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Generation TBD: A dispatch from the belly of Brazil's youth movement

Protestors say their generation finally has a voice with which to express frustration and disenfranchisement, at a time when they don't feel represented by political structures, parties or unions.
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Protesters in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday, March 27. (Corinne Chin/GlobalPost)

Editor’s Note: Corinne Chin is currently in Brazil on a reporting fellowship for The GroundTruth Project in which 10 teams of top, young journalists in ten different countries are working together on a Special Report titled “Generation TBD: How millennials are facing an uncertain global economy.” Their work will be published over the next six months on GlobalPost and the fellows will be providing updates from their reporting in the field on PRI’s The World. The project is funded by The Ford Foundation and will culminate with an October 24 conference on the issue of rising youth unemployment at International House in New York.

SAO PAULO, Brazil –The waves of protesters arrived slowly and steadily Thursday night to Praça do Ciclista, a scant stretch of paved median running through São Paulo’s bustling Paulista Avenue.

More than one thousand youth, most of them in their 20s, were arriving to the rally via unreliable and overcrowded trains and buses, a failing public transportation system that was in fact the focus of this anti-World Cup demonstration, the latest in a series that continue to mount as the international tournament nears.

The protesters are intent on highlighting the disparity between the funding going toward the marquee global events of the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, to be hosted in Brazil, and what they feel is the inadequate funding for Brazil’s failing infrastructure for education, health care and transportation.


In Niger, personal relationships are key to long-term maternal health

Though it's beneficial to send food and supplies to communities in need, it is also important to understand the value of personal relationships in order to implement effective, long-term solutions.
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A picture taken on October 14, 2013 shows a child suffering from malnutrition eyed by his mother at a hospital in Tillaberi, western Niger. Saumya Dave traveled to Niger with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in 2011 and wrote articles on global women's health. (BOUREIMA HAMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Editor's note: This weekend President Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton will convene more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world at the Clinton Global Initiative University in Phoeniz, Arizona where attendees will work to address global challenges, including health. Saumya Dave will join the group of young leaders. She is a medical student and writer who traveled with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to North and West Africa in 2011 to report on global women's health. As a result of the experience, she founded MoBar, an organization to improve maternal health in the region. 

MOLII, Niger — When I met Miero, I had no idea that she was eight months pregnant.

Unlike the pregnant women I’ve seen in America, Miero’s abdomen was flat and her sharp ribs protruded through her dress. Our conversation was a sharp contrast from the ones I had with women in America. No discussion of prenatal vitamins. No ultrasound dating. No measuring of fundal height. Instead, Miero told me that she hadn’t eaten in one day. Her reason was simple: she gave any available food to her family and counted on having whatever was left.

I was in her village of Molii in Niger because of a trip through Northwest Africa with journalist Nicholas Kristof.

Throughout our journey, we absorbed the stories of many women. I learned about the millet grain, an important food source, and the way women in villages walked to the well every morning to collect water in large buckets.

The women were independent in a way I hadn’t seen in America, occasionally relying on one another if they needed to, but for the most part, embracing all of the responsibilities placed on them. In every community I saw an underlying theme: women were taking care of their families and it was often at the expense of their own well-being.


Six months later: Kenya’s Westgate Mall workers reflect on a delicate recovery

Six months after a terrorist attack killed dozens at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, GlobalPost correspondent Jacob Kushner talks with mall workers about their stories of trauma, joblessness and moving on.

NAIROBI, Kenya —Today marks six months since gunmen trained by the Somali-based terrorist group al-Shabaab stormed a popular shopping mall here, in a siege that left 62 civilians and five Kenyan soldiers dead, and at least 200 others injured.

The victims consisted of both Kenyans and expatriates. Their families and friends remained traumatized by the attack and angered by the government’s response, during which Kenyan soldiers looted the mall, even while bodies remained strewn about.

The Israeli-owned Westgate Mall opened in 2007. It was a popular hangout for Kenyans and expatriates alike until it collapsed during the September 2013 siege. But one group of Kenyans in particular holds a uniquely intimate connection to the mall and the event that destroyed it: These hundreds of Kenyans were employed in the mall’s 80 shops and restaurants, and depended on the mall for their livelihoods.


GlobalPost announces second annual GroundTruth fellowship for Middle East reporting

Apply for a $10,000 grant one top young journalist will receive to report in the Middle East.
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NEW YORK — GlobalPost is proud to announce the second annual 'GroundTruth fellowship for reporting in the Middle East' and we are now accepting applications for proposals for the $10,000 grant.

