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Friday:  August 15, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Entries in Sierra Leone (3)

Wednesday
Aug152012

Oceans suffering from sea sickness, says study (REPORT) 

(Video: Learn just how much we owe these vast ocean habitats/Conservation International)

(HN, 8/15/12) - Seychelles and Germany have the healthiest seas of any inhabited territory, while Sierra Leone has the unhealthiest, according to a new index that says many oceans score poorly for biodiversity and as a human resource.

Topping the list with a score of 86 out of 100 was the uninhabited South Pacific territory of Jarvis Island, owned by the United States, as well as a clutch of other unpopulated Pacific Ocean islands.

The Seychelles, one of only two developing nations in the top 12, ranked fourth with a score of 73 out of 100 -- the same as that of Germany.

(PHOTO: Ocean Inquiry Project) The index was devised by researchers in the US and Canada who measured whether the world's oceans are able to provide food and recreation while also sustaining sea life.

They examined the overall condition of 171 exclusive economic zones (EEZs) - sea areas managed by coastal countries and stretching up to 200 nautical miles into the ocean.

The 171 EEZs represent 40 percent of the world's ocean, but yield the bulk of sea-derived food, recreation and means of livelihood.

Put together, the EEZs scored 60 out of 100, suggesting "substantial room for improvement", said a report in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

"Humans undoubtedly have substantial negative impacts on the ocean, and index scores are negatively correlated with coastal human population," it said.

Nearly half of the world's seven billion people live near the coast.

Developing countries in West Africa, the Middle East and Central America generally scored poorly, while richer nations in northern Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan had higher scores.

There were some notable exceptions, with developing country Suriname joining Seychelles in the top 12 while Poland and Singapore from the first world were ranked among the worst performers.

(MAP: Jarvis Island, South Pacific/Wikipedia) The lowest score of 36 went to the West African state of Sierra Leone.

The researchers measured the oceans in 10 categories including food provision, their ability to support coastal livelihoods and economies, clean water, coastal protection, artisanal fishing, carbon storage, tourism and biodiversity.

"The index is an important tool to assess where we've been and where we want to go," study co-author Benjamin Halpern, of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning at the University of California at Santa Barbara, told AFP.

"This is the first time that we can quantitatively and directly compare and combine hugely different dimensions -- ecological, social, economic, political -- that define a healthy ocean."

He added the index only looked at how each nation managed its own EEZ, not on how they were affecting those of other countries.

 - This article first appeared in the Bangkok Post.  

Monday
May282012

Dear Kara: War, What is it Good For? One Man's Journey (PROFILE)

(PHOTO: Paul Giannone in a room with unexploded ordinances in Angola/P. Giannone)(HN, 5/28/12) - Monday is Memorial Day in the United States.  Around the world other countries also celebrate their version of honoring the fallen; such as Remembrance Day in Commonwealth countries (Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, India, Kenya, Mauritius, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK) on November 11th; and similar ceremonies take place in France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland.

Though, these days come once a year and help us to remember the brave and courageous  who died in the pursuit of justice, freedom and truth in the past - we must remember that war continues to exist with us in the world today.  It remains a factor - more so than ever in global history - all around us as conflict, indiscriminate killing, and terrorism. 

According to statistics gathered from Wars Around the World at least 51 global nations and armed guerilla groups are engaged in 335 active `hot' war.  This is more wars than the entire world has countries in it.

Africa, currently has 24 countries involved in hostile actions; with places such as Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan being the hottest spots.  In Asia, 14 countries are engaged in confrontations including Afghanistan, Burma-Myanmar, and PakistanEurope has experienced battle almost continuously since ancient times, and currently has 8 nations involved in confrontation.  The Middle East, on daily newspapers front pages every day, has 8 countries battling warfare in hotspots such as Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey, and YemenAnd the Americas, the most peaceful of world regions has 5 nation's including Colombia, and Mexico on the hot list.

But where has war in the world gotten us?  As a 1969 Vietnam protest song called "War" sung by vocalist Edwin Starr asked, "War, What is it Good For?"

HUMNEWS asked this question to the author of a poignantly honest and sometimes disturbingly real memoir `Dear Kara: One Man's Journey From War to War'.  Paul Giannone wrote the book as a lifelong letter to his daughter Kara who was born in 1993. A 26-year career emergency responder, planner and public health administrator Giannone began his professional work as a US Army Public Health Advisor in Vietnam 1969-1970 where he did two tours of duty.

