News

naomi-kingMs. Naomi King, widow of Rev. AD King who was the brother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., recently traveled to the UK to participate in a Special London Commonwealth Celebration taking place on March 9th-11th. That evening, the AD King Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia, USA hosted “An Evening of African Arts and Culture, and activities the next day including the Nigerian Business Roundtable and an awards dinner in honor of the late Rev. AD King who was a civil rights leader with his brother.

 

The Special London Commonwealth Celebration with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth included a wreath laying ceremony. Ms. King participated in laying a wreath in honor of the dead of World War One and World War Two where HRH Prince Charles and other members of the Royal Family will be in attendance.

 

Later Ms. King was welcomed by Lord Watson of Richmond and other members of the House of Lords at Westminster. She then did a tour of the House of Lords with other government officials, leaders and special guests. After the tour, Ms. King and other leaders were led to the Palace of Westminster for the Observance Service which will be attended by Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Phillip, HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Camilla, Commonwealth Royalty, government ministers, high commissioners, state governors and other VIPs. QueenElizabethII-594x413

 

That afternoon Ms. King attended the reception at the Commonwealth Secretariat (Marlborough House) hosted by H.M The Queen. During this event, the Queen will make a speech to every part of the Commonwealth. Last year, Her Majesty spoke of the Commonwealth Charter and its 16 core values that included democracy, human right, peace and security, protecting the environment, healthcare, gender and equality, and the need of civil society to foster greater understanding among younger people.  These are all ideas that Ms. King believes in and supports.

That evening, the A D King Foundation, the GLEEHD Foundation and the Nigerian Diaspora Community presented “An Evening of African Arts and Culture.” This event will showcase Africa Arts and music with performance by leading musicians from Nigeria and the Diaspora. GLEEHD is a foundation registered in England and Nigeria to address expanding opportunities of economic development of youth in Africa. A D King Foundation partners with GlEEHD to collaborate on fostering youth development in Africa.

The following day activities  included a Nigerian Business Roundtable at 9 am at 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED, United Kingdom. Presented by the Institute of Directors in partnership with the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative, Rostra Consulting and GLEEHD Foundation, this event is part of the activities celebrating Nigeria’s Centennial. The event was co-chaired by the Lord Watson of Richmond with Simon Walker, Head of the Institute of Directors as the main host. Also in attendance will be Mark Simmonds MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lords, MPs. Key journalist from the Economist, BBC and African Diaspora media houses including NTA International, BEN TV and OHTV were invited.

prince charles

That evening the GLEEHD Foundation, A D King Foundation, Commonwealth Democracy Initiative and Rostra Consulting for the Nigerian delegation presented a gala awards dinner in honor of Rev. A.D. King at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London.

In addition to Ms. King, others from the US who accompanied her to London included Dr. Babs Onabanjo, CEO of the AD King Foundation; Joe Beasley, representative of the US Rainbow Push; Stephon Ferguson, a motivational speaker; Breeze Clerger, a performing artist; Tony Martin, an artistic director; Shuaa Alrobayan, a film maker and Marjo Etheridge, a performing arts studio director.

That evening, eminent and emerging Nigerian leaders was recognized for their contribution to the development of Nigeria over the last 100 years. The awards have been endowed by the Commonwealth Democracy Initiative, A.D King Foundation, GLEEHD Foundation and NIRMA (Nigerian International Recognition and Merit Award).


 

                  New Bed and Breakfast to Bring Much Needed Service to Accra, Africa        

 

bb ghanaNew Yorker Adrienne Cooke has always dreamed of opening a bed and breakfast in Ghana, West Africa. She has finally found the perfect spot for her dream --The Black Star Bed and Breakfast in Accra, Ghana, West Africa is a four bedroom home ready to become a quiet African retreat.

 

Cooke says she fell in love with the community on her frequent visits to Accra. Not only does she want to fulfill her dream of becoming a successful business she wants to create a Bed and Breakfast that supports local community. "The bed and breakfast will also help the local economy as I plan to use the service of several local small businesses and shop at the local markets for food," says Cooke.
 

