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Hear students discuss under-reported news on CJTR's Human Rights Radio

A .22 caliber bullet struck the leg of Canadian-Palestinian artist as she was photographing Israeli Defense forces in Bethlehem on Dec. 11, 2015.

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The UN sees housing as a basic human right and over 200,000 Canadians are not receiving it. A 2016 UN report urges Canada to create a national housing program. The issue isn’t a new one. The UN has been calling for housing justice in Canada since May 2006.

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Tim Bousquet, an investigative journalist and founder of The Halifax Examiner, an independent online journal, has conducted an in-depth investigation into the conviction of Glen Assoun, whose case is under review as a possible wrongful conviction.

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For years, students and staff have had to endure mould, rotting walls, broken toilets, leaking ceilings and vermin in their schools, but it wasn’t until Detroit Public Schools (DPS) teachers posted pictures of the disturbing conditions on Twitter in early January 2016 that the problems came to light.

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Nearly 2.3 million people in Ontario cannot afford to visit a dentist or dental hygienist, which is proving to be quite costly for the healthcare system, according to the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC).

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Costa Rica received high praise at the Paris climate talks in 2016 for its 99 per cent renewable energy in 2015 and commitment to obtain carbon neutrality by 2021. However, a deeper analysis by freelance environmental journalist Lindsay Fendt, who is based in Costa Rica, throws into question whether Costa Rica’s claim is sustainable for the country or attainable by others.

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In May 2014, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that Mexico has the highest child obesity rates in the world.

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A growing trend has led to everyday products such as plastic bottles and many baby products to be “BPA-Free”, however, what is replacing the chemical in these products may be just as harmful.

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In January 2016, headlines from various corporate media like the CBC, Aljazeera, BBC, CNN and others reported on a little boy from Afghanistan who wore an Argentina football jersey made out of plastic bag. However, not much was reported about his brother who made the jersey.

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Companies that make products like Special K and Dove are cashing in on ‘feel good’ messages about body image, while at the same time sending a message to women that they can be prettier and thinner if they buy their products. Blogs like Truthfully and the Belle Jar are calling the practice into question, noting that the companies do not actually care about your body image.

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On July 5, 2013, a train carrying highly volatile oil exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, causing the deaths of 47 people. Since the explosion in 2013, only dry goods trains have passed through Lac-Mégantic – but in 2016 dangerous-goods trains will once again roll through the town.

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An accredited Canadian parliamentary news site, Blacklock’s Reporter, was banned from being accessed by public employees from August 22, 2014 until Sept. 9, 2014. Blacklock’s Reporter obtained documents under the Access to Information Act confirming a government-wide blackout was enforced by Shared Services Canada, the department in charge of government IT services.

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 On Jan. 22, 2015, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake occurred near Fox Creek, Alta., after a swarm of tremors already caused concerns about the hydraulic fracturing of the province’s Duvernay shale. On Jan. 29, Andrew Nikiforuk, award-winning journalist for the independent online magazine The Tyee, wrote an in-depth analysis on the Fox Creek tremor.

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In June 2014, Sobeys purchased 213 Safeway Canada stores, and shortly after announced plans to close approximately 50 of them. This has been covered thoroughly by the media. What has not been covered is the impact of the merger on union membership.

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In Jamaica, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender citizens – as well as people perceived to be LGBT – are taunted, fired from employment, thrown out of homes, stoned, beaten, raped and accused of breaking, “buggery laws,” according to a Human Rights Watch report, Jamaica: Unchecked Homophobic Violence, released in October 2014.

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In October 2014, the City of Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance restricting people from giving free food to the homeless. Fort Lauderdale is just one of the many cities that have been implementing anti-homeless laws. In a survey of 180 U.S. cities, a third barred public “camping.”

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Stephen Harper and his Conservative government are quietly dismantling Canada’s public health care, according articles appearing in independent news sources such as Briarpatch, rabble.ca and iPolitics.

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On Oct. 31, 2014, at least 221 women and girls were raped in Tabit, Darfur, while the men of the village were driven to the outskirts of town, beaten and tied up by members of the Sudanese Army, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

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The federal government announced a tax break to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry on Feb. 19 to push the development of export terminals in B.C. As Brent Patterson reported for rabble.ca, Canada ranks third in the world for most subsidies to the gas industry, just behind the United States and Luxembourg.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper is attempting to use his clout as Prime Minister to have controversial Bill C-51 passed into law as soon as possible. Bill C-51’s broad and general language means just about anything the government takes an issue with, such as First Nations people protesting pipelines, could be considered a “threat to Canada.”

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It is significantly easier to become certified to work in a preschool or daycare setting than it is to be a school teacher in Saskatchewan. The minimum level of education required to work in a daycare setting requires an Early Childhood Education Level 1 certification.

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The National Energy Board (NEB) of Canada – a safety board tasked with deciding which pipelines will and will not be built – is refusing to consider several potentially damaging environmental impacts in its reviews, despite their stated goal to make “energy infrastructure the very safest it can be.”

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In 2006, Eric McDavid was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to bomb and burn several sites around California. Nine years later, on Jan. 10, 2015, he was released after it was revealed key evidence to support his claim of entrapment was withheld from his trial.

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To most Canadians, the history of African-Americans in Canada is that of the Underground Railroad or The Book of Negros, but that is not the whole history. Canadians had African-American slaves just like the U.S., and African-Americans face racism in Canada just as much as other groups.

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We often hear about the high price of food in the north, but we seldom hear about the income and employment gap that ensures Indigenous people suffer the most. A vast difference of income between Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents makes it more difficult for Indigenous people to cope with the high prices.

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Drug addiction in Portugal has decreased by 50 per cent 15 years after the country decriminalized the use of substances. To fight the drug problem, the country regularized the possession and consumption of substances like heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

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Over the past 15 years, Canadian mining companies have sometimes been accused of a litany of crimes, ranging from corruption charges to gruesome rapes and murders.

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When Canadians think of Canadian beer, a few names come to mind: Molson, Labatt, Kokanee, Alexander Keith's. However, over the past few years, Canada’s beer producers have increasingly been bought up by foreign business interests. Today, each of those mentioned is owned by non-Canadian companies.

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Unlike medical doctors, veterinarians are free to sell over-the-counter antibiotics to farmers, leaving no paper trail. This situation is contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria that mutate each time an antibiotic is used. Animals consume 90 per cent of antimicrobials sold in Canada.

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About this project

“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.”
—Walter Cronkite

The School of Journalism's Top 25 Under-Reported Stories was developed in partnership with Project Censored. Project Censored was founded in 1976 as part of a media literacy course in Sonoma, California. Today it is operated by the Media Freedom Foundation. Hundreds of students across the U.S. and around the world contribute information about under-reported stories. Every year, the Media Freedom Foundation picks 25 to publish in their annual book. Project Censored on the Web.