A Syria of Their Own and White Gold
The ongoing civil war in Syria has been covered extensively in the media. While the Free Syrian Army, Bashar Al-Assad's forces and the myriad of jihadi groups have dominated the headlines, one group remains largely unmentioned: the Kurds. The Kurds are an ethnic group that is trying to carve out their own state or region of control in the four countries that its population sits upon: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. While they've had some luck in gaining autonomy in Iraq, Kurds in the Western-most tip of Syria are using the chaos of the civil war to gain their own little statelet. Thomas Morton visited the frontline of the battle for a Kurdish state to follow the story of Syria's forgotten ethnic group.
For centuries, rhino horn has been coveted in Eastern medicine, believed to cure a spectrum of ailments from colds to cancers. While demand curtailed in the wake of international efforts to curb the wildlife trade, recently there's been a severe resurgence in rhino poaching. Over the past seven years, killings have increased 5,000 percent. Pound for pound on the black market, rhino horn now goes for more than gold and cocaine. What's propelling this voracious appetite and sending rhinos toward extinction? Vikram Gandhi traces the trade from Southern Africa to Vietnam in order to understand this illicit phenomenon.