New Internationalist

Cover for August 2008 - Issue 414

August 2008's Issue

2.6 billion people around the world don’t have a WC or any other kind of decent toilet. Because ‘faecal perils’ land up on hands, feet and lips, two million of them – mostly children – die of diarrhoeal disease every year. The toll in indignity and distress, especially among women, is less measurable but arguably far worse.

Out on the excretory frontier, toilet pioneers are strutting their stuff with goose-necks and waterseals, sanplats and the ecological approach. But they won’t get far unless people – rich and famous, poor and deprived – can be persuaded to confront the unmentionable and call a spade a spade.

This issue of New Internationalist looks at who and what are carrying the sanitary flame in the 21st century.

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Featured in issue 414

Hello Dalai!

Regular NI contributor Anna Chen casts the second Stone.

Independence Day + 1

Mari Marcel Thekaekara reflects on the state of the Indian nation in middle age.

Tigers or Neutrinos

A huge new scientific experiment plans to go looking for tiny particles in the middle of India’s oldest Biosphere Reserve, moving mountains of rock and earth as it goes. Tarsh Thekaekara has his doubts about what is being done in the name of pure science.

We need to talk about... toilets

2008 is the International Year of Sanitation. Or, asks Maggie Black, is it the International Year of Silence and Embarrassment?

Thabo Mbeki

President of South Africa (though not for much longer).

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River Bleeds Black

Bangladeshi photographer Shehzad Noorani exposes the damage done to the Buriganga River.

Dignity and the decent facility

Women desperately want toilets – but not as a health aid. Libby Plumb reports.

Big Bad World 414

Polyp’s take on happiness

Mandela’s no tourist

Nelson Mandela gets a birthday present from the US, being repealed from the Terror Watch List!

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Nelson Mandela (1918- )

Powerful words from South Africa’s first black President

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A lifetime in muck

Unbelievably, people still exist whose task in life is shovelling shit, as Mari Marcel Thekaekara explains.

Teófilo Acuña

Colombian activist Teófilo Acuña on the danger of confronting paramilitaries.

Eau de victory

Water privatization heads back to public management around the world

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The drugs don't work

Why young rural Indians end up addicted to pills

Tortured for 'refusing to kill'

A conscientious objector from Istanbul was beaten with sticks until he passed out

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Getting fair treatment

Brazil’s AIDS fight against Big Pharma continues

The language of the car...

by Mitchell & Richardson

Rights for albinos

Tanzanian authorities launch a crackdown on anti-albino witch doctors

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Dominica is a small island both in population and size. Yet the island feels a lot bigger than this, with dozens of mountain peaks, waterfalls and some say a river for every day of the year.

The Eighth Commandment – Lies

Lies, food & the poor by Eduardo Galeano

Maldito Tango

This collection of prowling, lunfardo slang-inflected songs concentrates on an imagined lowlife of Buenos Aires.

Virtual Leisure

The début album from the Israeli-born, London-based performance artist Anat Ben-David, is based on a grim paradox, leisure doesn’t exist – it’s virtual

The Hangman's Game

Karen King-Aribisala’s debut novel, a dark and brooding meditation on the stories we tell and the effect they have on everyday life

Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled by Flesh and Blood

Donna Dickensen’s fascinating overview of the complex world of medical ethics

My life inside

A masterful piece of film-making that leaves the audience gasping at the injustice of a 99 year sentence for a Mexican ‘illegal’ migrant following the death of the child she was minding

For our convenience

Toilets have been around since the days of Elizabeth I. Systems old and new.

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Jail babies

Children imprisoned with their mothers worldwide

Toilets - The Facts

Everything you ever wanted to know about toilets.

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An island calling

An explosive mix of politics, religion and sexuality explored through the life of a gay couple in Fiji

Kids and money

The horrors of the attitudes towards money of Los Angeles 12-16-year-olds

Technofixes: climate solution or corporate scam?

Science is coming up with ever more extraordinary proposals for combating climate change, from laying white plastic over deserts to locking up carbon dioxide in the oceans or shooting it into space. Should we take any of this seriously?

Letter to Anna: the Story of Journalist Politkovskaya’s Death

The story of one journalist who tirelessly exposed its horrors and manipulation by the Moscow political class.

To Sewer or Not to Sewer

David Satterthwaite speaks out in praise of sewers, and Mayling Simpson-Hébert retaliates on behalf of pits.

Acting in Concert

Sound advice for action, inspiration and organization.

Stand up, stand up for toilets...

Toilet champions are not so rare a breed as you’d think. Here are some distinguished exemplars.

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The pen is messier than the sword

Maria Golia explains why the pen is messier than the sword in her Letter from Cairo.

Cover of the May Issue: West Papua of New Internationalist

On Newsstands

May Issue: West Papua

Freedom in sight?

West Papua stands on a knife-edge between freedom and disaster. In this issue, we hear the voices of people living under Indonesian occupation and fighting to be free. We learn about the unifying power of Melanesian music, expose the extractive companies that are profiting from Papuan repression, and hear Indigenous leaders lay out their visions of the new country they want to build.


Online now

Populism rises again

In the post-truth world of 2016, the day of the demagogue arrived. President Duterte played Dirty Harry in the Philippines. A pussy-grabbing, fact-denying, tax-shirking billionaire got elected US president. Smirking Brexiteers lied through their teeth and had their way. Authoritarian populists have stoked anger and division, and exposed faultlines in democracy. In this edition we ask, what is the appeal of the appalling? And is a progressive populism the answer?

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