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Biodun Iginla's BBC News Blog
Monday, 28 November 2011
World News by the BBC's Biodun Iginla
Topic: bbc news, biodun iginla

World News Track-It Share on the web DailyMe RSS

Posted by biginla at 9:36 AM EST
Monday, 12 September 2011
Morning Media Newsfeed Monday, September 12, 2011
Topic: us media, mediabistro, bbc news

Morning Media Newsfeed

Monday, September 12, 2011

Make the most of Google+ with tech evangelist Robert Scoble in our online Social Media Marketing Boot Camp starting Sept. 27.

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How to Get Reviews for Your Self-Published Book AvantGuild
Bypass those hard-to-crack book editors by getting "real" readers to praise your work and jump start sales.

Short Story Writing - starts September 13 online
Learn the fundamentals of fiction and how to get your short stories published. learn more

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How Newspapers Remembered 9/11 On Their Front Pages (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
Like their magazine counterparts, virtually every American newspaper cover Sunday was dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. HuffPost: Some placed pictures of the burning buildings from 2001 on their front pages. Others featured images of the blue beams of light by which the towers are remembered every year. Still others reconstructed the towers out of text, or collages. FishbowlNY: The day featured the traditional reading of the victims' names, and six moments of silence marking the four plane crashes and when the Twin Towers collapsed. WCBS/Channel 2 remained on the air until the final name was read. Only then, at approximately 1:15 p.m., did Channel 2 join in progress National Football League action between the Ravens and Steelers. However, WNYW/Channel 5 did not follow the same plan. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Throughout the day, the Associated Press was on the story with frequent updates. What follows is a study in reporting under the direst of situations. Yahoo! News / The Cutline: Perhaps the most emotional responses to 9/11 in the days and weeks that followed came from two of television's most unlikely figures: David Letterman and Jon Stewart. Mashable: Thankfully, there are a few good Web archivists, such as The Wayback Machine, that do catalog websites from years gone by. Using that resource and others, we've cobbled together a gallery of Web pages from that horrible day. GigaOM: What strikes me every time I think about Sept. 11 is how much the media landscape -- particularly on the Web -- was transformed by those events, and how very different the world is now when it comes to how we experience real-time news. Forbes: The folks at Frank, a Norwegian communications agency, are demonstrating the power of social media storytelling using Mayor Rudy Giuliani's actual words expressed in the form of 140-character tweets. minOnline: As Americans pored through slideshows and image montages Sunday in memory of the fateful day in 2001, American Photo magazine wants us all to recall that cadres of professional photographers also ran with the heroes of the day to capture all of those moments. In a new free iPad app, the magazine, in partnership with Mag +, launched a commemorative app that focuses on the photojournalists who also ran towards the disaster. Business Insider / The Wire: If the attacks had never happened, here's what you would have been talking about on 9/11.

FBI Investigating Cyber Attacks On NBC, TPM (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
The FBI is investigating a pair of cyber attacks that was carried out on two different news organizations Friday. Launches Monday; Shifts To Paying Subscribers Only Oct. 1 (paidContent)
One of the most unusual efforts to make money from a newspaper website launches Monday in Boston, slightly less than one year after plans were announced. Nieman Journalism Lab: Monday morning, The Boston Globe took the cloak off its brand-new website, And I really do mean "brand-new" -- this is no redesign. Nieman Journalism Lab: Can The Boston Globe cut Apple out of the action? The debut of the Globe's online subscription model represents an ambitious attempt to persuade people to pay for what they've grown accustomed to getting for free. Equally significant, though, is how the Globe intends to pursue that strategy. Rather than fork over 30 percent of its revenues for the privilege of being included in the iTunes Store, the Globe has found a way to route around the Cupertino toll booth altogether. event

Social Media Marketing Boot Camp
Starts September 27 | Online
Launch a successful marketing campaign with emerging social media platforms in our online conference and hands on workshop. Speakers include tech evangelist Robert Scoble, Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project), and Jake Furst (Foursquare). Register now.

Glenn Beck Faces Big Test As New Show Bows (WSJ)
Conservative firebrand Glenn Beck faces his first big test since leaving Fox News when his new two-hour show begins Monday.

Anderson Cooper Seeks To Show His Daytime Side (NYT)
This year, Anderson Cooper spent 10 days in Japan covering the aftermath of the devastating earthquake; he spent nine days in Egypt and was roughed up by supporters of Hosni Mubarak during the uprising there. This week, he will spend an hour talking to Snooki about her tan.

