According to a United Nations report released last month, just under one-tenth of the global population was undernourished in 2020, up from 8.4 percent in 2019. Much of that spike was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely strained global food systems that were already under pressure due to climate change, population growth, conflict and migration. On the Trend Lines podcast this week, Julie Howard, a senior adviser to the global food security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, joined WPR’s Elliot Waldman to discuss the U.N. report’s findings. Listen to the full conversation here: If you like […]

A man distributes free food outside an eatery in Ahmedabad, India, Jan. 20, 2021 (AP photo by Ajit Solanki).

2020 will forever be known as the plague year, but it was also a year of increased hunger around the world. That’s according to a multiagency United Nations report released last month, which found that the number of undernourished people in the world rose by 118 million, to a total of about 768 million—nearly one-tenth of the global population. Much of that increase was due to COVID-19, a crisis that “continues to expose weaknesses in our food systems,” the report warned. Today on Trend Lines, Julie Howard, a senior adviser to the global food security program at the Center for […]

Researchers stand in front of a cave entrance as they prepare to catch bats, at Sai Yok National Park, Kanchanaburi province, Thailand, July 31, 2020 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is only one of many pathogens that originated among animals before spreading to humans. In fact, scientists are discovering more of these types of pathogens every year, largely as a result of global climate change and habitat destruction caused by humans. Deborah Kochevar is the director of a project called STOP Spillover, which aims to better understand and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases among humans. She joined WPR’s Elliot Waldman on the Trend Lines podcast this week to discuss her work. Listen to the full conversation here: If you like what you hear, […]

A police officer stands on a closed-off road near Igualada, Spain, March 13, 2020 (AP photo by Joan Mateu).

MALAGA, Spain—In a decision with international significance, Spain’s Constitutional Court ruled last month that the country’s 50-day lockdown to counter the initial spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of 2020 was unconstitutional and therefore illegal. In coming to its historic decision, the court focused on whether Spain’s lockdown constituted a limitation or an effective suspension of fundamental rights.  Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez invoked a “State of Alarm”—the least serious of the three states of emergency outlined in Spain’s Constitution—in March 2020, which should have only allowed for a limitation of fundamental freedoms. The court ruled instead that the […]

A researcher for Brazil’s state-run Fiocruz Institute handles a cage of captured monkeys, at Pedra Branca state park, near Rio de Janeiro, Oct. 29, 2020 (AP photo by Silvia Izquierdo).

In recent decades, scientists have identified dozens of new, potentially deadly pathogens that originated among other animal species but have the capacity to infect humans. SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is one such zoonotic virus, and humankind’s vulnerability to them is increasing as a result of population growth, globalization, climate change and other processes. A recently launched project called STOP Spillover aims to anticipate and address the threats posed by zoonotic pathogens. This week on Trend Lines, the director of STOP Spillover, Deborah Kochevar, joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman to discuss some of the latest interventions that are being devised […]