Asia

Child trafficking rampant in poor Indian villages

by K.S. Harikrishnan Inter Press Service September 4, 2014

In a country where well over half the population lives on less than two dollars a day, it takes a lot to shock people. The sight of desperate families traveling in search of money and food, whole communities defecating in the open, old women performing back-breaking labour, all this is simply part o...

North Korea’s capital, with its water parks and new buildings, coddles the elite

by Anna Fifeld Washington Post September 2, 2014

Cars, for instance. A recent visitor, in the capital for the first time since 2008, found many more of them on the streets — and not just the locally produced “Pyonghwa” brand or Chinese BYDs, but Lexus sport-utility vehicles and late-model BMWs and Audis....

Women, bought and sold in Nepal

by Katie Orlinsky New York Times August 31, 2014

NEPAL may be known for natural beauty and Mount Everest, but there is a dark side to this small, picturesque country. Women and girls are being bought, sold and smuggled across the Nepal-India border. Although reliable data on the scope of the issue is difficult to gather, Unicef reports that as man...

Children study at a religious school teaching daily classes in Islamic studies at the Say Tha Mar Gyi IDP camp. More than three years after Burma began its transition from a military dictatorship, ethnic tensions and repressive policies threaten the development of democracy. Photo: Paula Bronstein/ Washington Post
Hindu devotees bathed in the polluted waters of the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. Millions of pilgrims bathe along Varanasi’s ancient riverfront, but a stream of human waste flows directly into the river just above the bathing ghats, steps leading down to the river. Photo: Daniel Berehulak/New York Times

Poor sanitation in India may affect well-fed children with malnutrition

by Gardiner Harris New York Times July 13, 2014

SHEOHAR DISTRICT, India — He wore thick black eyeliner to ward off the evil eye, but Vivek, a tiny 1-year-old living in a village of mud huts and diminutive people, had nonetheless fallen victim to India’s great scourge of malnutrition....

Education of mothers is one key. Photo: Kyle Knight/IRIN

More investment needed to reduce high levels of stunting in Timor-Leste

by IRIN News May 29, 2014

New data indicate that stunting among under-five children is being reduced in Timor-Leste, but experts warn much greater investment is needed in areas such as micronutrient supplementation, salt iodization and education to bring levels down further....

Class war: Thailand’s military coup. Outnumbered by the country’s rural voters, Thailand’s once vibrantly democratic urban middle class ...

by Walden Bello Foreign Policy May 27, 2014

After declaring martial law on Tuesday, May 20, the Thai military announced a full-fledged coup two days later. The putsch followed nearly eight months of massive street protests against the ruling Pheu Thai government identified with former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The power grab by army ...

Thai military declares a coup, detains key political leaders

by Chico Harlan and Lennox Samuels Washington Post May 22, 2014

Soldiers swept into the streets of Bangkok, protest leaders were rounded up and international TV networks went dark Thursday after a military coup pitched Thailand into an unsettling new period of settings...

“Land grabs” in Laos are driving poor farmers, including ethnic minorities, off their land, away from livelihoods they know and into further poverty, activists and experts say. Photo: Martin Abbiati/IRIN

Laos “land grabs” drive subsistence farmers into deeper poverty

by Dana MacLean IRIN News May 22, 2014

“When these lands [are given] to companies and converted to industrial agriculture or other uses, it destroys the foundation of rural people’s lives, livelihoods and knowledge systems, as well as their access to food, nutrition, medicines and incomes," Shalmali Guttal, a senior analyst with Focu...

CIA: No more vaccination campaigns in spy operations

by Lena H Sun Washington Post May 19, 2014

Three years after the CIA used an immunization survey as a cover in its hunt for Osama bin Laden, the White House has promised that the agency will never again use a vaccination campaign in its operations, an official said Monday....

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