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Paraguay From Afar

The armchair tourist is told three things about Paraguay: 1) be wary of ever leaving the city, 2) corruption is everywhere, 3) and soybeans, lots and lots of soybeans.

In Search of Congo's Coltan

Bukavu is perched high above Lake Kivu, gently encroaching on the placid body of water between Rwanda and Congo. Once known as the pearl of Congo because of its beautiful climate and mountains, the Bukavu I found last summer barely resembles the famed city I heard about as a child.

Unions Buck Government Against Oil Wealth Plan

Oil workers unions based in southern Iraq say they will continue to fight the implementation of a proposed oil law despite the government's insistence that the unions have no legal standing.

The measure, intended to foster reconciliation by ensuring a fair distribution of the nation's oil wealth, is among the most important "benchmarks" by which U.S. commanders are to judge progress in Iraq next month.

Ethiopia Turns Its Critics into Untouchables

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA -- Dressed in a black Adidas track suit and seated amid a comfortable clutter of term papers and political science tomes in his modest office at Addis Ababa University, Prof. Merera Gudina hardly looks like a menace. But, ever since he was elected to parliament two years ago, people have been avoiding him.

There was, for example, the time that local mechanics were too terrified to repair his car when it broke down on the way back from his mother's funeral east of Addis.

Iraqi Tribes Reach Security Accord

U.S. forces have brokered an agreement between Sunni and Shi'ite tribal leaders to join forces against al Qaeda and other extremists, extending a policy that has transformed the security situation in western Anbar province to this area north of the capital.

The extremists struck back yesterday with a suicide car bomb aimed at one of the Sunni tribes involved in the deal, killing three militiamen and wounding 14.

Medical Student's Life-Saving Dream Comes True

LWALA, KENYA- In 2006, NewsChannel 5 reported about a Vanderbilt University medical student who was the first person from his Kenyan village to fly in an airplane.

People back home sold their livestock to pay for his ticket to the United States.

Now they need Milton Ochieng back to save his dying village.

Every student at Vanderbilt Medical School encounters AIDS. But only Ochieng has been orphaned by it.

First his mother, then his father - he learned of their deaths through email.

"I don't think anything really prepared me for it," Ochieng said.

Med Students Keep Promise of a Clinic for Their Village in Kenya

Global health advocates are trying desperately to get your attention. They worry that statistics have lost their meaning. Who can wrap their mind around 6,500 Africans dying of AIDS every day, anyway? As the director of a global health advocacy firm in Washington told me the other day, "We need a story."

That's when I told her about Milton Ochieng'.

Rights Group Accuses Ethiopia of Abuses in Ogaden

A U.S.-based human rights group is accusing the Ethiopian government of widespread abuses as it cracks down on a rebel group in its southeastern Ogaden region. Nick Wadhams reports from our East Africa bureau in Nairobi.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says Ethiopian troops have burned villages and shot civilians in its campaign against the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front.

Iran: Behind Closed Doors

"You can take off your headscarf now," Seema says with a wide smile as she welcomes me into her world and offers me some tea.

A friend of a friend who'd lived in Iran for a few months introduced me to Seema, a 24-year-old film editor. She's part of a crowd of twenty- and thirty-somethings I saw in Tehran's lively galleries and cafes. They're artistic, literary and highly educated young people from middle class families.