Stories written by Katelyn Fossett

Activists Claim Win as Herakles Halts Cameroon Operation

After coming under fire from environmental and social justice organisations for violations of land protection laws, Herakles Farms, a New York-based agricultural company, has suspended a large, controversial palm oil project in Cameroon.

U.S. Retailers Holding Out on Bangladesh Safety Agreement

Labour groups here are stepping up pressure on U.S. firms to sign a binding building safety agreement for Bangladeshi factories after 10 major European garment companies signed onto the landmark agreement.

Syrian Attacks on Health Care System ‘Terrorising Population’

Humanitarian assistance groups in Washington are warning that the health care system has become a deliberate target in the increasingly brutal civil war in Syria, presenting major challenges to addressing the humanitarian and refugee crises spurred by the conflict.

Critics Slam California “Forest Offset” Plan

More than two dozen environmental organisations are urging California Governor Jerry Brown to disregard recommendations from a United Nations task force to include so-called forest “offsets” in the state’s new emissions-trading scheme.

Few Meaningful Changes in Wake of Dhaka Factory Collapse

Worker advocacy groups here are calling on some of the most high-profile U.S.-based clothing companies to make drastic reforms to their international labour practices in the wake of the factory collapse that killed more than 420 workers in Dhaka last week.

In U.S.-Mexico Relations, a Shift from Security to Economy

Ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, experts here are expecting that security will take a back seat to issues of economic cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico.

South Sudan “Between Somalia and Congo”

Experts here are calling on the United States and the international community to increase pressure on the government of South Sudan to address weaknesses in its central governance.

Insecurity the “Achilles’ Heel of Development” in Latin America

Development experts here are warning that widespread, unchecked violence against citizens in Latin America is posing a threat to the development of the entire region.

Obama’s Budget Lays Out Transformative Change in USAID

Civil society groups here are praising parts of President Barack Obama’s newly unveiled budget proposal, saying it appears to build on momentum gathered in recent years toward a robust overhaul of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the country’s main foreign aid agency.

U.S. Global Health Cuts Threaten Gains on Lethal Diseases

A U.S.-based civil society coalition is calling on Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration to keep spending on global health aid at current levels, warning that recent budget cuts risk a dangerous backslide in health and development gains achieved over the past three decades.

U.S. Banks Too Big to Fail, or Just Too Big?

Following last week’s approval of U.S. Senate bills that critics say would weaken a major financial reform law known as Dodd-Frank, watchdog groups here are cautioning that banks deemed “too big to fail” still pose a risk to U.S. and international economic security.

Leaking Pipeline Offers Warning on Keystone XL Proposal

Environmental groups are sounding alarms about conflicting reports on the size and seriousness of an oil spill that took place late last week in the southern U.S. state of Arkansas.

U.S. Eyes Pension Funds to Renew Crumbling Infrastructure

President Barack Obama doubled down on a new push for infrastructure investment in a major speech Friday, highlighting roads, ports and bridges that many say have suffered from decades of insufficient upkeep.

U.S. High Court in Hot Seat over Same-Sex Marriage

On the second day of oral arguments in two different cases involving the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed serious doubts about the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriage for federal and inter-state purposes.

USAID Makes Steady but Slow Gains on Transparency

The United States’ main foreign assistance agency is getting widespread plaudits for new data on a series of internal reforms aimed at aid improvement, but some development experts are pointing to a persistent opaqueness from the agency.

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