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’.
Every month, we put up a selection of articles from the magazine. To enjoy the complete magazine, subscribe and receive three free issues and a world map. Or buy a digital subscription which gives you unlimited access to all magazines since 2007 and for a year after purchase on your computer or mobile device, in their original full-colour design.
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.
World Fiction Special
This issue of New Internationalist not only analyses these developments but also showcases four exquisite short stories as examples: ‘Fat’ by Krys Lee from South Korea; ‘In The Garden’ by FT Kola from South Africa; ‘Ghosts’ by the Cuban-American Ana Menéndez; and ‘The Lake Retba Murder’ by Efemia Chela from Zambia and Ghana.
A relic of a bygone era – or a billion-strong social movement fighting for workers’ rights everywhere?
The reality of trade unionism today falls somewhere in between. In the Western world, union-busting laws, globalization and internal conflicts have left many trade unions reeling. In some countries of the Global South, trade unionists face discrimination, danger and even death. Meanwhile, workers’ rights are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed gone mad: zero-contract hours, sub-contracting, privatization, outsourcing and special economic zones are all part of a ‘race to the bottom’ being run by transnationals concerned only about their profits.
Yet all is not lost. From Colombia to China, Bangladesh to Barcelona, workers are still fighting for their rights – and, sometimes, winning. This issue, New Internationalist looks at the state of the unions, how they need to adapt to the new reality for workers in the 21st century, and why they are more important than ever.
In a nutshell: the countries most recently featured in the New Internationalist magazine.
Sharp insights from an array of guest writers.
Personal stories from our own correspondents.
Interviews with inspirational people.
Reviews of the latest books, films and music.
Seeing the world through a Southern lens.
A regular column from some of the best writers of the South.
Taking aim at the rich and powerful.
If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.
– Emma Thompson –
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