In order to move forward with the next step of her dream, Cooke needs to fill the bed and breakfast with furniture, while also updating the plumbing and air conditioning. She is raising funding on Indiegogo.com and will use monies raised to outfit the bed and breakfast with beds for each room, various furniture (side tables, etc.), four AC units (and installation labor) a refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster oven, a kitchen table and chairs, living room furniture, and dining room furniture and more.

 

She is asking for help to realize her dream but not without offering something in return to contributors who make from eight to 70 dollar donations. Contributors will receive a variety of handmade jewelry or baskets from Africa depending on their donation choice. Ghana wood masks, Krobo Bead bracelets, Maasi bead bracelets and Ghana Bolga Baskets made by Fair Trade artisans are some of the perks available to contributors.

 

Conveniently located in a residential neighborhood, the house has four bedrooms with their own private bathrooms. There is a separate dining room. The guesthouse features a living room and garden available for guests to relax, read a book, watch television or meditate. Black Star Bed and Breakfast is within walking distance to Spintex Road, a 15 minute taxi ride to Ghana Mall and a 25 minute drive to Kotoka International airport.

 

                                        About Black Star Bed and Breakfast

 

ghanaBlack Star Bed and Breakfast is located in Accra, Ghana, West Africa and is the dream of Adrienne Cooke. The four bedroom home is situated in a central location where the weary or adventurous traveler to Africa can find respite. For more information, visit, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/566161/wdgi/5139586 

 

 

 

 An International Creole Institute was officially opened last month in the mid-ocean islands of the Seychelles. Regional dignitaries in Seychelles to commemorate 30th anniversary of Indian Ocean Commission (COI), were standing alongside the Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure and Ministers Vincent Meriton, MacSuzy Mondon, Peter Sinon with high ranking officials ofthe islands and friends of the Creole language and culture witnessed a new chapter in the history of island's Creole Institute, when a commemorative plaque in the Seychelles three official languages was unveiled. sey

It was Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture who had the honour to invite Jean-Paul Adam, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Claude de L’Estrac, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission,  Didier Robert, the President Regional Council of La Reunion and Roland Robert, the Vice President of the General Council of La Reunion to unveil the plaque and write a new chapter in the history of the institution.

The International Creole Institute continues to perpetuate the prime mission of the former Creole Institute of Seychelles. The development and the promotion of Creole language and all that is Creole remains the mission of International Creole Institute.  . Having now acquired an international status, the institute will have an administrative council to represent the different Creole speaking countries in the region and further afield. The institute mission is also broadened and its main working method will be through joint collaborative projects among Creole Countries and Islands and among organisations. When he was officially launching the International Creole Institute, Alain St.Ange, the Minister for Tourism and Culture said “today Seychelles is witnessing an important event in the history of Creole Institute. It is with pride that Seychelles and La Reunion are offering to the Community of the Creole World a Creole Institute of International dimension.’’

Minister St.Ange said that the international status of the Creole Institute will contribute immensely in the development of Creole culture.

“ Today we are making an important milestone in the history of the Creole Institute. Seychelles, with the support of the Regional and General Councils of La Reunion Island, are joining forces to transform the Creole Institute of Seychelles into an International institution that will not only serve Seychelles and La Reunion, but the Creole Communities at large. As a nation we are proud to speak Creole, and to live the Creole culture. Many Creole speaking Islands are looking at our achievements and now, through this  International Creole Institute, researches and those passionate about the world of creoles can work together for future generations. We can, and we should put our efforts together and proudly live our unique creole culture’’ Minister St.Ange said before inviting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius to join Seychelles and La Reunion in the Creole project. 

Didier Robert, the President of Regional Council of La Reunion, Roland Robert, the Vice President of the General Council of La Reunion and Penda Choppy, the Director of the Institute all spoke at this official opening ceremony of the International Creole Institute.

juneot002As the list grows beyond forty-two states, most recently Rhode Island, that recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or special day of observance, the major road block to the establishment of Juneteenth as a National Day of Observance like Flag Day or Patriot Day, are Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

 

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the last southern state in rebellion following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African American national holiday observance.   

 

The legislatures in only eight states remain to pass legislation to recognize Juneteenth. These states are Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.

