Rhys O'Brien

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IMF grants Ebola-hit countries $100m debt relief

Photograph: AFP/Getty<p>IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who says the organisation is ‘demonstrating flexibility and innovation in responding to the needs of our global …

Disease

France’s baby boom secret: get women into work and ditch rigid family norms

Gender equality, pro-child policies and generous childcare provision are all bolstering French fertility rates rather than hindering them<p>Over the past 10 years the offices of France’s National Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined) have seen a steady stream of Korean policymakers and Japanese …

Fertility

World fails to reach millennium education targets

<b>The promise that all children globally would have primary education by 2015 - pledged by world leaders in the millennium year - has officially not been achieved.</b><p>Unesco says there are 58 million children without access to primary school and 100 million who do not complete a primary education.<p>Only a …

Japanese population falls to 15-year low

The total has shrunk for the fourth year running, falling back to a level it was last at in 2000, with more than one in four people now aged 65 or older<p>Japan’s population has shrunk for the fourth year running, falling back to a level it was last at in 2000, the government said. More than one in …

Geography

Gender equality report: not one country has fully closed the gap yet

It will take 81 years for the worldwide gender gap to close if progress continues at the current rate, according to the latest report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).<p>Women currently have 60% of the standing of men worldwide - just four percentage points up on 2006 when WEF started the report …

McDonald's to axe deforestation from its global supply chain

The fast-food giant announced it will work with its suppliers to end deforestation in its global supply chain. But do the super-sized claims stack up?<p>On Tuesday, global fast food giant McDonald’s pledged to end deforestation across its entire supply chain.<p>The announcement follows recent similar …

Fast Food

Sustainable development won't happen without the means to implement it

Predictably, the world has spent four years getting excited about ambitious targets and has given itself little more than four months to work out how to pay for them. We are a quarter of the way through 2015 and the September summit that will set the development agenda for the next 15 years is …

Electronic waste worth £34bn piling up in 'toxic mine', warns UN report

Gold worth more than £7bn is being thrown away amid the 42 million tons of electronic and electrical equipment discarded by consumers each year, …

US, China contribute most 'mountains' of electronic waste

The United States and China contributed most to record mountains of electronic waste such as cellphones, hair dryers and fridges in 2014 and less than a sixth ended up recycled worldwide, a U.N. study said on Sunday.<p>Overall, 41.8 million tonnes of “e-waste” defined as any device with an electric …

E-waste

Turning Ethiopia's desert green

<b>A generation ago Ethiopia's Tigray province was stricken by a famine that shocked the world. Today, as Chris Haslam reports, local people are using ancient techniques to turn part of the desert green.</b><p>In the pink-streaked twilight, a river of humanity is flowing across Tigray's dusty Hawzien plain. …

Why we shouldn’t judge a country by its GDP

Gross Domestic Product has become the yardstick by which we measure a country’s success. But, says Michael Green, GDP isn’t the best way to measure a …

Economics