Migration and its Discontents

Last week, I caught a sound bite on the radio of David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, saying ‘British jobs for British workers’. Immigration, is yet again, a major theme in UK politics. Being one of the main concerns for voters, it never strays far from the centre of attention. It was a key theme in Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions with regard to the backlog of asylum seekers and the EU laws. But this is not an issue only relevant to the UK. Movement of people started with the migration out of the Horn of Africa 1.8 million years ago and migration has been a key issue ever since. This is the reason why humans have populated each continent. In 2007, the UN estimated that there were 200 million migrants globally, including 9 million refugees.

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10 Airline Trends That Will Affect Fliers

Now may not seem like the best time to fly. Uncomfortable sardine-like rides, humiliating security checks, endless delays, and recent high-profile plane crashes may dissuade potential fliers. However, current trends across the airline industry are about to bring out more options and lower prices. With a little bit of planning and flexibility, these changes will improve the lot of many customers of the “friendly skies” across the world.

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Dayib aiming to become first female president in Somalia-Picture by Kotiliesi

Risking Life to Run for Presidency in Somalia

She is quite, warm and usually carries herself with a smile. From her looks, one’s first guess would be that she is a model. Well she was once a model as a young woman, but has spent most of her adult life working with the United Nations in various countries. And now, Fadumo Dayib, 42, a Master in Public Administration student at Harvard Kennedy School is eying Somalia’s presidency.

It is hard to tell from afar that this sweet spoken lady is built for what would obviously be a tough battle for presidency in the insecure Somalia. But sitting down with her for an interview, it is clear not even the possibility of assassination would stop her from running.

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Bringing Death to Light: Is There a ‘Right’ to Die?

Let’s talk about death. Outside of the realm of science-fiction, the fact remains that everyone will die. Yet how and when we die can often be made subject to human control, and thus these still remain sensitive topics. The recent assisted suicide of two twin brothers from Belgium has brought the question of euthanasia back to the forefront of contemporary debate, reminding us that these issues continue to be controversial. Continue reading

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Understanding the Changes in Consumer Preferences

Food safety, healthier eating, and a more active lifestyle are a growing issue of concern in the United States. According to a Deloitte survey in 2010, nearly three quarters (73 %) of Americans are more concerned now about the food they eat than they were five years ago. The U.S. domestic news cycle for the first week of 2014 has been filled with issues surrounding the safety of the food supply and a push back against GMO-containing products. Within the first few days of 2014, the news reported on the mandated shutdown of a meat-processing facility in Minnesota by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, legal action in Oregon against the makers of a vitamin supplement and the announcement by General Mills regarding its processing of a major cereal product. The growing popularity of store chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and the increases in the amount of natural food line extension products, are indications of the shifting dynamics in consumer preferences in the U.S. Understanding the competitive nature of the global food industry means understanding changing consumer preferences and the food industry’s efforts to meet these demands. Food markets are constantly evolving, driven not only by changes in consumer preferences, but also, linkages between members of the food supply chains, prevailing policies, business environments and demographic trends. Changes in these preferences and perceptions may lessen the demand, reduce sales and potentially harm businesses. Continue reading

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Photo: AslanMedia

Is the Rule of Law Fairly Applied to US Terror Suspects?

Five 9/11 prisoners are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Sunday, January 27 in Guantánamo, Cuba. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed organizer of the September 11 terrorist attacks is among the accused, who also include Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, and Ramzi Binalshibh. All are suspected terrorist coordinators of the al-Qa’eda linked 9/11 attacks, and are accused of recruiting, training, and funding. Continue reading

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Photo: isafmedia

Afghan Opium Brides

For the past decade, the Afghan government has been cracking down and destroying illegal poppy, leaving many farmers unable to pay back loans borrowed from drug traffickers to fund their opium farms. Afghans use the term “loan brides” to reference daughters given in marriage by fathers who have no other way out of debt. Continue reading

Photo: uncultured

Education Programs: An Encouraging Way to Reduce Gender Inequality

For a country plagued by a lengthy history of poverty and gender discrimination, Bangladesh has come a long way. Thanks to education and microfinance programs, the role of women in the country has dramatically evolved over the last two decades, leading the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to conclude that “if education were to be integrated on a massive scale with microfinance services for the very poor worldwide,” similar to the experience in Bangladesh, then their true potential will be recognized as they are offered “a dignified route out of poverty.” Continue reading

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