I am a North Korean defector who escaped the hardship of the region in 2007. Korea has remained in the media spotlight in recent weeks due to the unprecedented disappearance, and reappearance, of leader Kim Jong-un. Countless people have spoken about the missing dictator, but very little attention is being focused on the invisible victims of the Kim regime...
Arms sales are not apolitical acts. On one hand, they bolster the buyers by giving them a British endorsement as a fig-leaf of respectability, but they also buy the UK government's political support and compliance. As the crackdown continues to escalate it is becoming increasingly clear that decisions being made in support of arms sales are having serious consequences for the victims of state repression.
While 500million smallholder farmers work to overcome the odds, a handful of global companies control the transport and distribution of our food supply. Rampant consolidation of food companies has created an 'hourglass economy' with millions of farmers selling to a handful of companies - who in turn sell to millions of consumers.
Growing numbers of people are becoming aware - and becoming angry - of injustices that are based simply on sex, both in the UK and worldwide. Along with high profile celebrity interventions, social media campaigns driven by young people are bringing these issues to the fore, while on issues such as Female Genital Mutilation, taboos that have long remained intact are being broken. Girls' and women's rights are on the radar of politicians, too.
Conventional operations are starting to wind down in Afghanistan - we are months away from the international troops leaving. But drone strikes are likely to continue. Drones are widely assumed to be a clean, remote way of pursuing western counter-terrorism objectives there. Yet in its work on Pakistan, the Bureau has shown on countless occasions that drones are not as surgical as claimed.
We need a non-sectarian Iraqi government and a non-sectarian response to ISIS - so say the politicians, all singing from the same hymn sheet. But it's easier said than done of course. Not least when powerful Shi'a politicians in Iraq continue to shield their religious brethren with the AK47s and a record of using them against Sunni civilians.
Ideological positions and poor understandings have created a set of assumptions about development that are fundamentally challenged by the Ebola experience. Can this terrible crisis provide a moment for reframing development? Surely now is the time for a fundamental rethink of development approaches.
By affirming without ambiguity that both Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights to statehood, international recognition of the State of Palestine can help break this impasse. That is why another amendment tabled by Jack Straw and other senior MPs makes clear that by voting for recognition today MPs will contribute to securing a negotiated two state solution.
I am so sad to hear that another Gadhimai Festival will be held in Nepal this November. The festival, which is only about 250 years old, takes place every five years. At the last festival, in 2009, it is estimated that around 500,000 water buffaloes, goats and chickens were slaughtered, having their heads severed in a mass sacrificial killing. Families, including young children, came to watch the bloody spectacle. The sacrificial killing is held to please the goddess Gadhimai, to avert evil and bring prosperity. Animal sacrifice is banned in many Indian states, but people travel from northern India to Nepal with their animals to sacrifice them at the festival.
Despite the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to two people this year, the Internet still seems to be solely focused on Malala's achievement, whilst almost completely ignoring the fact that Kailash has done a lot of impressive work himself (evidently so, if he's been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for it).
In the run-up to Hong Kong's occupation protests, the initiators of the movement were called "radicals" and "extremists" and their actions dubbed "terrorism". Yet the young people peacefully demonstrating for universal suffrage across the city have won hearts and minds across the world in what amounts to a meticulous reading of peaceful dissent. By putting the "civil" in "civil disobedience", these young protesters have already won an important moral victory, no matter what happens next.
By placing its logo in thousands of playrooms around the world, Shell tried to insulate itself against anyone who claims that oil companies have no long term place in our society... Not only do our kids influence the way we think and act, they are the opinion formers of tomorrow. And Shell has been trying to buy them off.
I write this from Monrovia, Liberia's capital. This country accounts for more than 2,000 of the 3,400 estimated deaths from Ebola across the region, but with cases going unreported, some choosing to die without seeking help, and others succumbing in communities which are barely accessible, that is almost certainly a gross underestimate. UNICEF calculates that around 2,000 children in Liberia have lost both parents to the virus. And what faces a child in this position?