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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.

来源: 

博谈网

(博谈网记者周洁编译报道)据《华盛顿邮报》11月12日报道,9月份的最后一天,在中国南方城市深圳,一名24岁的农民工自杀了。许立志从他的雇主——巨大的电子品制造公司富士康的职工宿舍的窗户跳下去后死亡。

在大多数情况下,许的自杀只会是中国经济繁荣和转型中的又一注脚。他是中国年轻农民工大军中的一员,他们来自农村,在多姿多彩的城市里寻找工作,结果是在工厂从事既乏味又充满压力的工作,过低的工资,不断积累着个人的失望。

但是许立志是一名诗人。在他死后,他的朋友们收集了他的作品,其中一些刊登在深圳当地的一家报纸上。

这些诗歌反应了在当代中国及在这个发展中世界的其他地方,无数人所感受到的那份疏离和艰辛。他们感叹对流水线及对农民工狭隘沮丧生活的厌倦。

许立志在2013年写下的《出租屋》里写道:“每当我打开窗户或者柴门,我都像一位死者,把棺材盖缓缓推开”。

深圳位于香港和内地的交界处,是一个拥有1300万人口的大都市。几十年前,它只是一个沉睡的渔村。现在,到处是闪闪发光的摩天大楼、封闭式的社区和繁华的商场。这是中国的崛起当中一个令人眩晕的体现。

据他的朋友们讲述,许立志曾多次试图离开富士康的工作。他申请过深圳一些图书馆和书店的职位,但没有成功。他也申请过富士康大院里一个内部图书馆的工作,也遭到拒绝。他曾搬到女朋友所在的城市苏州,但是这段关系告吹后,他最终又回到了深圳和富士康。

在2013年12月写下的一首诗里,他内心的痛苦清楚可见:

我咽下一枚铁做的月亮

他们把它叫做螺丝

我咽下这工业的废水,失业的订单

那些低于机台的青春早早夭亡

我咽下奔波,咽下流离失所

咽下人行天桥,咽下长满水锈的生活

我再咽不下了

所有我曾经咽下的现在都从喉咙汹涌而出

在祖国的领土上铺成一首

耻辱的诗

许立志并非富士康唯一一名自杀的员工:2010年,富士康接二连三的自杀事件成为国际焦点,这家台湾营运的公司是中国最大的私营雇主。此后,富士康做了努力来改善工作条件和宿舍。在过去的5年里,已发生了18起富士康员工企图自杀事件。

《华尔街日报》引述富士康的一份声明说,“我们为失去了一位年轻人感到难过,他既是我们的员工,也是一位有才华的诗人”。声明称,富士康已向许立志的家人提供了帮助,并称富士康有一条24小时开通的心理咨询热线,原本可以给这位陷入困境的年轻人提供帮助。

该声明说,“无论我们怎么努力,没有人可以消除这种悲剧性事件。”

许立志写下的最后一首诗,可能就是在他自杀的当天。诗里显示了他的决定:

我还想摸一摸天空,碰一碰那抹轻轻的蓝

可是这些我都办不到了,我就要离开这个世界了

所有听说过我的人们啊

不必为我的离开感到惊讶

更不必叹息,或者悲伤

我来时很好,去时,也很好

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

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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.



Source

Idiotic tweet by Ishaan Tharoor, Staff Writer at Time

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

weets

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 )