Major news events throughout the world continue to be largely ignored until they reach tragic proportions. Underreported, a weekly feature on The Leonard Lopate Show, tackles these issues and gives an in-depth look into stories that are often relegated to the back pages.
Roughly 14 years have passed since the signing of the Good Friday peace accord, which ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland. But that doesn’t mean the area is free of conflict, tensions and even violence. Jamie Smyth of the Financial Times talks about the situation. His recent article is called "A Peace to Protect."
Donatella Rovera, senior adviser on crisis response for Amnesty International, spent several weeks this spring in 23 of Syria’s towns and villages. On this week’s Underreported, she describes the damage she saw as traveled around the country and the stories she heard from Syrians about the tactics of the national army as fighting continues there, 16 months after the protests first began.
Scientists recently made an unlikely discovery under thinning arctic ice: a massive algae bloom. Kevin Arrigo, a biological oceanographer at Stanford University who led the NASA-sponsored mission that discovered the algae, explains how it changes our thinking about arctic ecosystems and how they’re responding to climate change.
Thailand is one of the largest exporters of seafood to the United States. On today’s Underreported segment, Global Post’s senior southeast Asian correspondent Patrick Winn investigates claims that forced labor is used on Thai fishing boats.
On today’s Underreported, directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher talk about the people who serve as human test subjects for medications being developed by pharmaceutical companies. They look at how those medications are being marketed, sold, and used throughout the United States after they’ve been approved. It’s the subject of their documentary, “Off Label,” which is being shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.
In China, Asiatic black bears are kept in cages for their bile, which is valued in Asian medicine. Jill Robinson, the founder and CEO of Animals Asia, who appears in the documentary "Cages of Shame," talks about bear bile farming and bear rescue efforts.
"Cages of Shame" premiers at the Rubin Museum of Art April 14.
Quinoa has become an incredibly popular food in recent years, with prices for the whole grain tripling in the last five years. On today’s Underreported, Time writer Jean Friedman-Rudovksy talks about how the exploding market for quinoa has also created problems, including land disputes in Bolivia and environmental issues.
Wired correspondent James Bamford describes the $2 billion Utah Data Center that is being constructed for the National Security Agency. It’s expected to be up and running in 2013 and will house their database for all forms of communication—emails, cell phone calls, Internet searches, and even bookstore purchases.
In November, the Democratic Republic of Congo held presidential elections, even as the security situation there deteriorated. On today’s Underreported Update, Father Ferdinand Muhigirwa, the director of CEPAS (Centre d’Etudes pour l’Action Sociale), the oldest think tank in Congo, describes what’s happened since the contested election. He also looks at suppression of protests in Kinshasa and escalation of violence in the eastern part of the country. We’ll also be joined by Akwe Amosu, the director of Africa advocacy at the Open Society Foundations.
Helena Bottemiller, a reporter for The Food & Environment Reporting Network, looks at the controversial animal feed additive, ractopamine hydrochloride, which is widely used in the united states but the EU and China have banned it’s use, citing health concerns.
On this week’s Underreported, Human Rights Watch researcher Nisha Varia describes abuses of migrant domestic workers in Asia and the Middle East, and why Cambodian women are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment in Malaysia. Plus, a look at efforts to implement international labor standards for domestic workers.
The crisis at the Fukushima reactor in Japan has been out of the headlines, but that doesn’t mean the crisis has been solved. We’ll speak with Dr. Edwin Lyman, a senior staff scientist in the Global Security program at the Union of Concerned Scientists
Full body X-ray scanners are now commonplace in airports across America. ProPublica reporter Michael Grabell tells us about a new report that has found that the U.S. government glossed over a number of safety concerns about the the devices—even ignoring concerns about a potential increased risk of cancer.
Recently Kenyan forces invaded Somalia in a bid to fight the militant group Al-Shaabab. The United States has also been heavily involved in the country in recent years— allegedly establishing CIA bases, carrying out drone strikes, and providing funding for militants. The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill looks at the political situation in Somalia and the history of recent interventions in the war-torn and famine wracked country.
Earlier this month President Obama deployed 100 U.S. troops to Uganda in an advisory role to aid the fight against the Lords Resistance Army. Nate Haken, who works on conflict assessment issues in Uganda, and Patricia Taft, who served an adviser to the government of Uganda on war crimes prosecution and its case against the LRA, look at why this action was taken and the controversy surrounding it. Haken and Taft both work for The Fund for Peace.