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Friday, October 26, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
In the countryside, where a vast majority of Indians still live, a combination of free electricity and inadequate regulation has led farmers to deplete untold groundwater supplies. In some places the water table is so low it no longer helps sustain roots, so even more water must be pumped up. In addition, soils have been degraded by chemical fertilizers, so they require even more water.
But in some parts of India, communities are turning to “rainwater harvesting,” capturing rainwater in ponds and allowing it to percolate into the ground to feed wells and springs. Such techniques were once commonplace throughout the South Asian subcontinent, where rain falls for only a few months in the summer monsoon, and often not at all for the rest of the year. Now villagers are returning to these ancient methods to secure the future. By CHERYL COLOPY
Friday, October 12, 2012
Child marriage at heart of today's global day for girls
World leaders are joining United Nations agencies today in calling for an end to the practice of child marriage on the first International Day of the Girl. Ideas for action and myriad events -- including several dozen as part of the Girl Up campaign -- are planned worldwide, where one out of seven girls is married before age 15. "While the oppression of girls perpetuates a cycle of poverty, the empowerment of girls has a ripple effect that strengthens families, communities, countries, and ultimately the world," writes Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation. The Huffington Post (10/11) The Telegraph (London) (10/11) NDTV (India)/The Associated Press (10/11) ChicagoNow.com/Tween Us blog (10/11) The Washington Post (10/10) The New Times
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
In mid-September each year, UN member states gather in NYC. This opening session of the UN is devoted to the presentations by the leaders of member states. Here is a section of the address given by President Obama and where you can access his entire speech to the UN General Assembly.
Obama’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly
Text Published: September 25, 2012
And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and that businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.
In other words, true democracy -- real freedom -- is hard work. Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents. In hard economic times, countries must be tempted -- may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.