Leopard cat is listed as a vulnerable species [zh] in Taiwan. Since the big cats live in the forests and jungles in both plains and in hilly areas and their home range is very broad, their habitats in Taiwan are easily disturbed by new construction projects. The Taiwanese environmental evaluation committee had temporally rejected the request from the Miaoli Government to develop an alternative road in Miaoli across the habitat of leopard cats on April 16 2014 after a round of protests and petition. However, this development project was not dropped, and more development projects in this area are coming up. A facebook page [zh] was set up so people who want to protect the leopard cats in Taiwan can be well informed and mobilized.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Development
Aaron Ross reports on his investigation in the heart of the ongoing human trafficking of young women from Madagascar to Middle Eastern countries:
For some enterprising businessmen, the collapse heralded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So-called placement agencies sprang up in Antananarivo and other cities across Madagascar, promising the good life in Middle Eastern “Eldorados,” where monthly salaries usually ran around $200. The agencies would pocket upward of $2,000 for each successful transaction [..] As Madagascar’s economy spiraled downward, the number of migrants grew anyway. Some headed clandestinely to Lebanon with the collusion of government officials. Of late, however, the most popular destinations have been Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Ross also details the consequences from of economic sanctions of the coup in his report. The topic was also discussed by national observers here.
French economist and Associate Chair at the Paris School of Economics, Thomas Piketty recently published a book called “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” that has generated quite a buzz among fellow economists and political leaders. Piketty's central thesis is that inequality is not an accident, but one of the consequences of the excess of capitalism. Piketty also opines that inequality could threaten the democratic process as recently seen in Greece. Critics of his thesis on inequality also abound.
Cerno opines that ordinary Sri Lankans need the right network of relationships with many ‘powerful uncles’ to survive properly.
Phnom Penh has followed the clichéd patterns of newly emerging nations almost to the letter with the urban poor shouldering many of the downsides. What few people recognise is that most of it could have been avoided.
With over 150,000 residents displaced since 1990 the story has been far from positive and in many cases has compounded and exacerbated what was already a very precarious existence.
On April 7, Niger inaugurated in the capital Niamey its first train station ever [fr]. The authorities already projected the construction of the train station 80 years ago but the project never took off. The event will kick start the construction of railroads between Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Twitter user Tanoussou in Niamey posted a photo of the train station :
— tanoussou (@ismaousmane) April 7, 2014
The new president of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina was elected president on December 20, 2013. A few months later, he's yet to name a prime minister for his new government. Many observers wonder what is taking so long. Malagasy blogger Michael Rakotoarison has a different take on the situation; he argues that maybe the president taking his time is not such a bad thing [fr]:
J’étais dans l’attitude ambiante de celui qui doute, moi qui de base n’ai jamais soutenu le Président [..]. De source sûr, le président missionne à l’étranger une poignée d’hommes discrets chargés de débusquer des compétences. Le pari est donc de dégager la politique, pour ne se soucier que de l’économie.
I was one of of skeptical ones especially since I have never shown any support for this President [..]. However a reliable source told me that the President has currently commissioned a handful of men to discreetly identify people who possess specific skill sets. The challenge is to get rid of the political side of the equation and to focus on the economy.
Rising Voices will be launching a microgrant competition next month for digital citizen media projects in the Amazon region which is home to many indigenous communities. Thanks to Avina Americas, Fundación Avina, and the Skoll Foundation, we'll be offering this support with ongoing mentorship from the Global Voices community.
Citizen media has played an important part in many cultural, political, social and environmental struggles in the region. See some of our past coverage of Amazon communities on the special coverage page: Forest Focus: Amazon.