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Story Publication logo December 16, 2018

Indira Lakshmanan on NPR 1A's Global Friday News Roundup — December 14, 2018

Pulitzer Center Executive Editor Indira Lakshman speaks President Trump's use of the term "Fake News." Screenshot from a Washington Post video stream. United States, 2018.

"Indira Lakshmanan Reports" highlights Lakshmanan's reporting, commentary, and public event...

Image courtesy from NPR's 1A.
Image courtesy of NPR's 1A.

Pulitzer Center Executive Editor Indira Lakshmanan appeared on the December 13, 2018 edition of NPR's 1A. Click here to listen. The rundown for the segment follows:

It's (almost) Brexit time.

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons. But a third of her Conservative Party colleagues voted to remove her. Now she'll go back to the European Union to try to sell leaders on a reformed deal, which she'll take back to Parliament, which has to approve the final negotiation.

In the summer of 2016, 51.9 percent of United Kingdom voters elected to leave the E.U. The U.K. is required to leave the E.U. on the 29th of March, 2019 regardless of whether Parliament approves the details. Many observers fear this option would lead to disastrous consequences for the British public.

The Bank of England suggested that if Britain leaves the E.U. without a deal, the economic consequences could be worse than the 2008 financial crisis. There's also the threat of "gridlocked ports, shortages of medicine and food, disrupted flights and a potential rekindling of violence in Northern Ireland," per NBC.

In Poland, world leaders are meeting for the COP24 summit. Here's how Bloomberg described the stakes of the meeting:

The Trump administration has made no secret of its skepticism regarding climate change. Australia has adopted that viewpoint, and Brazil is leaning toward it since the October election of Jair Bolsonaro as president, who has promised to prioritize jobs and mining over protecting the environment. And Brazil, India, China, and other developing countries bristle at being asked to make deep cuts to their coal consumption. Two centuries after the Industrial Revolution, they argue, the West is responsible for the problem and should bear the brunt of the costs for cleaning it up.

So far, COP 24 efforts to integrate the landmark IPCC report on climate change — one that reported on the effects of a 1.5 degree rise in global temperatures — have failed. The BBC reported that efforts stalled out and "scientists and many delegates in Poland were shocked as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to this meeting "welcoming" the report."

With this kind of deadlock, how could COP 24 make progress toward addressing an enormous threat?

This week, Time honored persecuted, killed and endangered journalists as their vaunted "Person Of The Year." The list included murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Burmese reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, the staff of the Annapolis "Capital Gazette," Filipina editor Maria Ressa and more.

From the accompanying article:

In normal times, the U.S. news media is so much a part of public life that, like air, it's almost impossible to make it out. But it has been made conspicuous—by the attacks and routine falsehoods of the President, by social-media behemoths that distribute news but do not produce it and by the emerging reality of what's at stake.

Efforts to undermine factual truth, and those who honestly seek it out, call into doubt the functioning of democracy. Freedom of speech, after all, was purposefully placed first in the Bill of Rights.

In 2018, journalists took note of what people said, and of what people did. When those two things differed, they took note of that too. The year brought no great change in what they do or how they do it. What changed was how much it matters.

We're recapping the week in global news.


Elise Labott, global affairs correspondent, CNN; @eliselabottcnn

Indira Lakshmanan, executive editor, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; columnist, The Boston Globe@Indira_L

Nancy Youssef, national security reporter, The Wall Street Journal@nancyayoussef


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