From there, he then went on to years of working in conflict zones as a health worker including Iran (before the US embargo related to hostages was imposed in the late 1970's), Afghanistan, Sudan, Cambodia, Albania, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone among other nations.

EARLY YEARS

Giannone grew up in the small upstate New York town of Auburn. When Paul was 11, his father died of brain cancer and the family was plunged into instantaneous poverty. His mother had to work in factories just to keep the family going, finally seeing Paul enter college.  But, feeling no direction and flunking out he joined the Army - as many did - in 1969.

He didn't want to shoot anyone, and so joined the medical corps in the civil affairs unit of the Army instead. As a kid, Giannone played toys and guns and watched John Wayne movies - which, as Paul says, "Didn't show American soldiers screaming. Then you get to Vietnam and that's not the case."

What Giannone saw in the Vietnam war were high caliber bullets being used which essentially "tear your body apart".  And he learned he was "good at getting things done in difficult  situations".

(PHOTO: An An Duong boy injured in Vietnam fighting/P. Giannone)

AFTER VIETNAM

Seeing the impact of war on humanity up close and personal in Vietnam changed Giannone. When he returned to the United States in 1971 he vigorously pursued his Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Services from the State University of New York at Brockport, graduating with honors in 1974. He then went on to achieve a Masters Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Population and Family Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1976.

Giannone's first work assignment out of graduate school was in Iran as an analyst for the University of Iran's, all Iranian, disease control team. He had wanted an oversees appointment so that he could 'see the world differently' than he had seen it in Vietnam which he thought was "a political fluke not to be repeated".

But what he saw in Iran "shocked me" says Paul. "The US government was not paying attention to the people on local levels in villages and towns. I would actually observe the Shah's government fomenting dissent among the people there, encouraging conflict.  It was disturbing."

After being evacuated from Iran, Paul learned that  the Vietnamese “boat people” exodus from Vietnam was headline news.  Paul volunteered for the U.S. Indochinese Refugee Program because he wanted to do whatever he could to help a people that he had grown to love.  He also wanted to see if he could find the Vietnamese public health staff he had worked with in Hue City.  Paul became Director of refugee screening operations in Singapore designed to determine what country the “boat people” would be resettled.  Paul saw the refugee program evolve before his eyes as the program was  dealing less with refugees and more with economic migrants.  Data collected by Paul and others indicated that the program was rampant with immigration and welfare fraud and more ominous was the program was actually resettling North Vietnamese civilians, former NVA infantry, Viet Cong and political party members.  This information was reported to President Reagan at the White House and the reaction was that his immediate supervisor was fired and they were told by the Secretary of State Haig to cover the story up.

Paul went on to work with “real” refugees in Africa and then home to upstate New York.  Paul was demoralized.  Two times he had volunteered to his government to help Vietnamese.  First as a soldier and later as a civilian and both times he was lied to and betrayed. Giannone began writing the first part of his book in 1982.    It was just my complete feeling that the reasons for the Vietnam War and then how the US was dealing with the boat people” For two months, he cranked out his thoughts and then just put them away. 

Giannone then set about to use his public health skills for a global greater good, working for humanitarian organizations such as CARE, the American Red Cross and Family Health International - running emergency response and refugee relief operations in Singapore, Sudan, Albania, and Pakistan; AIDS/HIV intervention research in Thailand and the Philippines; family planning research and institutional capacity building in Egypt, Kenya, Turkey and Pakistan; and disaster response in the US among other work.  

(PHOTO: Paul Giannone in teh Rwanda jungle with staff/P. Giannone) In the meantime, Paul's daughter Kara was born in 1993 and though his heart was at home, he was often missing for important events in her life over the years, as war zones and those in need of help kept calling worldwide. He began writing his book again for Kara in case he was killed in a war zone.

WHAT DID YOUR WORK IN GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH TEACH YOU ABOUT THE STATE OF OUR HEALTH SYSTEMS?

Generally in public health we need systems. Often  developing nations lack strong management systems, and a collective and sustained effort is often hard to accomplish.  Ironically, as compared to war, which many use as a way to galvanize opinion and consensus - public health is a really great unifier of people.  We can all get behind the idea that we need to address the pandemic flu or polio, for instance.

