One in five Israelis live in poverty

Two new reports released by the OECD reveal that serious inequalities are rife in Israeli society despite the resilience of its economy during the global recession.

The reports, released today, note that despite the fact that Israel had successfully weathered the global economic crisis there were severe weaknesses in the Israeli economy, particular with regard to its social welfare provisions. The reports also highlight the need for wide ranging reform of education in Israel.

Sri Lanka's war chiefs fight for the spoils of peace

He may seem the most unlikely candidate of all, but former army chief General Sarath Fonseka has shaken off the Sri Lankan establishment and engaged in a fierce campaign to beat his former ally to the presidential throne.

General Fonseka, the very man who led the army to victory, and once part of current president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s inner circle, dramatically turned against the power in place and declared he would run against his old friend in the election.

Haiti’s never-ending tragedy has American roots

Late last week, the White House website carried details of a 30-minute phone conversation last Friday morning between President Barack Obama and René Préval, the president of Haiti.

It reported: ‘‘President Obama said that the world had been devastated by the loss and suffering in Haiti, and pledged the full support of the American people for the government and people of Haiti as it relates to both the immediate recovery effort and the long-term rebuilding effort.

Pakistan, a survivor

What keeps Pakistan afloat? How—despite its seemingly precarious political existence and the gloom and doom spread by the highly politicised media, as well as the horrendous bomb blasts—does the country manage to survive? 

Haiti: UN agencies ramping up response following deadly quake

United Nations agencies are working around the clock to provide urgently needed assistance to the victims of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti on Tuesday, which is estimated to have affected one third of the Caribbean nation’s nine million people – a population that was already one of the most vulnerable in the world.

No official figures are available yet on the dead or injured, but the 7.0 magnitude quake has devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, wrecking buildings and leaving basic services on the brink of collapse.

Haiti Tragedy unfolds on Twitter

It is now dawn in Caribbean Island nation of Haiti which was struck yesterday by the strongest earthquake there in more than 200 years. At approximately 5.30pm, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck near the Island’s capital Port Au Prince, followed by multiple aftershocks. Additional aftershocks today remain a possibility.

(Picture: Aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti provided through Twitter by @DefYuri)

Brown's pedestal grows increasingly shaky

It is no exaggeration to state that many expect 2010 to be the final year of Gordon Brown's tenure as the Prime Minister of the UK. After a calamitous 2009, where week on week he seemed to flounder, flail and stumble on issue after issue, it seemed uncertain whether or not the embattled Prime Minister would lead his party into the upcoming general election. What is surprising is that his leadership has entered its first crisis a mere six days into the new year.