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Issue 539 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

September-October 2022

Whose railway is it anyway?

Railways can be a world unto themselves. When properly managed, this can mean it’s easier to get things done on the railways than in other parts of an economy. That should be a huge opportunity for reducing climate emissions by getting passengers off the roads and out of the skies. But unless we re-purpose rail networks to serve the interests of people – and not those of the empires and corporations which built them and run them to this day – we can’t succeed. This edition explores how we can make a start on this task.


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Spotlight: The Critics

Starting from humble DIY beginnings, Nigerian special effects posse The Critics are making waves. By Subi Shah.
The black rocks of Pungo Andongo in the north of Angola

Country profile: Angola

Joana Ramiro summarizes the Southern African nation’s recent history of ‘European encroachment and African reinvention’.
Protestors demand the release of activist Teesta Setalvad after she was arrested from her home by the anti-terrorism wing of the Gujarat police, on a street in Mumbai, India, June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Waiting for the revolution

Nilanjana Bhowmick on the persecution of dissent in India.
Jair Bolsonaro holds his hand up, pointing. He wears a blue shirt and a black glove. He is above a crowd of people holding up hands or their mobile phones to take photos.

Will Bolsonaro’s spending spree leave any winners?

With an election looming, Jair Bolsonaro has set an economic timebomb for Brazil, writes Leonardo Sakamoto.
Global action: Activists in London demand that G7  leaders cancel the debt of the countries in the Global  South, on 26 June 2022.  VUK VALCIC/ALAMY

Payback time

Danny Chivers reports on the movements making links between international debt and the climate crisis in a bold and imaginative...
Agony uncle: Is the language of oppression being weaponized to the point of meaninglessness?

Is the language of oppression being weaponized against me?

A troubled reader fears they are unfairly being accused of gaslighting, manipulation and abuse by their friends. Agony Uncle...
Photo of Mauricio Ye’kuana, a Brazilian Indigenous leader and Treasurer of the Hutukara Yanomami Association (HAY), who work to protect Yanomami and Ye’kuana communities in the Brazilian Amazon

The violence of Brazil's 'wildcat' gold mining

Indigenous activist Mauricio Ye’kuana speaks on the dangerous fight to protect his people’s land.

What if…we liberated sex education?

Husna Ara plots the path to shame-free learning.
Naftali Bennett sits on a chair with his hands on his lap. He is looking to his left. There is a small table to his left wth a small Israeli flag on it. There are UN climate change logos on the wall behind him.

Hall of Infamy: Naftali Bennett

The recently-departed Israeli PM was not so skilled in maneuvers as his supporters had hoped.
Satellite view of Lake Mead, US, taken on 19 July 2022 during a drought. It shows how little water there is and dry ground around it.

Climate change? It’s everyone’s problem

It’s naive to assume that rich countries will escape the impacts of a changing climate, argues Nanjala Nyabola.
India’s railways are frequently hailed  by defenders of the British Empire as a positive  legacy of colonialism. While the country has  an extensive network which ranks among the  world’s biggest employers, it was designed to  serve the interests of imperialism and private  profit – with the directors of the sub continent’s  first railway drawn from the ranks of the East  India Company. Here passengers prepare to eat  on board a modern-day sleeper train.  BOAZ ROTTEM/ALAMY

Railways: Back on track?

On every continent, the railways are experiencing a renaissance. But what will it take to reshape them in the interests of...

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