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The Failure of the Happiness Index

My next-door neighbour in upstate New York was an old woman named June. Her husband Herbert was housed in a care centre for the elderly. They had grown-up kids living in different states of the US from where they made rare visits to their parents. June was more attached to my wife and kids. She loved us very much. We used to invite her anytime we had some kind of festivities. As I came to know later, one midnight June had chest pain but did not want to disturb anyone. She braved to drive the car to the nearby hospital, where she breathed her last. My family could not resist a tearful outburst when we came to know that June left us silently. How happy was June living in a country like the US that ranked 14th in the latest Happiness Index 2017?

UAE unveils first National Strategy for Children with Disabilities

The UAE Cabinet approved a national strategy to promote the rights of children with disabilities and maximise their well-being, and a strategy for motherhood and childhood, as part of the Strategic Plan for the Rights of Children with Disabilities 2017-2021, and the National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood 2017-2021.

Great ideals are ghost lights at night

An increase in elevation lowers air pressure, which makes breathing difficult for a climber. The underwater world becomes increasingly blue and eventually black as a diver goes deeper. Great ideals in their height or depth similarly vary, conception changing when it approaches perfection, and perfection changing when it approaches conception. In the end, neither is like how either appears to be.

UAE assistance to Yemen reaches AED7.3 billion (US$2 billion)

The total UAE foreign assistance provided to Yemen, between April 2015 and March 2017, within the framework of the UAE’s efficient humanitarian and development role and its rebuilding projects to support the Yemeni people, amounted to AED7.3 billion (US$2 billion).

Spirit of Service

A doctor who worked in his clinic was in a hurry to catch a flight to reach his family but all of a sudden a patient with severe stomach ache entered his clinic. The doctor became perplexed whether to attend to the patient or catch the flight. In the end he decided to cancel his travel plans to attend to the patient. This act of service filled him with inner happiness.

A Long Way to Go on Climate Change Adaptation

In the historic Paris Agreement reached in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), all countries agreed to collectively achieve two global goals. The first was to keep the long-term global temperature increase well below 2 degrees centigrade, or if possible, below 1.5 degrees. The second was to try to achieve a Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA).

Mutual Discontent

Western countries Britain amongst them have a tendency to tell Pakistan what to do. For years the cry was `do more! against the Taliban. And when Pakistan did eventually do more, there came `more still! It sometimes seems as if the West has a view on each and every area of Pakistani life. `Close down radical madressahs! `Dismantle the hawala system!` `Build more schools!` `Introduce family planning! `Chuck the Afghan Taliban leadership out of Quetta!` And so on. Many of these ideas have merit. But what would happen if Pakistan responded in kind. What would it tell the British to do? For many Pakistanis, the most pressing demand would be for British action on the MQM. For years now, they complain, the MQM leader Altaf Hussain, secure in his London home, has yelled threats down the phone line to rallies and other events in Karachi.After decadesof Britishinactivity, the rising number of complaints from Pakistanis, many of whom directly contacted Scotland Yard, has resulted in a longrunning hate speech investigation as well as another into possible incitement to violence.

The Davao Gulf Megalopolis

Metropolitan Davao is one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines. According to the 2013 economic research of the Urban Strategies Group of the University of Asia and the Pacific, Davao City ranks second in the index of market potential for cities. The index has three dimensions, namely market growth, market spending capacity, and business and commercial support.

Where Do We Stand Today?

The 17 Sustain-able Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted on September 25, 2015 at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action emphasising on the core principles of peace, people, planet, prosperity and partnership, which seeks to strengthen universal peace, prosperity and freedom. Eradicating poverty, including extreme poverty, has been recognised as the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. During the coming fifteen years, with these new goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty through accelerated growth, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

Central African Republic’s Lost Generation

Soldiers camping out in schools and breaking up desks for firewood is common in parts of the Central African Republic.  According to a United Nations report from November, 20 percent of the country’s schools are not operational, many because of misuse by armed groups. Some students were forced out of school four years ago, when the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels cut a bloody swath through the country and seized the capital. Thousands more children stopped going to school in the ensuing years, as Christian-animist anti-balaka fighters ousted the Seleka, torching whole Muslim communities and displacing more than 860,000 people. Many of these children may never resume their studies, despite hopes kindled when a new government took over a year ago. Researcher Lewis Mudge talks to Amy Braunschweiger about his latest research and what a lost generation could mean for the future of one of the world’s poorest countries.

Awakening of the Soul

Amid festivity, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) yesterday showcased its experiences of the pilot phase of a programme on promoting sports and cultural activities among school children in the country.

Is Wastewater the New Black Gold?

What if we were to consider the vast quantities of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastewater discharged into the environment everyday as a valuable resource rather than costly problem? This is the paradigm shift advocated in the United Nations World Water Development Report, Wastewater: the Untapped Resource, launched today in Durban on the occasion of World Water Day.

The vital link between forests and energy

Because forests are crucial for the survival and wellbeing of current and future generations, the United Nations General Assembly decreed every 21 March to be the International Day of Forests (IDF). For the 5th IDF, on 21 March 2017, the theme is “Forests and Energy”.

2017 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and this year’s theme addressing racial profiling and incitement to hatred, in the context of migration, comes at a timely moment.

Coming Home for Good

Every Filipino aims for a better life. Whether they toil in the hinterlands or in our concrete jungles, our kababayan have one common aspiration: to have work that provides them a steady source of income and allow them to lead a comfortable life. Some choose to go into business while others prefer the corporate world. And yes, there are millions of our countrymen who have taken a leap of faith to work abroad. I’m certain many ordinary Filipinos view overseas employment as a ticket to a more prosperous future.

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