Wednesday - July 27, 2016

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)



CARTOON: Peter Broelman, Australia/BROELMAN.com.au) "HILLARY ROUND THE WORLD"

(CARTOON: Taylor Jones/Politicalcartoons.com)


(CARTOON: Michael Ramirez/Weekly Standard)



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

San Marino     Mongolia
Vancouver     Ghana





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The Caribbean:


National Energy Task Force 'hits the ground running' in Antigua-Barbuda-http://bit.ly/c42wFe

BAHAMAS:     Social Assistance Spending Up $12M-http://bit.ly/a7WIgx

BARBADOS:  Less onions, carrots possible due to drought-http://bit.ly/biBAVo

BARBADOS:  Column: “Disaster Need More than Prayers”-http://bit.ly/9JBTJ8

DOMINICA:    Caribbean Leaders to meet World Bank President-http://bit.ly/9tWo81

DOMINICA:    CARICOM chairman calls upcoming meeting crucial and critical-http://bit.ly/bZNppu

GRENADA:    Cops to check on water use as Caribbean undergoes drought-http://bit.ly/9QKj6o

GRENADA:    Chinese to build housing in Grenada- http://bit.ly/blIrT9


 St. Kitts PM wants NEMA to review disaster plans to deal with earthquakes-http://bit.ly/b9z3dm

ST. LUCIA:    Water key issue on CARICOM agenda-http://bit.ly/bZNppu

ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES:   Mustique’s Rum Punch-http://bit.ly/aJ1zic





Africa and the Middle East:

ALGERIA: Mideast women win more rights but hurdles remain-http://bit.ly/bRXXy7

ANGOLA: Luanda to host 3rd International Youth seminar-http://bit.ly/c42wFe 

BENIN: Raising hope through cycling-http://bit.ly/apWiYl

BOTSWANA: Africa united in fight against polio outbreak-http://bit.ly/d52reZ

BOTSWANA: Entertainment industry undergoes renaissance-http://bit.ly/b4FVM5

BURKINA FASO:  Meningitis outbreak kills 250 in Burkina Faso-http://bit.ly/cRi4Bj

CAMEROON:  Breast ironing, a painful practice for Cameroon's girls-http://bit.ly/dyor9x

CAPE VERDE:  Cape Verde to be entirely wind-powered-http://bit.ly/94hrFb

CAPE VERDE:  Cape Verde farmers to reorganize into companies-http://bit.ly/99nHqC


UNHCR chief puts spotlight on Central African refugees in Cameroon-http://bit.ly/a4z1ww

CHAD:  Prices hike, teachers strike-http://bit.ly/chde5m

CHAD:  Chad PM resigns from office-http://bit.ly/a2ecWn

COMOROS:  VP-Iran Ready to Expand Ties with African, Asian States-http://bit.ly/bRRuGc

DJIBOUTI:  Somalia government readies troops for al Shabaab assault-http://bit.ly/9vo5Yy

ERITREA:  Sudan-Eritrea strengthen ties against UN Eritrea sanctions-http://bit.ly/bTEbDH

ERITREA:  UNICEF wants $24.8 million for Eritrean fund-http://bit.ly/aUAtWH

GABON:  First Proof Gorillas Eat Monkeys?-http://bit.ly/cuXGiS

GAMBIA:  Gambian agriculture sector gets US $8 million in grants-http://bit.ly/bCMYmC

GHANA:  Ghana celebrates 53-Years of independence-http://bit.ly/cKHeLJ

GHANA:  Better Ghana agenda will revolve around the youth- http://bit.ly/aB2z2q

GUINEA:  Refugee All Stars "Rise" to challenge of 2nd album-http://bit.ly/aU7Kos


Window of opportunity for stability in Guinea-Bissau must not be missed-http://bit.ly/bK5Y5L

LESOTHO:  Prince Harry Must Choose Duty or Charity-http://bit.ly/bId0wT

LIBERIA:  Liberia’s Justice System under microscope-http://bit.ly/a0mOq3

LIBYA:  Guinea-Libya-Cooperation: Guinean interim leader visits Libya-http://bit.ly/9ZwhBr