TRAVELLING THE WORLD FROM ONE WAR ZONE TO ANOTHER, WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD AT LARGE THAT THE PUBLIC CAN LEARN FROM YOU?

To all the places I went,  I went as a manager or a coordinator and my lens was that of being a public health worker - and an American.  I have learned that all people around the world want to have dignity and work; and they all love their children and respect the elderly.  They all want to survive and keep their families safe. Most people want to give back to the world, and many of them have some form of community service that they do.  With human beings, that's what keeps them going as I've seen it. 

A while back I saw some data  indicating that American citizens believe that 27% of the US government budget goes to foreign aid in other countries and that's why some people say we shouldn't be helping those in need around the world.  Yes, we definitely need to be helping our own, but in reality the figure on US foreign aid is more like 1% and if we can help people help themselves, we have to do it.  None of the people I ever met wanted handouts.  

AS A PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIAL, WERE YOU ABLE TO OBSERVE THE IMPACT OF CONFLICT MORE GENERALLY?  WHAT DID PEOPLE TELL YOU?

(PHOTO: In traditional dress with colleagues in Sudan/P. GiannoneI was in Taliban controlled Afghanistan in the late 1990's, working with women who were a credit to their gender and a credit to the human race. They stood up as best they could to survive and it was an amazing thing to watch.  In our CARE refugee camp in Albania we had women coming in for colds or coughs to our clinics telling us they had been gang-raped while leaving Kosovo. There, I had a little girl come up to me to say that she was there because she knew that with the Americans present she wouldn't raped. 

In Sudan - I was there to work with local officials in an area so remote they told me that the means of communications was drums and runners. We would drop in by light plane and the pilot would say something like, "See you in 4 days if you make it".  That was during the 1990's and the people there asked me why hadn't President Clinton signed the global landmine treaty - even the most remote people in the world work to keep themselves informed!  And it's not just an `oh by the way' kind of information that they seek, it's a life and death situation for them. They knew about the landmine bill and what the US was doing with it!  I'm always surprised by how much people know when I meet them in far off places.

I also learned that we don't spend enough time listening to farmers, people on the ground and local community leaders.  We as Americans, but we as the world in general.  It's part of why we  fail overseas.  We have this idea that somehow trickle-down economics is going to work in the developing world, when it doesn’t even work in America,  and somehow the aid or influence we exert will somehow find its way from Kabul or Lagos to the village level without us addressing it. It doesn't work that way.

(PHOTO: The author in Vietnam holding a baby in 1969/P. Giannone)For instance, between Iraq and Afghanistan we can't account for 6 billion dollars. We need to drop the term superpower in the US and we need to become `Super Partners'. The US is still looked at in many ways as a country to help out but I don't think our strategy should be about  `boots on the ground' anymore.  More flip-flops and sneakers, less boots.

YOU WROTE THIS AS A LESSON TO KARA BUT ITS ALSO YOUR MEMOIR, WHAT DO YOU THINK BOTH KARA AND THE PUBLIC CAN TAKE AWAY FROM IT?

The experiences that I've had have dissolved prejudices - we're just one people striving for life and organization trying to do good.

On the bad side - I have seen the bad side. Yes, there are people like terrorists. There is brutal innocent and needless killing and maiming.  There are people who use their wealth to gain while others suffer.  And for the US there is a failure in our foreign policy - we have to do what we should do and learn from our mistakes and grow.

We are experiencing more frequent, intense disasters and complex emergencies globally. Addressing these must be about building coalitions.  We must look at culture and politics in the places we work in around the world and learn.  For instance, if anyone had done research on the culture and religion of Iraq - no one would have ever have said yes to the US going in there.

YOU'VE SEEN CONFLICT FROM BOTH THE HUMAN SIDE, THE HEALTH SIDE, AND THE CONFLICT SIDE FOR YEARS.  HOW HAS THE WORLD CHANGED IN THAT TIME?

In my time the world has gotten much more violent. Finally African tribal society is changing and people are taking a better life into their own hands but it is a rough journey for them. In the Middle East we're having the Arab Spring. An advance in technology and the flow of information has led to both a positive and a negative situation.  Our number one priority should be about getting the global terrorists we're dealing with now.  Then, the economy, education, environment, healthcare - we have to deal with these. They are no longer nice to have's they are have to haves.

