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Thailand's military junta is increasing its crackdown on those who insult the monarchy. The country's lese majeste laws are among the world's strictest, and criticising the royal family can be punishable by up to 15 years in prison. But critics say the junta is abusing the provision to silence their dissenters. What purpose does lese majeste serve, and how is it impacting free speech?
Protests in Nicaragua are growing in opposition to what could be the biggest engineering project in human history. Driven by a Hong Kong businessman, the canal would cut through the country, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Nicaragua says the $50 billion project will boost the economy. But critics say damage to the environment and indigenous communities isn't worth the price
Bridging the 90 mile divide. In December Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced renewed diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba. Among other things, this means the release of political prisoners, easing a fifty year old embargo and lifting travel restrictions. While many in Havana were quick to celebrate, critics of the deal immediately pointed to ongoing human rights abuses. So what do "normalised" relations between the two countries actually mean for Cubans and Cuban-Americans?
What can a male-focused forum on feminism achieve? We'll discuss how men are promoting gender equality with a preview of this week's UN "Barbershop Conference". Inspired by the #HeForShe campaign, delegations from Iceland and Suriname are leading the effort which asks what men can do to end violence and discrimination against women. What are the challenges in getting more men to support feminism?
He's best known as the senior Muslim correspondent for "The Daily Show," conducting satirical interviews or reviewing the news of the day, from a "brown" perspective. But Indo-Muslim-British-American Aasif Mandvi is also an actor and writer. His new book "No Land's Man" is a series of essays exploring his journey as an immigrant.
"Build back better". That was the idea following the 2010 earthquake that shook Haiti, leaving behind an island nation devastated. With this week marking the 5th anniversary of the disaster, many are asking why the country hasn't achieved that goal. Although some of the infrastructure has been rebuilt and most Haitians have moved out of temporary camps, thousands still remain displaced. With progress in some places and not others, has Haiti built back better?
Chinese police shot and killed six suspects who attempted to set off an explosive device in China's Xinjiang region, according to state media. Years of violence between ethnic majority Han Chinese and the Muslim Uighur people have troubled this region. Chinese authorities blame Uighur separatists for the bloodshed. Uighurs say the unrest is rooted in discriminatory policies that aim to dilute their culture and repress religious practices
Western capitalism - it's been blamed by its critics for financial instability, worsening climate change, and global inequality. After traditional economists were caught off guard by the last financial crisis, a growing movement is now calling on universities to add more diverse economic studies - including those that take a critical approach to free markets - into their curricula. What are the alternatives, and could a diversified study of economics help create a more just and environmentally sustainable system?
On the face of it Brazil looks like a melting pot: half of the population is either African-Brazilian or mixed-race. But is its reputation of a "racial democracy" a mirage? Black Brazilians earn significantly less money than their white counterparts, go to school less, and make up a larger share of the prison population. As Brazil progresses in many areas, is racial inequality simmering beneath the surface?
Empty shelves, deepening recession and soaring inflation have hit Venezuela as the price of oil drops to the lowest levels since 2009. Many are standing in line for hours to buy basic subsidised goods such as milk, soap and diapers. President Nicolas Maduro, who has a 22 per cent approval rating, admitted his country is in a crisis but blames his political foes. The opposition, who has called for protests, says the troubled economy is a result of years of corruption and misguided policies.
Is the already fragmented Yemen heading towards chaos? President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned last week after Houthi fighters stormed his residence, following a dispute over the constitution. Political control in the capital remains uncertain for the time being. The situation is putting regional stability is at risk, as well as Yemen's relationship with the US, a key ally. What is needed to resolve this crisis?
In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is an option for many around the world, unless you live in Costa Rica. IVF at times involves discarding unused embryos, which led the country's Supreme Court to ban it in 2000 stating that the "human embryo is a person from the moment of conception". In 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the lifting of the ban in Costa Rica, but IVF still remains unavailable as religious groups stall legislation to legalise it.
Could sending more troops to eastern DR Congo help the region, or will it worsen an existing humanitarian crisis? UN and Congolese forces have begun a new offensive targeting the Rwandan rebel group FDLR. The last time a similar offensive was launched in 2009, thousands of civilians died and a million Congolese were displaced. What needs to happen for the violence to end?
Greece's Syriza is the first far-left party to win a national election and the first anti-austerity party to take power in Europe. They promise massive job creation, writing off bank debts for the poor and renegotiating terms of Greece's $269bn bailout. While many are hopeful Syriza can lift them out of poverty, others worry about the impact of their policies on relations with the Eurozone.
Some of the most effective weapons in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict aren't guns or artillery, they're words. As fighting rages on between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian fighters, both sides are harnessing the power of social media and television to further their cause. As two different versions of the same story emerge, who's winning the information war?
The recent immolation of a Jordanian pilot at the hands of ISIL shocked Muslims around the world and has led some nations to step up their campaign against the group. Does this incident mark a turning point in the fight against ISIL and does the international will truly exist to defeat them?
Former US President Jimmy Carter argues that discrimination and violence against women around the world is the most serious, pervasive and ignored violation of basic human rights. To highlight this, The Carter Center is holding a forum about the work of women leaders trying to prevent and resolve violent conflict and extremism.
Sperm, egg...and egg? The UK is set to become the first country to allow "three-parent IVF", which entails using a tiny amount of donor cell material to facilitate pregnancy in women who carry genes for mitochondrial disease. Critics worry it hasn't been studied enough and paves the way for "designer babies." Proponents say it prevents families from passing on incurable diseases
The murder of three Muslim-Americans has sparked outrage online with accusations that the media has ignored the story because of their religion. Many pointed to the fact that had the shooter been Muslim, the act would have immediately been labeled "terrorism" and topped headlines. What do you think of the media response to the Tuesday killings in Chapel Hill and is there a double standard?
Ethiopia's jailed Zone 9 bloggers are on trial this week for terrorism and treason, charges facing more than two dozen journalists, bloggers and publishers. To avoid arrest, 30 journalists fled the country in the past year. The government says they're criminals, destabilising Ethiopia's fragile democracy in the name of "press freedom." Rights groups say they're victims of repression
Sí, se puede. Yes we can. That is the battle cry of Spaniards evicted from their homes by their Wall Street landlords. A number of US private equity firms have been buying regional governments' stocks of public housing at distress prices, and then disproportionately raising rents. When tenants can't pay up, they are evicted, often saddled with debt. We'll speak to evictees who are fighting back.
Must Superman, James Bond and the Storm Troopers be white? According to a 2014 UCLA study, only ten per cent of film leads were given to diverse actors. The issue was recently highlighted after all acting nominees for the 2015 Academy Awards happened to be white. Why the lack of diversity, and who's trying to change the status quo?
US counter-terrorism efforts need the involvement of American Muslims, according to President Barack Obama. Speaking at the White House "Countering Violent Extremism" summit, Obama acknowledged mistrust between Muslim communities and law enforcement but stressed the importance of having Muslims at the table to help shape strategies and partnerships moving forward. So, how should Muslims respond?
In the race to expand mankind's presence in space, the non-profit Mars One mission hopes to be the first in putting human boots on Martian ground by 2025. This year the Netherlands-based group will choose 24 finalists for the one-way, $6-billion mission to start a Martian colony, with plans to capture the experience in a reality TV show. What do humans stand to gain from colonising Mars?
Being a teen is tough, imagine being a teen with AIDS. There are 2.1 million 10-19 year olds living with HIV around the world. It's the only age group in which AIDS-related deaths have not declined. Despite advancement in the treatment of the disease why are adolescents being left behind? We speak with HIV positive youth about life with the virus.
