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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.


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. 


(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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.

 


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.


Flickr/KurdishStruggle/Creative Commons

The Kurds have played a key role in the Syrian war. With U.S. military aid, a Kurdish militia called the YPG has done a large share of the ground fighting that has led to the near-defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Still it’s not clear that these military gains have brought the Kurds any closer to their dream of a Kurdish nation.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at the prospects and aspirations of the Kurds after the defeat of ISIS, and what may become of thousands of captured ISIS fighters.


AP Photo

Back in January 2017, Brazil experienced a wave of massive and grisly prison riots. More than 130 inmates were killed in a few weeks in fighting between rival gangs. Many of the of the dead were decapitated or mutilated, and pictures of their bodies were posted on the internet by other inmates.

Now, two other deadly riots in the first few weeks of 2018 are raising fears of more mass-killings in Brazilian prisons. In some cases,  prisons have been all but abandoned by outnumbered prison guards and are operated as virtually independent fiefs of gangs that have morphed from prisoner rights' organizations into sophisticated criminal groups. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at why Brazil's prison system is so violent and how its mismanagement is undermining Brazil's politics and governance. 


James Cridland/Creative Commons via Flickr

Overpopulation has been debated since British economist Thomas Malthus famously warned in 1798 that humans could reproduce far faster than they could increase their food supply.

But since Malthus's time, world population has grown from 800 million to 7.5 billion today. Yet worries about overpopulation are back. In part that's because lots more people are on the way, complicating efforts to deal with problems like climate change and water scarcity.

The UN forecasts that in the near future the world will add about 83 million people annually. By 2100, world population will grow to 11.2 billion.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at the growth of human population and the debate about its risks.


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.


On this special edition of Global Journalist, we take a step back from international news to hear from Leonard Pitts Jr., a Pulitzer-winning syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald.

Pitts is well-known liberal critiques of the Trump administration as well as his columns covering race, gay rights, religion and other cultural issues. His column on Sept. 12, 2001 called “We’ll Go Forward From This Moment,” is particularly well-known for directly addressing the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition to the Pulitzer, Pitts has won numerous journalism awards from groups like the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society for Professional Journalists - and most recently a 2017 honor medal from the Missouri School of Journalism.


AP Photo

North Korea has one of the worst human rights record in the world, but for women the situation is particularly acute. 

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are rarely punished, and many women who escape to neighboring China end up being trafficked into prostitution or sold as brides to Chinese men. 

Yet despite these challenges, North Korean women often have more economic freedoms than men. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women's rights in North Korea. 


Those who listened to NPR's coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign regularly heard the dispatches from political reporter Asma Khalid.

During the race, Khalid distinguished herself for her ability to blend voter interviews with the use of data to illustrate Americans shifting political views.

But as a Muslim woman who wears the hijab, or Islamic headscarf, the Indiana native was also tested by then-candidate Donald Trump's divisive rhetoric, and was mocked on Twitter as a "terrorist," "raghead," and "jihadi." On occasion, the reporting climate was so volatile Khalid says she felt the need to remove her head covering. 

On this special edition of Global Journalist, Khalid, now with Boston public radio station WBUR and a 2017 recipient of the Missouri School of Journalism's highest award, opens up about her experiences with guest host Joshua Kranzberg.


UNESCO

Conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere has fueled a booming trade in looted antiquities from archaeological sites and museums.

Millions of dollars worth of artifacts have disappeared, with some resurfacing for sale in Europe and the United States.

The black market trade provided tens of millions of dollars of funding for the Islamic State, one of the largest groups involved in the business. With ISIS nearing defeat, archaeologists are looking for ways to halt the trade in looted artifacts from Syria, Iraq and other conflict zones.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the trade in stolen cultural artifacts.


Mark Danielson/Creative Commons via Flickr

Recently an international cricket match in the Indian city of Delhi had to be temporarily halted in the middle of the game for an unusual reason. The cause: air pollution levels so high that a top player for India's opponent, Sri Lanka, began vomiting on the field. 

India has had pollution problems for years, but recently it has gotten significantly worse. Smog was so bad in New Delhi last month the government ordered thousands of schools closed and banned trucks from the road for a week. 

But India’s problem goes far beyond New Delhi. According to the World Health Organization, the country has 13 of the world’s 25 most polluted cities. And in 2015, the British medical journal The Lancet reported that 1.1 million Indians died prematurely from diseases caused by air pollution.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we take an in-depth look at India's pollution crisis. 


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. 


AP Photo

Since the start of the Syrian war, a remarkable 100,000 people have gone missing - a distinct figure from the estimated 400,000 confirmed killed.

Of the missing, some may be alive and held secretly in prisons controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Most are probably dead, and their bodies are often buried in unmarked mass graves in territory controlled by Assad or until recently, the Islamic State.

But with the Islamic State nearing defeat in Syria and Iraq, investigators are gaining access to more and more of these graves. That raises the prospect that the massive task of identifying the thousands of bodies of they contain will soon start.

This is important work as it not only gives resolution to families of the missing, but can also provide important evidence of war crimes.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a close look at the challenges of finding and identifying Syria’s disappeared.


Kremlin.ru

There has been broad fallout from Russian efforts to hack the 2016 U.S. election, including sanctions, worsening relations between the two countries and a continued cloud over Donald Trump’s presidency.

But in Europe such attacks are hardly new. The first “political” cyberattack thought to have been carried out by Russia in Europe was in 2007 in Estonia.

Since then, other Russia-linked targets have included Ukraine’s election commission, the German parliament, and the campaign of French President Emmanuel Macron.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Russia’s hacking strategy and European efforts to head off the Kremlin’s use of technology to influence foreign elections.


AP Photo

A decade ago a disputed presidential election in Kenya led to violence that left more than 1,400 people dead and forced 600,000 from their homes.

Now political tensions are again running high after another disputed election in August. The country's electoral board declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the victor by 1.4 million votes over opposition candidate Raila Odinga. But Kenya's Supreme Court nullified the result, saying the poll had been marred by "irregularities" and ordered a new election. 

That poll was scheduled to take place Oct. 26, but its future is now in doubt after Odinga pulled out saying the new election would also not be free and fair. Odinga's supporters have taken to the streets and the government has sought to quell the upheaval by banning public protests in three major cities. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we take an in-depth look at the political crisis in a country once considered a beacon of stability in Africa. 


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