Afghan women concerned about resurgent Taliban

Uncertainty surrounding upcoming talks between Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban is raising fears of a collapse of law and order as foreign troops withdraw.
Women’s rights groups, in particular, are worried what will happen if the Taliban regains power.
Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel Hamid reports from Kabul.

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Speaking up about the coronavirus – but at what cost? | The Listening Post (Full)

On The Listening Post this week: For a moment, China saw public anger and real news reporting about the coronavirus go uncensored. How come? Plus, the sound and fury of India’s news anchors.

Speaking up about the coronavirus – but at what cost?
The death of Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, has caused collective outrage online.

Li was amongst the first to raise the alarm. He was then taken into custody and forced to confess to wrongdoing – spreading rumours – essentially for doing his job.

It is rare for the Chinese to openly criticise the government; rarer still when those criticisms on social media are not instantly deleted by censors.

And for Chinese journalists, there was a temporary window that opened for some hard-hitting investigative reporting. It appears that that window has since been closed – replaced by what Beijing calls 「managed transparency」.


Jane Li -Tech reporter, Quartz

Maria Repnikova – Assistant professor, Georgia State University

Muyi Xiao – Visuals editor, ChinaFile

Liu Xin – Host and journalist, CGTN

On our radar:

Richard Gizbert speaks to Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, head of the news website Rappler, about President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to shut down ABS-CBN, the country’s leading broadcaster.

Arnab Goswami and the newsification of hate in India
Over the past decade, Indians have witnessed the rise of a new breed of news anchor: brash, aggressive, unapologetically nationalistic.

They trade in conflict, fear and spectacle – it is a formula that tends to pay off in the ratings and online.

The Listening Post’s Meenakshi Ravi looks closely at a prime practitioner of this news style: Arnab Goswami of Republic TV.


Pragya Tiwari – Delhi-based writer

Kunal Kamra – Comedian

Aditya Raj Kaul – Former senior editor, Republic TV

Manisha Pande – Executive editor, Newslaundry

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Is the world forgetting about Kashmir? | The Stream

Indian security forces are maintaining a tough presence on the streets of cities and towns across Jammu and Kashmir three months after the government revoked the region’s special status. The lockdown that accompanied the loss of Kashmir’s semi-autonomy in August made headlines around the world. But international coverage of the region’s formal incorporation into India as two Union territories on October 31 was comparatively muted.

The government in New Delhi now has direct control over Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir after splitting it into the new Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. It says having Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh under central control will help boost investment to the region and spur a bright economic future for those living there. But millions of Kashmiris feel that the identity of the region is being erased. Hundreds of Kashmiri political activists and local leaders have been arrested over the last few months while civilians have faced severe restrictions on their movements. A blackout of internet and some cell services is still in effect and media reports from the region are tightly monitored. Many warn that direct control will fuel a new wave of deadly attacks by pro-Kashmir armed groups.

What’s next for those in Kashmir now that it is under central control – and is the world forgetting about it?

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Is the Trump impeachment investigation about crime or politics? | The Bottom Line

In a country as profoundly divided as the United States, there is no agreement on anything related to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump launched by Congress on September 24, 2019.
Some are gleeful to see the beginning of an investigation, even if it goes nowhere. Others see it as an unabashed political act, carried out by desperate Democrats who cannot find any other way to stop Trump from staying in power through 2024.
So far, people in the US are almost evenly split on whether to pursue Trump’s impeachment and removal. Most Democrats believe he has abused his position of power, while most Republicans do not.
The Democrats are engaged in a high-risk strategy, betting that the impeachment process will give them a boost in next year’s election. Republicans are hoping for the exact opposite: That people will punish the Democrats for the paralysis in Washington, and that Trump’s base and allied media will rush to defend him, and send him to victory in 2020.
It falls upon the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to simplify and explain the charges against Trump to the American people, in the hopes that they will agree that 「high crimes and misdemeanors」 have taken place. If the articles of impeachment are too convoluted, or the process drags on indefinitely, all bets are off.
In this episode of The Bottom Line, Steve Clemons asks his panel of experts where the impeachment process is heading and whether the people of the United States can ever 「get over it」 and reconcile.

– Margaret Carlson, columnist for The Daily Beast and the first female columnist for Time magazine
– John Fredericks, chairman of Trump for President (Virginia) in 2016, adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign, and host of the John Fredericks radio show
– Gregory Craig, the former lead defence attorney for former US President Bill Clinton during his impeachment in 1998, and former White House counsel under President Barack Obama

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Sudan's gum arabic farmers worry about climate change

Sudan is the world’s main producer and exporter of gum arabic, according to the United Nations’s food and agricultural organisation. It is used in many products from soft drinks to cosmetics and accounts for nearly 15 percent of Sudan’s income.
But farmers who plant and harvest the product say they are worried that it is about to change.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports from Elobeid in North Kordofan.

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