Democracy

Trump Marks the End of a Cycle

Let us stop debating what newly-elected US President Trump is doing or might do and look at him in terms of historical importance. Put simply, Trump marks the end of an American cycle!

Still in Limbo, Somaliland Banking on Berbera

Crossing African borders by land can be an intimidating process (it’s proving an increasingly intimidating process nowadays in Europe and the US also, even in airports). But crossing from Ethiopia to Somaliland at the ramshackle border town of Togo-Wuchale is a surreally pleasant experience.

Corruption Brings Down an Empire: Odebrecht in Brazil

People in Brazil have been overwhelmed by the flood of news stories about the huge web of corruption woven by the country’s biggest construction company, Odebrecht, which is active in dozens of fields and countries.

Sri Lanka Shines Light on Public Sector Governance

Sri Lanka’s long-awaited and much-debated Right to Information (RTI) Act became law this month without much fanfare.

Argentina’s Never-ending Environmental Disaster

Is it possible to spend 5.2 billion dollars to clean up a river which is just 64-km-long and get practically no results? Argentina is showing that it is.

No Hidden Figures: Success Stories Can Help Girls’ STEM Careers

What makes a young girl believe she is less intelligent and capable than a boy? And what happens when those children face the ‘hard’ subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)? A recent study, ‘Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests’ showed that by the age of 6, girls were already less likely than boys to describe their own gender as ‘brilliant’, and less likely to join an activity labelled for ‘very, very smart’ kids.

A Dire Vacuum in a World in Crisis

“The world is in a crisis, not least because governing élites have estranged themselves from the needs and aspirations of ordinary people. This sense of being left behind has lead the latter to rebel against their country’s stratified governance,” warns a Geneva-based human rights and dialogue centre.

Syrian Prison, a “Human Slaughterhouse” – Amnesty International

At Saydnaya Military Prison, “the Syrian authorities have quietly and methodically organised the killing of thousands of people in their custody,” according to a new Amnesty International (AI) report.

World’s 40,000 MP’s Must Enjoy Their Rights – But Are They?

“Members of Parliament must be free to enjoy their human rights. If not, how can they defend and promote the rights of those who elected them? Yet, around the world vocal parliamentarians find themselves under threat. The 40,000-strong community of parliamentarians includes many men and women who have risked careers and even their lives to express their beliefs.”

Families of the “Disappeared” Search for Clandestine Graves in Mexico

Juan de Dios is eight years old and is looking for his younger sister, Zoe Zuleica Torres Gómez, who went missing in December 2015, when she was only five years old, in the northeastern state of San Luis Potosí. He is the youngest searcher for clandestine graves in Mexico.

We Need a New Social Movement Against Inequality

Oxfam's latest estimate that just eight super-rich people – down from 62 last year and 388 just six years ago - own more wealth than the poorest half of the world population is a clarion call to change the way we think about and try to tackle inequality.

The Trump Presidency: The First Week

Attacking the Affordable Care Act; the “global gag rule” against abortion; the federal regulation and hiring freeze; canceling the TPP; restarting the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline; limiting entry with the Mexican Wall; the 90-day travel ban on seven countries; more undocumented people prioritized for deportation; no federal funding for cities refusing to cooperate; communications blackout from federal agencies; Guantánamo torture continued–What does it add up to?

‘For Trump, Media Is Public Enemy Number One’

"Alarmed by the new administration’s repeated attacks on the media and blatant disregard for facts in the first three days of Donald Trump’s presidency," Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on Trump and his team "to stop undermining the First Amendment and start defending it."

Measures Are Proposed to Address Violence in Mapuche Land in Chile

The lands where the Mapuche indigenous people live in southern Chile are caught up in a spiral of violence, which a presidential commission is setting out to stop with 50 proposals, such as the constitutional recognition of indigenous people and their representation in parliament, in a first shift in the government´s treatment of native peoples.

Can Africa Slay Its Financial Hydra?

Thanks to growing investor interest, increasing respect for democratic reforms, and its vast food production potential, the Africa Rising narrative is only getting better.

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