Drumming Recalls Centuries-old Link Between Caribbean, Africa

Repeating Islands

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Throughout the ages and around the globe, drumming has been used for communication, entertainment, and prayer. That is especially true for the Rastafarians who performed at this year’s Sacred Music Festival in Jerusalem, as Gail Wein reports in this article for Voice of America.
If you haven’t heard of Nyabinghi drumming, you are not alone. It is sacred music, played as a communal meditative practice in the Rastafarian religion of Jamaica, and rarely performed in public.
As Jamaican reggae star Vivien Jones explains, it is a centuries-old link between the Caribbean and Africa.
“That’s been in Jamaica since we were taken there as slaves,” Jones said. “Slave master used to bang the drums. So the drums were there from the time we landed on that island, the drums were being played. So it was African drumming … all the way from ancient Ethiopia. All it did was it traveled…

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4 new cases – WHO | Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update

The first patient is a 55-year-old man with an underlying medical condition from Medina who became ill on 17 August 2013 and is currently hospitalised.

The second patient is a 38-year-old man with an underlying medical condition from Hafar al-Batin who became ill on 8 August 2013 and died on 17 August 2013.

The third and the fourth cases are family contacts of the second patient. Both the cases, a 16-year-old boy and a seven year-old girl, tested positive for the MERS-CoV virus. They are both healthy and do not have any symptoms of illness.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 108 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 50 deaths.

via WHO | Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – update.

2003 Redux? The White House’s Case For War In Syria | TPMDC

Still sounds too much like 2003 to me…

In the four-page intelligence brief, which senior administration officials said was “fully vetted” by the U.S. intelligence community, the U.S. government said that it had “high confidence” that Assad’s forces were responsible for the chemical attack, which the administration said killed 1,429 people, including 426 children. “Our high confidence assessment is the strongest position that the U.S. Intelligence Community can take short of confirmation,” the government said in the brief.

The intelligence community assessment documents the Assad regime’s chemical weapons capability, reportedly the greatest in the region, and the regime’s frustration with being unable to eradicate the Syrian rebels from certain sections of Damascus’ suburbs. The intelligence community said it has concluded that the weapons used in the attack were the same ones that the Assad regime had in its possession; that the weapons had been launched from Assad-controlled areas of the city to 12 rebel-controlled neighborhoods, according to satellite images; that regime officials were aware of the attack and, following it, ordered regime units to bombard the rebel areas that had been hit in the attack, according to an interception of the communications of a senior officials.

That post-attack bombardment was motivated by the regime’s concern that United Nations investigators would find evidence of an attack, according to senior administration officials. There were also pre-attack indications, such as the utilization of gas masks, by the regime forces that indicated to U.S. intelligence that an attack was imminent.

via The White House’s Case For War In Syria | TPMDC.

U.S. Intel Official Defends Iraq WMD Report – ABC News

A key prewar U.S. intelligence report that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was “well-grounded,” based on 15 years of information, and the hunt should continue, a senior U.S. intelligence official said today.

Stuart Cohen, vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which produced the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate report on Iraq’s banned weapons, said he was “not at all” surprised that stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons had not yet been found.

“He’s [Saddam Hussein] had 15 years to hone his ability to hide this stuff. The footprints of these weapons is very small,” Cohen told Reuters in a brief telephone interview after an interview with ABCNEWS’ Nightline airing late today.

via U.S. Intel Official Defends Iraq WMD Report – ABC News.

U.S. intelligence: Syrian government undertook deadly chemical attack – latimes.com

Jan 2004: A key prewar U.S. intelligence report that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was “well-grounded,” based on 15 years of information, and the hunt should continue, a senior U.S. intelligence official said today.

Stuart Cohen, vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which produced the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate report on Iraq’s banned weapons, said he was “not at all” surprised that stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons had not yet been found.

“He’s [Saddam Hussein] had 15 years to hone his ability to hide this stuff. The footprints of these weapons is very small,” Cohen told Reuters in a brief telephone interview after an interview with ABCNEWS’ Nightline airing late today.

 

The U.S. intelligence community believes that a chemical weapons attack ordered by the Iraq Syrian government Aug. 21 killed at least 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, an intelligence document says.

