NBC / Crystal Meth: A New War Against An Old Foe

Officials across Oklahoma say they are seizing crystal meth in greater quantities than ever before. Although police in Oklahoma have all but stamped out meth production in the state by restricting access to the ingredients used to make meth, they say they are now seizing cheaper and purer meth that's mostly coming from south of the border in Mexico. Spotting an opening in a drug market with a rich customer base, Mexican drug cartels began flooding Oklahoma and other parts of the Midwest with their variation of methamphetamine—ice, or crystal. 

NBC / Life In Prison: Staying Sane Behind Bars

Timothy Tyler was 23 years old when he was arrested for selling around $4,000 worth of LSD. He was handed two life sentences without the possibility of parole. He didn't think he would ever get out, but after serving more than 26 years behind bars, Tyler was freed after receiving a clemency from President Barack Obama in 2016. Now living in Maine, he shares how handball, among other practices, kept him sane for all those years in prison. 

NBC / Why We're Finally Raging Against Plastic

Plastic bag and straw bans arrived in full force in 2018 across the planet, from North America to Europe to Africa. Internet searches for “plastic waste” skyrocketed last year and consumer protests erupted in countries throughout the world. But why did this plastic revolt seem to flare up so suddenly in 2018? And will these bans and chatter actually have a lasting effect in the coming years? NBC Left Field travels to unofficial plastic scrap yards in China, the streets of Thailand, and then back home to recycling centers in New Jersey to better understand how a tornado of plastic disgust is beginning to spin our chatter.

NBC / The Battle For Chinese Millennial Minds

Are millennials in China becoming too westernized? A cultural and political shift appears to be occurring among young people—all under the watch of the Chinese Communist Party. A recent study found that more than 90 percent of Chinese university students say they’ve been influenced by Western culture. The Chinese government has been responding to these changes, reigning in Chinese media that falls too far outside the traditional narrative, and even engineering their own Marxist video programs aimed at youth. But what does this battle for Chinese millennial minds mean for the future of the country?

NBC / Bangkok's Banksy Is A Headache For Thai Junta

Masked Thai graffiti artist Headache is pushing boundaries on the streets of Bangkok, where freedom of expression is limited and criticism of the government can land you in jail. Often compared to British graffiti artist Banksy, who recently shredded one of his paintings at an auction, Headache’s stenciled spray paintings often take aim at Thailand’s royal family and its ruling military junta.

NBC / Into The Fallout: Training For A Nuclear Attack

First responders from all over the country have come together in Mercury, Nevada to train for a potential radiological attack on U.S. soil. The site, run by the Department of Energy and once the site of nuclear testing in the 1950s, is able to put a small amount of radiation in the ground to give trainees a real sense of what might happen during an attack.

CNN / Sharanda Jones: A Clemency Story

Sharanda Jones says she was never told she could be facing life in prison after being indicted for seven counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine. It was her first criminal offense. During her week-long trial, prosecutors were unable to produce any physical evidence that Jones actually ever possessed, bought, or sold cocaine and according to courtroom testimony, relied mostly on the word of admitted drug dealers and users who received leniency in exchange for their testimony. Jones was sentenced in November 1999 to mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. This is her journey home after receiving a clemency from President Obama. 

CNN / U.S. Nazi Hunter Has One Active Case

The U.S. government thinks Jakiw Palij was a guard at a Nazi concentration camp, but the 92-year-old is quietly living out his last years not in prison -- confined by old age to a second-story apartment in a modest red-brick duplex in one of the most diverse sections of New York City. Eli Rosenbaum has dedicated a career to pursuing men like Palij. Rosenbaum was an intern when he joined what was then the Office of Special Investigations in 1979, shortly after it was created. Now director of Human Rights Enforcement Strategy and Policy, Rosenbaum has become the Justice Department's best-known Nazi Hunter, helping the department pursue 137 cases, of which 107 were successful in stripping citizenship or deporting accused Nazis.

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