What Girls Can Teach the World

Sir Fazle Abed: In 1974 there was a famine in one area of Bangladesh, and I went there to try and do famine relief work. There were emaciated women and their malnourished babies.  All the men had left.  And I thought: the men abandon children and women, but women don’t.  If we want to change our society, we need to focus our attention on our women, who are not going to abandon anybody.  

We found that when we added three million borrower groups in our micro finance program we had about 380,000 women who were producing vegetables for livelihood, but we found that they don’t have high-quality vegetable seeds, so we went into seed multiplication as a business in order to supply our women with high-quality seeds.  But then once we had gone into business not only we supplied to our own clients, but also we supplied throughout the country high-quality seeds, so development automatically happened in the sense that more productive horticulture program was started throughout Bangladesh.

So it was a combination of microfinancial services and then enterprises, training that we provided them.  Generally, it was a holistic approach to development: microfinance with plus, plus.  Plus means providing them support in terms of inputs and services and training.  The other plus is providing them healthcare, education for their children, so at least you can break the cycle of poverty.  The next generation will not be poor.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less