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Stalled Governments: A Cause for Concern
By admin February 20, 2019

The U.S. government’s partial shutdown shares some similarities with the collapse of a Brexit deal. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has not been able to agree on southern border security with Democrats. Across the Atlantic, Prime Minister Theresa May is not having much luck with the members of parliament on the terms

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Crisis in Eastern Ukraine – First Test of the Return of the Cold War
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Ukraine is of deep interest to Russia due to their shared history. Ukraine was a territory in the Russian empire since the 1600’s, only separating in 1918 with the collapse of Czarist Russia. In 1921, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was established after Russia conquered two-thirds of the country. The third part integrating into independent Poland

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A Green Economy By 2030: The Caribbean’s Commitment To Renewable Energy
By admin February 19, 2019

The top ten contributing countries to Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions account for 72 percent of total emissions versus the bottom one hundred, who emit under 3 percent. However, the consequences affect all in the form of global warming, giving moral incentive to take the lead in renewable energy. The Caribbean is a prime example

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The Green New Deal: ‘Green Dream’ or the American Future?
By admin February 12, 2019

Last week, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced the bill “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal (GND).” This bill calls for a ten-year mobilization plan that will eventually allow the United States to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by making aggressive moves toward cleaner forms

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Global High-tech Players’ Local Considerations
By admin February 11, 2019

    Some studies show that the significant increase in the access to the Internet and digital services in the developing world was to a large extent attributed to the activities of large multinational high-tech corporations. However, despite prospective economic and social outcomes, a growing number of governments from these countries have expressed concern over

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3 Ways to Advance Women and Girls in Science
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Every day is a great day to celebrate women and girls in the field of science. February 11th is marked as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Women and girls remain underrepresented in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. So, what is holding so many women and girls from

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How Yemeni Women Are Using Solar Panels to Overcome Food Insecurity
By admin February 5, 2019

In 2009, Yemen had the lowest electricity connection in the Middle East, with 75 percent of the population living in rural areas, and only 23 percent of that rural population having access to electricity. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), only 40 percent of the country’s overall population had access to electricity, either

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The Bassiouni Group Launches TBG Purpose
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New York, New York, USA – February 5], 2019 – The Bassiouni Group (www.bassiounigroup.com) announced the launch of TBG Purpose, a new division that will exclusively provide customized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability services and solutions to Fortune 1000 companies,  SMBs/SMEs and INGOs/NGOs on a global basis. The global CSR/Sustainability market is now worth an estimated

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The Venezuela Crisis – Largest Exodus in Western Hemisphere in Search for a Bridge of Desperation and Hope
By admin

Venezuela’s problems go back to 1999 when the charismatic and ebullient late President Hugo Chavez established a socialist government, at a time when Venezuela was against the backdrop of vast wealth but had huge inequality. That is the government his predecessor President Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013.Venezuela has been caught in a downward spiral

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How Alignment and Partnering Should Come into Play to Pursue CSR goals
By admin February 4, 2019

  At the intersection of business and social impact, corporations are increasingly thinking about integrating the two while pondering over strategies that turn Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into value-creating activities. More professionals have seen previously separated functions of sustainability and business operations merged. The biggest challenge for executives is how to develop an integrated approach

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Handling Human Waste at Cox’s Bazar
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UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Oxfam worked together in Bangladesh to service the biggest human waste treatment facility ever built in a refugee settlement. The facility can process the waste of 150,000 people-40 cubic meters a day. UNHCR has also been working with partners in over 275 small scale sludge treatment sites in Cox’s Bazar,

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Introducing TBG Purpose!
By admin January 30, 2019

                                                                   The Bassiouni Group is excited to announce the launch of TBG Purpose (http://bassiounigroup.com/our-services/tbg-purpose/) new division solely focused on customized Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability

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Renewables on the Rise: How CSR Can Help Your Company Thrive
By admin January 29, 2019

Modern companies are being held more and more accountable for their social responsibility policies, from huge changes like renewable energy to smaller, more accessible things, such as recycling. In all sectors of business, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming a strategic tool in long-term company plans. Effective CSR programs have been proven to increase employee

