On November 29, 2016, the Egyptian parliament approved the draft law regulating the activity of civil organizations and institutions submitted by MP Abdul Hadi al-Qasabi on September 6, 2016.

This was tantamount to a declaration of war on civil society and an attempt to crack down on all active and supportive human rights organizations.

For more than 20 years now, the state has been committing a number of practices aimed to suppress and restrict these organizations and their members, but the recent parliament decision surpassed all previous practices.

As the Ontario and Quebec governments design their versions of a basic income pilot program, Canadians find themselves engaged in a policy question we haven’t grappled with in almost half a century: how should the welfare state evolve? 

At the heart of the basic income debate is a discussion about what’s required for everyone to have a basically decent life. Implicitly, it embraces a conversation about the importance of markets in that pursuit. 

The Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD on Monday held a discussion on the Least Developed Countries Report 2016 which amongst others had argued that graduation of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is "not the winning post of a race to cease being an LDC, but rather the first milestone in the marathon of development."

The number of new countries becoming LDCs, the near doubling of the size of the group in the last 45 years in part reflects the small number of countries graduating out of the category - just four in the 25 years since the principle of graduation was established (Botswana in 1994, Cabo Verde in 2007, Maldives in 2011 and Samoa in 2014).

Sovereign debt restructurings, as can be seen from examples like Greece and Argentina, are difficult, often traumatic experiences for the sovereign debtor and its citizens. It is invariably the case that in a sovereign debt restructuring (SODR), the sovereign, because it either has lost access to financing or can only obtain it on more expensive terms, will be forced to reduce its expenditures in order to try and meet its renegotiated debt payments.

On March 9, the OECD's  Development Assistance Committee will decide on how to include what are known as ‘private sector instruments’ (PSI), in aid. This could mean a dramatic increase in the use of aid to invest in or give loans to private companies, or to agree to bail out failed private sector projects, through guarantees. However, without strong safeguards and transparency standards there is a real risk that aid could be used as a backdoor subsidy for corporations with powerful lobbies in donor countries. 

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