Views Digest

October, 2013

  • 23 October

    Obamacare Struggles But State-Run Health Care Shines

    Uninsured Americans are having a hard time enrolling in private health insurance coverage through HealthCare.gov. The federal website is slow, unresponsive and at times provides inaccurate information about applicants’ eligibility for federal tax credits. Insurers, meanwhile, say they’re receiving duplicate enrollments, missing data fields, and other errors in the applications that consumers complete. State-run health care marketplaces in Kentucky, New …

  • 23 October

    Pakistan And Global Anti-Corruption Agenda

    After an inordinate delay Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has been appointed the NAB Chairman (National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s central accountability organization). A credible bureaucrat with an impeccable record, he has the right CV (resume). Bringing Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI lead by former cricket hero Imran Khan), the third largest party in the National Assembly (NA, the lower house of Pakistan’s parliament), into …

  • 22 October

    Pakistani Sharif’s American Voyage

    Nawaz Sharif’s team would have been relieved at the timely resolution of the fiscal impasse in US, allowing his visit to take place in somewhat normal circumstances. However, the message is clear: in the era of fiscal constraints, civilian aid and military assistance will get more limited in the future and will likely be connected to dealing with the extremists. …

  • 22 October

    Bosnia’s Ten Years Without Alija

    This October 19 marked the 10th anniversary of the death of independent Bosnia’s first democratically elected president, Alija Izetbegović. Elected to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 1990, Izetbegović remained a member of the Presidency until 2000. During the aggression on Bosnia from 1992 until 1995, Izetbegović was the president of the Presidency and the undisputed leader of …

  • 22 October

    Backlash Fears After ‘Islamist’ Attacks in Eastern DRC

    “Eight months ago no one had heard of Al-Shabab,” said Henri Ladyi, a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) expert and director of the Conflict Resolution Centre (CRC) in Beni, a town and territory in North Kivu Province in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ladyi is concerned that rumours about the influence of Somalia-based Islamists in Beni, whether true or …

  • 21 October

    ‘Land Grabbing’ in Africa: Biofuels Are Not Off The Hook

    A new report by Dutch consultancy firm Ecofys claims that European demand for biofuels is not to blame for “land grabbing” in poorer countries. The report — commissioned by an organization that “represents the European renewable ethanol industry” — comes as EU law-makers discuss new biofuel legislation that could curb support to the sector. The report reviews deals accounting for 67 per cent of total …

  • 20 October

    Why Central Asia Abnormally Silent on Syria

    The US and Russia have enacted a political compromise to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control and destroy them. However, the political crisis in Syria is not limited by this Washington-Moscow deal. The solution of the “chemical weapons” issue is useless for the resolving of ethno-political and sectarian conflicts that split this Middle Eastern country. It is also not …

  • 20 October

    Climate Shocks Will Hurt Poverty Targets

    As climatic shocks worsen, disaster-affected populations will be driven deeper into poverty, exacerbating their vulnerability, in as soon as two decades – unless policymakers start to address the issue now, according to a new study from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). India did a “remarkable job” limiting the number of casualties from Cyclone Phailin, which slammed into the country’s eastern …

  • 19 October

    Few Pakistanis Know About Torwali Language

    After years of war between militants and the Pakistani Army, Swat (a picturesque mountainous district in northern parts of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province)  is now considered safe to travel to, and is open for domestic tourism. To explore the culture of Swat, I embarked on a short journey this summer, taking a bus from Rawalpindi to Mingora, the main town in …

  • 19 October

    How Reliable is FAO’s Data on Global Hunger?

    In 2012 the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) attracted criticism for its methods of calculating the number of hungry people in the world in its annual report, the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI). The debate continues in 2013, with a calculated total of 842 million, or 12 percent of the world’s population, experiencing chronic hunger over the past …