Assignment Asia

Xinjiang: The Pains and Gains of Development

China is developing rapidly, fueled by decades of economic growth. But perhaps nowhere in the country is the process more complicated than in the far northwester region of Xinjiang, where the changes have affected people's long-held beliefs and traditions. Reporter Han Bin puts the spotlight on Xinjiang, where people are experiencing both the pains and the gains of development.

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Forced to Fight: Children On Myanmar's Battlefields

A conflict between government forces and various ethnic groups has raged in Myanmar since independence in 1948. The long-running civil war has not only displaced more than half a million people, but also forced the country's young into the front lines. Reporter Barnaby Lo travels to Myanmar's impoverished countryside, where young villagers tell stories of being abducted and coerced to work as soldiers either by the military or insurgents.

Protecting Endangered Wildlife

This edition of Assignment Asia takes you to the seas of the Philippines and the forests of Indonesia to highlight issues concerning the region's fragile wildlife. Whale shark tourism is a growing industry in the Philippines. It attracts thousands of visitors and generates millions of dollars in income every year. But environmentalists criticize the practice, saying excessive interaction with humans and the feeding of whale sharks are harming the endangered species.

Operation: Drug War

Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office and declared a war on drugs, hundreds of people have been killed in that "war." Authorities say most of the victims were killed by unknown assailants or have died in firefights with local police. Reporter Barnaby Lo takes viewers inside the brutal drug war in the Philippines, which has raised international concern over human rights violations and extrajudicial killings.

Drifting and Dancing In Strife - Torn Iraq

In a country plagued by conflict and poverty, it's difficult - if not impossible - for sports and the arts to thrive. But in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, some are escaping their dire situation by pursuing their passion right in the midst of strife. Reporter Stephanie Freid tells the story of Iraqi drifters and fans who spend their Fridays in Baghdad's empty parking lots to experience the thrill of the motorsport and momentarily forget the violence that too frequently rocks the city.

Advocates

This episode of Assignment Asia puts the spotlight on advocates, people who play key roles in addressing some of the region's most pressing challenges. The threat of radicalism looms large in Indonesia, where authorities say thousands of young people had been recruited by extremist groups as of 2016. But in East Java, an Islamic boarding school has joined the fight against extremism using the Muslim concept of jihad. Reporter Silkina Ahluwalia meets one man who started a program called "jihadpreneur," which teaches its students to wage jihad not through violence but by doing business.

Coping with a Changing Climate

The poorest countries in the world are also the most vulnerable to climate change. But some developing countries are already taking steps to confront it and mitigate its impact. In Bangladesh, climate refugees - people displaced from their communities by natural disasters - have poured into the capital Dhaka, crowding its already congested slums. Yet far from merely suffering, the country is working to become more resilient. Reporter Rian Maelzer travels to areas in Bangladesh that experience some of the worst effects of climate change.

  • 2019-01-13T14:30:00-08:00
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