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Pulitzer Center Update December 11, 2012

This Week in Review: Cancer Not Only for the Rich

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While opposition activists in Bahrain have continued their protests for almost two years in mostly...

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The conventional wisdom has generally been that people in poor countries don't live long enough to get cancer, and that treating them would be too expensive in any event. The reality is that cancer occurs in the developing world, but it is more of a death sentence than in rich countries due to a lack of treatment options and awareness. Pulitzer Center grantee Joanne Silberner's five-part radio series on cancer in the developing world, which was broadcast this week on PRI's The World and published on the BBC's website, takes a timely look at changing attitudes toward cancer and some of the new low-cost treatment options available in Uganda, India and Haiti.

One of the things we especially like about Joanne's project is the interactive map that lets you click on any country in the world and quickly compare the incidence of various types of cancer. The map, designed by Dan McCarey of our staff with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has already had nearly 12,000 page views, thanks in part to Tweets from PBS NewsHour correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, Livestrong and the American Cancer Society.

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While attention in the Middle East has been focused on the slow and brutal collapse of the Assad regime in Syria and Israel's plan to expand settlements in Jerusalem, Pulitzer Center grantee Reese Erlich has been in Bahrain where rulers of the small Persian Gulf country have jailed opposition leaders and banned all demonstrations. But, as Reese reports for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered the protests continue. And what started out as a reform movement has increasingly turned into a power struggle between Bahrain's ruling Sunni families and its Shia majority. Other countries in the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, are watching nervously, as is the U.S. Navy, whose 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain.

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Mitt Romney put Mali on the radar when he mentioned it several times during one of the presidential debates. Few Americans know much about Mali; even fewer have visited the West African nation whose most famous city is Timbuktu. To get a real feel for the place, take time to read Pulitzer Center grantee Peter Chilson's exquisitely detailed account of his recent travels there for Foreign Policy. An even fuller portrait of Mali and its troubles will soon be available in an e-book co-published by the Pulitzer Center and Foreign Policy.

Until next week,

Tom Hundley
Senior Editor



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