Emily Belz

Emily is a senior reporter for WORLD Magazine. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and previously reported for the The New York Daily News, The Indianapolis Star, and Philanthropy magazine. Emily resides in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @emlybelz.

John Conyers (AP/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Speech-limiting protection?

Congress | A bill moving through Congress that makes violence based on a person's sexuality a hate crime could ultimately limit free speech for Christians
by Emily Belz
Posted 4/24/09, 12:00 am

WASHINGTON-A hate-crimes bill that includes homosexual and transgender people as protected groups is moving through the legislative process and heading toward a vote in the House of Representatives.

Under current hate-crime laws, certain groups can find additional protection from violence based on race, religion, and disability. The new law would include victims of violence based on gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. In other words, perpetrators of violent crimes designated as "hate crimes" face higher penalties.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh

Soft power

International | Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defends the administration's diplomatic approaches to Iran, Venezuela, and others
by Emily Belz
Posted 4/22/09, 12:00 am

WASHINGTON-It wasn't a year ago that then-Sen. Hillary Clinton called then-Sen. Barack Obama's plans to meet with the world's dictators without preconditions "irresponsible" and "naive."

Wednesday, as secretary of state to now President Obama, Clinton defended the administration's outreach toward Iran and Venezuela, among others.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci

Backing micro-loans

Economy | President Obama announces a $100 million fund for microfinance in the Americas
by Emily Belz
Posted 4/20/09, 12:00 am

WASHINGTON-During his trip to South America over the weekend, President Obama announced a new $100 million fund for microfinance in the Americas, designed to help shore up microfinance institutions with a scarcity of capital.

Microfinancing provides small loans to low-income entrepreneurs, most frequently in the developing world. The model is considered successful because of its high repayment rates. To provide accountability for borrowers, it depends on regular group meetings.

Read more