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Turkey: Flotilla Fallout

Kyrgyz Politics: Exiled Reformer Returns

Crisis in Kyrgyzstan

Moscow Bombings: Online Radio's Raw Response

Chechnya's Hidden War

 

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Turkey: Flotilla Fallout

It was less than three years ago that Israel's President Shimon Peres addressed the Turkish Parliament, the first Israeli president to speak before a Muslim assembly. The two countries were even working jointly on a Turkish-funded plan to bring economic development to the Gaza Strip.

But relations were thrown into turmoil last week when Israel's deadly raid on an international flotilla attempting to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip generated worldwide headlines and recriminations.

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Kyrgyz Politics: Exiled Reformer Returns

When I traveled to Kyrgyzstan a few years ago, I had reservations about meeting with Edil Baisalov. At the time, he had lost his funding support through a major U.S. democracy organization and pointed the finger at organization leaders reluctant to further aggravate declining U.S.-Kyrgyz relations. I wasn't sure what to expect from this young reformer or the remote Central Asian country that happens to house the sole U.S. forward operating airbase into Afghanistan.

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Crisis in Kyrgyzstan

Just five years after a violent revolution shook Kyrgyzstan, this former Soviet Republic woke up to more upheaval on Wednesday morning, when violent protests rocked the country's capital Bishkek. Dozens were killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with riot police.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled to the country's south. People began to worry that a civil war might break out between Bakiyev's supporters there and opposition party members in the north. But just three days after the initial violence, the country's opposition leaders seem to have gotten the situation under control. Former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva is now serving as Kyrgyzstan's interim head of government and there are reports that Bakiyev will be allowed to go into exile.

Frontline/World obtained video footage from media companies operating in Bishkek. We then asked local observers -- two journalists and the director of the Central Asian Free Market Institute -- to talk to us over webcam about their experiences and thoughts following Wednesday's violence.

Additional reporting: Alexandra Poolos

Moscow Bombings: Online Radio's Raw Response

On Monday, March 29, when images began trickling in online from the suicide bomb attacks in the Moscow metro, my first thoughts were of my wife's parents, who live there. Then I thought of the producers at Podstantsiya, a small online radio outlet I'd discovered last winter during a reporting trip to Russia. I wondered what information they were providing about the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia in years.

It turns out I wasn't alone. Many Muscovites, hungry for news, desperate to find out if their friends or loved ones were alive, or simply trying to figure what route to take to work, went online.

State television was doing a poor job of reporting the events. Morning TV stuck to its usual schedule -- programs about redecorating your home and revamping your personal style. Meanwhile, Podstantsiya, which means "substation" in Russian, experienced a surge of visitors.

Part Flickr and part Public Radio Exchange (PRX), the online station is supported by a Russian NGO trying to improve independent radio journalism in Russia. You can download all of the content for free.

FRONTLINE/World asked two of Podstantsiya's reporters to record over webcam their impressions of the attacks and how they reported them. We combined their accounts into a short piece almost entirely comprised of images and sounds from their website.

Chechnya's Hidden War

In February, correspondent Anna Badkhen traveled to Chechnya for FRONTLINE/World and the Center for Investigative Reporting to report on the still-simmering separatist insurgency and brutal government crackdown that continue to plague the republic. Badkhen journeyed to Grozny via a 43-hour train ride from Moscow, forced to hide her identity as a journalist in order to report on the tortures and disappearances happening deep inside Chechnya.

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Haiti Quake: Keeping Haiti's Internet Alive

With lives in the balance and medicine in short supply, the internet could seem like an afterthought in Haiti. But Paolo Chilosi, who runs Multilink, a leading internet provider in Haiti, says the net is as vital as food and water. Using generators powered by gas and solar and a little help from Cisco Systems, which flew in a team of engineers by helicopter this week, Chilosi is getting crucial institutions like banks, radio stations and the office of President René Préval (who the world has been waiting to hear from) back online.

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Haiti Quake: Improvisation Amid the Chaos

After suffering the worst earthquake in a century, the scale of Haiti's devastation is still unfolding. The nation has no electricity, cell phone coverage and land lines are down, but Paolo Chilosi, who runs Multilink, an internet provider in Port-Au-Prince, is keeping the internet running with solar power and batteries.

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Bolivia: Back on the Road With Evo

Following Evo Morales' recent election landslide, Bolivian video journalist Tupac Saavedra talks with iWitness about why Morales remains so popular with the majority of Bolivians.

Four years ago, Saavedra produced "On The Road With Evo" an insightful FRONTLINE/World documentary about Bolivian President Evo Morales' election campaign.

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Peru: Kiva's Web-based Microfinance Growing Up

In 2006, when we first broadcast our story about Kiva's first micro-lending experiment in Uganda, the San Francisco-based nonprofit was already a modest success. The concept was simple: web surfers with a little bit of extra cash could use their credit card to provide microcredit to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

At the time, Kiva had just surpassed $500,000 in loans. This week, Kiva celebrated its fourth birthday, and its growth since our story aired has been nothing short of meteoric. Kiva is closing in on $100 million loaned and expanded its reach to small businesses across the planet.

We thought we'd check in with the company on its anniversary and find out how it's working with locals in a beautiful and remote high Andean outpost in Peru.

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Honduras: Standoff at the Embassy

Honduras' left-leaning president, Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a coup back on June 28, has returned to the country. He reportedly traveled over back roads from El Salvador, hidden in the trunk of a car, and has been given refuge at the Brazilian Embassy.

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