first_imgOfeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR, Ryan Eskalis/NPR, Sanjit Das for NPRFrom left, Zainabu Hamayaji, who pretended to be mad to keep her children from being abducted by Boko Haram; Malebogo Malefhe, a winner of the 2017 International Women of Courage award; Eqbal Dauqan, a scientist from Yemen who could no longer work because of the conflict but then found a way to continue her career as a refugee.Editor’s note: This story was originally published in December and has been updated on March 8.March 8 is International Women’s Day — dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal as well.To mark the day, we’ve compiled some of the profiles we’ve done of truly remarkable women, from a 101-year-old runner from India to a Yemeni refugee who didn’t let war stop her from being a scientist.ArgentinaAlika Kinan, the sex trafficking activist who sued her captorsShelby Knowles/NPRAlika Kinan was one of eight activists honored at the State Department in 2017 for their work against human trafficking.When Kinan was a teenager in her native Argentina, a woman offered to buy her a plane ticket. Kinan thought was going to go on a great adventure. Instead, she was trafficked — stripped of her travel documents and taken to a brothel, where she was expected to have sex with 15 to 30 men a day. It was nearly 20 years before she was rescued. She went on to become the first Argentine woman to sue her traffickers and the state, winning a settlement of about $50,000. Her years of activism against trafficking were noted by the U.S. State Department in June: Kinan was one of eight activists honored at the unveiling of the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.BotswanaMalebogo Malefhe, a domestic abuse survivor who is fighting gender-based violenceRyan Eskalis/NPRMalebogo Malefhe is a winner of the 2017 International Women of Courage award.When people find out that Malefhe uses a wheelchair because she was shot by her boyfriend, the first question they ask is: “What did you do to him [to deserve it]?” Now Malefhe, who sustained eight bullets from her boyfriend of 10 years, wants to make sure that no woman who has faced domestic abuse is asked this question ever again. Since then, she has devoted herself to fighting gender-based violence in her native Botswana and teaching women that when men hurt them, it’s not their fault. The U.S. State Department honored her with a 2017 International Women of Courage award.IndiaMan Kaur, a 101-year-old runner from India who’s showing the world it’s never too late to start a new hobbyMichael Bradley/AFP/Getty ImagesMan Kaur of India celebrates after competing in the 100-meter sprint in the 100+ age category at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in April.A competitive runner, Kaur is a record holder in her age group for several categories and is now training for the Asia Pacific Masters Games in Malaysia in September. The centenarian is a role model for women and runners everywhere. The diminutive Kaur hasn’t been a lifetime runner. She started running in 2009, when, on a whim, her son took her to the track. She enjoyed it — and she hasn’t stopped since.KenyaEdna Kiplagat, a daughter of peasant farmers who won the Boston MarathonJohn Tlumacki/Boston Globe via Getty ImagesEdna Kiplagat crosses the finish line of the 121st Boston Marathon on April 17. It was her first time running the race.Kiplagat was the fourth of 6 children. Her parents were peasant farmers. Last year, she took home $150,000 in prize money for winning the Boston Marathon. She’s done this while raising not just her two biological kids but also the two children of her sister, Alice, who died of breast cancer in 2003. She also has adopted another child whose parents passed away.“It’s not hard,” she says of balancing being a mother of five and a world-class athlete. “It’s about organizing yourself and making sure that everything is done at the right time.”NigeriaZainabu Hamayaji, a Boko Haram survivor who pretended to be crazy to save her childrenOfeibea Quist-Arcton/NPRZainabu Hamayaji went to extreme lengths to keep her children from being abducted by Boko Haram.Ingenuity, inspiration, an elaborate ruse and a touch of madness. That is what it took for Hamayaji to protect her family from Boko Haram. The terror network in northeastern Nigeria has killed 20,000 people, abducted thousands and driven more than 2 million people from their homes during its eight-year insurgency. The 47-year-old mother of 10 — four biological and six orphaned children ranging from age 5 to 15 — feigned insanity to keep the insurgents away. “I was told Boko Haram was approaching and looking for young girls,” she says. “Someone had tipped them off that I had a daughter of marriageable age, but I swore to myself that I would never allow them to wed or abduct my daughter.” And they didn’t want to mess with a “madwoman,” says Hamayaji, whose husband had been killed earlier by the insurgents. She and her children now live in a camp for displaced persons in her hometown.YemenEqbal Dauqan, a refugee who didn’t let war deter her from being a scientistSanjit Das/for NPREqbal Dauqan, a scientist from Yemen, is now working at Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia.In March 2015, Dauqan’s hometown of Taiz was pulled into Yemen’s bloody civil war. Planes dropped bombs — and not just on military targets. “They were bombing my university!” says Dauqan, a biochemistry professor. “They killed some of my students.” After the bombings began, she had to stop her research. The university shut down. And it wasn’t safe for her to leave home. After months in hiding, Dauqan had an idea: Maybe her science could get her out of the war. She applied for a scholarship for refugees — and won it. Today, she works as a scientist, researcher and professor at Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia.ZimbabweChenai Mathabire, winner of a prize for her research on a faster tuberculosis testCourtesy of MSFResearcher Chenai Mathabire, center, takes part in an HIV awareness campaign in Malawi in 2016.There was a time when Mathabire read Vogue, watched beauty pageants on TV and fantasized about being a supermodel. Today she helps the sick and injured as a nurse and epidemiologist. This year, she received an International AIDS Society prize for showing that a faster tuberculosis test could be implemented at health centers in southeast Africa. Her goal is save the lives of HIV-positive patients who contract TB. “Nursing is often looked down upon and people just think you are there to be the maid of the doctor or do the dirty work. But teachers made me realize that nurses have a big role to play,” she says.Your TurnTell us about a woman who’s making life better for other women — especially in the developing world.It can be a woman you know personally, a woman you’ve read about in the news or an under-the-radar woman whose story you think the world needs to know. We’re taking submissions until March 16. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

