Photo by Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP
Lead: Moroccan rapper Gnawi knew the police would come when he and two friends released an unusually outspoken video exposing their country’s problems with migration and drugs and expressing frustration with the king.
Nut Graph: Gnawi, a former military serviceman whose real name is Mohamed Mounir, was handed a one-year prison sentence Monday by a judge for insulting the police in a case that his supporters say is a backlash against growing public anger at authorities and over a lack of economic opportunity.
Why this is newsworthy: There are many hot-button topics at play in this case. First, there is the general dissatisfaction with the scarcity of work and education and with the government. On the other hand, there is the mistrust of the people by the authorities that lead to crackdowns on free speech such as this.
Lead: same as nut graph
Nut graph: Support groups from the Polisario Front have announced that they are planning to besiege a ship loaded with phosphate rocks when docking at the Canterbury port in New Zealand in December.
Why this is newsworthy: The latest in the conflict over the Western Sahara goes international as the pro-independence Polisario Front fights to preserve its resources.
Lead: For these women, rugby is a declaration of independence and a source of empowerment. The nature of the sport encourages the players to be a dominating presence. In each game there is much more at stake than winning against the opposing team; the real victory is to claim back self-confidence, personal freedom and a primary role within Islamic society.
Nut graph: Youssra Alaoui, 24, AMAR team captain and student, says: “Sport has the power to change women’s lives. By teaching the women teamwork, self-reliance, resilience and confidence, the sport can become one of the great drivers of gender neutrality. Women in sport defy gender stereotypes and social norms; make inspiring role models, and show that men and women are equals.”
Why this is newsworthy: This is a colorful piece that illustrates the state of women’s rights in Morocco. Morocco is often considered to be on the more liberal end of the scale in comparison to other Muslim countries, but female athletes still face challenges.