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Thursday
Oct022014

Q&A: Environmental Firebrand Bill McKibben: People, Not Exxon, Own the Sky

Tik Root | National Geographic

Last week in New York, climate change took center stage. More than a hundred heads of state gathered to discuss the issue at a United Nations summit—and demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan in what has been dubbed "the largest climate march in history."

The next step for climate negotiators is a meeting in Lima, Peru, later this year, followed by another in Paris in December 2015. There, it is hoped, diplomats will at last conclude the international agreement that has eluded them for so long.

But what's next for the popular movement?

To find out, National Geographic talked with journalist turned environmental activist Bill McKibben. Author of countless magazine articles (including ones here,here, and here for National Geographic) and numerous books (including Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, released this past summer), McKibben is also the founder of350.org, a grassroots climate group that helped organize last week's march.

READ FULL INTERVERVIEW AT NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM...

Monday
Jun232014

Polio vaccine effort in Syria reaches 1.4 million children as volunteers brave violence

Tik Root | The Washington Post

Despite grave danger, a campaign to combat the spread of polio in rebel-held Syria has been surprisingly successful, with volunteers inoculating about 1.4 million children since the beginning of the year.

The reemergence of polio in Syria in October alarmed health organizations, which feared that factors such as tainted water, dysfunctional sanitation systems and a mobile population could contribute to a broader, region-wide epidemic.

In response, a coalition of nonprofit organizations quickly recruited and deployed thousands of volunteers in the country’s embattled north, where they won the cooperation of rebel fighters and braved shelling and airstrikes to administer the vaccine to children under age 5. Four volunteers have been killed in the process, but there has not been a confirmed case of polio in Syria in nearly five months.

CONTINUE READING AT WASHINGTON POST...  

Monday
Jun162014

Why Spain's unemployed millennials are rushing to join the navy

Tik Root (video by Juan Herrero) | GlobalPost

FERROL, Spain — By the time Borja Bernardez got home it was nearly three in the afternoon, and he was hungry. But there was no time for lunch. He had applied to join the Spanish navy and exam results were about to be posted online. Borja made a beeline for his computer.

Borja, now 27, dropped out of high school during his last year to pursue welding. After learning the trade, he quickly found work at Navantia, one of the largest shipbuilding companies in world and a major employer in his hometown of Ferrol, a port city on the northwest cost of Spain. It paid well. As an apprentice he was making up to 2,000 euros a month. 

“I was building ships for the navy and was earning more than the people in the navy,” he said. “It was great.”

CONTINUE READING AT GLOBALPOST... 

Friday
Feb282014

Al-Qaida Destroyed Our Family

Tik Root | Slate and Roads & Kingdoms

O
n the morning of Aug. 30, 2013, in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, Khaled al-Dhahab’s phone rang. The villager on the other end relayed the news Khaled had long dreaded: His brother, Qaid, was dead.

Hours earlier, Qaid al-Dhahab had been returning from a wedding celebration to his home near the rural city of Rada’a, roughly 160 miles southeast of Sana’a, when a torrent of missiles flew from the sky, turning the car in which he rode into a smoldering heap. Qaid, who by most accounts was a rising leader in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)—considered the most active and dangerous branch of the global terrorist network—had been a target in a suspected U.S. drone strike.
 
Khaled was not vengeful—he said Qaid had “chosen his path.” He was, however, upset—distressed that his once-proud family keeps finding itself mixed up in al-Qaida and the West’s so-called war on terror.

CONTINUE READING AT ROADS & KINGDOMS OR SLATE

Tuesday
Sep102013

Yemen: End Child Marriage

Field Producer: Tik Root | Human Rights Watch