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.

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.


AP Photo

On this week's program, a look at two of the most difficult places for independent journalism: Cuba and Pakistan.

In Pakistan, journalists routinely face threats not only from the Taliban and other extremist groups but also from the government and intelligence agencies.

Meanwhile in Cuba, independent digital media is in its infancy after decades of Communist rule – and journalists face continuing uncertainty over when they may face arrest.


Gulistan, Land of Roses

Many groups around the world are involved in the battle against the Islamic State.

But one group stands out: that’s a group of women guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, who are battling the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

Their story is the subject of a new documentary called “Gulistan, Land of Roses,” by the Kurdish-Canadian filmmaker Zayne Akyol. The film won the Doc Alliance Selection Award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and screened at the 2017 True/False Film Festival in Missouri.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, guest host Joshua Kranzberg speaks with Akyol about the making of the film in Iraqi Kurdistan and the challenges faced by women soldiers in the Middle East.


AP Photo

Venezuela may be mired in political and economic crisis. But governance in the country is also undermined by the involvement of senior government officials in the drug trade.

Among those sanctioned or facing criminal charges in the U.S. are the country's vice president, interior minister and top military officials loyal to President Nicolás Maduro.

By one estimate, as much as 40 percent of the world's cocaine passes through the country. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the drug trade in Venezuela and how the involvement of government officials is shaping the country's politics.


AP Photo

Indonesia has one of the world's largest remaining areas of tropical forest. From tigers and orangutans to Sumatran elephants, the forests support a stunning array of wildlife. They also soak up huge amounts of climate-warming carbon dioxide.

But an area of Indonesian forest the size of Delaware is cleared each year by loggers and palm oil companies.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the consequences of Indonesia's rapid deforestation for wildlife, the climate and people.


AP Photo

Kenya has long been one of the richest and most developed countries in Africa. 

But the country has a really big problem: corruption. Last year, the head of the country's anti-corruption commission said that one-third of the government's budget is lost to corruption.

The issue has become so large that President Uhuru Kenyatta even publicly labeled his own people as "experts at stealing and abusing each other."

Worse, the problem is fueling ethnic tension ahead of national elections in August. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Kenya's prospects for reversing the trend.


AP Photo

Globalization has brought huge benefits to billions of people. One of its drawbacks has been the acceleration of the disappearance of many indigenous languages around the world.

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.


A number of documentaries have highlighted the gruesome violence against Syrians amid that country's civil war. But "The War Show," a new film that screened at this year's True/False Film Festival, highlights the emotional toll of the conflict on Syrian young people.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, Syrian producer Alaa Hassan discusses the film and the internal damage to those who lived through the heady days of protests against the Assad regime to the current dark cycle of extremism and state-sponsored violence.  


AP Photo

The United Nations says that the world is facing the worst food crisis since World War II. Two of the hardest hit countries are in East Africa. In South Sudan, the UN has made its first formal famine declaration in six years.

Meanwhile drought and conflict in nearby Somalia are leading to comparisons with that country's 2011 famine, where 250,000 people died. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the challenges to heading off mass starvation in two of the world's poorest countries.


AP Photo

A presidential run-off in the South American nation of Ecuador is shaping up as a referendum on the decade-long rule of leftist President Rafael Correa.

Under Correa the government has used oil revenues to slash poverty, but his ruling PAIS Alliance has been criticized for corruption scandals and a drift towards authoritarianism.

With term limits forcing Correa from office, polls show his chosen successor Lenin Moreno in a tight race with opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a tight presidential race in Ecuador and what it means for remaining leftist governments in Latin America.


AP Photo

Earlier this year, a 51-year-old Mexican man named Isidro Baldenegro López was shot to death in Mexico’s Chihuahua state.

Mr. López was a well-known environmental activist and advocate for the indigenous Tarahumara people. For years he had campaigned against the deforestation of old growth pine-oak forests in the Sierra Madre range - even winning the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2005.

Unfortunately it’s just one of a large and growing number of cases of environmental activists slain in Latin America.

AP Photo

Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar in recent months amidst a campaign by the South Asian nation's military against the religious minority.

Refugees have told rights groups and U.N. investigators of burned villages, summary executions and mass rapes of women and girls. About 70,000 refugees have arrived in neighboring Bangladesh since October.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a major human rights crisis that is tarnishing the legacy of Nobel prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's democracy icon turned state counselor.

AP Photo

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe recently turned 93, making him the oldest non-royal head of state in the world.

But in his 37 years in power, he's become a caricature of the corrupt African dictator. Once one of the continent's wealthiest countries, Zimbabwe's economy has halved since 2000. He's sent armed militias to beat and kill political opponents and in 2015 threw a $1 million birthday party for himself, feeding his 20,000 guests dishes like baby elephant even as many of his countrymen live in extreme poverty.

But as Mugabe pushes deeper into his nineties, there are growing questions about his hold on power. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the twilight of the Robert Mugabe era in Zimbabwe and what may come after him.


EPA

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.

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.


European Press Agency

Most people outside of Central Asia know little about the gas-rich desert nation of Turkmenistan.

The former Soviet Republic has virtually no independent media and just a handful of bookstores.  Foreign journalists and scholars are rarely granted visas to visit.

So it's no surprise that presidential elections this month in a state sometimes compared to North Korea are little more than a show staged to buttress President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at one of the world's most isolated countries and the cult of personality built around its leader. 


AP Photo

They survive by hunting and gathering in the forest or by cultivating gardens with handmade tools. In some cases, they don't wear clothing and speak languages that aren't understood by almost anyone else on Earth.