 

 

In 2012, despite having 30 U.S. Senate co-sponsors, legislation sponsored by former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), SJR 45, that would place Juneteenth on all calendars as a special day of observance, was not supported by U.S. Senate Democratic leadership. Efforts are underway to re-introduce the same Juneteenth legislation in 2014.

Will President Barack Obama Refuse to

Recognize Juneteenth in 2014?

 

 

President Barack Obama, who did not acknowledge the significance of Juneteenth in 2013, continues to ignore thousands of petitions and letters requesting the recognition of Juneteenth at the White House and to issue a presidential proclamation.

 

obama4"The White House and the U.S. Capitol were built by Americans of African descent during the tyranny of enslavement," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF). "Why does President Obama, the first African American to occupy the White House, have a problem with hosting a Juneteenth celebration acknowledging this fact?"

 

 

Will the USPS Continue to Refuse to

Issue a Juneteenth Postage Stamp in 2014?

 

 

The USPS has also denied the request to issue a Juneteenth postage stamp, also despite receiving thousands of petitions.  

"We will continue to petition the USPS to issue a Juneteenth postage stamp despite their refusal in 2011," states Dr. Myers, also Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC). "We will have to double and triple our efforts for the official recognition of Juneteenth in 2014."

 

As the leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America, Rev. Dr. Myers continues to push for the recognition of Juneteenth because America needs healing from the legacy of enslavement. The first step toward healing is for America to acknowledge that the nation was built through the evil institution of slavery and to celebrate freedom for all Americans during Juneteenth.   

 

ron m"The National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement takes place on the '18th of June', the day before we celebrate Juneteenth," states Rev. Dr. Myers. "We have also established the World Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement on the '20th of August', commemorating the date the first Africans, twenty Angolans, in British colonial America, arrived in the slave ship, the White Lion, at Old Point Comfort

                                                                   Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA, in 1619. This 

                                                                   was America's first Middle Passage."

 

Rev. Dr. Myers has also established "June is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!"  Through a series of concerts, lectures and workshops, African American classical music, commonly called "jazz" is celebrated in the hometowns of great black musicians across the country and around the world.

 

"Efforts to establish 'June is Juneteenth African American Jazz Legacy Month' by congress and President Obama are also underway." states Rev. Dr. Myers, Founder & Chairman of the National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP). "This is an important recognition of a people who arrived in the belly of slave ships and created America's most intellectually sophisticated musical expression of freedom for all the world to enjoy." 

 

For information on how you can support legislation to make Juneteenth a National Day of Observance, the issuing of a Juneteenth postage stamp, the National and World Days of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement and the establishment of "June is Juneteenth African American Jazz Legacy Month" contact Rev., Dr. Myers at 662-392-2016; e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; web site: http://www.NationalJuneteenth.com.

 

dengue-450x350Caribbean countries, struggling to emerge from a slump in exports and falling tourist arrivals brought on by the worldwide economic crisis that began five years ago, have one more thing to worry about in 2014, The Independent European Daily Express reports.

Dominica's chief medical officer, Dr. David John, said climate change and its effects are taking a toll on the health of people in his homeland and elsewhere in the region.

"You have seen what is happening [with] the effects of climate change in terms of our infrastructure, but there are also significant effects with regards to climate change on health," John said, adding that "these effects relate to the spread of disease including dengue fever and certain respiratory illnesses."

John said the Dominica government would be seeking assistance from international agencies, including the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), to mitigate "the effects of climate change on health as it relates to dengue, leptospirosis and viral disease."

In late 2012, the Ministry of Health in Barbados alerted members of the public about a spike in leptospirosis cases." Senior Medical Officer of Health-North Dr. Karen Springer said then that five people had contracted the severe bacterial infection, bringing the number of cases for the year to 18.

Springer explained that the disease, which includes flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting, eye inflammation and muscle aches, could be contracted through contact with water, damp soil or vegetation contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Bacteria can also enter the body through broken skin and if the person swallows contaminated food or water.

In recent years, dengue has also been on the rise throughout the Caribbean with outbreaks in Dominica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, among other places.

Professor of environmental health at the Trinidad campus of the University of the West Indies Dr. Dave Chadee told IPS there is ample "evidence that climate-sensitive diseases are being tweaked and are having a more significant impact on the region".

