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FEBRUARY 2011 WORLD AFFAIRS

Child Brides: For poorer, most of the time
In some parts of the world marrying young is a social norm. Read More
 
UN chief encourages philanthropists to invest more in education
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today lauded the role philanthropists play in facilitating access to education and encouraged them to commit more resources to improve quality and ensure that even the most marginalized children have opportunities to acquire education. Read More
 
Developed and developing economies: The balance
JUST back from chairing a session at a London School of Economics (LSE) conference on the relationship between developed and developing countries, arguably the crucial issue for today's global economy. Read More
 
Pewee Flomoku saw Liberia's child soldiers through a camera lens. Now he promotes peace
Photojournalist Pewee Flomoku captured images of child soldiers and the other horrors of war in Liberia. Now he's working on free and fair elections. Read More
 
Kosovo Organ Trafficking Scandal: Is the mud sticking?
KOSOVO marked the third anniversary of its independence on February 17th in sombre mood. Read More
 
UN Women Celebrates Launch as Leading Player in Gender Equality
UNITED NATIONS, 24 February 2011 (IPS) - After years of planning, fundraising and consultations, U.N. Women was officially launched Thursday evening to much celebration. Read More
 
Cyprus: Six Steps toward a Settlement
With stalemate looming in the UN-sponsored Cyprus reunification negotiations, parties to the dispute need to take dramatic, unilateral steps to break the decades-long distrust that is suffocating them. Read More
 
Christchurch wakes to quake carnage
Christchurch has woken to a scene of absolute carnage. Police say there are bodies throughout the central business district while the living, trapped in many buildings, are fighting for their lives after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck at a shallow depth 10km southeast of the city at 1pm yesterday. Read More
 
New Zealand earthquake: Rescuers work through night
Rescuers are toiling overnight in New Zealand to reach scores of trapped people after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake which has claimed at least 65 lives. Read More
 
2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal
On Feb. 15, 1965, a diffident but self-possessed high school student named Raymond Kurzweil appeared as a guest on a game show called I've Got a Secret. He was introduced by the host, Steve Allen, then he played a short musical composition on a piano. Read More
 
From Libya to Bahrain, Mideast autocracy under fire
After Egypt set Arab imaginations alight, autocrats from Qaddafi to the Khalifa dynasty face an assault unparalleled since the post-World War II revolutions that brought independence. Read More
 
Food prices at dangerous levels, says World Bank
The World Bank says food prices are at "dangerous levels" and have pushed 44 million more people into poverty since last June. Read More
 
Prince William and Kate Middleton royal wedding: Do monarchies still matter?
Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding may have tinges of the turreted-castle fairy tale. But from romantic to ruthless, more than 40 modern monarchies, including Prince William's family, still influence global realities for better or worse. Read More
 
Remaining (Regnant) Monarchies around the World
View the chart
 
Egypt: 1989 and all that
Watching the jubilation in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, I am mulling over a question I was asked at a seminar a few weeks back: why did Europe embrace the democratic revolutions in eastern Europe in 1989 yet supported dictatorships in the Arab world? Was it, my questioner asked, because Europeans considered Arabs to be unworthy or incapable of democracy? Read More
 
How Foodies Can Eclipse - and Save - the Green Movement
As traditional environmentalism struggles, another movement is rising in its place, aligning consumers, producers, the media and even politicians. It's the food movement, and if it continues to grow it may be able to create just the sort of political and social transformation that environmentalists have failed to achieve in recent years. That would mean not only changing the way Americans eat and the way they farm - away from industrialized, cheap calories and toward more organic, small-scale production, with plenty of fruits and vegetables - but also altering the way we work and relate to one another. To its most ardent adherents, the food movement isn't just about reform - it's about revolution. Read More
 
To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls
We know what the birth of a revolution looks like: A student stands before a tank. A fruit seller sets himself on fire. A line of monks link arms in a human chain. Crowds surge, soldiers fire, gusts of rage pull down the monuments of tyrants, and maybe, sometimes, justice rises from the flames.

But sometimes freedom and opportunity slip in through the back door, when a quieter subversion of the status quo unleashes change that is just as revolutionary. This is the tantalizing idea for activists concerned with poverty, with disease, with the rise of violent extremism: if you want to change the world, invest in girls. Read More
 
US Envoy hits back at home critics of UN
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Susan Rice, has condemned US critics of the world body who have called for US funds to be held back, while also attacking the UN for picking up "bad habits" including mismanagement and corruption. Read More
 
Hopeful signs for UN Action plans on Child Soldiers
The recent UN-negotiated action plan with the Afghanistan government - signed on 30 January and outlawing the use of child soldiers in armed forces - has not yet resulted in demobilization, but it has shifted the focus to the role state actors play in recruiting children. Read More
 
The Difference Engine: The Sunbeam Solution
FOR decades, this correspondent has watched, with more than casual interest, every new twist and turn in the quest for an “artificial leaf”. His hope has been that industry might one day replicate the photosynthetic process used by plants, and thus create forests of artificial trees for making hydrocarbon fuel direct from sunlight. Apart from helping offset the emission of carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels, such man-made leaves could provide an endlessly supply of energy for transport. Finally, it seems, something is stirring in the forest. Read More
 
Armenia and Azerbaijan: Preventing War
An arms race, escalating front-line clashes, vitriolic war rhetoric and a virtual breakdown in peace talks are increasing the chance Armenia and Azerbaijan will go back to war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Read More
 
Egypt Women Clash Over Sharia Law After Tahrir Shows Equality
Women in Egypt are at odds with each other over the look of a potentially democratic country, with some activists pushing for an entirely secular legal code, and others seeking to maintain elements of Shariah, or Islamic-based, laws. "The revolution is not only taking place in Tahrir, it is taking place in every Egyptian house. It is the revolution of fighting the patriarch," says one woman. Read More
 
West Africa Rising: Could rising food prices spark Egypt-style revolt in Africa?
Soaring food prices – such as wheat, which has hit a 2-1/2-year high – could feed political tumult in Africa, despite earlier proclamations that an Egypt-style revolt would not spread to sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
 
In Lebanon, the Hariri tribunal finds itself on trial
A UN-backed international tribunal examining the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri threatens a fragile stability in Lebanon, where the government of Hariri's son recently fell over disputes about the tribunal's role. Read More
 
Arrests and deaths as Egypt protest spreads across Middle East
Iranians defy government ban to join rally in Tehran, with demonstrations and street clashes in Bahrain and Yemen. Read More
 
India and Pakistan say they're ready to talk. How's the timing?
Neither India nor Pakistan has much leverage, and both are at 'wobbly' political points at home. But small agreements could be possible. Read More
 
How Democracy Can Work in the Middle East
When Frank Wisner, the seasoned U.S. diplomat and envoy of President Obama, met with Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday, Feb. 1, the scene must have been familiar to both men. Read More
 
We Are On Every Street: What the Future May Hold for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
The Muslim Brotherhood has been Egypt's largest opposition group for years. Now, with the regime of President Hosni Mubarak wobbling, the organization could find its way into power -- and is doing its best to look legitimate. Read More
 
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