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Friday:  August 15, 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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Thursday
Oct282010

(FEATURE) Kids Helping Kids Around the World For 60 Years: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF

The iconic UNICEF Trick-or-Treat box (CREDIT: US Fund for UNICEF)

(HN, October 28, 2010) -- This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of UNICEF's `Trick-or-Treat’ campaign, symbolized by the iconic orange collection box that millions of school children in the US carry around each Halloween.

The campaign - where children go door-to-door to collect sweets and donations - has raised $160 million over the past 60 years, averaging about $4 million-a-year.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF started as an ad hoc fundraising effort by a group of kids in Philadelphia in 1950, who wanted to raise money for children suffering from the after-effects of World War II. That year, $17 was collected in home-decorated milk cartons, and earmarked for powdered milk for European children.

That initiative turned into one of America's longest-running youth initiatives, raising donations for UNICEF's work in more than 150 countries for items ranging from water purification tablets and insecticide-treated bednets,  to high nutrition biscuits and vaccines.

In 2005, in response to the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the campaign raised a record $18.25 million.

Today, at the Silver Oak Elementary School in San Jose, CA, Michael Bociurkiw, who has worked for UNICEF in several regions of the world, and most recently in Lesotho, addressed 400 children in grades fourth to sixth about UNICEF and his work in the field. He described carrying the Trick-or-Treat box as a child, and what it's like to work in the field, in often the most challenging and inhospitable conditions.

Silver Oak Elementary School in San Jose, CA; grades 4-6. (CREDIT: HUMNEWS)

Silver Oak raised more than $4,300 in donations last year - and about $30,600 since 1999.

Bociurkiw spoke about Lesotho in southern Africa, and how UNICEF is helping children there battle the HIV and AIDS epidemic; and, about efforts to keep children, especially orphans, in school. The mountain kingdom of 2-million people has the third-highest HIV infection rate in the world and suffers from poverty, malnutrition and joblessness.

Bociurkiw also cited recent success in battling polio in Nigeria, where according to UNICEF the number of cases has plummeted this year by more than 90 percent, compared to last year. 

This year, UNICEF has recruited its youngest Goodwill Ambassador, teen sensation Selena Gomez, to promote UNICEF's Trick-or-Treat campaign.

HALLOWEEN ORIGINS:

Halloween is an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.  Today the celebration is largely a secular one.

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have placed its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, (the goddess of fruits and seeds), or in the Festival of the Dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain. The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".

The word Halloween is first noted in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling "Hallowe'en" was frequently used, eliding the "v" and shortening the word.Assembling UNICEF boxes in a combined class of Grades 2 nd 3 at Silver Oak

Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. Celebration in the United States and Canada has had a significant impact on how the holiday is observed in other nations,  particularly the commercial elements which have extended Halloween to places such as South America, Australia, Europe, and Japan as well as to other parts of East Asia.  (VIA WIKIPEDIA)

---- HUMNEWS staff