(PHOTO: Landmine areas in Cambodia/P. Giannone)

And there's a new war we don't seem to be picking up on here in the US - we're fighting for how we spell "democracy" -  either with a big `D' or a little `d'.  The last 3 to 4 years people are talking about rewriting the constitution, dropping the separation between church and state, re-writing history, controlling woman’s rights. These are dangerous roads to go down.

HOW DID KARA REACT TO A BOOK BEARING HER NAME?

Kara was very quiet about the book, but I hope she was impressed. She did just graduate from high school this weekend and I am impressed by her!  I wanted the book to give her some insight into the work I was doing and why I couldn't be there in her early years.

AFTER ALL YOU'VE DONE AND LEARNED, WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR LEGACY IS?

My contribution now is teaching public health professionals - particularly in the military - how you do this kind of very necessary work around the world That would be a legacy I would want to leave behind.

(PHOTO: The author) 

At 64 Paul Giannone resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Kate and daughter Kara.  He is currently the Deputy Director, Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response in the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The opinions expressed in this interview and in his book ‘Dear Kara One Man’s Journey From War to War” are not endorsed by, nor are policies of the US Government, Health and Human Services and/or the Center for Disease Control.  Further the stories and events that Paul Giannone discusses occurred before he became a federal government employee.

- HUMNEWS

Tuesday
Jan102012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - January 10, 2012

Algeria 

Algeria to Nationalize Orascom Algeria’s Mobile Phone Unit

(PHOTO: In Canada, author Naomi Klein is named one of the 12 people to watch in 2012. TORONTO STAR)Australia 

Australia’s International Islamic College suing Saudi Arabia

Azerbaijan 

3023 illegal migrants deported from Azerbaijan in 2011

Bahrain 

Formula One urged to quit Bahrain

Brazil 

US House Speaker John Boehner tours Rio slum as part of trade-boosting Latin America trip

Canada 

Canadian warship bound for Mediterranean

Asking for an outbreak of preventable diseases

12 Canadians changing the way we think

Calgary, Edmonton set attendance record for World Junior events

China 

(PHOTO: Cuban Labor Delegation visits in Damascus, Syria. SANA) China launches remote-sensing satellite

China imports dairy cows as demand for milk continues

China, an important driving force in East Asian cooperation: asst. FM

Hong Kong Arts Festival 2012 to Kick Off January 28

Congo (DRC)

Elections-DR Congo: DRC faces suspension of EU cooperation over last elections

African States and UN agree to beef up measures against Lord’s Resistance Army

U.S. Department of State Announces Second International Sports Exchange with the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cuba 

Cuban Labor Delegation in Damascus: Syrians have right to Solve problems without foreign Intervention 

Egypt

Three New Land Routes to Connect Egypt, Sudan

Equatorial Guinea

Sam Wallace: A poverty-stricken people don't need the wonga cup (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Producers with Cocoa beans in Ivory Coast. BUSINESS LIVE)Estonia

Ikea Expands to Estonian, Latvian Markets

Finland

Woman: Hotel clerk in Finland gave my key to drunken pervert & now I’m suing 

Demand for day-care skyrockets

Around 100 street beggars remain in Finland

France

France's RFI radio back on air in DR Congo

Georgia

Marriott Business in Tbilisi Proving Successful Despite Tough Competition 

India

Indian expats celebrate winning the right to vote

Terrorist threat to railway stations in Bihar

Graft war in India reflective of global power shift: Miliband

India is the success story of South Asia — that is a fact: David Miliband

India seeks reversal of EU carbon emissions tax

International real estate expansion halted for Indian companies

(PHOTO: Students at the International Islamic College in Brisbane, Australia. BIKYA MASR)Bangalore airport may shut down for 7 hours every day from Feb 24-April 19

India Faces Challenges in Connecting With African Continent

'Bangalore can be a little slow' (Perspective)

Indonesia

Many Indonesians repatriated from Saudi Arabia in 2011

Analysis: Power woes could trip Indonesia’s economic surge

Iran

Oil Minister: Iran Self-Sufficient in Drilling Industry

Iraq

Poll: 25 percent of Iraqis 'suffering'

Ivory Coast

Ivorian cocoa arrivals slump, exporters say

Jamaica

(PHOTO: Next top model Model Hoang Thuy (R) with American super model Tyra Banks in Vietnam. SAIGON Daily)New Jamaica PM: We will be a republic 

