Top of the Morning: Tunisia Makes About Face, Allows Protests; Asian Development Bank: Rising Inequality May Undermine Asia’s Development; Cameron to Chair UN Development Goals Committee

Tunisia Makes About Face; Allows Protests

A ban on protests in Tunisia was overturned by the nation’s government on Wednesday following the crackdown on protesters by police earlier in the week. Deeper still, an investigation was launched to look into the the actions by the police. “The protests descended into some of the worst clashes since the revolution, with at least a dozen protesters and eight police wounded. Many more walked away with cuts and bruises while journalists were attacked or had their cameras broken. The fallout has presented the government, led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda in coalition with two secular groups, with one of the biggest challenges of its four-month rule…Cameras would be set up to monitor future protests, he said, after protesters and Ennahda traded blame over the violence.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/IDmKdA)

Asian Development Bank: Rising Inequality May Undermine Asia’s Development

India and China are growth machines. However, the rate of growth has been matched by a widening inequality gap. The Asian Development Bank shared its concerns that rising inequality may undermine the many development achievements. Heather Stewart adds, “Having a large proportion of the adult population uneducated and lying idle, or trapped in rural backwaters far from the economic action, is not just socially unjust, it’s economically mad. The west has learned the hard way in the past five years that unleashing a super-rich elite and hoping they’ll drag the rest of the economy behind them doesn’t work. As they continue to develop, the Asian nations have the chance to show there’s a better way.” (Guardian Development http://bit.ly/IhnMNz)

Cameron to Chair UN Development Goals Committee

2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals, is rapidly approaching. You know what that means. New goals! UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been tipped by SG Ban Ki-moon to lead the group that will help set the new agenda. “A government source said: “We want to refocus the goals to put economic development at the heart. The current goals focus on kids’ right to education, levels of infant mortality and so on. They are fine, but does an exclusive emphasis on them really help development? What about new goals to give people property rights or economic rights? “Andrew Mitchell thinks there needs to be a better debate about what drives development, and that economic factors need to be given much greater weight than they are right now in the current millennium development goals. “It’s economic development, not aid, that is the reason 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China.”” (Guardian http://bit.ly/IExj0b)

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