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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the problems of the underdeveloped world, or more accurately, the group of countries who aren’t developing at all? Paul Collier has done more than identify the major issues – he’s identified some major, if controversial, solutions.

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The dance company Pilobolus called themselves after a cow dung virus. Forty years later - and despite world-renown - they are still a non-profit organisation.

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During the Christmas of 1914 soldiers along the Western Front stopped fighting to sing carols and – famously – even to play football together.

‘On Christmas Day after service in the trenches, we went halfway and we shook hands, and had a fine crack with them. Quite a number of them speak English. I got ones autograph and he got mine, and I exchanged a button with another, and exchanged cigs and got cigars galore. Altogether we spent a very pleasant two hours with them, and found them a nice lot of fellows’, reported a young soldier.

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Asma Jahangir was just 20 when she launched her first legal battle. Her father had been detained by the Pakistani government and nobody dared to represent him. Asma took on the case – and won. 

Now Pakistan’s leading human rights activist and lawyer, she has spent most of her career defending women, children and religious minorities, continuing to fight for justice despite constant death threats.

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One of the most original Christmas trees this year was made up of 100 bicycle parts. 

The seven-metre tall tree took eight weeks to build and the parts were recycled when it was taken down. Other eye-popping efforts from The Rock area on the Sydney foreshore included a tree made of chairs and another made of recycled bottles.


Simon Maddrell was unable to get a job in the aid sector — so he just went ahead and set up his own charity.

Now he supports Kenyan farmers by building sand dams, a low cost, low tech solution to the world's water crisis, which Simon describes as ‘quite simply, a miracle’.

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On the 11th February 2010, Vida Adamoli, a founding editor of This Way Up, died unexpectedly from a long-standing heart condition.  We had been friends for twenty-five years and I, like so many others, loved and treasured her, writes Geraldine Royds.

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