Rehab vs Punishment

Since both Republicans and Democrats are now making efforts to reform the criminal justice system, it isn’t surprising that several American correctional officers spent five days visiting prisons in Germany and were more than amazed with the differences. One of them, Maurice Chammah wrote daily articles for the Marshall project ( a non-partisan Continue reading “Rehab vs Punishment”

The Global Peace Index

Since 2008 there has been a Global Peace Index (GPI) which each year measures the degree of violence in the world and the degree of military spending. Last year the world spent $14.3tn as a result of conflicts, that represents 13.4% of the world’s GNP (Gross National Product) or the equivalent of the economic output of Brazil,Canada, France,Canada, France,Germany, Spain and the U.K. Military spending alone amounted to more than $3tn. Syria, as one would expect, led the list of least peaceful countries, followed by Libya, Ukraine, Niger, Djibouti and South Sudan. To keep all these statistics in perspective, Continue reading “The Global Peace Index”

Hope For The Planet

A recently released report by several UN agencies shows that the number of hungry people has declined despite rise in population. It was one billion about 25 years ago and is about 795 million today. In the developing world 23.3% of the population was hungry 25 years ago. Today it is 12.9%. Progress is more pronounced in East Asia, Southeast and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The reasons for the success are attributed to stable political conditions and economic growth. The report does not omit failures, mainly in Africa where in some areas Continue reading “Hope For The Planet”

Toward The End of Water Privatization

In Lagos, Nigeria, a water privatization project did not turn out as expected, according to a recent article by Michelle Chen in The Nation. It was neither workable nor profitable. A key reason lay in the lack of infrastructure. To bring water to people a company needs pipes, a task that in a country like Nigeria, or in any other developing nation, is not particularly easy. The project was mismanaged, was not delivering water to most people. In some areas water was stolen, and those who paid were often those who could least afford it. Another reason the Lagos project failed was that the World Bank refused to fund it, Continue reading “Toward The End of Water Privatization”