MALAWI:  Mosquito nets 'fail to curb malaria' in Malawi-http://bit.ly/bpflm6

MALI:  Hiking Deep Into Dogon Country in Mali-http://nyti.ms/bdVjAP

MAURITANIA:  France, Mauritania sign funding agreement-http://bit.ly/aDO4sr

MAURITANIA:  Budapest-Bamako Rally will return in 2011-http://bit.ly/d94BOG

MOZAMBIQUE:  Mozambique and Portugal sign cooperation agreements-http://bit.ly/c6bpEV

NAMIBIA:  Election case attracts huge public interest-http://bit.ly/dgqO9N

NIGER:  New transitional government for Niger-http://bit.ly/baayPw

QATAR:  OIC charities’ meet to set up code of ethics-http://bit.ly/ameLG8


Sonangol to explore oil in São Tomé and Príncipe-http://bit.ly/aiV2ls

SEYCHELLES:  Major ocean security conference set for Seychelles-http://bit.ly/aXpFVa


In Sierra Leone, Parliament Approves Vivian Solomon as Appeals Court Judge-http://bit.ly/9K7ObV

SUDAN:  Eritrea proposes delay to Sudan elections and referendum-http://bit.ly/bGZCO2

SWAZILAND:  Property Rights at Last for Women-http://bit.ly/9JJ7oB

TOGO:  Disputed vote spawns fears-http://bit.ly/bGZWbx

YEMEN:  Issue of early marriage debated in Yemen-http://bit.ly/btl3o7


The social-media Olympics 

by HUM News staff

VANCOUVER (HN, March 1) -- After 16 days of competition, the Vancouver Olympic Games have also become known as the 'Social Games.'  Twenty-first Century technology -- specifically mobile technology -- allowed sports enthusiasts, journalists, bloggers, athletes and sponsors to connect collectively with the world. 

As reporter Steven Evans finds out, even the International Olympic Committee is "a Fan!" 



CBC REPORT: Hummingbirdz-RC Palmer students work with HUMNEWS

Students from Richmond, British Columbia have filed online reports which focus on Olympic athletes from developing-world countries, such as Ghana and Tajikistan, for HUM News.



Imagining Beringia

PHOTO: Courtesy the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center.by HUM News staff 

WHITEHORSE, Yukon Territory, Canada (HN, Feb. 26) - Imagining 'Beringia' is a prehistoric journey.  On HUM News' recent trip to the Yukon capital city of Whitehorse, our crew visited the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center to learn about the ancient land bridge which is said to have connected the northern and central Yukon, and Alaska territories with Siberia.  Beringia vanished with the end of the last Ice Age, almost 10,000 years ago, but parts of this lost land can still be seen in the topography of the region.  

The term Beringia comes from the name of Arctic explorer, Vitus Jonassen Bering, a Danish-born sea captain who served in the Russian Navy during the 18th Century.   From 1725-1730, and 1733-1741, Bering headed both the First and Second 'Kamchatka Expeditions', which ventured the waters of the North Pacific between Asia and North America including the strait that lies between Chukotka Peninsula and Seward Peninsula; Siberia and Alaska, respectively, and which now bears Bering’s name.   

Over the past 2 million years, the climate of the northern hemisphere has been dominated by huge ice sheets.  During each Ice Age, vast glaciers formed in the Northern Hemisphere, locking up much of the world's water as ice.   

The shallow sea now separating Asia from North America dropped about 300 ft and created a 1,000-mile wide grassland plateau, linking Asia and North America together in the "Bering Land Bridge" or `Beringia’, which scientists believe allowed human beings to first enter North America from Eurasia. 

Three migrations are thought to have occurred between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, which archaeologists surmise included Paleo-Indians, ancestors of all South American and most North American Indians; as well as ancestors of the Eskimo and Aleuts, included in the Siberian-American Paleoarctic history of peoples. 

The US National Park Service administers the Shared Beringian Heritage Program and is actively working for the establishment of a Beringian Heritage International Park along with Russian-government counterparts. Since 1996, these two nations have held an annual Beringia Days Conference each fall.  


