· Global poverty numbers  for 2005-2008 are out. Many of you may not have known this, but the four of us who maintain this blog work in the same research group at the World Bank that is responsible for producing these numbers. The main highlight is that the percentage living below $1.25 a day and the number of people fell in all six regions for the period 2005-2008. This is the first time this has happened over three-yearly intervals since 1981. The improvement is not just in percentage terms: there were less people living in extreme poverty in 2008 (1.3 billion) compared to almost 2 billion in 1981.
· WHO is advising people living with, or at risk of, HIV to continue using hormonal contraceptives but also always use condoms. The report of the expert group is here , which was convened to discuss the evidence suggesting that hormonal contraceptives may increase the transmission of HIV. I have written about that study earlier here .
· A creative buzz : is a moderate level of noise good for creativity?
· Impact of Corruption  on voting in Nigeria and Mexico.
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