Eritrea accused of slavery and crimes against humanity

A U.N. Commission of Inquiry this month accused Eritrean officials of "crimes against humanity, including widespread and systematic enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, rape, murder and other inhumane acts".

Bronwyn Bruton, deputy director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, in Washington, described it as a "shoddy human rights report" in The New York Times. His argument: "It's Bad in Eritrea, but Not That Bad."

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The elephants in the protectionist room

The G20 nations, self-proclaimed promoters of freer trade, have introduced unprecedented measures restricting trade and have seen "a notable rise in anti-trade rhetoric" since October 2015, the World Trade Organization notes in its latest monitoring report. The elephants in the room are the U.S. and China.

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Greenest deal ever? From an auto firm

Business funding of public projects, including actions by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, has come under cold scrutiny lately. Are the ideological purists missing the story? An auto company is underwriting a major international environmental project.

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Do marine parks still make sense?

In the past 30 years, says veteran conservationist G. Carleton Ray, marine protected areas (MPA) have "become an international mantra". The world has some 5000 MPAs. But after a 60-year career that includes helping create the world's first land and sea park, the University of Virginia professor questions most of the principles on which MPAs are based. And in a country that has been a leader in MPA establishment, he challeged local conservationists to question whether MPAs offer "rational" environmental protection.

This article is one of a series from the Bahamas National Trust Natural History Conference in March 2016.

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Gold still glisters in global trade

Cultural goods traded across the world -- everything from books to video games and jewellery -- doubled in value to $212.8 billion from 2004 to 2013, according to a UNESCO report issued on 10 March 2016.

That's maybe not a surprise. But nearly half of that was gold jewellery. And China is by far the biggest player on the cultural goods scene.

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