About Those Elections In India...

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Want to Join the KCETLink Team? Become a KCETLink Ambassador!

 2014 KCETLink Ambassador Program
June 9 - August 15, 2014

Thanks to a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the KCETLink Ambassador (formerly LinkAsia Ambassadors)  program will enter its second year in Summer 2014.  This is a year-long fellowship program, with an intensive 10 week internship period,  that provides undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in asian studies  the opportunity to apply their academic learning in a professional journalistic setting. The program provides year-long mentorship, leadership development, journalism training, and hands-on experience creating a dynamic weekly television series. Offered to 4 college students each year, the program includes a two-day intensive workshop in San Francisco, followed by a ten-week paid summer internship at KCETLink’s San Francisco or Los Angeles offices. During this summer experience, fellows will develop an action plan for engaging their communities around Asia through the relevant KCETLink content like LinkAsia, SoCal Connected, and Artbound when they return to their individual campuses.

Please feel free to circulate this posting through your networks. EXTENDED SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, April 14, 2014.

How to Apply

  • Submit your resume and cover letter explaining why you want to be a Student Ambassador to LinkAsiaAmbassador@linktv.org. Indicate in your letter which KCETLink office in which you would like to work.   
  • Include a self-made video explaining in both English and your primary Asian language (if applicable) the reasons for your interest in this internship. Please post to YouTube or other video hosting site and provide a link in your cover letter. 
  • Submission deadline (updated): Monday, April 14, 2014.

- Bilingual strongly preferred (English and an Asian language)
- Must be able to travel to San Francisco, CA or Burbank, CA  and arrange housing independently.
- Must be able to make a 10-week commitment ( June 9th-August 15th, 2014)
- Freeman Scholars highly encouraged to apply, Non-Freeman Scholars and bilingual Asian language speakers are also welcome.


Job Descriptions
KCETLink is looking for qualified students to become Student Ambassadors in Summer 2014 in both our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Students will be expected to work 40 hours per week for 10 weeks, and will be paid $10.74/hour.

All ambassadors will attend  a 2-day workshop in San Francisco  that will include orientation, grassroots leadership training, shadowing staff, guest speakers and technical instruction. They will receive the unique opportunity to work in editorial selection, translation, production, script writing, and creating blogs and pieces for broadcast during their 10-week tenure at KCETLink’s offices. After the 10 week internship, ambassadors are asked to volunteer their time towards engagement activities on their campuses working to create awareness of KCETLink’s programming. During their tenure, ambassadors will be provided with mentorship from a KCETLink staff member, who will serve as a resource throughout the year, helping to craft individualized action plans to raise awareness about KCETLink on their campus. Examples include: organizing a guest speaker to visit their campus, hosting a screening, or reposting LinkAsia materials on social media.

Arts and Culture Ambassador - Burbank, CA
Ambassadors working out of KCETLink’s Los Angeles office will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced staff at all levels of production on award winning programs such as Artbound, Departures, CityWalk, as well as projects in development such as Dive into Ukiyo-e. Ambassadors will get editorial experience with opportunities to contribute to program blogs and social media,  as well as field and studio production experience. Candidates should have strong writing skills and be interested in Asian and Asian-American arts and culture.

LinkAsia Ambassador - San Francisco, CA
Ambassadors working out of KCETLink’s San Francisco office will be focused on the program LinkAsia. They will have the opportunity to monitor to write and shoot their own contributor pieces covering top stories in Asia, translate social media from China and Japan, and  blog about issues that matter to them. LinkAsia Ambassadors will work intensely on building their journalism skills.




About LinkAsia: From Beijing to Tokyo, from Seoul to New Delhi and beyond, LinkAsia takes viewers into media about Asia -- from Asia -- offering unfiltered insights into one of the most diverse, fast-paced regions of the globe. Each week, LinkAsia brings you a unique half-hour program that combines everything from the official state news from Asia's top television networks to the trends and conversations rising through Asia's blogs and social media. Viewers can access LinkAsia on LinkTV (DIRECT ch 375/DISH ch 9410), on KCET, on public television’s WORLD Channel, and online at www.LinkAsia.org.

