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GZERO Reports

UNRWA funding cuts threaten Lebanon's Palestinian refugees
UNRWA funding cuts threaten Lebanon's Palestinian refugees | GZERO Reports
Until recently, the United States was the single biggest supporter of the UN Relief Workers Agency, or UNRWA, the organization that helps millions of Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, and in camps throughout the Middle East. But after Israel’s government alleged that UNRWA workers were involved in the October 7 attacks, that funding is at risk of completely disappearing, putting the lives of almost 6 million Palestinians in jeopardy.

GZERO went inside the Shatila Camp in Beirut, one of Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camps, to better understand what the loss of UNRWA funding would mean for the people who call it home—the teachers, doctors, and local government workers who rely on UNRWA to provide basic services, like education, healthcare, and clean water to residents. The agency says it has enough funds to last through June, but it will need to make some tough choices after that.

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Covering Columbia's campus protests as a student and GZERO reporter
Covering Columbia's campus protests as a student and GZERO reporter | GZERO Reports

The past few weeks of student protests, counter-protests, and police activity at Columbia have been the tensest moments the University has seen in over 50 years. What’s it like to be a student and graduating senior during this historic moment?

When GZERO writer Riley Callanan began her senior year at Barnard, the women’s college within Columbia, she never expected it would end this way: thousands of student protesters, an encampment and takeover of an administrative building, the attention of the national news media, armed police officers swarming campus, and, ultimately, a canceled graduation ceremony. Now, as she tells colleague Alex Kliment on GZERO World, instead of senior galas and grad parties, Columbia students are having intense debates over the Israel-Palestine conflict, antisemitism, and free speech.

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"Patriots" on Broadway: The story of Putin's rise to power
"Patriots" on Broadway: The story of Putin's rise to power | GZERO Reports

Putin was my mistake. Getting rid of him is my responsibility.”

It’s clear by the time the character Boris Berezovsky utters that chilling line in the new Broadway play “Patriots” that any attempt to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise would be futile, perhaps even fatal.

The show, which opened for a limited run in New York on April 22, stars Tony and Emmy-nominated actor Michael Stuhlbarg as Berezovsky, a larger-than-life oligarch whose billions buy him into the highest ranks of Russian power after the fall of the Soviet Union. When asked by President Boris Yeltsin to find a successor to lead the fledgling nation, Berezovsky taps Putin, a former KGB agent and ex-mayor of St. Petersburg who few knew well.

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The New York migrant crisis up close
The New York migrant crisis up close | GZERO Reports

Since 2022, New York City has absorbed more than 170,000 migrants, mostly sent on buses by Texas officials from the US-Mexico border. Many of them are asylum-seekers who hail from South American countries facing political and economic upheaval, like Venezuela and El Salvador. But increasingly, people from Asia, western Africa, and the Caribbean have been making the difficult journey to the US via the southern border as well.

Unlike other so-called “sanctuary cities,” New York has a legal mandate, known as a consent decree, that requires the city to provide shelter to anyone who asks for it. But the already under-funded, under-resourced system is struggling to deal with the influx of so many people. Adding to the chaos, in October, the city changed its policy to require everyone in the shelter system to reapply for a bed every 30-60 days. For asylum seekers already trying to navigate byzantine legal and healthcare systems, the instability can have devastating consequences.

That’s why grassroots organizers like Power Malu of Artists Athletes Activists, Adama Bah of Afrikana, and Ilze Thielmann of TeamTLC have been stepping up to fill a major gap in the city’s immigration system: greeting arrivals, pointing them towards resources, providing food and clothing. Most crucially, they're help people understand their rights and apply for asylum, so they can get work permits and find permanent housing.

Speaking from the front lines of this crisis, the organizers say the city isn't fully meeting the needs of the migrants coming here, despite spending $1.45 billion on migrant costs alone in 2023. "The illusion is that they're in these beautiful hotels and they're getting all of these services and it's not true," Malu says, "That's why you have organizations like ours that have stepped up and had to change from welcoming to now doing case management, social services, helping them with mental health therapy."

GZERO’s Alex Kliment spent time on the ground with newly-arrived asylum-seekers and the volunteers to better understand the reality on the ground, how this current crisis getting so much national attention is functioning day to day, and if the city could be doing more to help.

GZERO has reached out to City Hall for comment and will update with any response.

Learn more about the organizations mentioned in this report:

Catch this full episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer on public television beginning this Friday, March 15. Check local listings.
How Ukrainians learn to pilot kamikaze drones that destroy tanks
How Ukrainians learn to pilot kamikaze drones that destroy tanks | GZERO World

First-person view (FPV) drones are cheap and effective on the battlefield in Ukraine, but the army urgently needs to train pilots how to fly them.

Over two years into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with ammo running low and ongoing military aid from the West at risk of drying up completely, the Ukrainian army is turning to a small piece of technology that’s having a surprisingly big impact on the battlefield: first person view (FPV drones), Alex Kliment reports for GZERO World with Ian Bremmer.

Originally invented for drone racing, FPVs have cameras that transmit what they “see” in real time to a pilot wearing goggles on the ground. FPVs are fast, hard to track and target, fit into spaces traditional artillery can’t, and can be fitted with explosives to use in kamaze-style attacks. Most importantly, they only cost around $500.

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Understanding Navalny’s legacy inside Russia
Understanding Navalny’s legacy inside Russia

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was a uniquely charismatic, fearless, and media-savvy critic of Putin’s regime who will be extremely hard to replace, says GZERO’s Alex Kliment. But as beloved as he was internationally for his fearless stance against the country’s strongman leader within Russia, his appeal was somewhat limited to educated elites.

“There was a poll last year that only about 10% of Russians saw Navalny as someone whose activities they approved of about 40 or 50% said they disapproved him Navalny” Kliment says. “And a quarter of Russians had never even heard of him.”In 2020, recall, he was poisoned with a nerve agent in an attack that he blamed on the Kremlin. He later, on camera, tricked a Russian security official into appearing to admit responsibility for the hit.

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“A film is a weapon on time delay” — an interview with “Navalny” director Daniel Roher
"Navalny": Doc director Daniel Roher on the real Alexei Navalny & Russian politics | GZERO World

BREAKING: Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has died, according to the prison service.

Vladimir Putin may be busy waging war on Ukraine and threatening NATO with nuclear strikes, but back home in Russia what scares him most is a man languishing in a tiny jail cell five hours east of Moscow.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is Russia’s most prominent dissident. In August 2020, someone tried to poison him to death. He was flown abroad to Germany for treatment and then, unfathomably, returned to Russia, where he was promptly arrested and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

The Oscar-nominated documentary “Navalny” follows him and his team during those crucial months in Germany, as they uncover details of the assassination plot, pulling strings that reach into the highest levels of the Kremlin. It plays, remarkably, as a thriller, a black comedy, and an intimate family portrait.

I recently sat down with “Navalny” director Daniel Roher to learn how the documentary got made, the geopolitical power of cinema, and what he hopes Putin will do if he ever sees the film.

Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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