Iranians rally to denounce Bahrain-Saudi Arabia union
BBC Arabic - Reuters agency reported that according to eyewitnesses, tens of thousands of Bahrainis protested outside of the capital al-Manama against the unity plan between the Arab Gulf countries. Also, thousands of Iranians protested in Tehran after Friday prayers against the unity plan between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which was described by the Imam of Friday prayers, Ayatollah Kazem Siddiqui, as an 'American-Zionist conspiracy'. Protesters gathered in front of Tehran University, raising the Bahraini flag and chanting condemnations of Saudi Arabia, America, and Israel.
U.N. Security Council demands Sudan pull out troops from Abyei
Al Alam - The UN Security Council has commanded Sudan to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the border region of Abyei, the disputed area with South Sudan. But Khartoum said it would only withdraw after a joint monitoring military force is formed in the region. Khartoum occupied the Abyei region in May, 2011, after an attack from South Sudan on a convoy of Sudanese army personnel. The occupation has displaced tens of thousands of civilians. These developments are taking place after armed conflicts and continual tension between the two sides in the oil-rich, border region of Heglig.
Egypt's military ruler pledges fair presidential elections
Dubai - Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Military Supreme Council, vowed to secure an ideal election, worthy of post-revolution Egypt. Tantawi's vows flowed in the direction of the judiciary's statements, which aimed to disperse the Egyptian people's fears of fraudulent elections, following the numerous violations cited in several presidential candidates' campaigns. However,the election campaigns continue with vigor, amid accusations exchanged between the candidates that play on the weaknesses of each part
Israel and Iran beat the 'drums of war' ahead of nuclear talks in Baghdad
Al Jazeera - Israeli air force commander, Ido Nehushtan, said his forces are entirely ready to carry out any military operation it may be assigned to, including striking Iran's nuclear sites. On the other hand, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, warned the super powers of making any miscalculations and issuing statements that could harm the negotiations scheduled for May 23rd, in Baghdad, regarding Tehran's nuclear program. The US-Israeli statements on the matter were issued at a critical time, only several days before resuming the P5 +1 talks with Iran concerning its nuclear issue.
Iraqis mark national day for the martyrs of the mass graves
Al Forat - May 16th was chosen to be the annual day dedicated to the martyrs of the mass graves, after the first and largest mass grave was discovered in the al-Mahawil region, of northern Babil province in 2003, after the Saddam regime collapsed. Considered the bloodiest in modern history, the barbaric massacres claimed the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and children, after they were buried alive or killed execution-style.
Image: Pro-government protesters show Bahraini and Saudi flags tied together, symbol of the unity of the two countries, as they participate in a pro-government rally held in al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama February 11, 2012. Thousands of pro-government supporters attended the rally, which was organised by The Gathering of National Unity society, holding Gulf countries flags condemning the acts by opposition groups of Bahrain. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
Yul Kwon, host of Link TV's LinkAsia, recently did a Red Chair Interview with CNN, in which he shares some key experiences in his life. Along with his on-air interview, Yul ellaborates further in an eloquently written essay posted on the CNN blogs about his Korean background, explaining how he turned to a career in television to overcome social stereotyping of Asian-Americans in the media and come to terms with his own cultural identity. Both video and essay can be seen here. Below is a moving excerpt from his essay:
"My parents immigrated to the United States from South Korea in 1970 with big dreams, but little money. Since they couldn't afford to put my brother and me in daycare or preschool, they encouraged us to watch television as a way to learn English. Every morning, my brother and I watched "Sesame Street" on PBS, which taught us how to count and recite the alphabet. Not only did our TV become another caregiver, it became the primary medium through which I learned about the world. It allowed me to see and experience things I'd never seen before. It helped me imagine a better future for me and my family. I studied hard and eventually made my way to Stanford University and then Yale Law School. For a poor kid like me, television helped provide the inspiration and vision I needed to realize the American dream.
