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Infographics: Combating Malaria
In 2013, about 198 million people contracted malaria globally, resulting in 584,000 preventable deaths. Of those victims, 437,000 were children in Africa. Assuming the rate of decline from 2010 to 2013 stays the same, in 2030 there will still be 159 million cases of malaria and 350,000 deaths. In 2015 we need to make sure that this positive trend continues, by securing a solid financing for the health related development goals.
Midnight's Children
Child sex abuse in Nepal
The spread of sex tourism in Nepal is now a well-established fact. Murkier is the trail of foreign tourists coming here in search of young boys and girls to satisfy their carnal needs. Anecdotal evidence suggests this trend is growing. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many posters in restrooms throughout Thamel cautioning foreigners against using underage children for sex.

 The issue has been brought to the fore with the arrest of Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh, a 71-year-old Canadian charged with luring a nine-year-old boy to his hotel room in Thamel for sex. Another high-profile arrest came in November 2010, when an Australian court in Sydney convicted Geoffrey John Prigge, popularly known as “man of charity” for setting up an orphanage in Kathmandu, on charges of “indecent touching” and “acts of indecency” involving three Nepali boys.
Looming China
Hari Bansh Jha
There was no direct relation between Nepal and China until the middle of last century because of the presence of Tibet as a buffer state between the two countries. But the situation took a new turn after the inroads of China into Tibet in 1950. In the emerging situation, Nepal and China established diplomatic relation for the first time in 1955. During last six decades, China has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in economic and even political spheres in Nepal. This is not a small achievement in light of the fact that the border between the two countries is closed and there is asymmetry in political system, language, culture and way of life among the two peoples.

However, there is a growing perception in India that China is trying to minimize its hold in Nepal and that its security interests are overlooked in this country. Recently, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s announced five-fold increase in official Chinese aid to Nepal, from present level of US$ 24 million to US $128 million by 2015-16, which supports this view. Also, the Chinese have shown fresh interest in investing US$ 1.6 billion in 750 MW power project over Seti River in Western Nepal. In doing so China has surpassed Indian commitment of soft loan to Nepal amounting to US $ 1 billion during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to this country in 2014.
Perks Of Parks
Aashis Raj Joshi
The gradual onset of winter brings clarity to the air in Kathmandu. The tilting away of the northern hemisphere from the sun seems to have somehow settled the dust, and with monsoon clouds long gone, the sky is a calm ocean of clear, bright blue. The sun shines lower in the sky and one feels tender, precious warmth, which gives relief from the biting chill in the shade. The air is infused with a radiance that makes the copper pots in Ason glow brighter, the reds and purples in the shawls and scarves in Bhotahity deeper, and the orange-brown hues of the terracotta temples in Basantapur richer. Missing from this rich medley, however, are the glorious, lively shades of plant green and the iridescent hues of flowers. Their absence denies these few months in the city the chance to look truly resplendent.

For a city that sits in a fertile agricultural valley surrounded by densely-forested hills, Kathmandu suffers from a dismal lack of green spaces. There are of course trees in the city on the occasional street but mostly walled within tiny domestic and office plots, but they are too scattered to amount to any sort of cohesive, appreciable pocket of nature. A decently-sized public garden or park with groves of trees, flower beds, rolling grassy lawns—a bastion of nature amid the urban sprawl—is absent. Ratna Park, near the commercial hub of the city, is too small, badly laid out, and too close to the fumes and noise of city-center traffic to offer respite. The garden of Kesar Mahal in Thamel is lovely, but it is smaller even than Ratna Park, besides being prohibitively expensive to enter for the majority of citizens. An area where one can spend a leisurely afternoon soaking up the warm rays of the sun stretched out on a carpet of soft grass under glistening green canopies is impossible to find in the city.
Get Them Young
Giri Bahadur Sunar
People have been taking psychoactive drugs for curative, religious and recreational purposes since time immemorial. People who abuse drugs come from all walks of life. It is becoming a matter of global concern. Modern chemical drugs abuse in Nepal boomed during 1960s and 70s when hippies arrived in Nepal.

But drugs are nothing compared to meditation. I have been practicing meditation for the last 20 years and have come to realize that meditation could be an antidote to and a long term solution for drug abuse. With the realization of meditation, I have been conducting stress management classes for youth and school children for the last couple of years.
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