first_imgAzevedo acknowledges this may not be a permanent situation. Volatility and unpredictability were equally extreme during the 1950s, for example, but in the decades leading up to the early 2000s things were a lot less volatile and more predictable.But she notes that the energy world looks very different now. It’s truly an international business, with oil and gas coming from scores of countries and new technologies changing the energy landscape constantly. Meanwhile, numerous economies that used to be small players, especially China and other Asian countries, now have huge influence over world supply and demand.Azevedo says the current volatility is a “stark reminder” that “surprises” may be the new norm.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Charlie Riedel/APAn oil field near Lovington, N.M. A new study finds that in the last decade energy analysts have grown worse at predicting future energy production, demand and prices.A lot of smart people spend a lot of time trying to predict how much oil and gas is going to come out of the ground in the future.Lately, they’ve been getting it wrong.“Unpredictability, measured as the frequency of extreme errors in … projections, has increased in the most recent decade,” according to an unusual new study by a team at Carnegie Mellon University that found analysts are getting worse at predicting both how much oil and gas will be produced and how much Americans will need.That’s not good news, according to Ines Azevedo, an engineer at Carnegie Mellon who supervised the study. Oil and gas alone contribute about $250 billion per year to the economy, and fuel-dependent transportation of people and goods add almost a trillion dollars more.Azevedo’s team examined the last six decades of data on energy supply, demand and prices, as well as several decades of projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Part of the federal government, the EIA makes projections each year that lay out how much oil, gas and coal will be produced in the near future, as well as what consumers are likely to demand.These projections are the gold standard for business and power companies, and anyone else who cares about energy economics. Businesses, state governments and utilities depend on the projections to plan how much fuel to buy, what to charge consumers for electricity and fuel and what kind of new power plants to build.How much consumers pay at the pump or to your power company depends on how well energy producers plan.Steven Davis, an energy expert at the University of California, Irvine who was not involved in the study, says predictions have gotten worse for two main reasons. “One was this revolution in how we were able to extract gas and oil through fracking and horizontal drilling, which really shook up the energy sector,” he says. Suddenly, oil and gas that was once thought unreachable could be extracted using this new technology. Supplies shot up, and prices dropped.Economic volatility is also to blame. “The recession that struck around 2007 and 2008,” he adds, “really started tanking economies around the world.”The new study shows how prices, production and consumption sometimes exceeded expectations, and sometimes fell below what had been predicted. Davis says the uncertainty has real consequences beyond making hedge fund managers nervous. It leads businesses to be more conservative.“You’re less inclined to take on big, irreversible investments on things like a gigantic power plant, and instead you may sort of hedge by holding tight with what you have,” Davis explains. If “what you have” is an old, polluting power plant, that could be bad for the environment.One part of the energy business left out of the analysis, published in the journal Nature Energy, is the market for electricity from solar energy and wind power. But past analyses have found the unpredictability holds true there as well; prices have been significantly lower and growth higher than what was projected a decade ago. Sharelast_img read more

