Media and Democracy in Fragile States

Media and democracy in fragile states: the promises and problems of policy relevant research
by James Deane

Architects of Their Own Recovery

Disaster-affected communities are and should be the architects of their own recovery, not merely passive recipients of international goodwill
by Imogen Wall

First IEA Capacity Building conference for the global South

International Epidemiologic Association (IEA)

Jaipur, India April 5-17, 2009


The deadline for applications is: February 1, 2009

Information about the course and the application form are available at:

MYANMAR: Farmers lament post-Nargis harvest

Eight months after Cyclone Nargis, this year's monsoon paddy harvest is less than hoped

THAUK KYAR, 7 January 2009 (IRIN) - U Nay Aung, a resident of Thauk Kyar village in Dedaye Township, is one of thousands of farmers across the cyclone-affected area who never gave up, succeeding after the fourth attempt to yield some harvest.

In May, his 4.6 hectares of paddy fields were badly affected by the tidal surge that accompanied Cyclone Nargis. When the donated seeds did not take, he borrowed money to buy his own.

Brazil announces plan to slash rainforest destruction

Brazil announces plan to slash rainforest destruction
Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday 2 December 2008 12.52 GMT

The Brazilian government yesterday announced a 10-year plan to slash rainforest destruction by 70% days after new figures showed Amazon deforestation was again on the rise.

Officials said the targets, which are part of Brazil's Climate Change Plan, were the first time the Brazilian government had set specific goals for deforestation reduction.

MSF Sri Lanka: 250,000 Civilians Trapped in Intense Fighting

January 28, 2009
Sri Lanka: 250,000 Civilians Trapped in Intense Fighting
MSF Denied Access to Assist Victims in War Zone

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is very concerned for the safety of an estimated 250,000 people trapped in heavy fighting in the Vanni in northern Sri Lanka. Hundreds of civilians are reported to have been wounded and killed during the last days as the LTTE-controlled area has shrunk in the face of the government of Sri Lanka’s military offensive.

Wen, Putin Slam U.S. Economic System

By MARC CHAMPION in Davos, Switzerland, and ANDREW BATSON in Beijing

The premiers of Russia and China slammed the U.S. economic system in speeches Wednesday, holding it responsible for the global economic crisis.

Both focused on the role of the U.S. dollar, with China's Premier Wen Jiabao calling for better regulation of major reserve currencies and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calling over-reliance on the dollar "dangerous."

Wen Jiabao and Vladimir Putin address the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Zimbabwe cholera deaths top 3,000

Zimbabwe's water, sanitation and health systems have collapsed
The death toll from the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has now passed the 3,000 mark, the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
The latest figures represent an increase of more than 1,000 deaths in just two weeks.
Meanwhile, the MDC's leader sounded more upbeat about power-sharing, a day after his party denied it had agreed to join a unity government next month.
He said it would go ahead if the rivals resolved their long-running disputes.

Sri Lanka denies civilian crisis

The army says it means to "eradicate" the Tamil rebels
Sri Lanka's government has denied Red Cross and UN reports of a major humanitarian crisis in the north, where troops are fighting Tamil Tiger rebels.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told the BBC that he had a policy of "zero" civilian casualties. The Red Cross believes that hundreds of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands more are trapped. With aid supplies mostly blocked, the UN plans to make a new bid on Thursday to evacuate badly injured civilians.

Annan: World faces 'crisis of governance'

DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) -- The worldwide economic recession has exposed a "crisis of global governance" that can only be addressed by the radical reform of the United Nations, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday as the World Economic Forum got under way in Switzerland.

Kofi Annan says the United Nations needs to be reformed.

Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions

This report finds that current national health care IT deployment efforts will not be sufficient to achieve the vision of 21st century health care, and calls for greater emphasis by computer science and health/biomedical informatics researchers on providing cognitive support for health care providers, patients, and family caregivers.

Commodity Price Shocks and Civil Conflict: Evidence from Colombia

Oeindrila Dube, Harvard University and Juan Vargas, Universidad del Rosario
November 12, 2008

How do income shocks affect armed conflict? Theory suggests two opposite effects. If labor is used to appropriate resources violently, higher
wages may lower conflict by reducing labor supplied to appropriation.
This is the opportunity cost effect. Alternatively, a rise in contestable
income may increase violence by raising gains from appropriation. This
is the rapacity effect.
The paper exploits exogenous price shocks in inter-

State of the U.S.A. Health Indicators

Committee on the State of the USA Health Indicators, Institute of Medicine, 2008

Available online at:

“………..Policymakers, the media, and the public should focus on 20 specific health indicators as "yardsticks" to measure the overall health and well-being of Americans, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Supplement on Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Supplement on Addressing Social Determinants of Health in:
HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Tuberculosis

Public Health Reports (PHR) is inviting papers for a Supplement on Addressing Social Determinants of Health in HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.

Deadline for Submission: May 15, 2009

Website at

Plague allegedly killed Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb terrorists

By Olivier Guitta

On Monday, the Sun ran a story reporting that 40 terrorists from AQIM had died of plague in a terrorist training camp in Tizi Ouzou. Yesterday, Eli Lake from the Washington Times confirmed through one of his source in the U.S. intelligence community that an incident had taken place at a training camp that had to be shut down as a result. The deaths were not confirmed though.

A few observations at this point that give credence to this story, which has not received the coverage it deserves:


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