In a packed Cairo courtroom, a nervous quiet reigned on Saturday as Judge Hassan Farid read his long delayed verdict in the retrial of three al-Jazeera journalists.

Then, there was a stunned silence shattered by the sobbing of Marwa Omara, as she learned that the defendants, including her husband Mohamed Fahmy, were about to return to jail convicted on charges ranging from broadcasting “false news” to operating from a local hotel without a licence.

As a media forest of cameras and microphones turned towards Marwa who slumped down, head in hands, they also caught in their glare the British-Lebanese barrister Amal Clooney placing a comforting arm around her.

In a rare interview with BBC’s Lyse Doucet, Amal Clooney describes the dilemma what steps to take next.

“We have two avenues but the one we are pushing for the most is for President Sisi to issue a pardon,”

“To issue a pardon would mean the conviction is reversed and it would apply to all journalists not just those who are foreign.”


Senior editor of Ebony Magazine, Jamilah Lemieux, discusses the breaking news and the fallout in Ferguson


The forgotten pyramids of Sudan

Bagrawiyah, Sudan – More than 200km from the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the remains of an ancient city rise from the arid and inhospitable terrain like a science-fiction film set. Nestled between sand dunes, the secluded pyramids seem to have been forgotten by the modern world, with no nearby restaurants or hotels to cater to tourists.

Photo Credit: Sorin Furcoi for Al Jazeera


Over the past four years, the Unist'ot'en clan of the Wet’suwet’en nation have literally built a strategy to keep three proposed oil and gas pipelines from crossing their land. Concerned about the environmental damage a leak could cause on land they’ve never given up, they’ve constructed a protection camp to block pipeline companies. As opposition to the development of Alberta’s tar sands and to fracking projects grows across Canada, with First Nations communities on the front lines, the Unist'ot'en camp is an example of resistance that everyone is watching. 


Every 14 days a language dies. Australia suffers from the highest rate of language extinction in the world. Once home to over 200, now only 20 are spoken on a daily basis. But a battle is underway to preserve Australia’s indigenous languages.

On 1 January, an Egyptian court called for a retrial of the three jailed Al Jazeera journalists.

The initial trial of these men was a complete farce and they must be released immediately and unconditionally.

The Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest court of law, ruled that there had been procedural failings in the trial of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed.

The men were charged with ‘airing false news’ about the country’s political situation and alleged assistance to the Muslim Brotherhood movement and jailed for seven to ten years.

While we welcome the news of a retrial, these three men should never have been imprisoned. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention, they must be freed immediately.

Call on the President to release Peter, Mohamed and Baher immediately and unconditionally.

This spring, I experienced a fact-checking session with three linguists that was so remarkable, it showed me I should always be paying more attention to every session. Because this particular session was about language at all levels, I experienced an off-the-chart dopamine response. Oh, this is why I do what I do. It was also like a moonshot, logistics-wise, compared to most read-back situations I’ve done. And this session turned an ordinary conversation inside out so you could see all its ribs, but things were also so deliberately complicated that it no longer worked like an ordinary conversation.
—  In general, fact-checking isn’t the most glamorous part of a journalist’s career, which is why Michael Erard was surprised to find that a recent fact-checking session for an Al Jazeera article turned out to be among the most interesting conversations of his life. Why? His sources were linguists, and their job was to explain to him the workings of brand-new sign languages.