first_imgWeeping, wailing and lamenting out loud, displays of the aching anguish felt at the death of a loved one, can also be a traditional art.For Lakshmi R, who hails from Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, weeping on command and often during funerals for strangers, is a profession she has been practicing for the past over 20 years The 57-year-old professional mourner, a practitioner of  ‘Oppori’, the ancient tradition of singing to express grief and lament, gave a live performance at Khoj Collective recently. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The event was part of the finale event marking a show curated by the Delhi-based artist collective Khoj. Titled Nameless Here for Evermore it showcased art reflecting on global suffering and collective trauma. “It was fairly disturbing”, says Amitesh Grover, an assistant professor at the National School of Drama who was invited by Khoj to put up the performance.“I wanted to investigate what mourning means. I have been observing a lack of collective mourning in urban society. It is entirely absent in society. Nowadays we do not meet to mourn collectively,” says Grover. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDuring his research Grover spent some time in Tirunelveli and among Oppori singers, of whom he says there is no correct estimate available. “There are no correct estimates on the community. It is a dying tradition. No new women were interested or allowed to practice and existing Oppori singers are stigmatised by neighbours and not invited to weddings etc because they are thought to carry the stigma of death,” says Grover. Lakshmi, who ran away from her abusive husband provided an intimate autobiographical account of her life and sorrows to a select audience in Delhi, which was visibly moved by the performance. Some people even completely broke down into tears moved by the sheer force of her songs. “The event was designed for her to see death not just as a private affair but also a lament,” says Grover.“Lakshmi has been singing for 20 years now and we set up a tutorial during event so that the young artist Janagi learnt to sing the Oppori repeating after Lakshmi,” says Grover.The show was intended as a way to look at transferrance of the quality of mourning, to set up a dialogue with a traditional performative practice. “It is a deep experience,” says Grover.“From my perspective I wanted to see how Lakshmi managed to produce tears. Everytime, I have seen her perfrom I have seen her cry and the tears are genuine. Sometimes she had to stop and wipe them away. She brings out the intimate sadness and to me that is mark of a true performer,” says Grover. The performer herself draws strength from the responses of the audience. She sings, wails and beats her chest and accompanied to the sounds of a beating drum she helps mourners bring their burried grief to the surface.Meanwhile, the Khoj show has got togther an exhibition of multimedia artworks by 10 international artists based on various incidents like the violence in Jammu and Kasmir over the last decade, the Punjab and Delhi riots of 1984, the occupation of Afghanistan besides others.last_img read more

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The recent spike in fuel prices is cause for great concern, as it is impacting on the lives of all South Africans, especially the poorest of the poor who rely on paraffin for heating, lighting and cooking.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! The day is coming closer when another petrol price increase is on the cards at the end of July going into August.This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.The AA explains: “International oil prices see-sawed during the first half of July, but remained within a fairly narrow band and did not contribute substantially to the price rises we are anticipating for next month.”The AA says the current data suggests a price rise of 19 cents a litre for petrol, 13 cents for diesel and 22 cents for illuminating paraffin.last_img read more

