Video: Hong Kong Protest Movement a ‘Rearguard Action’ to Protect City’s Unique Identity

Asia Society’s October 28 panelists saw the pro-democracy demonstrations as the latest manifestation of a longstanding cultural rift—and as a chance to bolster a local sense of community.

Read the full story here.

Le Voyage dans le train plus le long du monde commence maintenant en Chine

Le Voyage dans le train plus le long du monde commence maintenant en Chine

Par Ishaan Tharoor Washington Post

Le 18 novembre, un train de marchandises conteneur-82 a quitté la ville industrielle chinoise orientale de Yiwu. Il s’est embarqué dans une aventure historique qui est censé aboutir vingt et un jours plus tard, en décembre, à Madrid. La distance que le train couvre — plus de 6 200 milles — est celle de la plus longue route empruntée par un train de…

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Istanbull? Muslims discovered America before Columbus, claims Turkey’s Erdogan

By Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, November 15, 2014

In a televised speech in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that Muslims had discovered the Americas three centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus. He was addressing a summit of Muslim leaders from Latin America.

“Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus,” Erdogan said. “Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178. Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast.”

Erdogan is not shy of making provocative statements, whether it’s about his political rivals, ethnic minorities or social media Web sites. His latest remarks are, in comparison, less incendiary.

They echo the research of a small coterie of scholars who believe there’s archaeological and documentary evidence of Muslims in pre-Columbian America. Erdogan is apparently citing the disputed work of Youssef Mroueh, an academic affiliated with the As-Sunnah Foundation of America.

In a 1996 paper, Mroueh referred to the presence of a mosque spotted by Columbus along the Cuban coast. “Columbus admitted in his papers that on Monday, October 21, 1492 CE while his ship was sailing near Gibara on the north-east coast of Cuba, he saw a mosque on top of a beautiful mountain,” writes Mroueh.

Most scholars insist the “mosque” mentioned was a metaphorical allusion to a striking land feature. There have been no archaeological discoveries of Islamic structures pre-dating Columbus’s arrival in the New World.

Mroueh, who is not listed as a historian at any institution of higher learning, suggests that explorers from Muslim kingdoms in West Africa made the same journey across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands well before the Italian seafarer did in the employ of the Spanish Crown.

Others cite the work of a noted geographer in Muslim Spain, who produced a map in the 10th century that may show the outline of South America, and referenced the journey of an Arab sailor who traveled westward through an “ocean of darkness and fog.”

There is all sorts of speculation of other peoples in other eras discovering the Americas long before Columbus. Did Polynesians rowing catamarans make it to the American Pacific coast? What about the great treasure fleets of the Chinese Ming emperor? Or Basque fishermen, chasing streams of Atlantic cod?

The most established narrative of pre-Columbian encounter involves explorers and settlers from Scandinavia, who arrived on the shores of Newfoundland and Canada some five centuries before the Spanish expedition of 1492.































同在富士康工作的朋友周启早在许立志逝去后第二天心痛地写下了一首诗。诗中说 “又一枚螺丝松动,又一位打工兄弟坠楼”。诗的结尾写道“白发苍苍的父亲捧着你黑色的骨灰盒趔趄还乡”。

原文链接:The haunting poetry of a Chinese factory worker who committed suicide











Ishaan Tharoor

By Ishaan Tharoor

Last week, Sweden became the 135th member of the United Nations to officially recognize Palestine as an independent state. The act sparked a tetchy diplomatic incident with Israel, which WorldViews discussed here.

On the ground, a separate, viable Palestinian state is far from a reality. Israel occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and it partially blockades the Gaza Strip, the territories that would comprise it. The continued expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank makes tackling the question of Palestinian sovereignty all the more difficult. So, too, the apparent collapse of talks between the Israeli government and its Palestinian interlocutors.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said her government’s decision was aimed at supporting the Palestinian Authority and its beleaguered President Mahmoud Abbas, particularly given the present tensions in Jerusalem. “It is important to support those who believe in negotiations and not violence,” she told Al Jazeera. “This will give hope to young Palestinians and Israelis that there is an alternative to violence.”

In the absence of progress in negotiations with Israel, Abbas has taken the Palestinians’ case to the United Nations in recent years. The effort is mostly symbolic — a bid to deepen the political isolation of the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sweden’s move reflects a wider European frustration with Netanyahu. This week, French socialist lawmakers said they were preparing a bill calling on the government to recognize Palestine. In mid-October, British lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a motion indicating “that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.”

The motion is nonbinding, but serves as one more sign of Europe’s growing impatience with the Mideast status quo. The United States would want to see the two-state solution come into fruition before conferring official recognition upon Palestine. But that is, at present, a naive hope: A number of prominent ministers in Netanyahu’s government reject outright the possibility of the two-state solution ever being realized.

Before Sweden’s decision, tiny Iceland was the only Western European country to recognize Palestine.

As you can see in the map, most of the other nations that have not officially recognized Palestine are in the E.U. or are U.S. partners who wouldn’t want to ruffle Washington’s feathers. These include South Pacific island nations like Kiribati and Nauru.

Even then, it’s quite likely that the U.S. will find itself on this map within a steadily shrinking patch of gray in the months and years to come.


Idiotic tweet by Ishaan Tharoor, Staff Writer at Time

I guess he forgets the mayhem caused by the two brothers united in terrorism:


6:55 PM - 19 Apr 13

Rescue workers in the eastern Turkish city of Van sift through debris in search of survivors after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake left nearly 500 dead and dozens missing. This remote, mountainous corner of the country is highly quake-prone. Many, including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the high death toll was the result of shoddy construction and the failure of local governments to enforce safety standards.
—  Ishaan Tharoor

World in Time
(via ibrahim hamza ak)
A survey conducted in the U.S. and 12 European countries found that Americans are turning their attention away from more traditional transatlantic partners toward the rising economies of Asia. It found that a majority of Americans, especially those of college age, consider Asia to be of far greater national interest than Europe.
—  Ishaan Tharoor

World in Time
(via )
Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico—born radical Islamist cleric, was a marked man, the first U.S. citizen put on a CIA kill list. He’s no longer on it. Al-Awlaki was killed by a missile launched by a U.S. drone on Sept. 30. He was targeted because of his ties to al-Qaeda and his links to a spate of terrorist attacks. The “YouTube preacher” was one of al-Qaeda’s leading ideologues and perhaps its main commander in Yemen, where he fled to in 2004. Still, his death has triggered a heated debate over the legality of a targeted assassination of an American, even one who’s a terrorist.
—  Ishaan Tharoor

World in Time
(via )