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G8 Summit and Advance Market Commitments

The leaders of the eight most industrialized countries (the 'G8') meet on July 15-17. Development has not been at the top of the agenda for the Russian Presidency, and President Putin is likely to shift the emphasis away from Africa, which took top billing at the 2005 Summit hosted by Prime Minister Blair in Gleneagles.

WTO: Lack of leadership dooms trade talks in Geneva

In a hugely disappointing outcome, International trade negotiators made so little progress in Geneva this past weekend that they gave up and went home early. The lack of leadership was stunning and blame can be spread widely. Despite the great gains that India has reaped in recent years from globalization, its trade negotiator decided that a World Cup game was more important than arriving at a key negotiating session on time.

The truth about Zimbabwe: A new flurry of media attention on Robert Mugabe

There seems to be a mini-revival of media interest in Zimbabwe, including in the U.S. where the country’s crisis rarely gets much attention. Last night PBS Frontline ran “Zimbabwe: Shadows and Lies”, a well done documentary exposing the growing tyranny and propaganda of the ruling regime. Journalist Alexis Bloom (repeating stunts previously done by BBC reporters since the government banned foreign media a few years ago) snuck into the country pretending to be a tourist and shot in secret.

CPIA Revealed: World Bank sheds more light on its country ratings

In a barely-noticed step, the World Bank has recently revealed a lot about what it thinks. While most donors are rushing to concentrate their aid in ‘good performers’, the World Bank has been using ‘performance based allocation’ in one form or another since the late 1970s. Every year, it systematically rates low income countries, giving each one a score on the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA).

Have We Made Poverty History?

It is nearly a year since the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations met in Gleneagles in Scotland against the background of a popular campaign for the rich nations to do more to reduce global poverty.  So it seems a good time to take stock of whether the commitments made at Gleneagles are being met.   Several new reports do just that:

U.S. suspends Ghana from aid program

Washington – The Bush administration today abruptly suspended financial assistance to Ghana through its new Millennium Challenge Account (MCC), indefinitely postponing the schedule for signing a new compact in July. News of the suspension came the day after Ghana’s 2-1 victory in the World Cup. MCC CEO John Danilovich said the suspension was not because of any failure on Ghana’s part in the traditional MCC focus areas of ruling justly, investing in people, and economic freedom. He said "It’s a new area of concern.

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