UNICEF: 25% of world children seriously underweight

UNICEF - Press centre - A Quarter of the World’s Children Seriously Underweight “The lack of progress to combat undernutrition is damaging children and nations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, speaking on her first anniversary as head of the global children’s agency. “Few things have more impact than nutrition on a child’s ability to survive, learn effectively and escape a life of poverty.”Another snippet: “Despite progress in some countries, developing-world averages for underw … [Read more...]

Indian Christians: Ban ‘Da Vinci Code’

Ah, a picture is worth a thousand words. And for a change they're about non-Muslims.AFP on Christian demands for censorship:A Christian activist protests against the release of "The DaVinci Code" and "Tickle My Funny Bone" in Mumbai. Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper said polemics surrounding "The Da Vinci Code" reflect a clash between religious and secular values reminiscent of the recent furor over the Prophet Mohammed cartoons, considered blasphemous by … [Read more...]

The Da Vinci Code protests, or Christians get their “cartoons”

  Speaking of the "Da Vinci Code", protests by offended Christians, particularly Catholics, are happening around the world.  Many are calling for it to be banned, censored, or accompanied by a disclaimer noting that it is a work of fiction. Deja vu all over again.  It'll be interesting to see how many of those who loudly denounced Muslims for supposedly imposing their religious values during the cartoon controversy will speak out against the attempts of some Christians … [Read more...]

The “Da Vinci Code” sapping some Christians’ faith in orthodoxy

Perhaps Ahmed Deedat needs to start writing novels.Reading "Da Vinci Code" does alter beliefs: survey People are now twice as likely to believe Jesus Christ fathered children after reading the Dan Brown blockbuster and four times as likely to think the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei is a murderous sect.Were I a Christian, the unkindest cut of all would definitely be the casting of Tom Hanks as the face of heresy.  He's just too slight of talent and lacking in gravitas to be heading … [Read more...]

The problem with the Pulitzers & Islamic reform

A profound analysis from a veteran journalist of the way American journalism today devalues its most important function through flashy awards and overemphasizing international affairs and high-falluting pontification. Edward Wasserman: Prizes are trophies for rich papers I've come to believe that the Pulitzers -- for all the celebrity, the champagne, the career-capping glory they bring -- are bad for the profession. They purport to stand for excellence in journalism, but if they do it's in the … [Read more...]

Colbert b-slaps W and the Beltway (REPOST)

[So I've censored my original, overly exuberant title to mostly eliminate the b-word.  To cleanse the URL, I must repost.  No major changes otherwise.  Guess I'm getting squeamish and prudish with middle age. ] Forgive the thuggish turn of phrase, but it's the only way to capture what went down. I just watched the clip of Stephen Colbert's absolutely brutal send-up of George W. Bush, the Beltway establishment, and the media that prostitutes itself to them at the White House … [Read more...]

A moving account of Guantanamo

There's a beautiful and enraging account of the fate of the inmates of Guantanamo by Mahvish Khan  in The Washington Post entitled "My Guantanamo Diary: My Guantanamo Diary Face to Face With the War on Terrorism"I'm glad that the Post is doing its part to challenge this obsenity against due process.  I just wish they hadn't been a chearleader of the process that led to it. … [Read more...]

Converts, music, & Ridley

I'm going to take down the 2 posts on Yvonne Ridley and converts for the time being.  I'm doing so mainly because I don't have the time to tweak them satisfactorily to respond to the feedback and my own dissatisfaction with how they come across.  (As if often the case, I've bitten off more than I can chew in a quick post.)   Also, my comments could be misconstrued as speculation on her personally, which is not my intent. I'm also doing so because they cover too many … [Read more...]