Algeria Feature | Indigenous Berber Women

The Shaped Stories of Ideki

Found in the heart of indigenous Kabyle Berber communities in the Kabylia region of Algeria, the traditional form of Berber pottery known as ideki continues to live on as contemporary Algerian women work with ceramicists to produce the colorful containers. CCTV Africa explores its symbolic language, production process, and threats in the age of globalization.

Watch the CCTV feature on YouTube.

Afghanistan Feature | Artist-Dissidents

A Protest in Color

A group of artists convened at the presidential palace in Kabul to paint a mural in protest against government corruption.

View the AFP feature on YouTube (in French).

China & Japan Feature | Japanese-Chinese

Identity Legacies of War

Japanese children were adopted in occupied China during World War II as they lost mothers and fathers to the war. AFP highlights some of the cultural struggles that are the legacies of those adoptions.

Watch the AFP feature on YouTube.

Ecuador News | Indigenous Ecuadorians

Indigenous Ecuadorians march against government
  • Indigenous leaders led a march from an Amazonian province towards Quito against President Rafael Correa’s regime.
  • They argued that government policies are dispossessing them of land and resource rights and economic security.
  • Demonstrators connected indigenous struggles to broader inequalities marginalizing the poor and the general citizenry.

Watch the AFP report on YouTube.

Germany News | Eritrean Refugees

Eritrean dissident advocates in Germany allege translators are contaminating the asylum process for refugees
  • The co-founder of Frankfurt-based dissident group United4Eritrea related stories of omissions and hostile environments with translators that increased asylum seekers’ insecurity.
  • Displaced Eritreans fear pro-regime agents in the diaspora who can derail the asylum process and send information back to Eritrea that leads to threats against family members, activities that a recent U.N. report acknowledged.
  • German officials responded that although they do not monitor possible relaying of information back to the Eritrean government, all translators are rigorously tested before being put to work.

“For example they tell them not to explain things the way they are, the political situation – they say ‘you can’t say this, you have to say it like this.’ They try to give as little information as possible, so then they leave the political things out. They want the refugees to arrive here to be recognized only as economic migrants.”

Read the full story at Deutsche Welle.

(Image Credit: imago/epd, via Deutsche Welle)

Iran News | Women Dissidents

Iranian human rights activist languishes in jail as sentence expires
  • Bahareh Hadayat, an activist who spoke out on women’s rights issues and government suppression, was in and out of jail before being sentenced to sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail for threatening national security, insulting the supreme leader, and insulting then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
  • Many expected parts of Hadayat’s sentence to be commuted, but police threats and Hadayat’s continued activism from behind bars have diminished that prospect.
  • Hadayat’s husband reports health complications have exacerbated the effects of Hadayat’s stay at the Evin prison, where around 18 other female political prisoners are held.

“The authorities have put pressure on us because of speaking out about Bahareh’s situation in jail. … They’ve threatened us, and have told her in jail that they’ll arrest me if we keep speaking out. They want to keep us silent.”

Read the full story at the Guardian.

(Image Credit: Facebook, via The Guardian)

China News | Catholic Christians

China prepares to recognize second Vatican-backed bishop ordination
  • Cosmos Ji Chengyi will join Joseph Zhang Yinlin, ordained last week, in becoming the first bishops ordained in China in three years.
  • The government-backed Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the underground Vatican-allied church have divided China’s 8-12 million Catholics.
  • China has previously required all ordinations to be approved by the government and has gone so far as to appoint bishops itself, which has riled the Holy See, with whom it has had no diplomatic relations since 1949.

“Catholics are thrilled because this is the first time since the founding of Henan province that there has been an ordination ceremony recognized by both sides.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

Australia News | LGB

Australia’s ruling coalition blocks free vote for same-sex marriage, effectively quashing chances in Parliament
  • Without a sanctioned free vote, party members are not allowed to cast votes that depart from the party line without threat of severe consequences leading up to expulsion.
  • Despite a poll from 2014 indicating 72% of Australians support same-sex marriage, socially conservative PM Tony Abbott has blocked multiple attempts to pass a marriage equality bill in Parliament.
  • After a rare full-coalition vote that saw Abbott’s Liberal Party outnumbered two to one against allowing a free vote, Abbott indicated that the coalition is open to a public referendum on same-sex marriage rights.

“If you support the existing definition of marriage between a man and a woman, the coalition is absolutely on your side but if you would like to see change at some time in the future, the coalition is prepared to make that potentially possible.”

Read the full story at Reuters.