But as much as television was a source of empowerment and inspiration, it was also a powerful source of constraint. Television defined the way I saw myself and my relationships with other people, and I didn't see a lot of people who looked like me. Asian-American characters were few and far between, and for lack of better alternatives, my favorite childhood hero was Big Bird. He wasn't real, of course, but I didn’t care. He was nice, had lots of friends and was yellow -- and hence, clearly, Asian..."
About Yul Kwon
Yul Kwon is the host of Link TV's original Asian news program LinkAsia. Yul has had a diverse career spanning law, business, technology, and media. Although his multifaceted professional experience spans almost two decades, his rise to international acclaim began in 2006, when he became the first Asian American to win the CBS reality show, Survivor.
Prior to his Survivor victory, Yul held positions at both Google and McKinsey & Company. As an attorney, he clerked on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced law at Venture Law Group and Wiltshire & Grannis, worked as a legislative aide in the US Senate, and most recently served as Deputy Chief of the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.
A message from Link TV's President & CEO, Paul S. Mason:
Like all of you, I have watched the tragedy of famine as it continues to threaten the lives of millions in the Horn of Africa. I've watched and read the news reports, and I've followed the efforts of humanitarian groups and governments as they supply aid to millions of people in need. And now, as we prepare to recognize World Food Day on October 16, the urgency is particularly acute. The world is in a recession, and extreme weather patterns -- drought and more -- will likely increase. Status quo will not be enough to avert further crises -- we must do better.
In recognition of this global crisis, Link TV has teamed up with international relief and development organization, Oxfam America, to produce a half-hour documentary special that examines possible solutions to famine and hunger around the world:
ViewChange: Africa's Last Famine features the story of an Ethiopian farmer, Medhin Reda, and interviews with Francis Moore Lappé, humanitarian, activist and bestselling author of Diet for a Small Planet. The show takes a hard stance on food justice and disputes the notion that famine is simply caused by a lack of food in the global supply. According to Moore Lappé in the documentary, "the world produces more than enough for all of us to thrive...the real crisis is the crisis of human relationships, how we share in power."
I hope you will join us in watching the show online or on Link TV, in spreading the word to others, and in joining Oxfam America's efforts to end global hunger. Please sign Oxfam's pledge and click here for more information about what you can do.
Paul S. Mason
President & CEO, Link TV
"Ever since the Arab Spring, many people here have been pining for an American Autumn," says Charles Blow in the New York Times. "The closest we've gotten so far is Occupy Wall Street." For almost four weeks, Occupy Wall Street activists have gathered in Manhattan's financial district to protest corporate greed, corruption, and social and economic inequality, among other things. The movement's website states, "We Are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends."
Many disagree. Blow describes the protests as "a festival of frustrations, a collective venting session with little edge or urgency, highlighting just how far away downtown Manhattan is from Damascus." James Joyner at Outside the Beltway states, "What these movements have in common: frustrated youth loosely organized using social media …It's simply insulting to compare the two."
What can the American protestors learn from the more experienced "Arab Spring" protestors? In a Foreign Policy Magazine article entitled "From Tahrir Square to Wall Street," veteran Egyptian protestor Mosa'ab Elshamy offers his advice to the Occupy Wall Street activists on what makes a successful protest movement. Most importantly, Elshamy says, is that protestors have a unified platform. They must first agree on a set of simple and broad demands in order to attract a wide base of support, which is exactly what Occupy Wall Street lacks, according to most critics.
Almost one month after the start of protests in New York City, the Occupy Wall Street movement has shown surprising staying power. The movement has spread to over 70 US cities and has been endorsed by several labor unions, celebrities, and politicians. But will it succeed in bringing accountability and equity to the US financial system, or will it fizzle as protestors are dispersed by a cold New York winter?
(Photo: Occupy Wall Street protestor marches up Broadway in New York. Mike Segar / Reuters)
The Black Earth Boys are Justin Adams, Juldeh Camara and Ben Mandelson. The band is an aggregate of two others- with Adams as the link between. Justin and Juldeh -- now touring internationally under the name "JuJu" have recorded two CDs, "Soul Science" and "Tell No Lies." Camara, who is from the Gambia, is a singer, instrument maker, and master of the ritti, a single stringed, violin-like instrument. Adams is well known for his long association with singer Robert Plant. His great strength is groove; no flashy mile-a-minute riffs, simply a guitar style that FEELS just right, and is an excellent partnering with Camara's flights of improvisation.
