Of Kings and Ringtones

December 5, 2007

And finally…

The latest craze in ringtones? The King of Spain!

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.reuters.com posted with vodpod

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An independent contractor hired by the town of Barceloneta to clear three housing projects of animals, allegedly disposed of them by throwing them off a bridge in a nearby town, the Associated Press reports.

“This is an irresponsible, inhumane and shameful act,” the mayor of Barceloneta, Sol Luis Fontañez, told the AP.

Because of a no-pet policy, residents of the housing projects were force give up their pets in order to avoid eviction, residents of the Antonio Dávila Freytes Houses told El Nuevo Dia.

Animal Control Solutions were paid $60 for every animal recovered and $100 for each trip to the shelter. Instead, the recovered pets and strays were thrown off a 50-feet-high bridge in the town of Vega Baja, witnesses said.

Eighty dogs and cats were killed.

“I saw my cats in the cage they put them. And then I saw them on TV, after they threw them off the bridge. They killed my cats and I saw them, those were my cats,” 10-year old Thalía Pérez told El Nuevo Día.

A representative for Animal Control Solutions denied the allegations, but as early as tomorrow the Administration for Public Housing is expected to press charges against the contractor.

 

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A former Catholic priest will spend the rest of his life in prison for his role during the Argentinian Dirty War (1976-1983).

Father Christian Von Wernich, 69, would pass prisoners’ confessions to the police, resulting in the murder of seven, the abduction of 42, and the torture of 31, the BBC reports.

The trial was temporarily suspended yesterday when an ex-prisoner protested the prosecutors refusals to try Wernich for the murder of the ‘disappeared,’ because of lack of evidence of their death.

“We asked the prosecutor what he needed. Did he wanted us to bring our comrades here to tell him if they are alive or murdered? We can’t. It’s been 30 years since their disappearance,” said the ex-prisoner (if you can understand Spanish, watch the video below for more).

Von Wernich, who had escaped to Chile to avoid prosecution, reportedly showed no emotion during the sentencing.

(More on the Dirty War)

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Cheerio Edison Light Bulbs

September 28, 2007

light bulbThe Guardian reports that Britain will phase out the use of traditional light bulbs by 2011.

Britain joins other countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and Australia in adopting similar measures to help reduce carbon emissions. However, critics point out that Britain’s new initiative is completely voluntary.

Meanwhile, American lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are working on a legislature of their own that, if passed, will phase out the old light bulbs in the U.S. by 2014.

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Stories to watch

September 24, 2007

Developing stories from home and abroad:

picture-2.jpg

1. 100, 000 protest in the streets of Yangon against the military junta

2. Israel to release 90 Palestinians from jail

3. United Auto Workers and GM talks near strike deadline United Auto Workers strikes against GM

4. World leaders meet at the U.N. for climate change talks

5. Ahmadinejad scheduled to speak at Columbia University

6. Gay football World Cup kicks off in Buenos Aires

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Saint Che?

September 23, 2007

They called him ‘El Che.’

He was an asthmatic, a doctor, a traveler, a writer, a revolutionary, a socialist, an economist, an idealist, a terrorist, an Argentinian, a Cuban, an American.

Che GuevaraSince Guevara’s death, this Alberto Korda’s iconic image has come to represent rebellion, dissent, and blind idealism.

But for the residents of the small Bolivian towns of La Higuera and Vallegrande, a saint was born on October 9, 1967 (the day he was killed).

Andres Schipani reports for The Observer on the towns’ devotion to Saint Ernesto.

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Life of a Miner

September 9, 2007

Here are two interesting videos that take a look at miners’ lives in US and Mexico.

The first story centers around American bootleg (independent) miners and their struggle to protect their livelihood and way of life. In the second clip, laid-off miners in Mexico’s Real del Monte talk about the history of mining in their town and the hardship of living on their $7 to $27 per month retirement fund ($1 =11.14 Mexican pesos).

WoodShop Films: Hard Coal: Last of the Bootleg Miners

Last of the Bootleg Miners

 

Alive in Mexico: The Struggles of Mexico’s Real del Monte Miners

The Struggles of Mexico’s Real de Monte Miners

(Thanks to SplashCast for the links to these websites)

Update
Here are some links to photo essays about Ohio coal miners, and gold and diamond mining in the Congo, Angola and Sierra Leone:

Coal Mines by James Nachtwey

Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale

A Trail of Diamonds by Kadir van Lohuizen

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