Diplomats and journalists serve different masters but both need proximity. Yes, “citizen journalism” has been an asset. YouTube videos from Iran’s 2009 uprising kept the story alive after foreign reporters were expelled, and tweets from Tahrir Square provided real-time guidance to the Arab Spring. But tweets are no substitute for being there.
That’s why Anthony went into Syria, and why some of my colleagues worry that in our response to the very real and increasingly unpredictable perils of that place we could lose a dimension in our reporting. We have local stringers on the ground, and correspondents like C. J. Chivers have produced illuminating stories based on well-planned forays into Syria. But British, European and Arab news outlets are there full time — perhaps foolishly, but it’s possible we miss a layer of an immensely complicated story when we are not.”
— bill keller on why the need for foreign correspondents on the ground is crucial, not just to news organizations but to forming sound and well-informed policy
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call Rudolph names, and the scars from the bullying stuck with him. He was insecure about his appearance even among friends and he avoided being in photos. Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, “Just get in the picture. I’ll take a few and you can delete the ones you don’t like.”
A chart showing the moment Syria’s Internet was cutoff.
pray for them now
shangh爱 til the day i die
MOSTAR, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA – Most visitors catch their breath when they look at Stari Most, the 16th-century bridge over the Neretva River that strikes through the heart of Mostar. Local guides’ voices throb with emotion as they stand on the bridge, arms sweeping in reenactments of the Croatian bombing that destroyed Stari Most in 1993. “DON’T FORGET” is scrawled in black marker on a wooden sign at the foot of the bridge. Tourists murmur about the horrors of war and ethno-religious strife as they pick their way across the bridge, paying homage to its past.
When Zike looks at Stari Most, he considers the 70-cent production cost versus 4 euros of revenue in each 3-inch plastic bridge replica, mentally multiplies this profit by a few thousand, and beams.
Cross the bridge, meander for ten minutes, and one finds the headquarters of Zike’s souvenir empire. At first glance, nothing sets his storefront apart. The standard array of plaster bridge models, Tito postcards, and Beautiful Bosnia snow globes spill out across display shelves in a room the size of a large storage closet.
Enter Zike. Forty-some years old, his eyes crinkle in quick nods and smiles as he folds a pair of Ray-Bans into his blue Oxford shirt. He flicks back and forth across the store in two-step strides, accepting Euros from one customer, pointing out the craftsmanship in a ceramic plate to another, and offering coffee to a third.
Zike may be the only Mostari whose life turned not in the Balkan wars, but in 2007. One day that fall, he went shopping in Dubrovnik and bought a Lacoste polo, Nike shoes and a Mammoth jacket. Once home, Zike noticed a “Made in China” tag on all his purchases.
“I thought, ‘I have to go to China!’” Zike says. “So I went on Google and typed in ‘Souvenirs China,’ and I found this site – alibaba.com.”
Alibaba.com led Zike to Ahmed, a fellow Bosnian in China. Ahmed set him up with four factories in Yiwu, a city famous for cheap small-commodity production, nestled about three hours’ drive from Shanghai in southern Zhejiang province. Zike sketches souvenir designs, emails them to China and then has the finished goods shipped to Croatia. He now supplies every souvenir shop in Mostar.
“People didn’t trust me at first,” Zike says. “They thought in postwar recovery, shipping rates and taxes would be bad. But these Chinese factory girls work so fast and so cheap. Now everyone buys from me.”
In October, Zike will go on his fourth visit to China. Last time, the factory owners took him to a discotheque called Club88. They covered his hotel fees, treated him to a seafood banquet and paid for an open bar with unlimited Johnnie Walker, Zike says. When asked if the Chinese do this to keep their trade relationship strong, Zike laughs.
“Of course. I am such a good client. I order thousands of souvenirs every year,” Zike says. “China, and this alibaba.com, they are super.”
Zike grins as he scrolls through family photos on his camera phone: a nephew attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania; another nephew on his honeymoon at a luxury villa in Turkey; the newlyweds, driving a white Mercedes at their wedding.
The shopkeeper is glad to share his excitement – but not for long, because his phone rings every two minutes. The display shows +86, China’s area code, and Zike winks apologetically as he picks up. The man has business to do.
More than 70% of Venice has flooded after the city was hit by high tides, a strong southerly wind and heavy rain
flooded venezia! click through for more.
Technology has countervailing effects. We can send a battle by air to a land we have never set foot in, laying previously unimaginable distance between us and our wars. But at the same time we can see on a device in our pocket a satellite picture of these places so remote. Maybe, Bridle writes, the instant connectivity of our world can be a platform not just for faster information, but for deeper empathy for people who live a world away.
See more. [Images: Dronestagram]
i love this, as i do any innovative use of media/tech to make us realize that the Other is human as well.
Is Christianity incompatible with the Street? It was easy to think as much during my underclassman years, when the only evidence of religion on Prospect Avenue consisted of awkward Jesus-guy encounters, when the majority of students in my fellowship seemed to end up independent or in co‑ops, and when I cringed every time I ran into a small group or worship leader on the dance floor.
Christians at Princeton tend to fall into two categories: judging the Street from afar and condemning those who go out, or going out but neglecting to seriously pray about it. Either we surround ourselves with other Christians and pretend the Street doesn’t exist, or we go to our pregames and club nights, laugh sheepishly when we run into other Christians with beers in hand, and try not to talk about it in church the next morning.
Christians on Princeton’s campus often choose to avoid the awkwardness of faith on the Street either by withdrawing from the eating clubs altogether, or by joining them but drawing a mental separation between our club identities and our faiths. Is this withdrawal in line with the Gospel? Is Christianity inherently incompatible with the Street? Can we integrate our social and spiritual lives without experiencing discomfort?