Basics

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China can still reverse inequality before it’s as bad as the U.S.

Income inequality in China is worse than previously estimated, according to a new paper published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Still, it’s not as bad as the U.S. Estimates by the new World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world) – an ongoing project of the authors, economists Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman – reveal that China’s richest 1 percent actually holds at least double the share of national income originally reported.

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Bill and Melinda Gates celebrate humanitarian investments in letter to Warren Buffett

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter is out, crafted as a thank-you note to fellow billionaire and foundation donor Warren Buffett about the benefit and promise of foreign aid. No big surprises in the 2017 Gates Foundation always optimistic annual letter, repeating many of the gains made in global health through expansion of child vaccinations, reductions in child and maternal mortality and the continuing global trend seeing much less of the more extreme forms of poverty. What’s not said in the letter, or is only referred to somewhat obliquely, is perhaps of more significance.

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Myanmar gingerly receives Malaysian aid for Rohingya

A Malaysian ship docked in Yangon, Myanmar, yesterday to drop off 2,300 metric tons of humanitarian aid for Muslim Rohingya in northern Rakhine state and Bangladesh. Amid protests, accusations of political expediency and initial resistance from Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Muslim-majority nation is standing by its call to end the Rohingya crisis.

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Funding for refugee rights stagnated before migrant crisis, analysis shows

Funding for refugee rights began to stagnate in the years leading up to the current migrant crisis, according to a report released today. “For the last few years of available data, we’ve seen that funding focused on the rights of migrants and refugees has remained flat,” Sarah Tansey, program manager at the International Human Rights Funders Group, told Humanosphere. “So with the benefit of hindsight, we can see now that this data comes at a time the crisis was really growing, but the funding didn’t seem to grow proportionally to the crisis.”

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Thousands of Chile’s poorest displaced in wildfires

The worst wildfires in Chile’s modern history are dying down, but have left thousands of people displaced from their homes in some of the poorest regions of the country. For the moment, no new blazes have been reported ”and the rest are mostly controlled,” President Michelle Bachelet said in her daily briefing on the wildfires on Saturday. “… That doesn’t mean, however, that we are letting down our guard.”

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India says it’s time to seriously consider universal basic income

In a world of rising inequality and automation, the idea of a universal basic income is gaining momentum, from the most developed countries to some of the poorest. Finland made headlines when it launched a trial at the start of the year, and France’s left-wing presidential contender Benoît Hamon included it in his platform. Now, India’s chief economic adviser says it’s time for “serious public deliberation.”

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Signs of hope in Lake Chad basin where 11 million need humanitarian aid

More than 7 million people living in West Africa’s Lake Chad basin are surviving on just one meal a day, a U.N. official warned. With millions of Nigerians displayed from their homes, a regional crisis is brewing. U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel Toby Lanzer said that international help is crucial for people living in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, and to prevent a deadly hunger crisis.

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