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 They include a man who has been stranded in Pakistan for two years after his citizenship was revoked while he was on holiday.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.
It is nearly seven years since a little blonde-haired British girl named Madeleine McCann disappeared from her bedroom in a holiday resort in Portugal. At the time, media coverage of the three year old child’s disappearance turned to allegations of a staged abduction by her parents, a claim said to be false by authorities. In an article for The Conversation, Brian McNair of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia examines media coverage of the case.
The Munduruku tribe of Brazil has recently seen its land encroached by miners illegally searching for gold. Last year the tribe’s leaders travelled to Brasilia to press the government to remove all non-indigenous miners from their territory, but frustration with the length of time for their case to be heard led them to take matters into their own hands. Reuters photographer Lunae Parracho gained unprecedented access to venture into the jungle with the tribe on a manhunt for wildcat gold miners.
Amid an escalating housing crisis in Britain, an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) has discovered that plans to build hundreds of affordable homes have been axed by the Crown Estate and a company owned by Prince Charles. Despite vocal concerns from Britain’s future king over the lack of affordable housing for families, his Duchy has failed to meet targets for building low cost homes. BIJ is a not for profit media that produces public interest investigations for INSP and the international press.
One person was killed and 77 people injured during a recent riot at Australia’s controversial offshore refugee centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. The return of offshore processing in 2012 for asylum seekers arriving by boat has seen an estimated 1100 people detained on Manus Island in third world conditions. Most detainees have no idea of how long they will be kept there and since August 2012, only one asylum seeker has been granted refugee status. Nicola Hill reports on the global moral dilemma of immigration in an article for Open Democracy.
This winter, America has suffered dangerously low temperatures and sub-zero winds resulting in death for many people sleeping on the streets. In a three -part special this week, US street papers highlight some of the organizations working to protect homeless people trying to survive almost Arctic conditions. Our first piece, from Mary Otto of Street Sense, reports on “warming buses” that provide homeless people shelter in Washington DC. Our second piece, by Bobby Allyn of The Contributor, reports on the boom in emergency shelters in Nashville due to the severe weather, while our final piece, by Morgan Austin of Street Sense, looks at Winterhaven, a medical centre that supports homeless veterans.
In the award-winning movie The Dallas Buyers Club Matthew McConaughey plays the role of a real-life Texas cowboy called Ron Woodroof who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1985. In a commentary piece for The Conversation, Sean Philpott of Union Graduate College explains how Woodroff’s work – importing and selling medicines for HIV treatment that were not yet approved by the US – benefitted those trying to survive the disease.
Our exclusive photo essay this month depicts the on-going crisis in the Central African Republic. Months of sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims in the former French colony have left thousands of people dead and forced an estimated one million others – nearly a quarter of the population – to flee their homes. Waves of killing and looting have prompted international condemnation of the violence and the European Union has agreed to send over 500 troops in an attempt to help restore order.
Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines last November with devastating force, destroying communities and leaving thousands of people dead. It was the strongest storm of the year and one of the worst tropical cyclones to hit land in recorded history. It will take many years for the Philippines to recover and tens of thousands of people remain in desperate need of aid. This week INSP has a two-part special on survivors of the super typhoon. Our first piece is a special article written for Street Roots by Al Jazeera correspondent, Paul Beban. The prominent TV journalist describes the devastation he witnessed in the town of Lawaan and the stresses of a career covering both man-made and natural disasters. The second piece is a letter from Bill and Deb Shaw for Philippines street paper, The Jeepney, after the couple travelled to Tacloban to help in the aftermath. They describe their efforts to help now-homeless child survivors.
Our photo series this week depicts the daily lives of indigenous fisherman in Kenya and Ethiopia. Drought in Kenya has forced the Turkana people, formerly land farmers, to fish in Lake Turkana, which is already over-fished by the Dhaasanac people of Ethiopia, who are being forced further South into Kenyan territory by government agricultural schemes. Violence has flared between the two groups as both desperately try to provide food for their communities. As the pictures show, guns have become as ubiquitous on Lake Turkana as boats and nets.
Recently in Britain three women were rescued from a house where they claim they were held captive for 30 years. The couple who own the house are accused of “domestic slavery”. They are also reported to be leaders of a tiny Maoist sect, pledging cult-like allegiance to the former Chinese dictator. Evan Smith of Flinders University examines the strange world of radical Maoist politics in 1970s Britain in order to understand how this situation came about in this article for The Conversation UK.
The Troubles in Northern Ireland claimed the lives of 3,529 people and left the country scarred by decades of violence. Therefore, the province’s transition into peace in recent years has been quite remarkable. However, physical divisions remain between Protestant and Catholic communities in Belfast, structures ironically called ‘peace walls’. In an opinion piece for The Conversation UK, Brendan Browne of the University of Belfast examines these reminders of an imperfect peace as calls continue for the walls to come down.
Protest alone can't secure a long-term vision for society, so the straight lines of demonstrations have to be re-shaped into new patterns of participatory democracy and dialogue. In Brazil, millions marched in June 2013 after the government raised bus fares by seven percent. After the increase was revoked the protests turned into a more general statement of public dissatisfaction. Augusto Cuginotti of Open Democracy examines the way that public participation and discussion is helping to shape a new democracy in Brazil now that the banners and batons have been put away.
After calling on search engines to block access to child porn, the UK government is turning its attention to terrorism, with ministers asking internet search providers to block access to websites containing extremist views. However, with recent spying scandals fresh in the public’s memory, Eerke Boiten of the University of Kent, in this article for The Conversation UK, points to the dangers of the government using “terrorism” laws to censor and control our main avenue of free speech: the internet.
Nelson Mandela guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy. In doing so, 'Madiba' became an icon of peace and reconciliation who embodied the struggle for justice around the world. Branded a terrorist by his enemies, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, isolated from millions of his countrymen as they suffered oppression under a brutal apartheid regime that advocated racial segregation. When he was finally released on February 11, 1990, the event was watched live by television viewers across the world. Mandela later became the first black president of South Africa and he won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Andrew Quinn and Jon Herskovitz of Reuters recount Mandela’s extraordianry life and struggles following his death last week at the age of 95, with a sidebar from Trudy Vlok of The Big Issue South Africa.
On 16 August 2012, South Africa witnessed the biggest massacre of people since the end of the Apartheid era when 34 strikers were killed at a mine in Marikana. Later evidence pointed to execution style killings carried out by the South African police. Now the British company that owned the mine, Lonmin, are coming under fire for possible involvement. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a not-for-profit organisation in the UK that produces high-quality investigations for the press, has found evidence to suggest the company collaborated with the police to form a plan to break the strike.
Private Eye magazine in Britain is famous for its satirical writing on politics complemented by hilarious cartoons. Writer and cartoonist Nick Newman looks back at 50 years of laugh out loud cartoons and selects his favourites from a recently released compendium, Private Eye: A Cartoon History, a lasting tribute to the golden age of cartooning.