Connect to share and comment

A blog devoted to on-the-ground reporting around the world.

Will 2015 be the turning point against climate change?

Analysis: President Obama's progress with China and India could be the start of something bigger.
Climate change NYC 2014Enlarge
Protesters demanding economic and political changes to curb the effects of global warming march toward the New York Stock Exchange on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Andrew Burton/AFP/Getty Images)

Climate change was at the heart of the talks between President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend, and the outcome may be more encouraging than widely believed for the make-or-break global climate summit in Paris at the end of the year.

More

How Islam became a justification for militant violence

Analysis: Islamic history skews toward inclusion and tolerance, but in recent decades Islamist regimes and militants have successfully bred intolerance.
Yazidi Islamic State Iraq 2015Enlarge
A displaced Iraqi woman from the Yazidi community, who fled violence between Islamic State (IS) group jihadists and Peshmerga fighters in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, looks on at Dawodiya camp for internally displaced people in the Kurdish city of Dohuk, in Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdistan region, on January 14, 2015. (Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

The past year has been a particularly cruel one for minorities in the Middle East. 

After Islamic State (IS) militants seized Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, last June, they gave Christian residents an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or be driven out of their homes. Many Christians fled to Turkey or the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. The extremists drove out a Christian population that had lived in Mosul for two millennia. 

More

Leaked report says World Bank violated own rules in Ethiopia

Internal watchdog finds link between World Bank financing and Ethiopian government's mass resettlement of indigenous group.
20150120 ethiopia icij 0159Enlarge
Anuak children in Gorom Refugee Camp in South Sudan. Many Anuak fled Ethiopia during a government relocation campaign called "villagization". (Andreea Campeanu/ICIJ/GlobalPost)

The World Bank repeatedly violated its own rules while funding a development initiative in Ethiopia that has been dogged by complaints that it sponsored forced evictions of thousands of indigenous people, according to a leaked report by a watchdog panel at the bank.

More

The app that saved 1,000 Nigerian children

How an innovative activist pushed the Nigerian government to keep its promise to help poisoned kids.
20150116 children in bagegaEnlarge
Children in Bagega, Nigeria, the community most affected by lead contamination. (Chika Oduah/The GroundTruth Project/GlobalPost)

BAGEGA, Nigeria — Profits from Nigeria's wealth of oil are reserved for a select few. The others, particularly the 60 percent who still live on less than $1 a day, have to look elsewhere. 

About six years ago, during the global recession, the price of gold nearly tripled, and illicit artisanal gold miners in northern Nigeria made more profits than ever before. Enthusiastic and eager to make more money, the miners acquired tools to process more gold, bringing ores into their homes.

That’s when the birds vanished.

More

Why summer jobs are critical to reducing youth unemployment

Job prospects have "plummeted" for America's youth since the turn of the millennium. A new study says summer jobs could help turn the tide.
Youth unemployment trainee system 2014Enlarge
US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (C) and German Education Minister Johanna Wanka (L) watch as a trainee demonstrates at the Siemens training facility on October 28, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. US President Obama has expressed interest in adopting the German trainee system as a way enhance job growth and make the US economy more competitive. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

When the first millennials were born in 1980, more than two-thirds of American teenagers worked summer jobs each year, a rite of passage considered a springboard to a successful career.

As those millennials entered their twenties in the year 2000, just over half of US teenagers were still working summers. By 2012, the country rebounding from a Great Recession that saw seasoned workers competing with youth for entry-level positions, fewer than a third did.

More

After Charlie Hebdo attack, reflecting on the war on journalism

The attacks in France highlight the need for everyone — including governments — to defend journalists' right to report.
20150112 charlie hebdo2Enlarge
People gather at Place de la Nation, following a mass unity rally following thousands of people marching from Place de la Republique on route to Place de la Nation, following the recent terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — An estimated 1.5 million marchers holding pens, pencils and French flags aloft flowed through the streets of Paris on Sunday.

More

The 100-year story behind Boko Haram and Nigeria's conflict

In 1914, the then-British colony was transformed in a way that forged bitter rivalries between the Christian South and Muslim North.

They didn’t look like killers.

Sitting in a littered courtyard in the fading light of day, I met a dozen young men who openly admitted to having organized communal violence and killing sprees. I was just outside Kaduna, in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and home to an increasingly murderous struggle between Muslims and Christians.

There was the aptly named “Slaughter,” a 16-year-old Muslim who said his street name came from slitting the throats of Christians “like goats,” as he put it.

More

Lessons from Goya: Reflections on 'order' and 'disorder' in 2014

Analysis: The last 12 months have presented a descending darkness amid streaks of piercing light that feels straight out of one of Francisco Goya’s canvases.
Goya PhotoEnlarge
(Courtesy)

BOSTON – The Spanish master Francisco Goya painted 200 years ago at a time not unlike the age of disruption, revolution, barbarity and torture that defined the year 2014.

The last 12 months have presented a descending darkness amid streaks of piercing light that feels straight out of one of Goya ’s canvases. Painting in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Goya captured the tumult of the invasion and occupation of Spain by Napoleonic forces. He created searing scenes that seem strikingly relevant in 2014 as we look back on a year of darkness and light.

More

In Northern Ireland, breaking the silence on World War I

One hundred years later, a dialogue is unfolding about how the Great War defined the course of Irish history and its desire for independence.
20141230 irish somme 1024x683Enlarge
Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. (Public Domain/Wikimedia commons)

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – Like shrapnel embedded in an old wound, memory eventually works its way to the surface.

And here the memory of World War I is painfully pushing through the skin of Ireland on the 100th anniversary of the conflict.

In the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland, a dialogue is unfolding that breaks a long silence about the fateful way in which the Great War reshaped the Emerald Isle and the world around it.

More

In Israel, a 'football truce' match pays homage to World War I peace

The British embassy sponsored a soccer tournament for young Christian, Muslim, Druze and Jewish players commemorating the fabled Christmas truce of 1914.
Christmas truce Haifa Israel 2014Enlarge
At the match in Haifa, Israeli football stars of every conceivable ethnic origin came to applaud the young players. (Ben Kelmer/The GroundTruth Project/GlobalPost)

HAIFA, Israel — Commemorating a war of long ago while new violence rages is not a happy exercise, so Britain may be forgiven for focusing on an event that allowed humanity to imagine a ray of hope in the otherwise dismal panorama of World War I: the Christmas truce.

More