For those who thought space was the final frontier, here’s news - it’s actually life. And the conquistadors are
Life Science' multinationals who are hell-bent on owning it. But should natural resources, living creatures and our very genesbelong’ to corporate players? Or should they belong to us all?
Intellectual property rights clauses stitched into trade agreements are making it virtually impossible for countries to opt out of and oppose patents on life. And yet the patents themselves are nonsense - if life cannot be created, it clearly cannot be owned.
Whilst the debate on the dangers and benefits of genetic modification rages on, a clear stand must be taken: research in this field must not mean ownership of the living `product’.
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There is little tolerance in Pakistan for alternative ideas, says Aasim Sajjad Akhtar, but squatters can still be a match for generals and financiers.
Filmmaker Jacquie Soohen talks about her time inside Bethlehem’s besieged Church of the Nativity.
Geneticists are playing Russian roulette with life, believes Jordi Pigem.
Australian biotech company Autogen dangled a big carrot in front of the people of the tiny Pacific islands of Tonga. Lopeti Senituli for one lost his appetite.
Women brick-kiln labourers, by Vietnam’s Nguyen Huu Tuan.
The US leads in the push for patents. But it wasn’t always that way, says Beth Burrows.
The very stuff of life itself is for sale. Dinyar Godrej tells us what we need to know in order to confront the high bidders.
A plant that holds out hope for people with aids in South Africa remains in the public domain. But that’s not where the story ends, as Ferial Haffajee discovers.
Live at Town Hall by Laurie Anderson
Tactically brutal, pragmatically treacherous: Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum.
My grandparents’ grave and the rancour of civil war, by Reem Haddad.
Does repeating a thing make it true? The followers of mainstream economic dogma must surely think ‘Yes’. After the financial crash of 2008 and the malaise ever since, they haven’t changed their tune much. Their prescriptions don’t work but the patients – you or me – are still being dosed with ‘freemarket’ medicine. We’ve worked on this edition in the spirit of providing something of an antidote. The economic bottom line is inevitable, say the powers that be. Just the way things are. Well, we – and an ever-growing legion of dissenting economists and fed-up-to-the-back-teeth members of the general public – say, ‘No’. These cherished myths are causing real harm and we need to ditch them.
In a nutshell: the countries most recently featured in the New Internationalist magazine.
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A regular column from some of the best writers of the South.
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– Emma Thompson –
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