Meow meow

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Links - 21st July 2018 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Treading on Thin Ice - "His speech oozed with resentment. For years now Zuma has cultivated a sense of himself as a victim - the charming, gregarious freedom fighter of old shrinking into something bitter, thin skinned. Hiding behind a hollow laugh, lashing out at Western governments and white businesses... the parallels with the fall of Robert Mugabe are uncanny - there was the same sense of entitlement and betrayal, the same instinct to blame rather than to apologize... listening to Jacob Zuma's parting speech I could see that his most passionate comments focused on white privilege...
[On Communist Hungary and modern Hungary] You are under investigation for interfering in Hungarian domestic affairs, I was told. Did I misreport the facts I asked? Certainly not they replied, but we see the job of a foreign reporter to report for a foreign public, not for a domestic one. I can hardly be held responsible for the consequences of what I write, I replied, so I have no choice but to continue reporting in exactly the same way afterwards. The British ambassador... took me out to coffee in the most public place in the city, the elegant red velvet interior of Weber's coffee house. He chose a table in the middle of the room, ordered Esterházy cake, a delicacy with layered walnut and cream filling with a fine glaze and announced in a loud voice that if I were to be expelled, the lone Hungarian correspondent in London would have to pack his bags too. The next week, the British foreign secretary... was visiting. My case was raised at the highest levels. I was invited to a fireside chat with Sir Geoffrey at the British Ambassador's resident, and I never experienced any more pressure from the Hungarian Socialist Workers party"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Haiti: Republic Of NGOs - "There are more aid agencies per capita in Haiti than anywhere else on earth...
The noise of thumping house music as you walk in is deafening. Located in Pétion-Ville, an upmarket suburb popular with foreigners, Barak is the sort of bar I've seen 1000 times in Latin America. Its owners clearly want to give the impression of high end exclusivity, which means turning away poorer Haitians. But ultimately, it's still a bit of a dive, a good place for foreign men to meet local women."

The day Putin cried - "Russians rarely see their president cry, though there has been plenty of tragedy during his 18 years in power. It happened once, right at the start of his rule - on 24 February 2000, at the funeral of Anatoly Sobchak. Sobchak was one of the men who, alongside Gorbachev and Yeltsin, helped bring about the end of the Soviet Union. He was also the reformer who plucked a middle-ranking KGB officer by the name of Vladimir Putin from obscurity and gave him his first job in politics... One rival candidate calls it a "fake election". "Just like in a casino," she told me, "where the house always wins, in Russian democracy, the win is always on Putin's side." Her name - wait for it - is Ksenia Sobchak, and she is the daughter of Anatoly, Putin's old friend and mentor... she would not be running without the tacit permission of the authorities. That's how Russian democracy works... suddenly, just as Putin was running for president for the first time, his old friend Anatoly Sobchak died, at the age of 62, in a hotel room in Kaliningrad. The autopsy said it was cardiac arrest but can't find any trace of a heart attack. Sobchak's widow suspected foul play and had her own autopsy done. Her name is Lyudmila Narusova. I met her recently and asked her if she thought her husband had been murdered. She paused long enough to say "Yes" 10 times over, and then replied: "I don't know." Some have suggested Putin may have had a hand in his death. Did Sobchak have something on him? Narusova dismissed that idea out of hand I went back and looked at the footage of the funeral. Putin really is distraught. His eyes are red, he seems to struggle to swallow as he embraces Lyudmila Narusova. Putin is not an actor. Nor is he prone to public displays of emotion. So it's reasonable to assume that he is struggling with some genuine grief. Or is it something else. Guilt?... I asked Narusova about that autopsy she had done. It turns out she never made the results public, but keeps the documents locked in a safe in a secret location outside Russia. When I asked her why, she didn't want to talk about it. I pressed her. I said, "It sounds like you've got yourself some kind of insurance policy." "You could see it that way," she responded. "Are you afraid," I asked, "for your own safety or that of your daughter?" She paused for a moment. "You know," she said, "to live in this country is scary. Especially for those who hold opposition views. So yes, I am afraid. I am""

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, The House Always Wins - "The coffee of choice for many Venezuelans is a kind of double macchiato. Called marron, the word for brown, it provides a sharp intake of caffeine, often early in the morning or after a hefty lunch. As I sat at a restaurant table in Caracas, I almost choked on mine when the bill arrived. The delicious coffee I had just downed cost the same as I had paid for a flat here 15 years ago... Welcome to the Venezuelan world of hyper inflation... I've seen an eight year old who looked no more than three, his growth stunted due to a lack of food. And I've seen people crying. Lots of them. On my last trip four interviewees in a row broke down in tears after they told me how they're struggling to find food...
He told me that because he lives near a big lake, He's now resorted to fishing to get food for his two young daughters. How did it come to this? I kept asking myself this over and over again. How did this country with the biggest oil reserves in the world reach a point where it cannot feed it own people. I asked one of the new faces in the ruling party this exact question... His view and that of the government is that the US and its allies are to blame for imposing sanctions on the country last year accusing Venezuela of collapsing into a dictatorship. However, this is not a crisis that started last year. The government has been peddling another line too - calling the economic collapse the result of an economic war waged by right wing factions inside and outside Venezuela. In this version of events, those factions are seeking to topple President Nicolas Maduro and frustrate the march of the socialist Bolivarian Revolution, which reached power almost 20 years ago"

