FEATURED PHOTOS AND STORIES

Thursday:  November 20, 2014

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)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

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

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Entries in Armenia (14)

Monday
May072012

Vote 2012 Analysis: Now the real campaign begins (PERSPECTIVE)

(Video: OSCE election observer statement on Armenia's May 6 parliamentary elections)

By Naira Hayrumyan

May 6 saw general elections in several European nations, including France, Greece, Serbia, as well as their eastern neighbor - Armenia.

Experts usually make references to ideological differences between contestants in elections. In referring to the Armenia vote, most foreign media would call it a contest between the presidential party and the party of a billionaire former arm wrestling champ – the Republican Party of Armenia led by President Serzh Sargsyan and the Prosperous Armenia Party of Gagik Tsarukyan.

In France, people went to the polls in the presidential runoff to choose between the right-wing ideology, which is based on the support of those “who know how to make money”, and the socialist one, which stands for higher taxes for the rich and more money spent on the opening of new jobs. In France, the Socialists won (with their candidate Francois Hollande beating incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy), and the people of France, still experiencing the effects of the recent global economic crisis, decided that they needed social benefits more than the financial strengthening of Europe.

Greece was also making its difficult ideological choice: two major parties that have alternately ruled the country since 1974, have been in favor of austerity measures, including the sale of national wealth, if only to stay in the euro zone and to get loans to repay the debt. The Conservatives and the right-wing forces think they can sacrifice the future of the euro zone to preserve the national wealth and social guarantees. And in Greece, the latter ideology has prevailed.

In Serbia, the choice has been between the forces espousing concessions on national issues for the European future, and those who have a hard line on issues related to sovereignty, including on Kosovo. The pro-European party is enjoying a slim advantage, with President Boris Tadic still facing a tense runoff. 

And what have the political forces in Armenia been fighting for? What ideologies do the parties that entered the fray stand for? Perhaps, it is only clear that ARF Dashnaktsutyun is a nationalist and socialist party. It speaks of social reform, about promoting national issues. The other parties are quite amorphous.

For example, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, which spent much of the past five years trying to grapple with the crisis, has been running on the platform of reforms. What it hasn’t said, however, is what kind of reforms it wants to press ahead with. Nor has the opposition Armenian National Congress elaborated in plain terms what kind of reforms it wants to implement. Sometimes it stresses social issues, stating that it is necessary to curb migration, resulting in a dwindling of the population, then it speaks of a liberal economy that is far from being social-oriented.

(PHOTO: Gagik Tsarukyan)The most obscure position is of the Prosperous Armenia Party, whose leader Tsarukyan, known for his charity projects, would state at campaign rallies that after the elections he will be doing “even more for the people than he has done before.”

An ideological struggle, when everyone could try this ideology on themselves and see what their lives would be like if one ideology or another prevails, would have entailed a real competition. But this time, the presidential party prevailed.

France and Greece, in fact, have changed their ideologies and the power along with it. In Armenia, the power remained, and this means that nothing will change in people’s lives. Do people going to the polls really want their life to stay unchanged?

Still before the parliamentary elections both the government and opposition were saying that they were preparing for the February 2013 presidential election. And from this point of view it is interesting what the list of presidential candidates will look like against the new backdrop of the alignment of forces in the National Assembly.

Still last year President Serzh Sargsyan publicly spoke about his plans to run for a second term in 2013. And the victory by his party, which is expected to gain some 70 seats in the National Assembly and an opportunity to form the government single-handedly, is likely to become a solid support for his reelection bid. The question is whether or not the first and second presidents of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Robert Kocharyan, mount any serious challenge to him.

The opposition Armenian National Congress led by Ter-Petrosyan has overcome the 7% hurdle for election blocs in the May 6 parliamentary elections and has got the right to form a faction in the next parliament. The result appears to be much more modest than expected by Ter-Petrosyan, whose bloc, however, has been speaking about large-scale violations during the Sunday polls.

(PHOTO: Serzh Sargsyan)But the real question here is whether Ter-Petrosyan will estimate his chances as good enough to try to join another presidential campaign against Sargsyan (the last time they had a rivalry in 2008 the opposition leader got some 21%, as against Sargsyan’s 52%, and the eventual street standoff resulted in deadly clashes).  As things stand now, Ter-Petrosyan hasn’t got any reassuring result percentage-wise.

As for Kocharyan, he had implied he would announce his decision on whether or not to return to active politics after the elections, after May 6. Prosperous Armenia and the ARF, both of which are believed to be loyal to Kocharyan, according to preliminary vote results, have about 36% of the vote. This appears to be a formative resource, and Kocharyan may just put everything on the line.

In this view, new alliances could already be in the offing, such as those that have already been formed once during the pre-election month. If the ANC also backs the candidate from the PAP (whether Kocharyan or former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian), then an alternative to Sargsyan is possible.

One way or another, May 7 marks not only the end of the grueling parliamentary campaign, but the start of perhaps a similarly strenuous presidential race.

---This commentary originally appeared in ArmeniaNow.

Thursday
Jan122012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 12, 2012

(PHOTO: In Armenia, drug manufacturers eye the Uzbek market/NEWS.AM)Afghanistan 

Karzai leads wave of condemnation over video of urination on corpses

Afghan life expectancy improves by 18 years since 2001

Albania

Worried Albanians in northern Greece prepare to go home

Algeria

Clinton, Algerian FM discuss Arab mission in Syria 

Andaman Islands

Andaman Islanders 'forced to dance' for tourists - video

Andaman & Nicovar islands: Government orders probe into Jarawa video as outrage grows

Fifteen people arrested for intruding into Jarawa areas

When neglect of a place is projected as an attraction (Perspective)

Andorra 

New snow parks will be opened in Andorra

Angola 

Angola warns Namibia farmer settlers

Antarctica 

Helen Skelton's Polar Challenge: the latest

(PHOTO: In Austalia, the seizure by federal police from captured Spaniards of $80 million in cocaine is the 5th largest ever/Australian Federal Police) Antigua & Barbuda 

Monaco Royal couple compliments Antigua

Argentina 

DirecTV builds its first 70K Argentinean STBs

Armenia 

Armenian drug manufacturers wish to conquer Uzbek market 

American Samoa 

Concern at over-crowding at American Samoa high school

Australia 

Spaniards to face court over cocaine seizure

Police worried shootings linked to turf war

Azerbaijan 

Baku Tightens Control over Mobile Phones

Bahrain 

Bahrain race circuit reinstates protest staff

Bahrain economy is on the mend

(PHOTO: Oily birds & fish are eginning to wash ashore on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean after last weeks tanker sinking off New Zealand/THE AUSTRALIAN) Bangladesh 

Bangladesh to extend trade with Nepal, Bhutan

Barbados 

US companies to build gas pipeline to the Eastern Caribbean

Belgium

Belgian tax authorities investigate EU trade chief

Belize

Belize opens its border to Mexico for 72 hrs

Benin

West Africans would pay more for pesticide-free food

Bolivia

Bolivia to Increase Gas Shipments to Argentina in 2012 

Bosnia-Herzegovinia

Bosnian Parliament appoints a new prime minister, 15 months after election

Botswana

Power crisis to linger on 

Brazil

Brazil milk imports soar as its own farms struggle 

Brazil announces plan to rein in immigration from Haiti

(PHOTO: In Europe, Poland recently handed over teh EU Presidency to Denmark/EPA)Bulgaria

Bulgaria PM Scandalously Scolds Killed Girl Family, Lauds Police

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso to bust corruption

Burundi

Burundi's military lags behind in fight against HIV/AIDS: survey

Cameroon

Boko Haram infiltrates Cameroon-report

Cambodia

Khmer Rouge genocide trial continues

Medicines clash in Cambodia

Canada

Canada to spend $11 million updating diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka

Cape Verde

Cape Verdean government plans to invest in improving conditions at fishing port

Central African Republic

Central African rebel group quits peace process 

(PHOTO: The Straits of Hormuz from space/NASA) Chad

Senegal stops extradition of former Chad dictator Hissene Habre

Chile

Chilean grape importers expect stronger markets

China

China Internet users top half a billion, many more to go

China defends Iran oil trade despite U.S. push

China warns US against interfering after it expressed concerns about Tibetan self-immolations

Chinese Smartphone Maker ZTE Passes Apple Globally, Targets U.S.

Christmas Island

Oil-covered birds, red crabs in island clean-up

Colombia

Colombia begins historic process of land restitution

Costa Rica

Costa Rica drops in peace ranking

(PHOTO: Great Britain is getting read to rebrand itself & its manufacturing industry with the `Make it in Great Britain' campaign.) Croatia

Croatia, Slovenia discuss border dispute

Cuba

Iran, Cuba call for new world order 

'A new kind of torture' as Guantanamo detainees lose hope  (Perspective)

Cyprus

Cyprus stops Syria-bound Russian ammunition ship

Djibouti

Djibouti government refutes Al Shabaab's claims

Iraq’s Warka Bank enters Djibouti Market

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic, Haiti join hands to uproot cholera

East Timor

East Timor Settling Down A Bit: UN To Leave This Year

(PHOTO: Romanian president Traian Basescu wears an apron at a Chinese New Year celebration in Bucharest./Romania Business Insider)Ecuador

Iran's Ahmadinejad arrives in Ecuador

Eritrea

Eritrean refugees kidnapped, killed: UNHCR chief

Ethiopia

Two convicted journalists to seek pardon

Falkland Islands

'Mercosur members reconfirmed agreed policies over Malvinas,' Timerman

Fiji

Invasive weed alert

France

French journalist killed in Syria on official trip

Gaza and West Bank

Gaza Hamas leader to visit Iran, Qatar: report

Mahmoud Abbas Will Not Attend Tunisia’s Celebration of the Revolution

Palestinian Liberation Requires Unity (Perspective)

Georgia

Released Georgian sailors returning home

(PHOTO: Message in a bottle from Vanuatu. Rudie Langevelt with the message in a bottle he found on Grey Rocks Beach, Bingie in Australia on Friday morning./NaroomaNews.com)Ghana

Panelists advocate restructuring of educational system 

Guyana

Guyana Water Incorporated launches countrywide disconnection campaign

Haiti

Twitter exposed epidemic in Haiti before health officials

Hungary

Hungarians bank on Austria to secure savings

Hungary President Denies Plagiarizing Bulgarian Researcher

India

Over 40 Percent of India’s Children Malnourished - report

Central Asian sex workers reaching India: Missions told to scan women visitors from region

Indian bureaucracy rated the worst in Asia

India scores major victory in battle to eradicate polio

(PHOTO: The famous Nike `Swoosh'/NIKE)Indonesia

Nike agrees to just pay it in Indonesian workers' compensation deal

Iran

Pirate Attacks Target Iranian Vessels

Japan

Japan, Singapore Officials Discuss Key Maritime Issues

Japan proposes Saudi Arabia and UAE to increase oil export 

Jordan

Jordan activist charged after torching king's picture

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan faces grain storage problem

Kenya

Kenya military spokesman in Twitter war over graphic photos

Kenya on edge as terror attack threat looms

Kuwait

Sheikh Sabah Khalid meets Yemeni FM

Legal workers stage strike, call for rights

(PHOTO: In Dubai, UAE volunteers are trying to ckean up the beach from cigarette butts./SUPPLIED) Lithuania