Sacred land, secret legislation, and billions of dollars. These are a few issues surrounding a controversy that has Arizona's Apache tribe taking on copper mining giants. As part of an exchange approved by US Congress, 2,000 acres of federal land will be given to the Rio Tinto mining firm, who says the project will bring economic prosperity. Apache claim the site is holy and must be protected.
Hostile exchanges between the White House and the Israeli government escalated ahead of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's US Congress address. Thirty-four US lawmakers are skipping the speech, which is expected to criticise US efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran. Online hashtags #BibiDoesntSpeakForMe & #SkipTheSpeechtrended in opposition as wel
Sex education classes in schools across Ontario, Canada will now involve lessons about gender identity, sexuality and cyber bullying. Many are applauding the revised curriculum saying it's more in tune with the times. Some parents are up in arms though, claiming the content is not age appropriate and this should be taught in the home, not the classroom.
Female Muslim duo Poetic Pilgrimage has stormed the hip-hop arena, breaking cultural and religious boundaries. British-born members Muneera Rashida and Sukina Abdul Noor have toured across the world facing resistance along the way, with some Muslims saying their performances are forbidden. But this hasn't stopped the pair who believe music is permissible within Islam
Vanished. A year after Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar screens en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, search teams are still looking for the plane. No clues have emerged to clarify why the Boeing 777 kept flying for more than six hours after it slipped off the radar. At 19:30 GMT Thursday, The Stream asks aviation experts and relatives of the victims how long the search for answers should continue.
"Women's rights are human rights." So said the Beijing conference on women twenty years ago. But two decades after what some call the most progressive plan ever for advancing women's rights, what's really changed?
Nuclear negotiations with Iran are being closely watched by Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). They're worried a deal with Iran would bolster Tehran's increasing influence in the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, flew to Riyadh last week to ease fears and assure that a diplomatic solution to Iran's atomic programme would make the region more secure. We discuss at 19:30GMT.
Thousands of Kurdish female fighters are battling ISIL in Syria and Iraq. They're not just wielding guns, though. They're wielding ideas, leading a feminist movement for parity in politics and society. But what happens when they leave the battlefield? Do their war victories translate to greater respect and responsibilities at home?
Syria's war will soon enter its fifth year, and many are still trying to move on. Of the 10 million Syrians fleeing violence since 2011, about 4 million have sought refuge in countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Some are registered refugees in camps, while others find illegal means of escaping to what they hope is safety. We'll discuss the Syrian refugee crisis and challenges of resettlement at 1930GMT.
Bombs continue to pound Yemen, as Saudi-led coalition airstrikes target Houthi positions across the country. On the ground, violent clashes between President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi loyalists and Houthi fighters have paralysed the city of Aden in the south, and the death toll mounts. Many Yemenis have turned to social media to call for an end to the war sharing images of life under fire.
Canadian fighter jets are set to begin airstrikes against ISIL in Syria. Canada is already taking part in US-led bombing campaigns against ISIL in Iraq. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the strikes are legally justified and Canada has a moral obligation to fight global terrorism. Opposition leaders however, have been highly critical, arguing that government efforts should focus on humanitarian assistance instead
South African students want to rid "white supremacy" from campuses and school curriculum. For about a month, University of Cape Town students have been calling for the removal of a statue of British coloniser Cecil Rhodes, uniting under the slogan #RhodesMustFall. The current controversy speaks to a wider discussion on how universities can be more reflective of a diverse student body
"The woman's voice is what I'm calling, the girl's voice that is lost in my country." Those are lyrics of Moroccan rapper Soultana. Music as a tool for change is not new, but the beats of hip-hop are recently being heard as a powerful instrument. Many rappers are going beyond entertainment, working to change mentalities, perceptions and policy. We'll speak to artists about their efforts in hip-hop diplomacy.
Has the Nigerian government abandoned the kidnapped Chibok girls? April 14 marks one year since more than 270 students were abducted from their school by Boko Haram, and they remain missing. Relatives are accusing officials of giving up on the search. So, has the world forgotten them or will this anniversary revitalise the hunt and #BringBackOurGirls?
Would Walter Scott still be alive if police officers in the US were required to wear body cameras? Amateur video of the fatal shooting of Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old black man, by a white police officer has reignited discussions about how to monitor police conduct and hold officers accountable for their actions. Many are rallying behind the use of body cameras to reduce police violence. So, would eyes on cops make the difference between life and death?
For Ana Tijoux, music is a powerful form of protest. The French-Chilean hip-hop artist's songs are a mix of arts and activism, reflecting central issues from the Latin American political left. Listen to her lyrics and you'll hear about feminism, class struggle, indigenous pride, the fight against neoliberalism, and more. So what impact can protest music have on society?
During Luis Moreno Ocampo's term as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court he led an investigation against leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army and charged Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir with genocide. But he faced accusations of flawed investigations and bias in the court. Ocampo joins us to discuss Palestine's membership and if the ICC can play a role in resolving the Syrian conflict.
"Schools as we know them now are obsolete". So says Sugata Mitra who believes the only thing children need in order to learn is a computer connected to the internet. He maintains that self-organised learning environments - or SOLEs, where children teach themselves and each other, are what's next for our classrooms. What do you think of this innovative, yet controversial, glimpse at the future of education?
Six immigrants were killed in South Africa and hundreds displaced by recent violence which has also targeted foreign-owned shops. The incidents started in Durban, but spread to Johannesburg. Crowds with machetes have chanted "foreigners must leave". Official data suggests two million foreigners live in South Africa. With an unemployment rate of 24%, some say foreigners are taking their jobs.
Fighting to save her sister-in-law's life, a healthy kidney owner from Ecuador wants to change her country's organ donor laws. In Ecuador, living donors must be the organ recipient's spouse or blood relative. The rule aims to stop transplant tourism and organ trafficking. But are they too strict? How can countries crack down on organ trafficking while still allowing living donors to give?
Should cultural artefacts return to their home countries or be displayed in Western museums? That's the question surrounding the British Museum's controversial exhibit on Australian indigenous culture. Activists say aboriginal groups deserve to have their artefacts back, while others argue that the world's major museums should keep relics for historic preservation and education.
Why aren't there more minority MPs in the UK parliament? Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities are now over 8 million strong, equaling the population of Scotland & Wales combined. But they're politically underrepresented with only 27 BME MPs in a 650 seat parliament. To be representative of the UK's diversity, an estimated 117 candidates would need to win on May 7.
The Mediterranean body count keeps rising. Amnesty International says the death toll has passed 1,700 so far, but this perilous passage to Europe is one that migrants fleeing Africa and Syria continue to take. The European Union has said they will resettle some, but focus on protecting borders, repatriating thousands and prosecuting people smugglers. Is this the right approach?
40 years after the fall of Saigon the physical scars of the Vietnam War remain. Cancers, birth defects and chloracne are a part of life for thousands of Vietnamese and Americans. Health experts blame Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide the US military sprayed across Vietnam as part of its herbicidal warfare program. So what's being done in response to this health crisis?
Saudi Arabia's new king did not wait long to makeover the monarchy to suit his fashion. As part of a wide cabinet overhaul, King Salman sidelined his half-brother, the former crown prince, replacing him with his nephew. He also appointed his own son deputy crown prince and chose the Saudi ambassador to the US, a non-royal, to be the country's new foreign minister. For a country not known for big and sudden changes, the number and range of decisions taken by King Salman in his first 100 days is new for Saudi Arabia. So what does this all mean for the future of the monarchy?