About KCETLink
In December 2012, KCET—the nation’s largest independent public television station—and Link TV—the first independent, national television network dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture—merged to form KCETLink.  Our new organization took shape in 2013, and is dedicated to serving the audiences of our two main brands:
KCET:  On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern California.  Founded in 1964, KCET is the nation’s largest independent public television station, serving greater Los Angeles and an 11-county region of Southern California with the highest-quality public media.  KCET reaches one of the largest geographic areas and one of the most diverse populations of any public television station in the country.
For over two decades, KCET has been a leader in regional news production, previously with our nightly public affairs series, Life & Times (which ran for 16 seasons), and our statewide co-production, California Connected (which ran for five seasons), and now with our Peabody, duPont-Columbia and Emmy Award-winning weekly news magazine, SoCal Connected.  KCET is also committed to broadcasting news and information from around the globe, and has served since 2008 as the national distributor of BBC World News to public television stations around the country.
Additionally, KCET has become the primary producer of award-winning arts and culture programming for Southern and Central California.  KCET’s arts series include Artbound, which explores the intersection of arts, culture and community; Live @ the Ford, a showcase for multicultural dance and music performances; Open Call, a classical, contemporary and jazz music concert program; and Fine Cut, a broadcast screening series of student films.  Since 2006, KCET has also produced the award-winning online documentary series about Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods, Departures.
Link TV:  Founded in 1999, Link TV is the first nationwide television network dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture.  Our mission is to engage, inform and inspire viewers its audiences to participate in transformational, sustainable change on issues of global importance.  Link TV is available as a basic service on DIRECTV (channel 375) and DISH Network (channel 9410), reaching more than 34 million US households.  Link TV productions include the current affairs series, LinkAsia, which presents nuanced perspectives on under-represented issues in Asia, from Asian media sources; and the global environmental news magazine, Earth Focus.  In addition to original programming, Link TV broadcasts hundreds of documentaries from around the world; news reports from Deutsche Welle, France 24, NHK World and Democracy Now!; and the wildly popular Danish political drama, Borgen, and the Israeli TV sitcom, Arab Labor.

For information about KCETLink productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules, and community events, please visit KCET.org or LinkTV.org.


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Japan's Stem Cell Discovery Under Scrutiny
Earlier this year scientists in Japan published groundbreaking stem cell
research. Their findings were viewed as a game changer- simplifying the
process of regenerating cells, and significantly reducing the time it takes to
do so. Needless to say this offered hope to quickly replace damaged cells or
grow new organs for sick and injured people. But their published findings hit
a snag "there have been reports that other scientists have been unable to
replicate the Japanese team's results" leading to speculation that the
research was flawed. Here's NHK with more.
NHK Stem Cells--
Rioji Noyori:
I would like to first and foremost express my deep regrets that articles published in ‘Nature’ by our scientists are bring into question the credibility of the scientific community.

Masatoshi Takeichi is the director of the RIKEN Center for   Developmental Biology. He oversaw the work of the research team. He too apologized. Takeichi  said he advised the authors to quickly withdraw the papers and  conduct the experiment again.The researchers led by Haruko Obokata claimed to find a way to create a phenomenon called STAP, Stimulus Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency. They said their approach made cells flexible enough to  develop into any type of tissue. But scientists elsewhere questioned the findings. Investigators from RIKEN are examining 6 aspects of the papers. The look that photos that are appeared to have been tempered with, to show STAP cell's growing. And they looked at photos of placenta that appeared to come from different tests.

