Thursday, August 25, 2011
In Libya, the rebels' Transitional National Council has begun moving some of their operations from Benghazi to Tripoli. The head of the TNC announced that he plans to hold elections in eight months. While plans are under way for a post-Gadhafi Libya, the man himself remains elusive. The Council faces a tough road ahead as the country has never seen this kind of transformation before.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Nearly 150 years ago America built the first transcontinental railroad with American technology and capital, but imported labor. Some 10,000 Chinese workers used pickaxes and dynamite to cut tunnels and lay rail-lines, sometimes below feet of snow where locals wouldn't work. Now, President Obama is promoting a new generation of rail and the Chinese are again involved. This time, though, they don't just want to swing an axe. They want to design and part-fund America's first generation of high-speed rail based on their own existing technology. Americans would provide the labor.
Alastair Leithead, a reporter with the BBC, has been looking at the story for their series "Power of Asia." Our partner The Takeaway excepts some of his reporting and talks with Brian Leung, the author of "Take Me Home" a book about Chinese Americans in the nineteenth century.
"I think if this project takes hold there are going to be lots of interesting discussions about what labor pool is going to be exploited in the building this time," Leung says.
Hear the full story of China's American rail ambitions, the labor/capital role reversal on rail, and the interview with Leung at The Takeaway.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
There’ll be a lot more "out of office" emails in Washington this week as key members of the Obama administration are on trips in South Asia, Asia and the Arabian peninsula. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in China today and will travel to South Korea and Japan later in the week. Vice President Joe Biden has just left Afghanistan and is in Pakistan today; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Qatar, continuing her tour of Arab states after her surprise trip to Yemen yesterday. What do these three top officials hope to accomplish abroad, and what challenges do they face?
Friday, December 24, 2010
Come Christmas, few modes of transportation are as iconic as the donkey. No nativity scene is complete without one — how else would Mary and Joseph gotten to the manger?
It turns out that the donkey is still the cheapest way to get around modern-day Bethlehem. Through decades of conflict, poverty and instability in the territory, the donkey is the only viable option.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
In November, U.S. authorities discovered two underground tunnels intended for drug-trafficking between Tijuana and San Diego. The unusually sophisticated tunnels boasted a rail system and working lighting and ventilation. Some 30 tons of marijuana were seized in the tunnel by authorities last month. What do the tunnels look like first-hand?
Monday, November 15, 2010
Islam is in many ways an essentially green religion, with foremost ethical principles stressing the importance of protecting the Earth and living in harmony with nature. But the Hajj, which officially began yesterday, has in recent years been attracting negative attention for its environmentally unfriendly effects. What does it mean when one of Islam's holiest events leads to environmental damage?
Monday, September 13, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
One fifth of Pakistan is underwater, and many of the country's residents — reportedly as many as 400,000 — continue to be threatened by the worst flooding in nearly a century. Some of the hardest hit are those in the country's more remote regions, where aid and even information is difficult to deliver. Our partner the BBC has offered a radio service called "Lifeline" that is trying to help reach Pakistanis, offering a call-in for people who need important aid information, and also giving them a forum for telling their own story during the disaster.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
BP has pledged to give $20 billion in compensation to victims of the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil gusher. So far, $300 million has been distributed, but many are concerned that some portion of this money has gone to people scamming the system.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Americans are not exactly known as the world's biggest soccer fans, but as the rest of the globe is consumed with World Cup mania, we at The Takeaway have been wondering, who are the world's biggest soccer fans? The Afghan people may not come to mind, but Rahmatullah Qureshi, a civil servant in the Ministry of Education in Kabul, just might be Afghanistan's biggest soccer fan.
Friday, June 18, 2010
The devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has led us to consider the effects of oil contamination in other parts of the world. Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta is considered to be the world capital of oil pollution. But it's a violent place – armed gangs attack people who work for the oil industry, kidnapping workers and blowing up pipelines – and the area is under the control of the Nigerian military.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Here’s a cracking idea! Aardman Animations, the makers of the Oscar-winning animation series Wallace and Gromit, have opened their first animation academy, hoping to train the next generation of world-class animators.
Nothing unusual so far, except this academy is in a South African township – a place where any opportunities to receive world-class training are thin on the ground.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Afghan president, Hamid Karzai meets with President Obama in Washington this week. High up on the agenda will be talking about the Taliban, particularly in the Afghan-Pakistan border regions. However, we look deeper into Pakistan with the BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones. He has just returned from the Punjab, Pakistan’s economic powerhouse, which is a region far away from the border with Afghanistan where the Taliban is gaining in popularity among the poor and disenfranchised.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
For many, the prison on Bagram air base in Afghanistan is synonymous with a dark period in U.S. military history. In 2002, two prisoners were killed in the Bagram prison while in U.S. custody after being suspended from the ceilings of their cells and brutally beaten.
The BBC’s Hilary Andersson gained rare access to the new prison on the Bagram air base, and also spoke to ex-prisoners who claim they have been abused in a separate "secret jail" at the Bagram air base.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Rastko Pocesta, a 12-year-old boy in Serbia is under police protection and has become an unlikely symbol of the struggle between the liberal, pro-western minority and the Serbian nationalists, who still have strong anti-American feelings after NATO bombings during the late 1990's.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Flooding has caused the death of at least 95 people in Rio de Janeiro, and more rain is expected in the next few days. The downpour is the worst in decades. It has caused huge mudslides that swept away homes in hillside shanty towns. The city of Rio has been paralysed and the authorities have declared it a disaster zone. The BBC’s Paulo Cabral is in Rio de Janeiro and joins us with the latest.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
A senior Taliban commander has been secretely released early from jail in Kabul. Akbar Agha had been sentenced to sixteen years in jail in 2004 for kidnapping three United Nations workers. Friends of the Taliban commander told BBC reporter, Kate Clark, that he received a presidential pardon and was living in a government house.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
For some, it’s one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Vietnam War. Forty years ago today, April 6th 1970, Sean Flynn, son of Hollywood legend Errol Flynn, was working as a war photographer when he set off on his motorbike from Phnom Penh with fellow journalist Dana Stone to cover the expansion of the conflict into Cambodia. They were never seen again. But now two amateur excavators are claiming they have discovered what happened to the men 40 years ago.