Poverty

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 »

Starving Syria mum sets self, kids on fire after failing to find food

A starving Syrian mother in a refugee camp on the Jordanian border has set herself and her three children on fire after failing to find food for three days. AAP – SBS A Syrian mother has attempted to burn herself and her children to death at a refugee camp in eastern Syria after she failed to find food for her family for three straight days, a civil defence spokesman says. Sundus Fathallah, 28, set herself and her three starving children ... Read More »

Intensely private social worker, who duct-taped his shoes, left surprise $15m to kids

Seattle: Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness that veered into comical, but even those closest to him had no inkling of the fortune that he quietly amassed and the last act that he… Sally Ho The Sydney Morning Herald The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $US11 million ($15.6 million) estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, disabled and… The amount baffled the beneficiaries and ... Read More »

Students are turning to sex work for extra money but experts warn universities are ignoring the issue

Exclusive: ‘The financial situation for students is getting more and more bleak’ Eleanor Busby Independent Universities must stop ignoring the plight of a growing number of studentsturning to sex work and should start offering non-judgemental support, campaigners demand. Students and experts have accused institutions of “simply burying their heads in the sand” over the issue, despite the increasing amount of young people who are turning to sex work to fund university. Rising living costs, higher student fees and access to online apps which remove traditional barriers into sex ... Read More »

2018: The year in figures and charts

BY THE NUMBERS Telling the story of the last 12 months through data. By ARNAU BUSQUETS GUÀRDIA Politico What a tremendous, nebulous year. Very much like last year, 2018 was full of endless Brexit drama. And endless Trump drama. And then there was some more Brexit drama. And some more Trump drama. But hey, other stuff happened too (right?). The French proved that they are still the global champions of street protests, the far right grabbed headlines across the Continent and Angela ... Read More »

Indians promised benefits of 100 smart cities, but the poor are sidelined again

India’s urban population is growing. More than 50% of the country’s population is forecast to be living in cities by 2030. Sujeet Kumar The Conversation This is a major challenge for government because the country’s cities lack the infrastructure (affordable housing, roads) and basic services (sanitation, water, health care) for existing inhabitants, let alone the… Globally, one in eight people live in slums where they face issues of durable housing, access to safe drinking water and toilets, and insecure tenure. ... Read More »

Corbyn: Brexit would go ahead even if Labour won snap election

Exclusive: opposition leader says he would go to Brussels to secure better deal if he was PM Heather Stuart The Guardian Jeremy Corbyn has defiantly restated Labour’s policy of leading Britain out of the European Union with a refashioned Brexit deal, shrugging off intense pressure from Labour MPs and activists for the party to throw its weight behind a… The Labour leader insisted that even if his party won a snap general election in the new year, he would seek to go ... Read More »

Who is responsible for migrants?

President Donald Trump tends to portray migrants as a foreign problem that has suddenly – and unfairly – been “dumped” at America’s doorstep. Felipe A. Filomeno The Conversation Migration “is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S.,” he wrote on Nov. 25 about a caravan of mostly Honduran women, children and young men seeking asylum in the United States. He is not alone. The flow of refugees and asylum-seekers from poor countries to ... Read More »

Gordon Brown: I didn’t think I’d see child poverty again in my lifetime

Ex-chancellor’s tax credits started to erase problem – but universal credit reverses trend Gordon Brown is on familiar territory. Larry Elliott The Guardian The former prime minister is parked on a sofa in a family centre in the heart of his old constituency and holding forth about poverty. The venue, a family centre called the Cottage, is in the Templehall part of Kirkcaldy and easy to miss. The poverty that it is helping to alleviate is not. When it launched its ... Read More »

Human rights in 2018 – ten issues that made headlines

On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Authors: The Conversation Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the enduring impact of human rights, some are fearing the “end of human rights”. Here we highlight some of the rights challenges that captured the world’s attention this year, illustrating the struggle to secure human rights is far from over. 1. Australia’s first year on the UN Human Rights Council Australia took its ... Read More »

Spending cuts breach UK’s human rights obligations, says report

Study finds poorest lost out most from policies on tax, benefits and public services Cuts to public services and benefits that disproportionately affect the least well-off, single parents and disabled people put the government in breach of its human rights obligations, a study for the… Patrick Butler The Guardian Echoing the recent findings of the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, the study concluded the scale of the cuts and their lopsided impact on the most disadvantaged were a… “There ... Read More »

How to Halt Yemen’s Slide into Famine

A Saudi-led coalition attack on the city of Hodeida risks plunging millions of Yemenis into famine and will meet fierce resistance from Huthi rebels. ICG The U.S. should stop enabling coalition offensives and international stakeholders must quickly place Hodeida under UN control. What’s new?  At the end of October, fighting reached the outer edges of the city of Hodeida, a gateway on Yemen’s Red Sea coast for trade that is a lifeline for some two thirds of the country’s population. ... Read More »

White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’

President Trump’s new budget would increase defense spending by $54 billion — while slashing funding for medical research, climate science, public housing, education, aid to the indigent, infrastructure, and… Eric Levitz Intelligencer On Thursday morning, the White House’s budget director Mick Mulvaney explained that these changes were inspired by one, simple question: “Can we ask the taxpayer to pay for this?” Here’s what he said:.. “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked ... Read More »

Trolley man Michael Rogers gets a new phone and an epic feed as charity money rolls in

Australia’s terrorist-fighting superhero is slowly beginning to turn his life around with an enormous sum of cash. Here’s how he plans to spend it. Ben Graham news.com.au It has been a rollercoaster week for Melbourne’s latest superhero Michael Rogers to say the least. It was just five weeks ago that the homeless legend — who has come to be dubbed as the trolley man for his jihadi-fighting credentials — was released from jail for stealing a bike. Now he is ... Read More »

Government slashes charity Foodbank’s funding by half

A food charity says a federal government funding cut will put in danger its ability to get essential items to needy Australians. AAP – SBS A charity feeding 710,000 Australians every month says the federal government has cut its budget almost in half just weeks before Christmas. Foodbank says funding for its Key Staples program, which makes sure essential supplies like rice, bread and vegetables get to hungry people, will drop from $750,000 to $427,000. “We are dumbfounded,” Foodbank chief ... Read More »