Last month, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom declared a “state of calamity” as Guatemala experiences the worst drought in 70 years. Approximately half of the population lives below the poverty line and 50 percent of children are suffering from chronic malnutrition. But these are only the surface casualties of a vulnerable nation ravaged by 36 years of civil war, genocide and now, the encroaching drug war spilling over from the northern border with Mexico.
A public debate erupted earlier this year when graphic Dancehall music lyrics and images were banned from Jamaica's airwaves. The public responses reveal the legacy of two Jamaica's.
Jamaica's hard-to-reach and embattled gay community has been ignored by the government's public health program for the last 25 years. Last year, a study revealed that nearly one-third of gay men in Jamaica may be infected with the virus that causes AIDS, but the island's public health response remains paralyzed by homophobia as the epidemic continues its uncontrolled spread through Jamaican society.
Gay pride is celebrated across the U.S. every June. Could there be similar celebrations of gay pride in Jamaica?
It's a disconcerting experience to report from a place that doesn't exist. 18-years ago Somaliland broke away from Somalia, its bigger, nastier neighbor. While that benighted nation has continued its descent into chaos, death and mayhem Somaliland has kept the peace and built a likeness of democracy.
But as Somalia's anarchy is showered with money Somaliland is diligently ignored. In April donor nations pledged another $213-million to the besieged Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, that's roughly seven times the annual budget of Somaliland's entire government.
Worldfocus.org's weekly radio show on Tuesday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. EDT explores urbanization and the rise of slums, examining how such deplorable conditions might be addressed, even as the global economic crisis looms.
WorldFocus anchor Martin Savidge hosts a panel of guests:
In a country as bloody as Guatemala, the last two weeks have stood out. In the last several years, bus drivers have became targets for street gangs seeking extortion money.
I first came to the dry, remote north of Nigeria 25 years ago on a rather strange holiday to visit a Dutchman I knew who had the job of managing a commercial farm there. The farm owner was Usman Dantata, a member of one of Nigeria's wealthiest families. Besides 2,000 hectares of land for cereals, cotton and rows and rows of industrial chicken coops, Dantata's property had a private airstrip, three mansions for each of his three wives, plus two teams of polo horses, some of which I got to ride.
Michael J. Kavanagh and Taylor Krauss highlight efforts to rehabilitate rape victims and their families in eastern Congo, presenting the ventures of one counseling organization.
War has raged through the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than a decade — it has been called the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The United Nations estimates that 200,000 women and girls have been raped in that time, some victims as young as three years old.
Both the Congolese army and rebel groups have used rape as a weapon of war.