Author: Thomas Anania

Thomas lives in Worcester, MA. His academic and personal interests include economics, sustainability, writing, and baking. Thomas recently shaved his head completely and embraced the bald!

SINGAPORE — In September 2017, Halimah Yacob was named the first female President of Singapore. She assumed the role after other candidates from the private sector failed to qualify for the election process. Some critics say that the lack of an actual election is unfair and undemocratic. Singapore’s election department stated that only one certificate of eligibility had been awarded to Yacob for her previous years of public service. Both candidates Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan fell short of the private sector requirements of leading a company with more than $500 million in shareholder equity. Additional requirements for the…

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SEATTLE — One of the best economic means devices for incentivizing good health may just be giving people free money. A new study has found that universal incomes are good for health, as people who receive them diversify their diets and spend less on harmful substances. A free money transfer can also be thought of as a “Universal Income.” In a recent World Bank study conducted in several countries, researchers observed a negative correlation between free cash and buying alcohol and tobacco. While only studied across ten different nations, universal incomes could emerge as effective means for governments to improve…

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SEATTLE — Rwanda is taking charge of its own economic destiny by investing in vaccinations for children. After the rollout of Rwanda’s vaccination program for HPV in 2010, the poor African nation has since achieved a 90 percent vaccination rate for 11 vaccines and an additional twelfth HPV vaccine for girls. As Rwanda’s vaccination program is the first of its kind among African nations, Rwanda silenced international skeptics who believed cultural barriers and lacking medical infrastructure would hinder success. After the first year, Rwanda reached a 93 percent vaccination rate against HPV. That number is even more impressive in context;…

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MALTA — Poverty in Malta has worsened in recent years, with the number of Maltese living below the poverty line increasing from 15.9 percent in 2014 to 16.3 percent today. While the Mediterranean country weathered the financial crisis of 2008 better than most in the EU, more at-risk Maltese are slipping below the poverty threshold. Situated strategically between northern Africa and the Italian peninsula, Malta’s economy is driven by foreign trade, manufacturing and, increasingly, tourism.¬†The booming economy has prompted many laborers to look for work on Malta as its unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the region. Liberal…

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KINGSTON — Jamaica, like many other Caribbean nations, relies heavily on tourism dollars to drive the economy. As the largest English-speaking island in the region, Jamaica is also home to one of the larger economies in the region. And, while poverty isn’t as pronounced in Jamaica as say in its neighbor Haiti, there are still several causes of poverty in Jamaica that have left many struggling. The Global Recession of 2007 According to the World Bank, in 2012, the official poverty rate in Jamaica fell just shy of 20 percent. Conditions in Jamaica have improved in the last quarter century;…

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NAIROBI — ¬†Kenya was recently named one of the leading “green” countries in the world. With financial support from Japan and others, the central African country is harnessing its natural geographical endowment for renewable energy. Technological advances in the last fifteen years have made green energy more competitive, price-wise, to traditional fossil fuels. In that span, Kenya’s geothermal energy production has skyrocketed. Instead of relying heavily on oil and gas as many developing nations do, Kenya ramped up its production of geothermal energy from 45 to 533 megawatts. Kenya’s geothermal energy now accounts for nearly half of all power running…

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SEATTLE — Aside from the extreme poverty ravaging the nation, human rights in Burkina Faso and reported abuses are a huge concern for international NGOs. Burkina Faso, a constitutional republic since 2015, is a small country of 18 million people, nearly half of whom live on less than $1.25 a day. Burkina Faso has had reports of killings by vigilante groups, inconsistencies in the justice system, violence against women and children, and discrimination against those with disabilities, gender and sexual minorities and those afflicted by AIDS and HIV. Vigilante groups in Burkina Faso have been known to operate their own…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017, named after the late Holocaust survivor, is being considered in Congress. The bill would help the U.S. become better at identifying and responding to emerging genocides and humanitarian crises. Elie Wiesel is most known for his publication of Night, a chilling recounting of the horrific atrocities committed by the Nazi paramilitary SS during Wiesel’s internment at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Designated S.1158 and HR. 3030, The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act enjoys wide bipartisan support. Since its introduction on May 17 and June 22, respectively, the…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) fund is the investment arm of the Global Development Lab, a project founded in 2010 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). To date, the fund has awarded more than $90 million to projects in more than 40 countries. The venture capital fund supports efforts to curb extreme global poverty, but it stopped accepting new grant applications on July 28, 2017. The announcement came as part of an email to grant recipients, saying the funding application window was closing due to “shifting resources constraints.” These constraints and uncertainty of the…

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