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Weekly wire: The global forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture
World of NewsThese are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Beyond Propaganda: How authoritarian regimes are learning to engineer human souls in the age of Facebook.
Foreign Policy
Pity the poor propagandist! Back in the 20th century, it was a lot easier to control an authoritarian country’s hearts and minds. All domestic media could be directed out of a government office. Foreign media could be jammed. Borders were sealed, and your population couldn’t witness the successes of a rival system. You had a clear narrative with at least a theoretically enticing vision of social justice or national superiority, one strong enough to fend off the seductions of liberal democracy and capitalism. Anyone who disagreed could be isolated, silenced, and suppressed.  Those were the halcyon days of what the Chinese call “thought work” — and Soviets called the “engineering of human souls.” And until recently, it seemed as if they were gone forever. Today’s smart phones and laptops mean any citizen can be their own little media center. Borders are more open.

Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective
International Monetary Fund
Widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. In advanced economies, the gap between the rich and poor is at its highest level in decades. Inequality trends have been more mixed in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs), with some countries experiencing declining inequality, but pervasive inequities in access to education, health care, and finance remain. Not surprisingly then, the extent of inequality, its drivers, and what to do about it have become some of the most hotly debated issues by policymakers and researchers alike.

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015
United Nations
At the beginning of the new millennium, world leaders gathered at the United Nations to shape a broad vision to fight poverty in its many dimensions. That vision, which was translated into eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has remained the overarching development framework for the world for the past 15 years. As we reach the end of the MDG period, the world community has reason to celebrate. Thanks to concerted global, regional, national and local efforts, the MDGs have saved the lives of millions and improved conditions for many more. The data and analysis presented in this report prove that, with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources and political will, even the poorest countries can make dramatic and unprecedented progress. The report also acknowledges uneven achievements and shortfalls in many areas. The work is not complete, and it must continue in the new development era.

Internet Broadband for an Inclusive Digital Society
Internet broadband is shorthand for a range of capabilities enabled by the convergence of computers, the Internet, smart devices, high-speed wireline and wireless networks, and a plethora of innovative applications and services that these technologies make available.  Compared with narrowband technologies such as dial-up telephone connections, which deliver a maximum data rate of 56 kilobits per second (kbps), broadband Internet refers to high-speed public Internet access.  Although the boundary between narrowband and broadband is blurry, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) describes broadband as Internet connections with downstream speeds of 256 kbps or more (ITU, 2010).  This study provides an overview of key issues relating to broadband ICTs in the context of international objectives for socioeconomic development.

People’s Republic of China joins the OECD Development Centre
Today’s entry of the People's Republic of China to the OECD Development Centre marks an important step in support of China's transformation and transition to a new growth model, as well as new chapter for the OECD, as it welcomes China into its 'family'.  China is joining a group of 48 OECD and non-OECD countries that are members of the OECD Development Centre. The Centre helps decision makers find policy solutions to stimulate growth and improve living conditions in developing and emerging economies. China is also an OECD Key Partner, like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, which are already members of the OECD Development Centre.

Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health
Lancet/UCL commission on health and climate change
The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change maps out the impacts of climate change, and the necessary policy responses, to ensure the highest attainable standards of health for populations worldwide. This Commission is multidisciplinary and international, with strong collaboration between academic centres in Europe and China. The central finding from the Commission is that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.


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Submitted by Bharatvoip Communications on

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