As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 275 million people around the world each week via radio, television and online media. Read More

Gaza Aftermath: Next Steps?

by Alan Heil It’s over, the latest spasm of severe strife in the heart of the Middle East. An 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza has ended in what appeared May 21 to be a durable ceasefire, for now at least. Once again, there was a horrific Arab-Israeli death toll in the May fighting: 232…

Gaza Crisis: No Pause In Sight

by Alan Heil An anxious world is waiting. As of dusk on the eighth day since a few Israelis evicted Palestinian residents from their homes in East Jerusalem, sustained retaliatory air attacks from Gaza and Israeli responses have set in motion the Middle East’s most serious fighting since 2014. As nightfall approached in the region…

Middle East map with toy cannon

The Middle East Cauldron Erupts Again

by Alan Heil Full-blown conflict in Israel and Gaza, triggered by Israeli seizure May 10 of several Palestinian homes and expulsion of their residents in east Jerusalem… Hundreds of civilians or soldiers killed or injured in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel itself during the initial week of this latest tragic chapter of Arab-Israeli tensions……

A Free Press Matters: a Worldwide Roundup

In a World Press Freedom Day message yesterday May 3, President Biden warned that “the truth is under attack” and that “authoritarians” are trying to undermine the media globally. In a statement on the White House website, the president praised objective journalists around the world and urged them “to continue holding those in power to…

Myanmar’s Horrific Crisis

Myanmar, or Burma, on May 1st entered its fourth month under a brutal military regime.  That regime has killed more than 700 citizens and innocent civilians since it seized power on February 1. That was the very day a newly elected democratically parliament in Myanmar was about to hold its initial meeting. The Association for…

protest sign "There Is No Planet B"

U.S. Takes Lead on Climate Change with Virtual Summit

At a two-day Washington virtual summit April 22-23, President Biden urged the 40 participating nations to counter the problem of increasing planetary pollution seriously and with the urgency that crisis demands. One approach:  what philanthropist Bill Gates describes as huge new public and private investment in innovation globally to avoid catastrophic climate change.  “Just using…

Aung San Suu Kyi portrait

A Springtime Revival of Pro-Democracy Activism?

From East Asia to North Africa, we are witnessing a determined effort on behalf of proposed democracies struggling to overcome authoritarian regimes. These occur in two key countries, Myanmar (previously known as Burma) in East Asia, and Algeria on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Daily and unrelenting protests in Myanmar threaten a dictatorship that…