Category: Global

The menace of lead poisoning

ABOUT a year ago a letter from Baltimore’s health department brought Michelle Burnside, a therapist who works with disabled children, dreadful news. The amount of lead in her three-year-old daughter’s blood was 15 micrograms per decilitre (µg/dL), triple the level…

How the growth of cities changes farming

LOOKING out from Mathabari, a village in northern Bangladesh, the landscape glints and ripples. Twenty years ago this was a rice-farming area, with fields of bright green. Now most of the land is covered with water. Carp, pangasius and tilapia…
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The use of banned drugs is rife in sport

SKIERS, skaters, ice hockey players and other snow-loving athletes have travelled to Pyeongchang for this year’s Winter Olympics to vie for supremacy. But the South Korean city is also the venue for another contest—one between the bodies responsible for anti-doping…
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Going to university is more important than ever for young people

IN A classroom in Seoul a throng of teenagers sit hunched over their desks. In total silence, they flick through a past exam paper. Stacks of brightly coloured textbooks are close to hand. Study begins at 8am and ends at…
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Winter sports face a double threat, from climate and demographic change

THE great limestone peaks of the Dolomites glow ochre and pink in the summer sunset. The slab of the Marmolada glacier, the “Queen of the Dolomites”, glistens a regal white. But get up close and the sovereign is weeping. Countless…
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How to stop countries sliding back into civil war

AS A child soldier in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, Eric Wolo smoked a brown powder that made him dizzy during the day, and took cocaine that kept him awake at night when he had to keep watch. When he…
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Teenagers are better behaved and less hedonistic nowadays

AT THE gates of Santa Monica College, in Los Angeles, a young man with a skateboard is hanging out near a group of people who are smoking marijuana in view of the campus police. His head is clouded, too—but with…
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Which are the world’s worst airports?

LIKE expensive watches that never break, the world’s best airports can be boring. You land, breeze through passport control and check into a hotel within minutes. The experience is pleasant, but not memorable. The worst airports have more character. To…
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This year has seen an explosion of rage about sexual harassment

YOU have applied for a job and the interviewer asks you a question that lands like a bombshell: do you have a boyfriend? Then another: do people find you desirable? And a third: do you think it is important for…
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New life for the Paris climate deal

IN MAY France’s environment ministry moved to an 18th-century mansion close to the National Assembly and Elysée Palace. The relocation—and a pretentious new name, the Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition—hint at Emmanuel Macron’s desire to be seen as a…
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How sharia marriages can hurt women in the West

SHIRIN MUSA draws on bitter experience to inspire her work to help women caught between legal and cultural worlds. Educated and long-resident in the Netherlands, she was unhappily married to a man from her native Pakistan. In 2009 a Dutch…
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Canada’s problem with polygamy

MENTION polygamy in Canada and what might come to mind is Bountiful, a suitably named town in British Columbia. It is home to Canada’s best-known polygamist, Winston Blackmore, who has an estimated 148 children. He and James Oler, a fellow…
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Russia sanctions costs the EU €30 billion

A new research shows the economic sanctions against Russia by the European Union have already cost the European countries around €30 billion. The research – which was carried out by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) – showed EU…
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EU employment highest on record

Employment in the 28-nation European Union increased to the highest on record in the second quarter, the bloc’s executive arm has said. The number of people with jobs in the region increased 1.5% in the April through June period compared…
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EU commits to better protect marine life

The European Union and its private sector will commit about 1 billion euros to better protect marine life during the global Our Ocean conference this week. EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella told the Associated Press that figure from the EU,…
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EU’s new data privacy law creates headaches for American banks

What happens when a cookie of a European lands in the server of a community bank in the U.S. if, on an off-chance, the Brit browses the bank’s website? It’s unclear, experts say, but U.S. banks — especially small and…
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Commission scales up EU’s response to cyber-attacks

On 13 September, in his annual State of the Union Address, President Jean-Claude Juncker stated: “In the past three years, we have made progress in keeping Europeans safe online. But Europe is still not well equipped when it comes to…
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IMF chief tells bankers to not dismiss cryptocurrency

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has a message for the world’s central bankers: Don’t be luddites. Addressing a conference in London on Friday, Lagarde said virtual currencies, which are created and exchanged without the involvement of…
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Nuclear threat at highest level since Cold War

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the world’s leaders Tuesday that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War and “fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings.” In his first state-of-the-world…
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EU executive body proposes stricter party finance rules

The EU will introduce reforms to curb abuses in party financing for European Parliament elections as it tries to bolster trust in the bloc’s democracy, a senior official said Friday. The European Commission, the EU executive, announced the plans as…
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