Japan

Japan begins Middle East visit seeking oil assistance

Japan to Install Tsunami Monitoring System at Sea

Kenya

Kenya's TB campaign proves a success (Video)  

Libya

Libya lifts sanctions against Switzerland

Lithuania

President’s charity campaign provides Lithuanian libraries with thousands books

Malaysia 

Malaysia to boost ties with South Africa

Marshall Islands

Marshalls President announces Cabinet

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulates the Marshall Islands on their Presidential election (Press Release)

(PHOTO: In Ukraine EcoWave Power Completes Testing of Wave Energy Generation. Model-ECO WAVE POWER UKRAINE)Mauritania

Report: Mauritania "expels" Qatari emir

Mauritius

Bihar’s village decks up to welcome Trinidad & Tobago PM

Mexico

Vatican spokesman explains why Pope will visit Mexico

Myanmar 

Aung San Suu Kyi Confirms Run for Burmese Parliament

George Soros to open aid office in Myanmar

Namibia

Namibian Prime Minister Angula Meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Nepal

Lack of Awareness, Stigma Fuels Marital Rape in Nepal

(PHOTO: Hong Kong Arts Festival to start. This is the Hong Kong Jockey Club. DESTINASIAN) Nepal's child malnutrition 'silent emergency'

Nepal Telecommunications Authority reports 2.1m mobile additions in a month; amends Telecoms Regulations

Smartphones outsell normal handsets

Straws of steel: Earthquake-proof houses

Pollution Rise Worsens South Asia’s Winter Smog

New Caledonia

New Caledonian politician suggest to merge with Wallis and Futuna 

Nicaragua

Nicaragua goes back to gold

Nicaragua next stop in Ahmadinejad's Latin America tour

Niger

Niger's president makes stop over in Luanda city

Nigeria

Nigeria, Finland Renew Commission

(PHOTO: In Uganda Assist Commissioner of Entomology Mr. Fred Luyimbazi inspects a target used to control Tsetse flies in Murchison Falls National Park. SPYGHANA) Nigeria: UN, MDGs and Fuel Subsidy Removal

North Korea

N.Korean economy plunges after hitting high in 2007: report 

Oman

Oman LNG signs pact to fund two more social initiatives

Sierra Leone keen to boost trade with Oman

Pakistan

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait reject Pak's request to supply oil on long-term credit

Palau

2-year Pacific tuna-fishing ban extended until March

Panama

Taboga Festival of the Sea- The timing is right

(PHOTO: Some Saudi's travel miles to go to the cinema. Bikya Masr) Papua New Guinea

Encouraging sign of new gold and copper find in PNG

Paraguay

Paraguayan FM to Attend Inauguration of Daniel Ortega 

Peru

Peruvian Govt Highlights Agreements with Venezuela

Six Peruvian cities nominated for New 7 Wonders Cities campaign

Philippines

South China Sea issues flare yet again as Manila alleges Chinese incursion

A sea of humanity attends Black Nazarene feast, ignoring warnings of possible terror attack

Dads push for declaration of La Trinidad as pioneer in organic farming

Environment is Benguet's main concern for 2012

Puerto Rico

(PHOTO: Vietnam rice exports facing growing competition. Thanh Niet News) Puerto Rico Gets First Assisted Living & Memory Care Community

Russia

Russian naval vessels anchored in Syria

Russia to put new radar in 2012

Russian-Ukrainian border closes because of recognition of people animals in Ukraine 

Rwanda

Children Contributing to Country's Development - Unicef

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia Tourism Minister Calls All Hands on Deck  

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s automotive aspirations

(PHOTO: The vast, sany Karakum desert dominates Turkmenistan in Central Asia which is getting ready for an election. REX) Saudi executions concern U.N. officials

Saudi N-S Railway stations contract signed

The Arab Spring of Saudi Cinema?

