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Jaipur, India – one of now 90 cities selected for upgrade as part of the Smart Cities Mission (Credit: Dimitry B. / Flickr)

As part of the Indian government’s plan to ensure the nation’s rapid urbanization leads to improved quality of life, rather than just contribute to more slum growth, officials announced today that they have added 30 more cities to its select Smart Cities Mission. Critics of the $7.5 billion initiative say the plan ignores the needs of the urban poor.


Human Rights
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Nepal court orders rapid compensation and care for acid attack victims

Acid attacks – a vindictive form of violence meant to disfigure and maim a person for life – are on the rise in most developing nations, particularly in South Asia. Bangladesh, for example, has for many years been notorious for this form of attack. But effective legislative reforms in Bangladesh are inspiring advocates in other countries, like Nepal, to pursue legal protections for future victims.

World Politics
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UN urges Caribbean nations to see benefits from surge in refugees

The United Nations is urging countries around the Caribbean to view the recent surge in refugees, from near and far, as a long-term benefit and not just a short-term challenge. More than 5,000 people came to various Caribbean nations last year seeking asylum, representing a 257 percent increase in the number of asylum seekers between mid-2015 and mid-2016 for the region.

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