New Internationalist

Cover for March 2009 - Issue 420

March 2009's Issue

50-year-old Mabinty Conteh and her 18-month-old granddaughter Isatu are from Sierra Leone. Mabinty is holding up a photo of her daughter, who died giving birth to Isatu at the age of 20. Women in Sierra Leone have a 1 in 8 lifetime chance of dying in childbirth. The risk for women in Ireland, meanwhile, is 1 in 47,600.

The gulf between the Global North and the Global South is greater on this than on any other indicator – and progress towards this Millennium Development Goal is all but non-existent. Yet, as this month’s issue of the NI explains, everybody knows how these women’s lives could be saved. So why the hell is nobody doing anything about it?

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Featured in issue 420

An inauspicious anniversary

Scared for their lives, gay Iranians are fleeing the country as it marks 30 years as an Islamic Republic. Those arriving in Britain find that their ordeal is far from over, as Anna Webster reports.

Bluemen and Yellowcake

Stefan Simanowitz reports from West Africa on the struggle of the Tuareg.

The BDR rebellion in Bangladesh: prevailing uncertainties

The situation in Bangladesh remains tense in the run up to Independence Day on 26 March, writes Rahnuma Ahmed.

Life at the margins

Bob Chaundy visits Ghana’s gold-mining region, where a new project is giving child labourers hope of a better future.

Saudi Arabia Reaps Ethiopia’s Harvest

Saudia Arabia is feeding itself at Ethiopia’s expense, reveals Adam Robert Green.

Changing the food system is just what the doctor ordered

Wayne Roberts finds it unsettling that an authoritative and transformative report on cancer released in February 2009 has to hearken back to the horse and buggy days of a century ago by calling for a return to “classic public health.”

Tibet: 50 years from home

It is half a century since the Dalai Lama and thousands of other Tibetans were forced into exile by the Chinese occupation. Nick Harvey talks to exiles young and old about their hopes for their country.

Christmas Carols

Poem by Margaret Atwood

Nete Araujo

Interview with Brazilian squatter activist

CIA enlarge their presence in Afghanistan

True tales of a mixed-up world

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Action on Maternal Mortality

Organizations currently campaigning on maternal mortality.

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Sharing the sunshine

Portuguese project spreads solar power across Europe

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Going Public

Unions’ fight brings flagship airline back to Argentina

  • 1 Mar 2009
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Beyond witchcraft

Pilirani Semu-Banda meets a young woman from Malawi who thought her life had been ruined by giving birth – until she heard about a simple operation.

Victor victorious

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'Not in our name!'

Jewish voices raised against Israel’s Gaza onslaught

Friday fracas

Maria Golia goes into battle for the underdog – and then wonders just what she has done.

Guantánamo: Both Sides of the Wire

Rowenna Davis meets a guard and an inmate from the notorious US prison camp in Cuba.

Those we lost

Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world. And behind every death there is a poignant story – told here by a sister, a husband and by photographer Jean Chung.

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Tibetan Timeline

A brief history of Tibet

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Visitors to Kuala Lumpur could be forgiven for thinking that they have landed in a highly developed nation. But hidden from the casual visitors’ view are the urban slums, crammed high-rise lowincome housing, rural villages still in poverty.

Make Room

Funked-up Hebrew rap, full of asides about booze, girls and – this is one you wouldn’t find with Enimem – gefilter fish.

Never Mind the Balkans

Pashm’s band – a judicious mixture of Greek, Jewish and Balkan musicians – belt along with brass, baglamas, woodwind and lyres at their disposal.

The Visitor

An unshowy, very human story, of a man who makes unexpected connections and rediscovers his own life

Wonderful Town

Written and directed by Aditya Assarat

Facing history in Cambodia

Why Cambodians need the Khmer Rouge on trial, by Tom Fawthrop.

Age of Stupid

A groundbreaking new film about climate change starring Pete Postlethwaite.

The heartbreak

Why are so many women still dying in childbirth? Chris Brazier explains how they could be saved.

Remembrance of things past

Urvashi Butalia learns some lessons from South Africa.

Djibril Sy

A queue for gas, captured by Senegalese photographer Djibril Sy.

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The Last Supper

The Last Supper is an erudite and entertaining novel of boundless ambition in its concept and consummate skill in its delivery.

Mariama's story

Mariama lost two babies in childbirth - because she had no help. This is her story.

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Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood

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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.


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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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