Switzerland, Afghanistan and the Seas

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This article is part of Global Geneva's Focus on Oceans series and appears in the Fall, 2019 print and e-edition. STROLLING ALONG THE COBBLED-STONE STREETS of Geneva’s Old Town, you can take a quick side-trip...

‘No wilder place on Earth’: explorers tackle the full Okavango Delta

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Recently, wildlife news from Africa has been almost universally bleak and frustrating to the point of despair: rhinos with their faces cut off, elephants slaughtered en masse via helicopter, and chimps and gorillas gunned...

The ARTacama Project- Art Meets Science Mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background

Mark Devlin is an experimental cosmologist exploring the underlying structure of the universe.  Jackie Tileston is an artist, and Christine Pfister not only heads one of Philadelphia’s most innovative galleries for contemporary art, but...

William Pfaff-In Memorium

William Pfaff, who died last Thursday of a heart attack, had one great gift when it came to analyzing international affairs: it was not radical insight, but common sense. When you listened to him, the...

‘My fear is always alive in my mind’ — the aftermath of the earthquake in...

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This story by Donatella Lorch, an American journalist living in Nepal and a regular Essential Edge contributor,  was first published as part of Humaneeds by Public Radio International's The World.PRI's The World. Also see...

‘My fear is always alive in my mind’ — the aftermath of the earthquake in...

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This story by Donatella Lorch, an American journalist living in Nepal and a regular Essential Edge contributor,  was first published as part of Humaneeds by Public Radio International's The World.PRI's The World. Also see...

The Offending Art: Political Cartooning after the Charlie Hebdo Attacks

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Satirists around the world come to terms with the danger of "punching up" at those in power. In this piece for the Nieman Foundation published as a Nieman Report, Jonathan Guyer, senior editor of the Cairo...

A video to re-inspire us in humanity

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The following video by True Move came to us via Salha Zain, Pranay Gupte and others. It is a simple message about what simple kindness can do, even for cynical journalists. Watch it! Simple Kindness...

Ukraine’s Real Crisis: A Demographics and Health Time Bomb

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Efforts by new leaders and by Western sponsors to restore the unity of Ukraine must include improving the health of its population, West and East—a challenging, but necessary task. Judie Twigg and Wayne Merry,...

Stalling Justice in Sri Lanka

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The following article by award-winning documentary film-maker Callum Macrae is part of the project: "No Fire Zone - In the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. As...

When Kabul Lost its Honour

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The following piece about the lynching of a psychologically-disturbed woman by Amina Zia Massoud was published earlier this week by Khaama Press. This shameful incident illustrates the urgent need for Afghans to realise that...

Last known interview with Afghanistan’s Ahmad Shah Massoud

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The following interview by Polish academic and orientalist Piotr Balcerowicz is the last known one with Afghan resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, the renowned Lion of Panjshir, prior to his assassination on September 9,...

EBay sellers easily skirt rules banning assault weapon parts

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The following article by Matt Drange was published by Reveal Now, the multiplatform website of the non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco. Its mission is to engage and empower the public through investigative...

Jeff Danziger on Netanyahu and Iran’s Hardliners

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Jeff Danziger is a US-based cartoonist, author and contributor to The Essential Edge. For his cartoons and books, please see:  http://www.danzigercartoons.com/

Jeff Danziger on Europe’s Backyard War

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Jeff Danziger is a US-based cartoonist, author and contributor to The Essential Edge. For his cartoons and books, please see:  http://www.danzigercartoons.com/ Putin's Solution cartoon

HSBC Sheltered Murky Cash Linked to Dictators and Arms Dealers

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A team of journalists from 45 countries unearths secret bank accounts maintained for criminals, traffickers, tax dodgers, politicians and celebrities. In the wake of Wikileaks, Edward Snowdon and other revelations in the public interest, including...

To Kill a Sparrow: Afghan women jailed for love

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For years, filmmaker Zohreh Soleimani followed a tragic romance set in Afghanistan. The couple met, fell in love … and went to jail. So what went wrong? With her camera in hand, Zohreh confronted the family...

They don’t make them like this anymore. Veteran CBS journalist Bob Simon in Action

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Journalist, writer and Central Asian specialist Thomas Goltz sends us this memory at the Azerbaijani Oil Baths of Bob Simon, who died tragically in a car crash in New York City on 12 February,...

Youth letter writing contest: the world they want

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As young people gather this week for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, the Swiss-based Universal Postal Union (UPU) is asking budding writers to describe the world they envisage for...

Don’t Expect a ‘Grexit’: Greece Can’t Escape Europe

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The following article by Wayne Merry, a former US diplomat and a now a member of the American Foreign Policu Council, was first published in The National Interest http://nationalinterest.org Global financial markets currently obsess about the...

Oklahoma had 3 times as many earthquakes in 2014 than California

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Earthquakes are synonymous with California to most Americans, but West Coasters might be surprised to learn they’re far from the new center of the seismic landscape in the United States. This report by  Michael...

