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Index April 2013

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2013-04-01: Learning Outcomes Assessments: A Human Rights Perspective briefing;
2013-04-01: Sénégal: des députés pour l’abandon de l’excision2013-04-02: Challenges of the BRICS;
2013-04-03: Reducing unemployment: Lessons from Germany;
2013-04-04: Request for Proposal RFP no. LRQS-AMA-2013-9106153;
2013-04-05: Kamalpha – Computerized Literacy Centre;
2013-04-05: KAMALPHA – CENTRE D’ALPHABÉTISATION PAR ORDINATEUR CAO;
2013-04-06: Monsanto announces huge profits despite public backlash;
2013-04-07: Making Disaster Pay;
2013-04-08: GLOBAL INVESTIGATION: Inside the Offshore Global Money Maze;
2013-04-09: NATO in the Arctic: Cowboys and Indians redux?
2013-04-10: Secret Pakistan;
2013-04-10: Female genital mutilation: the UK must act now;
2013-04-11: The Homeless Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets of America;
2013-04-12: Punishing children for poverty;
2013-04-13: good links remaining on my dashboard;
2013-04-14: Angela Davis, Freedom and the Politics of Higher Education;
2013-04-15: Bank-money and the betrayal of democracy;
2013-04-16: Chávez’s legacy, African solidarity and the African American people;
2013-04-17: Tribute to Chris Hani on the 20th anniversary of his assassination;
2013-04-18: Bleak future for Central African children;
2013-04-19: War on Whistleblowers;
2013-04-20: Reform in Egypt must start with women;
2013-04-21: UNICEF: U.S. kids worse off than many of their Western counterparts;
2013-04-22: Nicaragua Notes: The Watchmen, the Hunters and Gatherers, the Street Vendors;
2013-04-23: Built (Not) to Last: Hackerspaces Resurrect Broken Appliances;
2013-04-24: India/Chhattisgarh: The Bastar Land Grab;
2013-04-25: The United States shows its contempt for Venezuelan democracy;
2013-04-26: Why the Tsarnaevs? Why not?
2013-04-26: toujours l’excision/les MGF;
2013-04-27: Tackling female genital mutilation taboo in Birmingham;
2013-04-28: India: POSCO versus people’s claims;
2013-04-29: Egypt: Judgement day;
2013-04-30: A Grand Coalition for austerity in Italy.

A Grand Coalition for austerity in Italy

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Published on World Socialist Web Site WSWS, by Chris Marsden, April 29, 2013.

The formation of a Grand Coalition in Italy, centred on Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party and Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, shows the degree to which the global financial oligarchy dominates political life.

The official description of this government as a coalition of the “left” and “right” only highlights the fact that such terms, used to describe the establishment parties, have been stripped of any serious meaning. The new government is an austerity regime, installed in defiance of the clearly expressed wishes of the electorate and acting solely in the interests of a parasitic layer of the super-rich.   Continue Reading…

Egypt: Judgement day

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The confrontation between the ruling party and the judiciary promises ominous consequences – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, April 24, 20113.

On Wednesday the Shura Council began discussing amendments to the law regulating the performance of judicial authority (Law 46/1972).

The move follows a hostile campaign against judges led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and its ally, the Wasat Party. Islamist deputies have alleged that judges are leading a counter-revolution against President Mohamed Morsi.   Continue Reading…

India: POSCO versus people’s claims

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People Against POSCO, 2.26 min,(subtitled in english), uploaded by VideoVolunteers, Fev 4, 2013: IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Debendra Swain was arrested on 3rd February by the police when they entered and attacked Villages Dhinkia and Govindpur in the early hours of the morning.

A week ago, he made this video which gives an accurate picture of the protest which has been going on for the last seven years.The residents of Dhinkia Panchayat clearly state that they do not want to give the land to POSCO as they will lose access to the land and water resources their livelihoods depend on. The peaceful protest made up of dharnas (sit-ins) and human chains has usually been met by armed resistance by the state.   Continue Reading…

Tackling female genital mutilation taboo in Birmingham

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Published on BBCnews, by Clare Lissaman, April 24, 2013.

