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Laura Pitts

Hi there! I'm Laura. I am a communications professional with eight years of experience in a variety of …

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Laura Spitalniak

D.C.-based journalist with print, digital and audio reporting experience. Currently at WTOP News as the Evening Producer.

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Bindi Bryce

I'm a junior reporter based in the ABC's Sydney newsroom, focussing mainly on local issues and state coverage. …

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Latest Articles

In this Indian village, killing tigers used to be a way of life — until an unexpected gift changed everything

Lakhaan Singh recalls the day he first killed a tiger as clearly as the emotional conflict it caused, eating away at him from the inside. When the moment came, he thought of himself, of his late father and the mighty Hindu goddess Durga. Charged with combating evil and protecting those weaker than herself, the many-armed Durga is often depicted majestically riding a big cat. Singh's father was such a devout Hindu he would scald his own hands with boiling oil to pay respects to the deity. Now, here was Singh, about to slay a tiger.
By Luke Taylor
ABC News

I left my homeland to save my daughter's life. Now coronavirus has left us facing a new crisis

Looking around Helena Figueroa's humble apartment it's difficult to comprehend why — and how — one would leave behind their home, family, and all their worldly possessions in Venezuela for the precarious situation she now finds herself in: living out of a converted brothel in the gritty outskirts of Colombia's chilly capital, Bogotá.
By Luke Taylor
ABC News

'Game of Thrones' is ending, but will live on in merchandise

From wine to clothing to tours, HBO and retailers have cashed in through the years with "Game of Thrones" merchandise. "Thrones" is not only a huge international show but also a massive business, with all sides hoping to pad the bank during the show's eighth and final season. Products also include makeup, beer, toy collectibles and even high fashion collaborations.
By Gary G. Hamilton
ABC News

Cruel twist as much-needed rain turns NSW river to 'tomato soup', killing thousands of fish

Dubbo fish kill won't be the last as drought, fire raise extinction risk, ecologists warn A renowned angler says a mass fish kill in the parched Macquarie River in New South Wales this week left the waterway looking like "tomato soup." Tens of thousands of fish of all sizes and species are estimated to have perished near Dubbo, in the state's west, after much-needed rain washed sediment into the river, causing dissolved oxygen levels to drop rapidly. Fisher Matt Hansen said he was staggered b
By Jessie Davies
ABC News

How the Amazon's lost tribes are turning Colombia's cocaine farmers into conservationists

Flaviano Mahecha is using his trusty machete to carve a path through the grassy undergrowth and prickly bushes of a farm on the edge of the Amazon rainforest. As he approaches a group of palm trees he stops: "This is moriche, and this is acai," he says, pointing excitedly at their leafy crowns. "Isn't it beautiful? All of Guaviare used to look like this," he adds, referring to the Colombian province that now forms the frontline in a fight to save the Amazon.
By Luke Taylor
ABC News

'We need it': Community outcry over closure of remote NSW jail

Brewarrina jail is closing and the community warns it will have a devastating effect No walls, razor wire or watchmen — Brewarrina's jail in far western New South Wales is one of a kind. The Yetta Dhinnakkal Centre, meaning "right pathway" in traditional language, was established on a remote sheep station in 2000 as Australia's first prison exclusively for young Aboriginal men. But the low-security facility, where inmates are called trainees and learn to farm, is set to be closed. The decisi
By Jessie Davies
ABC News

I still think there's a case to be made for feminist marriage — and here's why

Earlier this year, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics and author of the new book Happy Ever After, dropped a rather sizeable truth bomb. Despite decades of fairy tales and a multi-billion-dollar wedding industry conspiring to persuade heterosexual women that marriage and children are a one-way ticket on the happiness express, it's all a lie.
By Kristine Ziwica
ABC News

Woke dads have finally arrived in Australia. It's about bloody time

Australian dads are finally going woke — and it's about time For years now, fathers elsewhere in the world have been going woke. For those unfamiliar with progressive vernacular, that means live to social justice issues and, in the context of fatherhood, attuned to the demands of a new, more engaged version of fatherhood and equal parenting. Now, blessedly, the trend has finally arrived on Australian shores.
By Kristine Ziwica
ABC News

Efforts to raise profile of Native American voters paying off in 2020 campaigns

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Decades-long efforts to increase Native American voting, voting rights and political engagement have paid off for indigenous communities, with Democratic candidates paying unprecedented levels of attention to their issues. In 2018, over 100 Native Americans ran for office. In states like North Dakota with high native populations and close elections, native voters were in a position to influence the midterms.
By Claire Potter
ABC News

'As Iowan as cornfields': How immigration changed one small town

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- When Maria Gonzalez was 3 years old, her mother heard from family who had already immigrated to the U.S. that she could find work in Marshalltown, Iowa. She followed their advice and took her two young children from Villachuato, their small town in central Mexico, to take a job on the line of the town's meat-processing plant, Swift & Co. That was in the 1990s. Today, though its name has changed, the plant remains the largest employer in the town. For the Gonzalez family,
By Claire Potter
ABC News

Editor Maria Romanenko on Ukraine's unlikely new president

Before comedian and fictional president Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced he was running in the real presidential race, nobody could have seen it coming. But Ukrainians overwhelmingly voted him in precisely because of his lack of political experience, says Maria Romanenko, managing editor at Ukrainian newssite Hromadske International.
By Maria Romanenko
ABC News

Could this drowning nation actually be the next Dubai?

Climate change could drown Kiribati, but the nation looks for Noah's Ark It's a lazy Sunday afternoon in the village of Nanikai and the equatorial sun is beginning to mellow. Ataia is sitting cross-legged with his family in their debweeah — a hut on stilts with a roof made from thatched palm leaves. Their mood is upbeat: the morning's fish catch has been good. One cousin strums a guitar while another plucks the ukulele and the men sing in a rich tenor while an aunt wails over the top. They c
By Kurt Johnson
ABC News

Teens face court over death of man who attempted to 'solicit sex' from 17-year-old girl

Two teenage boys face manslaughter charges over death of man who attempted to 'solicit sex' from 17yo girl Two teenagers accused of killing a man in north-east Victoria admitted they "bashed" the victim because he had been offering to pay one of their girlfriends for sex, a court has heard. But the teens have denied responsibility for the death of the man, who was run over by an unsuspecting driver after allegedly being left "incapacitated in the middle of the road" after the assault. The two
By Rhiannon Tuffield
ABC News

North Korea wants more foreign tourists, so should you go?

From the outside looking in, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) appears a tightly controlled society, closed off from the rest of the world. But for most people, if you want to go, you can. So, given the disappearance of Australian-born North Korean resident Alek Sigley, should you?
By Peter Bateman
ABC News