How to Save Afghanistan’s Democracy

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Afghanistan’s last election almost tore the country apart. The next one has to be different. In an opinion article for Foreign Policy, Tabish Forugh explores the pitfalls - and options - for the country's...

How Sierra Leone’s Fight Against Ebola Tested Cultural Traditions.

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The following piece is written by Amy Maxmen, a science and medical journalist who travelled to Sierra Leone with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. FREETOWN, Sierra Leone—A great quarrel followed the...

Better Mapping for Better Journalism

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Willie Shubert of the Washington DC-based New Security Beat explores new visual tools for improving environmental journalism. Nearly every local story has a global context. This is especially true when it comes to the environment, and there...

This little piggy went to China: How China purchased a prime cut of America’s...

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The Chinese have been moving steadily into Africa cornering natural resources but often in a manner that offers little to ordinary people such as jobs. Americans may be surprised to know that this is...

One (difficult) step to curbing extremism

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The following article written by Sarah Chayes, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment, was contributed as a blog to the Reuters.com website. (See direct link). Given Sarah's exceptional experience working in Afghanistan and...

Why the Swiss need to value their foreigners

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The following piece by Swiss-American journalist and author Edward Girardet was initially written for Swissinfo, a news website funded by the Swiss Foreign Ministry and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. It was accepted and edited...

The Essential Edge Guide to Aid Speak – Part I

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The following is to help ordinary human beings understand the impressive but often incomprehensible-sounding terminology of the international aid community. We thank all those for their contributions and look forward to more. Accountable: Key buzzword....

The Silver Fox Remembered

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With the death of former Soviet Foreign Minister and Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze earlier this month, journalist and writer Thomas Goltz remembers.  Livingston, Montana -- Eduard Shevardnadze and I bonded during the siege and fall...

No accounting for what charities ship overseas

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The following report was published 24 January 2014 by the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco as part of the America's Worst Charities' Project with the Tampa Bay Times and CNN. It was...

The Killing of a journalist – Plus statement of the AFPA

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By Edward Girardet. (Followed by an open letter of the Afghanistan Foreign Press Association (AFPA). The brazen assassination of veteran British-Swedish radio journalist Nils Horner by unknown assailants in the streets of Kabul earlier this...

Life after Guantanamo prison

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The following piece on Afghans incarcerated -- often with little or no evidence - by the Americans in Guantanamo by Dawood Azam was published on the BBC World website. See link. Kabul -- Some 220...

The PCDN Network – More than just information

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For anyone - UN or NGO aid worker, policy analyst, researcher, journalist, donor, private sector - serious about being effective, the Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN) is more than just an information tool,...

TedX plea for West not to abandon Afghanistan

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Masood Khalili, Afghan ambassador to Spain - and son of famed 20th century Afghan poet Khalillulah Khalili - makes an impassioned plea from the heart in an Alcobendas, Spain TedX  for the West not...

In Nepal’s Himalayas, the uphill battle is against plastic

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Letter from Katamandu Journalist Donatella Lorch has sent us this dispatch from Nepal.  As any tour company will tell you, Nepal is the land of the Gods. It is the birthplace of Buddha and home to...

Press Reset on AfPak Relations

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The following piece by Omar Samad was first published by Foreign Policy's SOUTH ASIA CHANNEL. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not so much the 2014 wrap-up of the coalition combat mission in Afghanistan, or even...

The newsonomics of measuring the real impact of news

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Ken Doctor of The Nieman Journalism Lab explores whether one can raise more money for the news by harnessing the power of social sharing — and making the impact of journalism a little more...

Afghanistan As It Once Was

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The following piece by William Podlich was published by The Essential Edge 21 March, 2013. Then... The Kabul in William Podlich's photographs is an almost unrecognizable place -- a bustling capital of nattily attired men and women,...

Heavyweights Go Toe-to-Toe in Cyprus

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The following comment published by The Essential Edge 27 March, 2013 was written by E. Wayne Merry and published by US News. Washington, DC -- The financial crisis in Cyprus is, among other things, a...

The Threat to Greek Democracy

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Everyone knows Europe faces the potential for Greek financial collapse, with serious ramifications for the euro zone and its financial institutions. Less discussed is the Greek impact on another key European institution, the less...

Is it time to reconsider appointing a humanitarian ombudsman?

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This piece by Mark Tran was published by The Essential Edge 6 July, 2012. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images -- An assessment of emergency responses to crises over the past two years reveals a lack of co-ordination...

Real security in Afghanistan depends on people’s basic needs being met

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Photograph: Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images. The Essential Edge's Global Beat focuses on articles with insight that have appeared in the media. Here Michael Keating, head of United Nations humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, explores in an...

West Africa: Governance Matters

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Deepening and consolidating the democratic transformations taking place in Africa, as well as strengthening regional and global governance arrangements, remain key challenges for African countries. As Caroline Kende-Robb of the Geneva-based Africa Progress Panel...