The streets of Burundi erupted in violence following President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial announcement that he will seek a third term. The constitutional court has cleared the way but protesters are firm that his bid is illegal, and opposition leaders are threatening to boycott the elections scheduled for June 26. Nkurunziza has resisted calls to stand down but his government is offering to lift arrest warrants and reopen independent media outlets. What will it take to bring stability back to Burundi?
Jews discriminating against Jews. Is it because they're black? That's how black Israelis say they feel. Thousands protested in recent days after a video emerged showing two police officers assaulting an Ethiopian Israeli soldier. Their frustration turned into violent clashes with police, spurring the prime minister to say racism must be eliminated in Israel. But how can it be?
Is there a ‘culture of silence' inside the United Nations when it comes to handling allegations of abuse in its peacekeeping missions? Last summer, a senior UN employee, Anders Kompass, gave an internal report to French authorities about alleged sexual exploitation of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic (CAR). The report contained interviews with a number of children aged 8-15, who say they were sexually abused at a camp for internally displaced people in Bangui, the capital of the CAR. The UN characterized Kompass' actions as a "leak". He was suspended and put under investigation by the UN Office for Internal Oversight Service (OIOS) before an appeal tribunal ordered the UN to lift his suspension.
While the UN says its mission in the CAR was set up after the alleged crimes occurred, the organisation is being accused of neglecting its responsibility to reveal the abuses. A few days before the allegations were made against the French soldiers, a leaked internal UN report, which was presented in November 2013, painted a grim picture of how the UN deals with such cases. One of the report's findings is that in 2012, UN missions in Haiti, Liberia, Congo and South Sudan accounted for 85 per cent of all reported sexual abuse cases involving UN-mandated soldiers.
In this episode, we look at how the UN handles allegations of sexual abuse in its peacekeeping missions.
Is the "Macedonian Spring" under way? A so-called anti-terror operation by the government has left more than twenty dead as the small Balkan nation, already in political crisis, is now facing even more uncertainty.
For weeks, anger over allegations of electoral fraud and authoritarian rule against prime minister Nikola Gruevski has spilled on to streets. The country's opposition party led by Zoran Zaev has been leaking audio recordings that appear, if authentic, to show the government's complicity in criminal activity and police brutality. Tensions came to a head recently when protesters and police crossed paths in a fury of water cannons and smoke bombs. On Tuesday, the prime minister asked his minister of the interior to resign, a move seen by many as a way to pacify demonstrators.
The EU and NATO have called for calm amid fear of rising ethnic tensions. Anti-government protesters have vowed they will take to the streets every night until the prime minister and his cabinet resign. Is Macedonia's stability under threat?
Nepal's earthquake has renewed interest in international volunteer tourism as good samaritans line up to help. It's one of many "voluntourism" opportunities that let people pay big money to experience a different culture and do good. But is the multi-billion-dollar industry serving the host communities as much as the volunteers? At 19:30 GMT, The Stream asks what responsible voluntourism looks like.
How should Japan deal with its World War II-era legacy of "comfort women"? Some historians say up to 200,000 women were raped in Japanese military brothels from 1931-1945. Many were abducted, while others were lured with promises of factory work, only to be forced into sexual slavery. Now elderly survivors want an apology from a Japanese government critics accuse of whitewashing their history.
Former world champion Garry Kasparov gave up checkmating his opponents in chess for the maneuverings of politics. During his career as a Grandmaster he broke dozens of records, won countless matches and is considered one of the greatest chess players of all time. In 2005 he retired from the game of chess and formed a movement against Russian President Vladimir Putin, even announcing a run for president. Though his bid failed, he continues to campaign against Putin and what he calls his "authoritarian rule." Today he works on promoting human rights in Russia and around the world
Ebola kills about half the people who contract it. So what's it like to survive? About 15,000 people are known to have kicked the virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They're lucky to be alive, yet still plagued by health problems, stigma and weak medical care. Their fight is long from over. Three survivors join us at 1930 GMT Tuesday. You can, too.
Excessive and often unnecessary force is being used against mentally ill US prisoners according to Human Rights Watch. A new report contains shocking details of how jail and prison staff abused inmates with tazers and pepper spray. So what can be done to address the mental health of prisoners and still maintain a secure and safe prison environment for everyone?
Trigger warnings are often used to alert people to potentially distressing content online. But some US university students would like to extend those warnings to the classroom out of concern for those who have had traumatic experiences with topics such as rape, sexual assault, suicide and poverty. Critics say these alerts limit freedom of speech, are overused and promote excessive political correctness. So, do "trigger warnings" have a place in society? And if so, should a line be drawn?
Thousands of Rohingya adrift in the Andaman Sea with limited access to food and water may soon have shelter, at least temporarily. After weeks of turning away unseaworthy boats packed with migrants, Malaysia and Indonesia have now committed to providing immediate humanitarian aid and shelter for one year. Until recently governments have been reluctant to help, fearing a flood of refugees. Myanmar does not recognise the Rohingya and refutes accusations that their treatment of the ethnic minority is to blame for the crisis. Rohingya Muslims are considered one of the world's most persecuted people by the UN. How should regional governments and the international community respond to this ongoing crisis? Join us at 1930GMT.
Drilling for oil in the Arctic? "Shell no!" That's what activists are telling the Shell oil company, which wants to tap the estimated 15 billion barrels of undiscovered oil off the coast of Alaska. Conditions are so treacherous, an oil spill is highly likely. And environmentalists warn pulling oil out of the Arctic will cause catastrophic climate change. So why do it?
If you don't have one million dollars, you probably cannot buy a home in Vancouver, Canada's hottest real estate region. Soaring city housing prices have frustrated many young professionals who find it increasingly difficult to own or even rent a home. One person took her frustration out on Twitter. Eveline Xia started tweeting in March about housing affordability in Vancouver using #DontHave1Million. The hashtag went viral as it struck a chord with many in the city.
Over the weekend hundreds of people attended a rally organised by Vancouverites for Affordable Housing to protest the high cost of homes and call for a "national housing strategy". Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson did not attend the rally but said the city is doing what it can to make the housing market more affordable. However, he said more action is needed by provincial and federal governments.
The average price for a single-family home now tops $1 million Canadian dollars, according to statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. That's up more than 8 per cent from 2014 and more than 27 per cent from five years ago. Despite this, demand for these homes remains on the rise.
A recent study found that Vancouver's high real estate costs are driving workers out of the city and could cause a labour crisis. The study says housing costs increased by 63 per cent between 2001 and 2014.
So what will it take to make Vancouver's housing prices more affordable for its millennials? We discuss at 1930GMT.
Could Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania become the next Crimea? The three Baltic nations have requested the deployment of thousands of NATO troops to protect them against a potential Russian military invasion. Amid growing Russian moves in the region, local forces are preparing their defences. How are heightened tensions affecting peoples' lives in the Baltics? Join the conversation at 1930GMT.
World football's elite may have met their match: The U.S. government. In a crackdown as dramatic as the sport, top FIFA executives have been arrested on corruption charges. U.S. prosecutors say they conspired to pocket some $150 million. Their alleged victims? FIFA itself, and the local football clubs it supports. Monday at 1930GMT, we ask what, and who, can clean up the game.
