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The Ninth Time Is Not A Charm: Elusive Peace in South Sudan

Following months of meditation and efforts by South Sudanese and international negotiators, a long-awaited peace agreement was finally signed last week, and a cease-fire began over the weekend.

Three Hurricanes, At Once

The global humanitarian system is already stretched extremely thin. The next few months could be rough.

Water is an MDG Success Story. Sanitation is Most Certainly Not. Why?

Water and sanitation are two sides of the same development coin. In development and UN speak, they are rarely discussed separately.

Episode 79: Juliana Barbassa

Juliana Barbassa is a journalist and the author of the new book Dancing with the Devil in the City of God: Rio di Janeiro on the Brink.  We have a great conversation about the current political upheaval in Brazil; how preparations for the 2016 summer Olympics are changing the character of Rio; and why corruption in Brazil’s political system is seemingly so endemic.

South Sudan Ceasefire Comes…And Goes

This was somewhat predictable. The key question is whether or not the security council will make good on its promise to punish those who violate the agreement, “South Sudan rebels on Sunday accused the army of violating a ceasefire just hours after it came into effect, by bombarding their positions along the White Nile river.

Is Mali’s Peace Deal Dead?

Earlier this summer, the prospects for peace in Mali looked bright.  After intense negotiations, a peace deal was signed by the major belligerents and it looked as if the three year civil war may be coming to a swift close.

MERS Cases in Saudi Arabia Surge Before the Hajj

2 million Muslims are expected to travel to the Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage next month. Could be a problematic combination.

This Gay Syrian Refugee Risked it All. And Lived to Tell His Story to the Security Council


Earlier this week the UN Security Council did something it’s never done before: it held a meeting specifically focusing on violence directed against LGBT people.

Down to Just Three Ebola Cases Worldwide

Some excellent news on the ebola front. “There were 3 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in the week to 23 August, all of which were reported from Guinea.

Coming of Age in Mumbai’s Brothels


Ed note. This is an excerpt from the #1 best selling Amazon Kindle Single e-book, Daughters of the Red Light: Coming of Age in Mumbai’s Brothels, by Shanoor Seervai.

Is Jamaica about to become a more friendly place for gays and lesbians?

Is Jamaica about to become a more friendly place for gays and lesbians? In an attempt to establish a more human rights centered presence in Jamaican government, a new Human Rights Institute is being built with the support of the United Nations Development Program  and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Salva Kiir Comes to His Sense (Sorta)

Kiir has come under enormous pressure, including the threat of international sanctions. And now, it looks like he’ll sign a peace deal.

How Europe is Making the Refugee Crisis Even Worse

As Greece continues to capture headlines over the most recent economic bailout and its potential to still derail the Eurozone, another crisis is unfolding in the country.

Thailand, One Week After the Bombings. Is Another Free Speech Crackdown Coming?

One week ago, a bomb killed 20 people at a busy shrine in the center of Bangkok. Speculations about possible suspects are rife, spreading confusion in a nation already in the midst of political turmoil.

How Will the Developing World Experience Black Monday?

If China sneezes, will the rest of the developing world catch a cold? “The global market rout may also represent a definitive end to the period of rip-roaring emerging-market growth that began around 2000.

“We are hated, and our suffering and death brings joy to people.” A Remarkable Meeting on LGBT Violence at the Security Council

“Adnan” is a gay Iraqi. He’s suffered beatings and humiliation throughout his adult life. But when ISIS swept through his town, he was marked for death.

Episode 78: Kenna


Kenna Zemedkun is a critically acclaimed musician and producer who’s collaborated with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake.

The Global Implications of Beirut’s Trash Collection Problem

A fragile government in a fragile region is on the verge of collapse. “Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam said the government may be unable to pay wages next month, as protesters clashed with police for a second day over the cabinet’s inability to resolve a crisis over garbage disposal.

Violence Against Women is the Dark Underbelly of The USA’s Migrant Detention System

Donald Trump is fond of ascribing violence in American cities to immigrants. He has even gone so far as to propose a Constitutional amendment that would erase the bedrock law of giving citizenship to any baby born on American shores.

UN Warns of Looming Famine in Yemen

Famine does not just mean a lack of food. Rather, it’s a specific designation that is triggered when child malnutrition and mortality rates reach a certain threshold.


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