Stories written by Julio Godoy
Julio Godoy, born in Guatemala and based in Berlin, covers European affairs, especially those related to corruption, environmental and scientific issues. Julio has more than 30 years of experience, and has won international recognition for his work, including the Hellman-Hammett human rights award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting Online by the U.S. Society of Professional Journalists, and the Online Journalism Award for Enterprise Journalism by the Online News Association and the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication, as co-author of the investigative reports “Making a Killing: The Business of War” and “The Water Barons: The Privatisation of Water Services”.

Polly Ericksen: Areas hit hardest by climate change are areas where farmers are already struggling due to new weather patterns. Credit: Anita Ghosh/ILRI

CLIMATE CHANGE: African Agriculture and Food Supply at Risk

Climate change and global warming are likely to have dramatically negative effects on African agriculture and food supply by reducing river runoffs and water recharge, especially in semi-arid zones such as Southern Africa, two new reports say.

Climate Regulatory Gap Could Result After 2012 Kyoto Expiration

The growing awareness that the ongoing U.N. climate change talks here won't deliver a treaty to extend the international governance regime on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, is driving environmental experts to foster alternative solutions to global warming.

Fresh Vegetables Endangering Health Again

The deadly epidemic of escherichia coli (EHEC) in Germany, that broke out in mid May, and which has killed 29 people so far, is the latest in a series of food and hygiene emergencies that have shaken European households for more than a decade.

EUROPE: Trapped Between Droughts and Floods

Extreme weather conditions across Europe have transformed the continent into a climatic roller coaster - while rainfall in May was the lowest ever measured in Germany and France, June began with stormy showers that caused the death of at least one person, and high economic losses.

Germany to Boost Renewables

The decision by the German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to phase out nuclear power by 2022 will increase efficiency in the use of energy, boost investment and accelerate technical progress in renewable energy sources, and promote international energy cooperation, according to numerous experts.

Aedes albopictus is a vector for the transmission of West Nile fever, dengue and yellow fever, among other diseases.  Credit: Public domain

EUROPE: Space Agency Maps Mosquitoes to Combat Tropical Diseases

In times of war, the accurate mapping of enemy positions can be the key to victory. In the war on mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, mapping the distribution and habitat of mosquitoes can play a crucial role in combating epidemics at the source.

HEALTH: Poor States Should Start Campaign to Extend Patent Rights

Pharmaceutical industries in emerging markets are shifting their focus away from poor to developed countries, which will affect access to cheap generic medicines. Poor states should tackle this development by capitalising on the international trade exemptions they still enjoy regarding medicines as "intellectual property".

Aedes albopictus is a vector for the transmission of West Nile fever, dengue and yellow fever, among other diseases. - Public domain

Space Agency Maps Mosquitoes to Combat Tropical Diseases

The European Space Agency will provide epidemiologists with maps of the habitat of mosquitoes that transmit tropical diseases.

Protestors in New Delhi, India, demonstrating against the EU-India trade. Credit: Rico Gustav, APN+/Médecins Sans Frontières

EU Trade Deal with India Stalemated by Threat to Affordable Drugs

More than four years after the EU started negotiating a trade agreement with India, the process has been pushed to a stalemate by the EU’s stubborn insistence in maintaining the so-called data exclusivity clause, despite fierce opposition by Indian government negotiators and Indian and EU non- governmental organisations (NGOs).

Palm oil plantations in Cameroon, belonging to France's Bolloré group. Credit: World Rainforest Movement

AFRICA: Development Agencies Support Harmful Oil Palm Production

Increasing industrial production of oil palm in sub-Saharan African countries, carried out by foreign corporations, is destroying the livelihoods of thousands of Africans and the biodiversity of ecosystems. Despite this, industrialised countries’ governments and development agencies continue to promote such production.

Ana Pancenko, one of the many Ukrainian children affected by the Chernobyl disaster who received medical treatment in Cuba.  Credit: José Luis Baños/IPS

New Sarcophagus for Chernobyl Will Have to Wait Until 2015

The ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor where an explosion 25 years ago led to one of the worst environmental disasters in history still contain 95 percent of the original fuel load, which remains highly radioactive.

The Pacific oyster Credit: Llez – Creative Commons license

EUROPE: The Harmless Invasion of the Pacific Oyster

In the 1970s, French oyster breeders introduced the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) to the Bay of Biscay to diversify the area’s species and develop the commercial oyster industry.

The Pacific oyster. - Llez – Creative Commons license

The Harmless Invasion of the Pacific Oyster

Exotic species pose a threat to biological diversity in many parts of the world. But the invasion of the Baltic Sea by an oyster native to the Pacific coast of Asia is rather atypical in several ways.

Fukushima Forces Europe to Rethink Nuclear Energy

The unfolding catastrophe at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima has forced a number of European countries to radically rethink their energy policies and eventually renounce nuclear power.

LIBYA: Conflicting Interests Cloud Military Intervention’s Objectives

Conflicting national and electoral interests as well as clashing military and political objectives and potential are jeopardising the U.S.-Europe led military mission to implement the no-fly zone over Libyan territory, as stipulated by U.N. Security Council resolution 1973.

LIBYA: Broad German Consensus Against a ‘Risky War’

The decision by the German government not to support the U.N. Security Council resolution adopted last Thursday to establish a "no-fly zone" in Libyan airspace expresses a widespread concern in Germany against military interventions abroad.

Japan’s Nuclear Nightmare Triggers Fears in France

Until the nuclear crisis started unfolding in Japan last week, most French citizens did not doubt that the country's 58 nuclear reactors were safe enough to continue operating for scores of years to come.

Mar. 3 satellite image of Ra's Ajdir, a Libya/Tunisia border crossing. Several thousand people wait without shelter.  Credit: DigitalGlobe 2011, map produced by UNITAR-UNOSAT

LIBYA: Satellite Technology to Help the Displaced

Analysis based on satellite images and maps is helping to identify the flows of people fleeing the political violence in Libya to neighbouring countries.

Japan Atomic Woes Trigger Policy Review in Germany

The unfolding nuclear catastrophe in Japan, triggered by last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, followed by a chain of explosions in atomic power plants, has forced the German government to rethink its own nuclear energy policy.

A Mar. 3 satellite image of Ra's Ajdir, a Libya/Tunisia border crossing. Several thousand people in different groups wait without shelter. - DigitalGlobe 2011, map produced by UNITAR-UNOSAT

Satellite Technology to Help the Displaced in Libya

Satellite images are being utilized to determine the scope of the displaced persons crisis in Libya.

MAGHREB: For Migrants, Crisis Worsens Economic Situation At Home

The mass exodus of immigrant workers from Libya is aggravating the social and economic situation in the migrants' home nations - from Sudan and Chad in sub-Saharan Africa, to Bangladesh in Asia - according to labour and economic experts.

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