Man tries to sell son on Facebook for $20 million

Senegal

CCR: Schlesser scores the Africa Eco Race victory

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Women Issues for the 2012 National Elections

The Geo-political implications of the November elections (Perspective)

Singapore

Top international scientists meet in Singapore

Singapore Government Unveils Initiative To Improve National Productivity

(PHOTO: South Sudanese children displaced by attacks by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the town of Mundri, Western Equatoria state. South Sudan. UN NEWS CENTRE) A Pool for Daring Swimmers in Singapore

Slovakia

Piano Media extends its mass paywall in Central Europe, launching in Slovenia

Slovenia

Media in Slovenia to charge for online access

Jankovic announces formation of govt. coalition

Slovenian adventurer launches eco-friendly round-the-world light plane trip

Solomon Islands

Delay of results irk parents

Government soon to receive Truth and Reconciliation Commissions final report

Reconciliation minister assaulted in Honiara

Somalia

(PHOTO: A man covers the body of fellow immigrants killed in Yemen. BAR KULAN)Somali immigrants killed in Yemen

Transitional Federal Government PM says roadmap nearly to fail

Somali Nationalism: A Dead Concept? (Perspective)

South Africa

Runner Zola Budd in Durban for Comrades

South Korea

Google accused of meddling with S Korean probe

S. Korea to offer better biz environment for foreigners: minister

S Korea President Visits China

Financial crimes on rise in S. Korea

Samsung seeking ban on iPhone 5 in South Korea

South Korea approves Anti-leukemia drug production

South Sudan

(PHOTO: In Somalia, the Grand Mosque in Garadag district, Somaliland. THINK AFRICA PRESS)Humanitarian Crisis in the World's Newest Country

Blue Nile Governor Refutes International NGO Claims of Food Gap

Spain

Spain: Thousands March in Support of ETA Prisoners (Video)

Spain: "This year we expect to have a slight increase in the acreage of garlic"

El Mundo America newsroom relocates to Spain, USH and Latam editions of Marca

Spain's SOPA Law: How It Works And Why It Won't  (Perspective)

Spanish prince, princess to tour Central America

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka to establish embassy in Ukraine

Lanka to issue free passports to Tamil refugees in India

Sri Lanka liquor sales grow

(PHOTO: In Tanzania micro enterprises dominate the manufacturing sector. THE CITIZEN) Sri Lankan government is banning its roti and eating it too

Non-alignment and SL’s foreign policy (Perspective)

Sudan

Libya lays out red carpet for Omar al-Bashir

Turabi’s party releases documents alleged to contain coup plan in Sudan

15 people perish in Sudan auto accident

Suriname

Suriname President takes over chairmanship of CARICOM, promises 2012 to be a “year of change”


Sweden

Sweden Recognizes File-Sharing as a Religion

Swaziland

Govt offers farmers land for edible oil production

Taiwan, China aid to Swaziland won’t be affected by economic slump

(PHOTO: In Swaziland, following a spillage of chemicals into canals in Big Bend, fish were found floating dead in the past week. TIMES OF SWAZILAND) andChemical poisons hundreds of fish

Hard work earns orphan six distinctions

Switzerland

Switzerland’s central bank chief resigns

Cooperatives: building blocks of democracy (Perspective)

Lenzburg Prison in Switzerland uses state-of-the-art IP video surveillance

Syria

As Syria unravels, prices soar for guns, grenades, and RPGs

Syria hails arrival of Russian warships

Turkish FM meets Syrian official in Istanbul

Syria Criticizes Qatar´s Biased Stance

Taiwan

Taiwan's elections draw international attention 

Biotech innovation offers hope for Taiwan entrepreneurs

Growth of visitor arrivals to Taiwan double world average: officials

Taiwan’s birth, marriage rates hit new high in 2011

(PHOTO: A Taiwanese garbage truck. FLICKR) In Taiwan, trash disposal is a classical (music) affair

Taiwan, U.S. companies to jointly release online console game 

Movie madness in Taiwan

Tajikistan

200 kilos of Afghan drugs burnt in Tajikistan

Wildlife Conservation Society documents pneumonia outbreak in endangered markhor

Tanzania

Micro-enterprises dominate manufacturing sector — study 

World Bank $5m to boost local mining firm capital

Airtel Mobile Money offers thousands of jobs

Construction of big arena gets going

Doctors to hold emergency meeting

Health-Tanzania: Rising cancer cases cause big concern

(PHOTO: New snake species in Tanzania Matilda's horned viper. Tim Davenport/Wildlife Conservation Society)New Snake Species Found in Tanzania

Need for effective education on disaster management (Perspective)

