World Links 7/12

July 12, 2008

Too hot to be outside? Tired of playing video games? Here’s your weekend reading, from Africa to Peru, to the Philippines, to Iceland & even Fiji. Enjoy!

Gold Rush Spells Doom to Yaeda

Just a few weeks after the Arabian hunting firm officially pulled out of Yaeda, a new monster is reported to have moved into the vast valley and intends to unleash even worse destruction.

The vast untamed land had since creation been home to a number of indigenous tribes among them the rapidly shrinking population of the Hadza (Singular Hadzabe) bush people.

When a Disastrous Regime Continues

The devastating cyclone Nargis that struck southern Burma two months ago, has revealed to the world that it was even less disastrous than its military regime, which can ignore its own people in urgent needs and even could prevent and restrict relief from international communities for the hundred thousand victims of the disaster with the apprehension that it might create an atmosphere for another people’s uprising in the country.

More than 100 Arrested

LIMA – More than 100 people were arrested Wednesday at the start of a nationwide general strike in Peru over the rising cost of living and other grievances, the National Police chief said.

Support for the strike, which has been declared illegal by the Labor Ministry, has been more widespread in the interior, where a 48-hour agrarian protest is being carried out and demonstrations are being staged in a dozen regions to press for the redress of local grievances.

Protesters say that García’s free-market economic model has failed to bring the benefits of a recent economic boom to the large number of low-income Peruvians.

Maguindanao, RP Fall Behind Key Indicators for Education

Achieving universal primary education is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that the Philippines has committed itself to achieve by 2015. In its midterm progress report on the MDGs that was released last year, however, the government conceded that this was one of the goals it was unlikely to meet seven years from now.

The Polar Bear Express

So how are those beasts of the Arctic getting there? They are known to unwittingly hitch a ride from nearby Greenland on chunks of sea ice that drift to Iceland’s northern coast. There are over 600 documented cases of polar bears dropping by for a visit, and already this year two bears have made it to Iceland.

Our Future in Obama’s World Must be to Solve Putnam’s Problem

IT became a shibboleth of sociological truisms after the 20th century’s Second World War that every society in the world benefits by being racially, ethnically, culturally diverse. Multiculturalism, multiracialism are seen as societal barometers of progress and strength. No society has embodied this truism more than the United States.

That was then. At the dawn of this 21st century, new research by Harvard political scientist, Robert Putnam, seemingly challenges this shibboleth. Putnam’s work and findings are based on interviews with almost 30,000 of his fellow Americans. Through their confessions and admissions, Putnam found that ‘the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects’. Indeed, ‘in the most diverse communities, neighbours trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings’. According to one report, Putnam’s study is ‘the largest ever on civic engagement in America’ and the outcome that ‘virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings’ has certainly unsettled the orthodoxies of integrationism, multiracialism and multiculturalism that have so long been taken for granted as evidenced in metaphors of ‘the melting pot’ and the ‘salad bowl’ and so on.


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