LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - We kick off the week with two special reports. Emma Batha shines a light on stoning, a barbaric form of execution that is legal or practiced in at least 15 countries or regions and seems to be on the rise – especially in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Nita will also be reporting on the challenges of bringing aid to thousands of people in Pakistan's remote and insurgency-prone Baluchistan area, which was struck last week by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
In New York, Lisa Anderson will be exploring how digital communication can help reduce maternal and infant deaths. Every day, 800 women – 99 percent of them in developing countries – die of preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. New high-tech initiatives could go a long way to cutting those deaths.
Water is on our minds this week. In Dakar, some 40 percent of the city’s 3 million people have been without it for a fortnight following damage to a major pipeline. The shortage has triggered violent protests and poses severe humanitarian threats. Misha Hussain will be asking medical agencies about the hygiene and sanitation implications and investigating how people are trying to cope.
Meanwhile, Stella Dawson will report on pressure on the World Bank to disinvest from privatising water. Activists say privatisation fuels corruption and fails to deliver improved access to safe drinking water. But their campaign runs counter to the new World Bank president's plan for more private investment in major infrastructure projects.
Speaking of investing, Astrid Zweynert promises an intriguing look at so-called “gender-lens investing”, in which investors include a focus on gender when they’re making deals. Proponents say it drives social change and is economically smart. Find out why.
In Colombia, Anastasia Moloney will examine government efforts to get rebel fighters to desert FARC ranks and prevent young men and women joining the rebels in the first place. It’s an attempt to win hearts and minds that could be key to ending 50 years of war.
She’ll also report on a ruling by the Dominican Republic’s top court that anyone born in the country after 1929 to undocumented immigrant parents will lose their citizenship. This affects thousands of Haitian migrants who crossed the border into the Dominican Republic to work in the country’s sugar cane industry in recent decades. Before, the Dominican Republic granted citizenship to anyone born on its soil. What’s the impact on Haitians living in Dominican Republic and does it mean more Haitians will become stateless?
In Nicaragua, legal reform risks weakening protection for victims of domestic violence, making it harder for women to seek justice and for perpetrators to be punished, as Anastasia will explain.
Thin Lei Win, our Southeast Asia correspondent, continues her recent focus on land rights with profiles of several extraordinary campaigners. She’ll also be scrutinising an Oxfam report urging big brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi and Associated British Food to be better at making sure the sugar they're buying doesn't come from land grabs. Thin will also write about illegal logging in Indonesia and aid corruption in Cambodia.
I’m just back from Georgia, where I saw first-hand how tensions are growing along the border with breakaway South Ossetia. Five years after Georgia’s disastrous war with Russia, barbed wire fences are sprouting up along the administrative boundary line. Georgia accuses Russia of fencing off sovereign territory; Russia says Georgia is fanning hysteria. I’m also mulling a blog on what the re-emergence of a number of Stalin statues says about Georgia’s complex relationship with its giant northern neighbour.
Stay tuned for all this and more.