New numbers show 9 million new TB infections in 2013

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Some 9 million people developed tuberculosis in 2013, according to the World Health Organization in a report released today. It is a significant increase in the estimated number of people infected, thanks to new numbers coming out of Nigeria. The WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2014 also…

Global hunger rates down, but 850 million still suffer

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Fewer people in the world suffer from hunger. That is the good news. The bad news is that some 850 million people wrangle with hunger and 2 billion suffer from what is considered hidden hunger. Those are the top-line findings from the 2014 Global Hunger Index,…

United States wastes billions of dollars to ship food aid

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The United States spent more money to ship, handle and store food aid than on the actual food. A total of $17.9 billion was spent on food aid between 2003 and 2012 by the United States. Of that total, $9.2 billion was spent on just getting…

Visualizing how Syria’s war undermines health

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Ongoing conflict in Syria dominates the headlines as the Islamic State (ISIL) advances. The hysteria over this newest terror threat is obscuring the continued suffering of innocent civilians. The war destroys lives not only through the bombs that rip through neighborhoods, but also through its destabilizing…

The case for cash transfers in emergency relief

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Once seen as a sure-fire way to build dependence on charitable assistance, cash transfers that give people money with or without conditions are making a comeback. So as the United States struggles to reform its antiquated food aid system, other countries and organizations are turning to…

LEGO ditches Shell over oil drilling in Arctic

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The opening scenes of “The Lego Movie” introduces the audience to main character Emmet Brickowoski, an average construction worker who lives in a world where “everything is awesome.” The upbeat pop tune, sung by Tegan And Sara featuring the comedy trio The Lonely Island, sets the…

Help by giving just a few cents (or just a whole lot more)

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Saturday Night Live took on poverty porn and charity campaigns this month. The result is a satirical home run. Bill Hader impersonates the videos produced by Christian Children’s Fund (now called ChildFund) featuring a bearded white man standing next to children living in abject poverty. Images…