Casualty’s decision to feature female genital mutilation (FGM) on primetime television forced a previously “taboo” subject into mainstream debate. BBC News speaks to the professionals fighting to get the practice stopped:

  • As a midwife on the labour ward of the inner-city Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, Alison Byrne has seen a lot. But she was unprepared for treating mothers-to-be who had undergone FGM.
  • In 2002, following an influx of Somali immigrants to the city, the hospital began seeing pregnant woman who had lost most of their external genitalia to extreme cutting.   Continue Reading…

toujours l’excision/les MGF

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Videos:

à Angers:     Continue Reading…

Why the Tsarnaevs? Why not?

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Jerry Mazza, April 25, 2013.

They were ethnic Chechen refugees. Their faith was Islam, but they weren’t radical Muslims, at least not at first. Although their mother said the boys were under FBI surveillance for years; the agency feared they were drifting towards radical Islam. But Zubeidat Tsaraev herself had gotten in trouble at Lord and Taylor’s for shoplifting woman’s clothes valued at $1,624, and two counts of wanton damage. In this refugee family, there is a miasma of shifting details like the people themselves.   Continue Reading…

The United States shows its contempt for Venezuelan democracy

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Washington’s clumsy efforts to de-legitimise Venezuela’s election mark a escalation of its push for regime change – Published on Axis of Logic, by Mark Weisbrot, April 23, 2013.

While most of the news on Venezuela in the week since the 14 April presidential election focused on the efforts of losing candidate Henrique Capriles to challenge the results, another campaign, based in Washington, was quite revealing – and the two were most definitely related. Without Washington’s strong support – the first time it had refused to recognise a Venezuelan election result – it is unlikely that Capriles would have joined the hardcore elements of his camp in pretending that the election was stolen.    Continue Reading…

India/Chhattisgarh: The Bastar Land Grab

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Interview with Sudha Bharadwaj, published on ZNet, by Justin Podur, April 22, 2013 (Sudha Bharadwaj is a lawyer and a member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karkyakarta Committee. I interviewed her in Raipur on March 5, 2013).

… JP: I’ve been trying to understand what is happening in the forest, in Bastar.

  • SB: Take a look at a map of the periphery of Chhattisgarh. If you overlay maps of forests, of adivasi villages, of minerals you’ll find almost perfect overlap. When Chhattisgarh was created in 2000, carved out of Madhya Pradesh, the first Chief Minister coined a phrase, he said it was “rich land, poor people ”. In the 12 years since its creation, the people have become poorer, and more riches have been discovered in the land. This state is full of minerals – 19% of India’s iron ore, 11% of the coal, bauxite, limestone, all kinds of priceless minerals.   Continue Reading…

Built (Not) to Last: Hackerspaces Resurrect Broken Appliances

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Judith Horchert, April 19, 2013 (Photo Gallery).

When household appliances and technological devices break, they often end up in the trash. But at a “hackerspace club” in Wuppertal, engineers, computer buffs and DIYers are helping locals save them from the garbage dump – and strengthening the community in the process.   Continue Reading…

Nicaragua Notes: The Watchmen, the Hunters and Gatherers, the Street Vendors

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Published on New Politics, by Michael Kelly, April 19, 2013.

The Watchmen:

In Managua one finds uniformed guards in front of the banks, in the shopping malls like Metro Centro, in the grocery stores, and anywhere else there is likely to substantial amounts of money. These men have the status bestowed by a uniform and the authority commanded by carrying a pistol. One could say that they are the elite of their profession, but they are far outnumbered by the lumpenguardia found on every middle class street of the capital city … //

… Hunters and Gatherers:    Continue Reading…

UNICEF: U.S. kids worse off than many of their Western counterparts

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Published on It’s Our Economy, by Caitlin Dewey and Max Fisher, April 18, 2013.

American children are on average worse off than children in Western Europe and barely better off than their counterparts in the Baltic states and the former Yugoslavia, according to a recent report from United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on the welfare of children in developed countries.

