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Environment

Mega-Fires Pose Threat to Environment and Economy

Experts gathered this week in Sun City, South Africa, to discuss wildfires. But a new report also focused on a growing phenomenon called mega-fires. The report describes mega-fires as “extraordinary conflagrations unprecedented in the modern era for their deep and long-lasting social, economic and environmental impact. They’re ignited with the...

Study Shows Africa’s Middle Class on the Rise

The study by the African Development Bank indicates one-third of Africa’s 900 million people have more to spend on domestic goods and describes that group as middle class.However, the bank includes in the definition of middle class some 191 million Africans it describes as a floating class, who are able to spend between $2 and $4 per day per...

Nigerian Opposition Parties Make Gains in State Houses

Nigerian opposition parties have increased their share of the country's powerful state governors in a vote that the Obama administration says reverses a downward slide of democracy.Nigeria's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) held on to the presidency with the election of Goodluck Jonathan, but it will control fewer of the country's powerful...

Refugee Camp Springs Up on Campus

A refugee camp built by students and volunteers spreads over Southern Methodist University's expanse of green lawns and live oaks. The affordable shelters are designed to be used by the poor as well as survivors of war and natural disasters. The diverse structures are clustered around a white United Nations tent. A six-sided poly-propylene and...

In Kenya, a Community Fights Against Malaria

As World Malaria Day is observed worldwide April 25, VOA takes a look at Malindi, a city on Kenya’s coast that is fighting malaria through community action.As the world works to eliminate malaria deaths by 2015, sub-Saharan Africa is still struggling to confront the continent’s number-one killer of children under the age of five years old. In...

Nigeria Gubernatorial Vote to Proceed Despite Unrest

An official of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says his organization has postponed elections in both Bauchi and Kaduna states after violence erupted there after last week’s presidential poll. Riots broke out in the predominantly Muslim north last week after incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the...

Wheat Rust Threatening Crops in Africa, Asia and Mideast

Scientists met this week to discuss an aggressive new strain of wheat rust disease that has the potential to devastate crops in many parts of the world. It’s been found in Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Uzbekistan. A meeting has just concluded in Aleppo, Syria, where experts made recommendations to stop the spread of the disease...

Innovative African Farmers Find Going Green More Fruitful

At a time when forests around the world are falling to make room for crops to feed more and more people, the opposite is happening in parts of Africa’s Sahel. Farmers in this semi-arid region below the Sahara desert are growing more trees than they did three decades ago and they’re producing more crops and eating better because of it. This...

New Law Aims to Halt Sale of Conflict Minerals from Congo

Several years ago, human-rights activists around the world began advocating against what became known as ‘blood diamonds,’ jewels that fueled conflict in the Africa.  Now, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is not the diamond trade financing local wars, but vast stores of minerals used to make cell phones, laptop computers and other...

Zimbabwe's ‘Hard Road to Reform’ Report

The first independent review of the often turbulent and sometimes violent politics of Zimbabwe’s two-year-old inclusive government indicates there has been some progress and positive change. The report by the Solidarity Peace Trust says continued control of the security sector by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party has allowed for episodes of...

U.N. Assists DRC in Organizing General Elections

The spokesman for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo [MONUSCO] says his group is assisting the Independent Electoral Commission [CEI] to organize this year’s general elections. Alexander Essome says through its radio station, Radio Okapi, the UN has begun a sensitization campaign to educate Congolese,...

Experts: Plan Now for Post-Gadhafi Libya to Avoid Chaos

The United States and its European allies have called for the removal of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and are conducting daily airstrikes to protect civilians that ultimately are helping the rebels trying to oust him.  If their efforts succeed, experts say Libya faces an uncertain future, with many of the same ingredients that led to long...

Dwindling West African Rainforest Threatens Long-Term Food Security

In West Africa, the Guinean Rainforest is rapidly disappearing. A new study says increased production of cocoa, cassava and oil palm has meant more land is being cleared for agriculture. This could have major long-term consequences for climate change and food security. Since the days of independence, West Africa has done a pretty good job of...

Former U.S. President Says Women 'Pivotal' in Uprisings

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says women have played a pivotal role in the uprisings in the Middle East, including Tunisia and Egypt, as well as the ongoing revolution in Libya that demanded change for democracy and equal rights. In an interview with VOA, Carter says one of the greatest human rights violations is done against women and girls...

Egypt Favors Pragmatic Solution to Nile Water Sharing, Says Analyst

Water use issues have long been a source of contention among the Nile Basin countries, which disagree over the distribution of the river’s waters. For decades, the allocation has been determined by an agreement that’s been re-negotiated recently and that could alter the historic water-sharing arrangements for the Nile. The new accord, the...