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Can the U.S. Ski Team finish on top?

Tik Root, Associate Producer | PBS Newshour

The U.S. Ski Team is hoping for big medal wins and greater recognition at the Alpine World Ski Championships this week. A more rigorous training schedule and equipment improvements have made these American skiers more competitive. The NewsHour’s Mary Jo Brooks reports from Vail. 

Also see archive of my work as a Newshour Desk Assistant. 


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, a grassroots climate group that helped organize last week's march.



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

Tik Root | The Washington Post | Photo: Hosam Katan/Reuters

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.



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

Tik Root | GlobalPost | Video: Juan Herrero, Tik Root

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.”



Generation TBD: What it means to be a 'NiNi' in Spain (VIDEO)

Tik Root (video by Juan Herrero) | GlobalPost

FERROL, Spain — Alberto Vazquez is a member of Spain’s so-called “lost” generation. Sitting at his house in the northwest Spanish city of Ferrol, the 24-year-old meanderingly talks about starting an eco-tourism business, becoming a DJ in Madrid, or maybe even joining the police force.

After a while he concludes, “I don’t know where my life is going.”

In a country where the youth unemployment rate hovers around a staggering 50 percent, the word ‘lost’ can refer to young people no longer contributing to the Spanish economy, those who have left Spain to work in other countries, or, as in Alberto´s case, those who are directionless.