The report, which compares kids in 29 Western countries, measures well-being across five metrics: material well-being, health and safety, behaviors and risks, housing and environment, as well as education.   Continue Reading…

Reform in Egypt must start with women

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Only reform consistent with the Quran, which indisputably places great value on women, can bring prosperity to Egypt, its people, its government, and the Arab region – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Aylin Kocaman, April 19, 2013.

According to an article in The New York Times, Osama Yehia Abu Salama, the new Egyptian regime’s “family expert”, has summarised the place of women in Egypt by saying: “Women need to be confined within a framework that is controlled by the man of the house.” Statements about women by the Muslim Brotherhood regime have been criticised before. The regime has made it compulsory for women to obtain their husbands’ permission to travel, work or use birth control.   Continue Reading…

War on Whistleblowers

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How the Obama Administration Destroyed Thomas Drake For Exposing Government Waste – Published on AlterNet, by Marcy Wheeler, April 15, 2013.

When the NSA wasted billions on a government contractor, Drake tried to do something about it. That was his first mistake.

When Thomas Drake, then an official at the National Security Agency, realized that the agency’s decision to shut down an internal data analysis program and instead outsource the project to a private contractor provided the government with less effective analysis at much higher cost, he tried to do something about it. Drake’s decision to join three other whistleblowers in asking the agency’s inspector general to investigate ultimately made him the target of a leak investigation that tore his life apart.   Continue Reading…

Bleak future for Central African children

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An estimated 42 percent of population does not even know where next meal is coming from – Published on Al Jazeera, by Nazanine Moshiri, April 11, 2013.

Families only come to Bangui’s Children’s Hospital when traditional medicines aren’t working, and their children are clearly severely malnourished.

The story of Francisca Sanzaza, the tiny frail toddler in my report, is one of pain and suffering. Her family escaped from Damarra a town some 75 km from Bangui, on the frontline of the fight for the capital.

Francisca’s mother was two months pregnant. So, when she fell down hard, she starting bleeding and there was nothing her husband or her mother in law could do to save her. She died, and was buried by people in a local village.  Continue Reading…

Tribute to Chris Hani on the 20th anniversary of his assassination

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Carlos Martinez, April 10, 2013.

10 April 2013 marked the 20th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Chris Hani, the legendary freedom fighter and one of the most courageous and talented leaders of the anti-apartheid struggle. Although he was only 50 at the time of his death, Hani’s contribution to the struggle was that of several lifetimes.   Continue Reading…

Chávez’s legacy, African solidarity and the African American people

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The Bolivarian Revolution reaffirms linkages with oppressed around the world – Published on Pambazuka News, by Abayomi Azikiwe, April 10, 2013.

Hugo Chávez’s implementation of the Bolivarian revolution inspired African American people as well as other oppressed people around the globe. They expressed their opposition to the unconscionable low-intensity war that is being waged against the people and national sovereignty of Venezuela since the inception of the Chávez Frias administration.  Continue Reading…

Bank-money and the betrayal of democracy

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Published on openDemocracy/Economy, by Ivo Mosley, April 8, 2013.

In this speech given at the PSA conference in Cardiff, the author examines the history and theory of bank money – credit – from a democratic perspective. How did this strange fraud come to be established under law?

Our representatives betray us by allowing banks to create the money supply. Money is created in a way that benefits politicians, bankers and capitalists (entrepreneurs and investors) at the expense of the rest of us. Most of the laws which underpin the process have never even been argued about, let alone voted on, in any legislative assembly. Money-creation is managed behind closed doors by those who profit from the process: that is, by politicians, capitalists and bankers. Knowledge of the laws and procedures is obscure to all but a few. This most important of functions, therefore, is in opposition both to democracy and to open and accountable government.   Continue Reading…

Angela Davis, Freedom and the Politics of Higher Education

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Published on Truthout, by Henry A, Giroux, April 09, 2013.

