KYOTO, Aug 26 (IPS) - In a world where people increasingly kill and die for their faiths, inter-religious councils (IRCs) offer the one ray of hope against the relentless spiral of violence and counter-violence, say religious leaders gathered in this ancient Japanese cultural capital.
Some 2,000 of the world's top religious heads, representing such diverse faiths as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, as well as indigenous belief systems, are participating in the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) that got down to business on Saturday.
COLOMBO, Aug 24 (IPS) - With supplies cut off by two weeks of fierce fighting between Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan armed forces, a massive humanitarian crisis is building up on the Jaffna peninsula according to the Red Cross and other voluntary agencies.
WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (IPS) - The revelation that commercial rice in the United States was found to be contaminated with an unlicensed genetically engineered strain shows how easily the food supply in the United States and in countries importing U.S. food can be tainted, watchdog groups say.
By Seema Mustafa
Damascus, Aug. 11: "Nasser in 1956, Nasrallah in 2006" < the Arab street has found a new hero, a figure that it has been looking for to act as a catalyst to unite the Arab world and infuse it with an agenda and a common mission.
By Walden Bello*
The wounds of war were evident shortly after we crossed the Syria-Lebanon border at 1130 in the morning on August 12. At Haissa, about three kilometers from the Dabboussiyeh border crossing, we come across the ruins of a bridge hit by Israeli war planes just the day before. Villagers tell us 12 people were killed and 10 wounded, all civilians.
By Irfan Shahzad
ISLAMABAD, Aug 17 (Asia Water Wire) Khairullah Khan, grappling with inadequate and erratic water supply
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 (IPS) - In a tiny, dark, room in the squalid suburb of Brickfields, south of the national capital, a small group of people gathered to mourn yet another defeat for democracy, free speech and secularism -- this time in the shape of a superior court upholding government refusal to recognise a socialist political party.
WASHINGTON, Aug 18 (IPS) - A global energy plan to be released by the World Bank next month risks squandering scarce resources on so-called clean coal technologies and misses bigger investments in renewable energy, but does address gaps in the energy needs of the poor, according to a new analysis by an environmental group.
WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (IPS) - A World Bank plan to merge its environmental and social development units with the department that oversees large infrastructure investment could end up leaving the "wolf guarding the henhouse", a watchdog group says.
MUTTUR, Aug 13 (IPS) - Death hangs over this deserted town in eastern Sri Lanka and the stench of decomposing bodies is overpowering. Most of its 50,000-odd inhabitants have fled and there is no one around to bury the dead.
All visible activity is on the road leading to Kantale town, 40 km away. Taking advantage of a lull in the fighting, civilians are rushing up and down the road in an assortment of vehicles trying to retrieve belongings from their homes, hastily abandoned as Tamil separatist rebels and the Sri Lankan army fought to control Muslim-dominated Muttur in almost two weeks of fighting.