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The Seattle Globalist is proud to announce our first ever apprenticeship program in partnership with the Seattle Digital Literacy Initiative.

In this year-long journalism training program for young adults ages 17-20, participants will be mentored by a journalist from The Seattle Globalist and receive training in writing, photography, video and design. Their work will also be published on The Seattle Globalist.

Ready to start working as a journalist? Take the first step and APPLY HERE>>>

Tacoma man awaits verdict for 22-year sentence in Nicaragua

Jason Puracal, of Tacoma, WA, awaits a possible 23-year sentencing in Nicaraguan courts. (Photo via

Jason Puracal, from Tacoma, WA, is awaiting a sentencing from Nicaraguan judges that could lead to a 22-year prison term.

Purcal, a realtor and former Peace Corps volunteer, has spent the last 23 months on trial for drug trafficking and money laundering.

A UN working group reviewing the case found that Purcal had been arrested without a warrant, held for 6 six months without charges and was refused the right to provide evidence in his defense, all of which are illegal under Nicaraguan law.

The Global Post reports on the full story here. 

Face-kini sweeps China beaches as world’s most awkward fashion fad

This almost certainly beats out Jnco jeans and the piano key necktie as one of the most awkward (and somewhat terrifying) fashion trends. The simple, stretchy face mask seems to be more for utility than fashion, as women try to preserve a pale complexion on sunny beaches.


Chinese man builds own prosthetics after fishing accident

Sun Jifa is the new face of DIY disability adaptation after making his own prosthetic arms from steel and scrap metal. The arms took eight years to construct, but were the alternative to the expensive models recommended by the hospital. (Via Daily Mail

A backwards baseball hat will get you pulled aside by TSA in Boston airports

The Transportation Security Administration is under investigation for using racial profiling techniques that not only targeted Middle Easterners (as Globalist reporter Alma Khasawnih writes), but also Hispanics traveling to Miami and black people wearing backwards baseball hats or expensive jewelry. (Via the New York Times.

Amda Wiredua Kwapong, a research intern from Ashesi University, conducts an interview with locals in Ghana about Burro products. (Photo courtesy of Carol Brown)

When it comes to international charities, Seattle is home to some of the biggest names in aid that cater to developing countries across the world. But a new model has arrived that is not about handouts, but about making a profit.

The idea behind Burro, founded in 2008 by Cranium co-founder Whit Alexander, is to provide high-quality and meaningful products to the Ghanaian people. Today this for-profit company has 200 resellers (locals who sell Burro products at their village), 5,000 clients, eight employees and a full catalogue of merchandise.

Do you know a globally-minded youth between the ages of 15 to 19? There’s a brand new journalism camp this summer at the University of Washington.

The Seattle Digital Literacy Initiative, a youth journalism program of the Common Language Project and UW Department of Communication, is excited to announce a 5-day Multimedia Journalism Camp from July 23-27.

Youth who attend this exciting week of media training will:

  • Create media with professional video, photo, and sound equipment and editing software.
  • Publish their work online and receive blogging/social media training.
  • Work side-by-side with professional journalist mentors on the University of Washington campus.
  • Have the chance to have their story published on the Seattle Globalist.

The camp is Pay-What-You-Can and full scholarships are open for any student!

Enroll here and help us get out the word by sharing the page on Facebook.

(Photo by Alex Stonehill)

The last couple weeks have seen one former Microsoft executive become the Prime Minister of Mali and another hatch an ambitious plot to mine asteroids.

Expanding from our rainy cradle in the corner of the country, the reach of our massive hometown software company transcends borders (and even outer space apparently).

But some Microsoft employees are making a global impact in less dramatic fashion, by using their skills and networks to give back to other parts of the world where they have roots:

The author reporting from an Islamic religious school in Pakistan in 2009 (Photo: Alex Stonehill)

My finger froze over the mouse as I squinted at a blurry photo of a young Pakistani man holding an AK-47 on my Facebook page.  “Confirm friend request,” the cheerful blue font suggested. I closed the window and sighed, saving the decision for another morning.

The obvious answer here—the one I got from everyone I showed the photo to—was: “Don’t friend him, he looks like a freaking terrorist.”  But I know Toffee and I do consider him a friend (well, at least in the Facebook sense of the word).

We met in Pakistan a few years ago when I was reporting on education issues for the Common Language Project.  It was the spring of 2009 and the Taliban had taken over sections of the country—sections not so far from Islamabad where Toffee was going to university.

He did some translation for one of my stories, but really we just liked hanging out and talking about politics and culture.  He had grown up a wealthy Pashtun in the tribal areas and I was curious about life in a part of Pakistan that I couldn’t safely visit.

We were roughly the same age and Toffee wanted to know how things were different in America. Despite his traditional upbringing and the very serious circumstances of his country, Toffee’s stylish clothes and cute adopted nickname made him seem more like a happy-go-lucky hipster than anything. We joked about creating a cultural exchange program for twenty-somethings.

Toffee asked me if Americans think all Pashtuns are terrorists.

Photo credit: MercyCorps

Seattle is a veritable technology hub. It’s home to two of the biggest tech companies on the planet, Microsoft and Amazon.

Hundreds of geeks are hard at work in Seattle offices, creating the next-generation of computer and web products. But we can’t claim geeks as our own.

Anywhere there’s electricity and a connection to the Internet, you’ll find them – even in the Gaza Strip, a tiny and impoverished territory in the Middle East.

Now, Portland-based aid group MercyCorps is working to build a bridge between American software developers and their counterparts in Gaza.

Partnered with Google and Seattle-area nonprofit Startup Weekend, the organization is calling on Seattle’s tech community to support Palestinian startup companies, whether through virtual mentoring or social investing.

As the program’s leaders explained in a discussion hosted by MercyCorps in Seattle last week, Palestinian geeks went wild in a 54-hour marathon “Startup Weekend” last month. You can see young developers positively brimming with enthusiasm in this video.

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iPhone 3
(Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Like any devout follower, Mike Daisey was reluctant to ask questions about his favorite religion—the church of Apple. A self-professed gadget freak and number one fan of the ubiquitous technology company, Daisey’s reluctance is probably familiar to all of us. In his most recent monologue on Chicago Public Media’s popular series, This American Life, Daisy renews the debate about “fair trade” electronics by traveling to China and investigating working conditions at Apple’s main manufacturing plant, Foxconn.

Daisey is the force behind the one-man hit performance, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” which showed at Seattle Repertory Theatre last April. Part of the show is about the late Steve Jobs and the other part deals with Daisey’s experiences visiting Chinese electronic manufacturing plants. In an interview with the New York Times, Daisey explains that he was shocked by “the level of dehumanization built into the systems that have been put into place by American corporations in collusion with suppliers.”

But is anyone really surprised by what he found? Should it come as a shock that while hundreds of thousands of Americans are perusing the latest gadgets at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, children as young as 12 are working full-time in China in conditions so poor their manufacturing plants are surrounded by suicide-thwarting nets?