Rank #1: Razia's Way: One School's Fight for Afghanistan's Girls
How do you convince the conservative men of Afghanistan to get behind girls' education? This is the story of one determined, Afghan woman from Massachusetts who seems to have found a way...and one student her school tried to reach. The third and final part of our "Foreverstan" series, this episode is reported by Director of GroundTruth Films, Beth Murphy.
Rank #2: The End of Days: How Christian Zionism is Transforming US Policy in the Middle East
Twenty years ago, a movement known as Christian Zionism was on the furthest fringes in the land of Israel.
Back then, mainstream theologians — Christian and Jewish alike — dismissed Christian Zionism as a dangerous interpretation of biblical prophecies; the ideology was flawed at best, at its worst, inherently anti-Semitic.
Today, Christian Zionism has gone mainstream, with explosive growth in both fundraising and political power. Its journey is evident in today’s headlines in Israel-Palestine. When the United States announced a relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, many observers believed it was the Trump administration’s way of answering directly not only to the Israeli right but also to the American Christian evangelical base that supports Trump. Christian Zionists view the embassy move as a milestone on a prophetic timeline that aligns with an apocalyptic interpretation of scripture.
Similarly, Christian Zionists are squarely behind Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and celebrating his re-election this week. Last month, they applauded the Trump Administration’s backing Israeli sovereignty
over the disputed Golan Heights. They also praised Netanyahu’s promise to annex the West Bank Jewish settlements, a campaign pledge made in the waning days of a tight election.
To Christian Zionists, policy shifts are prophetic signs, and they are not content to wait for prophecy to unfold. Calling themselves “believers,” Christian Zionists are ushering apocalyptic scriptural prophecies into the here-and-now through political influence and dollars. Based on in-depth reporting over the last two years, The GroundTruth Project has found that over the past 20 years the top Christian Zionist organizations have raised over $2 billion to support Israel, with a steady stream going directly to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The efforts of the Christian Zionists often work against the Palestinian Christian communities which see themselves as part of a 2,000-year continuum in the land where the Christian faith began.
Rank #3: The End of Days - Part 2 - The Armies of Heaven - Inside the Movement
In the second chapter of this series, we go inside the Christian Zionist community in Jerusalem and the settlements in the West Bank. Micah Danney, our GroundTruth Fellow and guide for this episode, was a unique choice for this reporting assignment. He grew up steeped in Christianity. His father was a mainline Protestant preacher in Nyack, New York. As a teenager, he had gotten into some trouble. But he also really knew his scripture. Both of these parts of his past, his struggle with the law, and his familiarity with scripture, would prove to be critical in gaining access to this community.
Micah’s journey began with a laying of hands upon him, and ends with his being cast from the garden, quite literally.
(Listen for a cameo appearance from Pat Boone!)
Rank #4: The Eleventh Hour
After four years of fighting, 20 million soldiers and civilians dead, and three collapsed empires, World War One ended and a new world order emerged. But the armistice held only temporarily and the promise to end all wars was repeatedly broken over the last 100 years. Charlie Sennott has been tracing how this war is the source of so many modern conflicts, many of them he’s covered as a correspondent over the last three decades. We look at the circumstances that led to that war, and how those circumstances are eerily similar to today.
Rank #5: War Reporting: A Love Story
Conflict reporter Tracey Shelton has been willing to risk her life to tell the stories of ordinary people in war zones. But now that she's found love, is her work still worth the risk? GroundTruth Producer Nathan Tobey tells the story.
Rank #6: Unheard in Appalachia
In beautiful, mountainous Eastern Kentucky, local economies are struggling, coal jobs continue to disappear, and people are frustrated by decades of failed government programs that have done little to help with problems connected to poverty, hazardous work conditions and poor nutrition. On a reporting road trip across America, we hear from those who feel unheard.
Rank #7: The New American Songbook: Nuevo Mariachi
For Omar Naré, mariachi is in his blood. His grandfather, a Mexican farm laborer, brought the music with him to California’s Central Valley, where he settled his family. Omar grew up hearing mariachi at family get-togethers and had a childhood career as a mariachi singer. After a hiatus and period of disillusionment with the music of his childhood, Omar returned to mariachi. He realized, to make mariachi that felt honest to his experience, he had to break the rules. But if you break the rules of mariachi, is it still “mariachi”? Explore photos and more
Rank #8: Hope (and Contraband) in a Bottle
On a South Korean island just eight miles from the shores of North Korea, Jung Gwang-il is trying to save lives with rice and USBs. He’s a North Korean defector who survived torture and concentration camps, and is now
smuggling food and information, to try to help his starving people and weaken the dictatorship — even if it puts his own life in danger.
Rank #9: Dispatch: Drowned Out In Paris
Are young people being shut out of the world's response to climate change?
GroundTruth climate fellows Justine Calma and Chris Bentley kick off our new series of reports on global warming with this dispatch from the historic COP21 conference in Paris.
Rank #10: Living Proof: Storms, Sex And Survival In The Philippines
After covering the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, GroundTruth's Aurora Almendral investigates how typhoons are driving waves of human trafficking in the Philippines. This is a coproduction with KCRW's UnFictional. Explore the reporting
Rank #11: What Ever Happened to Zika?
Before Hurricane Maria, the Zika crisis was already pushing Puerto Rico’s health care system to the limit. Then the storm came and crippled it completely — no more testing pregnant mothers for Zika, and no more tracking babies born to Zika-infected mothers. A year later, things are still not back to normal. And it’s becoming clear that many babies that seem fine may not be.
Rank #12: The Dancing Ghosts of Duffy's Cut
When Bill and Frank Watson were kids, their grandfather told them a ghost story. Decades later, the brothers discovered the source of that story in their grandfather’s old railroad company documents. It raised questions about what happened to 57 Irish migrant workers in Pennsylvania in 1832, and it sent the Watson brothers on a search for a mass grave.
Rank #13: War Children
A year after the city of Mosul was liberated from ISIS rule, kids across Iraq are not alright. The most vulnerable are often overlooked: orphans, the wounded, the kidnapped and returned, and those who fought for ISIS — whether by force or by choice. Boys are most at risk for future violence and recruitment to extremist groups.
Rank #14: Refugees Lost in Translation
*Refugees Lost in Translation *
Three refugees — from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq — are working as interpreters for other refugees coming into Europe. With a foot in both worlds, they see things that refugees and Western media don’t: what’s being lost in translation, the profound consequences, and how the biggest barrier for refugees often isn’t a physical border, but language itself.
Rank #15: Living Proof: Anguish In Arctic Scandinavia
A mental health crisis is taking root in Arctic Scandinavia among the indigenous Sami, as a changing climate threatens wildlife and ways of life. GroundTruth's Melody Schreiber reports from Sweden and Norway. Explore the reporting