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Cash Transfers Drive Human Development in Brazil

Every day, Celina Maria de Souza rises before dawn, and after taking four of her children to the nearby school she climbs down the 180 steps that separate her home on a steep hill from the flat part of this Brazilian city, to go to her job as a domestic. In the evening she makes the long trek back up.

Cameroon’s Muslim Clerics Turn to Education to Shun Boko Haram

Motari Hamissou used to get along well with his pupils at the government primary school in Sabga, an area in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West Region. In the past, Hamissou also lived in peace with his neighbours. No one was bothered by his long, thick beard or the veil his wife, Aisha Hamissou, wore, or the religion they followed.

World Bank Board Declines to Revise Controversial Draft Policies

A key committee of the World Bank’s governing board Wednesday spurned appeals to revise a  draft policy statement that, according to nearly 100 civil-society groups, risks rolling back several decades of reforms designed to protect indigenous populations, the poor and sensitive ecosystems.

China’s ‘Left-Behind Girls’ Learn Self-Protection

A normally quiet second-grade student, Yuan Yuan* suffers from a mild mental disorder that impacts her ability to learn and communicate. Her father, also mentally disabled, left her several years ago to find work in the city and his family hasn’t heard from him since. Unable to support the family, her mother also left and never returned.

Bill to Fight Discrimination Against HIV-Positive Venezuelans

Venezuela is gearing up to pass a new law to combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, in a country where the epidemic claims nearly 4,000 lives and infects 11,000 mainly young people every year, including increasing numbers of women.

Is Europe’s Breadbasket Up for Grabs?

Amidst an exodus of some 100,000 people from the conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, ongoing fighting in the urban strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk between Ukrainian soldiers and separatist rebels, and talk of more sanctions against Russia, it is hard to focus on the more subtle changes taking place in this eastern European nation.

Israel Lobby Galvanises Support for Gaza War

Pro-Israel activists assembled a huge crowd and a long list of congressional leaders and diplomats to declare their unconditional support for Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip on Monday, largely downplaying  tensions between Jerusalem and Washington.

Oil Alliance Between China and Costa Rica Comes to Life Again

China’s plan to become Costa Rica’s main energy ally through the joint reconstruction of an oil refinery has been revived after the presidents of the two countries agreed to review the conditions of the project during a meeting in the Brazilian capital.

Ticking Diplomatic Clock a Cover for Israeli Assaults on Gaza

As the death toll in Gaza keeps climbing - and charges of alleged war crimes against Israel keep mounting - the most powerful political body at the United Nations remains ineffective, impotent and in a state of near paralysis.

Under Water: The EPA’s Struggle to Combat Pollution

For years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been frustrated in its efforts to pursue hundreds of cases of water pollution — repeatedly tied up in legal fights about exactly what bodies of water it has the authority to monitor and protect.

OPINION: How to End the Gaza War

As the killing and destruction rages on in Gaza, and as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Hamas leadership exchange recriminations and threats, key regional and world players must accept a central truism: No peace can be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians without including Hamas. The quicker they internalise this fact, the faster the cycle of violence can be broken.

Gas and Sun Light the Way for Energy Industry in El Salvador

El Salvador is making steady progress towards diversifying its energy sources, with a plan to bolster the use of cleaner sources and achieve a substantial change in its energy mix by 2018.

In Turbulent Iraq, Children Bear the Brunt of War

As the ambulance stopped in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, people rushed in to help. They unloaded six children, from several months to 11 years old, all injured allegedly by an air attack in the neighbouring town of Tuz Khurmatu.

Human Development – Latin America Less Than Halfway There

Construction worker Leobardo Gómez has been out of work for nine months since he slipped and fell to the street on a construction site in the Mexican capital in October.

Antigua Weighs High Cost of Fossil Fuels

Caught between its quest to grow the economy, create jobs and cut electricity costs, and the negative impacts associated with building an oil refinery, the Antigua and Barbuda government is looking to a mix of clean energy and fossil fuels to address its energy needs.

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