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November 2006

Opium & alternatives in Afghanistan

Afghanistan produces almost all of the world's illegal opium, and the drug accounts for 1/3 of the country's total economic activity. On Tuesday the World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a report on Afghanistan’s drug industry. Among the findings:

Aceh Diary: a visit to Nias Island

David Lawrence's picture

Boat I knew I wasn’t in Aceh anymore when I saw a man riding his motorcycle with a pig. I doubt that there are any pigs in Aceh, since it practices Shariah law and pigs are considered unclean. But Nias Island is mostly Christian. You can raise pigs and eat pork if you want.

Export promotion agencies do increase exports

Many thanks to Pablo for pointing me to an excellent note (PDF) from the World Bank on export promotion agencies (EPAs). It's the first cross-country statistical analysis of the impact of these agencies on exports, and it covers 119 countries. The main message (via Jonathan Dingel):

Fair trade holiday shopping guide

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally, if incorrectly, thought of as the busiest shopping day of the year in the US. For those of us still in a food coma, it's nice to do the shopping from the couch. Thanks to my fabulous intern Kristina, who took a break from infrastructure regulation to find the excellent sites below, we present ten ways to buy fair trade and/or support artists worldwide: