Monday, May 26, 2014

IMF Essay Contest by May 30

In preparation for the 2015 Annual Meetings in Lima the IMF invites students from Latin-American universities to write a short (500 word) essay. The essay, under the theme "How to Build a Better Future for Latin America", should focus on the issues and challenges that youth see facing future generations in the region and their possible solutions. The essay contest is open to students in multiple countries in the region. The official languages for the essay competition are Spanish, English and Portuguese. International Monetary Fund

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Syrian refugees in Lebanon face health care crisis - Amnesty

Amnesty International says a shortfall in international support has left many Syrian refugees in Lebanon unable to access crucial medical care. A new report says some refugees have resorted to returning to Syria to receive the treatment they need. More than one million Syrians have fled to Lebanon to escape the fighting in their country. The UN says there are now 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees and the number is still rising. Large numbers have been taken in by Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and other countries, but Lebanon is bearing the biggest burden of all. In March the Lebanese foreign minister said the crisis was "threatening the existence" of his country. The UN has appealed to international donors for $4.2bn (£2.4bn) for Syrian refugees in 2014 but has only received 24% of that sum. BBC News

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Daughter Of A Slave, With Deep Roots In Hartford By ANNE M. HAMILTON

Frances Taylor Dunham Catlett, a social worker, painter and poet, came from an African American family with deep roots in Hartford. Many members of her extended family have made significant contributions in education, social work, the union movement, sports and the arts. Catlett, whose parents were a formerly enslaved woman and the son of a white slave trader, was until her recent death a living connection to slavery in America. Catlett died in San Leandro, Calif., on April 22. She was 105 years old, and had lived independently until she was 103. She was born in Hartford on July 3, 1908. Her father, John Osborne Taylor, was the son of William Taylor, a white slave auctioneer, and Martha Ann Jett, whose heritage was Native American and African American. She graduated in 1926. A wealthy Hartford African American resident had offered a four-year college scholarship to a black student with the highest grades, and Catlett won. She chose the University of Chicago because an older sister lived there. In an autobiography she wrote in the third person, she attributed her success in life to her strong family and her supportive church background. "Whatever she had was given," she wrote. She is survived by her son Kaye Lawrence Dunham, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. A son, Michael Catlett, one grandson and her three husbands predeceased her. In her unpublished autobiography, written more than 15 years ago, Catlett wrote: "So, from the early years of the 20th century to nearly the dawn of the 21st century, from the youngest of ten children to being a great-grand mother, from innocence to sophistication, through tragedies, joy and 'amazing grace,' I still travel on." The Hartford Courant

Journey to the art of ‘Iberoamerica’ By Ferran Bono -- Valencia, Spain

The Valencian modern art museum IVAM is offering a glimpse of the art produced in “Iberoamerica” over the last century through a selection of 127 works. “This overall visibility is what made us adopt the term Iberoamerican, with no desire to sound paternalistic, even though we are aware of the enormous differences you can find between an artist from Argentina and another one from, say, Cuba,” explains Castro. “That is why the show begins with Torres-García and his defense of Latin American art and his particular reinterpretation of the avant-garde movements.” Indeed, Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García’s influence pervades the entire exhibition. It was he who popularized the catchphrase “our North is the South,” which synthesized his critical views of Western art and his desire to appropriate indigenous values in his search for ties between Europe and the Americas. His constructivist work opens a show that also features relevant artists such as Chile’s Alberto Matta, Cuba’s Wifredo Lam, Argentina’s Horacio Coppola, Guillermo Kuitka and Alberto Greco, Brazil’s Eduardo Kac and Sebastiao Salgado, and Mexico’s Alvarez Bravo and Hermanos Mayo. “IVAM was Spain’s first museum to organize exhibitions of first-rate Latin American artists and to buy work before the boom, even if there were no systematic purchasing guidelines,” notes Castro. IVAM’s complete collection of Latin American art comprises 262 works by 41 artists. The 127 selected pieces represent painting, photography, sculpture, video art, design and installations. Arte iberoamericano en la colección del IVAM. Until July 13 at IVAM, Valencia. EL PAÍS English