Can your job be done by a robot? Can your role, and those of everyone you work with, be filled by just one machine? Automation creeping into the labour market isn't a new phenomenon, the Luddites have feared this since the 19th century. Historically jobs under threat were those that involved lower skills and repetitive motion. But as machines get more "intelligent" the prospect of them performing human-only types of employment is not so far in the future; in fact some academics are predicting that by 2040 almost half of current jobs in the United States could be automated. Today robots are already writing news articles, designing buildings and driving cars more safely than ever before. Will technology advancements lead to widespread human unemployment and inequality? What impact will artificial intelligence have on the labour force of the future?
France is making it illegal for supermarkets to waste food. A new law, voted unanimously by the French national assembly, will force stores to donate unsold food to charities or animal feed instead of throwing it out. The man behind the new legislation argues that every uneaten meal is one that a hungry person will never be able to have. So he started a petition against food waste, receiving signatures from 211,000 people, before the law was approved.
An estimated 795 million people around the world do not have enough food to eat. Yet close to half of all the food produced worldwide is thrown away each year. In dollars, the cost of wasted food totals $400 billion each year and by 2030 that number will reach $600 billion.
The reasons for this massive waste vary from place to place. In developing countries, more than 40 per cent of the waste takes place before the food gets to the supermarket. Inadequate infrastructure like storage or refrigerating facilities, bad roads and corruption play into the problem. In developed countries, however, over 40 per cent of the waste happens in supermarkets or at home. Consumer demand for cosmetically perfect produce, buy-one-get-one-free deals, large portion sizes and strict sell-by dates are some of the reasons for this.
In this episode, we talk to activists working to reduce the amount of food the world wastes each year. Join the conversation at 1930GMT.
Should military service be mandatory? Security concerns are pressuring some nations to build their armies, but for young people who aren't planning on a military career, conscription could have a major impact on their lives. Supporters of compulsory service say the practice is necessary to protect national interests. How is conscription affecting young people around the world? Join the conversation at 1930GMT.
Hawaii's tallest mountain may soon host one of the world's largest telescopes, despite protests against its construction on sacred land. The Thirty Meter Telescope will be so powerful, it will be able to detect Earth-like planets around other stars, revealing the potential for life elsewhere in the universe. But how will it affect the lives of Native Hawaiians right here on Earth? Join us Monday at 1930GMT
Global fish consumption is at an all-time high; we eat an average of 17 kgs of seafood in a year. In fact, more than a billion people rely on the ocean for their primary source of food. But if fishing continues on the course it's on, in less than one hundred years more than half of the marine species may be on the brink of extinction. A major cause is overfishing; when so many fish are caught the population can't replace enough to reproduce, leading to depletion or total extinction of species. Apart from the food we eat, unsustainable fishing also has a larger impact on marine ecosystems and economic development. Today only 3% of the world's oceans are legally protected. On the next Stream we discuss overfishing and the impact it's having on the oceans and economies of the world. Join the conversation at 1930GMT.
Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been and are being committed in Eritrea", according to a recent UN investigation. The 484-page report, based on evidence collected from 700 testimonies, says "it is not law that rules Eritreans – but fear".
Extrajudicial killings, torture (including sexual torture), open-ended national service and forced labour are some of the report's findings, which also says the government's promise of democracy that came with Eritrea's independence in 1993 has been broken under the pretext of national defense.
Eritrea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the accusations, describing them as "unfounded and devoid of all merit" and said the report is an attempt to undermine their country's sovereignty and progress.
This comes as the international community deals with a growing number of refugees taking desperate journeys to escape dire conditions at home. Many of them are Eritreans. The UN estimates that 5000 Eritreans leave the country each month.
So, beyond the accusations of the UN and the government's dismissal, what are the realities about life in Eritrea and how the government rules?
Twenty-four national teams are currently competing for the FIFA Women's World Cup being played in Canada. Unlike other FIFA stories that dominated headlines for weeks, coverage of the event and the players has not had nearly the same impact. Women's football is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. More than 30 million play and it's becoming increasingly popular in countries like Jordan, Romania and Kazakhstan. This year's Women's World Cup is already drawing record breaking crowds, but there are stark differences in the way women's tournaments are marketed and players are rewarded. The winning team will take home $2 million, that's up one million from the last tournament, but pales in comparison to the $35 million the men's team was awarded in 2014. Is there equal room for women footballers in the multi-billion dollar industry, or does it even matter if they're on par with their male counterparts? We discuss at 1930GMT.
For stateless Haitians in the Dominican Republic, their long fight to stay in the country continues, and once a June 17 deadline to legalise their status passes, many fear they will be deported en masse to Haiti. Government supporters say the nation will benefit from stronger immigration laws, while critics believe Santo Domingo's actions are rooted in a history of anti-Haitian racism. Join the discussion at 1930GMT.
US racial segregation laws officially ended in the 1960s, but does the massacre of black churchgoers, and a string of black killings and abuse by police, mean that racism still thrives? At 1930 GMT Monday, The Stream explores how racism has changed over the years, and how some black Americans are coping.
Americans are once again mourning the victims of a mass shooting. President Obama has expressed the frustration of many saying a legislative solution to gun violence is unlikely with advocates standing their ground arguing they will not give up their weapons. Gunfire kills tens of thousands in the United States each year, and costs the country more than $220 billion annually. So why are guns in the hands of so many American citizens? The US Constitution's Bill of Rights guarantees the right to bear arms, and according to one polling organisation the majority of Americans believe gun rights outweigh the need for gun control. As the debate about ownership and access continues, we look at the issue through the eyes of survivors of gun violence. Join us at 1930 GMT.
Unequal opportunities have left 600 million children living in extreme poverty, according to UNICEF. These children are chronically malnourished, twice as likely to die from preventable causes before the age of five, and are far less likely to achieve minimum reading standards. These are some of the findings of a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
UNICEF described the report as its "final report card" on the impact of MDGs on the lives of children around the world. While "MGDs helped the world realise tremendous progress for children", the UNICEF executive director said, "in the rush to make that progress, many focused on the easiest-to-reach children and communities, not those in greatest need".
The Millennium Development Goals are a set of eight benchmarks that were established by the United Nations in 2000 to measure progress in reducing child mortality, eradicating hunger, poverty, achieving universal primary education, improving maternal health, combating diseases, ensuring environment sustainability and establishing a global partnership for development.
With MDGs set to expire at the end of the year, the United Nations is introducing a new set of benchmarks called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs will replace the current MDGs as the new targets for addressing global poverty, inequality and climate change for the next 15 years. The UN has called on world leaders to put children at the centre of these new goals.
Fueled by a love of language and self-expression, slam poets and spoken word artists have long inspired audiences to voice their own personal truths. Now, young poets from around the globe are getting ready for what's being called the world's biggest youth poetry competition: The Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. We'll meet some of this year's competing poets at 19:30 GMT
White people will be a minority in the US in 30 years - a concern for many of the 774 known hate groups in the country. The ideology of these Neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, far right anti-government groups and others is not just hateful. It can be deadly. At 19:30 GMT Monday, we ask how these groups operate in the US, and why changing demographics and the Charleston church shooting are firing them up
Will the ‘Cyprus problem' soon be solved? After years of tension and stalemate, UN-brokered talks over Cyprus are ongoing between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders and many signs are pointing toward a thaw in the conflict. The island has been divided since 1974 when supporters of a union with Greece staged a coup. Turkey subsequently invaded a part of the island, in support of Turkish Cypriots. Days of furious fighting left many dead and thousands displaced. The UN established a 180 km buffer zone that still separates the island, and its capital Nicosia. However, relations between the two sides are better today than they've been in the past four decades. Some even say the recent election of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was a game changer. Confidence building measures from both sides are underway, but major issues remain unresolved, including governance, property rights and security. And there is the question of Turkey and its influence. So what does the future of Cyprus look like, and what will it take to get there?
