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Weekly Wire: The Global Forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Without Stronger Transparency, More Financial Crises Loom
Committee to Protect Journalists
The social forces that can encourage euphoria among investors and then suddenly flip them into mass panic are not unlike those that generate crowd disasters such as the stampedes that have killed more than 2,500 pilgrims at Mecca since 1990. In such moments of herd-like behavior, the common element is a profound lack of information. If neither the individuals in an enthusiastic crowd nor those charged with policing it have a grasp on how it is behaving as a whole, the mob can grow too big for its surroundings. Equally, if those people are ill-informed about the extent of the risks they face when they discover something is wrong, they will assume the worst and rush for the exits, increasing the danger to all. This describes numerous crowd disasters. It also illustrates the financial crisis of 2008.

2014 Global Peace Index
Vision of Humanity
We are living in the most peaceful century in human history; however the 2014 Global Peace Index shows that the last seven years has shown a notable deterioration in levels of peace. The Global Peace Index measures peace in 162 countries according to 22 indicators that gauge the absence of violence or the fear of violence. This is the 8th year the index has been produced.

Why Media Companies Are Competing On Their Content Technology Platforms
As the economies of scale continue to erode in the news business, large companies are struggling to maintain the business structures that were fundamental to winning in an earlier era. To win today, media companies are competing for journalists with large social media audiences who can predictably draw an audience to each article. The formula today seems to be that large media companies can win talent with their robust technology platforms. Eventually, however, this competitive advantage won’t persist as Medium, Google and others develop better technology platforms for individual journalists that can match the power of the best technologies built in-house. Large media companies are selling native ads to capitalize against one of the few assets they have left – their reputation. Meanwhile, the best journalists are finding that their personal brands are valuable and that their audience will follow them whether or not they work for the best “brands” in the news business.

The Third Demographic Dividend and the Global Challenge of Longer Lives
Huffington Post
We are entering a new age: a world of longer lives. In 30 years, the developed world has done the unimagined: added 30 years to human life expectancy. In a mere 40 years, the developing world is now accomplishing what took the West and Japan 100 years to do. These 30 additional years represent a new stage of life and an exciting global prospect -- one that requires nations to do what they can to ensure that these longer lives are lived healthy. If they do, they will unleash benefits for individuals, families, and communities of all ages. To reap these gains over the long term, nations must invest in health at every age and stage of life.

Fragile States, Fragile Lives
Council on Foreign Relations
Existing evidence suggests that the correlation between child marriage prevalence and fragility should be examined more closely, as many of the countries with the highest rates of the practice are found on the top of lists such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) list of fragile states and the Fund for Peace's Failed States Index. Child marriage does not cause fragile states, but it does reinforce poverty, limit girls' education, stymie economic progress, and contribute to regional instability. Natural disasters and/or armed conflict limit economic opportunities, weaken social institutions, and increase the chance of sexual violence and assault targeting women and girls. In such circumstances, early marriage becomes a more palatable option for parents and families looking to protect their girls.

Global War, Crisis Have Created 50 Million Refugees: UN
International Business Times
Various world crises, such as civil wars and sectarian divisions have created over 50 million refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people, the highest after the Second World War, the UN refugee agency said on Friday in Geneva. The total number of refugees and people displaced within their countries climbed to 51.2 million by the end of 2013, an increase of over 6 million in comparison to the previous year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) said.