Poverty

Poverty as a moral question: do we have the collective will to end it?

How did we get here, and why does Australia, allegedly the land of the fair go, fail to make progress on lifting the bottom 10% out of poverty? Gay Alcorn The Guardian Ronald Henderson, the chair of Australia’s only comprehensive inquiry into poverty, had what a friend called “an offended conscience”. His inquiry, whose main report was released a few months before the Whitlam government was dismissed in 1975, did as much as any single act before or after it ... Read More »

Being BAME often means being over qualified and under paid – here’s how pay reporting could help

As companies with more than 250 employees submit their gender pay figures to the government for the second year in a row, it’s become an increasingly accepted way to combat the gender pay gap. Tolu Olarewaju The Conversation Similar plans are being considered for ethnicity pay. This is because the UK government’s Race Disparity Audit has showed widely varying outcomes in areas including education, employment, health and criminal justice between Britain’s white and ethnic minority populations. Mandatory pay reporting could ... Read More »

Why are Kenyans starving in food-secure Kenya?

The country has more than enough food to feed its population; yet dozens are starving in its drought-stricken north. Patrick Gathara Al Jazeera As a biting drought cuts through a swath of suffering across much of the north and northeastern parts of Kenya, imperilling nearly a million people, government officials and journalists have been locked in an obscene public relations battle over… Despite the heart-wrenching pictures and footage of emaciated villagers published on newspaper front pages, broadcast on TV channels ... Read More »

Ocasio-Cortez rails against overpriced croissants at LaGuardia

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned an overpriced croissant into a lesson on the minimum wage. Nikki Schwab New York Post “Croissants at LaGuardia are going for SEVEN DOLLARS A PIECE,” the New York Democrat tweeted Monday morning. “Yet some people think getting a whole hour of personal, dedicated human labor for $15 is too expensive??” She said her point wasn’t that the croissant cost too much. “GOP taking every tweet so earnestly, making my point for me. It’s not an argument ... Read More »

Yellow vest ‘ultimatum’ rally turns violent in Paris

After weeks of declining participation, France’s “yellow vest” protest movement attempted to rebound on March 16 with a major rally in Paris which quickly turned violent. PARIS- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet A large crowd gathered on the Champs-Elysees avenue for the 18th straight week of anti-government protests which initially rocked President Emmanuel Macron’s administration, forcing him to adopt more anti… Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who erected barricades near the Champs-Elysees in scenes reminiscent of some of the most tense “yellow vest” rallies. ... Read More »

As EU stresses the migration ‘crisis’ is over, Italy makes hundreds of migrants homeless

Refuting what he called populist “misinformation”, the first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has stressed that: “Europe is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural problems remain.” Vicki Squire The Conversation The commission emphasises that the current level of arrivals is just 10% of what it was at its “peak” in 2015. But these comments overlook the fact that the so-called “crisis” of 2015 was defined as one on the basis of a series of myths ... Read More »

Brazil and Venezuela clash over migrants, humanitarian aid and closed borders

Venezuela’s borders are now dangerous flashpoints in a tense showdown between President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela’s self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó. Authors: The Conversation The United States, Colombia and Brazil – all supporters of Guaidó’s quest to unseat Maduro – have amassed hundreds of tons of medical and food supplies at Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and… Maduro, who condemns the humanitarian convoys as the pretext for a U.S.-led military invasion, refuses to allow the aid through. The aid standoff grew ... Read More »

These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations

Maybe it’s something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country. By Lee J Miller and Wei Lu Bloomberg That’s according to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health. Spain placed sixth in the previous gauge, published in 2017. Four additional European nations were among the top 10 in 2019: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth). Japan ... Read More »

In pictures: Venezuelans trade scrap metal to survive

Struggling Venezuelans have resorted to trading scrap metal and plastic crates in an attempt to make ends meet. BBC Amid drastic food shortages and an economic crisis, crowds have forged trade routes along illegal tracks leading into neighbouring Colombia. President Nicolás Maduro has said he will not allow aid to enter the country as it is a means for US intervention. Juan Guaidó, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly who has been recognised by the US and some other nations ... Read More »

Venezuela: Denial of food is a human rights crime

In early February, the Lima Group, a coalition of several Latin American countries and Canada, urged the Venezuelan military to sever ties with President Nicolás Maduro. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann The Conversation The group called for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid and for international governments to refrain from doing business with the nation “in oil, gold and other assets.”  Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated Canada’s opposition to military intervention in Venezuela to solve the crisis, as… How does ... Read More »

Living inside the world’s worst economy, Venezuela

Hungry and without access to medicine, Venezuelans are suffering as a political crisis unfolds. Al Jazeera In oil-rich Venezuela, people don’t have enough to eat, infant mortality is soaring at a faster rate than in Syria, and according to the UN, some three million people have fled the country since 2015. Once Latin America’s richest nation, Venezuela and its people are suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation. On January 23, the leader of the legislature, Juan Guaido, began a push to remove ... Read More »

Surge in rough sleepers prompts call for more action to tackle crisis

Call for action also prompted by record number of families living in overcrowded homes across England Patrick Butler and Robert Booth The Guardian Campaigners have called for renewed action to tackle Britain’s housing crisis after official figures indicated a surge in rough sleeping in England’s cities, coupled with record number of families living in overcrowded homes. Charities said welfare cuts, soaring rents and shortages of affordable homes were behind steep rises in street sleeping in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. There were 1,283 ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #2

This is Crisis Group’s second weekly update published as part of our Yemen Campaign. ICG Prefaced with a new introductory trendline – this week, fear of famine – it provides up-to-the minute insights into the four-year-old civil war and the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. The Present Context For more than six months the primary focus for diplomats, policymakers and analysts working on Yemen has been the now-frozen offensive on the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. (You can read our ... Read More »

World’s 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam

Charity calls for 1% wealth tax, saying it would raise enough to educate every child not in school Larry Elliott The Guardian The growing concentration of the world’s wealth has been highlighted by a report showing that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the… In an annual wealth check released to mark the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the development charity Oxfam said 2018 had ... Read More »

Life as a child in Ireland: ‘Here’s phones. Here’s alcohol. Here’s weed’

NO CHILD 2020 IS AN INITIATIVE BY THE IRISH TIMES, PROVIDING A SUSTAINED FOCUS ON CHILD WELFARE AND CHILDREN’S ISSUES OVER THE COMING YEAR. ITS GOAL IS TO EXPLORE THE PROBLEMS FACING CHILDREN IN IRELAND TODAY, AND OFFER SOLUTIONS THAT WOULD MAKE THIS A BETTER COUNTRY TO BE A CHILD. HERE, FIVE YOUNG IRISH PEOPLE DISCUSS THEIR EARLY LIVES IN…  – SHELTER – Patrick Freyne is a features writer with The Irish Times Michael: ‘I was never parented. I was like ... Read More »

A performer’s life: ‘It’s like starting over and over and over on a zero-hour contract’

Ireland sends out its impoverished artists with a fanfare of glitter and we return home to poverty Deirdre Falvey The Irish Times Artists’ lives offer a glimpse of the reality behind Theatre Forum’s review of performers’ payscales. Liv O’Donoghue, a choreographer and dancer, has toured her own acclaimed work, and performed across Europe, Australia and the US. “I’ve been lucky to be in relatively regular employment and some would say that I’ve been at the top of my game. But ... Read More »