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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.


GroundTruth: Patrick Winn on inequality in Thailand

Patrick Winn travels from one of Bangkok's most notorious slums to its glitzy mall district as part of GlobalPost's exploration of income inequality around the world.

Snowfall in Jerusalem temporarily cools tension...again

Journalists based in Jerusalem are covering the same story they covered 15 years ago.

The ancient stone walls of Jerusalem’s Old City hold the heat of the day, and too often the heat of politics and religion.

But there is nothing like a snowstorm to chill out the Holy Land.

Freelance journalist Genevieve Belmaker was out and about in Jerusalem, where she is based, and sent along these snowy images of ‘ground truth’ in Jerusalem: A snow cap on the Dome of the Rock. A drift of white powder up against the Western Wall.The faithful playfully throwing snow balls in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. A Jerusalem evergreen toppled by the weight of the snow.


GroundTruth: Kevin Grant on reporting on the border

Via a Skype Interview, Kevin Grant, GlobalPost's deputy editor for special reports, talks about what it's like to report on the Mexico-Arizona border. 

The Story Behind the Story: Reporting on immigration and faith

Kevin Grant, GlobalPost's deputy editor for special reports, talks about what it's like to report on the Mexico-Arizona border.

TUCSON, Arizona — It has too often been said that there are two sides to every story, but reporting on immigration from both sides of the fence in the sister border towns of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico infuses this maxim with fresh, more literal meaning.

For the deported Mexican and Central American migrants biding time at Kino Border Initiative's soup kitchen on the Mexico side and desperately planning an attempt to rejoin their families in the United States, American immigration laws seem unreasonably cruel and heavy-handed, the US Border Patrol predatory and abusive.


In Search of GroundTruth: The World Bank captures inequality with photographs

The World Bank has launched a photo contest, "Picturing Inequality," in order to start a conversation about inequality on the ground.
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In the desert of India in the state of Rajasthan, three boys study an iphone, amazed about its reversible camera. The iphone costs more that what they need in order to live for one year. (Sofia Madero/World Bank/Courtesy)

Everyone sees inequality differently.

This was the World Bank’s assumption, at least, when its Poverty Reduction and Equity department launched a contest last week that challenged participants to capture inequality in a photograph.

“Inequality is a very tough subject,” said Karin Rives, online communications officer for the World Bank’s poverty reduction and equity department. “I mean, how do you photograph that?”

Some submitted photographs of children. Some captured landscapes of poor neighborhoods next to rich estates. Some snapped pictures that showed extreme, desolate poverty. And most demonstrate a real, honest understanding of the GroundTruth they highlight.

The contest was launched on October 25 by the World Bank Group in order to spread information about the growing problem of inequality around the world. While alleviating poverty has always been the World Bank’s focus, Rives explained, recently the Bank has been focusing on inequality issues, because economists have found that as countries develop, inequality often rises. 

As a March 1 Foreign Policy article put it, “the big worry is that economic growth and inequality go together like doughnuts and heart attacks.”

And the World Bank seems to agree. 


Thankful for courage, diplomacy, and rock n' roll

Here's a list of 'a few of my favorite things’ for which I am truly grateful.
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PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts – A few of my favorite things for which I am truly thankful: courage, rock n’ roll and diplomacy.

The American tradition of Thanksgiving is, of course, always open to sharp criticism from my friends and colleagues around the world. They love to point out the obvious and bitter irony of Thanksgiving. That is that we celebrate how Native Americans helped a group of religious pilgrims through the early harvests when they first landed on the shores of New England right here in Plymouth.

The bitter part comes, of course, with the history of how these indigenous people were treated in the many decades that followed. These global friends also like to point out just how American it is to have a national holiday in which we over-eat and sit on couches watching football.

Okay, these are fair and important, albeit a bit well-trodden, criticisms.

That said, it is still a great day for families to come together and for everyone to remember to be thankful. I passed through Plymouth last night on my way to Cape Cod where my wife, our four boys, and our whole extended family is gathering for the day.

So in no particular order, here’s a list of ‘a few of my favorite things’ (John Coltrane’s version of this melody is certainly one of them) for which I am truly grateful. 


Petraeus's fall a reminder of the personal toll of military service

One of the most highly decorated US military generals in history comes to terms with a very costly mistake.
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WASHINGTON—Honoring Veterans Day is about remembering the sacrifices of the fallen and the struggles of those soldiers who come home wounded by war.

It’s about pondering the toll of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the over-stressed less than one percent of the American population that actually serves in the military, and this year it forces the country to ask whether General David H. Petraeus and his family are part of that wider toll.

This Veterans Day falls amid the wreckage of one of the most distinguished military careers in modern history, and what those who know Petraeus well say is an uncharacteristic failure of judgment and lack of discipline.

It turns out that the venerated four-star general is perhaps not so different from the 800,000 men and women who have served multiple combat tours, many of them suffering the strains and invisible wounds that can fracture families, break marriages and crush spirits.


New dangers threaten Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp

Home to 100,000 displaced people, the camp now faces potential infiltration by al-Shabaab militants — another terrifying concern on a long list of worries.
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Reth Maker, who has lived in Kakuma for two decades, was one of Sudan's "Lost Boys" when he arrived in 1992 at the age of 5. He is now a teacher in one the camp's schools, and dreams of one day starting a family, but know he has few prospects. (Sam Loewenberg/GlobalPost)

KAKUMA, Kenya —The Kakuma refugee camp is 60 miles from Sudanese border, in the uppermost reaches of the arid Turkana region of Kenya. It was opened in 1992 to house the 16,000 “lost” girls and boys fleeing the war from Sudan. These days, the overcrowded facility is home to around 100,000 people, driven there by violence not only from Sudan but also Ethiopia, Congo, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and a handful of other nations.

Kakuma does not look like a refugee camp in the movies, with rows of canvas tents ringed by barbed wire. Or rather, structures like that do exist, but that is where the aid workers live. Most of the refugees live in handmade huts, built of sticks, mud, metal scrap, and materials salvaged from aid packaging.

At the camp’s entrance, myriad signs list Kakuma’s sponsors, which include the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR), The Lutheran World Federation, The World Food Program and Handicap International. The latter advertises a “mine risk education program.” Poisonous spiders, snakes, and scorpions abound in the area.


After Hurricane Sandy, climate change blows into the election

The differences between Obama and Romney on climate change have become part of the race in a big way.
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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) walks towards the Marine One with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate prior to his departure from the White House October 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama was heading to New Jersey to view the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

BOSTON— The powerful winds of Hurricane Sandy seem to have blown in the direction of President Barack Obama.

At least that was the general consensus among political pundits on the Sunday talk shows who also expressed surprise that the devastation caused by rising waters and Sandy’s high winds have put the issue of climate change at center stage in a presidential race where environmental policy was hardly mentioned.

The damage along the East Coast caused by 70 mph winds and surging tides – projected to cost as much as $50 billion – may indeed end up a deciding factor, but polls suggest it is still an election that is just too close to call.

On CBS’ Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer underscored that while the storm will not sway loyal party voters, it could impact independents and undecided voters who saw President Obama in a decidedly presidential moment of leadership in one of the worst hurricanes in the nation’s history.

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