Politics

Double U-Turn in ‘Theatre of the Absurd’

A double-barrelled ‘coup de théâtre’ – advanced, then postponed, elections within days – has disoriented a polity accustomed to grappling passively with their Prime Minister’s backstage intrigues. But the ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ played outwardly by the "virtuoso of Israeli politics" conceals a deep need for stability.

War Widows Turn to Sex Work in Sri Lanka

On May 18, some 800 women in Sri Lanka’s northern region will hold Hindu religious ceremonies for the welfare of thier husbands who disappeared or surrendered to the military as it moved in to mop up nearly three decades of armed Tamil separatism.

Demonstrators in southern Spanish city of Málaga protesting cuts in health and education. Credit: Inés Benítez/IPS

U.N. Warns of Social Fall-Out from Spain’s Austerity Plan

An expert body of the United Nations has warned the Spanish government that the severe budget cutbacks it is applying must not undermine its commitment to upholding the economic, social and cultural rights of the country's people.

Tangled Web of Corruption Debilitates Mexico

Although Mexico has signed several multilateral anti-corruption agreements, so far these instruments have yielded few concrete results in combating the rampant bribery, extortion and embezzlement, according to experts.

Trans Community Celebrates Groundbreaking Gender Identity Law

Under a new law that recognises a broad range of rights for transvestites, transsexuals and transgender persons in Argentina, they will have the right to modify their legal documents to match their gender identity.

Journalism is Not ‘More Fun’ in the Philippines

Reporters working in the Philippines, the world’s third most dangerous nation for journalists, are having difficulty identifying with the "It’s More Fun in the Philippines" tourism promotion campaign launched by the Liberal Party-led government of President Benigno Aquino III.

U.S. Treasury Claim of Iran-Al-Qaeda “Secret Deal” Is Discredited

The U.S. Treasury Department's claim of a "secret deal" between Iran and Al-Qaeda, which had become a key argument by right-wing activists who support war against Iran, has been discredited by former intelligence officials in the wake of publication of documents from Osama bin Laden's files revealing a high level of antagonism between Al-Qaeda and Iran.

An Argentine Perspective on Degrowth

The controversial concept of degrowth receives little press coverage in a region like Latin America. But the idea of a way of life that is not aimed exclusively at GDP growth does have its proponents in Argentina.

Palestinian Children Labour for Little in Israel

"It’s tiring," says 15-year-old Ibrahim*, deep lines running across his forehead. "But there is no alternative." Only a teenager, Ibrahim has been working full-time for three years already.

The assessment predicts that water in shared basins will increasingly be used as political leverage. Credit: UN Photo/Ky Chung

Water Conflicts Move Up on U.S. Security Agenda

On Wednesday, the United States intelligence community unveiled a first-ever assessment of global water-security issues.

U.S.: Obama Comes Out For Same-Sex Marriage

U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday declared his support for same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting president to do so and thrusting the issue into the centre of his campaign for re-election.

A wind farm outside Tianjin. China is the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels. Credit: Mitch Moxley/IPS

China Key to Green Tech Innovation?

With U.S. federal funding sources for renewable energy sources already drying up, coupled with a newfound antipathy towards "green" issues issue here in Washington, some are suggesting that China could offer an important opportunity for the future of renewables in the United States and around the world.

Tom Goldtooth, an activist for social change in Native American communities and is the executive director of Indigenous Environmental Network. Credit: Courtsey of Tom Goldtooth

Q&A: Mother Earth Should Not Be “Owned, Privatised and Exploited”

For centuries, indigenous peoples and their rights, resources and lands have been exploited. Yet long overdue acknowledgment of past exploitation and dedicated efforts by indigenous peoples have done little to end or prevent violations of the present, stated indigenous leaders in the Manaus Declaration of 2011.

OP-ED: Waiting for Copernicus

It's happening in Buenos Aires. It's happening in Paris and in Athens. It's even happening at the World Bank headquarters.

Bomb Hits Syrian Truck Escorting U.N. Convoy

A roadside bomb struck a Syrian military truck near Deraa, wounding six soldiers just seconds after a convoy carrying the head of the U.N. observer mission passed by.

With extremist violence on the rise, many Tunisians believe the revolution never ended, and that a second wave of protest is not far off.  Credit:  scossargilbert/CC-BY-2.0

Tunisia’s Revolution is Just Beginning

Lingering violence, intolerance and oppression in Tunisia, following the ousting of former dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, tells the revolutionaries who sparked the Arab Spring that their work is just beginning.

Malawi President Joyce Banda (left) and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at a women

Africa’s Two Female Presidents Join Forces for Women

The only two female heads of state in Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Malawian President Joyce Banda, have just committed to using their positions to improve the lives of women across the continent.

Islamists Stall Gender Equality Bill

The fate of a gender equality bill pending in Indonesia’s parliament and aligned with the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms discrimination against women (CEDAW) has become uncertain after falling afoul of powerful Islamist groups.

The banners at this Cairo demonstration say: 'No to gas exports to the Zionist enemy'. Credit: Khaled Moussa al-Omrani/IPS.

Egypt-Israel Gas Issue Becoming Explosive

The two weeks since Egypt's abrupt cancellation of a Mubarak-era gas-export deal with Israel have seen an exchange of indirect threats and warnings between the two countries, culminating in an apparent Israeli military build-up on the border of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Native Peoples Aim to End Historic and Current Injustices

Leaders of the world's 370 million indigenous people are urging governments not only to replace laws that violate the natives' rights to protect their lands, resources and culture but also to introduce legislation that protects their rights.

Clearer Targets Urged for U.S. Foreign Aid

Given the likely persistence of political pressure to reduce the yawning federal deficit, the United States – whether under President Barack Obama or his presumed Republican challenger, Mitt Romney – must be more selective in its foreign aid programme, according to a new report released here Tuesday by two influential think tanks.

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