first_img Posted by Tags: Carnival Cruise Line Friday, December 1, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img MIAMI — Carnival Cruise Line has announced the name of its new Vista-Class ship, set to debut in fall 2019.Carnival Panorama is the third in the line’s highly successful Vista-class series, which are all named to reflect the connection between the ships and the sea. Panorama will join its sister ships: Vista, which entered service in 2016, and Horizon, set to debut on April 2, 2018. The three 3,954-passenger Vista-class ships are the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line.Like its name implies, Carnival Panorama will offer venues with both indoor and al fresco experiences, including the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Library Bar, and Bonsai Sushi, along with open-air attractions like the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction SkyRide, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, and the SportSquare recreation area.Also featured will be a vibrant Havana section with tropics-inspired staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool, Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations, the Family Harbor Lounge, a luxurious Cloud 9 Spa and Ocean Plaza, a spacious dining and entertainment venue with indoor and outdoor seating.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?“Carnival Panorama is the perfect name to reflect the design inspiration of our Vista-class ships providing more venues and opportunities to connect with the sea,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Panorama will offer a wide variety of fun indoor and outdoor experiences along with exciting one-of-a-kind features that will provide our guests with a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories,” she added.Currently under construction at the Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, Carnival Panorama is scheduled to enter service in November 2019. Homeport and itinerary, along with other new features of this ship, will be announced at a later date. And the name of Carnival’s new Vista-Class ship is… Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_imgAssociated PressBEIJING (AP) – The wife of a long-imprisoned ethnic Mongolian activist in China said Monday that she has spent nearly two years in detention and house arrest on a fabricated charge to silence her family, and that her husband is suffering from depression.Xinna told The Associated Press by telephone that her husband, Hada, who was accused of separatism and spying in China’s region of Inner Mongolia and has been detained for 17 years, has become “very depressed” in custody. Many ethnic Mongolians use only one name. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Xinna appealed for the international community to help win Hada’s release.“He is in a very bad state,” Xinna said by telephone Monday from the regional capital of Hohhot, adding she has seen her husband about once a month recently.“I asked him to walk around, but he wouldn’t. The doctor suggested that he should be transferred to a mental health hospital, but they won’t allow that. They don’t even give him toilet paper,” she said.She said he is being kept at a police-rented compound inside an ecological park near Hohhot airport.Xinna, 57, said she and her son, Weilesi, 28, were initially detained at the same place in December 2010 _ she on charges of bootlegging CDs and he on drug charges _ and that both have been under tight surveillance since her release in April.Weilesi was released on bail in September 2011, and authorities decided not to prosecute him last month, Xinna said. She was given a three-year sentence in April that was commuted to house arrest. Both have denied any wrongdoing, and Xinna said the charges were aimed at silencing them.While ethnic separatism is not well known in Inner Mongolia, it’s a sensitive issue for China’s government, which fears the spread of the violent unrest that has hit its regions of Tibet and Xinjiang in recent years. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Repeated calls to police and government offices in Hohhot rang unanswered Monday.Chinese authorities routinely harass family members of prominent dissidents, subjecting them to monitoring, questioning, house arrest or detention to silence them or to pressure the activists into compliance.Hada formed a political group in the early 1990s that strived for self-determination for Inner Mongolia, a Chinese region bordering the independent state of Mongolia. The family bookstore in Hohhot became the center of the movement.A court ordered Hada to spend 15 years in prison and to be deprived of his political rights for four years. At the time of his scheduled release in December 2010 he was detained again by authorities. Xinna and Weilesi were taken into custody shortly before Hada’s scheduled release.Xinna said police told them they were keeping him detained because he had been deprived of his political rights. Under Chinese law, people deprived of their political rights are subject to police surveillance and lose the freedoms of speech and assembly.Mother and son now share a rented house in a Hohhot suburb.“There are several cameras that have been installed around my house,” Xinna said. “If I go out I need to get approval from authorities and I am followed by police.” Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

first_imgAustralian agents have more reasons than ever to get their clients excited about the upcoming Antarctic cruising season with one of Antarctica’s most iconic expedition cruise ships, the Ocean Atlantic, revealing a brand new look after recently undergoing a full-scale refurbishment.Super Early Bird Discounts of up to 35% can currently be enjoyed by agents when booking their clients on Chimu’s 10-day Discover Antarctica (now from AUD$8,075* twin) on board the Ocean Atlantic. An exclusive Chimu charter, this voyage takes in the best of wildlife and scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula whilst being joined by special guest Campbell Remess, the 13-year old charitable teddy bear maker from Tasmania who has made a name for himself for his acts of kindness, making teddy bears every day and gifting them to sick and needy children across the globe. AntarcticaChimu Adventureslast_img read more

first_img State Rep. Jim Lower of Cedar Lake today announced his September in-district office hours schedule. Rep. Lower will be available on Monday, Sept. 18 at the following times and locations:9 to 10 a.m. at the Crystal Lake Café, 216 W. Lake St. in Crystal; and11:45 to 12:45 p.m. at Dogtown Restaurant, 206 S. Main St., in Sheridan.“In addition to traveling across the district every week, I am committed to holding regular office hours in order to stay accessible to anyone who has a concern, question or problem regarding state government,” Rep. Lower said.No appointments are necessary. Those unable to meet during the scheduled times may contact Rep. Lower’s office at (517) 373-0834 or via email at JamesLower@house.mi.gov. 11Sep Rep. Lower to host September office hours Categories: Lower Newslast_img read more

first_img State Rep. Ben Frederick, chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee, today voted in the state House for a bipartisan five-bill package to enhance skilled trade education in Michigan’s public schools.“This legislation gives more opportunity to Michigan children,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “There was a lot of input from educators, business owners and state leaders who all shared the same goal of helping improve the outcomes for today’s K-12 students. We’re providing flexibility to schools, information sharing with more post-high school programs and career options for future professionals.”The committee had multiple meetings to hear testimony from several officials or organizations in support of the legislation, including teachers, counselors and business administrators. Each agreed about the added opportunity the legislation would bring, especially when paired with additional class choice opportunities approved by the same committee earlier this year.“We’ve got to encourage students in the classroom while increasing their educational opportunities, because that will prepare them for a successful life,” Frederick said. “Michigan has more opportunity today than it did even five years ago. We have to make the small changes today in the classrooms to meet those opportunities for five years from now.”House Bills 5139, 5140, 5141, 5142 and 5145 will:Create a K-12 model program that emphasizes career learning and themes for each grade level, while focusing on engaging with parents, community businesses and industry interests; Provide continuing education and professional development credit for teachers who spend time engaging with local employers and professional trade centers; Permit schools to more readily hire professional trade instructors to teach classes thatalign with their expertise.The legislation advances to the Senate for its consideration.##### Allow proprietary schools, community colleges and skilled trade employers access – with parental consent – to high school pupil directory information for the purposes of recruitment and career opportunities;center_img 13Dec Rep. Frederick supports bills to expand skilled trade opportunities Categories: Frederick News,Newslast_img read more

