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More Research and Development Needed to Feed the World

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Download A fall-off in spending on agricultural research and development in some countries is contributing to high food prices and a rise in poverty.

The World Bank estimates 100 million people were thrown into poverty in 2008 when food prices soared.

The bank says some of the price rises in recent years can be traced back to falling investment in research.

As Karon Snowdon reports for Radio Australia, its urging a rethink by rich nations.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 February 2013 15:38 )
 

Asia's Press Freedom Worsens

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Download Press freedom across most parts of Asia has worsened, with Burma being a rare bright spot and positive changes in Afghanistan labelled "precarious" as foreign troops withdraw.

That's according to the latest Press Freedom Index, prepared by Reporters Without Borders.

Authoritarian States like North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos continue to figure right at the bottom of the list, while Cambodia and Malaysia considered to be drifting towards authoritarianism.

The group noted a general decline in South Asia and Japanese restrictions on reporting the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Liam Cochrane from Radio Australia is speaking with Benjamin Ismail, head of the Asia Pacific Desk, Reporters Without Borders.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 February 2013 14:19 )
 

Korean Filmmaker’s Homeland Blues

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Download Our Homeland is a feature film about Korean man’s visit to his family in Japan after a long exile in North Korea.

The director Yang Yong-Hi leans on her own personal history and similar stories from her pro-North Korean community in Japan for the film.

Yang portrays Koreans living in Japan who were treated like second-class citizens and discriminated against.

It’s been selected as Japan’s nominee for this year’s Oscar and recently screened at a film festival in Sweden.

Ric Wasserman speaks with the director about the film.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 19 January 2013 13:28 )
 

Mo Yan: Enigmatic Nobel Prize Winner 2012

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Download Nobel Prize winners in literature are often the subject of controversy, and this year’s winner Mo Yan from China is no exception.  

His membership in China’s communist party and his uncritical and evasive answers to questions on press freedom and censorship are difficult to brush aside.

But it’s important; say some, to make a clear distinction between an author’s work and politics.  

Mo Yan is a gifted storyteller who has come to Stockholm to both collect his prize and face the press.

Ric Wasserman has more.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 December 2012 14:08 )
 

Singapore to Stop Naming Top Students in Exams

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Download Singapore's education system is known as one of the most competitive in the world.

And that's why it came as such a surprise when the government recently decided not to name the top students in a national examination.

As Kevin Ponniah from Radio Australia reports, the move could be the first in a raft of changes to this highly regarded system.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 December 2012 16:36 )
 
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