Stories written by an IPS Correspondent

Egypt’s religious minorities bear the brunt of renewed insecurity

In a new report released Tuesday, the London-based Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says Egypt’s January 25 Revolution was driven by a demand for greater liberty. But with the increase in insecurity and sectarian violence, the country’s religious minorities are bearing the brunt.

UNCA To Honour Michael Douglas & Stevie Wonder at Award Ceremony

At its annual award ceremony next week, the U.N. Correspondents’ Association (UNCA) will honour two internationally-known celebrities:  Hollywood movie star Michael Douglas and musician, singer and song writer Stevie Wonder.

State of Energy Report

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has set a target of achieving 5% of its energy mix from renewable energy by 2030 while also seeking to reduce energy intensity by 30%, according to a new 200-page report released Monday.  Like a number of countries in the Arab region, it seeks to place sustainable energy solutions at the centre of a new sustainable development pathway.


ESCAP Pioneers Platform for Expanding Social Protection

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) last week launched a cutting-edge platform designed for expanding social protection in the region.

UN Urged to Address Corporate Human Rights Abuses

A statement signed by more than 100 civil society organisations and social movements calls for member states to take steps towards establishing a binding international treaty to deal with corporate human rights abuses. The statement coincides with the beginning of the second annual UN Forum on Business & Human Rights in Geneva.

WFP FORCED TO REDUCE FOOD ASSISTANCE IN DRC

The Rome-based  World Food Programme (WFP) may be forced to reduce or interrupt some of its activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), leaving thousands of people with no food assistance. This is due primarily to serious resource constraints.

Saving Children From Loggers

Logging is the largest industry in the Solomon Islands, an archipelago located northwest of Fiji, where 80 percent of the islands are covered in tropical rainforest. But, although timber accounts for 60 percent of this South Pacific nation’s export earnings, most local communities have experienced no beneficial development.

Skateboarding Can Be Empowering

An array of colourful quarter pipes, bank ramps and a fun box come to life as a clutch of Cambodian youngsters do balancing tricks, kick-flips and kick turns. The all-girl session at a skating facility near the Russian Market here is facilitated by 20-year-old Kov Chansangva, popularly known as Tin.

Today’s Forecast Is for Climate-Proof Farming

Even as weather extremes bedevil Caribbean farmers, Ramgopaul Roop has turned his three-acre fruit farm into a showcase for how to beat climate change. His conservation farming methods include water harvesting and growing lemon grass as mulch. Since the grass is also a weed, it discourages the growth of other harmful weeds without the use of herbicides.

Taking Efforts to Fight Prejudice in Cuba to the Barrios

From a very young age, Irma Castañeda has braided her curly hair and cared for it with natural recipes inherited from her mother, ignoring the widespread conception that black women’s hair is “ugly” or “bad”.

Blocking NATO to Stop Drones

Upping the ante against U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, celebrated cricketer-turned-political leader Imran Khan has threatened to block NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where his party leads a coalition government.

Big Coal Angles For a Slice of Climate Finance Pie

Power generation is a major contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Choosing the right options for less-polluting energy sources in the future is a vital question – in which energy-starved Africa has a keen interest. In one camp, highly polluting industries are appealing for support under any new climate finance mechanisms established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process.

Keeping the Philippines from Becoming Another Haiti

Nearly two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the central Philippines, experts and activists here are warning that post-disaster reconstruction needs to be more transparent than past such efforts, while also focusing on a long-term assistance strategy that goes beyond immediate emergency relief.

Guarded Tone in Geneva as Negotiators Seek Iran Accord

Amidst rising expectations of a breakthrough, Iran and six world powers Wednesday resumed their quest for a deal on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme that seemed just within reach earlier this month.

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