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Brazilian President Michel Temer (left) has come under fire for saying the state took no responsibility for recent prison massacres. (Credit: Jeso Carneiro/Flickr)

Within the walls of Brazil’s overcrowded prisons the number of people – including children – who are tortured or treated inhumanely has reached critical levels, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2017 world report.


Year in review
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2016: A year of transition from talk to action on climate change

When it comes to climate change and the battle to keep it in check, 2016 was a year of extremes. The euphoria of the super-fast entry into force of the Paris Agreement to curb global warming crashed days later with the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, fueling fears he may pull the world’s second-largest emitting nation out of the pact.

Basics
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Vietnam invests in poor students with remarkable results

The test results are in, and Vietnam’s education is schooling even developed nations. As a low-income country, Vietnam’s success proves that wealth no longer has to determine the educational success of a country or even a student if wise policies are in place to bridge the gap.

Year in review
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Here are five reasons why 2017 will be better than 2016

For many, if not most, the end of 2016 will be a welcome end to a terrible year. Many of the things that disappointed people this year will impact next year. I’m going to take a chance and predict 2017 will be better. Here are five reasons or predictions about the next calendar year that should give some hope.

Year in review
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Voices of the Humanosphere 2016: Oxfam keeps warning of widening gap between rich and poor

The World Economic Forum takes place again at Davos in a few weeks. The most newsworthy and powerful message that usually comes out of this confab of the rich and powerful is not some speech by Bono or Bill Gates but rather an Oxfam report that reminds everyone, as they have for the last few years, that less than a hundred people on the planet today own more than half the world’s population. Crazy, right? Our podcast from last year’s warning.

Year in review
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Five good news stories from 2016

As 2016 draws to a close with news dominated by bloodshed, disasters and disease from the Middle East to Africa and Latin America, it may seem there wasn’t much to be happy about this year. Despite continued violence in Syria and Yemen, severe drought in Africa and the outbreak of the Zika virus in Latin America, there have been events worth celebrating in 2016.

Year in review
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Voices of the Humanosphere 2016: Fred Bauma of Congo

As a year-in-review sort of thing (which we – and all media – do this week to disguise the fact that we’re trying to not to work much over the holiday), I’m going to highlight some of our top podcasts of 2016. Today, it’s Fred Bauma who is fighting for democracy and rule of law in DR Congo. With the country in a very precarious political place right now, it will be crucial for the international community to support activists like Bauma.

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