January 26, 2022
ISIS fighters have carried out deadly, sophisticated attacks on a prison in northeast Syria since last Thursday. The prison holds hundreds of ISIS members, among them children who were brought to the caliphate by their parents. And, Jan. 26 is officially Australia Day, but to Indigenous communities, it's Invasion Day. In 1972, an Indigenous demonstration in front of the Canberra Parliament building became a major turning point for Indigenous rights in Australia. Plus, Olavo de Carvalho, a self-proclaimed philosopher whose ideas helped fuel a far-right resurgence in Brazil, has died of COVID-19.
January 25, 2022
Five former members of a civil defense were found guilty Monday of sexual assaults that occurred during Guatemala’s civil war. The men raped dozens of Indigenous women. Also, omicron is hitting Brazil hard, with record-high COVID-19 numbers. Indigenous communities are especially struggling with vaccination rates amid this new wave. Plus, Tennis Australia initially defended its policy against spectators wearing T-shirts at the Australia Open that refer to the whereabouts of tennis star Peng Shuai. But after swift and fierce blowback, Australia’s tennis authorities backed down, saying T-shirts are OK — but not banners.
January 24, 2022
Amid the standoff between Russia and Ukraine, the US and other Western countries continue to provide Ukraine with military assistance. Now, the Biden administration is weighing sending more troops to countries like Poland and Romania to reinforce NATO allies in Eastern Europe. Also, the rate of global chemical pollution exceeds the planet’s ability to absorb it, threatening the stability of ecosystems and human health. Plastic pollution, pesticides, and industrial materials are top concerns, according to a new study. Plus, the tiny Pacific island of Tuvalu has struck a deal with US-based internet company Go Daddy to manage its highly coveted internet address: .tv.
January 21, 2022
As COVID-19 cases rise in China, even by small numbers, the government continues to take drastic measures to contain the outbreaks. Measures include a hamster cull in Hong Kong, and thousands stuck in shopping malls for 48-hour quarantines in Shanghai. And US State Department officials traveled to Sudan this week to help mediate the ongoing political crisis in Sudan following the military coup in October. They condemned the use of "disproportionate" force against protesters. Plus, more than 700 years ago, the poet and Sufi mystic Rumi started spinning as a form of meditation. The practice of his modern descendants, known as the "whirling dervishes,” is misunderstood and between commercialism and tradition, even in Konya, where it began.
January 20, 2022
Ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops near its border with Ukraine. What will Russia's President Vladimir Putin do next? Also, US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy team has brought experience and an emphasis on diplomacy to US engagement abroad. But that hasn’t always been enough to prevent crises from spiraling. Plus, Joy Crookes is one of the UK's breakout recording artists from the past year. Born in London to a Bangladeshi mother and Irish father, she is a student of history and brings the same rigor to her music.
January 19, 2022
International aid is beginning to mobilize for Tonga after an underwater volcano erupted on Saturday. But officials are concerned that admitting aid workers will bring COVID-19 into a country that has remained almost entirely free of the coronavirus. And Cubans who took to the streets to demonstrate against their government last July are paying a heavy price. Dozens have appeared in court in recent weeks, and some are facing decadeslong sentences. Plus, do you have a doppelgänger somewhere out there in the world? When Francois Brunelle was younger, people told him he looked like the main character in the British sitcom, "Mr. Bean." He now captures photos of unrelated "twins" across the globe.
January 18, 2022
The island of Tonga's isolation is impacting efforts to meet humanitarian needs or to even assess conditions days after the volcanic eruption. The Tongan government has called the situation an "unprecedented disaster." And in Mexico on Monday, journalist Margarito Martínez Esquivel was shot dead outside his home in Tijuana. Authorities have launched an investigation, but details remain unclear. Plus, women in Malawi who don’t fit into social norms have sometimes been accused of witchcraft. Former colonial rulers attempted to curb witchcraft accusations by imposing laws, but citizens often don’t respect or legitimize these laws.
January 17, 2022
Pandemic trivia: Which country has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the world? The answer is the United Arab Emirates. The UAE boasts a vaccination rate higher than 90%. We look into what's driven the country’s massive success. Also, in the Arctic, the ground is literally disappearing. Roads, bridges and infrastructure are built on permafrost. But with climate change, that's starting to thaw. Plus, tensions are on the rise in Bosnia. Experts are calling this its worst crisis in more than 25 year as Bosnian Serbs seem poised to pull out of the government that they share with Bosnian Croats and Muslims.
January 14, 2022
About 30 migrants are currently being detained in the same hotel where tennis star Novak Djokovic stayed, putting the spotlight once again on Australia’s controversial immigration policy. The migrants were transferred from the country’s offshore immigration detention camps to receive medical care, but will not be able to stay in Australia. Also, Japan is pointing fingers at the US military for its uptick in omicron cases, reigniting long-standing grievances over the impact of US soldiers stationed in Japan. And, the hit game Wordle has gone global as people around the world create versions in their own languages.
January 13, 2022
A German court has convicted former Syrian army colonel Anwar Raslan of crimes against humanity, handing him a life sentence. It’s the world’s first trial related to state-sponsored torture under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And after a seven-month ban, Nigeria has restored access to Twitter, after the social networking giant agreed to a number of conditions that may permit tighter government control of social media. Plus, the lights went out in Argentina this week after a heat wave led to a higher demand for power, putting a strain on the electrical grid. The power outages led to protests in several Buenos Aires neighborhoods.