The fellowship was officially announced last month at the Overseas Press Club Foundation luncheon and we are setting a deadline of April 15 for all proposals. We plan to announce the winner on May 1.

The GroundTruth fellowship will be awarded to a correspondent working on the ground in the Middle East with a minimum of three years of experience.

We are looking for a talented journalist who is early in his/her career and who presents the most worthy project idea for how to cover the aftermath of events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and elsewhere that have unfolded over the last three years and come to be known as the Arab Spring, or the Arab Awakening.


Generation TBD: A dispatch from the streets of Caracas

Natalie Keyssar describes the protests that have now become a daily routine for many young people around Caracas.
Venezuelans have taken to the streets since January to denounce rampant violence and corruption. Natalie Keyssar describes the protests that have now become a daily routine for many young people around Caracas.

FRONTLINE documentary to reveal Vatican 'secrets' nearly one year into Francis' papacy

Pope Francis may be well-liked but the Catholic Church's problems run deep. FRONTLINE explores them in a 90-minute documentary airing Tuesday night.
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Pope Francis gives the Angelus blessing from the former papal apartments on February 23, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Peter Macdiarmid/AFP/Getty Images)

A little more than a year after an exhausted Pope Benedict abdicated the papacy, the first time a pope had done so in 600 years, his far more popular successor Pope Francis has gained a reputation as a humble but diligent reformer of the Catholic Church.


GlobalPost announces winners of GroundTruth reporting fellowship on youth unemployment, fall conference at International House

Here are the 21 journalism fellows who will report from 11 countries as part of our year-long exploration of the global youth unemployment crisis.
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(Emily Judem/GlobalPost)

BOSTON — GlobalPost is proud to announce 21 journalism fellows who will participate in The GroundTruth Project’s reporting fellowship on rising youth unemployment as part of an ambitious, year-long project that brings together media, technology, education and humanitarian partners for an authoritative, global exploration of the youth unemployment crisis.


Mohammad Abbas, Egyptian revolutionary, comes to America

Three years after Hosni Mubarak stepped down, one of the revolution's young stars meets with US officials in the States.

BOSTON – Mohammad Abbas looked out over Boston Harbor and saw the history of the American Revolution.

On a cold, clear day last week, he gazed at the white spire of Old North Church, where in 1775 two lanterns signaled the arrival of British troops by sea, and beyond that Abbas spotted the Bunker Hill Monument where the revolutionary militias were told, “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.”


Covering the Sochi Olympics under a cloud of global doubt

As the world turns its attention to Sochi for the start of the Olympics on Friday, efforts to turn the subtropical resort city into an Olympic venue hit deadline. This is what it all looks like.
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A general view of Rosa Khutor Mountain village cluster is seen prior to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 3, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

SOCHI, Russia — “What do you think of Russia?” Dmitry Avtonomov asked me.

He is a young Russian man visiting Sochi from Cheboksary, a city on Russia's Volga River, and he wanted a comparison with the US.

I searched for words. “Well, it’s less fancy.”

“You mean, normal?” he asked.

Sochi isn’t a glistening city. Rows of single-story houses, some with metal roofs, retreat from the sea; protruding yellow utility pipes connect many buildings, occasionally over roads; there are high-rise hotels closer to the coast, along with dilapidated older buildings. Smooth black stones cover the beach.

There was talk around the 2012 London Olympics about the unprecedented security, questions about whether or not the facilities would be ready in time, how the performance would play out, and if the country would really benefit. The same has happened here in Russia, but there is more security, more money and more negative attention in the press.

This is what initially drew me to Sochi and made me want to witness the coastal resort's changing landscape and, of course, these Olympic Games — to be present as a correspondent for GlobalPost covering the human rights issues, geopolitics and security machine that accompany the Games in this setting.

Russia’s $50 billion investment for the Winter Olympic Games is most visible in the city’s new infrastructure: a railroad the length of Sochi’s coast connecting to Sochi International Airport, and a new highway linking the coast to Krasnaya Polyana and surrounding ski resorts, where the downhill events for the Olympics will be held.

Russia’s massive security effort for the Games is also most evident in the city’s public spaces.


Announcing our finalists for the GroundTruth reporting fellowship on rising youth unemployment

GlobalPost and The GroundTruth Project have selected 40 finalists for a fellowship that will send young journalists to 10 countries to report on global youth unemployment.
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(Emily Judem/GlobalPost)

BOSTON — We received more than 400 applications for the GroundTruth Reporting Fellowship on Rising Youth Unemployment, full of great ideas. Applicants from 77 countries proposed stories in 90 countries across six continents.