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Criminalising dissent: What about muzzling opinions?

(The Daily Star) - Holding or expressing opinions that do not go along the lines of the State is criminalised by law in many countries including ours. And the State often translates here as “people in power”. So, having differences of opinion with “people in power” can land anyone in serious trouble. Not surprisingly, this has been happening for years and under different governments in Bangladesh. Numerous dissenting voices had to pay—of course with the help of laws that have earned the labels “draconian” and “repressive” from rights activists.

African Development Bank Shareholders approve landmark $115 billion capital increase, signalling strong support

  • Bank's capital base more than doubles. Jumps from $93 billion to $208 billion
  • Largest capital increase in the Bank's history signals a united front by shareholders

African Development Bank Group’s Board of Governors to hold fifth extraordinary meeting in Abidjan

The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank will hold its fifth extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 31 October 2019, at the Sofitel Abidjan, Hotel Ivoire. During the meeting, the Bank’s shareholders will make signification decisions, and a major announcement is expected.

The Russian Government and the UN join to fight water hyacinth in Kenya

A major partnership between The Embassy of Russia, the United Nations in Kenya and the County Government of Kisumu will see the over 14,000 hectares of the Water Hyacinth in Lake Victoria cleared following an injection of USD 7 million by the Russian government.

African Development Bank and Three Regional Development Banks Launch Joint Report on Livable Cities

Rapid urbanization has provided most cities in the world with opportunities to provide more sustainable, vibrant, and prosperous centers for their citizens. But they must first address challenges such as inadequate infrastructure investments, pollution and congestion, and poor urban planning, according to a new report released today.

Wielding The Magic Wand

I met late professor T.N. Srinivasan (popularly known as TN) a couple of months before he passed away in November 2018. Despite his original contributions to trade theory, ¬development economics, inequality and poverty, he never won the Nobel in economics. His colleague at Yale had once ¬remarked that TN would get not one but two Nobels. I was too much in awe of TN to ask this question but my friend asked him directly if he could think of an Indian economist who might win the Nobel for economics in the near future. He said, “Abhijit but not so soon”. He was right but not entirely.

2019 Africa Investment Forum: African Development Bank and partners gear up for new heights

In just a few weeks, the second edition of the annual Africa Investment Forum will kick off in Johannesburg, South Africa, with development finance institutions determined to tackle the continent’s infrastructure investment challenges and advance Africa’s economic transformation agenda.

The Future of Asia-Pacific’s Cities

(ESCAP news) -- The Seventh Asia-Pacific Urban Forum (APUF-7) opened today with a strong call for cities to take the lead and embrace a “can do” spirit in driving sustainable development commitments across the region.

Trade costs of non-tariff measures now more than double that of tariffs, finds new UN report

(ESCAP News) – While applied tariffs in the Asia-Pacific region have halved over the past two decades, the number of non-tariff measures (NTMs) – policy regulations other than tariffs affecting international trade - has risen significantly, according to a new report launched today by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Statement by NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2019:

"We congratulate Dr. Abiy Ahmed on the Nobel Peace Prize and his courageous efforts in bringing ambitious reforms to Ethiopia and offering the hand of peace to neighbouring Eritrea. The Norwegian Refugee Council is among the very few international groups operating in Eritrea and Ethiopia and assisting people in need in both countries. We have witnessed the dramatic improvement in relations between the two countries during Dr. Abiy Ahmed´s government after conflict and tension over the years produced displacement and suffering.

14 aid agencies warn of humanitarian crisis in North-East Syria

Civilians in north-east Syria are at risk and humanitarian aid could be cut off following the launch of a new military operation in the area, leading aid agencies are warning.

Press freedom: Forking paths in a world of discontent

The recent protests in Egypt, sparked by the allegation of financial misappropriations by a government contractor against the country’s current president and former army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have died down almost as soon as they came to life. The Sisi administration resorted to its usual tactic of using brutal muscle power to clamp down on the protesters and the media. While the national media outlets—very much under the control of Sisi—did not dare breach “professional codes”, the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS), which is responsible for accrediting foreign journalists, warned the media that it has “carefully monitored” the protest coverage.

Getting out of a Jam in Dhaka

Bangladesh’s capital has some of the worst traffic in the world. But hope is on the way in the shape of a new mass rapid transit system.

The looming climate crisis: Where is our Greta Thunberg?

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued its latest warning saying that the world’s oceans are rising twice as fast as they did in the last century due to fast-disappearing ice-sheets in the Antarctic and Greenland. The IPCC predicts that as much as two-thirds of the permafrost could be gone before the end of the current century, further exacerbating carbon dioxide emissions as humongous amounts of CO2 trapped in the permafrost would be released in the process. In other words, all the apprehensions about climate change are much more menacing than anticipated earlier, making for huge shifts in climate patterns that will wreak havoc on the coastal cities and habitations around the world. On the one hand, rising sea levels will inundate low-lying coastal areas and, on the other hand, all the entrapped heat in the oceans will give rise to far more destructive cyclones more frequently. The world as we knew it in the pre-industrial era is gone for ever.

UNGA 2019: No room for coal in Africa’s renewable future: Akinwumi Adesina

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans to scrap coal power stations across the continent and switch to renewable energy at United Nations climate talks on Monday.

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