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Afghanistan’s food shortage triggering riots

Continuing food crisis in Afghanistan is frustrating people. Several cities are witnessing instances of protests, riots and looting. While people blame government for this crisis, experts attribute it to both local and global factors. The country would need over half-a-million tonnes of wheat to be imported to meet the current demand.

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Indian citizens join Greenpeace on climate alert campaign

The Blue Alert campaign in five Indian coastal cities witnessed hundreds calling for government action to mitigate climate change threats. An earlier report by Greenpeace has highlighted possible displacement of over 125 million people in India and Bangladesh that puts vulnerable coastlines at risk.

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Government schemes not reaching the disabled

There are approximately 60 million persons with disabilities in India. Most of them are poor, living in rural areas. It is pity that only 1.5% of them are the beneficiaries of various poverty alleviation and welfare schemes.

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Government honours Indian woman economist

Development economist Bina Agarwal is among a small percentage of women selected for the Padma awards announced on January 26. The Padma awards are national awards given by the President of India for citizens' contributions in the fields of arts, education, industry, literature, science, sports, social service or public affairs.

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Right to information a far cry for villagers in India

When Right to Information Act was passed in India, it was flaunted as a revolutionary step towards ensuring good and accountable governance. But people in rural India are not just finding it difficult to access information but also facing retribution for demanding it, says a report.

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Food is getting beyond reach for Bangladeshi poor due to skyrocketing prices

Bangladesh’s poor are increasingly finding it difficult to buy food. The increase in wages across sectors over last year is disproportionate to the overall rise in food prices, which have increased by 27% in last four months alone. Recurring floods and cyclones destroying standing crops have only added to the woes.

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No education for all in India

Even as UNESCO’s latest report pans India for lagging behind in the race for achieving education for all by 2015, experts gathered in the capital weigh up the nationally sponsored Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Exclusion and discrimination remain core challenges as millions of children remain outside its fold, is the verdict.

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Coke verdict: Not safe…safe…not safe

In a rebuttal to the clean chit given by a prestigious body to Coca-Cola, the Centre for Science and Environment has said that in the absence of standards for pesticide residues in colas, soft drinks are still not safe for drinking in India.

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Children taking meal at school

Jaipur, Rajasthan: Responding to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Rajasthan unit of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, the apex court of India, in its historic order in 2001, had directed all state governments to introduce a massive scheme of cooked midday meals in primary schools within six months. Since then, providing free midday meals to all primary school children has become one of the most ambitious initiatives in India.

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Burma: Chronicle of a referendum foretold

Come May 10 and Burmese citizens will vote to endorse a constitution that took a decade and a half to be drafted. The military junta, however, seems to have its own plans to swing the tide in its favour.

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ILO conference to focus on Green jobs

The ILO conference that opens today in Niigata, Japan, will focus on environmental impact on jobs and sustainable economies. Green jobs are activities that de-carbonize economies and protect ecosystems while saving energy. These new patterns of work will be crucial for adaptation and mitigation efforts to climate changes, says ILO.

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WFP’s financial crunch

Millions of hungry people the world over will be at risk, if the UN food agency is not able to collect upwards of $750 million to buy food from international market. The rising food prices have caused this shortfall.

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Healers of the furry kind

Animal Angels Foundation, a Pune-based NGO in western India, works on the unique concept of using pets to bring about emotional stimulation among autistic children. This form of therapy has just begun to take roots and may eventually become part of mainstream healing procedures.

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Gender Budgeting for women's empowerment

The Gender Budget Initiative is a policy framework to assist governments towards the integration of gender perspective into the Indian national budget for public expenditure.

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Nothing educative and healthy in the union budget

Experts are of the opinion that partial increase in expenditure in this year’s union budget on health and education is far short of expectations. If India has to achieve universal education and provide affordable health facilities to all its citizens, much more is needed to be done.

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Changing weather to impact harsh on women and children

Climate change can cause rise in malaria and diarrhea, the global killers of children. Fall in crop productivity and water availability will also severely impact the lives of women and children, warned UNICEF on the occasion of World Health Day 2008.

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Missing women and India’s religious demography

The interaction between religion and fertility is the subject of intense academic, economic and political debate in developing countries like . Discussions of religion and fertility in have usually dwelt upon the pronatalist tendencies within Islam and their implications for the observed higher fertility of Muslim populations in the subcontinent.

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Water management crucial to Asia’s water resources

At least 40 percent of poor people living in urban areas across the Asia-Pacific have no connection to piped water. Despite the region’s record rates of economic growth over decades, the biggest challenges for them include the basic need of how to provide their people with sufficient quantities of safe drinking water.

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