval of many non-governmental organisations, even as support lags elsewhere.

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