Russia refuses Lithuanian request to interrogate Gorbachev

Mexico

Remittances to Mexico are rebounding

Myanmar

Myanmar in ceasefire with Karen rebels

New Zealand

Millions spent on travel for judges and spouses

Photo essay: Work's a bowl of cherries

North Korea

N. Korea reopens door to food-for-nukes deal with U.S.

Norway

Norwegian Prime Minister Slams Turkey Over Free Press

Oman

Omani-Dutch ties growing stronger

Muscat Festival: One month to showcase traditions of Oman 

Pakistan

Pakistan speeds pursuit of Iranian pipeline

Lead figure in MemoGate Mansour Ijaz to appear before the Memo Commission on January 16, 2012-source

PM urged to take notice of nine new Indian dams on Indus, Chenab rivers

(PHOTO: In South Korea, 9 sites have been temporarily added to the UNESCO World Heritage list including Dosan Seowon, built 1574/YONHAP)Papua New Guinea

World's tiniest frogs found in Papua New Guinea

PNG eligible for work program in the US

Paraguay

Paraguay culls 168 livestock in response to Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak

Peru

Peru, Phillippines among emerging-economy stars by 2050: HSBC

Philippines

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Filipino maids

New strawberry varieties pop out of school lab

Poland

Poland hands over EU Presidency to Denmark

Portugal

Portugal posts highest inflation rate for 10 years

Puerto Rico

Famed astrologer Walter Mercado hospitalized in Puerto Rico

Qatar

Qatar, Unveiling Tensions, Suspends Sale of Alcohol

Qatar Investments in Sudan Reach US$2 Billion

Romania

Romanian president puts on apron and prepares traditional food at Chinese New Year reception

Romanian president Traian Basescu posed wearing an apron a

Russia

UN Slams Russia on Syria Monitor Vote

Russia calls for Asian-Pacific unity on environment-protection laws

Rwanda

French Probe Seemingly Clears Rwanda's Kagame in Genocide Events

US NGO Donates Computer Lab to Kigali School

Voices of the most vulnerable children heard at Rwanda’s annual National Children’s Summit by Unicef correspondent Suzanne Beukes

Saint Kitts & Nevis

Increase in local vegetable production projected

Female arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs into prison

Saint Lucia

Guyanese National Becomes St Lucia's New Attorney General

Saint Vincent & The Grenadines

Cyprus releases Russian Syria-bound 'ammunition' ship flying the Saint Vincent and Grenadines Flag 

(PHOTO: In Zimbabwe bungee jumping has been suspended while the government conducts an investigation as to why an Australian tourist plunged to the Zambezi river after snapping her rope/NEW ZIMBABWEAN) Saudi Arabia

Saudi oil output nearing capacity limit-report

Crown prince, Yemen premier hold key talks in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia to continue fuel donation to Yemen

Saudi-Israeli hacking scandal continues

Saudi Arabia restaurant offers free meals to the needy

26-day cold snap in Arabia as Shabt season begins

Senegal

Senegal 'to lose US aid unless it extradites Habre'

Senegal's President pardons jailed opponents

Global Greens Congress to be held in Dakar, Senegal, Mar. 29-Apr. 1 2012 (Press Release)

Singapore

Singapore, Japan should cooperate in anti-piracy acts (Perspective)

Slovakia

Slovak UN envoy elected new president of Economic and Social Council

Slovenia

Slovenian MPs reject candidate for PM

Solomon Islands

New Zealand FM McCully visits Solomon Islands to talk business

Solomon Islands Ratifies Anti-Corruption Convention

(PHOTO: In Yemen, aid workers who are coping with unrest are turning to the community for collaboration/IRIN)Somalia

Somalia: Wounded have difficulty reaching medical facilities

Somalia Militants Flogging Woman Over Christian Conversion

UNDP compound in Mogadishu attacked

South Africa

South Africa: Zuma in New York for UN session

World’s most expensive fuel arrives in Gauteng

South Korea

'S. Korea in great need of Iran's crude'  says official  

S. Korea puts 9 sites on UNESCO's temporary heritage list

Woman has Deceased Dog Cloned in S. Korea (Video)

South Sudan

US Military to Help Build South Sudan

Spain

Spain adopts austerity plan (Video)

Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka's central bank leaves rates unchanged

Tamil refugees slowly return from India

New wave of student protests

Female unemployment rises with education

Sudan

Filipinos urged to leave Sudan as crisis worsens 

Sweden

Sweden Announces Plans for Massive 700 Megawatt Wind Farm in The Baltic Sea

Sweden's teachers free to ban Islamic veils

Swedish Companies Take Advantage of Cheap Labor in U.S.

Swaziland

‘Maintenance tax won’t change sexual behaviour’

100 jobs lost as water project funding dries up

(PHOTO: In Tunisia, an unprecedented multi-artist mural goes up in Kairouan as the country readies to mark 1 year since revolution/TUNISIA LIVE)Switzerland

Swiss may say no to European workers

Syria

Syria's Assad blames unrest on 'foreign conspiracy'

400 killed in Syria since late Dec: UN

Turkey seizes alleged Iranian arms shipment to Syria

Taiwan

Taiwan's top election issue: rich earn 6 times more than poor

Sewage system in Taiwan highly tainted with antibiotics

Paparazzi hounding of bereaved father spurs call for news boycott

Tajikistan

Tajik President congratulates Iranian counterpart

IMF approves US$20.1m disbursement for Tajikistan

Teenager confesses to committing Santa Claus murder in Dushanbe

Tanzania

Head of Iran's National Library to visit Tanzania 

More than 130,000 young people are HIV positive 

Women's climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro shouts for Freedom from trafficking

Thailand

Thailand To Host Two Global Conferences For The Blind In 2012

Water levels behind Thailand dams a worry

Shrimp outlook promising

Thai growers protest over low rubber prices

Thailand needs to reform its educational system for 2015

Thailand's Education Ministry Builds End-to-End IPTV Communications Network

UN rapporteur says Thais need freedom of expression

L'Oreal sitting pretty here

(PHOTO: In Dubai, UAE officials inaugurate a new 1-Gigawatt solar park/Khaleej Times)The Arctic

Vast methane ‘plumes’ seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats

Britain set to probe impact of Arctic 'oil and gas gold rush'

Tokelau

Pacific island makes renewable a reality

Tonga

‘Terrors of Tonga’ arrested, guns seized 

Trinidad and Tobago

Emotions flow as Trinidad's 'daughter PM' visits Bihar village

India, Trinidad and Tobago ink key pacts to boost bilateral trade  

Police storm television station in Trinidad and Tobago to seize video of sexual assault

Dubai’s Next Top Stylist: Derek Khan

Tunisia

Tunisian woman kills herself by self-immolation, 4th case ahead of uprising anniversary

Tunisia forum to enhance economic cooperation between Turkey, N. Africa

Major Tunisian Secular Parties Announce Merger

Unprecedented Tunisian Mural Goes Up in Kairouan

Tunisian Mehdi Gharbi Awarded the 2012 Martin Luther King Prize

Qatar Telecom pledges investment in Tunisia

Revolution Through Arab Eyes - Tunisia: The Revolt Continues (Perspective/Video)

Turkey

Climate negotiator Rende: Turkey ready to do its part on climate change

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan to build rail for high-speed trains

Turkmenistan adopts new law on political parties in bid to boost competition

Turkmenistan, UN seek to boost cooperation

Uganda

Bank of Uganda issues new consumer protection rules

Uganda Faces Inflation Dilemma

Ugandan President Meets with Senior Chinese Official

Uganda: What to Consider When Investing in Land

Minister Urges Development in Information Technology

'International pay' promise for Ugandan scientists

Uganda plans to fence off national parks

Jailed Journalist Applies For Bail

Uganda's plantation workers' fate in limbo (Video)

Ukraine

Ukraine parliament votes down moonshine bill

Ukraine expects to resume cooperation with IMF after completion of talks with Russia on gas price, says social policy minister

Ukraine opposition demands parliament investigate Tymoshenko health

Restrictions of land use to result in shadow leasing

Ukraine's grain crop likely to fall-report

Ukraine introduces discount on transit cargo transshipment at commercial sea ports in 2012

90% of asylum seekers in Ukraine turned down-report

(PHOTO: Are Abu Dhabi's party days over? The Abu Dhabi headquarters of Aldar Properties, which received a $10 billion government bailout/National Journal) United Arab Emirates

UAE-Greece joint committee meeting begins

UAE Says Customers Responsible for Hormuz Security

Talent shortage threatens Gulf retail banking expansion

UAE corporate sector set for 23% growth

Bankruptcy no longer crime under draft law

UAE- Another 'The World' island for sale at USD28.6m

UAE’s Dubai Launches 1-Gigawatt Solar Power Project

513,554 butts on the beach in Dubai

UAE-126 women graduate in medicine, pharmacy

UAE to host third Crisis and Emergency Management Conference

After the Party in One of the World's Richest Cities (Perspective)

United Kingdom

U.K. Film Industry Gets Commercial Clarion Call From Prime Minister David Cameron

UK spy agency MI5 named as gay-friendly employer

UK to reintroduce computer science teaching in schools

High speed rail will be great for city - minister

U.K. Men on Trial For "Death Penalty" Antigay Fliers

Al Gore’s Current TV UK Accuses BSkyB of Forcing it to Shut Down

McDonald's To Offer Books Instead Of Happy Meal Toys In The UK

London 2012 Olympics: BOA nominate Great British Olympians for torch relay

Olympic Summit to give £1 b boost for British biz

Planting trees now will return England to forest cover of Domesday

Sledge hired for 'Make it in Great Britain' campaign

92 Percent of UK Dieters have Fallen Off Their Resolutions Already-Poll

Great Britain on the brink of break-up: Furious Scottish nationalists at war with London over independence referendum (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Zimbabwe’s mobile saturation raches 74.7% says the country's Post & Regulatory Authority/The Zimbabwe Mail)United States

US defense chief condemns Afghan corpse video

NY Judge Drops Binladen Group as 9/11 Defendant

United States EPA: Power Plants Main Global Warming Culprit

U.S. icebreaking technology lacking, as ships charge toward Nome, Alaska (Perspective)

Uruguay

Citrus exports are reduced

Alleged Haiti abuse victim 'ready to testify' (Video)  

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan in its determination for development always relies on China’s support - president

BRIEF: Uzbek banks' share capital reaches almost $1 billion 

Vanuatu

Message in a bottle all the way from Vanuatu

The charms of island obscurity

Venezuela

Iran asks Venezuela to repay debts exceeding USD 290 million

Venezuela mulls revival of neglected ports

Children's Mission Spreads Nationwide

Prison Standoffs Spiral Across Venezuela (Perspective)

Vietnam

Ties with India a priority for Viet Nam 

UNAIDS, Vietnam work to fight HIV/AIDS

Vietnam to use Japan model / Tokio Marine to help Hanoi make nuclear plant insurance plan

Vietnam fishermen accuse foreign ship of causing boat wreck 

Vietnam ex-cops receive suspended sentences for torturing woman

Vietnam’s sustainable forest target deemed unattainable

Andrew Yee for ELLE Vietnam, Fashion

(PHOTO: In Abu Dhabi at the World Future Energy summit, Un Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announces the UN Year of Sustainable Energy/UN) Yemen

