European Press Agency

One of the hardest regions of the globe to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the punishment for the crime of sodomy is death by stoning, and many other countries impose prison sentences.

Also challenging is the fact that the stigma associated with being LGBT is so great, many people feel they can’t come out even to their family or closest friends.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the uncertain lives of LGBT people in Arab nations.


For many Americans, the Islamic State was first burned in our minds as a threat back in August 2014.

That’s when the terror group released chilling video of American journalist James Foley being beheaded by a black clad man who condemns U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. Foley of course was much more than a victim of terror or a martyr for press freedom.

He was also a son, a brother, a colleague, and a friend.

On this edition of Global Journalist we’re going to talk more about the life of James Foley. We’ll also look at what his death tell us not only about him but about how news organizations operate and how the U.S. government handles hostage situations. 


The fight against the Islamic State isn’t just taking place on the ground or in the skies of Iraq or Libya. It’s also on the internet.

The Islamic State has used apps like Twitter, WhatsApp and Telegram to recruit new jihadists, instill fear in opponents and even provoke strangers to launch lone-wolf terror attacks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

But could it also hack our electrical grid or our checking accounts?

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the new war against the Islamic State being fought on laptops and smartphones.


Russia is no stranger to conflicts, but under Vladimir Putin its most enduring one may be the war over news and information. Over the past decade the Kremlin has tightened control over television and the Internet.

Outside Russia, it’s also sought to offer its own version of the news in English and other languages. This is often an anti-American narrative about conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe at odds with news from other agencies.

Online, allies of the Kremlin have reportedly hired hundreds if not thousands of so-called “trolls” to spread disinformation on social media and in the comments section of news sites.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Russia’s information offensive.


For months now, the world has watched as more than a million refugees and migrants from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have risked their lives to try and find safe haven in Europe.

But this influx has created enormous tensions in the European Union about how many newcomers to accept and which countries should take them. Governments in Sweden and Germany have each taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants–and taken criticism both from other European states and their own people.

So, who foots the bill for settling the hundreds of thousands of immigrants? And if no one, where will these people go?

Missouri Capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate is advancing a proposed ban on state investments in companies with operations in countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt criticized the president for his lack of leadership during a stop in Kansas City Tuesday. At the same time, President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference and called for increased cooperation to fight the Islamic State.

“What happens when the United States fails to provide leadership in the world is bad things and more disruptive things fill that leadership vacuum,” says Blunt.


Christianity might have gotten its start in the Middle East, but the region’s Christian minority is finding the area more and more dangerous when it comes to practicing their beliefs.

The rise of the Islamic State has only exacerbated the problem. When ISIS captured the mainly Christian city of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq last year, the remaining civilian population was given the choice: convert to Islam; pay a special tax; or face execution. Other Christian settlements were given the same choice.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war, about one-third of that country’s 1.8 million Christians have fled. In Iraq there are perhaps 500,000 Christians remaining, down from 1.5 million in 2003.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the future of Christianity in the Middle East.

j.stephenconn / flickr

A Missouri lawmaker is seeking a special legislative session aimed at preventing Gov. Jay Nixon from allowing Syrian refugees to resettle in the state.

Jay Nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says it's up to the federal government to screen refugees and is calling for safeguards following deadly terror attacks in Paris.


  Turkish voters will go to the polls Nov. 1 amid a spasm of political violence and renewed conflict with Kurdish guerrillas. The vote also comes just weeks after the most deadly terrorist attack in Turkish history and as the army is struggling to keep the civil war in Syria from spilling over into Turkey.

Despite a government crackdown on independent media President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party may struggle to win a parliamentary majority. On this week's edition of Global Journalist, we discuss Turkey's election and whether the country, once a democratic model in the Middle East, is sliding towards authoritarianism.

Bram Janssen / AP

With more than 30 million people spread across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, they are a minority everywhere they live.

Now Kurdish groups are battling both the Islamic State  and forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad as well as Turkey, a key U.S. ally. 

On this edition of Global Journalist: a deeper look at the role of the Kurds in the swirling conflicts of the Middle East.

Covering Syria

Apr 23, 2015
Ibrahim Khader

  The four-year long civil war in Syria has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and forced millions to flee. But coverage of the conflict has waned, as other news stories have taken center stage. Global Journalist looks at how journalists are covering the war, and how it's affecting people on the ground.

This week's guests:

syria election ballot
Dusan Vranic / AP Photo

Incumbent president Bashar al-Assad won re-election in a contest many say was not free or fair.

This week on Global Journalist, we look at the results of the Syrian presidential election, and explore what Assad's victory means for the country.We also take a look at the west's response to the election, and how Syrian refugees are impacting neighboring countries like Lebanon.

Our guests:

Such investigations are the work of groups like Human Rights Watch's emergencies team, commonly shortened to "e-team." On this week's show, we talk to the directors of the documentary E-TEAM, who followed four investigators as they carried out their work. We also talk to one member of the e-team about his work in Syria. 

Muzaffar Salman / Associated Press

This week, we'll revisit two of our favorite interviews from the past year.

Rick Santorum
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Republicans gathering at a Midwestern conference appear divided about whether the U.S. should get involved in a conflict in Syria.

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum told the hundreds of Republicans meeting in Kansas City on Saturday that the U.S. has "an obligation to engage" in Syria. But Santorum didn't outline a specific action that should be taken in response to the August 21st chemical weapons attack in Syria.

President Barack Obama initially threatened a military strike but has held off after encountering opposition in Congress.

Kellie Kotraba, Columbia Faith & Values / KBIA


Columbia residents marked the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a gathering for peace Wednesday night. The event doubled as a demonstration against possible military action in Syria.

About 40 people sat in quiet contemplation outside the Boone County Courthouse as they listened to songs and speeches for peace. The Mid-Missouri Peace Coalition organized this gathering. With a look back to 9/11 and forward to Syria, they called it “No More Victims.”

Missouri officials speak out on the Syria situation

Sep 10, 2013
roy blunt
TalkMediaNews / Flickr

Discussion over the situation in Syria continues as more Missouri officials are speaking out.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced he will not support President Barack Obama's call for military action in Syria, worried about the message it sends.

Manu Brabo / Associated Press


As the United States considers military action in Syria, the country remains the most lethal place in the world for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that 15 journalists are currently missing in Syria. Charles Lister, an analyst at HIS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, told Vice on Saturday that in recent weeks there has been a discernible spike in reported kidnappings in northern Syria.

Manu Brabo / Associated Press

Syria has been an extremely dangerous place for reporters and photographers to work. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad regime has banned foreign journalists. Now, they face dangers from all sides, including desperate rebels and hostile Islamist militants.
roy blunt
TalkMediaNews / Flickr

Amidst reports that the White House is considering military action in Syria, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt says the United States already missed the point to have a real impact at the early stages of that country's conflict.

Anonymous / AP Images

Hundreds of Iranian men took to the streets of Tehran on Wednesday to demonstrate their anger over Iran’s collapsing currency and deteriorating economic conditions. The chanting protesters marched to a major market area, where riot police had attacked suspected black-market currency traders.

Jonathan Alpeyrie

The trick to a war photographer’s success is being in the right place at the right time -- and, of course, not getting wounded, captured or killed. 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on opposition forces is escalating. Six straight days of heavy bombardment has left hundreds dead in Homs.