Pakistan activists targeted in Facebook attacks - "Diep Saeeda, an outspoken human rights activist from the Pakistani city of Lahore, received a short message on Facebook from someone she didn't know but with whom she had a number of friends in common: "Hy dear." She didn't think much of it and never got round to replying. But the messages weren't coming from a fan of Mrs Saeeda's activism - instead they were the start of a sustained campaign of digital attacks attempting to install malware on her computer and mobile phone to spy on her and steal her data"

Air Busan flight attendant ridicules passengers’ hairstyles as broccoli - "The flight attendant, on a Busan-Jeju flight on Saturday, took photos of the passengers from behind and posted them with comments such as “looking all the same” and “broccoli farm.” It was an obvious reference to the hairstyle of the middle-aged married women or “ajumma” in the photo."

Laurier free speech advocate Lindsay Shepherd honoured in Ottawa - "“On the one hand, you had the general public who were completely supportive of my position and its implications, and then there were my fellow grad students … who all of a sudden thought I was a transphobic, white supremacist Nazi and completely flipped,” Shepherd told a gathering in Ottawa on Saturday as she accepted the 2018 Harry Weldon Canadian Values Award from the public policy group POGG Canada... Shepherd has been targeted by leftist activists and Antifa protesters. Downtown Waterloo was plastered with stickers urging the university to “(expletive) expel Lindsay Shepherd already.” The experience has hardened Shepherd, who said she used to lean to the left politically but is now frightened by the left and “political correctness.” “This is the culture and times that we’re living in,” she said. “It’s a culture of victimhood. It’s a culture, really, of losers.”... The talk also featured University of Ottawa professor Janice Fiamengo, whose planned lecture in March at the Ottawa Public Library was met by protesters who blocked access to the library and eventually scuttled the talk by pulling the fire alarm."

Social Justice Warriors - Posts - ""Nev Schulman: "Cowards make me sick. Real men show strength through patience & honor. This elevator is abuse free. #RESPECT"
"MTV Suspends 'Catfish' Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Host Nev Schulman"
"days since last male feminist accused of sexual misconduct: 0000"

YouTube moderators 'mistakenly' shut down channels - "Conservative outlets on YouTube have found themselves silenced on the video sharing platform, under a crackdown on dangerous content. Overzealous new employees 'mistakenly' removed or flagged some channels and clips In the wake of the Parkland School shooting. Moderators were attempting to block far-right conspiracy videos, which could cause offence to families and friends of those caught up in the tragedy."
Apparently one was the Daily Mail's channel

Adverts that portray gender stereotypes could be banned by watchdog - "Women being seen as responsible for doing housework or men being seen as the family breadwinner are the sorts of scenarios advertisers will be banned from using in rules put forward by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), an advisory body to the regulator of adverts in the UK."
I'm sure the people who insist the media must 'represent reality' will love this

Beirut Pride cancelled after organiser detained - "Last year, Lebanon became the first Arab country to hold a gay pride week. But the organiser of this year's Beirut Pride, Hadi Damien, says he was taken to a police station overnight after security services came to an event"
So much for LGBT against Islamophobia and against Israel

Wizard of Oz Munchkins didn't just grope Judy Garland - they were also drunks and sex-mad hellraisers - "“With hands too small for cuffs and no restraints of a suitable size, the hotel laundry had been called on to help. Niven watched as nine policemen emerged from the foyer, each holding a wriggling, writhing and rather heavy pillowcase.”... Already sleeping three in a bed, the dwarves had orgies every night – not only hiring prostitutes but also acting as pimps for them. Some female Munchkins were said to have tried selling themselves to male crew members during the filming... “My father worked in a hotel and earned about $5 a week. I got paid $50 a week.” Jerry appreciated his wage, but it was still galling to learn they were the lowest paid of the cast. Even Dorothy’s dog, Toto, was paid $125 a week."