Agricultural modernisation techniques needed - expert (Perspective)

Press - Not Yet Free, Though There Is Certain Degree of Freedom (Perspective)

2012 - It's Time to Do Your Own Thing (Perspective)

Thailand

Capital market faces unresolved questions

Thailand's furniture industry looks to intra-Asean markets

Hard Drive Prices Rise Due To Thai Floods

Losing out for lack of English

British backpacker 'electrocuted by fridge' in Thailand

Thailand is the hottest Asian destination for British tourists

Thai Christian fights child prostitution

The Arctic

Energy firms asked about Arctic drilling

UK launches Arctic environment inquiry

Visualizing the Link Between Ice Extent and Volume

(PHOTO: Inuit filmmaker Qajaaq Ellsworth’s new app & educational game `Iliarnnarnaqsivuq', or Time for School, is designed to encourage learning among Inuit youngsters.) New Inuit language app makes learning fun for little ones

Much Ado about Methane (Perspective)

Watch This Stunning HD Time-Lapse Of The Largest City North Of The Arctic Circle (Video)

The Netherlands

Dutch Royal Family is Visiting the United Arab Emirates (Photos)

Togo

Mobile technology takes root in Togo (Video)

Tonga

Former Tonga Chief Justice Knighted

Trinidad and Tobago

Coalition member worried over conflicting police reports on alleged assassination plot

Trinidad and Tobago to tie up with India’s Jaipur Institute

Young designer to launch fashion label

Tunisia

Protests Challenge Tunisian Prime Minister’s Public Media Appointments

Tunisia can be a model for North Africa, German foreign minister says

US Issues Arrest Warrant for Tunisian-American Accused of Abducting His Children

(PHOTO: In Tunisia, a banner that reads `Journalists revolt against the dictator's remnants'. TUNISIA LIVE)Tunisia: Request to do away with death penalty

Tunisia, Larger Olive Oil Crop and Exports in 2012

Turks and Caicos

Chamber of Commerce predicting another tough year

Courtney Robinson Appointed As New Director Of The Turks & Caicos Islands Red Cross

Turkey

Istanbul forum to boost GCC-Turkey trade links

Diplomat Confirms Turkey Hosting US Drones

Turkish Minister: Energy Agreement with Russia

Turkey signals more sanctions against Syria

A maturing market (Perspective)

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan refuses to use military force as an instrument of foreign policy - President of Turkmenistan

Monitors from the former Soviet Union to observe Turkmen election

Uganda

State House Aide Cited in Buganda Park Land Scandal

100 dead from nodding disease

Uganda’s Warid Telecom:  “Mobile money moving faster than expected”

(PHOTO: Newport Beach California, USA famous for its big ocean swells where Mark Holmes David New of Green Wave Energy is testing wave powered energy generation 200 yards offshore. Don Bartletti/LATimes)Uganda government releases plans to get rid of tsetse flies in parks

Inspire Africa Reality Show Launched

Ugandans in Diaspora launch TV proggie

Ukraine

Ukraine to introduce EU model to control food quality, biosecurity service head says

Ukraine exports 9.65 million tonnes of grain in 2011-12

Tax revenues in Crimea almost triple over year

Ukraine: Eco Wave Power Completes Testing of Wave Energy Generation Models

United Arab Emirates

Dubai hotels reap rewards of tourism boom, increase rates

Scottish government, UAE in landmark agreement on green energy

Emirates to host Somalia meeting before UK’s sponsored conference

UAE's Dewa launches new USD26m water pipeline project

(PHOTO: In the UAE, Coptic Christians thanked Muslims for Christmas spirit. THE NATION) Copts thank Muslims for Christmas spirit

UAE looks at open data to promote e-government

Plastic bags cause pollution crisis, camel deaths in UAE deserts (Video)

UAE’s Hidden Fashion Talent… Hamda Al Fahim!