first_img Categories: Yaroch News 06Feb Macomb County legislators laud measure ensuring effective use of PFAS cleanup funds The five Republican legislators representing Macomb County residents today supported a resolution in the Michigan House ensuring effective use of state funds provided to address a contaminant identified in the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.In December, the Legislature agreed to allocate $23.2 million to provide testing, monitoring and technical assistance at more than a dozen sites across Michigan where per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been found in groundwater.State Reps. Diana Farrington, Pamela Hornberger, Peter Lucido, Steve Marino and Jeff Yaroch all supported the budget allocation as well as today’s resolution, which provides a framework to ensure public tax dollars are used in an impactful way.“We need to act quickly and efficiently to address the contamination in Macomb County,” said Marino, of Harrison Township, whose district includes the lake, river and Selfridge Air Base, which is adjacent to two of the contaminated sites. “The resolution we approved today will help form a sensible action plan to guide the efforts of state agencies and the PFAS Action Response Team appointed by Gov. Snyder.”The resolution calls on the PFAS Action Response Team to create a scientific advisory committee made up of experts with various backgrounds.“It’s important to ensure the spending decisions made by the PFAS Action Response Team are backed by science,” said Farrington, of Utica. “The advisory committee will conduct a non-biased scientific risk assessment to determine, among other things, the extent of PFAS contamination in Michigan and who is responsible for its presence.”Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township, said this will also help determine the extent of public exposure.“The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has identified 14 locations in Michigan so far, but I believe this will go much further,” Hornberger said. “PFAS are found in everything from fire foam used by the military to carpets, clothing and upholstery found in all homes.”Additionally, the scientific advisory committee will be asked to conduct an evaluation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current drinking water health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.“This is a complex issue that the state of Michigan is likely going to be dealing with for many years to come,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “The information gathered by the scientific advisory committee will give us the tools we need to make sure state resources are spent in an effective and efficient manner.”Yaroch, of Richmond, said information gathered by the scientific advisory committee will help guide Michigan’s PFAS response in the future.“Protecting our fresh water is a top priority, and we need to respond quickly to address the risks of PFAS,” Yaroch said.###last_img read more

