Global Journalist

Thursdays 6:30pm-7:00pm

Global Journalist is a half-hour weekly discussion of international news by a panel of journalists from around the world. Hosted by Jason McLure, Global Journalist airs at 6:30 P.M. on KBIA.

Check out the video and more at the Global Journalist website.

AP Photo

Poland was once a model democracy in eastern Europe. Yet since 2015 when the populist Law and Justice party (PiS) won both the presidency and lower house of parliament, there have been big changes.

Law and Justice has sought to force out judges deemed unsympathetic, shunned refugees and chilled the independent press – while tapping into resentment of the country's political elite and the European Union. The moves have strained ties with the EU, which has begun a process that could lead to sanctions on Poland and even the loss of its voting rights in the European bloc.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the challenges for democracy in Poland.


U.N. Photo

The Central African Republic is one of the toughest places to live in the world.

Since the start of a civil war in 2013, a total of 14 different warring militias now control parts of the country. The central government governs little but the capital Bangui. The United Nations says the country has the lowest level of human development in the world.

Conflict over control of diamond mines and other natural resources has helped fuel the conflict, and a U.N. peacekeeping mission has failed to halt the violence. Into the fray has jumped Russia, which has signed a new defense pact with C.A.R.’s government and appears to be gaining access to gems and minerals in return.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the crisis in the Central African Republic.


European Pressphoto

The young nation of Eritrea is often referred to as the North Korea of Africa.

The country has jailed thousands of political prisoners, eliminated the independent press and forces much of the population into indefinite military service. Border guards sometimes ‘shoot to kill’ Eritreans fleeing the country.

But since a July peace agreement, with longtime adversary Ethiopia,  Eritreans are waiting to see if new contacts with the outside world will open up a closed state.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Eritrea's moment of opportunity.

AP Photo

For many, witch trials may seem like a relic of early colonial America.  But in fact witch-hunting is still a feature of rural life today in many parts of the world.

One place where it's prevalent is India. On average, an Indian woman is killed every other day after being accused of witchcraft, according to government statistics. Many are tortured or publicly-humiliated before being burned, stabbed or beaten to death.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the practice of witch-hunts in India, and why the phenomenon isn't merely an outgrowth of superstition. 


Tareq Salahuddin/Flickr/Creative Commons

The imbalance between the supply of organs for transplant and the demand for them can be staggering.

There are about 75,000 people active on the U.S. waiting list for kidneys, livers and other transplantable organs. On average, 20 of them die each day.

And globally, the situation is much worse.

The international shortage of transplantable organs has lead to a booming underground industry known as the "Red Market,” where people illegally buy and sell human body parts to the highest bidder.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how the donor shortage has fueled a lucrative underground market, and how efforts to stifle it are shaping international policy.

(U.S. Air Force)

In early August, Vice President Mike Pence renewed a call by the Trump Administration for the U.S. military to create a “Space Force.”

The White House’s effort comes in response to advances by China, Russia and other countries in space. It also raises the question as to whether or not the move might accelerate the militarization of space.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how militaries have and could operate outside our atmosphere - and what that may mean for the future of warfare.


(White House)

Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince has already shaken up both Saudi Arabia’s internal politics as well as its foreign relations.

Mohammad bin Salman has detained prominent members of the royal family and businessmen after accusing them of corruption. He’s lifted restrictions that barred women from driving or operating businesses. He’s outlined a bold plan to wean Saudi Arabia’s economy from oil dependence.

But bin Salman has also escalated Saudi Arabia’s war in neighboring Yemen, triggering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. He’s feuded with nearby Qatar and Lebanon and intensified Saudi Arabia’s rivalry with its historical foe, Iran. Even Canada hasn't escaped his wrath.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a prince upending the politics of both Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. 


The situation in Nicaragua has taken a dark turn in recent months. President Daniel Ortega's growing authoritarian streak has led to months of protests against his rule - and a violent response from pro-government militias.

With hundreds dead and many more arrested, some observers fear the country is slipping towards a new civil war. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the political crisis in Nicaragua and what lies ahead for a country still recovering from a debilitating civil war in the 1980s.