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Good Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Look at Patagonia
By admin January 28, 2019

When companies are hiring new people to join the ranks, they may ask the interviewee about their values. Answering the question informs the company of the individual’s principles and how that might guide their decision-making. It is now just as important for the interviewee to ask companies what they value. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is

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Fintech Dynamism Amid Financial Innovation and Regulations
By admin January 25, 2019

  Fintech has grown rapidly around the world in recent years, but there are great variations among countries in terms of banking structure and regulations. While offering an alternative funding source for businesses and consumers that enhances financial efficiency, it also gives rise to a number of challenges for regulators. Authorities can play important role

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THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: THE MOTHER OF SMARTPHONE BUT VICTIM OF RICH NATURAL RESOURCES
By admin January 23, 2019

Established as an official Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960. The country’s early years were marred by political and social instability and today, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is still reeling from the effects of a widespread civil war, preventable diseases and starvation. Weak governance

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Climate Change and the Government Shutdown: What’s the Link?
By admin January 22, 2019

The US Government’s shutdown, which began in December of 2018, will be entering its 32nd day come midnight on Tuesday. Its effects are being felt by the estimated 380,000 federal employees that were furloughed or are working without pay, as well as by federal courts, and even small businesses. Now, in addition to its social

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Is Africa Ready for Population Growth?
By admin January 17, 2019

Africa’s population today is estimated at 1.2 billion. Population growth in Africa is projected to double in the next three decades to 2 billion. As the world faces many challenges related to global warming, civil and international conflicts, and humanitarian crises, the thought of more people on this earth heightens insecurities. However, more people can

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Trade Talks Update: Is a Peace Deal in the Works for US and China?
By admin January 16, 2019

The trade war between the US and China has been ongoing throughout 2018. Its beginnings can be traced back to March when the US proposed tariffs in reaction to China’s “unfair trade practices”, and China responded by revealing their own tariffs on US goods. The back and forth of various tariffs continued to increase until

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The Rohingya – The Stateless People Even a Nobel laureate Does Not Want
By admin January 7, 2019

The Rohingya, considered by the international community to be the “most persecuted minority in the world”, are a majority Muslim ethnic group that represent the largest percentage of Muslims in Myanmar. They have their own language and culture and are descendants of Arab traders and other groups who have been in the region for generations.

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The Yemen Crisis Pt. II: MBS’ War
By admin December 17, 2018

Conflicts in the Middle East are often viewed through the lens of identity, ideology and geopolitics that take the form of tribe versus tribe, Sunni versus Shia, Iran and its proxies versus the US and its allies. The genesis of the Yemen conflict cannot be divorced from this underpinning of causes and motivations. However, what

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Uber Plans to Put Self-Driving Cars Back on the Road in a Scaled-Down Launch
By admin December 7, 2018

Eight months after one of Uber’s self-driving cars hit and killed a pedestrian, the ride-sharing company is on the verge of putting its vehicles back on the road in a more reduced pilot of earlier efforts. Before the accident, Uber was driving its autonomous vehicles on public roads in four cities at speeds up to

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How Did US and China Agree on a Pause in Trade War Escalation
By admin December 5, 2018

After a dinner meeting at the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a cease-fire on tariffs. The US will hold off on increasing the tariff on $200 billion Chinese imports after January 1, 2019. This positive sign toward a truce on the trade war pushed major markets,

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Breaking Down the New Waves of Energy in Developing World
By admin December 4, 2018

Campaigning for using environmentally-friendly sources of energy – renewable energy – to replace destructive sources of energy has been a global phenomenon. Today, the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is being held in Portland, marking the second stage of the Paris

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Towards a Climate-Neutral Future: Europe Commits Itself to New Targets and Increases Cleantech Investment
By admin December 3, 2018

    In 2015, European Union (EU) leadership committed to reducing domestic emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030. Promises to roll out initiatives to minimize global temperature increases and adopt national climate actions plans (INDCs) were also notable elements of the accord. As of November 2018, the European Union’s Climate Action Tracker (CAT)

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Yemen Crisis: The Weaponization of Aid
By admin