Coping with unrest - aid workers turn to the community

Zambia

Zambia's tourism minister bungee jumps from Victoria Falls to reassure visitors after snapped rope sent backpacker plunging

Zambian minister offers to bungee-jump with Australian who plunged

Airtel Zambia blocks callers to its call center if they call more than 3 times in a day -ZICTA

AfriConnect picks Airspan for 4G network in Zambia

Region set to enjoy reliable power supply

Zambian government to review mining policy: minister

DFID provides UNICEF with new funding to help Zambia reach health and environment MDGs with Equity (Press release)

Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls bungee jumps suspended

India Pledges to Transform Zimbabwe Economy

Chinese Contractor Denies Abusing Local Workers

Zimbabwe Constitutional Draft Excludes Language Protecting Gay Rights

Teachers Report for Duty Despite Strike Threats

Zimbabwe’s tele-density rises to 74.7%

Exiled Zimbabwean newspaper to launch redesign Thursday

Brown Revolution Brings New Hope

Time to Use Drama, Film to Spread Gospel

10 fundamental reasons why I endorse Zimbabwe internet/facebook/social media politics, by Presidential Candidate Jones Musara (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Lebanon’s Jabbour Douaihy is one of 6 authors shortlisted for this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction/THE NATIONAL) World

Financial crisis lays seeds of 'dystopian future' – WEF Analysis

Ban Ki-moon to Launch UN's International Year of Sustainable Energy for All at World Future Energy Summit 2012 in Abu Dhabi (Press release)

Shortlist for Arabic fiction prize released

What's in a gTLD?  And what does it mean for you and your business

Tuesday
Dec272011

THE HUM - HEADLINES FROM THE GEOGRAPHIC GAP - 12/27/11

Armenia 

Armenia faces Vietnam at Women's Chess Championship round 8

(PHOTO: Azerbaijan protesters outside the French embassy in Baku; upset with France's policy towards Turkey regarding Armenia, AZERBAIJAN NEWS)Azerbaijan 

Protest action outside French embassy in Baku

Brazil 

Brazil pips UK as sixth-largest economy: CEBR

Burundi 

Burundi government taken before an East African court over graft

Canada 

Canada the global housing leader

In Redford’s Alberta, tailpipe emissions a bigger concern than oil sands pollution

Falkland Islands 

Uruguay says there's no 'diplomatic cataclysm’ with UK over Malvinas (Falkland Islands) developments

France 

The rift between Turkey and France: Is it Armenians or Syrians? (Perspective)

Georgia 

(PHOTO: The new Georgia-Turkey border crossing. Jessica Marati)New Georgia border crossing provides a whimsical welcome

Guinea-Bissau 

Guinea-Bissau soldiers in pay protest

India 

First India-UAE legal lecture series held

UK funds aid rural jobs creation in India

Urdu newspaper editors to attend two-day meet

Indonesia

Electricity sparks new life into Indonesia's corals

‘Perang topat’ reflects Islam-Hindu tolerance in West Lombok

(PHOTO: Jobs in India, INDIA TODAY)Iran 

Iranian naval maneuvers to start (Photo)

Ukraine firm to invest $1 bn in Iranian oil fields

Iran says electricity exports up by 24%

Persian epic poet "Ferdowsi" int'l confab in Iran

Iraq

Bombings in Syria and Iraq raise spectre of Sunni-Shia war (Perspective)

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast rocked by ethnic violence

Kenya 

Security and Humanitarian Situations in East Africa Remain Tense 

Strangers united by the fears they share

‘Your event is a real gem in a sea of mediocrity’: Safari Rally, 2011

Famine early warning system gives Africa a chance to prepare (Perspective) 

Myanmar

Japanese FM Assures Aung San Suu Kyi Burmese Icon of Full Support

North Korea 

Eldest son of North Korea's late leader in Beijing under Chinese protection: source 

Pakistan 

(PHOTO: Pakistan's Imran Khan, WIKICOMMONS) The Growing Clout Pakistani Sports-Star Turned Politician Imran Khan

Pakistan coal reserves to provide electricity more than 30 years (Perspective)  

Philippines

Asia Pacific passenger traffic sustains growth

How big is Manny Pacquiao’s charitable heart? (Perspective)

Russia

Diplomatic Spat with Qatar fraught with serious fall-out

Russia, Iran Discuss Regional Conflicts, Bilateral Ties 

Russia has 25,000 undersea radioactive waste sites

Launch of Russian Proton-M carrier rocket postponed

Why Russia No Longer Emulates the U.S. (Perspective)

Rwanda

Kagame honoured for empowering the youth 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Prince Pledges Help for Death Row Migrant Worker 

Saudi to allow foreign airlines to fly domestic routes

United States and Saudi Arabia: Working together to keep our countries healthy (Perspective)  

(PHOTO: Indonesia, the ‘bullet’ women carry the topat before cakes are distributed to residents. The Jakarta Post)Singapore

More Singaporeans using smartphones to shop online 

Somalia

Somalia: Hero dies while removing mines

Taking Schools Back From Militants 

South Africa

Biogas technology benefits S Africa's poor (Video)

South Korea

Seoul School Fuels Coffee Industry

South Korea badly needs Vietnamese workers

Spain

Spain opens pavilion in Dubai's Global Village 

(PHOTO: Taiwan Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network of East Asia planning director & Penghu Symbiotic Algae Association chairperson Allen Chen yesterday calls on 3 presidential candidates to protect ocean resources. Taipei Times) Sri Lanka

Pakistan-Sri Lanka expand bilateral ties

Swaziland

Processing Plant Threatens Water in Capital

Switzerland

Switzerland to Invest in Tajikistan’s Water Supply System

Syria

‘Syria trying to reveal secrets behind abduction of Iranian engineers’ 

Taiwan

Oceans around Taiwan threatened by overfishing

EPA asks Kuokuang to protect dolphins

India’s $35 tablet computer, Aakash to be displayed in Taipei

Taiwan to work to establish mobile commerce foundation next year

Targeting emerging markets is right strategy: official

Underprivileged students to get sponsorship for exchange program

Tajikistan

(PHOTO: A Tajikistan wedding. IWPR.ORG)Multiple Marriages in Tajikistan

Tanzania

Public must fight human trafficking (Perspective)

Why Voice Against Abuse of Women and Children in Zanzibar Remains High (Perspective)

Thailand

Met warns of more violent seas in South

Thailand coastal residents evacuated due to high waves on 7th anniversary of tsunami

Long-term flood plan chief concern for investors

Energy imports hit record

(PHOTO: The eastern coast of Thailand will likely face 3 to 4 more rounds of high & violent waves over the next few months, according to the Meteorological Department.THE NATION)Christmas in Bangkok, Thailand (Perspective)

Tonga

Strong earthquake strikes off Tonga, no damage reported

New Christian video library in the Tongan language (Press release)

Trinidad and Tobago 

Curing our sick Trinidad and Tobago (Perspective)

Tunisia 

Tunisia: New Cabinet Members Take Office

Tunisian Bloggers Meet at Douz International Sahara Festival

Tunisia: "Revolution" over, economy battered, tourism down 40 percent

Welcome 2012: Ringing in the New Year in Tunisia

(PHOTO: Youcef Baaloudj, an Algerian blogger & writer presenting his book on the Tunisian Revolution. TUNISIALIVE) Turkey 

Turkey’s infamous Article 301 could change

Snowfall, storms hit eastern Turkey / PHOTO

Turkey's draft law allowing foreign nationals to own property will be put to vote in the first days of 2012

Turkey becoming major hub for contemporary art

Turkmenistan

CIS to Send Observers to Turkmenistan Presidential Elections

Uganda 

Government urged to toughen on gay proponents

Over 2,300 fake nurses work in hospitals, products of illegal nursing schools

Man held over acid attack on top city pastor

Vision Group launches Uganda at 50 project

(PHOTO: Turkey's Art Scene. The 12th İstanbul Biennial was held from Sept. 17 through Nov. 13 at Antrepo No 3 & 5. TODAY’S ZAMAN)Ukraine 

Ukraine's foreign policy to rest on national pragmatism principle, says president

Ukraine: Taking to the Web to Raise Funds and Awareness

It is important for Ukraine to get next tranche of IMF loan (Perspective)

Ukraine introduces new classification of passenger trains

Ukraine starts delivering sparkling wine to China

United Arab Emirates

UAE launches online registration for Emirates ID cards

Steep fines for spitting gum, throwing cigarette butts in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Award for Medical Sciences makes headway in research in diabetes

'Social networking sites equally popular in Emirates'

Civilian nuclear power drives an international safety culture

Emergency rooms see too many outpatients-report

The UAE Prepares to Host Two Major International ICT Events

Print media will flourish for at least another decade (Perspective)

Sharjah musical festival attracts huge crowds

Lindsay Lohan in Dubai for New Year's Eve Party on board the QE2

Christmas cheer for retailers across UAE

United Kingdom 

Church of England and National Trust concerned about plans to cut solar panel subsidies

Foster families are needed warns charity

UK's Boxing Day bargain hunt (Video)

International karate champion faces jail after sending 5,000 texts to schoolgirl, 13 

United States

Swine flu recently confirmed in five states, CDC reports

US households struggle for a warm winter (Video)

Uruguay 

UTE, Uruguay’s state power company presents plan for domestic solar generation

Vanuatu 

Vanuatu offers more for travellers

Vietnam 

Great potential for tropical fruit, vegetable export in Vietnam

Vietnam to allow free market pricing of power, fuel:  finance ministry 

Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Got USD300mn Contract in Vietnam 

Jubilant Christmas celebrated in Vietnam

Yemen

IOM urges donors to assist Ethiopian migrants in Yemen

Zambia

Former Minister of Energy Kenneth Konga summoned by the Zambia police

Corruption setback to Foreign investment -Report

Munali mine, run by China’s Jinchuan Group, in talks with potential investors

UN buys beans from local farmers

31 accidents recorded on Xmas eve countrywide

David Livingstone memorial set for March 2013

Zambians toast Christmas Day

Zimbabwe

Anhui Farm Project of China Helps Zimbabwe's Agriculture

Rapaport Group of Israel Boycotts Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamonds

Detained Air Zimbabwe plane returns home

“Most youths have embraced Indigenisation” (Perspective)

Saturday
Nov262011

GLOBAL HEADLINES FROM THE GEOGRAPHIC GAP - 11/27/11

(PHOTO: Farouk Batiche) Algeria

Algeria law seen as blow to women's rights

American Samoa

Glory days for soccer in tiny American Samoa

Angola

2011 a year of success for Angolan women

Anguilla

Anguilla turns to TVET for more job skills

Antarctica

British adventurer sets out to become first woman to make solo crossing of Antarctica

(PHOTO: Disaster coordinators, Antigua & Barbuda, CARABARENA)Antigua & Barbuda

Disaster Co-ordinators Recognised

Armenia

Women’s role issues discussed in Armenian government

The Bahamas

Promote Youth Empowerment to Reduce Brain Drain (Opinion)  

Barbados

Marcus Samuelsson in Barbados Gives Lessons on Eating Well

(PHOTO: Cynthia Williams, Womens Department, BELIZE7) Belize

Women Launch 16 Days Of Activism

Benin

West Africa Plans “Electricity Interconnection” 

Bhutan

Where are the snows of yesterday?

