New Internationalist

Cover for July/August 2009 - Issue 424

July 2009's Issue

Who owns the Arctic? A few years ago most people, if they thought about this question at all, would probably have answered ‘no-one’, or possibly ‘Santa Claus’, and been content to leave it at that. But the question of who has the power to make decisions about what happens in the Arctic, and who has the right to its land, seas and resources, is increasingly starting to burn - within the Arctic nations, and beyond. Thanks to climate change, the rest of the world has never been so aware of what’s going on in the snowy north. Suddenly, we all have a stake in it. But who gets to determine its destiny?

The NI takes a look beyond the images of melting ice-caps and stressed-out polar bears that are sadly becoming commonplace, and focuses on the human consequences of the slow earthquake rocking the top of the world, and the struggles over its future that are currently being played out.

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Featured in issue 424

Suave criminal

Why are we all being criminalized? From media reports you’d think we were the most educationally-backward, pissed, pregnant, clap-ridden nation of crooks and delinquents in Europe.

Dark Days for Burma

Teashop gossip and the ‘generous’ Generals: Burma is again in the international spotlight following the extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s home detention. Alex Lewis reports.

‘It’s not who’s voting, it’s who’s counting’

Malalai Joya was one of the first women to be elected to Afghanistan’s parliament. In the run-up to the 20 August elections, Joya speaks openly to journalist Lucinda Dunn.

Kashmir’s Kan-i-jung: Cry for Freedom

In the strife-torn valley of India-controlled Kashmir, the decades-long conflict continues to take its toll, especially on its young. Dilnaz Boga has met some of them.

Are Colombians really that happy?

Yes, according to the latest Happy Planet Index. Rachel Godfrey Wood considers the evidence.

Less talk, more wind!

Wind power workers are blowing up a storm, discovers Danny Chivers.

Right to return

Leah Williams recently visited a refugee camp in Lebanon, where she met Palestinians still waiting to return to a homeland many of them have never seen.

Out of the barracks

A military coup in Honduras puts Latin America’s fragile democracy in peril, reports Richard Swift.

Murder In The Name Of Honour

A grim but compelling reading – a fitting testament to all the women killed who had sex outside marriage.

Tribute to Tajudeen

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A slow earthquake

The Arctic is changing dramatically. Jess Worth finds out what it means for the people who live there.

Some democracy...

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Within My Walls

An odd title, given the political geography of Israel/Palestine, this album projects a vision of multicultural music that seems to have little space for Palestinian musicians.

The Arctic: a history

A mythical place – land of the frozen ocean, the aurora borealis and the midnight sun.

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Climate radio

Jess Worth talks about the NI magazine on the Arctic with Climate Radio.

House of Hunger

An album that is very much the sound of a modern-day freedom fighter.

Still in the fields

Don’t buy Uzbek cotton

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Burma VJ – reporting from a closed country

This is the story of ‘Joshua’, an underground video journalist. By Anders Ostergaard

Turning Japanese

Maria Golia recalls a moment of cultural confusion.

A vanishing world

Images of the unique landscapes and wildlife under threat.

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Unpopular poplars

Environmentalists oppose the genetically engineered poplar trees for the production of cellulosic ethanol or industrial biofuel.

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Black Wave – the legacy of the Exxon Valdez

This film documents the corporate chicanery and disinformation that has followed since the Exxon tanker dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s pristine Prince William Sound.

Slick operators

Jess Worth meets two indigenous activists battling Big Oil’s dirty tricks.

Absolute friends

Largest solidarity movement between two peoples offers hope


Nowhere near as religious as its neighbour, Saudi Arabia, nor as bling-obsessed as nearby United Arab Emirates, Qatar has astutely observed the paths other Gulf states have chosen, and then cherry-picked what seems to work best.

The Arctic climate

Facts and figures about the planet’s thermostat.

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Obama's Cuba challenge

Previous US policy towards Cuba failed. Leonardo Padura Fuentes considers what needs to happen next.

Orgasm Inc

US documentary-maker Liz Canner takes on Big Pharma over the creation and marketing of a disease called ‘female sexual dysfunction’.

Pardon the disturbance

In an upside-down world, there are many questions to be asked, writes Eduardo Galeano.

Life without the car

Chris Richards goes cold turkey in her umpteenth attempt to do without her car – and fumes about the structure of modern life that makes the task so hard.

Bernie Madoff

If you’ve heard of Ponzi Schemes, it could be thanks to Bernie Madoff. About time he got his comeuppance…

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Arctic - Links and Resources

Organizations, campaign groups, news, books & films on the Arctic.

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Episode 3 - 'Enjoy Poverty'

A gritty, uncomfortable offering from Renzo Martens that brought outraged responses from some of the NGO and media people in the audience.


Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir challenges the idea that there is a ‘new anti-Semitism’.

When the ice melts

What does the future hold? Jess Worth learns from five leading figures.

Who owns the Arctic?

Could countries come to blows over the North’s resources? Professor Michael Byers explains.

Cutting for Stone

An excellent first novel, teeming with memorable characters and dealing with momentous events; the sort of old-fashioned yarn in which the patient reader can become immersed.

Hossam Bahgat

Hossam Bahgat is one of Egypt’s most prominent and effective human rights campaigners. He explains why things are getting worse in his country.

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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