World

21 Incredible Stories We Told From Around The World In 2015

From the fight against ISIS in Iraq to the rise of the far right in Europe to those disappearing in Mexico, BuzzFeed World was there.

1. France’s Far-Right Party Seizes The Moment — And The Youth — Rosie Gray

Alexia Luquet/BuzzFeed

Reporting from Paris in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish deli, Rosie Gray examined how France’s far-right National Front party was seeking to capitalize on the fear and anger provoked by the violence.

2. The Government Is Losing Territory In Eastern Ukrainians’ Hearts And Minds — Max Seddon

Max Avdeev/BuzzFeed News

Max Seddon reported from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic to show how months of war had alienated people from the government in Kiev.

3. These Are The Families Left To Reclaim Garissa’s Dead — Jina Moore

Thomas Mukoya / Reuters

This heartbreaking story focuses on those who lost friends and relatives in the April attack on Garissa University in northern Kenya, as gunmen hunted and killed more than 140 people. As Jina Moore writes, “This is the story of Kenyans coming to claim their dead.”

4. The Ghosts of Laprak — Anup Kaphle

Anup Kaphle/BuzzFeed News

Anup Kaphle reported from a remote Nepali village to reconstruct what happened the day a massive earthquake hit.

5. Alan Gross And The High Cost Of Democracy In Cuba — Joshua Hersh

Michael Hastings National Security Fellow Joshua Hersh produced the most in-depth piece yet on what brought U.S. government contractor Alan Gross to Cuba — and how he landed in a Cuban jail for five years — and what it says about the perils of U.S. democracy promotion abroad.

6. The Other, Weirder Negotiations Going On Outside The Iran Talks — Rosie Gray

Fabrice Coffrini / Getty Images

Rosie Gray spent months flying in and out of Switzerland as the historic talks between Iran, the U.S., and other world powers hurtled towards their close. Here, she reported on the bizarre atmosphere surrounding the negotiations.

7. Nobody, Especially The Government, Knows How Many Mass Graves Have Been Found In Mexico — Karla Zabludovsky

Bernadino Hernandez / AP

This exclusive investigation relied on public records requests to reveal that the Mexican government was not keeping track of one of the greatest issues ravaging the country — the number of mass graves. Karla Zabludovsky also spent the year tracking the family of one man who disappeared in the most infamous contemporary case, that of the 43 students, to show what happens to those left behind to seek justice.

8. Putin’s Action Hero: How Steven Seagal Became the Kremlin’s Unlikeliest Envoy — Max Seddon and Rosie Gray

The U.S.-Russia relationship sank to new lows in 2015 and this tells the incredible story of how a faded action hero became the man who Vladimir Putin hoped would convey his hopes and dreams to the White House.

9. This Is How Syrian Antiquities Are Being Smuggled And Sold — Mike Giglio

Extensive interviews with diggers, smugglers, and traders reveal how all sides in Syria’s horrific civil war are plundering the country’s rich history to fuel the violence.

10. Women Refugees Fleeing Through Europe Are Told Rape Is Not A Real Issue — Jina Moore

Reporting from Serbia, Croatia, and Germany, Jina Moore became the first to expose the level of sexual violence and coercion women refugees were facing as they made the long voyage to Europe — and how governments and international organizations were wholly unprepared. Her reporting prompted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to shift course and admit that sexual violence was indeed an issue.

11. Egyptian Doctors Think This Torturous Exam Can Detect “Chronic Homosexuals” — J. Lester Feder

Maged Atef/BuzzFeed

Egypt saw a renewed crackdown on civil society in 2015 — and on LGBT people. In this story, J. Lester Feder, who was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, examined the discredited procedure through interviews with doctors in Cairo and the U.S., and revealed the extent of abuse being faced by LGBT people in Egypt.

12. The Real Reason Turkey Is Building So Many Mosques — Borzou Daragahi

Bradley Secker / BuzzFeed News

Borzou Daragahi looked at the spike in mosque building in Turkey and beyond — and showed what it revealed about the motivations of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his allies, as well as the global struggle for influence and power.

13. People From China Are Sharing Their Powerful “One-Child Policy” Stories — Beimeng Fu

Ng Han Guan / AP

As China struck down its infamous one-child policy this year, Beimeng Fu showed the world some moving — and surprising — reactions.

14. Meet The Mysterious New Hacker Army Freaking Out The Middle East — Sheera Frenkel

Sheera Frenkel investigated the Yemen Cyber Army, which carried out one of the most audacious hacks of the year when it hit Saudi targets, and found links to Iran.

15. The Hidden Enemy In Iraq — Mike Giglio

Ayman Oghanna / BuzzFeed News

Reporting from the frontlines in the war against ISIS in Iraq, Mike Giglio reveals how the group is deploying improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on an unprecedented scale.

16. This Is What Happened To The Missing Trans Women Of El Salvador — J. Lester Feder

The story of a group of trans sex workers who were disappeared in the midst of El Salvador’s civil war has been passed down from generation to generation of trans women in the country. J. Lester Feder heard it while reporting on other trans issues in the country, and spent a year crafting this incredible oral history which sets the story down in writing for the first time.

17. Iran’s Intervention In Syria Is Bold, Unprecedented — And Possibly A Disaster — Borzou Daragahi

Atta Kenare / AFP / Getty Images

Borzou Daragahi took the deepest dive yet into Iran’s involvement in the Syria conflict.

18. A Palestinian Teen Is Recovering In The Same Hospital As The Israeli Teen He Stabbed — Sheera Frenkel

Handout / Getty Images

Sheera Frenkel reported on the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence, one engulfing a generation that has known nothing but animosity.

19. This Is Why The Guantanamo Bay Hearings Have Taken 14 Years — Ali Watkins

Janet Hamlin / AP

National security reporter Ali Watkins came back from Guantanamo Bay with this riveting story of the absurdities and inefficiencies plaguing its pre-trial hearings.

20. What They Missed: The Anti-Terror Raid That Asked All The Wrong Questions — Joshua Hersh

Bruno Fahy/AFP / Getty Images

Joshua Hersh pieces together a brutal raid on a suspected terrorist hideout in the eastern Belgian town of Verviers, months before the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, and exposes how questionable police tactics may have prompted police to miss key signs that something big was coming.

21. An Aid Worker Was Raped In South Sudan And The U.N. Did Almost Nothing About It — Jina Moore

Jina Moore revealed the story of a Canadian aid worker who was raped by a man contracted by the United Nations — and her infuriating quest for answers and justice.

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Miriam Elder is the world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 5B5F EC17 C20B C11F 226D 3EBE 6205 F92F AC14 DCB1
Contact Miriam Elder at miriam.elder@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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