In today's hyper-connected world, there are still a few dozen groups of people that live with virtually no contact with the outside world. Nearly all of these tribes live in remote reaches of the Amazon in Brazil and Peru.

But these so-called "uncontacted tribes" face increasing pressure from loggers, miners and missionaries.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at some of the humanitarian and ethical challenges of our interactions with these people.


Rich Clarkson

Rich Clarkson is one of the founding fathers of modern sports photojournalism. Born in 1932, Clarkson's early photos of Wilt Chamberlain playing basketball at the University of Kansas in the 1950s were published in a new magazine called Sports Illustrated.

That launched a career that included photographing 60 NCAA men's basketball championships, nine Olympics and many, many other sports events.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, Clarkson talks about how photojournalism has changed over the decades and the stories behind some of the most memorable sports photos of our time.

AP Photo

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the ensuing riots in Ferguson, Mo. altered the course of Tony Messenger's career. 

Along with colleague Kevin Horrigan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial writer was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015.  He's since become a metro columnist for the newspaper and continued to paint an unflinching portrait of race relations in St. Louis.  On this special edition of Global Journalist, Messenger speaks with guest host Joshua Kranzberg about his career and his award-winning coverage of St. Louis's racial divisions.


AP Photo

A year ago the World Health Organization declared the Ebola epidemic in Liberia over.

But though the immediate crisis may have passed, Liberia still faces huge challenges in recovering. Two devastating civil wars in the last 30 years destroyed much of the West African nation's infrastructure, and it ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. At the start of the outbreak some hospitals lacked running water and the country had just 50 doctors. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at how Liberia is recovering from the epidemic and what aid groups and medical researchers are doing to head off the next outbreak.

At the time it seemed certain to fail.

When two Washington Post reporters left the legendary paper to launch a start-up political website and free newspaper with publisher Robert Allbritton in 2007, many in the nation's capital were dismissive.

Nearly a decade later, the tables are turned and the news site Politico is firmly entrenched not just in Washington but as a national news outlet. 

AP Photo

Sherpa guides and porters do much of the work of getting foreign hikers up Mt. Everest. But despite doing an incredibly dangerous job in a lucrative industry, they receive just a small fraction of the money $300 million annually generated by Everest expeditions.

On this edition, filmmaker Jennifer Peedom talks to Global Journalist about 'Sherpa,' her documentary about tensions on Mt. Everest.


AP Photo

Even as the number of executions is set to hit a 25 year-low in the U.S., the use of the death penalty is on the rise globally. One country that is leading the rise is Saudi Arabia, which executed at least 158 people last year. 

Saudi Arabia's growing use of capital punishment has drawn criticism from human rights groups, who argue that the Saudi policy of publicly beheading the condemned is inhumane and that executing people for non-violent crimes such as drug-smuggling or apostasy is unjust. They also criticize Saudi laws that allow for convicted adulterers to be stoned to death. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at capital punishment in Saudi Arabia and the international campaign against it. 


AP Photo

President-elect Donald Trump has suggested that he’ll nominate U.S. Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that ended many abortion restrictions in the U.S.

If he succeeds, some states might have laws like that in the Republic of Ireland - which has the most restrictive abortion laws of any industrialized democracy.

Under the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's constitution, abortion is illegal in the heavily Catholic country in all cases except when the life of the woman is at risk. Both the woman or the doctor performing the abortion can face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

But polls show the constitutional amendment underpinning the ban has lost popular support, raising pressure on Ireland's government to hold a referendum on the issue. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the effort to repeal Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion.


AP Photo

They survive by hunting and gathering in the forest or by cultivating gardens with handmade tools. In some cases, they don't wear clothing and speak languages that aren't understood by almost anyone else on Earth.

In today's hyper-connected world, there are still a few dozen groups of people that live with virtually no contact with the outside world. Nearly all of these tribes live in remote reaches of the Amazon in Brazil and Peru.

But these so-called "uncontacted tribes" face increasing pressure from loggers, miners and missionaries.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at some of the humanitarian and ethical challenges of our interactions with these people.


AP Photo

About 5,000 women are killed each year in so-called "honor" killings around the world.

These are crimes in which the victims, who are almost always female, are killed by family members - usually men - for bringing what they see as dishonor on the family.

Pakistan and India have the highest rates of "honor" killings in the world. But a new law in Pakistan has made such killings illegal - and raised hopes that the government will address gender violence more effectively.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the history of these killings and some recent high-profile cases that have renewed efforts to end the practice.  


Asmaa Waguih

Civil war in Yemen has forced more than 3 million people from their homes and left millions more in need of food and other humanitarian aid.

With the recent failure of UN-backed peace talks, the situation is unlikely to ease.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the crisis in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's controversial airstrikes in the country that have worsened the plight of its desperate people.


AP Photo

Until recently, Ethiopia has been hailed as an African success story. After a decade of strong economic growth, the country has begun to shed its image as a famine-struck wasteland.

But repression by Ethiopia’s authoritarian government has sparked demonstrations that have led to the deaths of hundreds of protesters this year.

The movement gained worldwide attention at the Rio Olympics when the country’s silver medal-winning marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his wrists above his head at the finish line in a symbol of the protest movement.

AP Photo

Colombia’s government and negotiators from the FARC guerrilla group spent four years negotiating a peace agreement backed by the U.N., Cuba and the U.S.

President Juan Manuel Santos even won the Nobel Peace Prize for the effort.

Then Colombian voters narrowly rejected the pact, sowing doubt about the prospects for ending a 52-year civil war that’s killed a quarter of a million people.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at what how the government and the FARC might piece a deal back together again.


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