As Israeli missiles lay waste to Gaza, Hamas rockets fly and innocents die in civilian planes downed in eastern Ukraine, Syria has slipped even furthe...
Six out of the world's ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, but their potential will not be realised without long-term improvements to education, health and the opportunity for women to give birth in environments free from violence. The further prize is increased productivity and economic growth.
Not before time, it appears, the West is reining in its clients in Kiev and urging them to refrain from using the Ukrainian army to put down opposition in the east of the country. Good sense has prevailed at last in Western capitals and further bloodshed will hopefully be avoided in Donetsk and Lugansk.
There was a reason Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, chose to announce his support for an initiative to forgo exploiting the Tiputini, Tambococha and Ishpingo oil fields under the Yasuni National Park - home to indigenous peoples and one of the most biodiverse places on earth - on 5 June 2007: 5 June, today, is the United Nations' 'World Environment Day.'
Traces of cocaine in our tap water, screamed recent newspaper headlines in the UK. It's alarming, despite reassurances that these are miniscule amounts that pose no risk. But imagine the headlines were about deadly pathogens like E. coli or cholera, and that even these miniscule amounts could harm adults and kill children.
Unlike hashtag campaigns that have come and gone before, #BringBackOurGirls has unified a global audience and, apart from a microscopic percentage of Boko Haram supporters, the whole world is behind the message, if not the means, of the campaign. Hashtag campaigns about everything from Orca captivity, to gay marriage, to Invisible Children; even the #YesAllWomen hashtag have all divided national and global opinions (rightly or wrongly) where #BringBackOurGirls has united the world's population in solidarity.
During my visit to the Unicef-supported Basic Education School for displaced grade one to four children at the Aleppo University I met a number of confident, upbeat children, not shy to ask tough questions... As a mother, I could not hold back my tears when a young girl got up and asked me: "When will this war end?"
The Sun, doubtless because 'Page 3' had received special reference from Ms Manjoo, hauled in Feminist Uber-Lad herself, Louise Mensch, who, under the charming headline Shut it Sister, indignantly took the 'we don't even stone our girls here' line to new ludicrous heights with this question: 'What about Bosnia, where rape was a national institution?'
I have been an aid worker for over 25 years. In that time I've witnessed and experienced events and horrors that are beyond most people's imaginations. But I don't think I have ever felt the mixture of emotions that hit me recently as I boarded a tiny plane to take me out of the city of Malakal in South Sudan, back to the relative safety of the capital Juba.
I first met Hala at a tented settlement in central Bekaa, East Lebanon. She had been here for a year, one in a million refugees who have fled Syria. They call her 'the orphan'; her tomboy walk and winter hat make her easy to spot. She speaks with a disturbing nonchalance; a hardness, common amongst many refugees I have met. Her hair is falling out.
As a precursor to Saudi Arabia's report on its commitment to significant Human Rights advances at the 25th session of UN Human Rights Council, Saudi's Deputy Minister of Labor for International Affairs, featured on Newsnight this week to boast the key aspects of the report with a focus on "holistic" steps on achieving female empowerment. But a failure to confirm the lifting of the driving ban for women, even after three pushy prompts by Jeremy Paxman, made it clear that "holistic" does not include an overturn on the ban.
Last week, I was part of a UN inter-agency convoy that brought much-needed emergency supplies to the Areha district, including for nearby Muhambel town. It has been months since humanitarian assistance has been able to get through. Even now that the fighting has stopped in this area, the 22-truck convoy had to take a circuitous route to avoid active hot areas.