He said he co-authored a book with Anthony Chen and Sam Rawlins in 2006, which showed "very clearly" the association between the changes in the seasonal patterns of the weather and the onset and distribution of dengue fever.

"There is enough evidence, not only from the Caribbean region but worldwide, that these extreme events are going to have and going to play a significant role in the introduction and distribution of these sorts of diseases in the region," Chadee, who previously served as an entomologist at the Insect Vector Control Division of the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago, told IPS.

"If you look at the various factors that are associated with climate change, the first is heat waves. There has also been a reduction in air quality. You also see an increase in fires and the effects on people's ability to breathe as well as the association between the Sahara dust and asthma which was demonstrated in Barbados and Trinidad recently.

"The Sahara dust which comes in from Africa brings in not only the sand but also other pathogenic agents within the sand, together with some insecticides which have been identified by people working at the University of the West Indies," Chadee told IPS.

Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative for Guyana, said she has no doubt that climate change has contributed significantly to some of the issues related to diseases in the region.

"If you look at some of the impacts of climate change, for example drought, with drought you are going to increase the amount of irrigation that you are going to be applying to the crops. And irrigation water is a source of pesticides or even chemicals, depending on where that source of water is and that could lead to problems in health," she told IPS.

"Similarly with the extreme events, if you are talking about floods, there can be contamination of the fresh-water supply."

The FAO representative is adamant that there is too much "talk" in the Caribbean and too little "implementation".

"We have had the conversation, so what we need to do now is put the systems in place to mitigate and adapt to climate change," she said. Using land-use planning as an example, Fletcher-Paul told IPS, "A lot of what we see happening in St. Vincent and St. Lucia may not necessarily have taken place if we had proper land-use planning."

A slow-moving, low-level trough on Dec. 24 dumped hundreds of millimetres of rain on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica, killing at least 13 people. The islands are still trying to recover.

"So we need to take some hard decisions in terms of where we would allow development to take place or not," Fletcher-Paul said.

Chadee said the poor would always be at a disadvantage in climate change scenarios and they will suffer the most from sea level rise when you have salt water intrusion into fertile agricultural land, rendering them unsuitable for food production.

"A lot of diseases will essentially create havoc to people who are already poor. The adaptability of the poor versus the rich within the Caribbean region will be tested because if the poor are no longer able to produce some of their food, this would then lead to health problems."

He explained that if the poor are no longer able to have a particular diet this would make them susceptible to a number of diseases.

"With the Caribbean region having developing states, and especially Small Island Developing States, we do have a unique situation where the resources have to be put in place, especially for adaptation," Chadee told IPS.

It's almost like the wall of the reservoir has been breached and you know that the water is coming. You don't know how high the water level is going to be but you know it's coming, so what do you do? And that essentially is the scenario in which we have found ourselves in the Caribbean," Chadee added.

Source : Repeating Islands

For the original report go to http://www.iede.co.uk/news/2014_3856/caribbean-sees-worrying-rise-climate-sensitive-diseases

A new biography seeks to give rock star status to one of reggae’s most militant musicians, Davina Hamilton reports in this article for The Voice Online.
 

LONG OVERSHADOWED by the mighty Bob Marley and even shunned by the Jamaican establishment for his outspoken political views, Peter Tosh, at last, has his story told in a new biography.

Steppin’ Razor: The Life of Peter Tosh charts the life of the Jamaican guitarist and singer, who shot to fame alongspeter toshide Marley and Bunny Wailer in the celebrated reggae group The Wailers.

Shining a light on the revolutionary musician who reportedly taught Marley to play the guitar, and who vehemently called for the legalisation of marijuana in his hit song Legalize It, the book by respected reggae journalist John Masouri, seeks to posthumously honour Tosh, who was murdered in his Jamaican home in 1987.

And according to Masouri, though Tosh was shunned and even beaten for his outspoken views on various social and political issues, he was a man ahead of his time.

“It’s interesting how some of the things that Peter articulated in his songs, such as the legalisation of marijuana – in songs like Legalize It and Bush Doctor – and the collapse of financial institutions – The Day The Dollar Died – have now come to fruition,” says the British writer, who enjoyed success with his first book, 2008’sWailing Blues: The Story Of Bob Marley’s Wailers. “The man had vision.”