“The United States government assesses with high confidence that the Iraq  Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21,” the report issued Friday says. “We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.”

The report is based on spies, intercepts and satellites, as well as video evidence the world has already seen, it says.

“We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on Aug. 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence,” the report said.

via U.S. intelligence: Syrian government undertook deadly chemical attack – latimes.com.

Subway Kittens Finally Rescued, Will Be Put Up For Adoption: Gothamist

Yesterday, two adorable kittens frolicking on the train tracks briefly brought subway service to standstill in Brooklyn. The kitties were spotted running up and down the tracks near the third rail at the B/Q Church Avenue station in Prospect Lefferts Gardens around 11 a.m. Thursday. The kittens were briefly caught, but they escaped immediately afterwards—it took until after 6 p.m. for officials to finally wrangle them into cages.

MTA officials initially cut off power to large portions of the B/Q line around lunchtime—the B was down for 90 minutes, and the Q was down for nearly two hours! Some people were angry: “My boss is gonna be mad at me for being late. He’s not gonna believe this one!” said one rider, according to the Post. “Can you believe this? All for goddamned cats! I hate cats!” another straphanger exclaimed. It even led some bloggers to consider philosophical debates about kitten murder.

Not everyone was so put off: “The announcer said it had to stop to rescue some cats,” straphanger Sandra Polel told the News. “I didn’t mind. I wanted to get home, but I also wanted the kittens to be safe.”

via Subway Kittens Finally Rescued, Will Be Put Up For Adoption: Gothamist.

Czech neo-Nazi marches target Roma | Europe | DW.DE | 30.08.2013

Czech neo-Nazi marches target Roma | Europe | DW.DE | 30.08.2013.

David Tiser says the silence from the major parties is easily explained; unlike Mr Zeman, those parties have an election to fight in two months’ time, and defending the Roma minority is hardly a vote-winner.

But while the skinheads are largely being restrained from reaching their targets by lines of riot police, and while there has been a laudable upsurge in civic activity against the neo-Nazi demonstrations, many observers are worried about the atmosphere of intolerance in the Czech Republic.

“The situation is extremely tense in the Czech Republic at the moment, with far right groups rapidly gaining in influence. Many Roma families … fear for their safety, in particular ahead of demonstrations like those planned for [Saturday]” said Dezideriu Gergely, Executive Director of the European Roma Rights Centre, in a statement issued on Amnesty International’s website.

Amnesty concerned

“We have seen a deeply worrying trend over the past year with entrenched discrimination against Roma reaching new heights. This is a fundamental issue that the Czech authorities can’t ignore,” added John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Program Director for Amnesty International.

And while the summer “marching season” is drawing to a close, there seems to be no letup in sight; far-right groups are already planning another demonstration in Ostrava. It’s scheduled for September 27, and once again marchers will try to reach an area home to a large, socially excluded Romany population.

When you have no facts or power, you whine! Charles Krauthammer: Shamed into war? – The Washington Post

If you are going to do this, Mr. President, do it constitutionally. And seriously. This is not about you and your conscience. It’s about applying American power to do precisely what you now deny this is about — helping Assad go, as you told the world he must.

Otherwise, just send Assad a text message. You might incur a roaming charge, but it’s still cheaper than a three-day, highly telegraphed, perfectly useless demonstration strike.

via Charles Krauthammer: Shamed into war? – The Washington Post.

Taylor Farms, Big Food Supplier, Grapples With Frequent Recalls – NYTimes.com

Making your prepared food less safe

 

Bill Marler, a lawyer who specializes in food safety litigation, also said that even for a company of its size, the rate of recalls by Taylor seemed a bit high. “That’s quite a number of recalls over that time period,” Mr. Marler said.

But several of those recalls could have been prompted by random inspections by state health agencies under a federal program that is now defunct, he said.

Taylor and other large produce companies had successfully lobbied to get rid of it, arguing that by the time the program identified a pathogen, the tainted product had already long since been consumed, making it hard to recall.

via Taylor Farms, Big Food Supplier, Grapples With Frequent Recalls – NYTimes.com.