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American philanthropy has been undergoing a major resurgence in the last few decades, leading some to dub this a ‘golden age’ for giving. At the same time, wealth concentration and inequality, the gap between rich and poor, has been on the increase. Author of a new book called The Givers, David Callahan, explains why these two trends are fueling each other and what needs to change to avoid oligarchy.

On the push for equity, direct democracy and a basic universal income by Iceland’s Pirate Party

For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we are talking with Halldóra Mogensen, an MP with Iceland’s Pirate Party. For those who may not be aware of the Pirate Party as a serious political movement – it’s not about dressing up with an eye patch – let’s just say at the outset that this political party exists by name in some 40 countries worldwide and was started more than a decade ago largely to protect personal freedom and promote institutional transparency in this new digital age.

Human Rights
Inaction on climate change could lead to a rise in human trafficking

The world is watching with anticipation today as President Donald Trump continues his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Without a set discussion agenda, the two leaders will presumably talk about trade, North Korea, and, after last night’s U.S. missile strike, Syria, among other topics. But less certain is whether or not they will broach the subject of climate change – a threat to global stability with far-reaching consequences, including human trafficking.

News Rounds
News in the Humanosphere: U.S. retaliates for Syrian chemical weapons attack

President Trump said Thursday night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week, which killed more than 80 civilians. “Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air base in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” Mr. Trump said in remarks at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” (NY Times)

Rising income inequality burdens minorities in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the happiest and healthiest countries in the world, but is one of few in Latin America that is seeing an increase in income inequality. Experts at the U.N. Development Program say the growing income gap disproportionately impacts the country’s indigenous populations and other minorities.

Social Business
Babajob.com: Bridging the gap in India between the poor and better jobs

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his party’s state election victories last month by describing his vision for a “new India” – one that “stands for development” by giving the poor a “leg-up, not a handout.” Offering a boost is India’s largest online job portal for entry-level and informal work, Babajob, which connects even illiterate low-skill workers to employers through digital technology.

News Rounds
News in the Humanosphere: U.N. Security Council scrambles to meet after chemical attack kills dozens in Syria

The United Nations Security Council prepared for emergency talks on Wednesday after the worst chemical attack in Syria in years, as condemnation of the assault continued to pour in and donor nations met in Brussels and called yet again for an end to the six-year war.“The horrific events of yesterday demonstrate, unfortunately, that war crimes are going on in Syria,” António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, said in Brussels on Wednesday. (NY Times)

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