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It's high time United Nations agencies and the mainstream media acknowledge the true scale of global poverty and engage in a long overdue public debate on how ambitious and transformative the international development agenda really is.

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These are daunting numbers, almost as unfathomable as that looming 7 billion figure. But there's no need to turn away because the scope of the problem is simply too large to comprehend.Chances are, you'll hear or read soon that the world's population is about to hit 7 billion.

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Plans to build a giant hydroelectric dam in the Amazon have been suspended by a Brazilian judge after the project sparked local and worldwide concern over its impact on the environment and the indigenous population.

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Anyone remember the Millennium Development Goals that nations made at the beginning of this millennium? Well, it turns out some people do, and they are meeting Monday to evaluate the efficacy of efforts to reduce poverty, disease, intolerance and inequality.

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Part of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is creating a "civilian surge" by pouring more money into development and aid projects to stabilize the country and win the hearts and minds of the people. But some aid workers say the "tsunami of cash" is a case of quantity over quality.

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