What We’re Reading 5/18/09


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Wall Street Journal: What’s Another $108 Billion? (editorial)
The WSJ takes a critical look at the United States’ ability to finance the IMF contributions and the manner in which Congress accounts for it in its bookkeeping. What’s worse, the WSJ says, is that much of this will occur without the US public even knowing what’s happening.

The New York Times: The Calculus Behind Obama’s Ghana Stopover
An overview of what the President will be doing in Ghana and why he has chosen this west African country as the locale of his first presidential visit to Africa.

Associated Press: UN: Growth Of Slums Boosting Natural Disaster Risk
The rampant growth of urban slums around the world and weather extremes linked to climate change have sharply increased the risks from “megadisasters” such as devastating floods and cyclones, a U.N. report said Sunday.

New York Times: This Mom Didn’t Have to Die (Kristof)
Kristof writes that if men were dying at the rates women are, the United Nations Security Council would be holding urgent consultations, and a country such as this would appoint a minister of paternal mortality. Yet half-a-million women die annually from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth without attracting much interest because the victims are typically among the most voiceless people in the world: impoverished, rural, uneducated and female.

ModernGhana.com: UN disarms Weapon of Malarial Destruction
For two years the United Nations paid lip service to the truth that the insecticide DDT is a vital weapon against malaria but last week it abandoned science in favor of superstition, promoting dangerous and weaker methods against the disease that kills a million a year, the article says. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Program announced plans to reduce DDT use by 30% by 2014 and eliminate it around 2020. Meanwhile, they will test non-chemical malaria control in 40 countries in a “huge human experiment on the poor.”

-Chandler Smith

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