Teen stunned as his picture of newborn puppy banned from Facebook - but you can see why - "A newborn hairless puppy has fallen foul of Facebook in a hilarious mix-up - because a picture of him was mistaken for a human penis"

Taxi gangs in Batam become violent when they know you're taking a Grab or an Uber - "In an online forum Singapore Uncensored, some netizens from Singapore said that they were even attacked by Batam drivers who thought that they were riding on an Uber"

Schools pulled into row over helping transgender children - "Davies-Arai says her broader concern is that by affirming students’ gender identity, schools may be nudging them down a route that can lead to cross-sex hormones and life-changing surgery without enough time to reflect. Teachers, she says, “are essentially being forced to collude in an experimental approach towards children with gender dysphoria”. She adds: “You can support children and accept them, without affirming their belief that their body is ‘wrong’.” Adele Robinson (not her real name), a head of year at a secondary school, shares Davies-Arai’s worries. The school has had 12 children, all girls, come out as transgender in the past 18 months. The majority, she says, have autism, and some have experienced sexual abuse. When they come out, she says, they have brought in information sourced from Tumblr blogs and YouTube videos. Although her team does its best to “support every child in a loving, kind and compassionate way”, she feels that staff are too frightened to challenge what she sees as harmful practices: “We have chest binders worn in school, which is horrible. If a child was cutting, they would be straight in with a counsellor. Yet damaging developing breast tissue goes unquestioned. It’s a gross failure in terms of child protection.”"
The lawsuits in the next decade or two are going to be spectacular

Anger in Vietnam after Chinese tourists are spotted in T-shirts with controversial South China Sea territory map - "A photo of Chinese tourists wearing T-shirts depicting Beijing’s claims to the disputed South China Sea has sparked online anger in Vietnam, prompting calls for the visitors to be deported... A Chinese passport featuring a map of Beijing’s sea claims was defaced in 2016 by a border agent in Ho Chi Minh City’s airport with an unfriendly welcome note reading “F*** you”. Border officials in tourist hotspots Da Nang and Phu Quoc island have also reportedly refused to issue visa stamps in Chinese passports with maps of the nine-dash line. "
China's peaceful rise

Here's How We Got the Straits Times Forum to Publish Our Nonsense Letters - "The truth is, getting published in the forum is hard enough, but I notice it takes a specific combination of banality, absurdity, and earnestness in a letter to also make it go viral. All within 400 words... another letter goes viral (Mrs A Staveley-Taylor says that cabbies should not inflict their music on passengers), and I realise the key ingredient I’ve overlooked all along: an astounding sense of self-entitlement usually reserved for Singaporean stereotypes... After the last 14 days, I am now convinced that ST Forum moderators deliberately select clearly dumb and banal letters that reflect quintessential Singaporean aggressive stupidity to liven up their otherwise dull job"

Cornell Guest Speaker: The Food Pyramid Is Racist - "To the average American, the notion that dietary guidelines could be racist is absurd. However, it’s not so absurd to Dr. Morton Mills, who recently spoke at Cornell University about how the food pyramid discriminates against America’s minority groups."

Captivity Makes Orangutans Curious - "apes who had spent more time with humans before arriving at the stations behaved more curiously—that is, they actively sought out new things, and explored them with gusto. And this, she found, influenced their mental abilities. On a battery of challenges designed to test their problem-solving skills, the curious orangutans scored higher than their incurious peers... Wild ones learn almost all of their skills by copying their mothers and selected role models. “They’re not going around like Curious George and turning everything over,” says van Schaik. That makes sense. Curiosity, as they say, kills the orangutan. In a world of strangers and dangers, it’s more efficient and less risky to take your cues from experienced peers... Other researchers have found similar signs of heightened problem-solving skills in captive hyenas, birds, monkeys, and other animals. Together, these discoveries challenge the stereotypical impression of zoos as stultifying places, where animals are shadows of their fully realized wild selves. Instead, captive animals can sometimes gain skills that their free-living counterparts never acquire. Why? In captivity, orangutans experience a safe and stable environment, without the constant distractions of hunger and predators. That gives them the time and opportunity to explore, and such explorations, far from leading to a sticky end, are actively rewarded with food and other treats. They also encounter humans, who become trusted role models in the way that the orangutans’ parents do in the wild. And humans ... we like to touch stuff. “Everything we touch becomes ... we call it ‘blessed,’” says van Schaik. “It’s labeled as explorable.”"

Men should work less to close gender pay gap, says thinktank - "“Women are less likely to negotiate salaries when starting a new job and when in post, so employers could rule out the possibility of negotiation altogether or make sure all employees earn at least as much as any new recruit on the same level,” said Colebrook. She said women were less likely to pursue promotions, and suggested employers could automatically consider employees for promotion after a given length of time in post, interview all internal candidates for vacancies, and encourage more women to apply for internal promotions. Companies could also advertise that salaries were negotiable, offer successful candidates the option of a colleague to negotiate on their behalf, and match salary offers to make sure all employees on the same level earn as much as a new recruit."
At least they're recognising that oppression isn't why men are paid more than women
I wonder how many companies will go bankrupt doing all these things

Vanilla now more expensive than silver - "Most of world’s vanilla supply—more than 75 percent—is grown on the island of Madagascar off of Africa. Last March, the island was hit by a catastrophic cyclone, which damaged a number of plantations. Due to the resulting short supply and high demand, the cost of vanilla is still extremely high, so much so that some ice cream shops in the U.K. have stopped offering vanilla as a flavor"
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes