Headlines

“In Zimbabwe there is Freedom of Speech, but no Freedom After the Speech”

A long-running gag says “in Zimbabwe there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after the speech”. But for journalists and activists who have been forced to endure nights in the country’s overcrowded and filthy holding cells, this is no laughing matter as prison inmates have no personal protective equipment to guard against COVID-19.

Imprisoned Saudi Activist and Other Rights Defenders Seek Justice in 2021

Two events generated significant interest and global solidarity in the final days of December 2020. A court in Saudi Arabia handed down a five years and eight months sentence to activist Loujain Al-Hathloul for publicly supporting women’s right to drive. Nicholas Opiyo, Ugandan human rights lawyer and defender of persecuted members of the LGBTQI community and political opponents of the president was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges of ‘money laundering.’ Nicholas Opiyo was granted bail on 30 December following an outpouring of global support for his activism for justice. In handing out the verdict to Loujain Al-Hathloul, the court partly suspended her sentence raising hope that she might be released from prison in a couple of months due to time already served.

Capitol Hill ‘Insurrection’

According to the mainstream narrative, President Trump’s incitement of his supporters during the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory led to the ‘insurrection’ at the US Capitol on January 6, resulting in the banning of Trump’s social media accounts and his second impeachment by Congress.

Nothing to Learn from East Asia?

Covid-19 infection and death rates in the Western world and many developing countries in Asia and Latin America have long overtaken East Asia since the second quarter of 2020. Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering prevailing Western accounts of the Asian financial crises, there have been no serious efforts to draw policy lessons from East Asian contagion containment.

Punch Like A Muslim Woman: An Egyptian-Danish Boxer Breaking Many Stereotypes

As a Muslim woman born and brought up in Denmark, Nadia Helmy Ahmed broke many stereotypes when she started boxing at the age of 15. “Back then it was not common for girls to take up elite boxing, let alone common for Muslim girls, I used to be the only girl in my gym, along with ten others boys,” said Nadia to IPS News.

UPDATE** Conspicuous Silence as Ugandan President Wins Sixth Term against Bobi Wine

Thirty-five years ago when President Yoweri Museveni talked, a majority of citizens listened. But now, as he approaches almost four decades in power, his message is not resonating well — particularly with the country’s youth who constitute about 70 percent of the voting population in Uganda.

We Need a Global Coordinated Effort to Secure Equal Access to Safe & Effective Vaccines

A year into the COVID-19 crisis, countries across the globe continue to face alarming levels of pressure on their health and social services. Education and other essential rights, such as water and sanitation, have been severely compromised.

Advisors Propose New System To Regulate China’s Overseas Investments

A government-backed coalition of international advisors to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has recommended that China apply more stringent environmental controls over its overseas investments. If adopted, this would be a major departure from China’s usual approach of deferring to host country rules, many of them inadequate, for regulating its overseas investments.

Twitter, Donald Trump, and Incitement to Violence

Over the last four years, United States President Donald Trump has had in Twitter his main political communication tool. On this technological platform, he spread messages that were not entirely true, insulted and disqualified people, fired, or mocked his collaborators. Twitter was a stage for his sort of presidential reality show.

Dengue—an Epidemic Within a Pandemic in Peru

While the world is grappling with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru is still dealing with an epidemic that it has not been able to control—the mosquito-borne viral disease known as dengue.

Tuberculosis Kills As Many People Each Year As COVID-19. It’s Time We Found a Better Vaccine

In July 1921, a French infant became the first person to receive an experimental vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), after the mother had died from the disease. The vaccine, known as Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), is the same one still used today.

Legally Speaking, Is Digital Money Really Money?

Countries are moving fast toward creating digital currencies. Or, so we hear from various surveys showing an increasing number of central banks making substantial progress towards having an official digital currency.

Q&A: China Accused of Intimidating, Detaining Citizens Critical of COVID-19 Linked Abuses

China must end its campaign against individuals seeking redress for COVID-19 linked abuses and the human rights lawyers and activists who help them, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said as reports ranging from allegedly trapping them inside their homes, to chaining alleged lock-down violators to metal posts emerge.

America’s Descent into Depths of Disastrous Trumpism

Democracy is fragile. It is more fragile that the window panes of the Congress that were smashed by the mob unleashed by President Donald Trump. It is the ultimate symbol of the desecration of American democracy.

Renewable Energy Transition Key to Addressing Climate Change Challenge

2021 is going to be critical, not only for curbing the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, but also for meeting the climate challenge. But as Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) was clear to point out, the climate challenge is essentially an energy challenge. And as large polluters continue to commit to targets of net zero emissions by 2050, the world could -- in theory -- potentially address the climate challenge.

Can the World Tackle the Food Insecurity Crisis in 2021?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity and disrupted food systems and food supply chains in developed and developing countries alike. In the United States, millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table. Around the world, according to the United Nations over 270 million are hungry, and this is expected to continue to increase. 

Africa’s Free Trade Area Opens for Business

African countries opened their markets on 1st January under the continental free trade agreement and duty-free trading of goods and services across borders is now underway despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other teething problems.

Flipping Arizona: Hispanic Movements Flex Political Muscles

The Valley of the Sun is a vast, flat stretch of Sonoran Desert, etched by arroyos and studded with small, jagged peaks. It spans about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west to east and 40 miles (64 kilometers) north to south in south-central Arizona (the state that borders southern California to the east). After cruising through southward on one of the tangle of freeways that vein the expanse, we can leadfoot it another 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast to Tucson across much the same hardscape, only gradually gaining elevation. The saguaro cacti grow more thickly, but the higher cordilleras maintain a discreet distance most of the way.

Against Trump We Lived Better

When the “year in which we lived dangerously” has ended, let’s ask about a “new era”, once the defeat of Donald Trump has been confirmed.

Facing their Failure to meet 2020 Biodiversity Targets, World Leaders Pledge Action & Funds

French President Emmanuel Macron convened the 4th edition of the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity with a concession – that after a decade, the world has failed to take the action needed to stem global biodiversity loss. The Jan. 10 event, hosted virtually by France, the United Nations and the World Bank, focused on four areas for urgent action; protecting land and maritime species, promoting agroecology, mobilising finance for biodiversity and protecting tropical forests, species and human health.

Will a Second Term for Guterres Undermine Campaign for First Female UN Chief in 76 Years?

The United Nations has been one of the most vociferous advocates of gender empowerment and a persistent critic of gender discrimination worldwide.

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