first_imgShare1TweetShare1Email2 SharesThe R in Charity / Ed HallSeptember 7, 2016, YibadaSeptember 5th has been declared “Charity Day” in China. The day commemorates China’s charity law, which came into effect on September 1, 2016. The Chinese government looks forward to celebrating Charity Day as an annual observance. The Yibada article reports that a number of three-day promotional activities took place across the Republic. One notable example was the September 2ndgrand opening of the Chinese Philanthropy Museum in East China’s Jiangsu province.Yibada clarifies that the purpose of Charity Day is not only to give tribute to the law’s passing but to further support the growing Chinese public welfare sector. This year’s September 5th activities are meant to kick off similar information sharing events in the future. Yibada confirms that an Internet charity service and information-sharing platform have been established. In response, over 300 charities have already registered. The registration of charities is a big deal to China, as the majority of social organizations in China are unregistered—making them difficult for the government to monitor.Let’s just say it: A Chinese “Charity Day” makes little sense to civil society activists. NPQ has reported quite a bit over the years on the various levels of hindrance imposed on civic, nonprofit, and philanthropic activist organizations in China. The Chinese government has consistently proved itself distrustful of such organizations, be they public or private. Yet, at the same time, one cannot just point a finger at China regarding such increasing “trends of constraints on civic space.” Various countries (especially in South Asia) can be scrutinized just as much. However, China’s constraints appear to cross boundaries. Since Xi Jinping was elected president of the People’s Republic of China, the government created a law that tries to control even organizations operating outside of China.On the other hand, NPQ and other external sources have noted China’s considerable efforts to grow its social welfare sector. This push can be said to have gained speed after Sichuan province’s devastating earthquake in 2008. That humanitarian crisis led to private donations equivalent to billions of U.S. dollars. The public’s response appears to have opened the Chinese government’s eyes to the promise and benefits of private charitable giving. Such philanthropy can nestle well into the intents of the rapidly growing numbers of billionaires in China, who are looking for ways to give back to their country instead of looking for more “donor-friendly” external opportunities.So, how do we explain the apparent contradiction in news reports about China’s angst towards charitable organizations in light of their enshrining Charity Day? The answer is in how charity is often viewed differently throughout the world. As a country, China views charity and philanthropy very differently from the USA. While Americans are used to the mechanisms of attracting and organizing private funding for philanthropy, this concept is new to China’s blend of authoritarian politics and capitalist economics. The Chinese government also makes its resistance to political dissent very clear. Most pro-democracy advocates (1989 Tiananmen Square and 2014 Hong Kong) are clearly perceived as threats to the communist republic. Another reason may have to do with a cultural resistance to members of charitable organizations accused by the media of living ostentatious lifestyles.Charity Day and similar celebrations in other countries may best be understood according to the type of giving their respective governments sanction and celebrate. China encourages corporate philanthropy while resisting political advocacy. This stance can be illustrated by the opening of a philanthropy museum just months after shutting down the Tiananmen Square museum. The new museum sheds light on how China’s new charity law eases certain restrictions of charitable fundraising and operational activities, as well as provides tax concessions to private philanthropists. The intent is to keep philanthropic funding in China government-approved and moderated.Transparent giving that does not offend the government is what Charity Day is designed to celebrate in China. Nice, but perhaps insufficient.—Noreen OhlrichShare1TweetShare1Email2 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare28Tweet11ShareEmail39 SharesJune 12, 2018; Religion & PoliticsA couple of weeks ago, the Southwestern Theological Seminary terminated Dr. Paige Patterson over allegations of sexual abuse. He joins Andy Savage, Bill Hybels, and other evangelical leaders who have been exposed by the #ChurchToo movement, a church-focused version of #MeToo. Like Hollywood, humanitarian organizations, the media, and many other sectors, the evangelical movement is struggling to reconcile its principles with the behavior of some of its members.Reactions by some community members took a deep dive into how widespread abuse of power could have gone unchecked for so long. In a column for Religion & Politics, Sara Moslener, a lecturer in the department of philosophy and religion at Central Michigan University, said that “some evangelicals have been speaking out against the misuse of traditional gender norms, and those that underpin notions of female purity, as having too often reinforced dysfunctional power dynamics.” Those dysfunctional power dynamics and the hyper-stardom of megachurch preachers have made it difficult for the church to engage in the conversations necessary to change its culture to one that protects victims—mostly women—from abuse.The questions posed by this crisis are not new. The Catholic Church was forced to ask, and is still asking, how it can atone for and forestall abuse of children by the clergy. But as #MeToo sweeps the globe and victims are empowered to speak up for themselves, their questions sound increasingly loudly across the public space.Churches derive their power from the moral authority they are believed to wield. How, then, can they continue to wield such power when their moral authority is compromised by bad actors? Moslener cites what’s known as “purity culture,” or the belief that women should not have sex before marriage. She writes, “The purity movement seeks to construct a moral economy, not simply a code of morality, in which the assurance of emotional, marital, and sexual fulfillment is provided in exchange for bodily control and spiritual obedience.”In her column, Moslener rightly acknowledges that LGBTQ people and people of color are at the bottom of the church’s power structure and are kept there systematically. “Purity culture” was designed with white women in mind, while Black women have often been stereotyped as promiscuous.The purity movement is closely linked to “theological complementarianism,” the belief that men and women have different and complementary roles to play in Church life. Both reinforce women’s place as subordinate to that of men. Additionally, purity culture paints the secular world as “fraught with sexual danger and heartbreak,” against which the church offers safe haven. While the haven of religious life offers comfort to millions, to victims of abuse, this reinforces a dynamic that makes it harder to come forward and blame the perpetrator.Studies have shown that the purity culture movement of the 1980s was not effective. An overwhelming majority of Christian teens do not stay “pure” until marriage, and abstinence-only sex education has been shown to be correlated with more teen pregnancy. Yet purity culture has nonetheless inflicted harm on young women by fostering feelings of shame, even as it has failed to reduce pregnancy rates.So what conversations do leaders need to have? For one, a reexamination of who’s in the room. Bill Hybels was investigated by his own board of elders and declared innocent, even while a Chicago Tribune investigation unearthed multiple victims and members of Hybels’ own congregations said they were dissatisfied with the investigation. Holly Meyer of the Tennessean says that protestors at the Southern Baptist Convention want “a clergy sex offender registry created and mandatory training for pastors and seminaries on domestic abuse and sexual assault.” James Post, then-president of Voice for the Faithful, wrote for NPQ in 2004 that churches’ operations in communities are “living agreement[s] with the community; the terms are continuously being redefined.”Maybe churches are the right place to have some of these conversations. After all, the accused perpetrators of abuse, while they might fade from public life, do not disappear from the world. In spaces that (at least nominally) prioritize both protecting the innocent and redeeming the fallen, can we negotiate our way, not past this, but through it? If the focus of religious organizations has not been on healing those they’ve hurt, how can they be redirected?If it’s true that the power dynamics reinforced by cultural enshrinement of certain concepts has put community members at risk, then those concepts and dynamics bear reconsideration. At the moment, the evangelical community is unlikely to face pressure from governmental authority to reform their practice, at least at the highest levels where culture change would need to reach. Instead, a bottom-up reexamination of moral authority and its place of derivation may be called for, led by the women who’ve finally found a voice.—Erin RubinShare28Tweet11ShareEmail39 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgAl Jazeera has made a €130 million bid for the French rights to the Euro 2012 championships, beating a rival offer from French broadcasters TF1 and M6, according to reports.RMC Sport/BFM TV has reported that the Qatari broadcasters has offered UEFA €130 million for the rights, beating TF1 and M6’s joint bid of €100 million.RMC Sport has also reported that Al Jazeera has held talks with Orange Sport and the French football league’s own channel, CFoot, about airing the championship. Al Jazeera does not have a sports channel of its own in the French market. However, media regulator the CSA obliges the rightsholder to air the French national team’s games in the clear, which could present a significant obstacle to the broadcaster. CFoot is present on the French digital-terrestrial pay TV platform.It was reported last month that Al Jazeera was seeking to acquire exclusive English Premier League rights in the Middle East and also pay-per-view rights in the UK. In France is a shareholder in the Paris Saint-Germain club and owns certain rights to the French championship for the 2012-16 seasons.last_img read more

