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A child runs through the streets of Langa in Cape Town, an apartheid era township home to over 75,000 residents (cr: Jon S Pezzi)

For miles, boxy shacks of cheap metal stretch to the horizon. On your way from the airport into Cape Town’s bustling city center, take a sharp left after these shantytowns, and the road takes you to several enclaves of affluence. The mansions overlooking the water are frequented by the elite and Hollywood celebrities alike. This was South Africa during Apartheid, and this is South Africa now.

Since the sun set on the existence of the apartheid-era National Party, the economic makeup of South Africa and her people has changed both marginally and markedly. South Africa’s Gini coefficient, a unit of…


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Among the political uncertainty, environmental disasters and the many conflicts the last decade had to offer, there is some good news to come out of the previous ten years.

Since 2010, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has been halved from 15.7% of the world’s population, to 7.7% now. This decline comes in a forty year wave of poverty reduction unparalleled throughout recent history.

In 1980, 2 billion people were living under $1.90 a day. That number is now less than a billion.

Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest rates of poverty, saw a twenty point decline…


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It started as a five-year, $15 billion promise by President George W. Bush. Seventeen years later, it is now the world’s largest campaign to fight HIV and AIDS in the history of the disease, with over $85 billion having been committed to fighting this condition.

Since its announcement in 2003, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has saved approximately 18 million lives through the provision of medicine and the care of patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Funding currently reaches over fifty countries.

This success has yielded bi-partisan support, with the program receiving re-authorization four separate times, in 2008, 2013, 2018…


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The Sahara, one of the largest deserts in the world, stretching from one end of Africa to the other, covers a swathe of 3.5 million square miles. It could fit the entire United States within its borders, including Alaska.

And it’s growing.

A study by the journal Climate reported that between 1920 and 2013, the desert has expanded by 10% in size. The Sahara supposedly is moving southward, into a semi-fertile region below the desert known as the Sahel. …


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In Martin County, Kentucky a rusty, brownish liquid often shoots out of sinks in short bursts, then weakly drips down into the drain.

Residents are forced to buy bottled water in bulk — brushing their teeth, cleaning their dishes, and drinking from the store bought water. Some simply collect runoff from a rocky promontory, harnessing what they need in gallon milk jugs.

Access to consistent, clean drinking water has plagued Martin County for years. Only recently has it started to receive more coverage.

A series of articles by major media outlets in 2018 helped bring this issue to nation-wide attention…


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In the last two decades, the media world has been rocked by demographic and technological changes. The decline of advertising revenue and the high fixed costs of the newsroom have sunk some of the most credible newspapers in America. Even the company that owns the Miami Herald, the newspaper that broke the infamous Jeffrey Epstein exposé, has declared bankruptcy. To make matters worse, trust in the media is at an all-time low. News as we know it needs a lifeline.

More and more, it looks as if freelance journalism will be the answer.

The layoffs and disruption spurred by the…


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(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) via Wikimedia Commons

It’s time we take responsibility for it.

In the last decade, cries of ‘fake news’ and accusations of ‘clickbait’ have been increasingly thrown around in criticism towards the media. President Trump has made fake news a household debate. Entire outlets are often written off as irrelevant because of their political slant or perceived bias. Even my own publication, Via News, will occasionally absorb these critiques, despite our efforts of objectivity.

Nonetheless, these accusations against the media are frequently based in reality. CNN and MSNBC are clearly liberal, FOX News is conservative, Vox is Democrat, and BuzzFeed uses a lot of…


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Capitol 6 by Random Things Entering My Field of Vision

It’s Not The Fault of Millenials for Our Economic Situation — But We’re Partly to Blame

No matter who wins the election in November, they will be one of the oldest presidents in American history. And this trend applies to our legislatures as well. The average member of the House of Representatives and Senate is 58 and 62 respectively. Nearly half of US Senators are over the age of 65.

While the average politician is usually entering their elder years, the average American they’re representing is not yet 40. In fact, while Americans between the ages of 18–45 make up…


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Streets of Yaoundé by ludwig.troller

For the second year in the row, Cameroon’s governance crisis has been named the most neglected emergency in the world by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s annual assessment. In total, 3.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a series of conflicts and migrant crises have destabilized a majority of the country.

What’s happening

Three crises in the West African country have pushed millions from their homes, creating one of the world’s worst and underreported humanitarian emergencies.

An ongoing conflict in the country’s English-speaking west, known as the Ambazonian War, has raged for several years. The war between a…


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Photo by Kate Nevens

As Yemen faces the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, a recent United Nations emergency funding drive came up short $1 billion.

Despite the participation of 130 governments and aid organizations, a fundraiser last month failed to meet its $2.45 billion target. As a result, 30 of the UN’s 41 programs in Yemen will shut their doors until the money is found. Funding from International donors has fallen 78% compared to June 2019. The crisis in the Arab country is widely considered to be the direst emergency on the planet, and yet, things might get worse.

Why Yemen Needs the…

Jonathan Pezzi

Kentuckian | Research at University College London | Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Via News, a news outlet for underreported stories.

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