What started as a protest over rising electricity prices in Armenia has over the past week turned into a demonstration about dignity. After protesters successfully pressured the government into suspending an energy price hike, Armenians say they will continue their fight for a government that works in the people's interest. We'll look at how the #ElectricYerevan movement is changing Armenia at 19:30 GMT.
After days of trading barbs with European leaders, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras seems to have conceded to many of the terms of a 1.6 billion Euro ($1.8bn) debt payment plan. But European authorities are saying they will not return to the negotiating table until after this weekend, when the Greek people will have their say in a referendum. As the country's financial fate hangs in the balance, how are the lives of its people being affected? We talk to four young Greeks to find out. Join us at 1930 GMT.
Puerto Rico is in a death spiral, according to the Caribbean island's governor. The tiny US territory owes US lenders more than $70 billion dollars, with no way to pay. And Washington has no plans for a bailout. The crushing debt, high crime, few jobs and a health care crisis have triggered mass migration from the island to the mainland. The crisis has renewed debate about how the US should treat its territory and its people. Join us at 19:30 GMT.
This week Pope Francis makes his latest tour of Latin America, home to 40 per cent - or 425 million - of the world's Catholics. But the church's historical influence in the region is on the decline and many followers are leaving the church, some in favour of other faiths. How should Latin American Catholics respond? Join our conversation at 19:30 GMT.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continues to control a significant part of northwestern Iraq, including the country's second largest city, Mosul. They dominate much of the eastern half of Syria and are engaged in ongoing battles in both countries. They are behind the recent attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia, andEgypt.
However, ISIL's reach extends beyond the territories they control or the places they strike. Through a sophisticated social media network, this armed group is spreading fear by publicising its gruesome crimes, disseminating information about its achievements around the world, raising funds, and reportedly recruiting close to 1,000 new members a month.
With high-quality videos posted to YouTube, smartphone apps, online chatrooms, and Twitter/Facebook accounts sending messages in multiple languages, ISIL has become very good at using new tools in waging their information war.
At least 46,000 Twitter accounts were actively promoting the work and ideology of ISIL between September and December 2014, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution.
The US State Department has repeatedly said that "countermessaging" is essential to defeating ISIL. But President Obama's administration has acknowledged the armed group is far better at spreading its message than the United States is at countering it.
So why is it so hard to defeat ISIL in the information war? We discuss at 19:30 GMT.
It's been one year since fifty days of violence tore the Gaza Strip apart, and for many of its youngest residents the pain of war continues. More than five hundred children were killed in the offensive, and thousands more lost parents and family members, leaving physical and psychological scars. According to a report by Save the Children the majority of children living in Gaza's hardest hit areas are showing signs of severe emotional distress and trauma. They live in fear of another war, suffer from nightmares and many refuse to attend school. Reminders of the destruction remain, children still play in uncleared rubble and homelessness is widespread. The United Nations estimates more than 300,000 children need psychological support in order to fully recover, making rebuilding their lives a slow and difficult process. We speak to professionals on the ground to understand what Gazan children are dealing with.
How are young Native Americans making positive changes for their communities? The White House recently hosted its first-ever "Tribal Youth Gathering", bringing together more than a thousand young indigenous Americans to discuss issues like youth suicide, substance abuse, barriers to education, and cultural preservation. We'll ask Native youth leaders about their experiences and community activism at 19:30 GMT.
Have you ever talked to an astronaut? On Tuesday, you can. The moustachioed Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be in The Stream. He'll shed light on what it's like to live on the International Space Station and record an album while weightless. He'll also discuss a NASA spacecraft's historic flyby of Pluto, the farthest planet from us. Send your questions about life in space and join the conversation at 1930GMT.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel has claimed many victories, from church boycotts, to shuttered factories and cancelled artist performances. The movement says it aims to pressure Israel to end violations of Palestinian rights, but it's accused of more malicious intent by a growing opposition aiming to curb BDS through legislative and public relations initiatives. What's the future of the battle over BDS?
Images of Africa are flooding Twitter...scenes of beauty, fashion, landscape, architecture and achievement. #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShows you is an effort by young Africans fed up of the way they say mainstream media sees their continent, constantly in struggle. Instead of desolate and poverty stricken they want the world to know their homes are as diverse as their traditions. The hashtag has been used over one hundred thousand times over the past few weeks and is growing. We'll speak to a head of state, a writer, a filmmaker and an art curator about what they want the world to know about their Africa. Join the conversation at 19:30 GMT.
In Singapore, how free is free expression? The case of teenage blogger Amos Yee has restarted conversations in the country about online censorship and the limits of dissent. Rights activists say the Singaporean government has a history of suppressing political criticism through costly lawsuits and hate speech laws. How have recent legal cases involving bloggers impacted free speech? Join our online conversation at 15:30 GMT.
From Google images to smart watches and face recognition, technology fails often produce racist and sexist outcomes. While some blame these fails on inevitable glitches, others say they reflect underlying structural racism and sexism in the tech world. Is the tech industry too white and male? And do search engines have a responsibility to safeguard against user-generated bias or racism in search results?
Tension is brewing between Venezuela and Guyana after ExxonMobil's recent oil discovery in the Essequibo region. The territory, off of Guyana's coast, has long been disputed between the two neighbouring countries. In 1899, despite Venezuela's objections, Guyana was granted the Essequibo by an international tribunal. Following news of the oil discovery, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for the peaceful reclamation of the disputed land, which would annex two-thirds of Guyanese territory and give greater access to the Atlantic. Guyanese officials say such a move threatens international peace and security. We take a look at Venezuela's claims and Guyana's concerns. Join the conversation at 19:30 GMT.
For the first time in US history, the president visited to a federal prison. The trip was part of a broader mission by Barack Obama to fix what he described as "a broken system" of criminal justice in the United States.
Days before his tour of the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, the White House granted clemency to 46-non-violent drug offenders who had already served 10 years behind bars. And in a speech at theNAACP, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organisation, Obama highlighted the deep racial disparities that have led to the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans and Latinos. He also called for a cultural shift when it comes to how the US deals with prisons and prisoners.
So how ‘broken' is the system?
The United States has the world's highest incarceration rate. Federal prisons are at 130 per cent capacity, with half of their population jailed for drug offenses. The United States spends $80 billion on keeping people incarcerated. And while crime rates have steadily declined over the past three decades, the prison population has quadrupled since 1980, with African-Americans and Latinos making up 60 per cent of prisoners.
With strong bipartisan support, Obama has requested sweeping criminal justice reforms which include reducing or eliminating mandatory sentences; changes to prisons to reduce overcrowding, abuse and the use of solitary confinement; increasing programmes that help with job training and drug treatment; and restoring voting rights to former offenders.
So are Obama's reform plans the answer to this "broken" criminal justice system? Join our conversation at 19:30 GMT.
Will powerful ever be the new pretty? This year Serena Williams won her sixth Wimbledon title, her twenty first major, and is one stop away from a tennis Grand Slam; yet chatter about her "manly" body and "abnormal" strength and unattractive looks continue unabated. Body shaming women athletes has long been a part of a professional sportswoman's life, and balancing feminine ideals of beauty and ambition is a constant struggle. For a swimmer her strong upper body often means hiding arms in long sleeves. For a weight lifter muscular legs mean not fitting into standard size clothing. Some athletes are able to turn criticisms into self-acceptance, but others deal with eating disorders or feel forced to quit. On Monday we'll speak to women from around the world, who despite their athletic triumphs, are still judged by harsh societal norms of "beauty." Join our conversation at 19:30 GMT.
