WARRI, Nigeria — In communities like Ubeji, a neighborhood in Warri, wealth from oil rents fuels the construction of mansions at a furious pace, bypassing the building of roads and other public infrastructure, like water and electricity. As a result, there is no urban plan. Bumpy dirt paths weave through a random scattering of lots featuring custom metal gates, electric security fences, private water towers, industrial-sized generators and paved driveways. Black foreign luxury cars with dark tinted windows slink through the jungle maze and disappear into fortresses.
TOKYO — Deflation, stagnation and not one, but two “lost decades.” Those bywords for Japan’s economy since its asset-inflated bubble burst in the late 1980s are giving way to a new mantra: Abenomics.
The combination of super-loose monetary policy and stimulus spending, named after Japan’s new prime minister Shinzo Abe, has given the world’s third-biggest economy reason to be optimistic, and its trading partners cause for concern.
In his first major economic policy speech after his Liberal Democratic Party [LDP] won last December’s general election, Abe predicted 2013 — the year of the snake — would be when Japan finally sheds its deflationary skin and repairs its tattered finances.
The arrival of more than three million migrants in the last decade has led to a sharp rise in the number of foreign-born UK residents throughout the country. They now number 7.5 million, 13 percent of the overall population.
The news comes just as crisis-driven austerity is fuelling resentment of immigrants, who are accused of taking jobs and abusing welfare, and putting pressure on politicians to tighten immigration policies that have been credited with a radical shake up of Britain’s identity.
LA LIMA, Honduras — Emerald green banana plantations stretch to the horizon in northern Honduras. But these fields — indeed, the entire banana supply chain for the US supermarkets — could face ruin if a plant disease now ravaging Asia gains a foothold in Latin America.
The soil-born fungus, called Tropical Race Four, turns banana trees a sickly yellow as they wither and die. There is no treatment or cure for the blight, which has taken out millions of acres of bananas in Asia.
“No banana can survive Race Four,” said Juan Fernando Aguilar, a banana breeder at the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Investigation. “If it reaches Latin America it will devastate banana exports.”
In the past 2 decades, the world made exceptional progress in reducing global poverty, but according to a new reportpublished Thursday by the international NGO, Save the Children, global inequality is at its highest in 20 years. And it’s growing.
The report found in many of the 32 developing countries researched, “the available income for children in the poorest decile [income-level group] has actually decreased, as a share of GDP, since the 1990s.” Share of GDP for children in the richest decile increased.
Save the Children’s chief executive Justin Forsyth told the BBC, “In recent decades the world has made dramatic progress in cutting child deaths and improving opportunities for children; we are now reaching a tipping point where preventable child deaths could be eradicated in our lifetime. But this will only happen if we redouble our efforts and tackle inequality.”
He added, “Unless inequality is addressed… any future development framework will simply not succeed in maintaining or accelerating progress. What’s more, it will hold individual countries - and the world - back from experiencing real growth and prosperity.”
The report also found, “more than 70% of the world’s poorest people – up to a billion – live in middle-income countries”
The report comes as Britain Prime Minister David Cameron, co-chair of the UN panel on global poverty and development with Indonesia and Liberia, met with world leaders to address global poverty, and what step need to be taken after 2015.