June 26, 2019  

Two new flags will be flying high at the Olympic Games in Rio.

For the first time, South Sudan and Kosovo have been recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Kosovo, which was a province of the former Yugoslavia, will have 8 athletes competing; and a good shot for a medal in women's judo: Majlinda Kelmendi is considered a favorite. She's ranked first in the world in her weight class.

(South Sudan's James Chiengjiek, Yiech Biel & coach Joe Domongole, © AFP) South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, will have three runners competing in the country's first Olympic Games.

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus


(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)



Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler



CARTOON: Peter Broelman, Australia/BROELMAN.com.au)


San Marino     Mongolia
Vancouver     Ghana





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The HUM Board of Advisors is composed of people who share our vision of open global news, and a belief that media can change the world. 

We're building a global network of contributors and advisors who are experts in their fields – who can inform and inspire the HUM team, our audience and our clients. Scholars of their subjects, they serve as `editorial counsel’ to help HUM gain focus, knowledge, and understanding on the topics, issues and places which the organization reports on. These advisors enhance HUM’s content discussion and production, in direct support of the Company’s media efforts.

We're honored to have these esteemed advisors supporting HUM:

 Kim Abbott - World Learning, Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Kimberly is part of the seven-member senior management team charged with providing strategic direction for an NGO with 1000 employees working in 65 countries to empower people, communities and institutions to create a more peaceful and just world through education, exchange and development.  Prior to this role she served as the Director, North America Communications with International Crisis Group, leading the U.S. media strategy to advance ICG’s policy recommendations to raise awareness of conflict situations in the media. She joined Crisis Group from InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. She worked with the 160 member organizations on developing their media campaigns and public policy advocacy for collective humanitarian and development priorities on a wide range of international development issues, including debt relief, the Millennium Development Goals, tsunami recovery efforts in Thailand and the role of women in post-conflict situations.  Prior to her work with NGOs, Kimberly spent over a decade in local, national and international television and radio as a producer and reporter.  Her career has also included time on Capitol Hill as a Communications Director and work in U.S. presidential politics, as well as serving as an envoy and translator for the Centennial Olympic Games.  She is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a recipient of numerous European fellowships in journalism and international affairs and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Boston University. 

Natalie Billon - Centurion Global, Investment Analyst

Natalie has spent her career at some of the most prestigious private equity firms in the business.  Prior to Centurion Global, she spent time working at KKR & Co, Soros Fund Mgmt, Bessemer Trust, J&W Seligman, Lazard Freres, and Robertson Stephens.  At KKR Ms. Billon worked to evaluate private equity LBO candidates.  Earlier, with Soros Fund Management (New York-based hedge fund, $10B+) she was responsible for public technology, media and telecom investments for the firm.  Prior to joining Soros in 2002, Natalie was responsible for all technology, media and telecom investments for Bessemer Trust’s public equity funds where she attracted Fortune 500 CEOs and CFOs from various industries as clients to the firm.  Since 1998, Ms. Billon was responsible for all technology, media and telecom investments for a $3B growth fund at J&W Seligman and earlier she was the senior investment analyst at such firms as Lazard Freres and Robertson Stephens (global investment banks).  Ms. Billon led numerous Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), including: The Learning Company, Edmark, Broderbund, and ChipSoft, among others. Natalie was behind pioneering studies which determined Information Technology (IT) supply and demand utilizing a deep network of global fortune 500 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) which was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  Ms. Billon earned an AB in Economics from Harvard University in 1986 and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University in 1994. She has lived in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and South America and is a humanitarian at heart.

Eric De Fino - The Partnership, Head of Content

Eric has spent his career creating content and campaigns for some of the biggest names in advertising and marketing. Prior to joining The Partnership, Eric was Head of Content Production for BBDO Atlanta; and Chief Creative Officer for Raygun, a creative company specializing in dynamic storytelling for television, film, Internet and the music business.  The agency has extensive industry experience and a proven creative production record which ignites every project with a unique vision that goes beyond what typical production companies and post houses can deliver, ensuring their clients' dreams are realized and their story is told.  Raygun's innovative work covered all areas of visual communications and is showcased through the development, production and delivery of informative, entertaining, and passionate creative for, both, short and long form projects.  From live action to motion design, art direction, animation, music videos and entertainment branding, simply put, RAYGUN does it all.  Eric is a sought after creative mind and producer whose image clients have included HBO, Turner Classic Movies, CNN, Discovery Networks, Fine Living, Planet Green, ABC Network, SciFi Channel, Spike TV, TLC, Sony, Adidas, Best Buy, Comcast, ATT, ESPN, Heineken, New Balance, Saucony, Reese’s, Hewlett Packard, the Lung Cancer Alliance, Big Brothers of America, anti-plastic organization Greenplate, singer John Mellencamp, the band The Constellations, and artist Young Jeezy.

Guilaine C. Jean Pierre - Executive/Strategic Partnership Specialist

Guilaine, `Gilly', is a former Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, Second Vice President, serving in Wealth Management. In addition to being one of the top wealth managers in her industry, Guilaine Jean Pierre knows that philanthropy and private funding can change the world.  Ms. Jean Pierre sits on a number of boards and has founded a variety of initiatives designed to support the world’s needs and is a Trustee of The Children’s Storefront in Harlem, providing tuition free education children. 

