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Spending Package Would be Groundbreaking Expansion of Social Safety Net

Critics in the United States who argue about the cost of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package pending in the US Congress, which would expand government investment in the country’s broken social safety net and protections for workers, are missing…
US President Joe Biden speaks on how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
News

Apple and Google Should Account for Limiting Access to Election Information

Apple and Google capitulated to Russian authorities last week when they removed access to the Navalny Smart Voting app on the eve of the weekend’s parliamentary election. The move helped undermine Russian voters’ ability to access information about…
Police officer wearing face mask stands on duty at the polling station on July 1, 2020 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
News

Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
News

Corruption Settlement Returns Looted Funds to the Public They Were Stolen From

A decade-long scandal involving Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, may actually have a happy ending for the people of the country whose resources have been looted. The United States Department of Justice…
Proceeds from the Malibu home seized from Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, vice president of Equatorial Guinea, are now funding the country's Covid-19 vaccine drive.
News

Restoring “Ability to Repay” Rule Would Help Protect Human Rights in the US

Millions of people in the US do not have enough money to cover basic needs and may be forced to turn to so-called payday lenders – short-term, small-dollar lenders who charge interest rates that can exceed 390 percent – to survive. Borrowers often…
A manager of a financial services counts cash being paid to a client as part of a loan in Ballwin, Missouri on August 9, 2018
News

Federal Rule Allowing Payday Lenders to Avoid Interest Rate Limits Overturned

The US House of Representatives last week joined the Senate in voting to overturn a federal regulation that allowed payday and other small-dollar and short-term lenders to skirt limits on what interest rates they could charge for loans. This is a major…
The window of a payday loan store
News

Solutions to Identity Verification Errors Urgently Needed to Help Those Facing Hardship

Lucy* (not her real name), a 29-year-old grocery delivery worker and mother of two in the US city of Houston, Texas, was under enormous financial strain when we interviewed her in May. She said her income had dropped steeply during the pandemic; she…
Workers in Texas may apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
News

Environmental Groups Hope Case Will Force Government Action on Emissions

When you approach the town of Secunda in the coal-rich province of Mpumalanga in eastern South Africa, the toxic smell of air emanating from the cluster of coal-fired power stations hits you long-before before you see the town. I spent last week in…
Fence line communities near Duvha Power Station, Mpumalanga, South Africa. 
News

Proposed Law Could Improve Health Care for Millions of People

Last week, members of the United States House of Representatives reintroduced a bill to lower prescription drug costs. Congress now has the chance to provide relief for millions of people in the US struggling to afford vital medicines. For many in…
File photo showing pharmaceuticals. 
News

Order Overturns Federal Rule Eliminating Speed Limits in Hog Plants

In a major victory for meatpacking workers, a United States district court in Minnesota on Wednesday found that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had violated federal law with a 2019 rule eliminating slaughter line speed limits in hog processing…
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News

Congress Should Address Gap in Magnitsky Act

Since 2017, the United States has sanctioned 150 people and entities for corruption under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The list of those targeted ranges widely – from the daughter of the former president of Uzbekistan to an…
Business Trap Corruption Graphic
News

European Lawmakers Join Push for Waiving Intellectual Property Rules for Covid-19 Response

Pressure is growing on the European Commission and EU member states to reconsider their staunch opposition to measures that could open the possibility of a massive increase in Covid-19 vaccine production worldwide. In an unprecedented joint appeal…
A person in Soweto, South Africa receives an injection as they participate in a clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in June 2020. 
News

Biden Should Back Bill to Address US Role in Global Deforestation

A bill to prevent agricultural goods grown on illegally deforested land from entering the US market will be introduced in the US Congress, Senator Brian Schatz announced today. Beef, palm oil, soy, cocoa, and their derivatives are found in products…
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News

Investigate and Ensure Accountability for Central Bank’s Abuse of Power

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered Nigeria’s Central Bank to unfreeze the bank accounts of  twenty #EndSARS supporters, who had been protesting nationwide police brutality.   The freeze on bank accounts was one of several measures…
People hold banners and flags as they protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday Oct. 19, 2020.
News

Pharma Companies Should Adopt Rights-Based Approach to Help Bridge Vaccine Gap

Over the last few weeks, the relief brought on by the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out has been marred by supply delays and growing concerns around inequitable access. Of the more than 131 million doses given in 73 countries by February 8, 78 percent (more…
A medical staff member administers a dose of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine to a person over eighty years old, in the Santa Maria della Pieta hospital in Rome, Italy.
News

Beijing Blocks Clubhouse App to Stop ‘Political’ Conversations

On Monday night, Clubhouse, the red-hot app where people can create chatrooms that disappear after use, became inaccessible in China, presumably blocked by the authorities. Many had expected this to happen, but some were still surprised by how fast…
Logos of social media platforms including Clubhouse, center, are seen on an iPhone 12.
News

Foreign Businesses Engaging Military Should Exit Responsibly

Nearly one week after Myanmar’s military seized control of the government in a coup, it is facing a long-overdue consequence. On February 5, Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings Company, Ltd announced it would “terminate” its partnership with…
Plastic crates containing Kirin brand beer at the Kirin Brewery Co. factory in Yokohama, Japan, June 2019. 
News

Special License for Billionaire Dan Gertler Undercuts Magnitsky Sanctions

A coalition of Democratic Republic of Congo and international nongovernmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have written to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and urged them to revoke a decision by…
Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler walks through the Katanga Mining Ltd. copper and cobalt mine complex in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 1, 2012.
News

Even Before Coup, Companies Should Have Cut Ties to Armed Forces

The military coup in Myanmar this week should sound alarm bells in corporate boardrooms around the world. Since Myanmar’s transition from decades of military dictatorship to a civilian government began in 2011, transnational businesses have cautiously…
A convoy of army vehicles patrol the streets in Mandalay, Myanmar, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. In the early hours of Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, the Myanmar army took over the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup.
News

Lifting the Permit Cap Would Make Thousands Eligible for Financial Assistance

New York City’s roughly 20,000 street vendors have suffered enormously this past year, as the Covid-19 pandemic compounded perennial challenges such as the lack of a social safety net in the United States for immigrant workers and…
Street vendors and supporters march across Brooklyn Bridge during a rally in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, November 12, 2020.