It was hailed as a game-changing breakthrough in the U.S. military's effort to rally Afghan tribes against the Taliban-led insurgency. In late January, elders of the Shinwari, an influential Pashtun tribe in eastern Nangarhar province, pledged to confront militants operating in their territory and punish anyone who cooperated with them. Within weeks, however, they turned their guns on each other: a land dispute between two subclans erupted into a firefight that has left 13 people dead and another 35 injured. It has cast doubt over a U.S.
Jason Motlagh, for the Pulitzer Center
It was late Friday afternoon when we heard that a nighttime US Special Forces raid had allegedly killed civilians in a village about nine miles west of Jalalabad, our reporting base in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. Our local fixer had waited to pass the news; he feared that we'd insist on going straight to the scene where a brick-throwing mob might have attacked us once they learned we were American journalists. He was right.
Nazir Ahmad says he heard gunfire coming from a guardhouse in the early hours of Friday, outside the large adobe compound he shares with nine other families. Thinking that thieves were trespassing, he and several men ran into the ink-black courtyard, where they were struck down by grenade explosions and gunfire. "They were shooting lasers," says Ahmad, 35, confusing the laser-sights on his assailants' weapons with actual bullets. Shrapnel flew into his cheek and hit his 18-month-old daughter in the back.
Growing up in the mountain village of San Juan Quiahije, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, Maricela Zurita Cruz saw from an early age the special health burdens that affect women there. The women face many obstacles: they are Indigenous, and so confront special problems of language and racism; they have little education and must deal with strong macho attitudes in their own communities; and they are poor people who face difficulty accessing the state's already stretched health-care system.
Sometime in the seventh or eighth century -- the exact dates are obscure in the foggy confluence of history and myth -- a warrior named Manas united the Kyrgyz tribes in a rebellion against China.
It's been more than a month since the storming of the presidential palace in Bishkek. But the aftershocks of the uprising are still rattling Kyrgyzstan. Earlier this week, new clashes broke out over control of provincial administration buildings in the south of the country, where supporters of the ousted president have been restive ever since the revolution. Throughout Kyrgyzstan, the post-revolutionary chaos has sparked redistribution of property, power, and jobs -- sometimes by violent means.
Indigenous women in Mexico's poorest states face health challenges on many fronts because of abject poverty, poor education, and a dire shortage of medical staff. Samuel Loewenberg reports.
Yemen is the most gorgeous place you'll probably never visit.
In the north and east, the walled-cities of Sana'a and Shibam, both UNESCO Heritage sites, rise up out of the desert, all filigree and engraved ornamentation, like weathered wedding cakes, and in the west and south, the ancient port cities of Zabid and Aden, craggy and timeless, look out over an expanse of white sand beaches, shimmering turquoise water and an exposition of sea life that would make even a hardened diver swoon.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - We did a lot of legwork for this reporting trip the last time we were in the Dominican Republic. We spent days following leads, meeting one person after another in an effort to find those who were actually being affected by this new constitution. By the time we left, we felt that we were only one or two steps removed from getting the story, rather than five or six. We also nailed down our two most important contacts for this trip: our driver, Carlos, and our translator, John.
The bitter battle that seed giants Monsanto Co. and Pioneer Hi-Bred wage for the hearts and pocketbooks of farmers doesn't end in the United States. They're going at it in Africa, too.
The profit potential in Africa is limited. Production of corn, the two companies' signature food crop, is dominated in Africa by poor, smallholder farmers, who often till two or three acres at the most. There is little commercial-scale corn production outside of South Africa.
The landscape in this area east of Johannesburg, a slightly rolling plain with fields of tall corn, could almost pass for the American Midwest. Except for one feature - the giant yellowish mounds that are remnants of abandoned gold mines.
Fog shrouds the terraced hills, and a stream is swollen from the rain that fell overnight, but the damage of a drought that left 10 million Kenyans dependent on food aid is still evident. On many of the small farms, the ground is bare at a time when corn crops should be several feet tall.
"We had no maize because we planted and there was no rain," said Victor Mutua, who feeds an extended family of 15 from his 20-acre plot.