Special Report

Oil Palm Expands on Deforested Land in Brazil’s Rainforest

The green of the oil palm plantations is unbroken along kilometre after kilometre of red soil, devastated in the past by loggers and ranchers. The oil palm, a sign of alarm for some and of hope for others, is here to stay in the Amazon rainforest state of Pará in the extreme north of this country.

Middle East Women Mean Business

Evidence is mounting to suggest women entrepreneurs are more common in the Middle East than in startup capital Silicon Valley, and some even say it’s a more supportive place for them to start a business.

This Bird Has Flown – Forever

The extinction of a single species (a fish off the coast of Cuba, a bird in the Brazilian forest) creates a void that can trigger a whole series of repercussions, from the alteration of ecosystems to increased hunger.

Breaking New Ground for Trans Children

Gabi was born six years ago biologically male, but dressed up as a princess and wore necklaces and long hair so that everyone saw a little girl instead.

‘I Sold My Sister for 300 Dollars’

Amani has just turned 22. Two months ago she fled from the civil war in Syria and left her house in capital Damascus. After a dangerous nightlong trip she arrived at Zaatari, the refugee camp just over the border in Jordan, where her parents and two sisters had already lived for over a year.

Homeless Again

A police cordon kept everyone out of the Buenaventura “corrala” on Thursday after the police evicted 13 families living in the occupied building in the centre of this southern Spanish city early in the morning.

Somalia Takes Teaching to the Extreme

Mukhatar Jama has been teaching at a secondary school in Mogadishu for the past decade. Religious education is part and parcel of the curriculum of all schools in Somalia, but he says most parents are unaware of exactly what their children are being taught – a radical form of Islam.

Egyptian Revolution Brings an IVF Rush

The young couple inspecting Dr Bassem Elhelw’s Cairo Fertility Clinic knew what they wanted from him: a baby boy. They also knew they wanted the child by in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Ugandan Women Put On Their Boxing Gloves

Helen Baleke took up boxing at 16, after she was attacked by a man in Kampala’s Katanga slum. But the beating turned her into what she is today – one of only several female Ugandan amateur boxers.

From Africa to Brazil in the Hold of a Ship

Ornela Mbenga Sebo, a young Congolese woman, escaped in 2011 from a rebel camp in an unidentified location in Africa where she was being held as a slave and stowed away in the garbage bay of a merchant ship, with no idea where it was headed.

Seeking More Indian Business, With Chinese Help

As he stood on the westernmost edge of Colombo’s new harbour expansion, it was hard for Priyath Bandu Wickrema - the man tasked with reinventing the port as a regional giant - to cap his enthusiasm.

U.S. Hedge Funds Paint Argentina as Ally of Iranian ‘Devil’ – Part Two

Vulture capitalist Paul Singer has hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in his legal battle with Argentina over the country's 2001 debt default.

Most Brides in Niger Are Children

For El Hadji Souley Moussa, a 60-year-old retired bank employee in Niger, “marrying off a daughter when she is young is a source of great pride. This way, she is protected from pregnancy outside of marriage.”

U.S. Hedge Funds Paint Argentina as Ally of Iranian ‘Devil’ – Part One

When Argentina defaulted on its national debt in 2001, U.S. hedge funds swooped in to buy the nation's bonds at pennies on the dollar, confident they would eventually prevail in the U.S. legal system and force the country to pay out in full.

The Classrooms Are Full – but the Students Can’t Read

Many Pacific Island nations are celebrating the success of rising school enrolment rates, with 14 members of the 16-member Pacific Island Forum on target to meet Millennium Development Goal 2: achieving universal primary education by 2015.

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