In addition to receiving literary recognition in Steppin’ Razor – which takes its title from Tosh’s song of the same name – the musician’s solo album Legalize It is also set to be the subject of a planned feature film from Oscar-winning British director Kevin Macdonald.

Another posthumous honour came for Tosh in 2012, when he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Jamaican government – a feat that would have been unimaginable back in the seventies, when he was considered a thorn in the sides of the Jamaican establishment.

In 1978, during Marley’s famous One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Tosh lambasted attending politicians, Prime Minister Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, leader of the opposition party Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), for their failure to legalise marijuana.

He also used the opportunity to bring to the politicians’ attention the bloody gun battles that were taking place in the country’s most impoverished districts, warning: “Hungry people are angry people.”

His public insubordination wouldn’t go ignored. Five months later, he was apprehended by police and beaten severely while in police custody.

Regarded by many as an intimidating figure (perhaps not least because he was 6ft 4in tall), Tosh, like many other black activists, was the type of man the establishment wished to silence. Undoubtedly the most militant member of The Wailers (he famously slammed the group’s one-time label boss Chris Blackwell, referring to him in an interview as “Chris White-worst”), what made Tosh quite so revolutionary?

“He was born black, poor and fatherless in a colonial society, governed by a ruling elite who had no interest in furthering the cause of people like himself,” Masouri reasons.

“The majority of people in similar situations spend their time complaining or assuming the role of victims, which isn’t meant as a criticism. Not Peter however – he was a fighter who believed in his chosen cause, and expressed himself without fear, despite near fatal beatings at the hands of the Jamaican police.”

Though Tosh’s outspoken nature and refusal to conform cost him international stardom (the decision taken by himself and Bunny Wailer to quit The Wailers, refusing to go on tour in 1974, meant the pair missed out on the global superstardom Marley achieved), Masouri says Tosh was not the type of person to put fame over his principles.

“[Conforming] would have meant compromising his integrity and Peter wasn’t the kind of person to undertake that willingly. He really did practise what he preached on many levels and whilst mainstream recognition brings undoubted rewards, I think we should honour artists like him regardless.

“’Time will tell’, as Bob Marley did say, and the merits of someone like Peter Tosh cannot be kept hidden indefinitely.”

Steppin’ Razor is the culmination of a tireless effort from Masouri, who interviewed over 100 of Tosh’s former friends, associates and fellow musicians for the book.

And despite his extensive reggae knowledge (several reggae artists have said after being interviewed by Masouri that he was able to remind them of facts they hadn’t even remembered about themselves), the author says he learned many new things about Tosh in writing the biography.

“I was always a Peter Tosh fan, from the early seventies. But after more than three years’ worth of research, I had a wealth of new material to draw from that even die-hard Peter Tosh fans should find of interest – particularly regarding his early years with [Jamaican producer] Coxsone Dodd and [US singer-songwriter] Johnny Nash, and his adventures with [British acts] Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.”

Did Masouri ever meet Tosh?

“I did meet him briefly, backstage at a show in London, and found him an imposing character. He towered over me in his wraparound shades, surrounded by his dread entourage and was very imposing.

“Lots of people I interviewed for the book testify to how warm and humorous he was, but I never got the chance to experience that side of him unfortunately!”

Still, Masouri is keen for Tosh to get his dues. A man who made playing the guitar look effortless (if he’d been any more cool and laid back in the video for The Wailers 1973 hit Stir It Up, he would have been sleeping), Tosh, according to Masouri is worthy of rock star status.

“I wanted to write the book as an adventure story, and make it eminently readable to people who aren’t necessarily reggae fans or immersed in that culture. The idea was to present Peter’s life story in such a way that it could be afforded parity with that of any rock star.

“That’s because in nearly 30 years of writing about reggae music, I’ve consistently come up against this inherent bias that reggae is somehow inferior to other genres, and I wanted to try and change that somehow.”

He adds: “Peter was a visionary and he had a purpose, and it’s my fervent hope that his memory can now inspire a new generation of singer-songwriters to follow in his footsteps.”