Botswana

The prime heritage trails of Botswana

(PHOTO: Brunei Times) Brunei Darussalam 

WWF says 40% of Borneo's forests can be managed by firms

Burkina Faso

Forest Communities in Burkina Faso, Ghana and DRC to Benefit From Dedicated CIF Grant (AfDB)

Cameroon

Cameroon Sentences Three ‘Effeminate Men’ to Maximum Prison Time

(PHOTO: Surfer Today) Cape Verde

Cape Verdean kitesurfers challenge home waves

Cayman Islands

'Crazy Idea' guys start their run

(PHOTO: Chad former dictator Hissene Habre)Chad

Africa's ousted dictators live high on the hog while nations bicker over trials

Christmas Island

Australia to release 100 boatpeople a month

 

Cocos Islands

Cocos base under review

Comoros

Satellite Survey Sheds Light on Species' Extinction Risk

Cook Islands

Cooks signs deal with China for exploratory fishing

(PHOTO: Djibouti, WHO) Djibouti

Djibouti Diarrhea Outbreak Has Affected Thousands

(PHOTO: East Timor Fishooks, Susan O'Connor) East Timor

20,000-year-old fishhooks found in East Timor

Eritrea

Eritrean diplomat defects to Canada

Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands hope for tourism boost after news of Prince William's tour of duty

Faroe Islands

Two suspected murder cases in the Faroe Islands

French Guiana

In Latin America, Effective Regulations Bolster Energy Boom

The Gambia

Jammeh re-elected Gambian president in polls, ECOWAS alleges intimidation

Ghana

IBM opens Ghana centre to grow business in 17 African countries

Greenland

Polar ways of life 'disappearing'

Guam

Ways to improve Guam's public schools

Guinea-Bissau

France pardons Guinea Bissau’s debt

Guyana

Living and struggling in Guyana

Iceland

Women’s Empowerment Event in Reykjavík

Kiribati

Pair adrift in Pacific for over a month

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan moves to stop ‘bride’ kidnappings

Laos

Laos Human Rights Advocate Dies

Lesotho

Film about friendship hopes to inspire

Liberia

Ellen Declares 16-Days Action Against Gender Violence

Madagascar

Air France’s commitment in Madagascar

Malawi

Malawi study reveals climate adaptation costs

The Maldives

Women's contribution possible only by eliminating gender disparity: President

Mali

Climate Investment Fund Board approves Mali’s $40m plan to scale up renewable energy

Marshall Islands

New cases of dengue fever in Marshall Islands confirmed

Mauritania

Maghreb youths chase paradise

Micronesia

108 Countries Support HFC Curbs under Montreal Protocol

Moldova

Moldova issues stamp to mark 60th anniversary of refugee convention

(PHOTO: Mongolia, Vogue India)Mongolia

Vogue India: Art or Exploitation?

Montenegro

Montenegro: IMF requesting reforms in the labour market

 

Mozambique

Mozambique launches US$2bn power project

Namibia

More Needed to Access Higher Education

Palau

The shark, a predator turned prey

Papua New Guinea

WHO warns of untreatable tuberculosis

(PHOTO: Morocco's King Mohammed VI 2nd right hosts a luncheon in honor of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani 2nd left.)Qatar 

Emir of Qatar visits Morocco

Seychelles

Seychelles proposes a new energy bill to revolutionize electricity provision

Solomon Islands

I will not resign: Solomon Islands PM Lilo

Suriname

Citizens of Suriname Celebrate Their Independence Day

Swaziland

Calling all men, calling all leaders

Togo

HIV group N case detected outside Cameroon for the first time

Tonga

Maori party takes a hit

Trinidad and Tobago

Governments plan for HIV/Aids insurance can hit snag

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan begins supplying gas to southern China

Tuvalu

Western nations 'used bullying tactics' at climate talks

United Arab Emirates

Regional issues to personal drama in Arabian Nights Film Festival

Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s WTO membership vote further delayed

Wallis and Futuna

Hundreds Protest Living Costs in Wallis and Futuna

Western Sahara

Concerns over cost to EU and Morocco occupation of Western Sahara

Sunday
Oct232011

'Major Devastation' in Turkey Quake (NEWS BRIEF)

(Video: SkyTurk via YOUTUBE)

(HN, October 23, 2011 - UPDATED 2300GMT) - Hundreds of people are feared dead in an afternoon, 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck the impoverished eastern regions of Turkey Sunday.

Video broadcast by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) showed massive devastation, with buildings collapsed and people screaming.

In a bulletin several hours after the first quake, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said a magnitude 6.0 quake hit 20 km northwest of Van at a depth of 9 km.

Istanbul-based journalist Dorion Jones told CBC that the area is one of the poorest in Turkey, with building codes rarely enforced. He added that cold weather has already hit a region that is both mountainous and, in parts, sparsely populated.

One Arab satellite channel showed ordinary people frantically digging through rubble with their bare hands.

Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reported that three military C-130 aircraft are on their way to the region with relief supplies. It added that two battalions are on their way to the region to assist with relief efforts.

State-run television is reporting deaths in the dozens, but 1,000 could already be dead, said Mustafa Erdik, head of the Kandilli observatory. The epicentre appeared to be near Ercis, a town of 75,000 in the province of Van and close to the Iranian border. The bustling regional centre of Van is said to have sustained major damage, and its airport is reported to be closed, hampering relief efforts.

"Around 10 buildings have collapsed in the city of Van and around 25 or 30 have collapsed in Ercis, including a dormitory," Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said.

The Turkish Red Crescent said its workers are responding in the areas affected by the quake.  Red Crescent workers are focused on search and rescue efforts, providing blankets, stoves, food and water to survivors and operating disaster management centres in the mountainous and isolated region.

Turkey lies on one of the world's most active seismic zones. In 1999, two earthquakes killed about 18,000 people.

News agencies said the powerful quake also shook buildings in neighbouring Armenia, including in the capital Yerevan.

Offers of assistance have started to come in from around the world. The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, Jr., said "we have been in touch with the Turkish authorities to offer all possible assistance."

Israeli President Shimon Peres has called his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to give his condolences, Haaretz newspaper reported.

- HUMNEWS staff, agencies

Thursday
Jul142011

(HEADLINES) Europe and Eurasia - July 14, 2011 

Finding the heart of AriegeAndorra

Worldhotels expands partnership with Spain-based Husa Hoteles

New Cathedral Village president stresses resident satisfaction

Finding the heart of Ariege, the best-kept secret in the forgotten south of France 

BalticMiles Teams Up With Tez Tour

Armenia

[OPINION] History of peace process disruptions: starring Armenia

AAA: US Administration's current policy on Genocide untenable

Armenia makes its first steps towards free economic zones creation

European Union allocates €19.1 million for institutional reforms ...

Environmentalists protest against plundering of Armenia's earth ...

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to visit Azerbaijan, Armenia

Gibraltar

The public speaks up: Gibraltar is one big, noisy place

Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Promotes Claudia Rupner to ...

Remembering Gibraltar's brave

Steel band set to bring the Caribbean to Gibraltar's Ocean Village

European Dance Championships 2011

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan to need approximately KGS 449 M for presidential elections

Kyrgyz intelligence agency explains wiretapping system use

Kyrgyzstan adopts Malaysian halal production standard

Russia and Kazakhstan do not export POL in Kyrgyzstan

Military Union is in Kyrgyzstan

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein determined to progress

High risk tax avoidance schemes to be listed by HMRC

Moldomin mines Moldova

EU pledges €78.6 million to boost energy and justice reform in Moldova

Moldovan Ministers discuss reform agenda with NATO Allies

Moldova. Agency for material reserves will allot 1.15 thousand ...

Moldova's Ministry of Agriculture recommends machine operators ...

Nine investors interested in Moldomin mines

Mongolia

Lucky Strike Resources to acquire 80% of 6 Mongolian coal licenses

Mongolia: Looking East, looking West

Mongolia pay for Petro Matad

Montenegro

Montenegro – a census like no other?

Balkan leaders: EU and NATO membership goal unites region

Government decriminalises speech offences

Ukraine to launch regular flights to Montenegro, Albania

The Republic of San Marino

Exhibition in San Marino of works from Vatican Museums

World Service reporter freed on bail Tajikistan

World Service reporter freed on bail

53 Islamist militants on trial in Tajikistan over September ...

Tajikistan, A Frail Nation-State Amidst the New Great Game

WB, Tajikistan sign 3 agreements on aid

US Drawdown Stirs Fears In Central Asia

Turkmenistan

20 companies to lodge claims against Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan starts gas extraction on Caspian

Turkmenistan's Journalists Enhance Capacity And Knowledge Of Human ...

Turkmenistan: Third Cheleken rig reactivated

Turkmens to raise salaries 10%, admit 6045 college freshmen

Wednesday
Dec012010

The 7th Annual `ARTIVIST' Film Festival Begins Tonight in LA: Meaningful Media at its Best

(HN, December 1, 2010) -- Artivist means ARTIST+ACTIVIST = ARTIVISTS.  Founded in 2003 as a non-profit charitable organization by Diaky Diaz, Dr. Bettina Wolff, Psy.D., and Christopher Riedesel, the Artivist Film Festival is the only festival dedicated to raising awareness for International Human Rights, Children's Advocacy, Environmental Preservation, and Animal Advocacy through Film.  (SEE TRAILERS FROM MANY OF THE FILMS BELOW)

This is the 7th year, with events taking place in LA (beginning today through 12/4/10), NY (at Tribeca Cinemas from 12/9-12/12/11) and in Rio de Janeiro (March 2011); screening 45 films from around the globe including independent, narratives, documentaries, shorts, and experimental films. Artivist’s mission is to strengthen the voice of socially conscious artists - "Artivists" - while raising public awareness for social global causes.  The Festival has showcased 400+ films representing more than 60 countries around the world over the past 7 years and has reached millions of people with its film festivals in Hollywood, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Lisbon and the main annual event is held in Los Angeles every year.   And tickets to all of the screenings are FREE!

In recognition of the socially conscious platform it provides, Artivist has been endorsed by Claes Nobel of the Nobel Prize family; by Senator Barbara Boxer, by the United Nations Department of Public Information; and this year is being sponsored by Petrobras.

Films Premiered at the Artivist Film Festival have received international acclaim such as ACADEMY AWARD winner "Born Into Brothels", ACADEMY AWARD Nominees "Super-Size Me" and “God Sleeps in Rwanda”, “Fast Food Nation",  “Emmanuelle's Gift", “Zeitgeist”, "Trudell“, “Stolen Childhoods”, and more.

Artivist Founder-President, Diaky Diaz, states: "Raising awareness for the interdependence between Humanity, Animals, and the Environment is the true mission of Artivist. Filmmakers, celebrities and NGOs from around the world gather at the Artivist Awards to celebrate advocate artists that inspire positive actions in our global community.”

As they do each year, Artivist honors artists whose exemplary work in their community stands out as a shining example of one’s ability to change the world for the better. This year Artivist will honor Actor Peter Fonda with the Artivist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Advocacy; Barbara Pyle will receive the award for Environmental Humanitarianism, and Avis Richards will receive the award for Community Advocates.