NOAA:  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/parcs/atlas/beringia/images/movies/lbridge.mov

Park Beringia: http://www.beringiapark.ru/indexen.php?right=newsen

Yukon Interpretive Center:  http://www.beringia.com/



HUM Countries and Athlete Rankings at the 2010 Winter Games Update 


Men’s Downhill (Ranking out of 64 competitors)

8 Liechtenstein – Marco Buechel

47 Andorra – Kevin Esteve

48 Andorra – Roger Vidosa

59 Tajikistan – Andrey Drygin

Ladies Downhill (Ranking out of 45 competitors)

28 Andorra – Mireia Gutierrez

Ladies Super Combined Slalom (Ranking out of 31 competitors)

24 Andorra – Mireia Gutierrez

Men’s Super-G (Ranking out of 63 competitors)

33 Andorra – Roger Vidosa

39 Andorra – Kevin Esteve

44 Tajikistan – Andrey Drygin

45 Iceland – Stefan Jon Sigurgeirsson

Men’s Super Combined Slalom (Ranking out of 46 competitors)

25 Andorra – Roger Vidosa

Men’s Giant Slalom (Ranking out of 89 competitors)

43 Iceland – Bjoergvin Bjoergvinsson

44 Republic of Moldova – Christophe Roux

57 Tajikistan – Andrey Drygin

76 Kyrgyzstan – Dmitry Trelevski

80 Republic of San Marino – Marino Cardelli



Ladies 7.5 km Sprint (Ranking out of 89 competitors)

53 Republic of Moldova – Natalia Levchenkova

Men’s 10 km Sprint (Ranking out of 88 competitors)

70 Republic of Moldova – Victor Pinzaru



Men’s 15k Free (Ranking out of 96 competitors)

73 Andorra – Francesc Soulie

84 Algeria – Meidhi-Selim Khelifi

86 Republic of Moldova – Sergiu Balan

87 Mongolia – Khash-Erdene Khurelbataar

Ladies 10k Free (Ranking out of 78 competitors)

71 Republic of Moldova – Alexandra Camenscic

74 Mongolia – Erdene-Ochir Ochirsuren

76 Armenia – Kristine Khachatryan

Men’s Individual Sprint Classic (Ranking out of 62 competitors)

56 Andorra – Francesc Soulie

Ladies Individual Sprint Classic (Ranking out of 54 competitors)

54 Kyrgyzstan - Olga Reshetkova



Men’s Singles (Ranking out of 39 competitors)

33 Republic of Moldova – Bogdan Macovei



Men’s Snowboard Cross (Ranking out of 34 competitors)

34 Andorra – Lluis Tarroch Marin



Ladies 500m (Ranking out of 35 competitors)

9 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – Hyon-Suk KO

Ladies 1000m (Ranking out of 36 competitors)

13 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – Hyon-Suk KO





Montine Blank and former Atlanta Olympics ticket seller Rob Budd, discuss how the Atlanta Olympics ticket sales compare to ticket sales for the Vancouver Winter Games.  Fed entirely over WIMax and Livecast technology.


Yukon premier urges global community to unify on climate change

Yukon Premier, Dennis Fentie, spoke to a room of journalists in Whitehorse on Saturday.by Michael Bociurkiw

WHITEHORSE, Yukon Territory, Canada (HN, Feb. 20) -- Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie has expressed concern about what climate change could do to his own northern community, as well as to low lying nations such as the island nation of the Maldives.

Both areas are now seeing the stark reality of climate change.  In the North, warmer temperatures and the melting of the Polar ice cap means that, for example, foreign ships are able to navigate sensitive Arctic water for a longer period each year.  And some island nations in the south could literally disappear as rising ocean levels eat up coastlines.

For example, most of the Maldives' islands -- which stretch about 700 km (or 435 miles, roughly) southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean -- lie less than three feet above sea level and global warming poses a serious threat to much of the country.  The positioning of the tiny island nation means they are much more at risk if global sea levels keep rising.  Some scientists have warned that the islands could even be uninhabitable within 100 years.

In the Yukon, the impact of climate change has been apparent for quite some time.

"It's changing the Arctic environment considerably," Fentie told HUM News in an interview. "What we are experiencing is not only the receeding of the Arctic ice cap - which will create higher sea levels for example - the melting of permafrost, the infestation of insects and also other migrating species are now coming into the Yukon that arent indigenous - so that will change our environment. It's very complex."

One of the aspects the Yukon has focused heavily on, Fentie said, is adaptation:  "How do we adapt to these changes so that as we adapt through it that we are better able to manage the situation."

Fentie agreed new sovereignty issues could arise as climate change opens up new shipping routes in the North.