Steppin’ Razor: The Life of Peter Tosh is available now from Amazon

For the original report go to http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/peter-tosh-reggae-revolutionary

At least 11 oil spills have crippled parts of Trinidad and Tobago, coating miles of beach with crude as the state-owned energy company scrambles to control what is being called one of the country's worst environmental disasters, Jamaica's Observer reports.

Petrotrin, Trinidad's state-owned obeach trinil company, first responded to an oil spill near La Brea on December 17, according to a report from the Trinidad Guardian.

Over the past month, the company has confirmed at least 11 spills and was slapped with a $3.1 million fine from the country's Environmental Management Authority last week, which the company's president, Khalid Hassanali, called "harsh”.

The pipeline responsible for the first of the leaks at Petrotrin's Point-a-Pierre facility, which resulted in an initial spill of more than 7,000 barrels, may not have undergone any inspections for the past 17 years, according to a confidential report commissioned by the company and obtained by the Trinidad Guardian and reported in the Huffington Post.

Of the other 10 leaks, Petrotrin has accused saboteurs of causing at least two while issuing a series of media releases praising what they describe as "significant progress" during clean-up efforts, saying the beaches would be clean one to two weeks after the spill, according to the Huffington Post.

Local officials have accused the company of trying to downplay the extent and size of the spill, the Trinidad Express said. Two former energy ministers also came forward earlier this month, saying Petrotrin did know about the state of its aging infrastructure after a government audit was ordered in 2010.

"There was no question of sabotage, it was all a question of bad operations on the part of Petrotrin," MP Paula Gopee-Scoon is reported in the Huffington Post as saying said. “It was a cover-up from day one.”

Petrotrin has since used the controversial dispersant Corexit 9500 to control the spill, used in record quantities by BP during 2010's Gulf oil spill. Many scientists have said the chemical becomes far more toxic than oil alone when the two are mixed, harming marine life, but Petrotrin's president has defended the use of the dispersant, saying "all the chemicals we are using are approved chemicals and we are using them in the approved manner."

Source: Repeaing Island

For the original report go to http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Miles-of-beachfront-coated-in-Trinidad-oil-spill

vicPresident Robert Mugabe plans for Victoria Falls to be renamed 'the smoke that thunders' to get rid of its colonial history. The president of Zimbabwe believes Victoria Falls does not reflect its liberation heritage. The waterfall, which is along the Zambezi River at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Locals already refer to the landmark as Mosi Oa Tunya - which means 'the smoke that thunders'. The ruling party, Zanu PF, said the government would be instructed to get rid of all colonial names for towns and schools. Ignatious Chombo, local government minister, said: 'Institutions bearing colonial names must be changed and be given indigenous names... school syllabuses in schools must also change.' mugabe

It was first discovered by Scottish explorer David Livingstone who named it after Queen Victoria. falls vicotira

Jabulani Sibanda, leader of Zimbabwe’s vocal war veterans, supported the move. 

He said: 'David Livingstone was not the first person to see the VictoriaFalls, they (the falls) must be rebranded Mosi Oa Tunya. How can we have our barracks continue to be named after a foreign king?' 

President Mugabe’s party came to power in 1980 and changed names of some cities and towns such as Harare.

However, a number of institutions and roads still have their colonial names. Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.

 Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as and at the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge of Victoria Falls, over a width of nearly two kilometers, into a gorge over one hundred meters below.

 The wide, basalt cliff over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges.

 

Photo: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe

Original article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2525775/Mugabe-orders-Victoria-Falls-renamed-smoke-thunders-rid-colonial-history.html#ixzz2pw0egCwS

brazil cupBrazil — Foreign and Brazilian tourists are expected to spend $10.4 billion during next year's World Cup, more than the public funds invested for staging the event, the Brazilian tourism board said Friday.

"These are important resources which fuel economic sectors of all Brazilian regions, from aviation to the informal economy," said Flavio Dino, president of state tourism board Embratur, in a statement titled "Mega-events are worth it."

He recalled that the Confederations Cup, a 15-day dry run last June for the World Cup, injected $311 million in the Brazilian economy.

It was staged in the middle of massive nation-wide street protests in which hundreds of thousands of Brazilians demanded a better quality of life, an end to corruption and railed against the high cost of staging the World Cup and the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

A month later, World Youth Day, a major Catholic youth fest held in the presence of Pope Francis in Rio, injected another $502 million into the economy.

