Try to imagine an expanse of barren land, stretching for miles, with no trace of greenery, not a single bough to cast a sliver of shade, or a trickle of water to moisten the parched earth. Now imagine that desert expanding by 12 million hectares a year. Why? Because it’s already happening.
Holy men and their holy books have etched a trail of tears and blood in the annals of human history. From the depths of peaceful temples, mobs have been dispatched with flaming torches; from steeples and minarets messages of hatred have floated down upon pious heads bent in prayer. For too long religion has incited violence and fueled conflict.
How much does a forest cost? What’s the true economic value of an ocean? Can you pay for an alpine forest or a glacial meadow? And – more importantly – will such calculus save the planet, or subordinate a rapidly collapsing natural world to market forces?
Such stigma now surrounds the word ‘terrorist’ that most recoil from it, or anyone associated with it, as though from a thing contagious; as though, by simple association, one could land in that black hole where civil liberties are suspended in the name of national security.
The sun is just setting as the group huddles closer together, their faces barely visible in the gathering dusk. Simple, hand-made signs read: ‘Stand for Justice’.
Nearly 66 years ago, an American journalist was found dead in Greece, his wrists and ankles bound and gunshot wounds in the back of his head.
Few people in the world can claim to be untouched by cancer. If not personally battling it in one form or another, millions are at this very moment sitting beside loved ones fighting for their lives, visiting friends recovering from chemo, or researching the latest treatments for their relatives.
This much is known: at least 33 people are dead and 461 have been wounded. The rest – questions of who, why and what next for Venezuela – has largely been a matter of speculation.
Every year, on March 8, the United Nations and its member states -- which collectively comprise the vast majority of the world’s population -- observe International Women’s Day.
There was a time when images from war zones featured only battlefields and barracks. As warfare moved into the 20th
century, pictures of embattled urban centres and rural guerilla outposts began to make the rounds.
A nurse helps an old man up from his chair. Holding onto her arms, he steps blindly forward, trusting her to lead him to his spot at the lunch table.
A woman lies on the earthen floor of a modest hut, bracing for the next contraction. Another swaddles a newborn baby in strips of cloth torn from a sheet. A continent away, a young mother cuts her own umbilical cord.
They number close to five million; some drift through the debris of their former homes, now reduced to smoldering rubble. Others limp over the border into neighbouring countries, dragging their feet and what few possessions could be salvaged from the fighting.
The world’s leading media watchdogs – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) – Wednesday released their annual press freedom reports, analyzing the overall global climate for information providers.
With some 40 billion dollars lost every year to corruption in the developing world alone, the United Nations has repeatedly called on member states to practice transparency and good governance.