Some 30 years ago, the field of microfinance was born from a radical concept: poor people, when lent small amounts of money, will pay it back in a timely manner. In the meantime, that money can be put to use in ways that help boost incomegoat farming, say, or carpet weavingand, ostensibly, raise a family’s standard of living. Now another radical concept is starting to take hold: that the thing people really need, more than business loans, is a safe place to save their money.
Uruguay drew one step closer to becoming the first country in Latin America to allow same-sex couples to adopt children with the passage of a bill by the lower house of Congress.
President Richard M. Nixon and his Brazilian counterpart, Emilio Medici, in 1971 discussed ways their countries could work together to overthrow the socialist government of Salvador Allende in Chile, according to a newly declassified document. During a meeting of the two leaders at the White House on December 9 of that year, Medici was discussing the possibility of a coup by the Chilean military with assistance from Brazilian military officers when Nixon said that it was “very important that Brazil and the United States work closely in this field,” according to the document
As one of the few surviving pro-U.S.
The world’s population is forecast to hit 7 billion next year, the vast majority of its growth coming in developing and, in many cases, the poorest nations, a report released Wednesday said. A staggering 97 percent of global growth over the next 40 years will happen in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet.
Two Russian attack submarines have been cruising in the Atlantic off the East Coast of the United States, a senior defense official said Wednesday. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said their presence is not causing alarms to go off.
In the dark of the early morning, the assembled drug agents murmur a short prayer before setting out on an early morning drugs raid. After a few short orders, we set off into the deep undergrowth of southern Nigeria’s forests on a tip-off that somewhere ahead are hidden farms illegally growing cannabis.
Nobody can blame Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn for smiling this past week. VW has just turned the tables on would-be raider Porsche, placing Europe’s biggest carmaker in the driver’s seat for a planned merger with the much smaller and sportier firm. And while colleagues at rivals like Daimler, Fiat, General Motors and Peugeot are busy trying to survive the current economic storm, Winterkorn seems poised to throw VW into high gear.
The white BMW Mr. Liu drives around this humid coastal city in southern China may be real, but the spiffy little black smart phone he carries with him is definitely fake. “But it has Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, FM radio, a digital video camera, hundreds of games, even a voice recorder,” says Liu.
The head of Swedish-based telecommunications giant Ericsson says he believes the company is well placed to come through the economic crisis despite suffering a slump in profits.