And Dino said that even if revenues do not totally cover investments for major events, it was important to note that one out of three reals invested by the federal government for the World Cup is disbursed to upgrade urban mobility projects in major cities.

He added that apart from immediate gains, events like the World Cup and World Youth Day give Brazil a visibility that would normally take "decades" to obtain.

"Some see major events as gobbling up resources that could be allocated to public services. I prefer to see them as a big gamble on a new development project which obviously encompasses an urgent modernization of public services," the Embratur chief said.

Source: AFP, ETurboNews

AFAMCOCSan Francisco – After several years of advocating for African Americans to have an equal opportunity to benefit from San Francisco’s lucrative tourism and hospitality industry, the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce (SFAACC) is calling a national boycott against San Francisco’s tourism and hospitality industry, beginning January 1, 2014. SFAACC is demanding the City of San Francisco (1) conduct hearings into the discriminatory practices and lack of representation of African Americans in the hospitality industry, and (2) redirect 5% of the Tourism Improvement District (TID) fund into nonprofit organizations that will recruit, train and place African Americans into hospitality industry jobs, and (3) direct tourism spending into African American neighborhoods and businesses.

In recent months the SFAACC has met with and written the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor regarding the exclusion of African Americans in the tourism and hospitality industry. With approximately $8 billion in annual tourist spending flowing into the City, the amount that flows into San Francisco’s African American community is infinitesimal.

SFAACC asserts that African American neighborhoods are seldom promoted by the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) and African American businesses are often refused contract opportunities. In fact, a recent video by SFTA to promote San Francisco to the world and draw tourism to the City, did not include any African American or Latino images or destinations. The issue is exacerbated by the lack of African Americans employed in the industry, despite the efforts of Unite Here Local 2’s efforts to push hotels for greater diversity in hiring with a Memorandum of Understanding they created for the City’s hotels.

In an effort to resolve the disparities, SFAACC met with Theresa Sparks, Director of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), to express concerns regarding the tourism industry in general and the SFTA in particular. Ms. Sparks offered HRC as a “mediator” and agreed to meet separately with Mike Casey, president of Unite Here Local 2 and Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of SFTA, to discuss SFAACC’s concerns. In her report to the SFAACC, she apparently provided misleading statements. According to Mike Casey, he denies telling Sparks that “He is not aware of any overt discrimination” in San Francisco’s hospitality industry, and considers that statement a misrepresentation of their meeting. Ms. Sparks also failed to address the major issues and concerns of the SFAACC in her meeting with Mr. D’Alessandro.

Community outreach, Jobs, job training, contract opportunities and economic development were apparently not on the agenda and not discussed. Fred Jordan, president of the SFAACC stated, “It’s apparent that the African American community in San Francisco has no advocates in the public sector regarding this issue. No one seems to want to confront one of the most blatant and visible forms of discrimination affecting African Americans in San Francisco – being shut out of San Francisco’s number one industry, tourism.”

The repercussions from this discrimination has been staggering. Some of the disturbing facts include:

• The median income of African American households in San Francisco is $30,840, just 35% of the median white household at $89,140.00.
• The African American population in San Francisco has dropped from 13.4% in 1970 to less than 4% today – the worst percentage decline of any major American city.
• 50% of African American children do not graduate from San Francisco high schools.
• Although less than 4% of the general population, African Americans make up 54% of San Francisco’s jail population.
• The life expectancy of African Americans living in San Francisco’s Bayview district is 14 years less than residents of Russian Hill or Pacific Heights.
• The African American unemployment rate in San Francisco is more than three times that of whites. The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds is in the 40-45% range.

joe5The city’s failure to genuinely address these issues is further reflected in the lack of action by the HRC to implement any of the recommended next steps outlined in the City’s Report of the San Francisco Mayor’s Task Force on African-American Out-Migration published in 2009, or in its Comparative Review And Analysis Of Equity And Diversity reports by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission released November, 2011. Among the recommendations of this report was the following:

Establish an African-American economic development district in the city to serve as the center of a new tourism area that will attract tourists in the same way as a Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf or other locations central to the tourism economy.

