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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KENYA 

 

FLAG DESCRIPTION: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a large Maasai warrior's shield covering crossed spears is superimposed at the center; black symbolizes the majority population, red the blood shed in the struggle for freedom, green stands for natural wealth, and white for peace; the shield and crossed spears symbolize the defense of freedomCapital | Nairobi

Population | 41,070,934 (July 2011 est.)

Area | 582,650 SQ KM

Official Language | Kiswahil, English

Holidays | Independence Day, 12 December (1963); Madaraka Day, 1 June; Mashujaa Day, 20 October

Currency | Shilling (KES)

Time Zone | UTC +3

Best Time to Visit | January to February, the hottest and driest months

Connecting with the Culture | Taking a safari-- by mini-bus, 4WD, truck, camel, small plane, or hot-air balloon.  Experiencing the wildebeest mass migration—the sight and sound of a million hoofs on the move with a host of eager predators in hot pursuit. Winding down a notch or  ten with a lazy spell in other-worldly Lamu. Taking the Nairobi—Mombasa night-train for a taste of the old-colonial experience.

Read | Isak Dinesen’s epic settler account, Out of Africa.

Listen | to benga, the contemporary dance music of Kenya, by Shirati Jazz, Victoria Kings, and Them Mushrooms.

Watch | Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in the big-screen version of Out of Africa or the equally tear-jerking screen-translation of Kiki Guillman’s I Dreamed of Africa.

Eat | nyama choma, literally ‘roasted meat’ of any shape or form, but usually goat.

Drink | Tusker—elephant beer

In a Word | Jambo (hello)

Characteristics | Spear-bearing Maasai warriors; wiry marathon runners; strong-blend coffee; man-eating lions; gin-soaked old colonials; Nairobbery.

Surprises | Nairobi’s cosmopolitan population mix and its western-style skyscrapers and suburban sprawl; the shadowy, medival architecture of spice-infused Swahili Lamu and old-town Mombasa and Malindi.