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What Pope Francis saw in Bethlehem

Analysis: Israeli walls, Jewish settlers and Hamas all pose threats to Palestinian Christians, driving increased migration.
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Palestinian spray graffiti on an Israeli army watchtower which makes up a section of the controversial Israeli separation barrier on May 24, 2014 in the West Bank's Biblical town of Bethlehem, where Pope Francis will celebrate a Sunday Mass. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

When Pope Francis arrived in Bethlehem to preside over a Sunday Mass in Manger Square, he followed in the footsteps of religious pilgrims through the centuries who’ve sought to physically and spiritually connect with the place where tradition holds that Jesus was born and where the Christian faith began.

But the Palestinian Christians who are not tourists or pilgrims but actually live in Bethlehem and Jerusalem as well as villages throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza are a small and steadily diminishing minority.


For members of Generation TBD, finding a job is a distant dream (VIDEO)

With youth unemployment at disturbingly high levels around the world, a team of 21 young journalists fans out across 11 countries to find out what's going on.

Generation TBD: What it means to be a 'NiNi' in Spain (VIDEO)

Diminished ambition in young people is so common here, there’s a word for it. “NiNi” is a colloquial Spanish contraction of “neither” and “nor,” referring to youth who are neither studying nor employed.

Generation TBD: Filipino youth struggle despite their country's rising economy

GroundTruth fellow Coleen Jose returns to her home country, The Philippines, to report on young people's entrepreneurial, creative solutions to high unemployment rates.
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Katrina Abuhajim looks for her family's tent in a sports complex now home to more than 10,000 people displaced by armed conflict. (Coleen Jose/GlobalPost)

Editor's note: This story is part of a GroundTruth project we call "Generation TBD," a year-long effort that brings together media, technology, education and humanitarian partners for an authoritative, global exploration of the youth unemployment crisis.


Nigeria's kidnapped generation

As the world appeals to Boko Haram for the release of more than 270 schoolgirls, millions of young Nigerians are growing up without a future.
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Women hold banners during a march of Nigeria women and mothers of the kidnapped girls of Chibok, calling for their freedom, in Abuja on April 30, 2014. Nigerian protesters marched on parliament today to demand the government and military do more to rescue scores of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. (Philip Ojisua/AFP/Getty Images)

Editor's note: This story is part of a GroundTruth project we call "Generation TBD," a year-long effort that brings together media, technology, education and humanitarian partners for an authoritative, global exploration of the youth unemployment crisis.

ABUJA, Nigeria – The world’s media has turned its gaze to Nigeria with the kidnapping of more than 270 girls from a boarding school last month.


Generation TBD: Rome's unemployed youth gather for a May Day eve vigil

On eve of International Workers day, over 1,000 Italians came together for prayer over the 42 percent unemployment rate among youth. About 60,000 young people leave Italy every year in search of work.
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Pope Francis poses with participants at the end of a meeting with young people entitled "Throw your nets" in Largo Carlo Felice in Cagliari on September 22, 2013. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Editor's note: This story is part of a GroundTruth project we call "Generation TBD," a year-long effort that brings together media, technology, education and humanitarian partners for an authoritative, global exploration of the youth unemployment crisis.

ROME — Late Wednesday night, on the eve of May Day, an auditorium located outside Vatican City displayed a video recording of Pope Francis, with only standing room before it.

More than 1,000 Italians had come together for a prayer vigil as the recording showed the Pope denouncing “the idolatry of money” and “the tyranny of capitalism.” The vigil was held the night before International Workers Day in solidarity with those suffering from the country’s worsening labor crisis.

“Where there is no work, there is no dignity," Pope Francis said in a sermon from last year — one that still rings true for the hundreds of young people here, gazing upward at a man who in just one year has become the world’s most visible champion of economic equality in a way that his bejeweled predecessors never could have pulled off.


Egypt is just one example of how the West is not ready for a true Arab democracy

Panelists at USC-Annenberg called out US policymakers for failing to respect political Islamist groups that do not adhere to American liberal ideals.
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Egyptian men, one wearing a mask of Guy Fawkes, set fire to a US flag as protesters and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood take part in a march against the military in the capital Cairo on January 22, 2014. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — The Arab Awakening offered the United States an opportunity to change its relationship with the Muslim world by allying with democratic movements instead of dictatorial regimes in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya.

But as several experts at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School argued Friday at a conference called “Religion, Democracy and the Arab Awakening,” the Obama administration couldn’t get comfortable with an essential element of Arab democracy: the reemergence of Islamist political organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.


Beyond the rubble: One year after Rana Plaza collapse, Bangladesh is still reeling

The shadow of the building collapse looms large over the country, its people and its garment industry.

Editor's Note: This is the first piece in a three-part series that goes inside Bangladesh's garment industry to explore how the Rana Plaza collapse served as a wake-up call to an entire global supply chain and how Bangladesh is working furiously to reform itself before another tragedy strikes.


Finding relief in the hip-hop underground of Tunisia's poorest neighborhoods

Four years after the Tunisian uprising, poor youth still live in the shadow of unemployment, poverty and police violence, using political rap as a means to be heard.

TUNIS, Tunisia — A diehard hip-hopper sporting dreadlocks, piercings and an African continent pendant on a necklace, Nakazaki Dali stands out among the crowd of Tunisian men in dark leather jackets and gelled-back hair.

Though 21-year-old Nakazaki doesn’t fit in to this business-as-usual crowd, he’s not alone. The young Tunisian rapper is just one in a generation of young counter-culturists rocking the political boat in Tunisia.

The 2010 uprising that erupted against the regime of former president Ben Ali was also an eruption in Tunisia’s hip-hop scene, and it changed everything for artists.


Lebanon's Syrian refugees: 'An entire generation is growing up with PTSD'

Commentary: The region cannot sustain an endless war in Syria.
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Syrian refugees queue up at a UNHCR registration center, one of many across Lebanon, in the northern port city of Tripoli on April 3, 2014. More than one million Syrians have registered as refugees in Lebanon. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

BERUIT — Refugees are everywhere on the streets of downtown Beirut.

Women and children in filthy clothes beg for money on nearly every street corner. Countless young boys tote shoeshine kits, persistently following foreigners and wealthy Lebanese who pass by. "Min Sooriya" they say, meaning “from Syria.”

As if there was any doubt.