AP Photo

  In 1979 China's Communist Party implemented the “One-Child Policy” to slow the country’s population growth.

The policy was lifted in 2015, yet the effects of 36 years of strict population control will be felt for years to come. Today there are about 7.6 workers for every person over 65 in China. By 2050, fully 40 percent of the population could be over that age and the country is projected to have 100 million people 80 and over.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the emerging consequences of China's mass population control experiment.

Note: This program originally aired March 1, 2018

AP Photo

On this edition, part two of our look at press freedom and how journalists do their jobs in countries where just reporting the news can be a big challenge.

For this, we'll talk to a reporter working in Mexico - where cartel violence has made the U.S. neighbor the deadliest country in the world for journalists. We'll also talk to a reporter working in Macedonia, a country that once had an open climate for free expression but that has backslid dramatically over the past decade.

Both guests are visiting the U.S. on fellowships through the Alfred Friendly Press Partners.


AP Photo

In late June, the first Saudi women to legally drive a car in the kingdom started their engines and took off down the road.

The lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers was a step forward for women. But it’s just one of a number of recent steps forward for women’s rights in the Arab world.

Still, many women’s rights advocates are only cautiously optimistic. In some countries, laws aimed at helping women aren’t enforced. Nor are public attitudes toward women’s rights necessarily becoming more progressive.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women’s rights in the Arab world.


AP Photo

The East African nation of Ethiopia has spent much of the last three decades as an authoritarian one-party state.

Political opponents of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front were regularly jailed. Independent journalists could be beaten, exiled or charged with terrorism.

But earlier this year a new prime minister took power in Africa’s second-most populous nation and has set out to make some big changes. Abiy Ahmed is just 41, and is often compared by Ethiopians to Barack Obama for his youthful looks and energetic speeches.

He's released hundreds of political prisoners - including many charged under a sweeping “anti-terrorism” law. He’s made overtures to Ethiopia’s archenemy Eritrea and condemned his own security forces' use of torture and arbitrary detention.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Ethiopia’s new prime minister and his efforts to open one of Africa’s most repressive states.


Yann Forget/Wikimedia Commons

In the next decade, India may pass China to become the world’s most populous country.

But there’s something odd about India’s population. 

At its last census in 2011, India had 36 million more men than women. As the population grows, the World Bank predicts there will be 51 million more men by 2031.

This is due in part to the widespread practice of sex-selective abortion and the gender-based neglect of young girls leading to higher mortality rates. In some cases, 'infanticide' of newborn girls is still practiced. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss what some activists call a 'gendercide' against women.


AP Photo

Back in 2014 there was an enormous international outcry after Islamic militants from the group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 female high school students the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria.

Four years later, more than 100 of the Chibok girls may still be in Boko Haram’s custody. In the meantime, the group has continued to launch suicide bombings on civilians, kidnap schoolchildren and ambush Nigerian soldiers – despite repeated assurances from the Nigerian government that the militants had been defeated.

On this edition of Global Journalist a look at how Boko Haram’s two factions - one now calling itself the Islamic State in West Africa - have managed to persist in northern Nigeria. We’ll also hear about some big challenges for the education system in this part of Nigeria - where both the insurgency and a number of other factors are keeping tens of thousands of girls from going to school.


Jill Craig/VOA/via Wikimedia

When South Sudan became a country in 2011, there was a lot of optimism in a nation where people had endured decades of conflict to win independence from Sudan.

But within three years, the country had descended into its own civil war – a war that continues to this day.

Today more than a third of South Sudan’s population has been forced from their homes. Children are used as soldiers and mass rape as a weapon of war.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at why the government and the main rebel group have been unable to make peace, and whether a policy shift by the Trump administration may lead to a deal.


Massive multiplayer online role playing games like "World of Warcraft" and "League of Legends" are wildly popular in China. 

But the popularity of online games has given rise to fears that the country has raised a generation of "internet addicts." One 2009 survey estimated there are 24 million young people addicted to the internet in the country. 