Ben Mandelson is not just a fine musician, he is a real life hero of world music. Back when I was first listening to recordings of what would eventually be called "world music" it was Ben's productions I often found myself checking out. Here we see him comfortably supplying tasty fills, textural motifs and rhythmic drive on mandolin. Adams, Mandelson and Lu Edmonds (unavailable for this performance) have their own ensemble "Les Triaboliques," a project that has them gleefully galloping through all the musical influences they have gathered in their past and present lives.
This performance, from Lincoln Center's Out of Doors series took place in Damrosch Park. The repertoire was primarily a melding of American folk and blues with Camara bringing the West African flavor. His ritti at times sounded like a fiddle, and eerily, at times like a harmonica. It was a surprisingly cohesive sound, reminding us once again of the debt that our music owes to African culture. While Adams' gritty voice sang a simpler, countrified interpretation of this Carter Family standby "Sow 'Em on the Mountain," Camara's vocal takes a soaring, melismatic approach. Great stuff.
For more of Michal's original music videos click here.
(Al Jazeera English Headlines: 1700 PST, February 17, 2011) The U.S. and President Barack Obama continue to waver in their position regarding the unrest sweeping through the Middle East. The country says it will not dictate events in the region. But Obama has criticized the Iranian government's violent response to protests there, while at the same time maintaining a more neutral tone with Bahrain.
Many find the US's response disappointing, and some feel the White House will only react strongly to those governments it does not have a stake in. Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports.
From cafes in Paris, to street markets in Nairobi, soccer (or football as its known in much of the rest of the world) is the topic of conversation for millions around the world. FIFA, soccer’s organizing body has enlarged the number of participating nations from 13 at the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 to 32 in the 2010 games. The hosting of the World Cup in South Africa is testament to the growing accessibility that is soccer around the world. No other sport has as large of a reach as soccer, and it provides opportunities for players from around the world to excel. Soccer is perhaps the most widely globalized aspect of world culture.
So why hasn’t it caught on in America? Soccer is perhaps the last real example of American isolation. . Sport is the one area in which American influence isn’t truly worldwide. America’s national pastimes, baseball and football have little reach across the globe. Although baseball and basketball stars have seen modest successes overseas, their fame is much more limited than global stars like Christian Ronaldo or David Beckham. It’s telling that a German, Ghanaian, and and a Guatemalan can all relate on a basic level about a subject that most Americans have little to no real awareness of. In a world where globalization has tied even the most improbable nations together, America stands alone yet again.
This isn’t to say soccer is a completely foreign to Americans; it’s just that it’s viewed in a much different light. In a large number of nations around the globe, soccer is the national sport. In America, it’s best known as a popular afterschool sport for school aged children. For much of America’s history, soccer has been an afterthought, trailing far behind baseball, football and basketball in terms of commercial popularity. The fact that millions of American children play soccer hasn’t quite translated to enthusiasm for major league soccer events.
That doesn’t mean Americans will always only associate soccer with AYSO (American Youth Soccer Association) games and SUV driving soccer moms. The phenomenon that is soccer is beginning to seep into the American psyche. The World Cup being staged in the United States in 1994, certainly helped bring Americans more awareness of the sport. The arrival of highly paid European players to the US’s Major League Soccer (including David Beckham’s $250 million five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy), show that investors believe that soccer can be a winner in America.
Whether you’re a sport fan or not, it might a good sign that more and more Americans are following soccer. It might help us become more connected with the world, or at least give us greater exposure to those outside our borders. Sports have always been a source of quiet diplomacy. America should use every chance it gets to engage other nations through peaceful means, and soccer is a great way to do that. Of course, soccer won’t bring world peace overnight but it’s a worthy goal.