In the US, are black women left out of the conversation on police brutality? Less heard of are cases like those of Rekia Boyd, Yvette Smith and Tanisha Anderson - all unarmed black women killed by police. Adding to the list is the death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland - a black woman stopped for a traffic violation and later found dead in her jail cell of apparent suicide. We'll hear more about their cases at 19:30 GMT.
On a daily basis, countless stereotypes about Muslim women are circulated on and offline. Richard Dawkins, the famous evolutionary biologist and prominent atheist, recently tweeted: "Islam needs a feminist revolution. It will be hard. What can we do to help?" Angered by Dawkins' comments, many Muslim women responded.
However, Dawkins' comment is, perhaps, proof of a larger problem: How much does the world really know about the diversity in the lives and views of Muslim women? What Dawkins said is not far from the way Muslim women are repeatedly portrayed by the mass media. Many argue that the focus is too often is on stories of Muslim women being victimised instead of being empowered, or how they look instead of how they think.
Activists say that painting the state of Muslim women with a broad brush, as Dawkins did, misses the details and prevents the emergence of the diversity among Muslim women who range in opinions, appearance, professions, cultures, languages, and much more.
So in this episode, we speak to a number of Muslim women from different parts of the world, who, through the work they do, are breaking stereotypes and challenging the status quo. Join our conversation at 19:30 GMT.
From Argentina to Mexico, marches against femicide, or the violent killing of women and girls, have been making waves across Latin America. Last week, women in Mexico gathered to protest domestic violence. The country, where six women are killed each day, is reportedly among the world's worst countries for violence against women.
But Mexico isn't alone. Of the 25 countries with the highest femicide rates, more than half come from Latin America and the Caribbean. And often, many of those cases go unresolved.
On Thursday, we'll speak with activists breaking the silence and demanding action. Join us at 19:30 GMT.
An attempted murder on singer Bob Marley took place in Kingston, just prior to the general election and days before he was supposed to perform at the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions. The 1976 attack severely wounded Marley, his wife Rita and several others. Not much is known about the incident, but rumours about it ran rampant around the country. Marlon James' novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings," tells this story against the backdrop of the extreme violence and unrest that gripped Jamaica in the 1970's. Through the voices of several characters, he dives deep into Kingston gangs, reggae music and CIA operatives over a span of three decades. On Monday we'll speak to Man Booker Prize nominee Marlon James. Join the conversation at 19:30 GMT.
Street and graffiti artists have long used city spaces as a canvas for both artistic expression and creative protest. While some have earned mainstream success in galleries, others continue to use graffiti art to challenge the status quo and reclaim public spaces. How can street art change how people see and feel about their communities? Has the medium become too commercialised?
On a nightly basis, hundreds of migrants in the French port town of Calais are risking their lives attempting to cross the undersea tunnel into the UK. While migrants have long gathered in Calais, Eurotunnel, the firm that runs freight and passenger shuttles via the tunnel, said it's struggling to cope with numbers that have swelled from 600 to around 5,000 people.
The ongoing crisis has intensified an already sensitive topic in British politics: immigration.
Back in May, PM David Cameron was re-elected on a campaign that included a promise to significantly cut annual migration. Under pressure to do something about the Calais migrant crisis, the British leader has begun working to discourage what he described as the "swarm of people" trying to make Britain their new home. Under newly proposed plans, immigrants living in the UK without proper documentation could soon face eviction without a court order. In addition, landlords who fail to check the immigration status of tenants could be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.
The move, announced by Communities Secretary Greg Clark, will be included in a new Immigration Bill that will be debated in parliament in the coming months. It also comes on the heels of an $11 million pledge by the British government to improve fencing around the Eurotunnel rail terminal outside Calais.
So with PM Cameron warning that the crisis could last all summer, are these recent measures the right approach? We discuss at 19:30 GMT.
When an American dentist illegally killed a prized Zimbabwean lion named Cecil, hundreds of thousands of people responded with outrage online. #CecilTheLion and #JusticeForCecil trended for days, calling for the dentist's arrest and an end to trophy hunting. But hunting proponents say it plays an important role in conservation, preserving land for wildlife and generating money to protect them. On the brink of the world's sixth mass extinction, how can humans strike the right balance between conservation and killing? Join us on Thursday at 19:30 GMT.
China has been a major force in building economic growth for many African nations. In addition to being the continent's largest trading partner, China finances infrastructure projects and government loans in exchange for resources. But as business ties deepen, critics say in some cases benefits aren't felt by average citizens, causing more Africans to question the terms of China-Africa relations.
The anniversary of Pakistan and India's independence from the British in 1947 is separated by a mere 24 hours. Pakistanis celebrate on the 14th of August and Indians on the 15th. For many on both sides, conversations around independence are dominated by a sense of national pride. For others, however, independence is more about the tragedy of Partition and how its memories shaped the modern-day dynamics in the region.
For nearly a millennium, Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims lived side by side across the Indian subcontinent. But with Partition, these communities turned on each other in a terrifying outbreak of violence. Partition also brought about one of the biggest migrations in modern history. Millions of Muslims moved to what are known today as Pakistan and Bangladesh and millions of Sikhs and Hindus to modern day India. Hundreds of thousands did not finish their journeys. By 1948, more than fifteen million people had been uprooted and nearly two million dead.
The 1947 Partition manifests itself today in the rocky relationship between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours. The two sides have had a long and complicated history with each other, with periodic cross border attacks, water dispute, and an ongoing conflict over Kashmir.
In this episode, we discuss the legacy of the 1947 Partition and the efforts being made by some to rethink India and Pakistan's shared history. Join the conversation at 19:30 GMT.
The Cuban and American flags will fly together over the US Embassy in Havana for the first time in half a century this week, easing a standoff that once brought the world to the edge of nuclear war. Political relations may be improving, but how is the emotional embargo easing between Cubans on the island and in the United States? On Thursday at 19:30 GMT, The Stream talks to Cuban Americans about their perceptions of Cuba, and how they may or may not be reconnecting with the communist island.
Attackers hacked to death a fourth secular blogger in Bangladesh. For the country's blogging community, this year's murders are seen as assaults on free thought and the freedom to criticise religious extremism. Rights advocates say the government's indifference to the bloggers' safety is rooted in Bangladesh's long struggle with being a Muslim-majority country founded by secular ideals.
For the past six weeks, thousands of Iraqis across the streets of Baghdad, Basra, Najaf and other cities have been protesting electricity cuts amid soaring temperatures, rampant corruption and the government's mismanagement of basic services. The protestors, many of them young secular Iraqis, want government officials to be held accountable.
Iraq's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, put his weight behind the protests and urged Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, to get tougher on corruption and to address the demands of the protestors.
PM Abadi responded with a package of sweeping political reforms that include: the elimination of the three deputy prime ministers and three vice presidents posts, reducing the budget for personal security for senior officials, reopening corruption cases, removing sectarian quotas from senior government posts, and combining government ministries to increase efficiency and accountability. Iraq's parliament approved the reforms and Ayatollah Sistani welcomed them as a way "to achieve some social justice". The United Nations human rights office also hailed the move as a "concrete step" to reinforce the rule of law, improve governance and respect for human rights.