The investigators concluded the ways the researcher dealt with data in  these cases was not appropriate. But they said that this did not amount to wrongdoing. The investigators  said they need to look further into  four other aspects. One of the key aspects is photos of tissues allegedly created from STAP cells that determine that the photos came from Obokata’s doctoral thesis. The images showed tissues produced with cells from a different source.

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Fukushima's Displaced: Life After 3/11

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami flooded the Fukushima Daiichi power facility, and caused a nuclear meltdown at three of its reactors. Since then workers have been scrambling to store the massive amounts of radioactive water, well over 90 million gallons, and keep it from leaking into the ocean.

At least 18,000 people were killed by the earthquake and tsunami. And more than 270,000 people were displaced by the disaster. Efforts to rebuild homes will take years. That situation is especially complicated in Fukushima, where people have been dealing with damage from the tsunami as well as the effects of the nuclear crisis. And three years later, people in the region are still waiting to learn when and if they'll ever be able to return home to restart their lives. In the meantime, they're stuck in temporary housing. With more on how they're getting by, here's Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.



One of the few pleasures Soiichi Saitou enjoys these days is spending time with his dog.

Souichi Saitou:

I walk my dog every morning and evening. That helps me more than anything. I don't have to think about anything when I'm with you right?


Saito tries not to dwell much on how life used to be in his hometown Futaba. His family farmed there for more than 500 years. They were particularly proud of their spinach. It won prizes for its high quality. Saito did worry about one thing, his house and field were about three kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. He was concerned that an accident could occur at the plant, particularly that it could be hit by a tsunami. His worst fears came true. He remembers the repeated discussions he had with staff from the nuclear plant.

Souichi Saitou:

I had asked the plant's operator over the decades to protect the plant against tsunamis. They just laughed and said that kind of accident would never happen.


The nuclear accident forced Saitou and other residents to flee. He now lives in another city about 40 kilometers away.

These temporary houses were built as a quick fix solution, but about three years later, they still serve as the main residence of evacuees. Saitou shares a small unit with his wife and his mother. They say the idleness of living in temporary housing has weakened them physically and mentally. They miss the days when they worked hour after hour in the fields. But their hometown is still off limits because of high radiation. Residents need special permission to go back. This footage was taken when Saitou visited his house about a year after the disaster. He was able to stay for only a few hours. He was devastated by what he saw. His spinach greenhouses were overgrown with weeds. And rats had invaded his home. Still, Saitou did not give up hope that someday he would return. But last year he received another shock. The government announced a plan to build a storage facility for nuclear waste in Saitou's home town. His property is on the proposed site. The facility would hold radioactive soil collected from areas across northeastern Japan for 30 years. Saitou knows if that plan goes through, he'll never return to Futaba.

Souichi Saitou:

I remember my hometown and I wonder why were we forced to leave? Why do we have to be here? I want the government to decontaminate our land and save our community no matter how long it takes.


Many evacuees are still living in limbo three years after the disaster. Saitou is still hanging on to the hope that he'll be able to return to his house and farm, a hope that he knows is growing more distant by the day.     


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U.S. State Enters the Sea Naming Game in Textbook Controversy

South Korea and Japan seem to be in disagreement over what to call the body of water that lies between them. Japanese call it the Sea of Japan, but to South Koreans it's the East Sea. That dispute is now causing waves in the US. One state wants to publish both names in school textbooks. Here's Japan's NHK.



The delegates voted 81 to 15 to pass the bill. It’s expected to pass the state’s Senate and be signed by the governor. The bill would require new textbooks from July to note that the body of water that separates Japan from the Korean Peninsula is also known as the 'East Sea.' Japan's ambassador to the United States , Kenichiro Sasae has been urging the governor and state lawmakers to oppose the bill. Japanese officials maintain that the 'Sea of Japan' is the only internationally established name for the waters. They note that the US government recognizes it as such.


