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.
Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, describes what’s driving the rise in food prices around the world – from the changing environment to population growth. Plus, find out how commodities prices are connected to the rising dissatisfaction in many developing countries.
In 1970, there were nearly 650,000 dairy farms in the United States. Today, there are only 54,000 farms—many of them run by large operators who dominate the industry. As milk prices have fallen—fetching half as much in 2009 per gallon as they did in 2008—small dairy farmers have taken a huge hit. Barry Estabrook explains the crisis facing small dairy farmers in the United States and efforts to pass a price-fixing agreement in Congress. Barry Estabrook’s article, "A Tale of Two Dairies," appears in Gastronomica.
Detainees held by the United States government at the Guantanamo Bay prison have been administered very high doses of the drug Mefloquine, according to a new report from Seton Hall Law School. While the drug is a powerful anti-malarial, it also has a number of adverse side effects, which include hallucinations, paranoia and depression. On today’s Underreported segment Mark Denbeaux, one of the reports authors and director of the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy & Research, discusses why administration of the drug to detainees (at five times the regular dosage) is controversial.
In 1972, Congress launched the nation’s most ambitious experiment in universal health care: virtually anyone diagnosed with kidney failure, regardless of age or income, was granted comprehensive coverage under Medicare for dialysis. Almost 40 years later, the costs of dialysis are the highest in the Western world--$77,000 per patient--as is the mortality rate. ProPublica's Robin Fields joins us to discuss her two-year investigation into the treatment options that dialysis patients face.
Dr. Ron O'Dor, Senior Scientist, Census of Marine Life, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, tells us about the first Census of Marine Life—a 10-year exploration carried out by scientists from 80 nations. It reveals what, where, and how much lives and hides in the world’s oceans. He’ll explain how the census was carried out and what it shows about life under water.
The use of forensic DNA databanks by law enforcement has exploded since the mid 1990s. We’ll examine the implications widespread stockpiling of genetic information has for criminal investigations and civil liberties. We’ll speak with Tufts University professor Sheldon Krimsky and former ACLU science advisor Tania Simoncelli, co-authors of the book Genetic Justice: DNA Data Banks, Criminal Investigations, and Civil Liberties.
President Obama travels to India this weekend, and while his trip may come at time of heightened tensions between in the region, but India and Pakistan have been feuding for decades. Ending that conflict has become a centerpiece of the President’s foreign policy. On today’s second Underreported segment Mira Kamdar, senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an associate fellow at the Asia Society looks at prospects for a comprehensive (and elusive) peace deal between India and Pakistan, and what it could mean for U.S. interests in the region, including in Afghanistan.
Hossam Bahgat, founder and director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, discusses his work to protect civil and religious rights in Egypt, and the threat of violence and discrimination aimed at the country’s religious minorities. And, with Egypt’s parliamentary elections less than a month away, he describes the government’s crackdowns leading up to the vote. He received the Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism earlier this week.
There are no exact figures on the number of gays and lesbians who have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, though a 2009 Human Rights Watch report puts the number “in the hundreds.” On today’s Underreported segment, freelance journalist Michael Luongo discusses what life is like for gays and lesbians there, from underground clubs in Baghdad and hiding in safe houses, to the constant threat of violent attacks from militia members. His four-part series on gay life in Iraq appears in the Gay City News.
It’s been more than two months since flood waters started rising in Pakistan. On today’s Underreported, as the waters from the worst flooding in 80 years continue to recede, we get an update on how relief efforts are going and the challenges that workers there face. Michelle Fanzo, Project Leader for the World Policy Institute, and Dorothy Blane, Country Director for Concern Worldwide, join us to discuss how the flooding continues to affect Pakistan and its government.
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency named Newtown Creek, the polluted industrial waterway that runs between Brooklyn and Queens, a Superfund site. On today’s Underreported Update, Katie Schmid, director of the Newtown Creek Alliance, explains what the designation will mean for the creek and the people who live nearby, and why it’s taken so long for any cleanup effort to begin.
Since 2006, the United States has extradited more than a dozen Colombian paramilitaries, only to seal the records of their court cases. On this week’s Underreported, Jennifer Janisch and Oriana Zill de Granados of PBS’s Wide Angle series, explain how they discovered that the cases, and what the use of judicial secrecy here in the U.S. means for their Colombian victims seeking justice.
In recent weeks, France has been locked in a war of words with the European Union over its effort to expel the Roma living there. But the Roma in Italy have also been facing discriminatory policies and prejudice. On today's Underreported, Bernard Rorke, director of Roma Initiatives at the Open Society, discusses what’s behind these restrictive policies towards Roma.
New York Times reporter Andrew Jacobs discusses the ongoing tensions between the Han Chinese and the Uighur population in Western China. He’ll recount the violence that erupted and killed nearly 200 people last July, and look at what’s happened since.
The American-led strategy in Afghanistan relies on training local Afghan forces so they’re able to take over their own security. Only 18 percent of those 243,000 Afghans in the army and police have more than a Kindergarten-level ability to read. Noah Shachtman, contributing writer for Wired magazine, discusses the US military’s efforts to teach Afghan security forces to read as well as to fight.
On today's first Underreported segment, Scott Carney, contributing editor at WIRED Magazine, tells us about the rise in human egg trafficking in Cyprus and Spain, and how loose regulations for egg donation and IVF in certain countries are resulting in a global egg trade. His article “Unpacking the Global Human Egg Trade” appears in the September issue of Fast Company.
In 2005, the small coastal West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was a poor, sleepy backwater whose main export was cashews. Now, in 2010, it is the hub of West Africa's burgeoning cocaine trade, and many observers believe that it is in danger of becoming a narco-state--completely at the whim of drug traffickers in Latin America and Hezbollah leaders who depend on a cut of a profits to fund their terrorist efforts. For today's second Underreported segment, James Traub, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, and Paolo Gorjao, the director of the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security, a think tank that focuses on Portugal and former Portuguese colonies like Guinea-Bissau, tell us how Guinea-Bissau became the hub of this new drug nexus.