I wasn't sure if I could cough up any editorial interest in my Uyghur photographs before coming to Xinjiang. Dozens of journalists had rushed out to Kasghar the day after the Aug. 4th attack to try to cover the China's Islamic separatists, or so they thought. I didn't even get my visa to China till Aug. 14th so was a little late in the game even though I had been wanting to go there since 2004.
A collection of reporting from Pulitzer Center grantees featuring international news stories published by media outlets from around the world, as well as reporting original to the Pulitzer Center website.
Before heading out to Xinjiang, a western journalist told me that Uyghurs would hold off on getting married until the security situation improved. Large group gatherings tended to arouse curious eyes. With fewer eyes on people's homes, the safer Chinese Muslims felt.
I thought it was only the US that was still paranoid about water on airplanes. Apparently, China is even more afraid of liquid bombs than George Bush.
I got a pretty nerve-wracking introduction to the consequences of breaking the rigid rules of Chinese security on my flight to Kashgar.
Joel Brinkley, for the Pulitzer Center
Well past the city limits, beyond the sign that says "Bon Voyage; See You Again," after the paved roads end, down a rutted dirt track, Un Thea sits in the mud outside her shanty house, peeling bamboo shoots - and seething.
Night after night, from September to May, Yemen's wild, remote southern beaches provide the backdrop for a slow-burn humanitarian crisis.
Somali refugees stagger from the black sea in weak starlight. Some collapse on the sand flats, weak and exhausted. Others paddle in the silvery surf looking for plastic bags – thrown from the boat – containing their few belongings.
As the government's push to rout Tamil Tiger rebels in the north intensifies, so too have security measures in the south. In the past, when under heavy pressure, the Tigers have ramped up attacks on civilians in government-held areas.
By Jill Drew
Photo by Ryan Anson
Violent outbursts are continuing in the Xinjiang region of western China, with the latest resulting in the deaths of two policemen who were attacked Wednesday while searching a cornfield for a woman they believe is involved in a separatist cell.
State media reported Saturday morning that police found the alleged assailants and shot six of them dead after they tried to defend themselves with knives, wounding two security officials.
The LandCruiser snaked along a desert road driven by a suicide bomber toward his target – unwitting tourists. "God is great," he shouted before carrying out the destructive mission.
Aggressive Sri Lankan government forces continue to push deeper into the Tamil Tiger heartland and are now within reach of their administrative capital, raising hopes that the end of a brutal 25-year civil war may be near.
The military campaign has benefited from an international crackdown on the Tigers' fundraising and smuggling networks, and high-level defections that have undermined grassroots Tamil support for its iron-willed chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
I went to chew qat with the actors who play terrorists in a new feature film called 'The Losing Bet'. Ahmed was the first to wander in to the production offices. He had left his shoes outside and was wearing socks, Yemeni-style. He sat down next to me.
Ahmed plays Murad in the film – an unemployed youth turned suicide bomber. "What's in your bag?" I joked. "Don't worry. You're safe," he laughed. "I won't detonate."
Since the August 4th attack in Kashgar that killed 16 Chinese police officers, officials have intensified security measures all over Xinjiang Province. Militia and troops from the People's Liberation Army man checkpoints on all major roads in and out of Kashgar. Passengers in both private and public vehicles must disembark from their cars or buses, walk through the checkpoint, show their identity cards or passports which are all scanned electronically, and pass through another blockade of sandbags and gates before getting back on the road.
This video was removed due to security concern.
THE PROMISE OF FREEDOM is a documentary feature that traces the intersecting stories of U.S.-affiliated Iraqi refugees and the Americans attempting to aid them. The film exposes the long-term human consequences of war and raises questions about the moral responsibility we have to those Iraqis who lost everything because they believed in America most.
Aired the week of Friday, August 29th, 2008.