"We are very pleased that the national government in Ottawa is taking steps to address that," he continued.  "But it's part of what the global community must understand - it's not about being individual in this - the global community must come together and address these issues in the appropriate manner so that throughout the world, the experiences that we are seeing in the Arctic and in the northern regions ... that we all come together and do what's proper."

Canada's three territories -- Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut -- are at the frontline of Canada’s rctic sovereignty. All are being hit first and hardest in Canada's own climate change.

A Climate Change Action Plan commits Yukon to set targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions within two years and to enhance support for climate change monitoring, education and adaptation initiatives.
Watch a brief interview with Premier Fentie here

HUMNews Joy DiBenedetto Talks with CKNW Radio About Olympic Coverage 

VANCOUVER (HN, February 23, 2010) - On February 12th, as the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was taking place, HUM's Joy DiBenedetto spoke live with Canada's CKNW radio's `Ready for the World' program and discussed the importance of covering the smallest and poorest countries participating at the Games with hosts Jill Bennett and Sean Leslie. Listen here: http://www.cknw.com/other/audiovault.html


Unexpectations -- Homelessness in Vancouver


by Laurel Emery; Video by Matt Odom
VANCOUVER (HN) -- While moving around the downtown core of Vancouver, the homeless are as easy to spot as the coffee shops; there seems to be one on every corner.  Two blocks away, the Canadian hockey team is battling Norway but on East Hastings Street the struggle is more personal.
With eye glasses fastened with a unfolded paperclip and carefully rolled aluminum foil, Patricia Monty feels the defeat and affect of this long-term lifestyle.  Even her purported "good street cred" does not suppress her constant roaming eyes.  As we spoke, her attention swung back to the street.
Patricia has been struggling with homelessness on and off since 1972.  Admittedly, some of that time was self-imposed when she was a young free-spirited teenager.  With the safety net of her parents basement and fresh energy of the woman's movement, the street life decision was not permanent nor dire but an exercise of independence.  
Unfortunately, her current situation is a function of a debilitating disease, modest disability checks, and a government subsidy that does not cover the basic costs of affording a home. 

“I couch surf 50 percent of the time amongst friends,” she told HUM News. 

Patricia is not alone, the 2008 Metro Vancouver Homelessness Count enumerated 619 women, representing 27 percent of those on the street. It also found the number of homeless women had increased more quickly than men since the 2005 count.
When asked what it would take to get her off the streets, she momentarily jiggled a dance and fantasized about that potential:  “I want a home to set up in.  I am a grandmother.  I want to be in a garden with my grandson baking cookies and do all those stupid things ... I can't be a burden to my daughter.  It's hard enough for young people to make it,” she said.
“Once you are in the system, it 's hard to break out," she continued.  "You go for an interview and have no mailing address, you are turned away.  I used to be a biochemical engineer but developed fibromyalgia causing my memory loss.  I do web design now but have no office to set up a desk.” 
Patricia is an example of the expanding segment of homelessness in Vancouver -- women over 50 years old and grandmothers with no connection to their grandchildren.
In the early 1970s, the feminist movement was creating and launching independent women, liberated from the sanctioned path of marriage, the big house with multiple children.  Pioneers were afforded the possibility to set sail single.  The outcome of social movements have long term affects that may not have been fully forecasted.  Women are seemingly falling through the holes of the social fabric, according to various sources.
Now the notion of needing and wanting a “partner” is unexpected and essential.  Homeless women must partner with each other so that while one sleeps, the other defends their closely-kept personal items. 

“It is hard to stay awake all night long,” she said. 

Succumbing to drugs and/or exposure to the elements is likely and hard to repel. 
Gradually, government funded shelters and day clinics are being built to service female clientele.  Until recently, they have been such a small portion of the total homeless population that services were limited.  
As Vancouver presents its newly shined image to its international guests, the reality in some parts of Vancouver reveals a much different picture.  It is estimated that 3,000 people sleep in alleys and alcoves to 'bed down' during each night. 

Meeting Patricia put the crisis in perspective, giving us a glimpse into the lives of unlikely women in unlikely places.       


HUM Livecasting at Mobile World Congress, 2010 Barcelona with support from Intel 


Delegates at Mobile World watching the HUM Livecast from Vancouver
        The daily Livecasts were distributed overnight local time so that delegates in Barcelona could catch HUM content during their day.