The concern spurred the opening of more than 300 internet addiction treatment centers - many of which resemble boot camps that use controversial techniques to try to cure patients. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at internet addiction in China. 

U.S. Marine Corps cameraman Miles Lagoze came home from Afghanistan with hours of footage of the conflict that the Pentagon would prefer the public doesn't see. 

In a new documentary that premiered at the True/False Film Festival, Lagoze strings together video taken by himself and other Marine videographers to present an unvarnished view of life for the troops. From Marines smoking hash to cursing over the body of a civilian they've mistakenly shot, Lagoze gives an unsettling portrait of America's longest-running war in its history. 

On this special edition of Global Journalist, guest host Joshua Kranzberg interviews Lagoze about the war in Afghanistan and how life for soldiers there differs from public perceptions in the U.S. 


via Wikimedia Commons (Ranjith66)

Climate change is already having big effects on southern Asia.

Deadly heat waves like one that killed 3,500 people in India and Pakistan in 2015 are becoming more frequent. The summer monsoon rains are changing, affecting farmers.  Rising sea levels are expected to flood low-lying settlements and higher ocean temperatures harm sea life.

The climate is already spurring other changes. Thailand and the Philippines have closed beaches as warming waters threaten coral. In other parts of the region, people are moving out of places where drought and natural disasters have made farming increasingly risky. Some argue that the changing climate is even fueling militancy. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how climate change is shaping life in one of the world's most vulnerable regions.


AP Photo

For many, witch trials may seem like a relic of early colonial America.  But in fact witch-hunting is still a feature of rural life today in many some of the world.

One place where it's prevalent is India. On average, an Indian woman is killed every other day after being accused of witchcraft, according to government statistics. Many are tortured or publicly-humiliated before being burned, stabbed or beaten to death.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the practice of witch-hunts in India, and why the phenomenon isn't merely an outgrowth of superstition. 

UNICEF

Two months after a major earthquake devastated parts of Papua New Guinea’s highlands, one of the world’s most remote and diverse nations is still struggling to cope.

The quake left more than a half million people in need of aid, but many of those affected live in areas reachable only by air. Compounding the aid effort: more than 200 aftershocks over the past two months as well as a recent outbreak of tribal violence.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the response to the quake in the Pacific nation of 7.5 million.


European Press Agency

The imbalance between the supply of organs for transplant and the demand for them can be staggering.

There are about 75,000 people active on the U.S. waiting list for kidneys, livers and other transplantable organs. On average, 20 of them die each day.

And globally, the situation is much worse.

The international shortage of transplantable organs has lead to a booming underground industry known as the "Red Market,” where people illegally buy and sell human body parts to the highest bidder.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how the donor shortage has fueled a lucrative underground market, and how efforts to stifle it are shaping international policy.

AP Photo

The #MeToo movement has spread from the United States to other parts of the world as women have increasingly spoken out about sexual assault and sexual harassment.

One country where it has struggled is Japan, where discussions about sexual harassment and sexual assault remain highly taboo.

Japanese women are much less likely than their U.S. counterparts to describe non-consensual sex as rape. Further, women who publicly accuse their attackers often face significant public backlash. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the conversation around the #MeToo movement in Japan, a country known for its technological and economic prowess but that lags behind many other industrialized countries in measures of gender equity.


WikiMedia Commons

China’s rapid economic growth over the past two decades been nothing short of remarkable.

Of course there’s been a dark side to this growth. As China has built more factories, power plants and cars, it also became one of the most polluted countries on earth.

But since President Xi Jinping declared a ‘war on pollution’ in 2014, China has also made big strides in tackling some of the problems. It’s become a global leader in renewable energy from solar and wind, has cut smog in big cities and is planning tens of billions of dollars worth of environmental projects. 

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at China's war on pollution.


AP Photo

The use of orphanages fell out of favor in the U.S. around World War II, and the institutions were largely replaced by the foster care system.