Sports fans left in the dark with channel blackout set to continue

United Kingdom

UK still has racism problem says David Cameron

U.K. Will Use Olympics to Spur Investment With Business Summits

Man gets suspended sentence for UK’s largest child porn collection

Woman Who Launched Internet Campaign to Track Down Guy She Met in Spain Finds Out He’s Already Taken

Roald Dahl's best-loved novels celebrated with new set of stamps

6 Million(i) UK Households Could Not Survive Until the Weekend on Savings According to first direct (Press Release)

United States

Almost 1 In 3 U.S. Warplanes Is a Robot

US expels Venezuelan diplomat

Ocean waves power a prototype generator in Newport Beach

Gayest Cities in America, 2012

(PHOTO: In Switzerland, cooperatives reign for consumers. Swiss retail giants Migros & Coop are both cooperatives RDB)Hyundai and Land Rover win top awards at Detroit auto show

CAIR Seeks Support for Bill Barring Military Detentions

American Farm Bureau leader: ‘We are the 1 percent’

Vanuatu

Vanuatu man told to find a lawyer

Vanuatu Churches Continue Anti-WTO Efforts

Volcanic activities at Ambrym and Yasur volcanoes at Vanuatu

Venezuela

Chávez: No somos guerreristas (on his meeting with Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

Venezuela's Skyscraper Slum

Venezuela Will Not Bow Down To Imperialist "Tentacles": Chavez

Chavez resumes Venezuelan TV show after illness

Venezuela: Women with PIP breast implants demand justice while creating online support network

Cuba - Venezuela to Premiere Film on Terrorist Posada Carriles

Vietnam

(PHOTO: Venezuela's Skyscraper slum. Ángela Bonadies & Juan José Olavarría/THE ATLANTIC WIRE) Vietnam Bars Zimbabwe’s Mugabe's Plane From Its Airspace

Vietnam rice exporters face growing competition for low-end markets 

Vietnam asks the US to help search for the missing

Vietnam hopes to clear unexploded ordinances in 100 years 

Vietnamese Man Has 200-Pound Tumor Removed From Leg (Video)

Hoang Thuy chosen Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2011

No One Wants to Move to Vietnam’s New Cities (Perspective)

Wallis and Futuna Islands

(PHOTO: Multi Platinum selling R&B group Boyz II Men is headed to Zimbabwe in March this year. The Zimbabwe Guardian)New Caledonia politician says territory should merge with W&F

Yemen

Yemen's Cabinet gives president immunity from prosecution

Yemen told by UN not to pass amnesty law to protect “gross violations”

Yemen PM kicks off tour to GCC states seeking aid

WFP raises 2012 food aid to Yemen to $122 million

Yemen plans to renegotiate container port accord with DP World

Yemen HR minister: government must talk to youths

Yemen to have Friday-Saturday weekend

Zambia

Organization Works to Rehabilitate Sex Workers in Zambia

(PHOTO: Volcanic activities at Ambrym & Yasur volcanoes at Vanuatu. THE WATCHERS)Graft: Zambia charges ex-minister

IFAD releases K127bn for rural agro development

Maamba's planned thermal expansion to boost power

PF government should address the plight of lack of health workers (Perspective)

Zimbabwe

Terror bungee fall like being slapped: tourist (Video)

‘Air Zimbabwe refused to take advice’

Zimbabwe MPs to get own hotel

Union urges teachers to report for work

ZMDC Takes Over Sino-Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Operation

A tale of two democracies: New Hampshire to Zimbabwe

(PHOTO: Taiwan Movie Madness-Actor Masanobu Andô as Genji Kojima (left) & Umin Boya as aboriginal warrior Temu Walis in Warriors of the Rainbow Seediq Bale.)Zimbabwe outlaws sale of used knickers

MDC-T MP demands union for prostitutes

Boyz II Men headed for Zimbabwe

WORLD

Russian, French warships off Syria, Iran, US drones over Iranian coast

$ 20 trillion needed for global oil & gas infrastructure in MENA

MultiTaction 55-inch Multi-Touch Display Can Track Hundreds of Fingers

Struggles of Refugee Children Captured By Filmmakers

Mobile tech and child protection in West Africa

Amnesty International slams western reactions towards Arab Spring

The Career Of The Future Doesn't Include A 20-Year Plan. It's More Like Four.

(PHOTO: MultiTaction 55-inch Multi-Touch Display Can Track Hundreds of Fingers. PC WORLD)‘Occupy’ occupies 2011 Word of the Year

Ecobank applies equator principles to finance activities

Elton John Writing His First Book

Press censorship on the rise in Latin America (Perspective)

Ocean Floor Reveals Past Climate Changes

Deep Sea Expedition to Probe Tectonic Plates 

(PHOTO: The world's tectonic plates. USGS)