  Yemeni citizens are caught in the crossfire of a proxy war that involves much more than an exchange of bullets.  It is estimated that 80% of the domestic population have been forced into dire humanitarian need; some 18.5 million people are food insecure and 16 million have no access to safe, clean water and

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Cube Satellites- Are They the Future Generation of Space Exploration?
By admin November 29, 2018

NASA’s InSight lander arrived on Mars earlier this week after close to a seven-month journey through space. In the months ahead, InSight will begin its study of the planet, listening for tremors and collecting data that will be pieced together in a map of the interior of the red planet, which could help scientists better

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Foreign Aid: What Is the Actual Impact and How Can We Improve?
By admin November 28, 2018

Foreign aid is defined by the OECD as “financial flows, technical assistance, and commodities that aim to promote economic development and welfare, is a common practice in the field of international development.” However, controversies over aid effectiveness and transparency have led many countries to rethink traditional practices. The Chinese government, for example, has been criticized

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From “He for She” to “She for We”
By admin November 27, 2018

25 November is universally recognized as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Thousands of people took to the streets of countries around the globe, media coverages more or less shifted their attention to gender-based violence cases, a bunch of panels and seminars were held to echo the major appeals of the

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Flushing Out Poverty with a Hygiene Approach
By admin November 20, 2018

It’s easy to take toilet for granted. With the coming of the 6th World Toilet Day, the general public and development actors begin to realize that the sanitation crisis is far from being solved. One in five primary schools and one in eight secondary schools globally do not have any toilets, the group WaterAid said

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Are Plant-Based Plastics All They’re Cracked Up to Be?
By admin November 16, 2018

Trillions of pounds of plastic have been produced to date, of which billions flow into the ocean each year. They ensnare marine life, including the fish we eat at our meals, appear in our table salt, and traces of them have even been discovered in our own bodies. As research into the harmfulness of plastic

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The Digital Gap: A Persisting and Evolving Challenge to Development
By admin November 14, 2018

A digital gap between the rich and the poor is deepening inequality around the world. A 2018 Pew Research survey found that about 50 percent of low-income US households do not have access to high-speed internet or traditional computers at home. Nearly one third of Americans from low-income households do not own a smartphone, while the

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Restore the Power of “Truthtelling”
By admin November 13, 2018

While Khashoggi’s death is still a myth to the general public, there is little doubt that the safety of journalists is not getting better in the tide of international development. From 2006 to 2017, UNESCO has recorded 1,010 killings of journalists. A total of 80 journalists and media workers were killed in 2018 as of

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Using Canines for Malaria Detection
By admin November 8, 2018

Dogs’ extremely sensitive sense of smell allows them to detect bombs, drugs, and other contraband that passes through airports in luggage or pockets but is it possible for them to sniff out malaria and could it be useful? At the annual meeting at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) last month, researchers

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Is Universal Basic Income an Effective Way to Eliminate Poverty?
By admin November 7, 2018

The exponential advancement of computing power and artificial intelligence has galvanized heated debates on Universal Basic Income (UBI) in recent years. People are concerned that technology will take away low-paying human jobs and leave poor people worse off. UBI is seen by the Silicon Valley as one of the proposals to cure inequality and poverty

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“Index Mania” and Stories Untold
By admin November 6, 2018

When doing research on international development, one can hardly open a newspaper or a web push without finding a reference to an international index. Being different from indexes solely used for investment and market outlook projection, these indexes are usually created by international organizations and cover key issues like corruption, human rights, education, freedom of

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The Circular Economy & Development
By admin November 2, 2018

  At the beginning of 2018, the World Economic Forum stated embracing the circular economy was “the biggest opportunity of our lifetime.” The circular economy is a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design. This framework builds economic, natural, and social capital and is based on three principles: (1) design out

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Stablecoins, are they the next buzzworthy investment?
By admin November 1, 2018

A new form of cryptocurrency is gaining traction among proponents of digital cash: stablecoins. Unlike bitcoin, whose prices have swung from a peak of $19,000 to its current level of around $6,200, this emerging cryptocurrency aims to maintain a stable price at all times. Proponents of stablecoin argue their rise is instrumental for active investors

