WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 17th January 2015

17 Jan 2015
17th January 2015
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


1. At the same time as the terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in France, more than 2,000 people were killed in north-eastern Nigeria when Boko Haram invaded the village of Baga. Amnesty International has released satellite images showing the severity and devastating aftermath of the attacks.


The lack of attention that has been given to the desperate situation in Nigeria has given rise to a number of commentators and journalists posing a broader question about how we value tragedies differently depending on where they are committed. The New York Times published an article called, “Where Terrorism is Normal (Nigeria) and News (France).
New Internationalist Magazine has posed the question, what makes an atrocity newsworthy and The Guardian asked what makes one massacre more newsworthy than another. And the South African Daily Maverick published an article called, “I am Charlie, but I am Baga too: On Nigeria’s forgotten massacre”.


2. There have been two recent articles on the issue of radicalisation and terrorism. The Guardian has an interesting article suggesting that the role of religion in radicalisation is overestimated.New Internationalist Magazine has also published a very interesting article by Jeremy Seabrook looking at the issue of ‘radicalisation’ and the myth that this is the cause of terrorism.
They are both great reads and even more topical now after the recent tragedies in Nigeria and France.


3. The UNHCR has released its Mid-Year Trends 2014 report and it has some very interesting (and disturbing) figures about those who have been forcibly displaced as a result of war, in the first half of 2014. Some 5.5 million people were newly displaced in the first six months of last year bringing the total of those being assisted by UNHCR to 46.3 million, some 3.4 million more than at the end of 2013.


4. There are some absolutely wonderful photos here of Afghanistan – but not the Afghanistan you might be expecting. Bilal Sarwary is a local freelance journalist who has captured some beautiful images of a country that is truly beautiful.


5. Doctors Without Borders has a wish list for 2015. And AVAAZ has a petition going that you can sign to put pressure on the US to make medicines more accessible to everyone in the world.


6. Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley is a World Heritage site but is being developed for sugar plantations and processing despite the impact on some of the most vulnerable people of Ethiopia and Kenya. Human Rights Watch has prepared an excellent coverage of this story with interactive images and photos as well as high quality content.


7. This is the sort of story that we often don’t get to hear about. It is about a group of young people who are Navajos and they are gathering to walk 200 miles to pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of the tragic “Long Walk” that their ancestors endured.


8. The Catholic Church features again this week. This time as a little light (but important) item about a gay Catholic Priest who received a standing ovation from his congregation after revealing his sexuality and encouraging parishioners to support the Irish referendum on same sex marriage in May. And the Pope again, as he demoted Cardinal Raymond Burke for continually challenging his more open stance on sexuality.


9. The New Internationalist has featured a story / short video on the ways that Zambians are attempting to end child marriage in their country. They note that 15 million girls worldwide are married under the age of 18. It’s a very moving video featuring Mirriam, a 17 year old Zambian young woman who is a strong advocate for an end to child marriage. It’s well worth watching if you have a spare 10 minutes.


10. There are some truly amazing TED talks out there and in the weeks to come we will feature more and more inspirational TED talks. This talk is by Aziz Abu Sarah who is a Palestinian activist who argues that tourism can be a powerful medium for peace-building. It’s a brief (4 min) talk but it is a little bit of inspiration to end our week.


Thanks for tuning in to our Top 10 Stories and here’s to us all making the world a better place in 2015!
See you next week.