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nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504International society is being atomised, according to the London based International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS). Launching the annual Strategic Survey, IISS notes that 'neither balance of power, nor international rules based governance serves as ordering principles'. It adds 'International institutions have been marginalised', reports Nick Watts.

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The Amazon, the largest, most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, an irreplaceable ecosystem, is being burned, writes Joe Fallon. Set afire intentionally for profits by logging, mining, and agribusiness interests (cattle ranches, soy and palm oil plantations), and by Brazilian colonists who invade indigenous lands to engage in "slash and burn" farming. "The non-indigenous population of the Amazon is exploding. From the 1960's until the late 1990's, this number grew from 2 million to around 20 million." The corporations and the colonists achieve short-term gains that produce long-term losses. The result "...is chaos. Chaos, chaos, chaos," lamented one senior official from Brazil's environmental agency, Ibama" who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

sratfordownloadProtests involving labour, student and indigenous groups have convulsed Ecuador, putting its government in danger of toppling — and enabling the possible return to power of its former president or another tightly aligned populist figure. Together, it threatens investors and businesses with rapid policy swings or even the nationalisation of assets. The current unrest erupted after President Lenin Moreno cut hefty fuel subsidies in an effort to meet International Monetary Fund lending standards to sustain the flow of vital support.

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