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.

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.


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. 


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