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In Egypt, the Great Pyramid was illuminated with the French, Russian and Lebanese flags in solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks, but most of the focus in the West has been on the victims in Paris. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Solidarity after Paris means being more attentive to suffering elsewhere

Selective sympathy raises troubling questions. If you neglect suffering in other places, it is much more difficult to mobilise political actors to take it seriously.
Retailers offer ‘rewards’ programs and loyalty cards that can trap customers into a debt cycle. Deborah James

Obligations, repayments and regulations: the debt conundrum in the global South

In the global South, where some argue that "everyone is now middle class", people are reluctant to acknowledge that they need to borrow money – and the stigma drives them to dodge their debts.
A Kenyan woman does a financial transaction using her mobile phone. Africaknows/Joshua Wanyama

Why financial inclusion needs a new frontier – asset building

Financial inclusion has so far focused on enhancing a poor person’s cash flow. But it needs to involve more. Not enough consideration is given to encouraging poor people to build assets.
Thomas Piketty argues that education is a big equaliser in a highly unequal society like South Africa. But it must be good quality education. Reuters/Rogan Ward

FactCheck: is South Africa the most unequal society in the world?

Twenty years ago, Brazil and South Africa were in a similar position when it comes to inequality. Brazil has made significant progress in addressing this, but South Africa hasn't.
A view of Alexandra township, a slum overlooking the Sandton skyscrapers in Johannesburg. Addressing inequality has been a major challenge for South Africa. Reuters/Juda Ngwenya

Piketty’s contribution to unpacking inequality: timely and relevant

Will Thomas Piketty's visit to South Africa trigger the rewriting of the country's recent economic history? His analysis and ideas on how to address inequality are hard to ignore.
Improving maternal mortality and ending preventable deaths in children are some of the health targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Flickr

More is less? Health in the Sustainable Development Goals

Health has secured its place as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. But without clear mechanisms to report, finance or engage other sectors, could more end up as less?
Children and families wait in line, as holiday gifts and toys are distributed to underprivileged children at the Fred Jordan Mission in Los Angeles December 21 2013. Phil McCarten/Reuters

It’s not a lack of self-control that keeps people poor

Does the definition of self-control – choosing long-term over short-term outcomes – even make sense for people who are short on time, money or both?
Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are together seeking to mobilise world opinion to change the way we live and produce. EPA/L'Osservatore Romano

Pope works to reconcile Catholic teaching, population pressures and sustainable development

On his first visit to the US, Pope Francis will highlight the challenges of poverty and sustainability. A related issue, he acknowledges, is population. So what does that mean for Catholic teaching?
French economist and author Thomas Piketty. His book on inequality has lessons for developing economies such as South Africa. EPA/Bart Maat

What South Africa can learn from Piketty about addressing inequality

Inequality remains one of South Africa's major problems. Thomas Piketty's visit to the country provides an opportunity to explore ways to deal with this problem.
Unused cooling towers overlooking an informal settlement in Soweto. A new study suggests that poverty in South Africa is actually higher than the figures usually quoted. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

How current measures underestimate the level of poverty in South Africa

A review of South Africa's methodology to measure poverty shows that 60% of people in the country are poor. This is way higher than the figures that are usually quoted.

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