Since 1993, the City and County has conducted numerous studies with recommendations on how to support the economic growth of the African American community and slow the out-migration of African Americans from the City. To date, none have been implemented and HRC has paid little more than lip service with special events and recognition ceremonies of community leaders. Jordan states, “We’ve had enough of the studies and reports that acknowledge the problems, but do absolutely nothing to help solve them. SFTA’s biased behavior and City Hall’s attitude of benign neglect has allowed this situation to deteriorate to the point where we have no alternative but to call for a boycott of San Francisco.”
Phase One, begins January 1, 2014 and will include requesting all African American associations and organizations to not bring any of their meetings, conventions or conferences to San Francisco.
Phase Two, begins February 1, and includes requesting educational organizations to not bring any of their meetings or conventions to San Francisco.

Phase Three, begins March 1, and includes informing legal and medical organizations of our boycott and request that they take their meeting and convention business elsewhere.

SFAACC also plans to hold peaceful demonstrations outside all major conferences in and around Moscone Center to bring national and global awareness to the discrimination taking place in San Francisco.

Origianl source: http://www.eturbonews.com/41071/group-calls-boycott-san-francisco-s-tourism-hospitality-industry

Photo: Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of San Francisco Travel Association ( Photo credit: Jason Gutierrez, Business Class Publication)

charles-campbell-head-shotThe National Gallery of Jamaica announced the appointment of its new Chief Curator, Mr. Charles Campbell, a Jamaican-born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator, who has been based in Canada, England and Jamaica. Mr. Campbell will take up office on January 13, 2014.  Executive Director Veerle Poupeye commented that “Charles Campbell is a well-respected, thoughtful and principled critical voice in the Caribbean art world, with a sound grasp of the region’s art history and the critical issues [. . .].”

Charles Campbell holds an MA in fine art from Goldsmiths College University of London and a BFA from Concordia University, Montreal. Campbell is a passionate and outspoken advocate of Jamaican and Caribbean contemporary art and has experience mounting exhibitions and running arts education programs for non‐profits in Canada and England. He has also been attached to the visual arts programme of the MultiCare Foundation, a local non-profit for inner-city development. Campbell has worked as an arts writer and editor for the Gleaner and Jamaica Herald and is a regular contributor to ARC Magazine, a Caribbean arts journal. His most recent publication is a review of the 2012 National Biennial, which appeared in Jamaica Journal 34/3. As an artist he has represented Jamaica and Canada in events such as Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art, at the Brooklyn Museum in 2007; the 2009 Havana Biennial; and Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions, held at the Art Museum of the Americas in 2011.

As Chief Curator, Campbell will focus on developing the National Gallery’s exhibitions programme. This will include a special exhibition to commemorate the National Gallery’s 40th anniversary, the expansion of the Biennial exhibition, and the establishment of a specially designated project space to exhibit smaller artists’ projects. Two of Campbell’s priorities will be to deepen the National Gallery’s connections to the Caribbean region and its Diaspora and to increase local engagement. “It’s an exciting moment for Caribbean art as artists throughout the region are discovering new commonalities and striding confidently into global arts arenas. As the English-speaking Caribbean’s oldest and largest National Gallery, we have a key role to play in developing and strengthening these networks,” says Campbell. [. . .]

Source: Repeating Islands

For full article, see http://nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/introducing-charles-campbell-new-chief-curator-ngj/#more-5396

le reunionDecember 20 is a holiday in the island of La Reunion. It commemorates the proclamation of the abolition of slavery by Sarda Garriga on December 20, 1848. Often called “Birthday Party * kaf" in Creole, this event is celebrated by the population of Reunion every year since the 1980s.

December 20 is a historic date at which the abolition of slavery was proclaimed on the island of La Reunion. This day is a major event in the cultural life of Reunion where many events are held throughout the island, including Kabars. These local dances then make a musical tribute to ancestors on the rhythms of Sega and maloya-inherited music of slave songs.

This day is an opportunity for all islanders from a unique ethnic and cultural diversity to come together in a unique moment of sharing. The festivities of December 20 are a highlight for the population of Reunion, which conducts an annual commemoration of a common history.

For more information, visit reunion.fr .

 

Source: ETurbo News

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