Stories written by Elizabeth Whitman
Elizabeth Whitman is a freelance journalist based in Amman, Jordan covering politics, human rights, and other developments, including the Syrian refugee crisis. She has written for The Nation, Boston Review, Al Jazeera English, and others. You can follow her @elizabethwhitty. | Facebook || Twitter |

Uneven Results in Bid to Halt Needless Mother and Child Deaths

Political, private sector and civil society leaders from around the world gathered here on Tuesday to recommit to a year-old initiative, Every Woman Every Child, which aims to prevent 16 million maternal and child deaths by 2015.

Corporate Profits Trumping Public Health

"There is a well-documented and shameful history of certain players in industry who... put public health at risk to protect their own profits," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told world leaders Monday as they met to address the issue of non-communicable diseases at the 66th U.N. General Assembly.

Bottom Trawling Cuts Wide Swath of Destruction

Bottom trawling, a method of deep-sea fishing, is threatening the existence of ecosystems in the deep oceans, wreaking nearly irrevocable havoc on thousands of species and the very habitat in which they live.

Finding Opportunity in a World of Seven Billion

Next month, the world's population will reach seven billion people, a landmark that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is hailing in its drive to raise awareness about the need for global cooperation to solve issues of development.

Concrete Impact of Palestine’s U.N. Bid Still Uncertain

Despite the frenzy of media attention bestowed upon Palestine's expected bid for statehood at the United Nations later this month, some doubt the impact it would have on the political complexities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or the humanitarian issues and human rights abuses that many Palestinians face regularly.

Enrolment in Islamic schools in the U.S. has risen from about 32,000 in 2006 to 40,000 or more today. Credit: Courtesy of ISLA

U.S.: Ten Years Later, Still Equating Terrorism with Islam

Karen Keyworth is frustrated by the racial profiling and ignorance frequently displayed towards Muslims and Arabs in the United States after 9/11.

Reproductive Health Security Empowers Women’s Choices

Each day, one thousand women die in childbirth and one million people become infected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including 7,000 cases of HIV. Yet these numbers are preventable, experts insist, when countries possess the resources and willpower to address and deal with them.

Politics Clouds Efforts to Ban Nuclear Testing

On Aug. 29, 1949, the Soviet Union conducted the first of 456 nuclear tests in Semipalatinsk in Eastern Kazakhstan, at the site where it ultimately held over two-thirds of all Soviet nuclear tests without warning inhabitants of the region of the impact of exposure to these tests.

Flotilla Report Leaks, Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador

A highly anticipated and controversial report on Israel's May 2010 interception of an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip and subsequent killing of nine civilians and wounding of many others was finally leaked on Thursday, as diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey continued to deteriorate.

U.N. Launches Campaign to Break Catch-22 of Statelessness

For the majority of the world’s population, citizenship is a fact of life, something so fundamental that the idea of not being citizen to any state seems unfathomable. Yet for 12 million people worldwide, ordinary life as most people expect it is impossible because they belong to no country and are thus deprived of basic rights.

Concern Grows Over Prospects for Middle East Disarmament Meeting

Four months before 2012 - the year a conference is slated to be held on freeing the Middle East region of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) - no date, facilitator, or host country has been named.

Talks Bog Down Ahead of U.N. Health Meet

The first High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases is scheduled to take place one month from now, but U.N. member states are lagging in preparing for it, an alliance of civil society organisations says.

U.S.: Controversy Emerges Over Gender Identity Laws

Legislation incorporating gender identity protection has ignited debate among activists for gay and lesbian rights, with some arguing that the legislation actually endangers women and threatens their physical safety, while others contend that gender identity protection is key to obtaining equality for the LGBT community.

Climate Changes Bring Harsh Reality for Native Americans

In Shishmaref, an Inupiaq village on an Alaskan barrier island north of the Bering Strait, a way of life is gradually disappearing due to higher temperatures, rising sea levels, declining numbers of sea animals to hunt, and shrinking shorelines wrought by climate change.

Palestinian Bedouin a Besieged Minority of the Minority

Israeli policies are destroying the livelihoods of Bedouin communities in the occupied West Bank and the Negev in southern Israel, activists and aid workers warn.

U.N. Puts Spotlight on Youth in Tough Global Climate

Government leaders, U.N. officials and representatives from over 400 hundred youth organisations concluded two days of talks Tuesday on such issues as the importance of youth in eradicating poverty and how to stabilise the global economic system in the face of myriad challenges.

U.S.: Coal Ash New Focus of Dispute Over Health Hazards

Survey your surroundings and you'll discover that coal ash - waste from coal burned to produce electricity - is more present in everyday life than you might expect. To name a few places: toothpaste, cosmetics, wallboard, cement, and agricultural and winter de-icing products.

U.S.: In Shifting Political Landscape, Gay Couple Granted Two More Years

A California immigration judge has allowed Alex Benshimol, a Venezuelan citizen, and his U.S.-born husband Doug Gentry to remain together in the United States for at least two more years, in another victory for same-sex bi-national couples.

Minority Women Fight Back Against Mistreatment

Women in minority and indigenous communities are especially vulnerable to wide-ranging forms of violence, abuse and discrimination, according to a new report released Wednesday by Minority Rights Group International (MRG), a human rights group that works on behalf of minorities and indigenous peoples.

New Yorkers celebrated the legislative victory at the annual Gay Pride Parade on Jun. 25, 2011. Credit: JoeinQueens/creative commons license

Marriage Victory Leaves Gay Immigrants in Limbo

Henry Velandia, an immigrant from Venezuela, will not be deported, federal immigration officials informed him last week. Now he and his husband, Josh Vandiver, will be able to remain together in the United States.

Cooperation Key to ICC Libya Warrants

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants Monday for the arrest of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, and the Libyan chief of intelligence, Abdullah al-Senussi, for crimes against humanity.

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