The Worlds Beyond Darwin’s and Hawking’s

By Antonio Carlos Silva Rosa* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

PORTO (IDN | Transcend Media Service) – In regards to the way things are and how they could/should/ought to be, we are cutting ourselves short by concentrating almost exclusively on our intellect, knowledge and intelligence.

I am fascinated with the insights the evolution of science provides, particularly astronomy, cosmology, quantum physics and medicine. Medical research and technology opened the doors to the insides of our brains, considered by ourselves superior and in many ways as complex, dynamic, fascinating as the universe itself. And scientists keep sending those ‘intelligent’ messages to outer space in hopes that other ‘intelligent’ beings will pick them up and beam back their replies to them thus completing the human life-changing experience of a close encounter of whatever kind. They assume that beings ‘out there’ possess minds and intellects like our own.

Sudan Among Africa’s Key Energy Players

By: Patrick Johnson* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TORONTO (IDN | Geopoliticalmonitor.com) – South Sudan may have taken most of Sudan’s known energy reserves with it when it voted for independence in 2011, but that doesn’t mean Khartoum has given up on keeping Sudan in the mix of Africa’s key energy players. Eyeing a bounce back, Sudan has been courting energy companies worldwide with the promise of untapped resources in Sudan. And given the relatively raw nature of these unexplored blocks, the strategy could conceivably bear fruit over the medium term.

Fighting Nukes In Israel Is An Uphill Battle

By Sharon Dolev* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

BINYAMINA-GIV’AT ADA (IDN) – Around the world, when it comes to nuclear weapons, it is a well know “secret” that Israel is a Nuclear Armed State. Just like India and Pakistan, Israel has developed a nuclear arsenal, but unlike the two, Israel’s arsenal remains a secret. Israel doesn’t talk about its arsenal and usually, doesn’t take part in any international or regional discourse about it.

USA: Republicans Labour To Revive An Old Brand

By Nimal Fernando* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

MINNESOTA (IDN) – Rebranding is a daunting prospect in any commercial setting. When the process involves not a product or service, but a political party, daunting does not even begin to make a dent in expressing the exacting task at hand.

Republican Party faithfuls must be painfully aware of this as they take stock and move towards cementing a strategy to rebrand and revitalise the Grand Old Party (GOP) of the United States.

A cartoonist might depict the status quo in the form of a smallish tent sheltering two separate groups, one larger than the other. The smaller group will also be identified as a kind of party within the party, going by the name of Tea Party, but offering neither tea nor sympathy to any but its own.

Ten Years On: Murder and Mayhem Prevail in Iraq

By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth News Analysis

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – Anniversaries are usually treated as occasions for celebration. They are given special names as in “golden” for a fiftieth anniversary and “tin” for a tenth. Goodwill is in the air, food and drinks are brought out, and “don’t worry, be happy” is the overarching theme for all concerned. Not so in contemporary Iraq, where the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of that country fell on March 19, 2013. The event was not commemorated with joyous activity. Instead, murder and mayhem prevailed.

International news agencies reported that Baghdad was wracked by death and destruction on the tenth anniversary of the invasion. Over 50 people were reported dead in a wave of bombings that ripped through the capital and its environs.

Ten Years On: Murder and Mayhem Prevail in Iraq

By Ernest Corea* | IDN-InDepth News Analysis

WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – Anniversaries are usually treated as occasions for celebration. They are given special names as in “golden” for a fiftieth anniversary and “tin” for a tenth. Goodwill is in the air, food and drinks are brought out, and “don’t worry, be happy” is the overarching theme for all concerned. Not so in contemporary Iraq, where the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of that country fell on March 19, 2013. The event was not commemorated with joyous activity. Instead, murder and mayhem prevailed.

Land and Forest Should Ride A Tandem

By Luc Gnacadja* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

There is widespread agreement that sustainable forest management on a global scale is not achievable without halting land degradation. But this view is not shared by the rationale and focus of the tools and mechanisms designed during the past decade to promote and incentivize sustainable forest management.

As if to prove the point, the global coalition of the willing has been putting its money and effort into saying “Yes we can achieve sustainable forest management on a global scale without halting land degradation.”

“What if we change this state of affairs?” asks UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja. “Can the economy and the business community benefit from such a change?” he adds and elaborates “on the nexus of land degradation and sustainable forest management” and highlights the specific case of drylands.

BRICS Vow To Move Ahead on Crucial Issues

By Raghu Nathan | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

DURBAN (IDN) – As South Africa inched towards hosting the fifth BRICS Summit from March 26 to 27 in the historic city of Durban, the German Bertelsmann Foundation threw a spanner in the works by declaring that South Africa is “not a model for sustainable development on the African continent”.

The think-tank explained: “The country, in contrast to Brazil for example, has not made convincing social progress in important areas, such as education, health, social inclusion and unemployment, whereas other African countries are catching up and becoming more attractive to the BRICS countries.”

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Help Asia Roar

By Will Hickey* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

DAEJEON (IDN) – One reason behind greater pollution leading to global warming has been artificially lowered gas prices brought by subsidies. Governments have carried on this shortsighted policy to foster growth and satisfy consumers. But as world fuel prices begin rising again, the costs of subsidy – both budgetary and environmental – will come to the fore. While the much-talked-about carbon tax remains unpopular with consumers, curbing producer subsidies that encourage fossil fuel consumption could be a more effective way to fight environmental challenges.

South-South Cooperation A Door To Development

By Eva Weiler | IDN-InDepth NewsInterview

ROME (IDN) – A broad framework for collaboration among countries of the South, also known as South-South cooperation, is important but it cannot serve as a substitute for existing forms of cooperation between developing and developed countries, according to an expert.

“We must not see South-South cooperation as idyllic, we need to take into account a number of realities. Even if conditions are not imposed, each country has its own interests. South-South cooperation does not automatically lead to more democratic relations between countries: it depends on their policies. The challenge lies in countries maintaining their South-South Cooperation spirit in relations with other developing countries,” said Youssef Brahimi on the eve of his retirement from Global Mechanism (GM).

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