Stories written by Samuel Oakford
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Bolivia Charts Its Own Path on Coca

This week, the U.N. reported that coca cultivation in Bolivia fell nine percent last year, and a massive 26 percent in the past three years.

Wall Street Sets Its Sights on Renters

Six years after the financial crisis, Wall Street’s housing alchemy engine is revving up again - only this time it’s coming for your rental.

UN Paints Stark Picture of Global Resource Consumption

UNITED NATIONS, June 7, 2014 (IPS) - A new UN report finds astronomical resource prices are doing little to stem their depletion around the world.

UN Paints Stark Picture of Global Resource Consumption

A new UN report finds astronomical resource prices are doing little to stem their depletion around the world.

Economists Slam Draconian Drug Laws

A report released Tuesday by the London School of Economics (LSE) depicts drug prohibition as a massive failure, a financial drain on economies and a violation of the basic human rights of citizens.

Violence in South Sudan at a Savage Turning Point

After a week that saw a massacre inside a U.N. base and wide-scale ethnic-based slaughter in an oil-producing region, the international community is grappling with what, if any, options remain to save lives in South Sudan.

Peacekeepers Greenlighted for CAR, but Mission Will Take Months

Amid alarming reports of ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to send an official peacekeeping mission to the conflict-torn country where the minority Muslim population has all but disappeared in much its Western half.

As Planet Warms, Clean Energy Investments Take a Dive

Policy uncertainty and plummeting solar prices led to a 14-percent decrease in investment in renewable energy in 2013, according to a report released Monday.

Executions on the Upswing

The number of recorded executions carried out worldwide rose 14 percent last year, as anti-terrorism measures in Iraq and hardline drug polices in Iran accounted for more than half of all reported government-sanctioned killings in 2013.

Political Wrangling Stymies CAR Peacekeeping Force

Budget constraints in Washington and obstinacy at the highest levels of the African Union (AU) have combined to dangerously delay a possible U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to sources close to negotiations currently underway in New York.

U.N. Report on South Sudan Paints Grim Picture

An interim human rights report released by the beleaguered U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is being tentatively hailed by rights groups and observers who have pressured the mission to be more transparent with its findings.

An Environment-Wrecking Pipeline Hangs in Limbo

The Pine Ridge Reservation of the Lakota Nation, in the midwest of the United States, is one of the most abandoned places in the country and in the world.

In Bali, a Pivotal Moment for Climate Postponed

Facing a crucial meeting this week in Bali, the board of the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) once again postponed drawing out the bulk of policy that will guide the fund as it prepares to open later in 2014.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies Dampen Shift Towards Renewables

Despite evolving public awareness and alarm over climate change, subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels remain a stubborn impediment to shifting the world’s energy matrix towards renewable sources.

Greater Transparency Urged for U.N.’s South Sudan Mission

As South Sudan’s fragile ceasefire threatens to unravel, human rights groups are calling on the U.N.’s mission there to make public its human rights reporting, a step they say will help lay the groundwork for reconciliation that never took place following independence in 2011.

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