Jason McLure

Managing Editor/Host, Global Journalist

Jason McLure is the managing editor and host of Global Journalist. A New Hampshire native, he previously worked as a domestic correspondent for Reuters and as an Africa correspondent for Bloomberg News and Newsweek. His work has also appeared in The Economist, Legal Times, the Center for Public Integrity and the New York Times.

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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. 


On this special edition of Global Journalist, host Jason McLure speaks with two distinguished journalists about their road to success.

MaryAnne Golon, the director of photography of the Washington Post, describes the chaotic days covering the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and her career working for Time magazine and the Post.

In addition, writer Margaret Engel talks about becoming a playwright, television producer and author after a career in newspaper journalism. Both women are 2017 winners of the Missouri Honor Medal for their service to journalism.


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. 


European Press Agency

Two figures have dominated the politics of southern Africa in recent years. One is Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. The other is South Africa’s 75-year-old President Jacob Zuma.

Now Mugabe is in military custody after an apparent coup d’etat brought an end to his 37-year rule. Meanwhile Zuma is set to be replaced as the leader of the ruling African National Congress next month, and may be forced to step down from his eight-year-old presidency before the end of his term in 2019. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at southern Africa in transition.


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.


(U.S. Pacific Command/Creative Commons)

After World War II, Japan adopted a constitution that formally renounced war or maintaining military forces.

Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to change that. Bolstered by his party’s big win in recent elections, Abe wants to purge the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. The move could lead the country into future wars and is reopening a debate in Japan on the country’s role in the world. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Japan’s post-World War II pacifism and what a change of course would mean for relations with its Asian neighbors and the U.S.


Crystal Davis/World Resources Institute / 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.


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. 


AP Photo

 Just two years ago, once-isolated Myanmar seemed firmly on a new course.

Longtime opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won a sweeping victory in elections that year, a milestone in moving the southeast Asian nation towards democracy and away from decades of military rule.

Now both Myanmar's progress and Suu Kyi's reputation look starkly different as the nation's security forces carry out a massive offensive against the nation's Rohingya Muslim minority in its southwestern Rakhine state. More than a half million Rohingya refugees have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in a matter of weeks after what one top U.N. official has called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Myanmar's long history of discrimination against the Rohingya and Suu Kyi's role in the current crisis.


AP Photo

Since France banned women from wearing veils that covered the face in public in 2011, a growing number of European nations have passed similar restrictions.

Belgium, Bulgaria and Austria have passed similar so-called "burqa bans," while Germany, Switzerland, Norway and other countries are considering such legislation.

The laws have sparked a public debate about religious freedom, feminism and xenophobia. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Europe's courts, legislators and public are grappling with the debate about the meaning of Islamic dress in Western societies.


Almigdad Mojalli / VOA

The civil war in Yemen has garnered many superlatives since it began in force in March 2015. It's generated the world's most dire humanitarian crisis and the largest cholera outbreak in a single year ever recorded – even Forbes ranked its economy as the world's worst

Yet despite a conflict that has left 7 million on the brink of starvation, there is little end in sight to fighting between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the country's Saudi-backed government. Attempts to spur a U.N. investigation into war crimes committed by both sides have so far failed. Complicating efforts is support for the Saudi-backed government by the U.S., U.K. and France. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss Yemen's humanitarian crisis, the collapse of independent media in the country and the role of outsiders in fueling a conflict that has generated startling levels of human suffering. 


Emergency Response Centre International (Courtesy)

Back in 2015, the immigration crisis in Europe was in headlines all over the world. Since then the numbers of people crossing the by sea to the continent has declined from more than 1 million annually to just 126,000 through early September of this year, according to the U.N.'s migration agency. 

But many problems remain unresolved. Not least for the tens of thousands of migrants who arrived in Europe over the past few years and still find themselves in legal limbo. On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Europe's tortured efforts to address the problem, and get an up close view at conditions for migrants in France and Greece. 


U.S. Dept. of Defense

Advances in technology have transformed modern armies.

But as robotics and artificial intelligence progress, so do the chances that militaries will be able to develop ‘killer robots’ to fight future wars.

In military jargon, these are known as autonomous weapons systems that may not only navigate and find targets without a human ‘pilot’ but also make the decision to use lethal force on their own.

This has spurred a lively ethical debate about whether and when computers may be entrusted with the decision to take a human life.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the development of ‘killer robots’ and the debate about their use.


EPA

After more than 16 years in power, the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila was to step down after his term expired in December.

Instead his government has repeatedly postponed elections, spurring violence across sub-Saharan Africa's largest country and raising fears that Kabila may not intend to relinquish power peacefully. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at rising tensions in a country still recovering from a horrific war. Also: an interview with the Congolese radio journalist who exposed the use of mass rape and sexual violence during Congo's civil war.


AP Photo

Over the past year, authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have reportedly arrested dozens of gay men, in some cases imprisoning them for weeks and torturing them with electric shocks.

Combined with a 2013 law banning what President Vladimir Putin's government called "homosexual propaganda," the Chechen crackdown seems to indicate that Russia is becoming increasingly homophobic even as LGBT rights are being strengthened in many other countries.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at gay rights in Russia, including an interview with the first openly gay comedian to appear on Russian television.


