Friday, 5 April 2013

IPS weekly update April 5

   2013/4/5Click here for the online version of this IPS newsletter    

Investing in Renewable Energy Means Investing in Lives 
Nasseem Ackbarally 
Residents of Albion, a small village in Pointe-aux-Caves, western Mauritius, say that by opposing the construction of a new coal power plant near their homes, they are defending their constitutional right to live. “What a catastrophe is coming to our region,” says Ed Laverdure, as he sits under ... MORE > >

Solar Energy and Briquettes Make Headway in Haiti 
Patricia Grogg 
While Jean Reniteau mulls over the idea of using solar panels to light his house, Frantz Fanfan is wondering how to expand production of biomass briquettes to replace the use of charcoal in the cooking stoves of most of the Haitian people, who lack electricity. "At home we have a ban on cooking ... MORE > >

As Iraq Becomes Iran-Like 
Karlos Zurutuza 
Armoured vehicles and thousands of soldiers masked in black balaclavas guard the entrance to the city of Mosul, 350 kilometres northwest of Baghdad. Arriving here gives one the unmistakable feeling of entering a territory that is still under occupation – only this time, the Iraqi Federal soldiers, ... MORE > >

Libya Fights Increased Drug Trafficking 
Maryline Dumas 
In Libya, a dose of LSD or the painkiller tramadol costs 78 cents, and a joint of cannabis is 7.80 dollars. Here, drugs are affordable to the poor for a simple reason. “Slashing prices is a way to create demand and open up a market,” a Western diplomat tells IPS in Tripoli, the capital. “Prices ... MORE > >

Leaking Pipeline Offers Warning on Keystone XL Proposal 
Katelyn Fossett 
Environmental groups are sounding alarms about conflicting reports on the size and seriousness of an oil spill that took place late last week in the southern U.S. state of Arkansas. The spill has generated particular interest because it emanates from a pipeline carrying “tar sands” oil, a ... MORE > >

Building a Better Somali Region 
William Lloyd-George 
For over two decades Somali Region, in eastern Ethiopia, has been devastated by a grueling insurgency. Trapped in a time warp, it has been forgotten and underdeveloped. But in the last few years, thanks to the increased security here, a five-star hotel, eco-tourism ventures and even a large ... MORE > >

Escalating Korea Crisis Dims Hopes for Denuclearisation 
Jim Lobe 
With all sides seeming to climb further up the escalatory ladder over the last several days, defusing the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula -- let alone persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal as it once promised to do -- looks daunting. Indeed, the latest moves by the major ... MORE > >

Falcons Love the Taliban 
Ashfaq Yusufzai 
While the Taliban’s military activities continue to plague Pakistan’s northern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the incessant violence has been a blessing in disguise for one creature: the falcon. Declared endangered by the Union for the Conservation of Nature, this bird of prey ... MORE > >

To Boycott or Not to Boycott the Gambia's Elections 
Saikou Jammeh 
When Gambians go to the polls for the country’s local government elections on Thursday Apr. 4, they will have fewer candidates to choose from as six of the country’s seven opposition parties are boycotting the elections. But one opposition party says it will be fighting political repression here by ... MORE > >

When a Tsunami Comes, Tweet 
Amantha Perera 
Soon after the deadly tsunami struck Kesennuma city in the Miyagi Prefecture in Northern Japan on Mar. 11, 2011, 59-year-old Naoko Utsumi found herself on the rooftop of a community centre with only one line of communication to the outside world – the email option on her mobile phone. Utsumi ... MORE > >

Now for a Vacation in Gaza, Maybe 
Eva Bartlett 
“We wanted to help foreigners in Gaza, so we created an English map of Gaza City,” says Amir Shurrab, one of the minds behind the foldable Gaza Tourist Map. At the time a lecturer for the University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS), Shurrab led a team of Geographic Information System (GIS) ... MORE > >

Border Control by Another Name 
Claudia Ciobanu 
Crossing the Belgian-German border in the heart of Europe should be a smooth experience, with no border controls, since the Schengen free movement area came into existence. Yet identity checks at this border and others inside Schengen are not uncommon, despite the contorted logic applied to prove ... MORE > >

Yemen Struggles With Past Crimes 
Rebecca Murray 
Yemen has launched its six-month National Dialogue but creating a just law is proving a formidable task. The debate is being conducted through a conference that finally kicked off in the capital on Mar. 18. The Dialogue is designed to unify the fractured country since ex-president Ali Abdullah ... MORE > >

The Siege Is Rubbish 
Eva Bartlett 
“For the past five years we’ve collected garbage by traditional means: donkey and cart,” says Abdel Rahem Abulkumboz, director of health and environment at the Municipality of Gaza. The municipality of Gaza alone produces 700 tons of waste daily, Kumboz says. More than half of this waste is ... MORE > >

Women Make Flowers Pay 
Catherine Wilson 
In Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, women are taking the lead in developing a burgeoning floriculture industry. At the same time, their enterprise is contributing to community resilience as rapid urbanisation exceeds employment opportunities and challenges the economic ... MORE > >

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