About the Honorees:

►        Peter Fonda:  With an acting career that spans over fifty years in theater and films, Peter Fonda is a celebrated artist, counter-culture icon and a noted member of family of celebrated actors including his father legendary thespian Henry Fonda, his sister actress and fitness icon Jane Fonda, and his daughter actress Bridget Fonda.  Over the years, Fonda has supported numerous motorcycle-related fund raising programs such as Easy Ride for Autism, and the Love Ride, which supports of people with muscular dystrophy. His current film Smitty emphasizes pet adoption and is part of the Adopt-A-Dog Month campaign; his environmental efforts to encourage alternative energy through supporting the film Fuel and his recent clean-up work in the Gulf of Mexico with the Gulf Coast Fund; as well as his work on human rights with Doctors Without Borders, and his work with Best Buddies whom he recently received the award for Legacy Leadership, make Fonda a perfect honoree for Artivist’s issues.

►        Barbara Pyle:  For 20 years Barbara Pyle served as Corporate VP of Environmental Policy at the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), setting the company's environmental broadcast agenda and branding TBS as the environmental network. As CNN’s Environment Editor, Barbara introduced and oversaw environmental coverage, including the original Earth Matters, which premiered on CNN in 1981 and she championed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policies and initiatives company-wide; setting the standards for energy efficiency, recycling and carpooling with her department's award-winning Clean Air Commute program. With Ted Turner, Barbara created the animated action adventure series Captain Planet and the Planeteers, overseeing production of 113 episodes as Executive Producer. Broadcast in over 100 countries to popular and critical acclaim, this classic eco-toon has won dozens of awards and today still has a very dedicated international fan base. To reach the next generation of Planeteers, it is now streaming online at the Mother Nature Network (MNN).

►        Avis Gold Richards: is the Founder and CEO of Birds Nest Foundation™, a 501(c)3 non-profit  creative group that produces high-quality documentaries, short videos and  public service announcements (PSAs) for charitable organizations. She is an award-winning executive producer and director who has produced and directed over 50 films, multiple websites and events in support of NGO’s winning more than a dozen Stevie Awards, Telly Awards, Davey Awards, and Aurora Awards for producing non-profit films and videos on the issues of healthcare and education, serving inner-city youth, protecting against domestic violence, promoting human rights, and defending the environment. The goal of Birds Nest Foundation is to provide the media to educate and promote important causes and issues that enable non-profits and other foundations to communicate their messages through "moving pictures."   Avis is currently producing a public television series entitled "Lunch NYC" for NYC Media, part of the City of New York Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, after the successful launch of her short documentary, LUNCH, which was sponsored in part by Earth Day Network. The series exposes unhealthy foods being served in the public school system across the US and highlights the efforts of individuals actively seeking alternatives to promote nutrition and health.

Past Artivist Award recipients include: Olivia Wilde, Hank Azaria, Ted Danson, Alyssa Milano, Joaquin Phoenix, Matthew McConaughey, Mira Sorvino, James Cromwell, Ed Begley Jr, Tippi Hedren, Mike Farrell, Claes Nobel of the NOBEL Prize Family and noted producer Stephen Nemeth.

This year’s awards will take place December 4 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood at 8pm and will be hosted by Actors’ Boris Kodjoe and Vanessa Williams; featuring celebrity presenters and guests such as Nicole Ari Parker, Ryan Gosling and many more, followed by a vegan, organic reception.

FOR FREE TICKETS visit: http://artivistff-la.eventbrite.com/

*NOTE ALL OF THE FILM SCREENINGS IN LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK ARE FREE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

Schedule of film screenings & selected film trailers - Los Angeles Dec 1-4, 2010 

Location: Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood BLVD. Los Angeles, CA 90028

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

8:00PM - "ReGeneration" / Director: Phillip Montgomery 

 

Artivist Opening Night Event Screening – Los Angeles Premiere

Synopsis:  Philip Montgomery’s feature documentary film ReGeneration takes an uncompromising look at the issues facing today’s youth and young adults, and the influences that perpetuate our culture’s apathetic approach to social and political causes. Focused on how today’s education, parenting, and media can shape us, the film follows three stories each with a unique perspective – from an inspired collective of musicians working outside the corporate system, to a twenty-something conservative family about to welcome the birth of their second child, and a group of five high-school students from the suburbs looking for their place in society.  Their stories are interspersed with the knowledge, wisdom, and personal reflections of some of the country’s leading scholars, social activists, and media personalities, including Andrew Bacevich, Noam Chomsky, Talib Kweli, and the late Howard Zinn, among others.

8:00PM - Journey from Zanskar / Director:  Frederick Marx

Synopsis:  Two Buddhist monks promise the Dalai Lama they'll do everything in their power to help save Tibetan culture from destruction. Working in one of the most remote and desolate places on Earth - Zanskar, in northwest India - the monks build a school in their 1,000 year old monastery combining the best of modern and traditional education. Not content to wait for completion, they take 17 of the poorest children from nearby villages and walk over the mountains to get them into schools and monasteries. This is the story of their incredible journey.

8:00PM - The Last of the Black Tents


Synopsis: Focusing on the Khampa Tibetan nomads whose ancestral lifestyle is threatened by China's forced modernization, 'The Last of the Black Tents' explores an eye-opening subject in one of the world's most remote regions. In this short documentary, the expedition team captures the lives of these nomadic people who live close to the source of the Mekong River in China's Qinghai province. Stewards of the land for millennia, their unique culture, lives and livelihoods face an uncertain future. The film is part of a series produced by Radio Free Asia Note: the expedition team's identities are protected to ensure they can return to these regions, which are in countries that prohibit outside journalists and documentarians to wander freely. The identities of subjects in the film are also concealed for their protection.

9:00PM - "Fish: A Boy in a Man's Prison" / Director: T.J. Parsell  


Synopsis:  A 17 year old boy is sent to an adult prison for robbing a Fotomat with a toy gun. He thinks he's going to a minimum security prison camp where they send non-violent, first-time offenders, but the prison psychologist in charge of inmate classification tells him that he's going inside the walls of a maximum security prison. Shot entirely in the Hampton's, (at the Sag Harbor historic jail) this film is an adaptation from the book, Fish: A Memoir of A Boy in a Man's Prison.

9:00PM - "Will” / Director:  Hannah Robbins


Synopsis: Meet William, a twenty-year-old broken soul who has been homelessness, and addicted to drugs and alcohol. Today he has found solace through a youth shelter.  Sol House is a transitional living program for homeless youths between the ages of 16 and 21.  It provides shelter, life skills, counseling, and social and mental health services.  Will is an experimental documentary showing the past, present and expected future of William, a victim of child abuse and neglect.   I hope to express his life through the use of archive footage, black and white photography and verite footage.  As a resident of Sol House, his life is starting to improve, but for how long, who can say?  I met William in October when he had been at Sol House only a few weeks.  Prior to this, he had been in jail and on the street, a common story of so many homeless youth. According to the National Coalition of Homelessness, the 'Causes of homelessness among youth fall into three inter-related categories: family problems, economic problems, and residential instability.'  William plans to finish high school and get a job.  Sol House offers hope and opportunity to young people such as William.   I believe this film will offer a realistic and representative portrait of the lives and experiences of millions of homeless youth in the United States. 1 in 6 children live below the poverty line in America.

9:00P - "Kids of the Majestic / Director:  Dylan Verrechia 


LA Premiere at the 7th Artvist Film Festival - Los Angeles

Synopsis: Every day, a sea of passengers floods the Majestic Railway Station of Bangalore City, India. Beneath the commotion of commuters, a group of orphans live beneath the station, collecting the trash that the passengers have left behind. 'Kids of the Majestic' is a documentary by filmmaker Dylan Verrechia and Dr. Suhas Radhakrishna that follows a group of such orphans: Rafik, a smiling young drug addict; Mental Manja, nicknamed 'mental' because he didn't speak until he was 10; Arun-Badur, the artist and the writer; Baba, who at 8 has travelled throughout India alone; and Joti, mother-to-be at 16, who was abused at 9. The filmmakers befriended these children who, uneasily and slowly, opened up to them,  sharing  their life stories as no one before has ever heard. This documentary upholds a strong moral content by not only depicting the reality and hardship of these children, but also the positive aspect of this social group that works within its community.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tainted Wolves / Director: Amitabh Avasthi 


Synopsis: Each year, nearly 70 percent of gray wolf pups in Minnesota die from a virus common in domestic dogs. Scientists believe that a series of rare mutations and increased air travel helped a feline virus jump from cats to dogs, and then to gray wolves. This short documentary explores the threat to gray wolf populations from canine parvovirus, the factors helping its spread, and the lessons we can draw from viruses -- HIV1, SARS Coronavirus, HINI swine flu -- that jump from one species to another.

6:30PM - “The Hybrid Union” / Director: Serguei Kouchnerov 


Synopsis: Somewhere in the imaginary land of cyberdesert, unaware of each other’s presence, two abstract characters, Plus and Minus, coexist. Plus struggles with a dependency on an obsolete source of energy while the light-powered system of Minus is threatened by an ominous dark cloud. The unexpected meeting between Plus and Minus leads to a competitive race until they are interrupted by the surprising appearance of another stranger. This new character, Smart, moves fast on demand and seems unaffected by an external circumstances. In order to challenge Smart, Plus and Minus are compelled to combine their unique individual capabilities. Will this hybrid union win the race against the newcomer?

6:30PM - H2Oil / Directors: Dale Hayward & Sylvia Trouve

Synopsis: The H2oil animated segments are 3 short films completed for the feature length documentary 'H2oil' which is about the Alberta tar sands & its war with water. These animations explain the tar sands process, it's relationship with water, and how NAFTA is involved. They were animated with a mixture of 2D and after effects, using illustrations and elaborate photo textures to emphasize the harsh reality of this catastrophic operation. It goes without saying that water -- its depletion, exploitation, privatization and contamination -- has become the most important issue to face humanity in this century. Water security will soon define­ the boundaries between people and countries. The war for oil is well underway across the globe. However, a struggle is increasingly being fought between water and oil, not only over them. Alberta's oil sands are at the tension center. The province is rushing towards large-scale oil extraction, which will have far reaching impacts on water, health, animals and the environment in the region.

6:30PM - Water On The Table / Director: Liz Marshall


Synopsis:  Water On The Table is a character-driven, social-issue documentary that explores Canada's relationship to its freshwater, arguably its most precious natural resource. The film asks the question: is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola, or is water a human right like air? Water On The Table features Maude Barlow who is considered an 'international water-warrior' for her crusade to have water declared a human right.  'Water must be declared a public trust that belongs to the people, the ecosystem and the future and preserved for all time and practice in law.' The film intimately captures the public face of Maude Barlow as well as the unscripted woman behind the scenes. The camera shadows her life on the road in Canada and the United States over the course of a year as she leads an unrelenting schedule. From 2008 - 2009 Barlow served as the U.N. Senior Advisor on Water to Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd Session of the United Nations. But more than a portrait of an activist, Water On The Table is a poetic-essay that presents several dramatic and artfully crafted debates. Barlow's opponents; policy and economic experts in Canada and the U.S., argue that water is no different than any other resource and that the best way to protect freshwater is to privatize it. It is proposed that Canada bulk-export its water to the United States in the face of an imminent water crisis.