AP Photo

Sixty-four years ago, a ceasefire brought a halt to the Korean War and left Korea divided.

But in recent weeks the frozen conflict on the Korean peninsula threatened to re-erupt over the North’s nuclear weapons program. President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and the North’s Kim Jong Il countered with a plan to launch an “enveloping fire” of missiles towards the U.S. territory of Guam.

The showdown has tested the credibility of both leaders and raised anew the prospect of nuclear war in East Asia. On this edition of Global Journalist: a look at how such a war might come about and how a more stable peace could be achieved.


(Image of Syrians protesting from "The War Show")

The level of violence against civilians in the Syrian civil war has made it extraordinarily difficult for journalists to cover. That's meant many of the images we have from inside Syria come from citizen journalists documenting the conflict on their smartphones.

That technique is used to great effect in "The War Show," a documentary about the conflict that screened at the True/False Film Festival in Missouri and premiered on U.S. television on PBS last month.

 Yet rather than focus on the war's gruesome violence, "The War Show" shines a light on the emotional toll of the conflict on its protagonist Obaydah and other young Syrians.

On this special edition of Global Journalist we present an extended interview with producer and Syrian refugee Alaa Hassan. In the interview, Hassan discusses how the internal lives of Syria's young people changed as hope-filled protests turned to a dark cycle of violence.


AP Photo

Globalization has brought huge benefits to billions of people. But one of the drawbacks to it has been the acceleration of the disappearance of many indigenous languages around the world as a few dominant languages like English replace them.

In North America, there are 278 different languages that are classified as vulnerable or endangered by the UN. In some cases, like that of the Ho-Chunk people in Wisconsin, only a few dozen people speak the language fluently.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at efforts to revive North American indigenous languages in danger of extinction.


AP Photo

People in rural parts of Tanzania and other areas of East Africa face a lot of challenges. But life can be particularly difficult for people with albinism.

Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes a baby to be born without melanin, a pigment that gives skin color and protects it from the sun, and people with albinism have pale white skin and hair.

In parts of East Africa some traditional healers believe that body parts from people with albinism have medicinal or magical properties. Nearly 200 people with albinism have been murdered in Africa in recent years, according to the aid group Under the Same Sun. Hundreds of others have been abducted, attacked or had one or more limbs amputated.

But these attacks aren’t the only challenges faced by people with albinism East Africa. On this edition of Global Journalist we’ll hear more about this form of discrimination.


AP Photo

If you think the investigation into possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign has been a blow to the U.S. political system, consider Brazil. 

There, President Michel Temer and every single living ex-president have been caught up in a massive anti-corruption investigation. Others who are being investigated or have already been charged include one-third of Temer's cabinet , the president of the senate, the speaker of the lower house and dozens of other members of congress. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the corruption investigations that have upended Brazilian politics. What does it mean for democracy in Latin America’s largest country?


AP Photo

Homosexuality may not be illegal in China, but LGBT people in the world's most populous country often live their lives in the shadows.

By one estimate, as many as 80 percent of the country's 20 million gay men marry women due to social pressure. The phenomenon is so common it has its own word in Mandarin, "tongqi," or "gay man's wife."

But the views of LGBT people are changing, particularly in China's biggest cities. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Chinese views of gay rights are evolving.

This program originally aired Feb. 16, 2017.


AP Photo

Might your children or grandchildren someday live in a world without rhinoceroses or African elephants?

The chances of that are probably higher than you might guess.

There are just 350,000 elephants remaining on African savannas, one-tenth the number in 1900. And the population is estimated to be shrinking by 27,000 a year. The black rhino population has declined 93 percent since 1970.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns that fuels the poaching industry that continues to decimate these endangered species. 


AP Photo

Fifty years ago this week, Israelis were riding high. In just six days, the Jewish state’s army had won a stunning victory over the combined militaries of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Israel more than tripled in size, winning control of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula.

But a half century later, the legacy of that war looks decidedly different. This month’s celebrations in Israel were muted, not least because its military continues to occupy the West Bank and guard over 3 million stateless and impoverished Palestinians.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the mixed legacy of the Jewish state's greatest military victory.


Associated Press

On the surface, the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar has much in common with Saudi Arabia and the other monarchies of the Arabian peninsula. Hydro-carbons have made it enormously wealthy, and it’s conservative Muslim nation ruled by a hereditary monarchy.

That’s made the decision by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to launch a surprise economic and diplomatic blockade against Qatar this month all the more surprising.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the diplomatic conflict between Qatar and its neighbors over funding of militant Islamic groups, the Al-Jazeera news network and relations with Iran.


European Press Agency

In April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's air force dropped bombs containing sarin nerve gas on a rebel area in northern Syria. Around 100 people were killed and hundreds more injured, including a number of children.

The slaughter highlighted the renewed threat of chemical and biological weapons. Both Assad's forces and rebel groups have used chemical weapons in Syria, demonstrating the dangers of proliferation. Meanwhile new gene editing technologies allow for the creation of more virulent and deadly bio-weapons.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the history and future of chemical and biological weapons.


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