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Birthright Citizenship and A Century-long Struggle for Immigrants
By admin October 31, 2018

  This week, President Trump said in an interview with Axios that he plans to sign an executive order to end birthright citizenship. He is seeking to stop kids of non-citizens or undocumented immigrants from getting citizenship automatically at birth, which would have a major impact on the immigration laws the country has established through

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‘Voting’ with Our Choices: Child Labor and the Way Forward
By admin October 30, 2018

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor’s published the 17th edition of Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, estimating that at least 152 million children are engaged in child labor and 25 million people are in forced labor worldwide, which is clear and striking. It notes that some of modern society’s most

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A Right-Wing Extremist Playground
By admin October 29, 2018

As hate speech and far-right principles become mainstays of political campaigns and backbones of domestic policy in different countries around the world, individuals with convoluted perspectives of society are seizing the opportunity to become outspoken and active to achieve their goals. In the United States, Americans are experiencing frequent outbreaks of violence motivated by an

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Know Your Food: The Food Labeling and Certification Craze
By admin October 26, 2018

In 1990 the United States Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA). The legislation was a response to the steady increase in prevalence of organic products since the start of the organic movement in the 1940s. The organic movement, in addition to increased environmental awareness, led to the creation and growth of an organic

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Microplastics and their journey towards your gut
By admin October 25, 2018

The statistics are alarming: within the next minute, one million plastic bottles and two million plastic bags will be purchased. By the end of this year, enough bubble wrap will be produced to encircle the equator at least ten times. Although most of these items will take over 1,000 years to decompose, many will immediately

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In 2018, Large-scale Famine Has Not Yet Said Goodbye
By admin October 24, 2018

  Living in most parts of the world in the 21stcentury, famines seem rare. The world has seen huge progress in fighting hunger and malnutrition, and the overall positive trend is likely to continue. According to the World Bank’s open data on global hunger, there were 95 million fewer children stunted in 2016 than in

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Mobile Money and Financial Inclusion: A Long Way to Go
By admin October 23, 2018

Continuous efforts in improving financial inclusion have been paid off: the 2017 Global Findex database shows that 1.2 billion adults have obtained an account since 2011, including 515 million since 2014. During this period of time, the share of adults who have an account with a financial institution or through a mobile money service, rose

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Cryptocurrency and Government Policies around the World
By admin October 22, 2018

Today’s government regulators face a rising challenge from the fast-growing cryptocurrency technology, and different countries’ attitudes toward it seem to vary a lot. On October 11, Dubai launched the world’s first government-backed cryptocurrency. A state-backed subsidiary of the Dubai Department of Economic Development launched the digital currency called Emcash, which can be used for making

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Replacing Plastic
By admin October 19, 2018

To date, more than 60 countries have introduced legislation to reduce the use of single-use plastics – including bags, straws, cups, and other products. This is causing a serious shift in the global plastics market which by 2020 was projected to be worth $654.38 billion. The largest segment of this market, plastic packaging, is arguably

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An unexpected culprit is making China’s air pollution worse
By admin October 18, 2018

Scientists have identified a new offender contributing to China’s wintertime smog, and controlling it could be the key to maintaining significant air improvements in air quality that many northeastern cities experienced last winter. Emissions from formaldehyde, a byproduct from vehicles and chemical refineries has played a larger role than previously recognized in producing the thick,

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It’s Not Just about Food: Food Delivery and Environment
By admin October 16, 2018

  If you’ve ever ordered a meal kit from Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, you’ve probably had this experience: A large cardboard box shows up on a delivery truck from one of the company’s few distribution centers around the country, filled with ice packs and insulation, and many, many small plastic packages of food. It’s

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The Netherlands: Safe Haven for Liberals and VNSAs?
By admin October 15, 2018

  On September 22, gunmen opened fire at a “Sacred Defense Week” military parade in Ahvaz, Iran. The assailants, donned in military uniforms, carried out a 10 minute attack that left more than two dozen people dead and 70 more injured. The majority of victims were members of Iran’s Revolutionary guard.  In the days following the

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