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

America's legacy of torture

Declassified documents trace the CIA's torture program back to the 1950s, when the CIA developed a curriculum to teach Latin American militaries how to torture.

Torture has been the dirty secret of US foreign policy for years.

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s numbing report of the CIA’s brutal torture practices against terrorist suspects since 9-11 has provoked a drama of would-be soul searching just two weeks before Christmas.

As the political talk shows fill with experts debating the logic of imposed suffering, we have heard no great voice of outrage from bishops, pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders.

Are they co-opted in sins of silence?

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Egypt’s ‘deep state’ proves victorious

Analysis: By stifling dissent and restoring strong ties with the US, Egypt's military government is as strong as ever.

Editor’s note: This piece is the first in a continuing series by Ahmed Aboulenein and Ruth Michaelson exploring the power of the Egyptian military.

CAIRO — When former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was cleared of all charges last week, it marked an end to the democratic hopes of Tahrir Square and seemed to embody the resilience of Egypt’s “deep state.”

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Ukraine's familiar fight for a national identity

Analysis: A century after World War I began, old European enmities are shaping the present conflict with Russia.
Analysis: Old European enmities are shaping the present conflict with Russia.
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Global news community stands its ground against a 'new war on journalists'

Commentary: Amid growing violence against us, our colleagues’ work and their sacrifices inspire us to keep going.

Update [12/6/14]: American freelance photographer Luke Somers, 33, was reportedly killed during a raid by US commandos early Saturday on an outpost of the Al Qaeda-affiliated group that has been holding him for over a year. This was reportedly the second failed attempt to free Somers. The New York Times is reporting that a second hostage, South African citizen Pierre Korkie, was also killed in the raid.

The war on journalism continues.

On Thursday, Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch published a video of a man identifying himself as Luke Somers, 33, a freelance photojournalist who was reportedly abducted in the capital of Sanaa last September.

In the video, a member of the group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – which has fueled its operations through millions of dollars in ransoms received for European hostages, US security officials say – attacks US foreign policy.

The man featured in the video also issues a stark warning: "We give the American government a timeframe of three days from the issuance of this statement to meet our demands about which they are aware; otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate.”

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A daughter's journey: Reflections from Cape Town on World AIDS Day

Tracy Jarrett returns to Cape Town, two years after she first reported there for GlobalPost to learn about the disease that took her mother's life and forever changed her own.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The taxi ring looked the same. Rows of white minibuses waiting to be packed with people headed to town, women selling chickens to hungry passersby, and the white building with blue trim where I’d first met the ladies of Langa in 2012.

Nerves surged up in my stomach. I was sure there was no way anyone here would remember me — it had been more than two years and I had not kept in touch.

A man pulled up in his car, “Are you here to see Sheila?” We were. Unlike when I first began my journey, I was not alone.

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Benghazi another case of pointless political bickering

Analysis: The findings of the latest congressional report on Benghazi prove yet again that backbiting and political grandstanding serve only to spend taxpayer dollars and hide the truth.

BOSTON – It was easy to miss the news about the House Intelligence Committee report on the fatal 2012 attacks on US diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya.

It was released late last Friday afternoon, landing in the Saturday newspapers where all reports go to die. It didn’t get much play on any major networks, and definitely not on FOX News.

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What is environmental mitigation? It might just help save the planet

Opinion: Efforts to offset environmental damage with environmentally friendly projects should be a priority in US development.

Editor's note: This essay is the fifth in a series, “Conservation Innovation: Voices of a New Generation,” which has been produced by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project on GlobalPost. The essays were written for presentation in Sydney, Australia during the November 2014 World Parks Congress organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

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Austrian teachers learn how to spot Islamic State recruits

The Vienna School Board has developed a process to identify radicalization in students and prevent "jihadi brides."

VIENNA — At the start of the school day, hundreds of students file into Vienna’s Higher Commercial Vocational School. Most wear sneakers and hoodies. Some wear headscarves, which isn’t at all unusual for a student body with a large Muslim minority.

But it was unusual when Samra Kesinovic, a trendy kid who liked to wear makeup, dyed her hair blonde and danced to pop music at lunch, wrote “I love al Qaeda” on the bathroom wall one day in January.

“She was brainwashed,” says the school's principal, Peter Slanar. Like other middle and high schools here in the capital, Higher Commercial has become one of the front lines in Vienna's battle against terrorism after several Austrian and other European teens joined up with the Islamic State (IS).

Samra was one of them.

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How green bonds can fund a conservation renaissance

Opinion: The shortfall in funding to protect nature is not as insurmountable as it might seem.

Editor's note: This essay is the fourth in a series, “Conservation Innovation: Voices of a New Generation,” which has been produced by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in collaboration with The GroundTruth Project on GlobalPost. The essays were written for presentation in Sydney, Australia during the November 2014 World Parks Congress organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 

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Bronx youth turn to unconventional jobs in bleak job market (VIDEO)

The Bronx has the highest unemployment rate in the state of New York. Here's what millennials there are doing about it.

Editor's note: This story is part of a Special Report on global youth unemployment, Generation TBD. It was produced by The GroundTruth Project in partnership with the Bronx Documentary Center.

NEW YORK — When Luis ran away from his rural home in Guatemala he had no idea he would end up washing dishes in a New York City restaurant to make ends meet. During his three-month trek to America, he said, he did not envision himself working as a day laborer to send money back home to his family.

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