Vision of Humanity
average level of global peacefulness improved very slightly in 2019, for the
first time in five years, on the 2019 GPI. [However,] the average level of
global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78 per cent since 2008. Over that
period, 81 countries deteriorated in peacefulness, while 81 improved.
global economic impact of violence improved for the first time since 2012,
decreasing by 3.3 per cent or $475 billion from 2017 to 2018. The improvement
in the global economic impact of violence is largely due to the decrease in the
impact of Armed Conflict particularly in Iraq, Colombia and Ukraine, where the
impact of Armed Conflict decreased by 29 per cent to $672 billion in 2017. The
global economic impact of violence was $14.1 trillion PPP [ a measure of GDP which
takes account of differences in the purchasing power of various currencies; see
Wikipedia] in 2018, equivalent to
11.2 per cent of global GDP or $1,853 per person. Syria, Afghanistan and the
Central African Republic incurred the largest economic cost of violence in 2018
as a percentage of their GDP, equivalent to 67, 47 and 42 per cent of GDP,
respectively. In the ten countries most affected by violence, the average
economic cost was equivalent to 35 per cent of GDP, compared to 3.3 per cent in
the ten least affected.
gap between the least and most peaceful countries continues to grow. Since
2008, the 25 least peaceful countries declined on average by 11 per cent, while
the 25 most peaceful countries improved by 1.8 per cent on average. Conflict in
the Middle East has been the key driver of the global deterioration in
peacefulness. The indicator with the most widespread deterioration globally was
the terrorism impact indicator. Just over 63 per cent of countries recorded
increased levels of terrorist activity. However, the number of deaths from
terrorism has been falling globally since 2014.
An estimated 971 million people live in areas with high or very high climate change exposure [where climate change issues such as water scarcity can increase the probability of conflict], . Of this number, 400 million (41 per cent) reside in countries with already low levels of peacefulness.
Access the full report.
The four ordinary people who took on big pharma Beth Macy New York Times July 20, 2019 (Opinion)
“They tried to warn us about the dangers of OxyContin. Almost two decades later, we’re finally listening.”
Turkey’s ruling party is splintering. Here’s why. Yunus Orhan and Ora John Reuter Washington Post July 18, 2019 (Analysis)
“Defections could be a bigger threat to Erdogan’s rule than the recent election losses.”
Philippine Vice President, a Duterte foe, is charged in plot against him Jason Gutierrez New York Times July 19, 2019
“The charges against the 36 people, including Vice President Leni Robredo, several senators and Catholic officials, are aimed at those who have been sharply critical of Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs and other actions, like his crackdown on the news media.”
Opioids have an important role in relieving pain. Nonetheless, opioids can cause serious harm: addiction to them can ruin lives. Thus they are a “controlled substance” where safeguards are—or should be—in place so they may be used only for serious pain relief. When these safeguards are breached, harm can be done to many people. This harm, and the responsibility for it, is a current critical issue in the United States.
The Washington Post has recently published an excellent series of articles on the opioid crisis, several of which are cited below.
This is a good introduction to the issue covering the scale of the problem, lawsuits over the issue, and the Post’s efforts to make the DEA’s opioid distribution database available to the public.
76 billion opioid pills: Newly released federal data unmasks the epidemic Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich Washington Post July 16, 2019
Drilling into the DEA’s pain pill database Washington Post July 21, 2019
“From 2006 to 2012 there were 38,269,630 prescription pain pills, enough for 203 pills per person per year, supplied to Mingo County, W.Va.”
Opioid death rates soared in communities where pain pills flowed Sari Horwitz, Steven Rich and Scott Higham Washington Post July 16, 2019
Drug company executives said they didn’t contribute to the opioid epidemic. Nearly 2,000 communities say otherwise. Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Scott Higham Washington Post July 20, 2019
Shows the Post’s opioid epidemic articles over the past three years.
Follow The Post’s investigation of the opioid epidemic Washington Post Staff July 19, 2019
Global peacefulness improves but the world is less peaceful than a decade ago.
The world is slightly more peaceful than a year ago Laren Favre U.S. News and World Report June 13, 2019
The U.S. drops to No. 128 out of 163 countries studied due to increased violence, political instability and a weakening view of its leadership.
Trump fans the flames of a racial fire Peter Baker New York Times July 14, 2019
The real meaning of send her back Editorial Board New York Times July 18, 2019
“The president is looking to divide Americans along color lines, to conjure a zero-sum vision of America in which whites must contend against nonwhites for jobs, wealth, safety and citizenship. He thinks this approach will win him another four years in the White House. At this point, does it much matter if he is acting purely out of political cynicism, with no element of personal prejudice? The rage he is nurturing and the pain he is causing are all too real. The damage he is doing will take years to undo. ”
‘It was a massacre’: 10 are killed in caste-driven land dispute in India Jeffrey Gettleman, Hari Kumar and Kai Schultz New York Times July 18, 2019
One part of the U.S. military-industrial complex in action. How two firms lobby Congress to support both U.S. firms whose bombs are used in Yemen, and also Middle East countries involved in attacking Yemen.
The hell we’ve unleashed on Yemen Mashal Hashem and James Allen Truthdig May 16, 2019
In Pakistan, a feminist hero Is under fire and on the run Jeffrey Gettleman New York Times July 23, 2019
Puerto Rico has turned on its governor as deep unrest reaches the surface Arelis R. Hernández Washington Post July 21, 2019
“Puerto Rico has reached a turning point, with hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding that a generation of corruption, graft and class warfare here come to an end.”