Great News for Some Phnom Penh Friends…

When I first came to Phnom Penh earlier this year, I interviewed a really fantastic social enterprise called ARC Hub PNH for an article I was writing about prosthetic limb production in Cambodia and Laos.

During the Secret War that ran concurrently to the Vietnam War, the Americans (illegally) dropped more bombs here than had ever been dropped anywhere before, and the Khmer Rouge continued to carpet Cambodia in landmines until the ’90s. The upshot of this is that, every year, people lose limbs to UXOs all over Laos and Cambodia – and since these are some of the poorest people on the planet, their chances of getting hold of an artificial limb are pretty remote.  Continue reading

More Goals than Fans: Syria’s Uphill Struggle to Rally Nation Behind Football Team (Guardian)

The team, sitting at the top of the table for its group, is performing remarkably well despite formidable hurdles. The war has crippled football in Syria, scattering players across the world, and leaving them with barely a week to meet and train ahead of each match.

But Syrians everywhere are pouring out their support through social media, says Al Husein, and the crisis at home piles on the pressure to make them proud. He hopes that, by doing so, the team will pull the country’s fragmented identity closer together.

“At the end of the day we come from all aspects of Syria. Whether you’re a Christian or a Muslim or any sector of Islam, we’re all one family, we’re playing for one team, one country.

Read the full story at the Guardian 

These Indonesian Women Are Part of the Design Team for Their Own Development Tech

At a tech fair in Lembata, a volcano-sprinkled island near the eastern tip of Flores, Indonesia, 62-year-old subsistence farmer Daprosa and her friends Maria and Yuliana are checking out a water filter. It’s a simple $15 contraption, made of two plastic tanks with a ceramic-and-silver dome connecting them. The top tank is filled with river water and left overnight, with harmful chemicals and parasites removed as it trickles through. These women aren’t the only ones wondering about its success; local officials are interested, too — they want to know whether a giant version could be used to create a centralized water supply for villages.

Read the full story at How We Get to Next

The Malaysia Scandal: Crazy Enough to be a Far-Fetched Movie Plot, Says Human Rights Director

How an “objective” report on slavery in Malaysia became the centre of a political storm in the US.
Political interference from right at the top of the US government will be the only explanation if Malaysia’s human trafficking rating is raised next week, says human rights expert John Sifton.
“Let’s be clear: this is not a grey area,” he stated last night. “Malaysia has done very little to combat this scourge [of human trafficking]. They have done very little since they were moved to Tier 3 to merit an upgrade.
“If this had happened on House of Cards I’d say, oh, that’s not plausible.”

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Still Don’t Know Who to Vote For Tomorrow? Just Make Sure It’s Not for Murdoch

It’s been described as the election that economics forgot. Outlandish proposals put forward by the country’s major parties on everything from tax evasion to inheritance tax seem, to be blunt, to be taking UK voters for fools. And well they might; after all, they can get away with it.
Just ask the Tories, who have successfully conned the country about economic growth for the past five years, without anyone seeming to notice.
The combination of a Prime Minister with a far better grasp of PR than macroeconomics, a woefully complicit media and a bewildered population that needs someone to blame has seen British people hoodwinked by made-up numbers since the Coalition took control.

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