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China Debuts War Monument, Sparks Japan Protest
China's dedication of a memorial to Korean independence fighter, Ahn Jung-geun, raised tensions in Northeast Asia this week. While Ahn is a hero in South Korea for his stance against Japanese colonial rule in 1909, in Japan he's considered a terrorist. The controversial memorial has further stirred relations already troubled by ongoing territorial disputes between the three countries. Here's Japan's public broadcaster NHK.

South Korea’s Foreign Minister announced on Sunday completion of hall honoring Ahn in Harbin in Northeastern China. The monument was built at the Harbin train station. That's where Ahn, a Korean nationalist, shot dead Hirobumi Ito. At the time the Korean peninsula was a protectorate of Japan. It was annexed the following year. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has lodged a protest through Chinese and South Korean embassies in Tokyo.

Yoshihide Suga:
We see Ahn Joong-geun as a terrorist who was sentenced to death for assassinating Japan’s first prime minister.

Suga also criticized the coordination between South Korea and China. He said it does not contribute to peace and cooperation in East Asia. In June of last year, South Korean President Park Geun-hye asked Chinese leaders to build the monument while on a visit to Beijing.

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Bangkok Declares State of Emergency as Protests Heat Up
Kwanchai Praipana, an outspoken leader of the so-called ‘red shirt party’ – those people who support the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – was wounded after gunmen fired on his house. The attack came on the first day of a state of emergency imposed by Yingluck and is the latest in a string of shootings and bombings in Thailand. The newly declared state of emergency in and around the capital seems to have had no effect so far. Protesters are still occupying major roads, intersections and business districts. Here’s NHK's report.

The day after the government announcement the demonstrators are still in place across the capital while the authorities looked on as before.

They have no way out. That’s why they declared a state of emergency. They are trying to cover us up.

Since late last week, there have been bombed attacks targeting demonstrators. One person has been killed and more than 60 injured. Fears are growing over the deteriorating security situation. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has so far given no indication that she intends to remove the protestors’ camps in the wake of the emergency declaration. The ongoing security operation is being laid by the police while the Thai military is remaining neutral and observing developments. Meanwhile on Wednesday the election committee asked the constitutional courts to decide if it has the right to delay the upcoming election.

The current tensions highlight more than 8 years of division in Thai society. Prime minister Yingluck and her brother, the self-exiled ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, still have strong support in rural parts of northern and northeastern Thailand. The anti-Thaksin side relies mostly on the urban middle class for support.

Despite the current state of emergency, the protestors are going nowhere and are sticking to their demand that next month general election be postponed. They also say deep reforms are necessary before any poll can be held. However, if the government decides to use force to crack down on the protest movement, the potential for even greater unrest is clear to see.

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Trial for Chinese Rights Activist Who Assembled Anti-Corruption Demonstrations
Xu Zhiyong, a Chinese rights activist, has gone on trial in Beijing for his role in anti-corruption protests. Xu is charged with gathering crowds to disrupt public order. Earlier this year, the police cracked down on Xu's grassroots movement, which called for government officials to publicly declare their assets. Here's a report from Japan's public broadcaster NHK.

Xu is a founder of the New Citizens Movement, which started last year. It encourages people to get involved in politics. Many people in the movement have been detained for taking part in demonstrations. They have demanded the disclosure of assets held by senior Communist Party officials.

Zhang Qingfang:

The proceedings don’t meet the minimum requirements for a fair trial. They lack legitimacy.


Xu’s supporters waved banners outside court and shouted that he is innocent. They called for freedom of speech. Police stopped the protest and could be seen hauling some people away.

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Abe's Aggressive Stance Puts Japan at Odds with Neighbors
Japan textbooksJapan's relations with its neighbors are getting worse. The most recent cause for friction is Japan's move to revise history and geography textbooks for middle and high school students. The books would say that a couple of small islands close to Korea's easternmost coast belong to Japan. Japanese call them Takeshima, the Korean name is Dokdo. South Korea has a coast guard station on the biggest island - itself only a rocky outcrop. The new textbooks will also say disputed islands in the East China Sea are sovereign Japanese territory too. There will be no mention of China's claims in the forthcoming books. Japan's minister of education defended the policy.

