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November 1, 2012 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

Crops and climate: Cowpeas in lieu of wheat? Bananas for potatoes?

Developing-world yields of the world's top three calorie-rich crops -- corn, wheat and rice -- could decline because of climate change, prompting changes to diets and a move to hardier crops including cassava, yam and barley, according to researchers from the CGIAR agricultural partnership. The potato also is likely to suffer against higher temperatures, paving the way for banana varieties as a replacement, researchers said. AlertNet (10/31), BBC (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story



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"Haiti was spared a direct hit by Sandy, but the damage, death, and displacement caused by the storm is much, much worse than anywhere else on the planet right now."

UN Dispatch


United Nation
  • Post-Sandy UN is slow to regain speed
    Things are slowly returning to normal at the United Nations compound in New York City after Superstorm Sandy caused flooding and other damage. However, communications servers continued to have problems, and offices above the 17th floor were closed. The world body's Security Council met Wednesday in a temporary conference room on the north lawn building. ForeignPolicy.com/Turtle Bay blog (10/31), Reuters (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Health and Development
  • Propping up cassava, Africa's essential food
    Scientists are trying to make the already hardy cassava stronger and more nutritious to combat extreme weather and hunger in Africa, where the tubers are an essential food for 500 million. "We need to make it even more hardy as the dry periods are getting longer and the soil fertility is declining," said Robert Asiedu of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Women and Girls
  • For girls, Somali refugee camps are unsafe
    Violence against women and girls is rife in Somalia, especially in the refugee camps in and around the capital, Mogadishu, where many fear rape by armed bands. "The other night a bandit came into my house and raped my little girl. I tried to fight but I couldn't, and he escaped," says one woman, Mayeda, in an audio slideshow that features several women. The Guardian (London) (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
Climate and Energy
  • Testing new technologies on crops -- virtually
    The Global Futures project is growing virtual crops to test new technologies for small-scale farmers and rural poor in regions of the world most vulnerable to climate change. It is the first time computer modeling is being used to assess the effects of technologies on complex biological processes in plants before the crops are deployed, writes Gerald Nelson of the International Food Policy Research Institute. AlertNet/Climate Conversations blog (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
  • Other News
Peacekeeping and Security
  • Phased-in truce eyed for Syria
    China has proposed to United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi a region-by-region truce within Syria as a means to phasing in a transitional government. Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to limit the role of Syrian exiles among the opposition in favor of fighters and unarmed groups from inside the country. The Arab League is hosting a meeting next week in Qatar. Reuters (11/1), Los Angeles Times/World Now blog (tiered subscription model) (10/31), The Washington Post (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Will Nigeria's military clampdown on rebels backfire?
    Repressive tactics used by Nigeria's security forces to put down an Islamist insurgency could breed support in the country's north, especially among youth, according to a report by Amnesty International. "Every injustice carried out in the name of security only fuels more terrorism, creating a vicious circle of murder and destruction," said Salil Shetty, head of the rights group, which chronicles alleged abuses by the military dating back to 2009. AlertNet/Reuters (11/1), Reuters (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Strategy of reintegrating Lord's Resistance fighters opposed by victims
    Victims of the Lord's Resistance Army in the Central African Republic are objecting to the practice by Uganda of capturing LRA fighters, then turning them against their former co-fighters by releasing them into the areas in which they once committed atrocities. The Ugandan military says the policy aids "reconciliation," but civilian victims say it is offensive to them. IRINNews.org (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
 
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