7:00pm - “How Weed Won the West” / Director: Kevin Booth


LA Premiere at the 7th Artvist Film Festival - Los Angeles

Synopsis: While California is going bankrupt, one business is booming. 'How Weed Won the West' is the story of the growing medical cannabis / marijuana industry in the greater Los Angeles area, with over 700 dispensaries doling out the buds. As a treatment for conditions ranging from cancer and AIDS, to anxiety, ADHD, and insomnia, cannabis is quickly proving itself as a healthier natural alternative to many prescription drugs. Following the story of Organica, a collective owned by Jeff Joseph that was raided by the DEA in August of '09, the film shows that although some things have changed with Obama in office, the War on Drugs is nowhere near over. From Kevin Booth, the producer/director of Showtime's 'American Drug War', 'How Weed Won the West' puts California forward as an example to the rest of the country by documenting how legalizing marijuana can help save the economy.

8:30PM - "Shadows in the Forest" / Directors: Carly Pandza, Jacob Tyler, Matthew Prouty, Roxanna Amini

 

Synopsis: The indigenous communities of Cameroon are losing the very essence of their culture and are powerless to prevent it. These communities, commonly known as Pygmies, have lived in the forests of the Congo Basin for thousands of years and are now being removed from their land. Their own government does not acknowledge their existence and as their protests go unheard their land is destroyed and replaced by uninhabitable palm oil plantations. There are those who have come to aid the Pygmies in their plight, but they are desperately in need of funding and support.

8:30PM - "Africa's Lost Eden" / Director: James Byrne

Synopsis: It was once known as 'the place where Noah left his Ark' - 4,000 square kilometers of lush floodplains in central Mozambique, packed with wild animals.  But 15 years of civil war has taken a heavy toll- and many species have been almost completely wiped out. Journey with National Geographic to Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park and discover what is being done to bring this Africa oasis back to its former glory- including perhaps the most ambitious restoration effort ever attempted, with elephants, hippos and scores of zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo being relocated into the park.

9:30PM - "War Don Don" (War is Over) / Director - Rebecca Richman Cohen


LA Premiere at the 7th Artivist Film Festival - Los Angeles

Synopsis: "War Don Don" (War is Over) is a Rashomon-esque legal documentary, with global importance, a thought provoking film that engages the heart, mind and conscience. In Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the 'special court.' Inside, Issa Sesay awaits his trial. Prosecutors say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of crimes against humanity. His defenders say he is a reluctant fighter who protected civilians and played a crucial role in bringing peace. Directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen, "War Don Don" tells the story of a sensational trial with unprecedented access to prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, and from behind bars, Sesay himself. In Krio, war don don means 'the war is over,' as today, thankfully, Sierra Leone is at peace. Can the trial of one man uncover the truth of a traumatic past?

10:00PM - Gorillas 98% Human / Director: Charles Annenberg Weingarten


Synopsis:  On a trip to Rwanda, NatGEO explorer had the opportunity to visit four families of wild mountain gorillas, a species with only 720 remaining members. Their guide is Craig Sholley, who has been intimately involved in the preservation of African wildlife for more than 30 years. The team's thrilling interaction with these peaceful creatures who share 98.6% of their genetic makeup with humans is a startling reminder of their own humanity.

10:00PM - Wild Horses in Winds of Change / Director: Mara La Grande 

Synopsis:  In a desperate run for their lives, America’s wild horses are being rounded up by helicopter from their free roaming lives on the range, with nearly forty thousand languishing in long term “warehousing”, the time for solutions is critical. As tensions escalate for their future, this film takes us on a journey into the vital importance of the wild horse to humanity while offering a thoughtful portrayal into their ability to adapt to an ever changing landscape, thus surviving the great odds of time and the human as conqueror. Unraveling outdated myths and prejudices, this documentary exposes the politics and mis-management that have led to the crisis.  In the midst of conflict, solutions are presented to help the wild horses and burros continue to thrive sustainably on the land simultaneously requiring all of us to develop resource conservation methods and an ability to work together for the common good.

10:00P - Albatrocity / Directors: J. Ollie Lucks, Iain Frengley, Edward Saltau

Synopsis:  'Albatrocity' was made on a very limited budget of only $2000 NZD. We spent this entire amount on a trip to film Southern Royal Albatross in their natural environment on Campbell Island, a remote New Zealand territory in the southern ocean. This trip not only allowed us to film the birds in their untouched yet fragile habitat, but it also helped us appreciate how at ease and graceful Albatross are in the violent storms of the southern ocean. Consequently, our film portrays these almost fantastical animals in a suitably creative way. We use Samuel Colleridge's atmospheric and metaphoric poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' as a modern day metaphor for the detrimental relationship between seabirds and commercial fishing.In an attempt to help the interview and informative sections of the film gel with the creative parts, we used innovative graphics and visual effects techniques. This is the first film that we've made and above all we wanted to challenge ourselves and the rules you are taught at film school. We hope that viewers find it both aesthetically pleasing and emotionally evocative. We are proud of the way 'Albatrocity' combines educational information about an environmental issue, whilst maintaining creative integrity.

Friday, December 3, 2010

10:00AM - Lunch / Director: Avis Richards


Synopsis: As nation-wide funding for school cafeterias rapidly decreases and high-calorie, low-nutrient meals have become order of the day, our nations children are being afflicted by a slew of diet-based diseases from high-blood pressure and cholesterol to diabetes and obesity. In Lunch, a revealing documentary short, director Avis Richards investigates the causes and the consequences of growing up in a junk-food culture.

10:00AM - Climate Refugees /Director: Michael Nash


Synopsis:  The Human Face of Climate Change. There is a new phenomenon in the global arena called “Climate Refugees”. A climate refugee is a person displaced by climatically induced environmental disasters. Such disasters result from incremental and rapid ecological change, resulting in increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, cyclones, fires, mass flooding and tornadoes. All this is causing mass global migration and border conflicts. For the first time, the Pentagon now considers climate change a national security risk and the term climate wars is being talked about in war-room like environments in Washington D.C.

4:30PM - Last Chance / Director: Sami Nikki


Synopsis:  Last Chance is a timeless piece about the importance of hope in our current environment. Through a tale of evolving consciousness it shows the viewer a simple beacon of happier times. The story is told through a series of paintings, computer animation that is softer than other contemporary styles. Instead of aiming for a more realistic look, a subtler but more vivid style has been chosen.

4:30PM - Beating the Bomb / Directors: Wolfgang Matt, Meera Patel

Synopsis: 'Beating the Bomb' covers 50 years of the Peace movement in Britain against the historical and political backdrop of the atomic age. The narrative follows the now called 'nuclear deterrent', starting at the dawn of the nuclear age in WWII to present day.  Nuclear weapons shaped the power structures that rose out of the rubble of WWII and underpin them to this day.  It is widely argued that the pressing issues of the day, from poverty to climate change cannot be tackled without addressing the underlying economic system. Our film evidences the claim that the foundations of our economic system are 'straight power concepts'.  The most straightforward of these concepts being the bomb, both in its physical manifestation and also in the mindset it engenders and stems from. The film charts the efforts of individuals and organizations to rid Britain of its nuclear weapons system from past to present.  It also frames the nuclear weapons issue within the wider context of global justice. The film is a tribute to peace campaigners and accordingly features interviews with Tony Benn, Mark Thomas, Walter Wolfgang, Helen John and Vivienne Westwood, bringing into special focus the UK based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). It is an attempt to mediate their spirit & commitment and to thus empower & inspire the viewer.

6:30PM - Arena / Director: Jota Aronack 

Synopsis: Jonash does not know what sunlight is. He has never seen a tree or the sky. He has never left his room. He does not need to. But that note makes him think, and the simple idea of having an option, becomes powerful. Arena, biography of a revolution.

6:30PM - Desert of Forbidden Art / Directors: Amanda Pope, Tchavdar Georgiev


Synopsis: How does art survive in a time of oppression? During the Soviet rule artists who stay true to their vision are executed, sent to mental hospitals or Gulags. Their plight inspires young Igor Savitsky. He pretends to buy state-approved art but instead daringly rescues 40,000 forbidden fellow artist's works and creates a museum in the desert of Uzbekistan, far from the watchful eyes of the KGB. Though a penniless artist himself, he cajoles the cash to pay for the art from the same authorities who are banning it. Savitsky amasses an eclectic mix of Russian Avant-Garde art. But his greatest discovery is an unknown school of artists who settle in Uzbekistan after the Russian revolution of 1917, encountering a unique Islamic culture, as exotic to them as Tahiti was for Gauguin. They develop a startlingly original style, fusing European modernism with centuries-old Eastern traditions. Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists. Intercut with recollections of the artists' children and rare archival footage, the film takes us on a dramatic journey of sacrifice for the sake of creative freedom. Described as 'one of the most remarkable collections of 20th century Russian art' and located in one of the world's poorest regions, today these paintings are worth millions, a lucrative target for Islamic fundamentalists, corrupt bureaucrats and art profiteers. The collection remains as endangered as when Savitsky first created it, posing the question whose responsibility is it to preserve this cultural treasure.

7:00PM - “Complexo – Universo Paralelo” / Director: Miro Patrocono


LA Premiere at the 7th Artivist Film Festival - Los Angeles

Synopsis: At the peak of tensions in Rio, Brazil, two Portuguese brothers ventured into the most feared slum and lived there during the largest police operation ever launched in that state. They experienced a life where most people awaken to the sound of gunfire and sleep accompanied by shots. The heads of the largest criminal faction in Rio speak intimately and plainly of the life in the world of trafficking. They are the power that exists after a decades-long absence of government power. But the film also offers a slice of life with inspirational characters - a mother shows how her faith in Jesus makes her believe all is possible; the president of the dwellers' association shows that despite the frightening expansion of the complex, the arrival of crime, drugs and guns, he is able to make life better for his favela neighbors; a rapper - MC Playboy - a funk artist who realized that his path was not trafficking, while he saw many of his friends murdered, he conquered his space within the community and fights to destroy prejudice and bring all of society together. The people in the favela live under constant tension in the midst of a power game where both everything and nothing is possible. Through action and word, each character adds a piece to a gigantic puzzle that reveals to us the daily life of the favela as a whole. Director Mirio Patroconio’s film asks and answers “How is it to survive in this reality?” 

8:30PM - Trees / Director: Randy Wakerlin

Synopsis: Voiced by the incomparable Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob) with Jill Talley, “Trees” serves as a comic warning about the devastating effects of deforestation of our rainforests. As the story unfolds, we move through a lush deep green pastoral jungle inhabited with exotic creatures. “Welcome to the oxygen factory! We breathe in the old CO2 and breathe out the O2. I tell you, though, a lot more CO2 these days,” barks a tall, skinny character who calls himself the “green collar guy.” “Yeah, lotta CO2,” confirms his leafy companion, Donny. Suddenly, a chain saw starts up, followed by the sound of another tree crashing to the ground. “The rain! Tell them about the rain!” our fallen friend gasps. Green collar guy happily demonstrates what he calls “transpiration – how the trees water each other downwind with their “breath.” As the situation spirals downward it seems clear: our long-limbed neighbors are not the only ones fated for the endangered list.