At a time when higher education is under siege all over the globe by market mentalities and moralities, there is an urgent necessity on the part of the American public to reclaim the academy in its multiple forms as a site of critique and a public good, one that connects knowledge and power, scholarship and public life, and pedagogy and civic engagement. The current assault on higher education by the apostles of neoliberalism and religious fundamentalists makes clear that it should not be harnessed to cost-benefit analyses or the singular needs of corporations, which often leads to the loss of egalitarian and democratic pressures. Continue Reading…

good links remaining on my dashboard

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Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances.

For the International Day of Older Persons, the Official UN website is working together with the International Federation on Ageing;

the 5 most dangerous countries for women, on TrustLaw, by Lisa Anderson, June 15, 2011:

  • Afghanistan is most dangerous country for women (tops expert poll of dangers to women),
  • followed by Congo, plagued by rape as weapon of war,
  • Pakistan, blighted by acid attacks and ‘honour killings’,
  • India, cited for trafficking and sexual slavery,
  • Somalia, seen as having full gamut of risks;

Eine hoch entwickelte, technische Gesellschaft beendet alle Diskriminierungen oder zerstört sich selbst, on Humanitarian Texts, October 21, 2011;

Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights TRIPS, with it’s External Links and with See also on en.wikipedia.

Punishing children for poverty

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Tennessee legislation that would peg a family’s welfare benefits to children’s grades is part of the ongoing nationwide war on the poor – Published on Socialist Worker.org, by Nicole Colson, April 11, 2013.

IMAGINE THAT you’re an 8-year-old child. Your family receives welfare. Maybe your mom is a single mother who works a low-wage job (or more than one low-wage job) with no benefits. Your family may not be able to make the rent this month, and there’s not much left in the house to eat. Your family gets food stamps, but they don’t stretch very far.

Now imagine you–a hungry, worried kid–were told that if you don’t get good enough grades at school, the little bit of government assistance your family receives could be snatched away.  Continue Reading…

The Homeless Tunnel People That Live Under The Streets Of America

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Published on Global Research.ca (first on The Economic Collapse Blog), by Michael, April 10, 2013.

Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities?  It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City.

As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness. In addition to the thousands of “tunnel people” living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night.  Continue Reading…

Female genital mutilation: the UK must act now

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With an estimated 20,000 girls at risk in the UK, teachers and health professionals must be on alert over female genital mutilation – Published on The Guardian, by Carlene Firmin, March 26, 2013.

This month, I spent a week at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The session was on violence against women and girls. About 6,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government delegations from around the world were represented at CSW. Nearly 100 NGOs were from the UK.

Debates ranged from child marriage to girls’ access to primary school education, issues where the UK seems quite progressive. But there are others where we stand alongside countries seeking a solution to a problem; female genital mutilation (FGM) is one such challenge.  Continue Reading…

Secret Pakistan

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Documentary by BBC, uploaded by Punj River:

NATO in the Arctic: Cowboys and Indians redux?

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Ritt Goldstein, April 8, 2013.

… It was March 2011 when The Economist headlined, Now it’s their turn, subheading ‘The Inuit prepare to defend their rights’ — it was an article addressing perceived sources of potential Arctic conflict. As for state conflict, the article noted, “countries surrounding the Arctic do not have much to argue over. The resources on land lie within clearly delineated borders and those under the sea … are largely in shallow waters within the uncontested jurisdiction of coastal states.” However, while observing that a big-power threat of frozen confrontations seems to be minimal, the piece did indeed seem to emphasize that “potential for conflict with native groups is in rich supply.”   Continue Reading…

GLOBAL INVESTIGATION: Inside the Offshore Global Money Maze

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Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy – Published on Premium Times, Nigeria, by Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Nicky Hager, Duncan Campbell and Stefan Candea, April 4, 2013.

A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.

The secret records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways.

They include American doctors and dentists and middle-class Greek villagers as well as Nigerian politicians and businesspersons, families and associates of long-time despots, Wall Street swindlers, Eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian corporate executives, international arms dealers and a sham-director-fronted company that the European Union has labeled as a cog in Iran’s nuclear-development program.    Continue Reading…

Making Disaster Pay

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Published on ZNet (first on TomDispatch), by Steve Fraser, April 05, 2013.

