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Chilean Tax Reform Shifts Toward Income Redistribution

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s proposed tax reform is seen as the cornerstone of her ambitious social programme and a sign of a new shift in fiscal policy towards redistribution of income.

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.

Zimbabwe’s Struggle to Formalise the Informal

Zimbabwe’s extensive informal sector could help boost government revenue if regularised, but this won’t happen unless the government creates incentives for the informal sector to register, economists say.

Storm in a Rice Bowl

Rice, a staple of the South Korean diet, is stirring up a bowlful of worry for Seoul. Under a promise to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the government has to make a tough choice on rice imports by June this year.

U.S. Apache Delivery Highlights Mixed Messaging on Egypt

Last October, the Barack Obama administration suspended the delivery of attack helicopters to Egypt’s interim government following the Jul. 2 military ouster of Egypt’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

Argentina’s Informal Economy Shrinks, But Not Fast Enough

At the age of 22, Franco finally landed his first job, although he is not on any payroll and receives no labour benefits. He is part of Argentina’s informal economy, where one out of three workers are employed – a proportion the government aims to reduce by means of a new law.

Persecution of Uganda’s Gays Intensifies as Rights Groups Go Underground

As she sits in a Kampala hotel holding a mobile phone that rings frequently, Sandra Ntebi tells IPS: “I’m really exhausted. I don’t know where to start. We have many cases pending.” Ntebi manages a hotline and is helping Uganda’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community find alternative, safe accommodation after they have faced harassment.

Japan Seeks Foreign Workers, Uneasily

Desperate for more workers to support a construction boom, Japan has proposed to expand its controversial foreign trainee programme to permit more unskilled labour from Asia to work in Japanese companies for five years from the current three years.

Culture Increasingly Unaffordable for Cubans

Standing in line for a concert at the Centro Cultural Fábrica de Arte, a cultural centre in the Cuban capital, Alexis Cruz anxiously checks his billfold, where he has the price of the ticket – 50 Cuban pesos (two dollars) - and three CUCs (equivalent to one dollar each) to buy something to drink.

Bringing the Bridges Home

As foreign forces withdraw slowly from Afghanistan, they leave behind a vulnerable band of people who were their ears and guides on the ground. These people who served as interpreters, face a life of threats and uncertainties. Many have been killed.

U.S.-Russia Sabre Rattling May Undermine Nuke Meeting

The growing tension between the United States and Russia over Ukraine has threatened to unravel one of the primary peace initiatives of the United Nations: nuclear disarmament.

Charting a Course for Survival, or Oblivion?

Hopefully, on Earth Day today, high-level ministers from all countries are thinking about what they can bring to the table at a key set of meetings on climate change in early May.

Nigeria – From Sticks and Machetes to Rocket-propelled Grenades

Nigerians are beginning to adjust to the sad reality that they live in a country where suicide bombers and terrorists could be lurking around the next corner thanks to a ready supply of advanced weapons smuggled through the country’s porous borders. 

Weak Laws and Capitalist Economy Deplete Kenya’s Natural Wealth

Each season Peter Gichangi, a vegetable and arrowroot commercial farmer who owns four hectares of land in Nyeri County, Kenya’s Central Province, cultivates his crops near the Nduyi River.

The Global Trading System Aims to Improve Children’s Lives

Although some people don’t see the connection, the global trading system is aimed at creating some of the essential conditions needed to improve children’s lives and their prospects in the future.

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