8:30PM - The Krill is Gone / Director: Jeffrey Bost

Synopsis: Voiced by the incomparable Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob) with Jill Talley, “The Krill is Gone” brings comic awareness to the looming danger of man-made global warming on the fragile ecosystems deep within our oceans. As this ominous tale begins, our host – the Robin Leach-like Plankton Emiliania Huxleyi — introduces us to his undersea world just seconds before he is devoured by a ditzy Krill, who quickly sheds her shell in a successful maneuver to outwit a predator only to have trouble sprouting another. As the tour continues, we spot a celebrity tuna who looks and talks suspiciously like Al Gore, dodge a swarm of deadly jellyfish, and watch in horror when the dastardly source of the problem is finally revealed.

8:30PM - Deep Green / Director: Matt Briggs


Synopsis: Almost every time we use energy, we burn carbon. Every time we burn carbon, we heat up the atmosphere.  It's a dirty fact that Global Warming cannot be stopped as long as fossil fuels run our planet. We can fix this. Over three years in the making, 'Deep Green' is the first documentary devoted exclusively to showing us how. Accompanied by an international team of award-winning cinematographers, filmmaker Matt Briggs takes us on a compelling journey to nine countries, including China, to uncover the best people with the best ideas, strategies and cutting-edge technologies that can get the job done... if we start now.This inspiring feature presentation includes two electrifying animated shorts on the devastating effects of clear-cutting our rainforests and burning carbon for energy on the fragile ecosystems within our oceans.

9:30PM - Hempsters / Director: Michael Henning


Synopsis: HEMPSTERS: PLANT THE SEED follows seven activists as they fight to legalize industrial hemp in the United States, which is used in over 30 countries and is widely known to have numerous environmental benefits such as:  less reliance on oil, more efficient use of energy, forest conservation, soil redemption and landfill use reduction, just to name a few. Featured in the film are Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson, Ralph Nader and Merle Haggard.  HEMPSTERS is a thought-provoking and compelling documentary that will not only encourage all of us to take action, but love us one step closer towards a more sustainable planet.

11:00PM - USS Din / Director: Vikram Gupta


Synopsis: Kabir and Ram were two kids who just wanted to play bat-and ball. One day, there was a big fight amongst the elders, which left the family divided into two. Kabir and Ram now found themselves on opposite sides trying to reach each other. The bat was smashed, the ball was broken, and the kids were locked up in their houses. And then one house got the news....the others had got a gun. So began a mad race of collecting weapons, that reached ridiculous extents. When fear drives people to surrounding themselves with guns, one day, One of those guns is bound to go off. USS Din is the story of what happens that day.

11:00PM - Call me Salma / Director: Sebastien Rist


Synopsis:  The premiere of "Call Me Salma", a documentary on a transgender teenager, was held on February 4 at the auditorium of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). ULAB and Bandhu Social Welfare Society organised the premiere.  Directed by Canadian filmmakers Sébastien Rist and Aude Leroux-Lévesque, the film is a story about "love and loss."  The film follows Salma, a 16-year-old transgender individual, who leaves her family and village, and moves into the hustle and bustle of city life in search of an identity, a new family and above all, a sense of acceptance.  Emotionally torn between her youth and her desire to be a woman, Salma decides to return to her village and face events that force her to question the preconceived notions of gender. The documentary is nearly 54-minute long.  ULAB Vice Chancellor Professor Rafiqul Islam formally inaugurated the premiere show. Anisul Islam Hero, director, Bandhu Social Welfare Society, also spoke on the occasion. The directors and Salma, protagonist of the film, were present and answered questions from the audience.  The filmmakers Sébastien and Aude have been in Dhaka for the past few months and followed the lives of local transgender communities as part of their research for the film. The film will be aired on a French TV channel later this year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12:00PM - How I Became an Elephant / Directors:  Synthian Sharp, Tim Gorski


Synopsis:  Watch as a 14 year-old girl from Los Angeles commits to the face-to-face rescue of a single female elephant living in a forced elephant breeding camp in Thailand. Tour the living conditions and tribulations of these captive giants as they’re “broken” to perform for humans… and stay with them in their final sanctuary until they accept their liberators into the herd, and finally see themselves, not as objects, but as elephants. 

12:00PM - “Play Again” / Director: Tonje Schel


LA Premiere at the 7th Artvist Film Festival - Los Angeles

Synopsis:  What are the consequences of a childhood removed from nature? One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. And even grandma loves Wii. But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how does this impact our children's well being, our society and the very future of our planet? At a time when children play more behind screens than outside, PLAY AGAIN explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole? This documentary follows six teenagers who, like the 'average American child,' spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. PLAY AGAIN unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure - no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, neuroscientist Gary Small, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, parks advocate Charles Jordan, psychiatrist Susan Linn, and Canadian scientist David Suzuki, PLAY AGAIN introduces new perspectives and encourages action for a sustainable future. The soundtrack includes music from well-known Icelandic band Sigur Ros and singer Kimya Dawson (JUNO soundtrack). Music Director is Andreas Hessen-Schei, of the Norwegian bands Jaga Jazzist and Shining.

2:00PM - “Maasai at the Crossroads” / Directors: Joe Dietsch, Kristin Jordan


Synopsis:  In MAASAI AT CROSSROADS, we chronicle the struggles of the Maasai tribe as they attempt to modernize while maintaining their traditional culture. Since the most direct route, of such a society towards modernization, is Education, the framework of the film is structured around the non-profit organization, Africa Schools of Kenya (ASK). A Speaker Program was conducted over March and April 2009. ASK is an educational curriculum that introduced experts in their area of expertise and their outside influences to the tribe - deeply influencing the worldview of the students, as will as the adults/elders. The external factors forcing the Maasai to modernize are the current drought and the encroaching influence of civilization. The questions asked are: What elements of any culture are important? / What should be preserved and what can be left behind? / Will the children return to the traditional Maasai way of life after being exposed to the modern world? If so, why? / What elements of the Maasai culture define them as a people? / How are the Maasai integrating modernization to aid themselves in becoming stewards of their land? / And why is this so important? 

2:00PM - The Story of Bottled Water / Director: Louis Fox


Synopsis:   The Story of Bottled Water employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufacturing demand, using the example of how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. The film explores the bottled water industry's attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to 'take back the tap,' not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

2:00PM - My Pantanal /Director: Andrea Heydlauff

Synopsis:  ‘My Pantanal’ is a film about a boy named Aerenilso, who lives on a ranch in the Pantanal, the world’s largest and wildest wetland, in Brazil. Aerenilso shows us what it is like to be a Pantanero (a cowboy), riding his horse, doing his chores, and exploring this incredible landscape that is teeming with wildlife, including the jaguar. Sadly, jaguars have been hunted by people but Aerenilso’s ranch is different; he lives on a conservation ranch where the cowboys and biologists are working together to show that ranching and jaguars can coexist in this magical place.

2:00PM - Campesinos / Director: Adam Pajot Gendron

Synopsis:     Three children live and work in agricultural communities in Central America: Duli harvests macadamia nuts in the mountains of Guatemala, Jenier coffee on an Island in Nicaragua, and Paul Cacao in the jungles of Costa Rica. Despite the distance that separates them, they share a common bond: they each belong to a cooperative of which their family is a member, and through which they work to create sustainable choices and improve their quality of life. These three children do not know each other, but share the collective experience of growing up in a community that has sought improvement. Where many have tried, they have succeeded. Where many have let go, they have not given up, and now their courage and determination is reflected in these children, the mirrors of their community. Through their day to day experiences, these children share their story and make us a part of their concerns in the face of an uncertain future. What they do, above all, is allow us to put a face on the people who harvest so that we can eat.

4:00PM - Hove (The Wind) / Director: Alex Webb

Synopsis:   Two Armenian women's friendship is deeply affected by a chance encounter with the past and the powerful, unresolved legacy of the Armenian Genocide. Zara (played by Olympia Dukakis) is visited by her friend Nina (played by Shirleyann Kaladjian) at her Armenian cultural bookstore.  Zara is reading a mysterious book that has deeply disturbed her.  Nina finally rouses Zara from the book and asks Zara what it is that had her so absorbed.  Zara mysteriously dismisses the question. Nina reveals a personal tragedy over coffee with Zara.  Zara goes to her desk to retrieve a treasured family heirloom to comfort Nina.  When she returns Nina is now engrossed in the mysterious book. They argue over the implications and Nina leaves.  The mystery of the book and Nina's tragedy is revealed along with a surprise about Zara's past at the end of the story.

4:00PM - Mine: Story of a Sacred Mountain / Director: Survival International


Synopsis:  The Dongria Kondh are one of India’s most remote tribes. In a stunning real-life version of ‘Avatar’, the metals giant Vedanta Resources is intent on mining the tribe’s sacred Niyamgiri mountain for bauxite, the raw material for aluminum. But the Dongria Kondh don’t simply accept their fate, but decide to fight. ‘Mine’ has been watched over 600,000 times online, and in a truly David v Goliath victory for the Dongria Kondh, the Indian government blocked Vedanta’s mine in August 2010.

4:00PM - The Last Cut / Director: Damian Rafferty

 

Synopsis:   We hear from mothers who have suffered because of Female Genital Cutting, a former cutter, villagers, medical experts, campaigners and Kadija who leads her team into remote villages and sets up a mobile cinema in places where they don't even have electricity. Over the course of five visits, she attempts to convert the mothers of the village to collectively abandon a harmful but almost ubiquitous practice. Villagers are drawn in by the entertainment, stimulated by the educational films thrown into the mix and engaged in a community wide discussion held under the African night. The mix of stories and discussion is what the griots (conveyors of oral culture) have been doing in these parts for hundreds of years. It turns out this is still the right approach if you want to affect change. Ultimately, this is a film about hope for the children of Mali and how it comes down to African people using African ways (even if the money comes from outside) to update rather than destroy traditional culture.

4:00PM - Water / Director: Corrie Jones


Synopsis: Toby yearns for a life like any other eight-year-old kid. But his mentally disabled father is a constant reminder that life for Toby, will never be normal. WATER is a film about a young boy's struggle to accept his fears, his mentally disabled father and his possible future duty.

4:00PM - Rapping in Iran / Director: Hassan Khademi

Synopsis:   If there is any music style in the world to which the term 'underground' can be justifiably applied, it is rap in puritanical Iran. Since the beginning of the 1990s, practically every kind of pop music has been forbidden in the Islamic Republic, but the state security forces crack down particularly hard on rappers. Their outfits, modelled on Western idols, their lyrics about identity conflicts and sexual deprivation or the fact that young women sing about themselves and their problems are reason enough to keep raiding the few studios in town and closing down the websites of the most famous singers and bands. The only consequence is that every closed down site spawns four new ones, the studios that are closed in one place re-open somewhere else and become more attractive to the scene. 'Rapping in Tehran' is about young people's tough struggle against the rigid rules of a government of old men whose resistance in the long run will be in vain. For the music keeps spreading: via the Internet, through exiled rappers who broadcast their lyrics into the country from Dubai, via mobile phones or secret parties. In any case, the courage with which they insist on the right to lead their own lives is cause for admiration.

