The pioneering exiled independent radio station SW Radio Africa has been forced to pull the plug after thirteen years on the air. The “pirate” station was started in Zimbabwe in 2000 by journalist Gerry Jackson, who won a court case to make independent radio legal after being fired by the state broadcaster for criticising the government. Just six days after her first broadcast, Jackson’s equipment was seized and destroyed by armed guards and Jackson fled to the UK where she and her team broadcast to Zimbabwe from exile in London. Freelance reporter Danielle Batist charts the final days of SW Radio Africa, who challenged the dictatorship of President Robert Mugabe and gave a voice to the millions suffering dire poverty in Africa. Jackson speaks about a great loss of hope following last year’s rigged elections that allowed Mugabe to stay in power.
A new report has said that targets to reduce child poverty in Britain by 2020 will not be met. The government’s child poverty strategy, which began in 2010, aimed to reduce the number of children living in poverty to 5% by the end of the decade. In this article for The Conversation, Jonathan Bradshaw of the University of York examines why these targets will inevitably be missed – pointing at the government’s harsh austerity measures as the reason.
As growing numbers of young people spend more and more time online, parents in China have become worried that their children may be addicted to the internet. In our photo essay this week we look at the Qide Education Centre, a military-style boot camp in Beijing that offers treatment for internet addiction for youths.
Afghanistan is the most heavily drone-bombed country in the world as more than 1000 strikes have hit the nation during the past 13 years. Yet there is no public record of when and where these strikes took place, or who they killed, and more is understood of America’s secret campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than how drone use has impacted upon Afghanistan. Alice K Ross of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a non-profit investigative organisation in the UK, looks at the vast under-reporting of civilian casualties as a result of drone strikes in Afghanistan.
Living on the street brings many risks and the longer people remain there, the more likely they are to suffer some form of abuse. For many thousands of children on the streets of Egypt those risks include gang rape, prostitution, trafficking and murder. In an opinion piece for Open Democracy, Nelly Ali writes about the violence and abuse experienced by the country’s homeless children – a fact many Egyptians are only just becoming aware of as they come closer to poverty themselves due to the nation’s economic problems.
Immigration rules in Britain are forcing married couples on low incomes to separate, policies that are breaking up families in the process. Two years ago, the Coalition government imposed tough new rules requiring sponsors to demonstrate they have a gross income of £18,600 per year. Margaret lived with her husband Mohammed (originally from Tunisia) in South Wales but when his permission to live in Britain expired she discovered she was deemed too poor by the government to sponsor him to stay – despite the fact she could cover both their living costs. Now, because Margaret does not earn the required income of £18,600 per year, Mohammed must leave the UK. Clare Sambrook investigates for Open Democracy.
On 2 June 2010, 12 people were shot dead and 11 injured by taxi driver Derrick Bird, in a four hour massacre stretching across West Cumbria, UK. The rampage ended when Bird killed himself. Wilson Boow was a trainee reporter in Barrow at the time and covered the story, pounding the pavements, knocking doors, and piecing together the shocked testimonies of communities left devastated by the attacks. Four years on, Boow revisits the scenes in this article for The Big Issue in the North. To complement the piece we have an article written for The Conversation by Katherine Newman of John Hopkins University about the effects of such massacres on the families of mass murderers. She focused on the recent slayings of six University of California students by Elliot Rodger in the US.
Vivi is 57 and has been homeless on and off for the last 15 years. A Norwegian national, she moved to London, UK, when she was a teenager to marry her English husband whom she later ran away from after he abused her. She has struggled in her life since, often sleeping on the streets of the UK capital, but now Vivi is set to earn a living as a homeless tour guide for Unseen Tours. Not only do people on a tour visit the grand sights of the UK capital, they also get a glimpse of London’s dark underbelly and the thousands of people who live in dire poverty. Vivi speaks to freelance journalist Danielle Batist about breaking down stereotypes and social barriers.
The “home advantage” is a well-known phenomenon in sporting circles with home teams consistently winning more than 50% of sporting contests. With the World Cup in full flow, Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University, UK, assesses how playing at home could help favourites Brazil win the trophy in an article for The Conversation. Indeed, only eight teams have ever won the prestigious soccer tournament, and six of those on home soil. Research points to large crowds influencing the referee.
Sharon Payne has spent many of her 47 years of life homeless and trying to survive on the streets of London, UK. As well as caring for her sick husband and disabled friend, Payne sells The Big Issue – getting up in the early hours of the morning to put in a hard day’s graft at her London Bridge pitch. Freelance journalist Danielle Batist followed Sharon on a typical day selling magazines in the British capital, seeking to destroy the stereotypes surrounding homelessness.
