Ivory Coast blog-battles; food riots; China's economy overtakes America; IMF is bad for health; Haiti anniversary; some other stuff: links I liked

Paul Collier’s suggestion that foreign governments should support a coup to resolve the standoff in the Ivory Coast, based on the arguments of his book ‘War, Guns and Votes’ has prompted a furore in the blogosphere, including some sharp satire from the Wronging Rights blog, as well as more serious discussion. More from Chris Blattman here and here. Bill Easterly weighs in for good measure as does Aid Thoughts.

OK, so I was wrong last week about the food price spike producing no food riots – you probably don’t need any links to the meltdown in Tunisia, but here’s some background on the unrest in Algeria and Jordan. Interesting regional focus (Middle East and North Africa). Presumably because of the particular jump in wheat prices and its importance to diets in those regions, but any other theories?

China’s economy is now bigger than America’s. Arvind Subramanian corrects some dodgy accounting on the real size of China’s economy (i.e. in purchasing power parity terms) and reckons it overtook the US some time last year. Expect more such calculations over the next couple of years [h/t Chris Blattman].

‘Health spending in countries borrowing from the IMF in the decade from 1996 to 2006 grew at half the rate of countries that did not have IMF programmes’.Yup, the IMF’s in trouble again, according to some new research by some pretty high level medics. [Update, but a good pushback from Matt at Aid Thoughts here]

Toplines of all the one-year-on reports on the Haitian reconstruction effort

Fancy trying your hand at development blogging? The Communication Initiative (The CI) and the BBC World Service Trust (WST) are inviting entries for their first blogging contest. Winners get fame, and some suitably impoverished cash prizes.

Or at telling the UK government what to do on aid? The newly created Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) is calling for members of the public to have their say.

And finally, some light relief from Aid Watch – why do autocrats imitate rock stars (or vice versa)?

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