Richmond students partner with HUM to cover smaller Olympic teams

by Michael Bociurkiw

VANCOUVER (HN, Feb 18) - Agreeing that the smaller countries at the 2010 Winter Olympics receive little attention, Grade 11 students at RC Palmer Secondary School in Richmond have partnered with HUM to draw more attention to teams sidelined at the Games.

In an assignment which has clearly generated significant excitement, the students were tasked to research about a dozen HUM countries and then build Facebook fan pages for each team. Already colourful, informative pages for San Marino, Tajikistan, Algeria and Armenia are now online and gaining fans.

Said one student: "I feel like this is a great project. We all hear about Canada, America and China but none of us hear about Ghana, Armenia, Ethiopia and other countries that no one hears about. But they are still here...they are still on the world stage. To hear about these smaller countries is very cool."

For the students, Google and YouTube have proven to be powerful tools to find information about the small countries and their athletes. The RC Palmer School administration has also given the students access to a state-of-the-art computer lab to help facilitate the project.

HUM - Human Unlimited Media is the world's first, truly mobile humanitarian news agency, covering 116 mostly impoverished countries that are not part of mainstream media coverage. A sub-unit of HUM - HUMmingbirdz - promotes and develops projects specifically for children and adolescents, to promote global understanding and networking.

Watch coverage of this story on Friday, Feb. 19th on CBC News Vancouver http://www.cbc.ca/tvnewsvancouver/


Obscure countries at 2010 Games face hurdles getting press

by Michael Bociurkiw

VANCOUVER (HN, Feb 17) - While the USA Canada, Japan and other industrialized countries receive wall-to-wall media coverage at the 2010 Winter Games, the small, impoverished countries are mostly sidelined by the mainstream press.

Sadly, it is only when an unexpected medal win - or tragedy - occurs when the media spotlight temporarily veers to cover the dozens of unreported countries. On Day One of the Games it took the horrific death of a Georgian luge athlete in the Whistler Sliding Centre to catapult Georgia into the headlines. And a Tajik skier ended up in an AP wire story - for the fact that he ended last in the Men's Downhill races on Monday.

Mongolian journalist Bayar Jargal told HUM News in an interview that his remote country rarely gets major international attention. Though the recent discovery of natural resources has triggered a stampede to major companies to the mountainous country.

For athletes from such countries as Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, finding the sponsorships and facilities to smooth their way to the medal stand is an enormous challenge. Even when they do get within striking distance of the Olympics, qualifying rounds, a lack of funding and restricted access to practice runs threatens to keep them at home. The Icelandic Olympic Team would not be in Vancouver had a Canadian bio-energy firm not stepped in at the last minute with emergency sponsorship support.

“There’s two groups of people: there’s the haves and the have-nots,” Rubén González, 47, a member of the Argentine luge team who finished in last place in the men’s singles luge competition Sunday told The New York Times.

One major reason for the lack of attention on the smaller countries is that many do not have a permanent presence by western news agencies - such as Reuters, the AP and Bloomberg. There are about a dozen countries at the 2010 Games that find themselves in this so-called geographic gap. They include: Armenia, Andorra, Ghana, Moldova, North Korea and San Marino.

Jargal of Mongolia said that, because of tight budgets, there are only three Mongolian outlets covering the Vancouver Games. The Liechtenstein team said no local TV outlets followed them to Vancouver, so they are filling the news gap back home with Facebook updates and emails to friends and family.

Some countries are relative newcomers to the Winter Olympics. Armenia, which just has four athletes competing, has only been in four previous winter games. Two of the four have already competing and did not come close to any medal wins.


Canada's Aboriginal tribes rejoice in global attention

Members of the Xat'sull First Nation and Tsimshian First Nation tribes are excited to share their traditions, culture and beliefs with the world. British Columbia is a culturally diverse region, and some native tribes like the Xat'sull and Tsimshian First Nations welcome the attention the Olympics bring to their heritage.

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Commercial Drive: Symbol of a multicultural city

Vancouver residents hail from all over the globe, and nowhere is this more evident than on Commercial Drive – fondly referred to as “the Drive.” Here you’ll find people from Jamaica, Bangladesh, Mexico, the Philippines, Portugal, Japan, India, Greece and more, working and living side by side in the city they love to call home.

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