The government has acted on some of its promises. On Sunday, the PM reduced his Cabinet from 33 members to 22, terminated a few ministerial posts and merged some ministries to create more efficiency. Despite this, however, the protests have not stopped. Iraqis have remained in the streets calling for faster implementation of the reforms and demanding changes to the country's judiciary.
So will this wave of protests help realise the change so many Iraqis have been searching for? We discuss today at 19:30 GMT.
Should radio and television stations prioritise local music? Many Kenyan artists say yes, and that too much airtime is given to other African musicians. A new government policy states that steps will be taken to ensure 60 per cent of music content aired by Kenyan media is local. But is it enough to reignite a struggling industry? We discuss at 19:30 GMT.
Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff got her political start resisting a military dictatorship. She won that fight. But now, she's Brazil's most unpopular leader since that dictatorship ended in 1985, and she's fighting for her own political survival. A corruption scandal and tanking economy have spurred mass protests calling for her impeachment. But the discontent goes far beyond the right-wing middle classes marching in the streets. Working class leftists say Rousseff's Workers Party has abandoned its base and sold out to the conservative political establishment. They want a new leftist movement to rise, while the right wants a seat in the presidential palace. Will the protests force Brazil's government to change? We discuss at 19:30 GMT.
Six years have passed since Sri Lankan forces ended their 26-year war with separatist Tamil Tigers. But is the nation any closer to achieving reconciliation and justice for victims of conflict? Rights groups say the country's lack of accountability in addressing wartime abuses has led to a post-conflict environment where violations are still happening. Join the conversation at 19:30 GMT.
Deadly floodwaters caused one of the biggest evacuations in US history when Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, Louisiana. Ten years on, the city still hasn't fully recovered. New economic, educational and housing models are in play, but critics say they're hurting the longtime residents who need help most. On Tuesday at 19:30 GMT, The Stream asks New Orleans residents how "disaster capitalism" has affected them, and explores how the city's growing pains are similar to disaster zones around the world.
Would internet regulation by PM Najib Razak's government threaten freedom of speech?
As controversy reaches closer to the presidential palace, protesters call for President Molina's exit.
With many missed deadlines, what will it take to finalise a constitution?
Preserving cultural heritage under threat.
How has the tradition evolved?
an the Lebanese #YouStink protests clean up the country's streets and politicians?
Valley and hills divided, northeast Indian state burns over land rights.
Amnesty International is pushing for decriminalization of sex work, but critics say it will lead to exploitation.
The UN says money is 'not enough' in face of refugee crisis. Which countries could do more?
Amid a global teacher shortage, how can schools find and keep quality educators?
o qualify for social quotas, privileged classes push to be called 'backward'.
Why has the Kurdish peace process been derailed?
What does Donald Trump's rising popularity say about the race for US president?
Annual forest fires are choking the region in haze. What's being done to stop future fires?
How effective is fat shaming in tackling obesity?
The realities of childhood cancer around the world.
What does the Russian military buildup in Syria say about the Kremlin's role in the ongoing conflict?
Refugees navigate closing borders and complex political climates across the continent.
With nearly 30 percent of the world's population overweight, why are food systems so unhealthy?
Why do some lethal injections go wrong?
Will government measures to address family violence succeed?
After a half-century of war, what's most needed for lasting peace and reconciliation in Colombia?
What does nuclear family look like without the kids? The Stream speaks to people who are forgoing parenthood.
What will it take to achieve lasting peace and stability in the Central African Republic?
#DadriMurder reignites conversations about meat, religious sensitivity and secularism.
State of emergency still in place after deadly protests over $7.4 billion project.
As a political crisis engulfs the country, Burundians discuss their future.
Why is the full-face veil a hot button issue?
Coma survivors share their stories.
Women who rejected their roles as child brides discuss how early marriage practices impacted their lives.
Billionaire and philanthropist Manoj Bhargava shares inventions that could change the world.
Young Palestinians share their thoughts on the latest violence in the occupied territories and Israel.
Can the government's strong arm tactics stop gangs set to 'rape, control and kill'?
People impacted by the disease discuss what breast cancer awareness means to them.
Nationwide university protests prevent 2016 tuition hikes. What's next for the #FeesMustFall movement?
Is the US doing enough to protect detained immigrants?
Scientists discuss the potential for research in one of the world's most inhospitable locations.
A record number of unaccompanied minors turn to Sweden for asylum.
Documentary shows evidence of government-led persecution of the Rohingya people
Is the US-backed effort strengthening Mexico's national security or weakening its sovereignty?
Activists fight for clean up as hundreds of oil spills blight the region each year.
Despite hunger and poverty the island nation often misses the cut on international aid.
US state's indigenous population debates potential self-government.
With pollution affecting US minorities more than whites, is environmental justice a civil right?
Outrage after deadly nightclub fire sparks protest movement against widespread corruption.
The Stream examines measures some mothers take to ensure birthright citizenship.
After one US University president is forced to resign over anti-racism protests, what does it mean for similar movements across the country?
After a series deadly attacks by ISIL in both cities, what is life like on the ground?
Winners of the International Children's Peace Prize share how young people can shape the world.
Amid shifting attitudes, Western countries debate policies on refugees entering their borders.
More than 30 anti-Muslim hate incidents, ranging from assaults on women to graffiti on mosques, have been reported across France since the Paris attacks that left at least 129 people dead. However, Islamophobic acts are not a new phenomenon in the country. Just in the first nine months of 2015, the number of reported incidents tripled compared to the previous year. Following the recent attacks, French officials vowed to dissolve "radical" mosques and some politicians called for a crackdown on Muslim communities. But what does this mean for the majority of Muslims, many of whom which feel they already live under a magnifying glass?
In recent years, the French government has made dialogue efforts and launched initiatives aimed at accommodating the Muslim population. But critics argue the country's secular policies have resulted in economic isolation and marginalisation for many in the Muslim community. Join us when we speak with French Muslims about what it is like to live in France today.
British adventurer Sarah Outen recently completed her epic ‘London2London: Via the World' expedition. Sarah rowed, biked and kayaked around the northern hemisphere, crossing three continents and two oceans along the way. She became the first woman to row alone from Japan to Alaska. It took Sarah 4.5 years to complete the 25,000 mile journey which started and finished at the Tower Bridge, in London. Throughout the adventure, she had to overcome a number of mental and physical challenges. She was hit by a severe tropical storm midway through the Pacific Ocean and rescued by the Japanese coast guard, had a run-in with a grizzly bear, cycled through one of the coldest North American winters (enduring temperatures of -40 Celsius) and was forced off her boat, again, by hurricane Joaquin in the Atlantic Ocean. Sarah says she has returned home "humble, inspired and engaged to my favourite person in the world".
Want to hear more about her adventure? Join our conversation with Sarah Outen at 19:30 GMT.
For more than forty years Western Sahara has been under dispute. A Spanish colony until 1975, its map reflects its complicated story.
Resource rich territory in the north and along the western coastline are under Morocco's control, and they claim it as their own. Across a dividing line known as the berm, land to the east is under the control of the armed Polisario Front which wants an independent and free state. And in neighbouring Algeria's Tindouf province, some 150,000 Sahrawi refugees are living in camps. This is also the seat of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic government who are calling for a sovereign Western Sahara.
This region was entrenched in guerilla war between the sides for two decades until the United Nations brokered a ceasefire in 1991, but the referendum that was meant to follow never happened. Earlier this month the Moroccan government, which must agree to the terms of any vote in order for it to take place, rejected independence for Western Sahara as an option.