In 2007, a financial firestorm ravaged Wall Street and the rest of the country. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy obliterated a substantial chunk of the Atlantic seaboard. We think of the first as a man-made calamity, the second as the malignant innocence of nature. But neither the notion of a man-made nor natural disaster quite captures how the power of a few and the vulnerability of the many determine what is really going on at ground level. Continue Reading…

Monsanto announces huge profits despite public backlash

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Published on Russia Today RT, April 4, 2013.

Amid widespread protests against the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’, the biotech giant has reported a 22 percent increase in net profits – an announcement that may spark further outrage about the provision that protects the company from financial damage.   Continue Reading…

KAMALPHA – CENTRE D’ALPHABÉTISATION PAR ORDINATEUR CAO

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  • /Page d’Accueil: Une association à but non lucratif, apolitique et laïque: Toutes les personnes impliquées dans ce projet sont des bénévoles désireux de contribuer de façon significative au développement du peuple africain avec le désir de faire les choses autrement, dans un réel esprit de coopération avec les Africains …;
  • /L’alphabétisation: De nombreux pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest continuent d’afficher les plus faibles taux d’alphabétisation au monde. Continue Reading…

Kamalpha – Computerized Literacy Centre

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a secular, apolitical, non-profit association:

  • /Homepage;
  • /Overview: Many countries in West Africa continue to display the lowest rates of literacy in the world. Burkina Faso is particularly affected by this reality with a literacy rate of 22% for adults of 15 years and older. The situation is even more unfavourable with respects to women, who in this same country have a literacy rate of 15%, whereas 29% of the male population is literate. These women, deprived of educational opportunities, are therefore constantly disadvantaged as they are denied access to technical training and jobs.   Continue Reading…

Request for Proposal RFP no. LRQS-AMA-2013-9106153

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CLOSING 17 April 2013, 18:00 hours (Maputo Time) – Received by e-mail, From: Adolfo Mabote, Date: April 2, 2013.

Dear Madam / Sir, United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF in Mozambique wishes to invite you to submit a proposal for conducting a Situation Analysis of Mozambican Children and Women.

Please find:

- the Request for Proposal, RFP, 12 pages, No. LRQS-AMA-2013-9106153 which includes:  Continue Reading…

Reducing unemployment: Lessons from Germany

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog RWER (first on AlJazeera), by Dean Baker, April 1, 2013.

… The unemployment rate in Germany is 5.4 percent, more than two full percentage points below its pre-recession level. By contrast, even with the recent decline to 7.7 percent, the unemployment rate in the United States is still more than three full percentage points above its pre-recession level.   Continue Reading…

Challenges of the BRICS

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Published on Pambazuka News, by William Gumede, March 27, 2013.

In order to prevent the BRICS from ending up as a talking shop they will have to work hard at forestalling the potential for them to become fierce competitors.

The success of the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India and China and South Africa – partnership will depend on whether individual members can overcome the dilemma of being allies as well as fierce competitors, for markets, goods and geopolitical influence.  Continue Reading…

Sénégal: des députés pour l’abandon de l’excision

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Publié dans leral.net, par RD, le 19 mars 2013.

Des députés sénégalais appellent à une meilleure allocation des ressources financières pour la mise en œuvre d’un plan d’action national pour l’accélération de l’abandon de l’excision. Réunis à Mbour, dans le cadre d’un atelier sur le rôle des parlementaires dans l’abandon des mutilations génitales féminines/ excision, ils ont exprimé leur point de vue sur cette pratique … (le texte en entier).  Continue Reading…

Learning Outcomes Assessments: A Human Rights Perspective briefing

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Received by e-mail, From: Bailey Grey, Date: March 27, 2013

Dear All, I am writing to share with you a briefing document that the Right to Education Project (RTE) has been developing over the past few months on learning outcomes. As many of you may be aware, there has been considerable debate and discussion amongst educationalists revolving around learning outcomes. These debates have been carrying on for quite some time, but there has been renewed and amplified interest in learning outcomes as a tool for improving quality of education – an issue of central focus in the Post-2015 discussions.  Continue Reading…