Cyclists demonstrating in Porto Alegre: "Respect cyclists. More love, fewer motors."  Credit: Clarinha Glock/IPS

BRAZIL: Porto Alegre Cyclists Step Up Demands for Bike Lanes

In the weeks since a motorist mowed down dozens of cyclists in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, the incident has becoming a rallying flag in the fight to create a more bike-friendly city.

Manufacturing in Africa Can be Profitable – And Developmental

Investing in adding value to raw materials is crucial for the development of the African continent.

SADC trade ministers lining up for a photo opportunity after the Mar 4, 2011 meeting. Namibian trade minister Hage Geingob is pointing to the ground. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Non-Tariff Trade Barriers Springing Up

Despite regional initiatives that even include the eventual possibility of a ‘‘Cape- to-Cairo’’ free trade area, protectionist impulses have caused non-tariff barriers to spring up across Southern Africa.

An activist's t-shirt with the names of companies. EPAs seek to give European companies free access to African markets. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

SOUTHERN AFRICA: A Region of Winners and Losers, Not Partners

As Southern Africa prepares itself for another year of economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union, trade analysts say any deal should be about more than just liberalised trade.

Mercy Kagendo grades flowers at Kisima Farm in Timau in Kenya's Rift Valley. Credit: Suleiman Mbatiah/IPS

KENYA: Flower Industry Still Not Back in Full Bloom

Kenya’s flower exporters are cautiously optimistic that the prospects for their industry will improve during 2011 after disaster struck in the form of volcanic ash and adverse winter weather conditions in 2010. But prices will be lower as the global economic recession still weighs heavily on their primary market, the European Union.

The new Jerusalem train connects stops, but could be disconnecting people. Credit: Pierre Klochendler

MIDEAST: Train Connections Fail to Bridge

The apex of modern times for one of the world's oldest cities is when what looks like a silvery car glides by. A cruise on Jerusalem's first light rail is a dream of perfection promising to relieve traffic congestion in the city.

Chinese Labourers on their way to work in central Luanda. Credit: Louise Redvers/IPS

Questions About China’s “Win-Win” Relationship With Angola

Crouched on their haunches on the edge of a crumbling pavement, a group of Chinese construction workers are eating noodles from tin bowls, wearing floppy straw hats under their green safety helmets to protect them from the aggressive midday sun.

IPS correspondent in a boat with two locals on the Xingú River.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: “Don Quixote” of River Transport Starting to Win Battles

It is mere ignorance that stands in the way of Brazil having a broad network of navigable waterways and leads to the wasted potential of the country's great rivers, laments José Alex de Oliva, superintendent of inland navigation at Brazil's national waterways transport regulator (ANTAQ).

Delhi residents rally against polluting waste incinerators. Credit: Ranjit Devraj

ENVIRONMENT: Delhi Chokes on Winter Smog

Winter in the Indian capital is a season of mists, minus the mellow fruitfulness. The air becomes charged with toxic emissions and particles that cannot disperse due to a meteorological phenomenon called "atmospheric inversion".

INDIA: Brakes Applied to SUVs – ‘Socially Useless Vehicles’

Indian owners of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and luxury cars, who have been benefiting from subsidies on diesel meant to help farmers, may soon have to pay real prices for their fuel.

Amazon rivers provide an alternative to railroads and highways. Credit: Mario Osava /IPS

BRAZIL: Link to the Pacific: Road, Rail or Ship?

A land route to the Pacific, long coveted by Brazil, would not reduce the cost of transporting Brazilian exports to China and other markets in Asia and would not make them more competitive, as advocates of paving roads and building bridges through the Amazon jungle argue.

MEXICO: Road Accidents Top Cause of Death Among Young

If Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg were interested in making a sequel to his 1996 film "Crash", in which the main characters derive sexual pleasure from car crashes, Mexico could be an ideal location, due to the large number of traffic accidents in this country.

Cement rules where Santo Antonio dam is being built on the Madeira River. Credit: Mario Osava /IPS

BRAZIL: Cattle Ranching Areas in the Amazon Industrialise

The agricultural frontier state of Rondonia in Brazil is a byword for deforestation in the Amazon jungle, much of which has been cleared in the northwestern state for cash crops and a cattle herd that has grown to 12 million head.

(l-r) South African trade minister Dr Rob Davies and Namibian trade minister Hage Geingob at a briefing after the bilateral meeting on Nov 4. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE-SOUTHERN AFRICA: EPA Talks Will Miss Latest Deadline

While a trade deal between the European Union and Southern African countries is close it will not be concluded before the end of this year. In the meantime, South Africa remains in pursuit of an ambitious regional integration agenda.

Construction of Nsanje port, Malawi. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

SOUTHERN AFRICA: New Inland Port Set to Improve Regional Trade

Land-locked Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe expect to improve their import and export fortunes following the opening of an inland harbour, the Nsanje World Inland Port, on Malawi’s biggest river, The Shire.

Pacific ocean 1,470 km says the sign on highway BR-317. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Environment Meets Development en Route to the Pacific

Acre, the small Brazilian state that is a symbol of the struggle to preserve the Amazon rainforest, is facing the challenge of ensuring that the development ushered in by two paved roads that will link the state to both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans will be sustainable.

An activist's t-shirt displays the message of the ZIMCODD anti-debt campaign. Credit: Stanley Kwenda/IPS

ZIMBABWE: Debt Crowds Out Essential Spending on Health

Zimbabwe’s debt burden of about 8.3 billion dollars, owed to internal and external institutions, is crowding out essential national budget items such as health and basic services, with detrimental effects for particularly women.

TRADE-SOUTHERN AFRICA: “Parochialism” Stymies Integration Efforts

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has set ambitious targets for regional integration. But the goal of creating a customs union by 2010 has been postponed and the adoption of a single regional currency by 2018 may be missed due to national concerns.

Queues of cars waiting for fuel at a service station in Lilongwe, Malawi. Credit: Claire Ngozo/IPS

MALAWI: While the President Flies, the People Queue for Fuel

A public spat has developed between the Malawian government and organisations in the small south-eastern African country over foreign exchange being "wasted" on foreign trips undertaken by President Bingu wa Mutharika. The consequence has been repeated fuel shortages, organisations say.

EUROPE: Yugoslavia Back on Track

For a while it looked like the start of a ride in a time machine. Serbian engineers, their caps bearing the emblems of the defunct Yugoslav Railways, cheered on the first train of the new Slovenian-Croatian-Serbian railway.

Summer view of Agua Negra Pass from the Chilean side of the Andes.  Credit: Public domain

ARGENTINA-CHILE: Citizens Want a Voice in Andean Tunnel Plan

Agua Negra Pass today is an unpaved road that connects Argentina and Chile at 4,800 metres above sea level. But it is only open in the southern hemisphere summer months -- December to March -- and then only to lightweight vehicles.

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