Art Becomes a Commodity

Art Becomes a CommodityWhile astronomical prices for art have been around for decades, today business opportunists have commodified art as never before -- dealers who see art only as a means to make profit. In this new world, art trading globally is in excess of US$66 billion and growing exponentially, as more institutions become involved. Art is no…

Antibiotics Overuse Means Superbugs are On the March

Antibiotics Overuse Means Superbugs are On the MarchAs has long been feared, antibiotic use is driving antibiotic resistance and creating what critics have said could be a plague of virtually uncontrollable superbugs for a wide range of diseases including syphilis, gonorrhea and tuberculosis as doctor overprescribe, and, to raise meat production, livestock producers fill their animals with antibiotics to make them mature…

A Minor Case Shows Depressing Change in Hong Kong

A Minor Case Shows Depressing Change in Hong KongHong Kong presents itself as Asia’s World City and constantly emphasizes how it is ruled by law and correct procedures. But as Hong Kong draws closer into China’s web, the reality appears to be increasingly diverging from the image. One small example illustrates how the territory’s long-standing defense of civil rights is growing more subject…

Beyond the Body Counts

Beyond the Body CountsAre homicide statistics just another number crunching exercise or a helpful indicator for humanitarian intervention?  The Homicide Monitor, a new, interactive online tool that collates country-by-country statistics on homicides from a range of sources, an initiative the Brazil-based Igarape Institute launched this week, is intended to stimulate debate around homicide statistics and draw attention to the…

Grim Annual Toll of Killed, Jailed Journalists

Grim Annual Toll of Killed, Jailed JournalistsAs 2013 did, and several years before that, 2014 appears about to end with a depressing number of journalists killed for attempting to tell the world about war, corruption, crime, human rights violations and politics, a reminder that for too many, pursuing the right to information is dangerous.   In addition, more than 200 journalists…

The CIA Torturers Started at the Top

The CIA Torturers Started at the TopIn 1971, a Stanford University team of researchers led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo and funded by the US Navy and Marine Corps set up a famous experiment into the causes of conflict between military guards and prisoners. Some 24 male students were selected to take on arbitrary roles as prisoners and guards in a…

Trade and Transfats in the Pacific

Trade and Transfats in the PacificDiminished agricultural production and unhealthy imports are contributing to some of the world’s highest obesity and diabetes rates in the Pacific Islands. Thousands of kilometers away from this backdrop, high-level officials gathered on Nov. 19 for the only second-ever global nutrition conference in Rome to consolidate agreement on an international framework to improve nutrition. Six…

Elected Women Must Redefine Agendas to Include Own Sex

Elected Women Must Redefine Agendas to Include Own SexAlmost 20 years ago, the Beijing Declaration and Platform For Action was adopted by consensus by 189 countries during the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, calling for governments and other institutions to fully realize women's human rights and gender equality.  The anniversary of the declaration opens new opportunities to regenerate commitment and charge…

Surrogacy: Human Right or Reproductive Exploitation?

Surrogacy: Human Right or Reproductive Exploitation?What used to be a costly, sci-fi solution to childlessness has emerged as an everyday story. But as the procedure becomes more common, so do cross-border legal and ethical problems, as highlighted by a case after a Thai surrogate mother bore twins: The Australian parents took the healthy child and left the one with Down syndrome behind. …

Hong Kong’s Endless Road to Democracy

Hong Kong’s Endless Road to DemocracyHong Kong has always been an anomaly even in the context of the very diverse systems by which Britain ruled its numerous territories around the globe. It began and ended as unique despite appearances of being just another small Crown Colony. The very word colony was a misnomer from the start. As the report of…
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