By Bob Geldof, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Bob Geldof is a member of the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan, and a musician, businessman and campaigner against poverty. The views expressed are his own.
With the U.K. becoming the first G-8 country to spend 0.7 percent of its gross national income on overseas aid, the government’s recent budget was an exciting moment for the international development community.
But with extreme poverty falling all around Africa, and the continent’s mineral resources providing more revenue now than international aid, some observers are asking whether international aid is out of date.
Africa needs trade, not aid, they say. In truth, however, they still need both.
The 2012 presidential election is certainly going down to the wire, with polls and pundits alike calling it...well, too close to call.
Though Americans are on the edge of their seats waiting to see who will take the presidency, this isn’t the first time two politicians have been locked in a nail-biter of a U.S. election.
1. 1916: Woodrow Wilson and Charles Hughes
Incumbent Obama could look to Woodrow Wilson for inspiration. Wilson, a democrat seeking a second term against Charles Evans Hughes, was staring down the barrel of World War I, which had been sweeping though Europe for two years leading up to the election. Wilson had respected America's desire for neutrality, and campaigned on the slogan “He kept us out of war,” Yahoo Voices reported.
By Jean MacKenzie, GlobalPost
“If Obama is re-elected, we will move more and more toward one world,” said Bonnie Re, an election worker in Boca Raton, Florida.
The prospect did not excite the co-chair of the Boca Raton chapter of the Romney Express, an organization dedicated to helping the former Massachusetts governor become president of the United States.
America is special, she emphasized, and did not need to interact with other countries on the basis of equality. One act of Barack Obama’s really stuck in her craw.
By Erin Cunngingham, GlobalPost
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s new president, appears to be taking a page from Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s old strongman. A court remanded the editor-in-chief of a local newspaper Thursday on charges of “insulting the president” in a move Egyptian journalists say is pitting Morsi’s government against Egypt’s free press in a way that is reminiscent of the authoritarian regime protesters ousted last year.
Late Thursday, Morsi issued a law that protects journalists from temporary detention while they await trial. But the charges still stand.
By Ben Lynfield, Global Post
One image of the Syrian conflict that has resonated widely in the West is that of corpses, including those of children, who have fallen victim to government attacks.
But a far more heroic image of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's security forces is being fostered by the regime’s own media, part of a determined effort to keep up morale as fighting continues to rage in Aleppo and other cities.
Nightly on state television, pictures are shown of children kissing soldiers or being hoisted aloft by them, with a patriotic song, “This is the Nation’s Army,” playing in the background.
On August 1, Armed Forces Day, a picture of a small boy in a scouts uniform, saluting and handing a red rose to a wounded soldier on his hospital bed, led state media coverage. It was complemented by reports from across Syria of citizens paying blustery tributes to the army for, in their words, shielding the nation from the sweeping international conspiracy against it.
By Patrick Winn, Global Post
If you enjoy peering inside the minds of the world’s super rich, take a look through the 2012 “Wealth Report.”
Compiled by Citibank, and a property consultancy called Knight Frank, it’s a lengthy analysis based partly on interviews with the super rich. (Definition: people with more than $25 million in investable assets.)
Yes, the report contains musings on why yacht sales are down and the pros and cons of buying a sports franchise. But that’s not the most interesting part.
By Benjamin Carloson, Global Post
Whether you call them jiu ling hou – the “post-’90s generation” – or millennials, things are not so different for recent college graduates in China and the United States.
Derided in both countries as spoiled, selfish and entitled, yet struggling to find decent work, they belong to generations whose high expectations for comfort and prosperity have been thwarted by economic trends.
In America, the class of 2012 faces crippling student debt, declining wages, and 9.9 percent unemployment rate for college graduates under 25 years old – all against the backdrop of a lingering national downturn.
By James Neild, Global Post
It’s summer in the Mediterranean. Sun seeking holidaymakers lounge on sandy beaches, glittering yachts glide into and out of quaint old harbors and packed cruise ships hop between idyllic islands.
But it’s no holiday further out at sea, where migrants float crammed together in rickety boats or cling to sinking rafts, some choking on their final breaths as they and their dreams of finding a better life in Europe perish under the sparkling water.
By Ashley Benner and Kasper Agger, Global Post
Since late 2010, the Central African Republic (CAR) army has deployed two soldiers in a remote area of the country’s southeast to pursue the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA.
The destitute conditions of their mission illustrate one of the biggest challenges in the effort to end the 25-year conflict that has devastated parts of Central and East Africa.
The two soldiers were sent without any supplies. They spent most of their time collecting firewood and food, while surviving largely on humanitarian aid and provisions given by the Ugandan Army. The one radio they had could be turned on just once a day, due to limited power from a small solar panel.
By Siobhan Dowling, GlobalPost
The German military is changing. What was once a male bastion has slowly been taking on a more female hue, with women accounting for almost one in 10 of those serving in the armed forces.
Now the military, or Bundeswehr, says it wants to see even more women in its ranks. “Currently 9 percent of all soldiers are women,” Chief of Staff Volker Wieker told Bild am Sonntag this month. “Our goal is a combined ratio of 15 percent.”
To achieve that, the army intends to make itself more attractive to female recruits, in particular by improving family-friendly structures. Yet problems persist. FULL POST
By Tracey Shelton, GlobalPost
Ahmed Assi dodges bullets and missiles on a regular basis.
The 24-year-old has been shot at, wounded, hunted down, imprisoned and tortured. He has spent many months camping in the Syrian mountains “Che Guevara style.”
But Assi is not a rebel fighter. He is a Syrian journalist — with a political agenda.
“I make my jihad by words, not by violence,” he said.
His mission is not just to tell the world about the plight of Syria's rebel forces, but also to raise money, which the rebels use to buy more of whatever they might need. Assi works for one of several dozen websites that have popped up in the last year to raise cash for activists and rebels working inside Syria to topple President Bashar al-Assad.