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Afghan journalists and international media watch election coverage of the U.S. presidential election on November 7, 2012 at the American embassy in Kabul.

- AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK — In Afghanistan, “stop your reporting or we’ll kill your family” is no idle threat.

It’s the kind of warning that journalists on the frontlines in the ongoing civil war between government forces and the Taliban hear far too often. The Afghan journalist who received this threat from the Taliban eventually stopped reporting altogether.

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Nigerian opposition leader Mohammadu Buhari (C) raises his hand during a campaign rally in Maiduguri on February 16, 2015. A massive crowd of cheering supporters mobbed the scene as the candidate vowed tough action against Boko Haram if elected.

- AFP/Getty Images

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island —
 The unexpected postponement of this month's scheduled presidential election in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, outraged opposition parties and brought condemnation from abroad. 

The U.S. Department of State posted that America is “deeply disappointed” by the decision. Yet this postponement probably prevented a bloody explosion in Nigeria. It may even help the cause of democracy.

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A Thai migrant worker at an apple plantation in the Israeli town of Metula along the Lebanon-Israel border on January 29, 2015, a day after the Israeli military shelled border areas following a Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.

- AFP/Getty Images

TEL AVIV — The Israeli agricultural industry is completely dependent upon migrant workers, who face severe hardships, as a new report from Human Rights Watch outlines in grim detail. 

Farmers have their own set of complaints: the summer 2014 war resulted in losses for farms close to Gaza, and a harsh winter has affected all of Israel’s farmers. Farmers who export products abroad are feeling the effects of the European economic crisis.

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People get water from a tank in Ukraine's frontline town of Debaltseve on February 6, 2015 after both sides agreed a brief humanitarian truce.

- AFP/Getty Images

DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine — “God save and preserve us” is written on a blackboard in one of the many ad-hoc bomb shelters in Debaltseve, a strategic railway hub in eastern Ukraine. Here over a hundred people — Including children and elderly pensioners — take refuge from the shelling.

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A girl writes on a black board at a primary school in Bouake, a city located in the central part of the Ivory Coast.

- AFP/Getty Images

LONDON — As long as a girl or woman is not equal in the text of a country’s law and its legal system, she cannot fully participate in, or be valued equally in her society.

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Afghan policemen perform a drill during exercises at a police training centre in Herat on January 27, 2015. The conflict against the Taliban still rages across Afghanistan, and an estimated 17,000 foreign soldiers will stay on to assist the local police and army, both of which face a major challenge as the international military presence declines.

- AFP/Getty Images

PROVIDENCE — Since 2001, the United States has spent a staggering $107 billion on what is called the “reconstruction” of Afghanistan. 

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Heather Watson of Great Britain hits a forehand in her match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during day four of the Fed Cup/Africa Group One tennis event in Budapest, Hungary.

- AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK — "Girl things."

These apparently revolutionary words were uttered by the British tennis star Heather Watson recently after failing to advance in the Australian Open. 

The world took notice. But the way she said it, and what was said about it, continues the same sort of menstruation shaming that we've had since society's beginnings. It's a painful culture for women in developed countries, and a health crisis in areas like Tanzania, Cambodia, and Pakistan.

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Anti-abortion activists take part in the annual March for Life on Jan. 22, 2015 in Washington, DC.

- AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Forty-two years after Roe v. Wade, abortion rights are still under attack. The US House recently voted to pass a bill designed to terminate private insurance coverage of abortion in the United States. 

But there’s another tragedy taking place outside of our country’s borders, where nearly 47,000 women — almost all of who live in the developing world — die every year from unsafe abortions. 

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Pakistani Islamists tear French and US flags during a protest against the printing of satirical sketches of the Prophet Muhammad by French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Lahore on January 27, 2015. The magazine then published a 'survivors' issue with an image of Muhammad weeping on the cover, triggering a wave of angry condemnation and protest in Muslim-majority countries across the world including Pakistan.

- AFP/Getty Images

BOSTON — The world is still reeling from the shock of the atrocities that occurred in Paris last month. I count my country among the bereaved, especially as the four victims of the attack at a Paris kosher market were laid to rest in Israel.

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Combination of two pictures of Lake Cachet II in Aysen, Chilean Patagonia, 1,700 kilometers south of Santiago on April 2, 2012. The lake disappeared completely due to rising temperatures driven by climate change, according to experts.

- AFP/Getty Images

For the past 10 years, conservation efforts in the Karukinka Reserve on the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego in the Patagonia region of Chile have stabilized globally important wildlife populations and addressed ecological challenges.

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