--- HUMNEWS' Staff 

Friday
Nov192010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - November 19, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

Rock of Gibraltar as seen from La Linea de la Concepcion just across the border in Spain (Photo David Stanley via Flickr)Andorra

Snow, snow and more snow (travel)

Armenia

Armenia’s President not to leave for Lisbon: The draft declaration not acceptable to Armenia

Armenia should sign new protocols (opinion)

Human rights activists say children’s rights are not protected in Armenia

Yerevan hosts Armenian-Indian tourism promotion seminar

Armenia’s political forces no positive breakthrough from OSCE summit

Chess: Armenia’s Aronian wins at World Blitz Championships

Armenia’s foreign trade turnover grows 21.1% in Jan-Oct. 2010  

Gibraltar

Gibraltar tobacco contraband on the rise

Should British Gibraltar be sovereign or Spanish? Why the Tripartite won’t work  

Kyrgyzstan

Violence at Kyrgyzstan court stops trial for April uprising

OSCE participating States agree to adapt police support to Kyrgyzstan  

EU to give Kyrgyzstan 4m euros in food, reconstruction aid

Montenegro capital Podgorica: the country will become an EU candidate in December. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Lakebolt)Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein keen to deepen ties with India

Govt. examining black money estimate reports

Moldova

Romanian president supports Moldova’s pro-European government before election there

Moldovan citizens to vote in polling station at embassy

EU may abolish visas for “Eastern Partnership” members

Mongolia

UK has worse wireless broadband than Mongolia

Japan, Mongolia aim to start FTA talks early FY11

Montenegro

No starting date for Montenegro’s EU accession talks

Hungary is interested in providing financial and technical assistance to Montenegro in energy

Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran Presidents finish visits in Azerbaijan (photo: Trend.az) Tajikistan

Premier Wen’s Tajikistan visit to deepen bilateral cooperation

Tajikistan denies laundering money

Tajikistan: The authorities of Gorney Badakhshan shut down 28 mosques

Tajikistan, Afghanistan pool efforts to combat terrorism

Turkmenistan

Caspian summit fails to clarify status, resource issues

Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan presidents end visits to Azerbaijan

Friday
Oct222010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - October 22, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

Armenia

Azerbaijani top official calls on Russia to say decisive word on Armenia’s “occupation”

Referendum on border opening to be conducted in Kars

Armenia-EU political cooperation efficiently develops

Armenian opposition leader upbeat on prisoner release

Most of Armenia’s economy in shadow

Seyran Ohanyan hopes for Armenian-British further military cooperation

Misinterpreted Encyclopedia: British and Russian publishers distort basic facts about Armenia  

Armenia’s National Assembly has renovated oval hall

Gibraltar

UK must defend waters, says opposition

Talks with Spain make a sudden return

Remembering Trafalgar

Kyrgyzstan

Russia, US could cooperate in Kyrgyzstan: president

CEC not ready to announce final election results in Kyrgyzstan

India facilitates Kyrgyzstan on parliamentary elections

In Kyrgyzstan 7-safe boxes containing ballot papers drip wet

German Development Bank to annul Kyrgyzstan’s €5 million debt to Germany

Troupe from Kyrgyzstan brings nomadic melodies

Liechtenstein

Corruption: Finance probes stretch limits of justice system

Moldova

EU gives green light to visa-free talks with Moldova

How to battle illegal logging in the face of low incomes and high wood demand?

Media watchdog: press freedom in EU, Balkans deteriorating

News report cast spotlight on education in Black Sea countries

Litmus along the Dniester

Mongolia

Internet public relations agencies offer some questionable services

Nomads no more: A steppe-land struggles with new riches

Mongolia win medals in World Sumo Championship (sports)  

Tajikistan

Tajiks drawn into radical Islam groups

War on Terror Tajik-style: Shave those beards  

Tajikistan modernizing Varzob HPP-1

Turkmenistan  

Gazprom considers joining Turkmenistan-to-India pipeline project

WHO recognizes Turkmenistan as free from malaria

Cheleken expansion program nearing completion (oil & gas news) 

Wednesday
Sep012010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - September 2, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ANDORRA

A taste of the ‘high life’ in Grandvalira, Andorra (travel)

Injured Duff ‘keen to face Andorrans’ (sports)

An afternoon in Andorra (style)  

ARMENIA

Several killed in Nagorno-Karabakh clash

Russia may resume wheat export to Armenia  

Price for nonfoods up 0.1% in Armenia in August

7.1% unemployment rate recorded in Armenia in January – July 2010

West Nile virus bypasses Armenia

President of Armenia congratulated students and teachers on day of knowledge

Fuller Center, Marriott Armenia partner for rural housing project

Armenia v. Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane to play but Republic struggle with injury (sports)

GIBRALTAR

They are nervous in Gibraltar because they know the frontier toll is legal, claims Alcalde

Gibraltar National Day events announced

Phoenicia visits Gibraltar (style)  

KYRGYZSTAN

In Central Asia, a new headache for U.S. policy

Kyrgyzstan launches operation of Kambarata – 2 plant

Russia sends five tones humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan’s schools

Responsibilities allocated between Prime-Minister and Vice-Prime-Minister of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan unlikely to receive $1 billion donor funds

Kyrgyzstan’s CEC receives pre-election lists from 29 parties  

Kyrgyzstan 19 years later. Summarizing the results

Exhibition of innovations to take place in Kyrgyzstan

OSCE mission in troubled Kyrgyzstan postponed after protests

LIECHTENSTEIN

UN chief to visit Liechtenstein, Austria in week-long trip

World & European champions Spain red hot favorites to beat Liechtenstein at 1/100 (sports)

MOLDOVA

Why Moldova matters (analysis)

Postal worker to help orphans in Moldova  

MONGOLIA

An examination of China’s epic traffic jam

Inner Mongolia: Tree-planting to end desertification

5,000-year-old village ruins found in China  

MONTENEGRO

Montenegro’s Tehnostil metal cold rolling mill seeks strategic partner

TAJIKISTAN

President Rahmon urges Tajik women not to wear hijabs

1st Tajik hard-copy daily in 18 years publishes

Iran reinvigorates a strategy for regional dominance Tehran’s false ‘three Persian speaking countries’ project aimed at subjugating Afghanistan

Tajik justice ministry criticizes security committee over jailbreak

Tajik parents punished for children’s truancy

Monday
Aug022010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - August 2, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ARMENIA

Explosion on Armenia – Nakhchivan border

Russian army base to extend stay in Armenia

IAEA experts to inspect site for new unit at Armenian NPP

OSCE to monitor contact line between Azerbaijani, Armenian armies

Baku and Tbilisi to complete anti-Armenian project in 2011

Clinton’s visit gauntlet thrown down to U.S., Heritage MP says

US Senate approves $40mln for Armenia

Difficult for Armenian experts to accept current realities (society)  

38.2% growth record in brandy production in Armenia from January-June 2010

Armenia to import near 1500 tons of wheat seeds

Psychologist and sociologist about suicide

GIBRALTAR

Caruana lambasts Bossano and rejects casino calpe ‘falsehoods’

Spanish workers association concerned that mayor’s action could wreck relations

Gibraltar should have walked away from this indignity (sports/opinion)

Blakenhorn connects continents with Gibraltar swim (sports)

Galliano’s splash of Flamenco for GIB family wedding (fashion)

KYRGYZSTAN

Long-term prospects for Kyrgyzstan are worrying

Uzbek frontier guards held back 3 trucks carrying 43 tons of explosives to Kyrgyzstan

Interests of the Party of Communists in Kyrgyzstan for me are higher than my personal ones

Commission for investigation of reasons for the clashes in the south of Kyrgyzstan to provide results on Sept. 10, 2010

Donor community does not pursue the aim to drive Kyrgyzstan into debtors prison

The first part of Kazakhstan’s humanitarian aid reached in Osh city (Kyrgyzstan)

CCTs a good start to erasing poverty  

LIECHTENSTEIN

Riddle of Haider’s secret 40m pounds: Cash found in European principality of Liechtenstein

Just 419 taxpayers take advantage of Liechtenstein disclosure facility

German state rejects tax data disc purchases

MOLDOVA

Rise in visa applications from Moldova to Bulgaria in 2010

Moldovan PM says EU may double wine exports

EU to fund higher education for Belarus students

Moldova telecommunications report

Global cluster bomb ban becomes binding  

MONGOLIA

Hong Kong beat Mongolia (sports)  

MONTENEGRO

Montenegrin government has adopted strategy on regional development of Montenegro from 2010 – 2014

Montenegro property ‘back on the map’

Serbs shell out 600 million euro’s on vacation

Serbia’s January – June foreign trade goes up

SAN MARINO

Malta, Cyprus off Italian blacklist – San Marino remains on the list

ATP San Marino challenger preview and live stream (sports)

TAJIKISTAN

Five new sites added to world heritage list

Tajik madrasah leaders, students detained

Tajikistan’s defense officials visit Azerbaijan

Iran hosts first meeting of ECO countries ‘drug combating department’ heads

TURKMENISTAN

Is the U.S. violating Turkmenistan’s neutrality with the NDN?

Russian president to visit Turkmenistan

Nabucco project: investors look before they leap

Monday
Jul052010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - July 5, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

ARMENIA

Armenia’s former ombudsman proposes amendments to constitution

Armenia’s constitution works effectively, president says

US Secretary of State visits Armenia

Baku to sign pact with Armenia ‘only after occupied lands are liberated’

Sargsyan meets with Karabakh mediators

GIBRALTAR

Feetham hails transformation of court system

Give and take budget says Garcia

Holliday says airport will succeed

One year after the pandemic were there any lessons learnt?

KYRGYZSTAN  

Kyrgyzstan, a lesson in democracy for China

Kyrgyzstan considers joining the Customs union

Project to support women and children in conflict zone launches in Kyrgyzstan

Death toll in southern Kyrgyzstan rises to 309

Moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders visited Kyrgyzstan  

Latvian drug mule held with heroin in airport Manas, Kyrgyzstan

LIECHTENSTEIN

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to facilitate its cross-border relations with the EU

Hilti to set up joint venture

Information on use of European health insurance card

Can you rent an entire country? Snoop Dog can (entertainment)

MOLDOVA

Jailed Moldovan confesses to espionage, Transdniester officials say

NORMA gains direct access to global internet market

One day in ‘green’ Kishinev….. (sports)  

MONGOLIA

Winter disaster spurring urban migration

Nepal to strike deal on money laundering  

MONTENEGRO

Montenegro asked to review Thaksin’s passport

Montenegro airlines with welcome the third Embraer E195 jet to its fleet

Montenegro releases tender for the granting of franchise rights for the economic use of Bijela port  

SAN MARINO

Italy appeals European court ban on crucifixes in classrooms

TAJIKISTAN

EEC summit kicked off in Astana

Russian-Kazakh-Belarusian Customs union comes into effect

Russia and poppy cultivation in Afghanistan

TURKMENISTAN

US President appraises ties with Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan works out report on UN Convention on rights of child

Turkmen law on culture complies with UNESCO standards

Monday
Jun282010

HUMNEWS HEADLINES - June 28, 2010 (Europe and Eurasia) 

Thursday
Feb182010

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/