Outcry over ban of LGBT groups from global AIDS conference

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Human rights advocates from major Western nations and organizations are protesting against a United Nations decision to bar 22 LGBT-affiliated groups from taking part in a high-level U.N. AIDS conference next month. Because the 193-member U.N. General Assembly operates by consensus, the countries calling for the…

Myanmar rebuffs U.S. pressure on atrocities against Rohingya Muslims

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used his official visit in Myanmar to raise the issue of the continued attacks carried out against Rohingya Muslims in the country. Nobel Peace Prize-winning Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi requested that Myanmar be given the opportunity to deal with…

Secret vote on WHO bodes ill for future of global health

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Everybody is talking about how best to reform the WHO, arguably the best vehicle for coordinating the ever-changing global health agenda. But a new election process using secret ballots for appointing the next director-general is hardly a promising start.

A new index to measure social progress, but what is it really telling us?

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REYJKAVIK, Iceland  – What if we could understand why Ethiopia has lowered its maternal mortality rates, despite a weak economy? Are countries such as Mozambique and Rwanda, which have impressed economically in recent years, spreading economic benefits for social progress? The Social Progress Index (SPI) is…

New map could help protect indigenous land in Central America

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The areas occupied by hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples have been plotted on a groundbreaking new map of Central America. According to the map’s creators, the new wealth of information could help protect valuable regions from deforestation and harmful development. The main purpose of the map, which was financed by…

Human rights groups aid release of child soldiers from FARC in Colombia

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Colombia’s left-wing FARC rebels have agreed to release child soldiers from their ranks as part of the peace deal they are close to signing with the government. Now, authorities are working out the details on how the children will be transitioned and reintegrated back into society.…