Hakubun Shimomura:
This policy is not directed towards China nor South Korea. It is something that should be included in education, seeing that Senkaku and Takeshima are both Japanese territories. We are simply including contents that thus far have yet to be taught.

Shimomura went on to say the current texts don't give Japanese students ammunition to debate the territorial issues with their Chinese and Korean counterparts. Students in those countries are taught the disputed islands are theirs. School curricula are only the latest problems facing Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to an opinion poll done by our Japanese broadcast partner, NHK, his popularity is slipping. The cause of the decline seems largely due to his rocky relations with Japan's neighbors. Here's NHK's report.

Prime Minister Abe started the year talking about something he mentioned again and again last year. He used his New Year media conference to emphasize his determination to revitalize Japan's economy.

Shinzo Abe:
It's time to take offensive action to end deflation. It hope that improved earnings among companies will lead to higher wages and more personal spending.

Abe's next challenge comes in April when the five percent consumption tax rises to eight percent. He's trying to minimize the impact with a 50 billion dollar stimulus package. Prime minister Abe took office at the end of 2012 following his Liberal Democratic Party's monster lower-house election victory. Then, the LDP and its coalition partner, the New Komeito Party, consolidated their hold on power in July by winning the Upper House. Abe's support rating hovered around 60 percent for most of the past year. That's higher than many of his predecessors during the past decade. But NHK's opinion poll in December suggested Abe's support dropped by 10 percentage points, and the latest poll indicates it hasn't quite recovered. In some ways the survey reflected how the public felt about his policy shift. After a year in power, he seems to be focusing on implementing some of his long-held goals. Last month, his ruling coalition passed a controversial secrecy bill. The law gives the government authority to designate official information as "special secrets." Many respondents to the December poll said they were concerned it may infringe on the public's "right to know." Then, before the end of 2013, Prime Minister Abe went to Yasukuni Shrine. The visit angered leaders in South Korea and China. The US government expressed "disappointment" as did many Japanese citizens. Abe is now pushing for Japan to be allowed to exercise the "right of collective self-defense", or the right to defend allies that come under attack. But to do that he needs to change the long-standing interpretation of the constitution that Self-Defense Forces can only protest Japan. Members of the LDP's coalition partner have already raised concerns.

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Thailand's Opposition Rejects Elections, Ramps up Protests
Thailand protestsThailand's political crisis does not seem to be easing. Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra had offered to meet with her opponents to try to solve the impasse. But they won't talk. They want Yingluck to resign and cancel next month's elections. She's refused and said elections would go ahead February 2nd. Meantime, big street protests continue in Bangkok. Here's Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.

The prime minister offered to meet with the opposition on Wednesday to discuss an Election Commission proposal to delay the general election. However, opposition leaders are boycotting the poll entirely, and declined to join the discussion. Yingluck said the election would be held on February 2nd as scheduled.

Yingluck Shinawatra:
It is our job to hold an election in accordance with the law and the constitution.

The leader of the anti-government demonstrators, Suthep Thaugsuban, expressed his opposition.

Suthep Thaugsuban:
I don't know who was at the meeting today. But the people don't agree with holding an election under the same rules and same laws. Such an election would allow vote-buying and vote-rigging and would be impure and unfair.

The protesters surrounded several government offices in a bid to prevent civil servants from getting to work. The anti-government side, which draws largely on the country's urban middle class for its support, insists the election be postponed until political reforms are made. But Yingluck's Pheu Thai party is reportedly ahead in the race to polling day, with especially strong support in the rural areas. The shutdown campaign had been relatively peaceful since the shutdown campaign began on Monday. However, police say at least three people were injured in a shooting near the rally site on Wednesday morning. No one was hurt by an explosion near the house of former Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, now leader of the largest opposition party. No suspects have been identified.

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