The Hungry Planet

More than 850 million people around the world—one in nearly seven—don’t have enough to eat. Although current global food production is sufficient to feed everyone, the number eating less than the minimum the human body needs—an average 2,100 calories a day for adults—now grows by more than ten million a year, mostly in the poorest nations. Countries with unstable food […]

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The wealthy taking up housing meant for the poor

Though New York City’s waiting list for subsidized housing stands at over 300,000, the agency still has only nominal ability to evict a tenant who once qualified but subsequently became wealthier, and the latest “beneficiary” of those rules, according to a November WPIX-TV report, is a household that reported earning $497,911 in a recent year. Initially, one housing authority official […]

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America is far from being the healthiest country

“Being American is bad for your health,” said Robert Samuelson. That’s the sobering conclusion of an exhaustive new report comparing our health with that of people in 16 other advanced countries. We rank at or near the bottom, from life expectancy at birth to frequency of death before age 50, and it’s only partly the fault of our health-care system. […]

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Japanese seniors turn to life of crime

Tokyo ‘Silver shoplifters’: Facing cuts in welfare and pensions, Japan’s swelling ranks of the elderly are turning to crime—many of them stealing food. Shoplifters are now more likely to be over 65 than under 18. Criminal offenses by the over-65 set have doubled in the past decade, even as overall crime has dropped. “Senior citizens shoplift lunch boxes and bread […]

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The biggest threats to humanity

Think climate change is one of the world’s biggest problems? said Alex B. Berezow. Think again. Global warming doesn’t even crack the top 10 of the planet’s immediate concerns. Number 1 on that list: poverty. Nowhere near as “sexy” or “trendy” as climate change, it’s still the single biggest threat facing humanity. Hundreds of millions of people go hungry every […]

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The children can’t take it anymore

Russian teens are killing themselves en masse, and the authorities “seem oblivious,” said Alexander Tretyakov. The country has long had one of the world’s highest teen suicide rates, and in the past decade it’s gotten worse. Thousands of teens have joined “suicide forums” on Vkontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. There they share stories of abuse and desperation and trade […]

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The Befuddling Effect of Poverty

The strain of worrying constantly about making ends meet depletes poor people’s brainpower, making them more likely to make bad decisions that can perpetuate the cycle of poverty. In fact, Princeton University researchers conclude in a new study, just feeling poor can quickly knock 13 points off a person’s IQ.To determine how financial worries affect thinking, the researchers posed various […]

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