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Israel urges United Nations to mark Yom Kippur By REUTERS

UN recognizes Christmas and Good Friday, and the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha; "Such discrimination at the UN must end," says Prosor. Israel on Friday called for the United Nations to officially mark the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, a day of atonement in September or October when Jews seek forgiveness by fasting and praying. Of the 10 holidays already recognized by the United Nations, four are religious: the Christian holidays of Christmas and Good Friday, and the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Such discrimination at the UN must end," Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor stated in a press release about a letter to all envoys at the 193-member world body. "On the one hand, the United Nations advances values of cooperation and engagement among nations, on the other hand, it is prioritizing one religion over the other," Prosor stated. "It is about time Jewish employees at the UN won't be obligated to work on Yom Kippur." The Jerusalem Post

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mission Malawi: Volunteers from the East Midlands build a school in Africa By Anne Davies

Five years ago a Leicestershire student was so touched by the people of Malawi, poverty in Africa and the plight of its orphans that she decided to try and do something about it. Alice Pulford, from Rothley, Leicestershire, set-up the charity LoveTilinanu I've travelled to Malawi in south-eastern Africa with video journalist Paul Bradshaw to follow her story and that of 15 builders from the East Midlands. So the first step for Alice was to build an orphanage called Tilinanu which is located in the suburbs of the capital Lilongwe. Now five years on, we meet the 34 girls who live there - girls with a future, girls who sing and smile and now have something to live for. But the charity LoveTilinanu has not stopped there. Boys are being fostered out to widows in the village. It gives them the love of a mother and the security of a home. It gives the women a reason to live and a small income to help them survive. Phillip Hughes, from the Nottingham-based company P Hughes Construction Limited and his men from Swadlincote, East Leake, Wymeswold, Lincoln and Burton-on-Trent are performing a near miracle. They are building a school in 10 days. They have paid for it all themselves but as they all agree - it is one of the best things they have ever done. Thanks to Alice, her sister Nina and their mother Yvonne, the charity and its East Midlands supporters have helped a little part of Malawi to take a step closer to a better life. BBC News Leicester

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why you should care about Cannes By Agnes Poirier, for CNN

(CNN) -- The Cannes Film festival, which kicked off Wednesday on the French Riviera, is an Olympics of cinema, where endurance matters as much as victory to the 30,000 industry insiders who attend each year. But today Cannes jostles in the crowded film industry schedules with other A-list events: Toronto (and Venice) act as Fall launchpads for the following year's awards season, while Sundance is at the vanguard of independent cinema and new talent. Meanwhile the Oscars are considered by many as the supreme accolade of the movie business. The festival, which this year celebrates its 67th edition, stands firmly apart -- and, some would argue, above -- the rest of the crowd. For Cannes is to cinema what the motto "liberte, egalite, fraternite" ("liberty, egality, fraternity") is to France: an aspiration, an ideal, an inclusive forum for all talents, old and new, coming from all over the world, and motivated by one common love: films. Without prejudices. For directors and actors, success at Cannes is the Nobel Prize that they secretly covet. And for the 2,500 or so film critics -- who for 12 days start watching their first film at 8am and their last one just after midnight -- it is the most frantic and rewarding time, when masterpieces are seen for the first time and talents speak freely. CNN

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Italy's former PM Silvio Berlusconi starts community service at senior center By Livia Borghese, CNN

Rome (CNN) -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi began a year of community service for his conviction on tax fraud charges on Friday when he showed up at a senior center near his hometown, Milan. The 77-year old billionaire tycoon must visit the center for the elderly at least once a week for a minimum four hours. The community service order is in lieu of house arrest. He was handed a four-year sentence last August -- commuted to a year -- for tax fraud at Mediaset, the large commercial broadcaster that Berlusconi founded. He has also been barred from holding public office for two years and was expelled from the Italian Senate in the fall. Last month, a Milan court ruled that Berlusconi could be assigned to social work at the elderly center as an alternative to house arrest. He also faces restrictions on his movements within Italy. CNN