New Internationalist

Cover for November 2008 - Issue 417

November 2008's Issue

As the war in Afghanistan intensifies we ask Afghan writers and journalists how they see events unfolding and what they think their country needs to end decades of violent conflict.

Not surprisingly, what they have to say is rather different from the statements emanating from Western politicians and mainstream media pundits.

This month’s issue of the New Internationalist gives you a different - and more authentic - perspective on one of the world’s key issues. Not only are the articles written by Afghans, but the images too are the work of first-rate photographers and cartoonists from the country.

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.

Featured in issue 417

Will Obama bring 1990s food policy to an end?

‘If the transition to Obama is to become the end of an era as well as the end of an error,’ says food and agriculture activist and author Wayne Roberts, then ‘the legacy of Bill Clinton as well as George Bush will need to be overcome.’

An historic opportunity for transformation

Late-night meetings between Asian and European social movements produced the beginnings of a manifesto for change – the ‘Beijing Declaration’.

  • 20 Nov 2008
  • 0

Nominees for Most Artful Tax Dodger

New Internationalist’s list of nominees for Most Artful Tax Dodger.

Clean start – creating a fair economy

Out of the ashes of the crash, how are we to create a fairer future? New Internationalist asks leading experts from around the world to focus on specific areas and propose practical action for change.

  • 19 Nov 2008
  • 0

The road to meltdown

How did we get here? David Ransom takes a global – and historical – look.

The Solution That Wasn't

Lorena Luo in Beijing debunks the idea of a New Green Revolution.

Rice under threat

The Pesticide Action Network reports from Penang on the threat to China’s staple food.

Let us hope

Hope was a key word in the campaign of newly elected US President Barack Obama. Americans and citizens around the world were stirred by Obama’s oratorical prowess and his vision of change. Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano is optimistic.

Afghanistan on the edge

And the West acting like it knows best… again. Isn’t it time we listened to Afghans, asks Vanessa Baird?

Beyond the burqa

Sex, dating and the struggle for modernity, by Zuhra Bahman.

Death camps

UN negligence is killing child refugees in Kosovo

Where has the money gone?

Abdul Basir on the missing aid billions.

Good Dick

An off-beat LA-based comedy as a solitary, hostile young woman with a porn addiction. Written and directed by Marianna Palka

A brief history of Afghanistan

The fighting, the pain and the hunger for change

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 1

A 2008 US Election Hijinks

True tales of a mixed-up world

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

A Certain Woman

Winner of the best novel prize at Cairo International Book Fair, Hala El Badry writes about her life as an Arabic woman.

Money talks

China uses free trade to dominate Tibetans

Losing Afghans

How to lose friends and alienate people, by Kabul defence journalist, Khabaryal.

Bertrand Russell

(1872-1970), British philosopher and pacifist

St Kitts and Nevis

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

Bamboo bikes

Bamboo is so tough and so plentiful it’s used for construction scaffolding all aver Asia. So why not use it to build bikes? It seemed like a good idea to design maestro Craig Calfee and to the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York City. The two have teamed up to build better bikes for poor Africans in rural areas and stimulate the local bicycle industry in a number of African countries. The NI talked to Bamboo Bike Project co-ordinator and Columbia scientist David Ho.

Votes for women

For the first time ever women will outnumber men in a national parliament.

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

Afghanistan - The Facts

The basics, conflict, aid & social equality in Afghanistan.

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 1

The blight of impunity

Human rights activist Horia Mosadiq takes her Government to task.

A meltdown primer

Radical insight and explanation from Waldon Bello.


A horrific and unforgettable film about the 1981 Bobby Sands hunger strike directed and co-written by Steve McQueen

Peace calling

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

9/11 Contradictions

25 contradictions about that day in New York by David Ray Griffin

Fair trade magic

Women profit from new ways of doing business

Waiting in line

The special Cuban art of queuing dissected by Leonardo Padura Fuentes.

In the House of Mirrors

New instrumental album by Hector Zazou and Swara

Theatre of justice

Drama is helping victims, writes Hadi Ogal.

Big Bad World 417 - Goodbye Dubyameister

Polyp says a fond farewell to the Dubyameister

Everything that Happens Will Happen Today

The second album by David Byrne and Brian Eno

Alan Greenspan

Looking for someone to blame for the collapse of capitalism as we have known and hated it? Alan Greenspan is as good a target as any.

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

Pedal power

When it comes to the future, the car simply can’t compete. Chris Webb charts the comeback of the people’s best friend – the humble bicycle. And you can even make one out of bamboo.

A River Called Time

The fourth novel of Mozambican author Mia Couto

Action and worth reading on Afghanistan

Groups, contacts and resources.

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

The lightest touch

From brandished bottoms to a difficult death, Maria Golia plays nurse for her neighbours.

Hearts and minds

Afghan views on WHAM – a key strategy of the coalition forces’ war against the Taliban. Pictures from AINA’s gallery.

  • 1 Nov 2008
  • 0

The Opium Bank

A canny village woman talks to Zuhra Bahman.

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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