The United Nation's Secretary General has recently called for "true negotiations" to end the deadlock and his special envoy is currently visiting the region. Claims of human rights abuses and growing extremism are adding to the concerns of the international community over this disputed area. What is the prospect for resolution in one of the world's longest running conflicts?
Almost every day we hear about new health related ‘life hacks'. Tips can often seem confusing or conflicting - salt is good for you, salt can raise your blood pressure. Don't drink too much alcohol, drink wine regularly. So, what's really the key to living a long and healthy life?
According to author and explorer Dan Buettner, people who live in five "Blue Zones" around the world have figured it out. The zones - islands in Italy, Japan and Greece, a peninsula in Costa Rica, and a seventh day Seventh-Day Adventist community in the United States - all have far longer life expectancies than the rest of the world. Senior citizens in these areas are not just living longer, but they're healthy and active too.
Buettner's latest book focuses on how people in the rest of the world can draw lessons from ‘blue zones'. But to what extent can these lifestyles be successfully replicated in a different setting?
Older people, often isolated by deteriorating health, can seem invisible. Yet by 2047, people over age 60 will outnumber people under 16. Their well-being will be a global concern in the future, but for now, it's up to their communities to care. The Stream explores the isolation of aging, and how older people can build their emotional resilience against the health effects of loneliness.
For many Pacific island nations climate change is not a problem of the future, it's current reality. Kiribati has become famous for buying land in nearby countries preparing to resettle its population facing submergence in a policy they call "migration with dignity." Fiji is dealing with climate-influenced diseases such as typhoid and dengue fever. King tides in the Marshall Islands destroy crops and submerge land on a regular basis. These nations may be small, but they the threat they are under is immense. Their leaders are heading to the UN climate talks with demands for change from the rest of the world.
Scientists who contributed to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimate that global sea levels have risen by about 19 centimetres (7.5 inches) since 1900. They say the levels are rising faster than average in the Western Pacific; ocean currents, winds and the gravity are all contributing to the uneven rise in this part of the world.
A major goal of the UN talks is to limit global warming in air temps to below 2 degrees Celsius. But Pacific island leaders say are pushing for a lower target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. They're also raising questions about international responsibility and justice. The Pacific region is only responsible for a tiny fraction of greenhouse emissions, but is directly impacted by the effects of larger industrialized nations' development and population growth.
Are these talks enough to save drowning Pacific island nations, or is the region as we know it doomed?
There's a lot of scepticism going around about what will come out of the climate summit in Paris (COP 21). After 21 COPs and countless calls to action over the past two decades, the international community has yet to come up with a viable agreement on climate protection. However, despite the lack of progress at the state level over the years, a number of cities around the world have been leading the way and making significant strides when it comes to the implementation of eco-friendly policies.
The Green City Index, which measures the environmental performance of over 120 cities across the globe, lists San Francisco (USA) as the top performer in North America, Curitiba (Brazil) in Latin America, Copenhagen (Denmark) in Europe, the city-state of Singapore in Asia, and Cape Town (South Africa) as one of the "above average" performers in Africa.
So how did these cities do it? And what can we learn from their experience? Join our conversation at 1930GMT.
Many may think about quitting their jobs to travel the world, but practical considerations – financial, professional and familial - often get in the way. Others are able to overcome these obstacles, and in the age of social media, document their journeys heavily online. Some perennial travelers are even able to monetise their blogs and garner sponsorships. But what really drives them to pursue their wanderlust? Join us at 19:30 GMT to find out.
The Paris attacks and recent San Bernardino shooting have revived an ongoing conversation about Muslim women's safety. The hijab, or headscarf, is often at the centre of that discussion. Some community leaders have advised their sisters to forgo covering in order to protect themselves in public or to find other ways to cover without drawing attention. Others are promoting safety through self-defence tips and classes specifically for Muslim women. But there are a number of people who believe taking any of these routes is submitting to rising anti-Muslim sentiment. We'll speak to Muslim women about their recent experiences and the decisions they are making about expressing their faith. Join in with your questions and comments at 19:30 GMT.
US inner cities are rife with violence, racism and poverty. That toxic stress is hard enough for some African Americans growing up there. But when there's also a national conversation about how much Black Lives Matter, developing a healthy sense of self can be an even greater challenge. The Stream's Femi Oke and Malika Bilal ask students from Baltimore and Chicago how they're realising their potential.
Can science fiction spur social change? Sci-fi often evokes images of space travel and future technology, but fantasy worlds are also being used to examine attitudes towards sexism, racism, violence and other injustices. Through imagination and prose, sci-fi writers are challenging the status quo to create alternative realities. We'll speak to authors using the genre to critique our existing universe. Join us at 1930GMT.
Tunisia is often viewed as the success story of the Arab Spring. Tunisians were the catalysts for the wave of revolutions that swept across the Middle East and North Africa. They were the first to oust their dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The transitional government produced a constitution that brought together secularists and Islamists. Tunisia is the first country in the Arab world to be classified as "free" by Freedom House, something that hasn't happened in 40 years. In October, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for "building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011".
But the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy hasn't been easy. High unemployment among youth and slow economic growth continue to pose significant challenges. The country has also struggled with the threat of violence from armed groups like ISIL. In March, an ISIL attack on the Bardo museum in Tunis left 21 tourists dead. In June, an ISIL gunman killed 38 tourists on a Tunisian beach in Sousse. In November, an explosion killed a dozen Tunisian presidential guards and wounded several others on a bus in the central part of the capital.
Back in July the government responded by declaring a state of emergency which suspended some liberties and granted the police and military exceptional powers. Parliament then passed a controversial counter-terrorism bill, which critics say jeopardises basic constitutional rights. A few weeks later, the state of emergency was extended for two more months.
President Beji Caid Essebsi says his country is at war with terrorism. But some Tunisians fear that the state of emergency and the new "anti-terror" law are undermining the political progress that has already been made.
December 16 marks the one year anniversary of the Peshawar school massacre, the deadliest attack on a civilian or military target in Pakistan's history. The attack killed more than 150 people, most of them children from army families.
The country's leaders promised to crackdown in the wake of the attack, and the past year has seen an intense offensive on groups such as the Pakistani Taliban (also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban), which was responsible for the massacre. The offensive, known as Zarb-e-Azb, has received significant public support and been credited with a major drop in civilian deaths from "terrorist violence", the fewest since 2006.
But some argue problems have just been pushed across the border into Afghanistan, and that conditions for an uptick in violence still exists. When it comes to the state's methods, civil rights groups have criticised the resumption of capital punishment after a six year moratorium, as well as the Supreme Court's decision to allow terror suspects to be tried in military courts. Due to the country's history of military dictatorships – Pakistan's first civilian transfer of power took place in 2013 – many are concerned with the army's increased influence. They worry the use of the courts may soon extend to political opponents of the army.
So, one year on from witnessing the deadliest attack on their soil, how do Pakistanis feel about their safety and their future?
A single political party is controlling Poland for the first time since communism's 1989 end, and its rapid reforms are sparking mass rallies. The Law and Justice Party swept to power capitalising on frustration with market democracy and fear of foreign influence. The opposition says the ruling party is walking an undemocratic path. The government says it's answering voters' demands.
Changing the limits on term limits – it's a scenario in some countries where presidents seek to rewrite their constitutions to stay in power. In Africa, this year alone, leaders in Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and Congo Republic have challenged term limits for heads of state. How long is too long in office, and what impact do Africa's "sit-tight presidents" have on a country's development?
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