Lori Levin - Executive Producer/PR/Brand Executive

Lori’s unique career has blended entertainment, marketing, and public relations. She brings a showman’s sensibility to her business endeavors and a business perspective to her entertainment projects. In television, Lori Levin was the Creator and Executive Producer of The Rebel Billionaire, a globally-aired Fox prime time reality series starring Sir Richard Branson, which averaged 7 million viewers a week in the US alone. It also aired in all major global markets. As Vice President of Virgin Corporate communications for the Virgin Group of Companies where she was Richard Branson’s “go-to executive” for 20 years, Lori was largely responsible for establishing Sir Richard Branson as a household name. She and her team created "guerilla marketing" tactics that have become standard marketing techniques today. She has been awarded “Brand Builder of the Year 2007” by Promax DBA and Broadcast and Cable News. Lori has launched new products, companies, special events, and worked with countless celebrities. She has generated public relations coverage in all major national media outlets including 60 Minutes, New York Times, Fortune, and People Magazine; Today Show, GMA, CNN. She is currently lending her expertise to several start up companies through her consultancy Creative Convergency. She also has several new TV series and documentaries in development with Creative Visions Productions. She has served on the Steering Committee of Virgin Unite and the Advisory Board of the Giffoni Hollywood Film Festival. She is currently on the Advisory Board of the Creative Visions Foundation, and has recently been honoured to join the Advisory Board of Mary J. Blige’s FFAWN  foundation.

Michael Popow - Centurion Global, Managing Partner, Investments 

Michael has spent his career managing some of the most important equity funds on the planet.  He recently launched Centurion Global, a fund with Tiger.  Previously, Mr. Popow was involved with private equity engagements focused on China, the Middle East and the U.S.  Earlier, with Bessemer Trust (New York-based investment firm, $20B+) he founded, developed and managed leading global, long/short, public/private, onshore/ offshore equity funds ($500M) and was also a member of Bessemer’s Investment Policy & Strategy Committee responsible for investments in various international asset classes and was responsible for all public technology, media and telecom investments for Bessemer’s long-only funds, equaling more than $15B.  Prior to this, Mr. Popow was a portfolio manager with Odyssey Partners and was a senior investment analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. (global investment bank); and Gabelli & Co. Prior to 1992, Mr. Popow worked as a computer engineer, first with Bell Labs/Rutgers and then with Convergent Technologies (global computer manufacturer).  At Convergent, Mr. Popow led teams of engineers through the design and development of several client/server computer systems that were launched globally.   Michael earned his BS in Electrical Engineering, a BA in Computer Science and a BA in Philosophy from Rutgers University in 1988 and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University in 1994.  His knowledge of the world’s emerging markets and technology that can connect them is invaluable to a media trying to bridge the `Geographic Gap’.

Judy Shapiro - Founder, engageSimply

Judy Shapiro's career has always been characterized by her willingness to go against the current in her relentless pursuit of creating marketing momentum. In her early work as a VP at NWAyer Advertising, she took on creating new integrated marketing programs that merged direct mail with in-store promotions and advertising - something most people didn't do given the silo'd nature of marketing functions. Or when AT&T wanted to jump start their consumer products division, they hired Judy from the agency to create marketing momentum around the many new technologies AT&T which she did by introducing the voice of "Judy Consumer" to the conversation. She was tapped to lead the prestigious Lucent Technologies brand launch as Corporate Brand Director, where she literally rewrote the corporate branding book, winning coveted APQC and AMA awards branding awards.  Judy continued to bring new thinking to every subsequent role; at CA, she created from the ground up their lead generation and management system to unify marketing programs, she became the lead marketing expert for all technologies in the Bell Labs New Ventures Group helping launch 8 new successful ventures. Her most recent work at Paltalk and Comodo, let her turn her attention on creating new ways to reach audiences leveraging integrated content, community, creative passion and communications to generate business results.  As a result of her groundbreaking work, Judy is recognized as a voice of practicality within the industry with her regular articles in Ad Age’s DigitalNext column and as an industry speaker (DigitalHollywood and IgniteNYC). Judy loves to mentor technology startups (a throw back to her Bell Labs days) and as a graduate of City University of NY, she is a die-hard New Yorker living in Manhattan (just ask her where the best place is to get Pizza or bagels—you won’t be sorry).  

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg Entrepreneur, Designer, Author, Fashion Editor, Photographer, MSS Interior Design

Over the past 20 years, Maureen Sullivan Stemberg has proven to be one of the most talented Interior Designers and business women in the industry. She has owned and operated successful design firms in both Boston and Palm Beach, taking on upscale clients with the most discriminating taste. During that same time period for over 5 years she was design & fashion editor of a magazine in Palm Beach. Interviewing people from the world’s best interior and fashion designers - including a president and the first Lady. Her ability to transform any room into a timeless masterpiece has boosted her reputation as a visionary with impeccable attention for detail.   There is no challenge too great for Maureen – she is persistent, knowledgable and a sheer talent.  Some of her accolades include designing and completing the entire Trump Plaza Penthouse, Presidential rooms, Club Colette of Palm Beach, and the University of Maine.  She was the youngest member to be elected to Who’s Who in Interior Design, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, House & Garden, Design Times, 100 Designers’ Favorite Rooms (book, by John L. Pellam, c. 1998 Barons), Interior Visions – Great American Designers & the Showcase House, along with several television appearances and interviews showcasing her talent.  She is an associate member of the American Society of Interior Designers, a council member for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She attended Boston College, studying Political Science and Art History, as well as the Museum School of Fine Arts, and the Boston Architectural Center. She was most recently selected for the WHO’s Who 35 Anniversary edition for “Women of Distinction.”   In 1985, Maureen served as the inspiration for her ex-husband Tom Stemberg in founding STAPLES Office Supply Stores.