Stories written by Miren Gutierrez
Miren Gutierrez is chief editor of IPS

Emile Frison Credit:

Q&A: ‘Biodiversity Is Essential Ingredient in Agriculture’

The promotion of biodiversity in agriculture needs political backing, Emile Frison, Bioversity International Director-General tells IPS in an interview. This kind of biodiversity can provide food security and promote health, he says.

Panagiotis Sainatoudis Credit: Bioversity International

Q&A: 'Variety Can Protect Against Famine'

How many varieties of date palm or melon exist? And why should we care? IPS spoke to three 'Guardians of Diversity' so named by Bioversity International for their contribution to conservation.

Mario Soares Credit: Fundação Mário Soares

Q&A: European Election Brings a Wake-Up Call

Global house prices are diving further, unemployment in the 16 countries using the euro increased in April to its highest level in almost ten years, and Eurozone Gross Domestic Product is expected to shrink by 1.9 percent during 2009...

Juan Melendez Credit: Luis Rosario Albert

Q&A: A Death Row Story of Resilience, Faith, Hope

Puerto Rican Juan Melendez spent more than 17 years on death row in a Florida prison for a 1983 murder to which another man had repeatedly confessed - evidence prosecutors withheld. He was only released in 2002. Now a documentary by Luis Rosario Albert tells Melendez's story, the multifaceted circumstances that surrounded it and the human rights struggle in Puerto Rico that followed.

Saadia Zahidi. Credit: World Economic Forum

Q&A: Women Better, But Far From Equal

Denying women access to political and economic power is a "strategic waste", says Saadia Zahidi, co-author of the WEF’s Global Gender Gap (GGG) report in a telephone interview from Geneva.

Sarah Finke Credit:  ITF

LABOUR: Women At the Helm, Literally

Shipping used to be for men. Now women are starting to be seen commanding merchant vessels, oil tankers and cruisers, "manning" ships and operating liner engines.

Aye Aye Win Credit:

Q&A: ‘We Have to be Good at Proposing, Not Just Opposing’

NGOs like Dignity International are packing their bags to fly to Belem in Brazil where the World Social Forum (WSF) is taking place this year. The stakes are high.

Nancy Snow Credit: Nancy Snow

Q&A: "A Lot of the Gaza Story Is Being Left Out"

The war of words continues in Gaza, in spite of the ceasefire. Nancy Snow, propaganda expert, talks to IPS about information spin strategies and whether we, the public, have learnt any lessons from Iraq.

Sylvia Borren Credit: Sabina Zaccaro/IPS

Q&A: Crises Are Left for Another Day…

The Doha Financing for Development Conference is over and many are now wondering how it went and what really happened. Sylvia Borren, co-chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), was there.

TRADE: Sailors At Sea Over Violence

The oil tanker Sirius Star may be the largest ship to have been hijacked so far, but piracy is far from rare. In all 251 such incidents worldwide have been reported this year to the Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) of the International Maritime Bureau.

DEVELOPMENT: Poverty – Time to Act

"Our voices must reach the ears of the leaders who govern us," says Marina Ponti, describing this year’s campaign by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP).

Two journalists at the recent FAO summit in Rome. Only one-third of the journalists working in Italian newsrooms are women. Credit: Sabina Zaccaro/IPS

WOMEN-MEDIA: Stuck at the Starting Gate

"We should not be all that surprised that we are stalled," says Jane Ransom, executive director of the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF), referring to the absence of women leaders in media organisations.

Heavy duty. Women are often the face, but rarely the boss behind the news. Credit: Sabina Zaccaro/IPS

WOMEN-MEDIA: Conspicuous By Their Absence

Observe any summit picture - you won't find many women. The mystery of female underrepresentation in the echelons of power persists: after so many decades of the feminist movement, why are women at the helm scarce? A look at the media sector may provide some answers.

A scene from "Gomorra". Credit:

FILM: An Apocalyptic, Hopeless Den of Iniquity

The room is packed, the film ends with pounding music, and the word "Gomorra" is shown in an uncomfortable fuchsia over black. The audience applauds and leaves quietly while the music continues to hammer home the message.

POLITICS: Is There a Gender-Specific Leadership Style?

Is there a female way to lead? Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has raised that possibility in saying that she tries to lead through consensus, not by imposition.

POLITICS: Mum, Can a Man Be President?

"Do you think a man could ever be president?" the little boy in Ireland asks his mother. All his life he has only seen women presidents, currently Mary McAleese.

POLITICS: For Women, Leaning Doesn&#39t Make For Leading

"A woman who enters politics changes; a thousand women who enter politics change politics," Chilean President Michelle Bachelet told the Spanish television channel TVE in a recent interview.

RIGHTS: Italian Intelligence Battle over Abducted Cleric

Abu Omar apparently never knew he had been tailed, so he did not notice that the Italian political crime investigation unit, DIGOS, had stopped following him. But the head of the Central Intelligence Agency in Milan Robert Seldon Lady knew that DIGOS had aborted the chase, and that facilitated the abduction of the Egyptian cleric.

DEVELOPMENT: Panamanians Say Yes, But What Next

In a referendum Sunday Panama unequivocally said 'yes' to a massive canal expansion at a cost of half its gross domestic product, maybe more, in investments. With most of the votes counted, about 80 percent of Panamanians seemed to have approved the mega-project.

MEDIA-9/11: Remembering the Journalists

"If there's only one sight I'll remember from the destruction of the World Trade Centre, it is the flight of desperation - the headlong leap from the top-most floors by those who chose a different death than the choking smoke and flame," wrote John Bussey of The Wall Street Journal on Sep. 11, 2001.

DEVELOPMENT: Giving Takes Smart New Ways

Michael Karlin, co-founder of Security First, the first Internet bank, retired in 1999. He was 31.

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