Author Archives: Humanosphere

Shunning opportunity to make history, U.N. picks European man as next leader

It was supposed to be the year of change at the United Nations. It was supposed to produce the first transparent election for a new leader. It was supposed to be a woman. She was supposed to be from Eastern Europe. Nothing went as planned.

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Eradicating river blindness in Guatemala scratches the surface of a global problem

The eradication of onchocerciasis – otherwise known as river blindness – in Guatemala is a tremendous achievement, but only scratches the surface of the effort to eradicate the neglected tropical disease worldwide. Guatemala is one of six countries in the Americas that have been affected by the disease. Once the most endemic country in the Americas, Guatemala

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No end to poverty without reducing inequality, World Bank says

Extreme poverty has declined worldwide while wealth inequality in many countries has increased, the World Bank reports, contending that these two conflicting trends cannot co-exist for long. Over the past two decades, the world has seen great progress made against the most extreme forms of poverty, defined as a person living on $1.90 per day

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Court files stolen in case of Honduran rights activist, U.N. says

By Chris Arsenault RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Court papers relating to the killing of high-profile Honduran land rights activist Berta Cáceres have been stolen, the United Nations said, urging government officials to quickly recover the documents and investigate how the theft occurred. Local media reported that the documents were stolen on Sept.

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News in the Humanosphere: Global life expectancy rose by 10 years since 1980

Life expectancy has increased by 10 years across the globe in the past 35 years, thanks in part to efforts to treat infectious diseases such as Aids and malaria, but diet, obesity and drug use are now major causes of death and disability while too many women still die in childbirth, data reveals. The Global

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‘Sold’: the movie that’s launching a global fight against child sex trafficking

Move over documentaries – Sold is making a strong case for feature films as tools for advocacy. Based on a novel by Patricia McCormick, Sold is a heartbreaking film about a 12-year-old Nepali girl who finds herself trapped in the horrors of child sex trafficking. Since its initial theatrical release in April, Sold has evolved into a global campaign with partners that include Save the

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Colombia’s Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize in boost for troubled talks

By Stine Jacobsen and Helen Murphy OSLO/BOGOTA (Reuters) — Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his efforts to end a 52-year-old war with Marxist guerrillas, a surprise choice and a show of support days after voters rejected a peace deal he signed with the rebels. The Norwegian

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Angry about Trump avoiding taxes? Don’t hate the player, hate the game

Americans are expressing anger at the revelation that Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman running for president, may not be paying federal taxes. When Hilary Clinton brought it up in last week’s debate, Trump responded it “makes me smart.” And he was right. The world’s wealthiest people use tax laws and legal loopholes to shift around

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Rights groups seek justice for child victims of police violence at Rio 2016

Weeks after the end of the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, child rights advocates are calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compensate child victims of police violence for the abuses made against them. Police violence against children has been well documented months before the start of the summer Olympics in Rio de

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Lending loopholes expose World Bank to indirectly financing ‘coal boom’ in Asia

The lending arm of the World Bank is providing loans to institutions that finance the development of coal-based power projects, according to a new report. The projects not only pose an environmental risk to the planet, locally they destroy homes and displace communities. The loans subvert strong warnings from the head of the World Bank

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News in the Humanosphere: Mass protests defeat proposed Polish abortion ban

Following protests by tens of thousands of women, Polish lawmakers on Thursday rejected plans for a near-total ban on abortion, in a hastily arranged vote that marks the first major domestic setback for the conservative government. The ruling Law and Justice party (PIS) unexpectedly withdrew its support for draft proposals drawn up by an independent

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Haiti braces for post-hurricane cholera outbreak, a ‘potential humanitarian disaster‘

After Hurricane Matthew slashed through the impoverished nation of Haiti on Tuesday, leaving death and destruction its wake, the country may be facing another deadly crisis: a surge in cholera. The top United Nations official in Haiti, Mourad Wahba, described the Category 4 storm as “the largest humanitarian event” in the impoverished country since the

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Here are 5 ways you can help after a natural disaster strikes

A terrible disaster befell a country, and you want to help out. Here is what you should do: Give money to established local organizations. Give money to established international relief organizations. Give money to the groups that have and will continue to work in affected areas. Stay home.

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A new way to measure progress in global health

By Sean McKee, special to Humanosphere The world has made tremendous progress in global health during the past 25 years, reducing the impact of some major killers like HIV or, well, childbirth, and greatly expanding access to drugs or vaccines to prevent and treat many millions of the poorest people on the planet. But sustaining

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