The Australian government has announced funding cuts to homelessness services meaning it now supplies $44 million less than its predecessor. This comes at a time when homelessness is on the rise, with older women comprising the fastest growing demographic of homeless people. In an article for The Conversation, Eileen Webb of the University of Western Australia examines why older women are now more at risk (with inequality in pay being a major factor) and puts forward possible solutions.
Science has often come to the rescue when it comes to the world’s major problems so can scientists help to eliminate extreme poverty? Both the US and UK government have recently announced projects that aim to harness technology to help tackle poverty around the world. James Smith of the University of Edinburgh examines these efforts in article for The Conversation.
“One five-year-old child brought in her lunchbox to show me that rats had eaten it. We are talking about pretty grim situations,” says Pamela Fitzpatrick. In some 30 years of working with the most marginalised people in British society, she has not witnessed the dire levels of poverty that are routine today in London, UK. In a remarkable report for Open Democracy, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi documents the stories of Londoners who struggle to survive in one of the richest cities in the world.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world with over one billion followers. The word Islam means 'submission to the will of God' and Muslims believe their religion was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia. Our photo essay this week provides an insight into a faith that is often misunderstood and misrepresented. We offer a stunning selection of Reuters' images from around the world including photos of Muslims circling the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and people offering prayers in front of the historic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra.
As the situation in Ukraine rapidly spins out of control, various Western leaders have stepped up their verbal warnings to Russia. President Obama, in a telephone call with President Putin, urged his Russian counterpart to stop meddling in Ukraine and threatened further sanctions. The Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, called on Russia to “stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution”, including by pulling back its troops from Ukraine’s borders. But is the West powerless to stop Putin? Stefan Wolff, Professor of International Security at University of Birmingham, comments for The Conversation UK.
In an article for The Conversation UK, academic Philip Brown writes about support for long term homeless people in Wales, UK. In 2011, Welsh agencies introduced individual budgets targeted at rough sleepers who had proven the most difficult to engage. Items purchased included mobile phones, fishing tackle and televisions. Services purchased included a computer course and driving lessons. Fishing tackle was a reason for one person not to spend time with his friendship network of drinkers. For another, a new mattress and furniture were the first new personal items she had owned in more than ten years. With these things came a sense of control over their lives, which many of the clients felt they had lost.
Since Pope Francis was elected to replace Pope Benedict XVI he has frequently spoken out about and acted on issues of homelessness and poverty, earning himself the nickname, “Pope of the Poor.” Chuck Clinard – formerly homeless – writes for The Contributor and examines the actions that have resulted in Pope Francis being viewed by many people as a champion of the impoverished. In a second article, Anne Endress Skove writes about Pope Francis and his use of social media and the internet for Article 25.
Since 2006, 27 UK nationals have had their citizenship removed under secretive government orders. They include a man who has been stranded in Pakistan for two years after his citizenship was revoked while he was on holiday. This has left him under threat from the Taliban. He speaks out about his ordeal to Patrick Galey of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ). BIJ is a not for profit media unit that produces public interest investigations for INSP and the international press.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is the official aid charity of the Catholic Church in Scotland. SCIAF works in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, helping some of the poorest communities in the world to recover from hunger, poverty, war, natural disasters and disease. This year, the focus of SCIAF’S annual Lent campaign is Colombia where it provides seeds, tools, livestock and training to vulnerable Native American and Afro-Colombian communities. SCIAF is also helping people to stand up for their human rights through education so they can reclaim land that has been lost during war. In the second of a two part special, Daily Record journalist Paul O’Hare and freelance photographer Simon Murphy report on the violence left in the wake of the Colombian conflict, a benighted land where paramilitaries continue to commit atrocities with impunity.
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) is the official aid charity of the Catholic Church in Scotland. SCIAF works in 15 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, helping some of the poorest communities in the world to recover from hunger, poverty, war, natural disasters and disease. This year, the focus of SCIAF’S annual Lent campaign is Colombia where it provides seeds, tools, livestock and training to vulnerable Native American and Afro-Colombian communities. SCIAF is also helping people to stand up for their human rights through education so they can reclaim land that has been lost during war. In the first of a two part special, Daily Record journalist Paul O’Hare and freelance photographer Simon Murphy report on the violence left in the wake of the Columbian conflict, a benighted land where paramilitaries continue to commit atrocities with impunity.