first_imgGerman public broadcaster ARD has criticised the Federal Cartel Office’s decision on Friday to allow the German Football League (DFL) to adopt a model that could see free-to-air football highlights made available to internet service providers before broadcasters.The Bundeskartellamt approved a plan by the DFL to put free-to-air rights to tender from 2013-14, which could allow highlights to be shown on the internet and on online TV services from 19:00, competing with ARD’s established evening sports show and Bundesliga report at 18:30.ARD said the decision called into question the future of its early evening show. In 2008 the regulator rejected a similar plan by the DFL on the grounds that the internet was an inadequate substitute for TV in many rural areas.last_img read more

first_imgTV consumers are more concerned about the overall experience, rather than the devices they use, according to new research from Ericsson.Speaking this morning at IP&TV World Forum, Wilson Wilson, head of technology solution area TV at Ericsson, said consumers were generally happy with services delivered via tablets, but less so for mobile phones and connected TVs. Citing research from Ericsson’s Consumer Labs, Wilson said consumers had identified six roles tablet devices could play in the TV experience. Aside from using them to watch video, consumers enjoyed using them as a social tool whilst watching TV, as a means of discovering content and for controlling the TV and programming the DVR. “Some of these things are not easy to do on a set-top box,” said Wilson.Mobile phones benefited from being able to offer highly personalised TV services, which Wilson said was particularly pertinent to IPTV’s unicast model. However, he said the negative aspects of mobile phones were the processing capabilities and screen sizes compared to tablets. “Both devices, people want to use as part of the overall experience, but not necessarily to view video,” he added.For connected TVs, Ericsson’s research found that consumers had identified 10 roles they could play in their overall TV experience, but that most of them were not yet being addressed or were being addressed unsuccessfully. “The whole connected TV experience was failing for the people we interviewed,” said Wilson. “People are used to an internet experience that is dynamic, interactive and of high quality – a good user experience. But they are not finding this on connected TVs.” Interviewees complained that services were slow and generally didn’t meet their expectations. While people wanted to use internet services whilst watching TV, the majority of them preferred to use a second screen to do so. “They want to use two devices at the same time. They don’t want Facebook on the [TV] screen, but they want to use Facebook while they are watching TV,” Wilson said.last_img read more

first_imgDutch cable operator Ziggo has launched what it describes as the world’s first interactive cloud-based cable TV service.Ziggo is using IP and standard DVB-C TV in combination to deliver a service that can be recieved by subscribers without dedicated high-end in-home hardware, enabling viewers with inexpensive digital receivers to access interactive services including video-on-demand.Users of Humax and Samsung cable boxes can now access advanced interactive services, with more devices to follow.Ziggo is delivering TV services via DVB-C with interactivity delivered over IP. The graphical user interface is delivered from the cloud via a headend-based ‘virtual set-top box’. The GUI is based on HTML5 and streamed via a temporary personal TV channel on the DVB-C network.The cloud-based nature of the service means that the same Ziggo services can be received via a range of devices, according to the company.last_img read more

