JANUARY 2011

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VIEWPOINT: Two Cheers for New Start

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By Jayantha Dhanapala* in Washington D.C.

A modest bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty, concluded at an accelerated pace in the first 15 months of the Obama Administration with the Russian Federation, has now survived what departing Senator Arlen Specter calls the political "cannibalism" of his Republican Party, to be ratified in the U.S. Senate by 71 votes to 26.

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CONSIDER THIS: Palestinians Seek New Strategy for a New Decade

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By Ernest Corea* in Washington D.C.

The message of "peace on earth among men of goodwill" whose origin is traced back to biblical times will hardly resonate among today's Palestinians. Their immediate future is unclear following the collapse of embryonic "peace talks" with Israel, arranged by the U.S.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Turmoil in Tucson Distorts Political Process

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By Ernest Corea in Washington D.C.

The turmoil in Tucson, Arizona on the January 8 caused personal disaster, familial catastrophe, and a grotesque distortion of the political process. In a democracy, clashing views are meant to be explored and resolved through discourse. The force of argument should prevail over the argument of force. That assumption was stood on its head in Tucson, where a shooting spree killed six, and injured fourteen.

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NUCLEAR ABOLITION: Considerable Progress Towards a Test-Ban Treaty

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By Jaya Ramachandran

An international pact outlawing all atomic explosions for military or civilian purposes is not yet around the corner but there is reason to rejoice at considerable advances made towards entry into force of a comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty.

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NUCLEAR ABOLITION: Disarmament Has a Future

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By Jamshed Barua

The United Nations is keen to counter growing skepticism about nuclear disarmament really happening and culminating into a nuke free world. According to the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Sergio Duarte, the peoples and countries of the world are not willing to hang on to nuclear weapons and put at risk all that has been accomplished in building international interdependence.

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DEVELOPMENT: The Future of Cooperation Hangs in Balance

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Eckhard Deutscher*

Security affected all areas of policy-making in the twentieth century; in the current century, development will. Communication, therefore, needs to make clear what development cooperation is really about in a fast changing world.

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DEVELOPMENT: Europe Wants Social Protection for the Poor in Africa

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By Jaya Ramachandran

European institutions dealing with international development have realized that poverty cannot be eradicated by concessional loans, technical aid, grants or budget aid alone. Something more is required: social protection for the poor.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Progress Goes Hand in Hand with Challenges in China

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By Hiroshi Nagai and Taro Ichikawa in Tokyo

China's great economic and social progress has lifted several hundred million people out of poverty and succeeding in feeding one-fifth of the entire world population. Nevertheless, the most populous nation on planet Earth is faced with some veritable challenges.

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SPECIAL: China Asked to Address Needs of Smallholders and Nomads'

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By Hiroshi Nagai and Taro Ichikawa in Tokyo

A new report has urged the Chinese authorities to pay heed to the needs of smallholders, who are crucial to food security, and devote attention to herding communities that put a halt to the degradation of pasture lands and preserve biodiversity.

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MIGRATION: They Seek Greener Pastures but End Up in Hell

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By Kalinga Seneviratne in Singapore*

"Most migrant workers are indebted up to seven to ten months of salary. So for two years contract most workers start earning only in second year of their contract," laments Bridget Tan, President of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), a Singaporean non-governmental organization (NGO), which has been sheltering and assisting hundreds of domestic workers over the years, who have been abused by employers or cheated by recruitment agents.

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MIGRATION: The 'Undocumented' Languish in German Health Care System

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By Rajiv Kunwar*

Although officially not allowed to work, undocumented migrants living in Germany provide cheap labour for the country's economy, one of the richest in the world. However, what is shocking is that the Government has a very lackadaisical approach towards the health status of this segment of the population.

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PERSPECTIVES: Light Mingles with Shadows in Latin America and the Caribbean

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By J Chandler

A mix of light and shadows pervades Latin America and the Caribbean as respectable economic growth in spite the global financial crisis mingles with the damage caused by climate change -- and the prospects are far from encouraging.

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PERSPECTIVES: Gains in Afghanistan 'Fragile and Reversible'

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By Ernest Corea in Washington D.C.

A national poll showing diminished American support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan served as a backdrop to the Obama Administration's rollout of a report outlining progress on the war front. The report recorded gains but was laced with cautionary caveats.

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CONSIDER THIS: Irene Sounded Strong Climate Change Warning

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By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC - Goodbye, Irene. Other tempests, too, will straddle parts of the U.S. during the 2011 hurricane season which, as usual, began in June and will run through the end of November. But Irene, though gone, is not forgotten.

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