But in parts of Asia and Africa, the number of orphanages has actually risen in recent decades – spurred in part by the death toll from conflict and HIV/AIDS. Many of these institutions are privately owned or run by non-profits and receive no government money. Instead, they are funded entirely by donations.

The growth has led to criticism by some child advocates. They argue that most children would be better off living with relatives or others. They also worry that in some countries the growth in orphanages has been spurred in part by adults looking to pad their own pockets by capitalizing on tourists willing to pay to volunteer at childrens’ homes.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the debate around institutional child care in developing countries and what might be perpetuating the problem of overseas orphanage scams.


For many people, the thought of spending your life next to the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean is an envious one.

But for many people in the tiny fishing village of Cajio Beach in western Cuba - it’s something they only want to escape. Life for them is a constant struggle and filled with disappointments. 

Few have hope for a better life in Cuba - and so the only promise for many is to board a raft or small boat in hopes of making the 90 mile journey to the United States alive. This glimpse into life in Communist Cuba 59 years after Fidel Castro’s revolution is depicted in a richly detailed new documentary called “Voices of the Sea.”  

Directed by the British-American filmmaker Kim Hopkins, the film screened in March at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri and will air in the fall on PBS as part of its POV strand of documentaries.  

On this special edition of Global Journalist, an in-depth interview with Hopkins about the making of this remarkable film and life in modern Cuba.


via Wikimedia Commons

 Around the world, rates of teen pregnancy have been dropping for decades.

But in Latin America, rates of teenage motherhood remain stubbornly high. Today they’re about 36 percent higher than the global average.

One country where the problem is particularly acute is Venezuela - where teenagers account for nearly one in four births.
Venezuela's economic crisis has had a big effect on its public health system – including efforts to curtail teen pregnancy.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at teen pregnancy in Latin America and the particular challenges faced by young Venezuelans.


King Rodriguez/PPD/via Wikimedia Commons

In recent days Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he would withdraw his country from the treaty governing the International Criminal Court. That move came just over a month after the ICC’s top prosecutor announced that she had opened a preliminary investigation into atrocities carried out as part of Duterte’s “War on Drugs.”

In the 20 months since Duterte took office promising to “slaughter” drug users and drug dealers, more than 12,000 people have been slain in extrajudicial killings in the southeast Asian nation. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at death squads in the Philippines and government efforts to quash reporting on them.

 


Wikimedia Commons/Kremlin.ru

Egypt will hold a presidential election at the end of this month. But there’s little drama about who will actually win.

President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, who led a 2013 coup against the country’s first democratically-elected leader, is expected to be handily re-elected.

That’s because el-Sissi’s government has arrested or intimidated all viable potential opponents. The president’s only opponent is virtually unknown – and was actually an outspoken supporter of el-Sissi until just hours before the candidate registration deadline. Yet despite a wave of repression, there are signs of divisions in the security forces that buttress el-Sissi's rule.

On this edition of Global Journalist a look at Egypt’s staged election, and what it may mean for its future and its status as a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.


IISG via Flickr

In 1979 China's Communist Party implemented the “One-Child Policy” to slow the country’s population growth.

The policy was lifted in 2015, yet the effects of 36 years of strict population control will be felt for years to come. Today there are about 7.6 workers for every person over 65 in China. By 2050, fully 40 percent of the population could be over that age and the country is projected to have 100 million people 80 and over.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the emerging consequences of China's mass population control experiment.


AP Photo

Most people probably know little about the tiny South American nation of Guyana. In the U.S., it made headlines back in the late 1970s after an American cult leader named Jim Jones took his followers there – and more than 900 died in a murder-suicide after drinking poisoned Kool-Aid.

But recently Guyana has been in the news for more positive reasons. That’s because ExxonMobil has made one of the most promising offshore oil discoveries there in decades.

Yet the sudden discovery of all this cash under its seabed holds a lot of risk for Guyana. In some oil-rich countries like Angola and Nigeria, most of the population has gotten no real benefit from their country’s petroleum wealth. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Guyana’s big find - and whether it can avoid the so-called “resource curse.” 


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