first_imgRob WebsterBoth BSkyB’s new over-the-top service Now TV and its traditional DTH pay TV business produced growth in the last quarter, according to the pay TV operator’s commercial group director, Rob Webster.Speaking at the DTG Summit in London yesterday, Webster said both Now TV and DTH had produced growth.“TV growth is TV growth. We don’t see a need to split them out,” he said. “We are very focused on a multi-product growth strategy. ARPU is growing and it doesn’t matter where it’s from.”Sky recorded a modest growth of 30,000 in new TV subscribers in its latest quarterly results, with the total now standing at 10.38 million. However, it did not break out figures for its Now TV OTT service, which it launched last year and now offers Sky Movies and Sky Sports content. Some industry analysts had expected flat or negative DTH growth for the first time.Webster said that the increased churn Sky reported in its latest results could be attributed in part to the economic downturn. “People have less money in their pocket and there is seasonality,” he said.Webster said Sky would continue to build the Now TV offering following its addition of ‘day passes’ for the Sky Sports service. He said Sky would add channels from its entertainment portfolio later his year and added that the broadcaster was in talks with partner brands to add their services.Webster said that Sky’s customer base has, over the years, grown closely in tandem with its investment in content. “The important thing with investment in content is to marry it with investment in innovation,” he said.Webster said that Sky’s launch of connected TV services provided more flexibility to customers. He said that Sky is “taking our partner brands with us” in developing new distribution channels for content, and that Now TV will play an increasingly important part in Sky’s overall distribution story.“Satellite distribution remains the best way to deliver high-bandwidth content to as many homes as possible,” said Webster.However, he said, today Sky delivered its content via a hybrid model. Delivering TV through the internet not only allowed viewers to time-shift content and view it through new devices, but also allowed Sky to reach new customers segments through Now TV, he said.Webster said that content portability would become increasingly important and could offer additional revenue opportunities. He cited the example of Sky Go Extra, the paid-for enhancement to its TV Everywhere service that enables subscribers to download content and view it offline, which now has 44,000 subscribers.last_img read more

first_imgNordic pay-TV platform Canal Digital DTH has signed a mutli-year deal with Red Bee Media, which will supply metadata services across Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.The agreement will see Red Bee provide rich EPG content, including localised programme descriptions and images, powering content discovery for over 250 channels in five languages – Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and English.The metadata will support linear and on-demand services on Canal Digital DTH’s next-generation TV platform.Rich metadata is a core part of Red Bee Media’s content discovery offering, which spans metadata sourcing, creation and EPG distribution, user interface design, personalised search and recommendation tools and second screen apps.last_img read more

first_imgViki has launched a Spanish-language service and inked a telenovela deal with Netflix and Colombia’s Caracol.Viki is a an online video site that crowd sources subtitling activity to create localised versions of scripted content. Thus far the focus has largely been on reversioning Asian-originated content.The Spanish language service is focused on viewers in Latin America. Viewership from the region already accounts for 25% of Viki viewing and Spanish is the second most popular language for Viki content after English.As part of the Latin and Spanish-language drive Viki has inked two new content deals. It has expanded a deal with Netflix and taken rights to a range of Asian TV shows and movies, which the Viki community will subtitle for viewers in Latin America.It has also inked a deal with the commercial arm of Colombian network Caracol and Venevision, its counterpart in Venezuela.Those agreements give Viki a range of telenovelas for the Latin and international services with titles including Eva Luna, La Promesa, Pablo Escobar: The Drug Lord and Made in Cartegena.“We are very excited about this negotiation with Viki because it allows us to continue our global strategy of sharing innovative content without borders,” said Estefanía Arteaga, international sales for Caracol TV.“In this way, Caracol Television will continue to reach audiences around the world in non-traditional markets through the diverse platforms available today,” added Lisette Osorio, VP of international sales.“Our goal has always been to bring global TV to global audiences,” said Tammy H. Nam, Viki’s CMO and general manager, Americas. “More than ninety percent of our Latin American viewers come to Viki to watch top International TV shows and movies, which they can’t easily access elsewhere. Now, we’re able to introduce telenovelas to much of the world.”Viki said it plans to launch other localised versions of its site worldwide in the coming months. The company is privately held although BBC Worldwide has made an investment, for an undisclosed amount, in the business.last_img read more