I'm spending a lot of time these days reporting on religion, based here in the newsroom in Boston. I still pay attention to events in the Middle East and Asia, especially China. But the religion beat has kept me most busy.
By way of background, I studied comparative religion and Chinese history at the University of Vermont. That led me to Mandarin language classes and UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and then to KQED Radio in San Francisco. From there, I started freelancing for The World and joined the team full-time here in Boston in late 2001.
I've been blessed to be able to cover a huge range of stories for The World. But some of the most memorable ones involved taking a trip on a Louisiana shrimping boat in the Gulf of Mexico, covering events in Egypt during the so-called Arab Spring, and meeting North Korean refugees in Seoul, South Korea. I've reported on foreign policy in US presidential politics, the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and housing demolitions in Shanghai. I'd rather be playing drums for The Roots, but that position is filled quite competently for the time being. So, I'm sticking with radio.
Ireland is not as Catholic as it used to be. One area where the Church still has a great deal of influence, though, is in the public schools. But some Irish parents want to re-examine the role of religion in educations.
Right up until the day of the referendum, pretty much everyone thought Ireland’s vote on abortion this past Friday was going to be close. It wasn’t. Two-thirds of voters said "yes" to repealing the country’s constitutional ban on abortion.
Lifestyle & Belief
Ireland votes on abortion this week. Ciara O’Connor Walsh, who's a supporter of abortion rights, knows where she stands on the issue. But she wondered, what do folks on the other side have to say? She's produced a podcast series called, The Eighth.
After lots of initial fanfare, the lead-up to a planned Trump-Kim summit has hit some serious bumps in the road. But one former US adviser on North Korean affairs says President Trump should stick with his game plan.
The leaders of the two Koreas just made history. Now, it’s Donald Trump’s turn. The American president, who once dismissed the idea of negotiating with North Korea, is expected to do just that.