A New Target At Yahoo! (WSJ)
Much of the blame for Yahoo!'s lack of revenue growth in recent years fell on CEO Carol Bartz. Now, that investor angst has shifted to chairman Roy Bostock. featured jobs

Senior Reporter, Public Insight Network
American Public Media
Saint Paul, MN

Executive Producer
Chicago, IL

Creative Technologist
Boston, MA

In This Episode Of As The AOL Turns: Will Arrington Appear At TechCrunch Disrupt? (AllThingsD)
With the continuing negotiations between AOL and high-profile TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington ongoing over the weekend and likely to come to some conclusion soon, the big question remaining is whether he will appear at its flagship conference, TechCrunch Disrupt, which officially begins Monday.

Campaign Trains Viewers For 'TV Everywhere' (NYT)
Putting in place TV Everywhere, a long-promised system for online television, calls for new contracts between channels and distributors, and for new technology to check that viewers have paid their cable bills. And it takes something else: training. Viewers, after all, are not accustomed to being able to go online and see a library's worth of television on-demand.

News Trends Tilt Toward Niche Sites (NYT)
It was a rough week for the big guys on the Web. Yahoo! unceremoniously dumped its chief executive, Carol Bartz, and AOL faced a mutiny from TechCrunch, the Silicon Valley news site it bought last year. Apart from the specific business issues feeding those travails -- sinking traffic and profits at both -- they provided yet another lesson of the Internet age: As news surges on the Web, giant ocean liners like AOL and Yahoo! are being outmaneuvered by the speedboats zipping around them, relatively small sites that have passionate audiences and sharply focused information. event

Socialize: Monetizing Social Media
October 20-21, 2011 | San Francisco
Learn how to make money with social media, including social games, virtual goods, social mobile, and metrics. Register by September 28 and save!

ABC's Jackie Kennedy Tapes Reveal Surprises About LBJ, Martin Luther King Jr. (TVNewser)
During the ABC primetime special Tuesday, Jacqueline Kennedy reveals that President John F. Kennedy had feared a LBJ presidency, and did not have warm feelings toward Martin Luther King Jr.

Reuters Names New West Coast Bureau Chief (FishbowlNY)
Jonathan Weber is joining the staff at Reuters as the company's West Coast bureau chief. / Media Alley: Weber resigned Thursday as editor-in-chief of nonprofit publication The Bay Citizen.

The Truth Hurts The Hollywood Reporter… (
Friday my parent company's boss received a letter from lawyers for Prometheus Global Media, owner of The Hollywood Reporter, claiming, "It has come to our client's attention that your employee, Nikki Finke of, is now engaged in conduct on your behalf that crosses the line from her usual bad behavior to a concerted and unlawful attempt to disrupt THR's business." Here was my response. course

Mediabistro Affiliate Program
Share what you love about our courses with your friends, community and online audience. Earn commission when you refer someone to a Mediabistro course! Click here to learn more.

HuffPost And Patch Recruiting Bloggers As Young As 13 (Forbes)
The Huffington Post's best response to those critics who accuse it of exploiting writers by not paying them has always been the libertarian one: Within the boundaries of the law, consenting adults are free to enter into whatever sorts of arrangements they choose, even one that involves donating their labor to a for-profit corporation. But what about when those writers aren't adults?

Marketers' Risky New Pitch: We'll Put America Back On Job (AdAge)
With zero new jobs created in August and 9.1 percent unemployment, job creation is the hottest topic in corporate messaging.

Twitter To Tap Edelman For Public Relations (AdAge / Agency News)
Twitter is set to hire Edelman as its first agency of record to handle public relations. course

Young Adult Novel Writing
starts September 19 in New York | September 20 online
Draft your YA novel in 3 months and learn how to get published. Click here to learn more.'s blogs: tweets:


@mediabistroTV Check out host Greg Amsinger looking good at our latest shoot for #Cubes at the MLB Network!

@FishbowlDC What to do when the TV host confuses you for another guest? Absolutely nothing. What the hell can you do?

@FishbowlLA Frank Holder @thehumormill deservedly basking in afterglow of Eddie Murphy @TheAcademy scoop.

@PRNewser Selling The New Cool: Inside The World Of 'Influencers' - Forbes

@GalleyCat Help save St. Marks Bookshop & sign "significant rent concession" petition for landlord:

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Posted by biginla at 11:51 AM EDT
Kenya's PM describes aftermath of pipeline fire as 'shocking'
Topic: kenya, bbc news

by Natalie Duval and Biodun Iginla, BBC News


Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, describes the scene after a petrol pipeline explosion and fire in Kenya's capital as "shocking".

More than 60 people died in the blast in Nairobi's Lunga Lunga industrial area.

Police and troops cordoned off the district as firefighters battled fierce flames in a nearby shanty town.

A cigarette butt is believed to have started the fire.

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Posted by biginla at 11:45 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 12 September 2011 11:47 AM EDT
Friday, 2 September 2011
Blue Nile: Sudan forces battle former SPLM rebels
Topic: sudan, bbc news
In association with

by Rashida Adjani and Biodun Iginla, BBC News

Former Sudanese militia fighters attend a ceremony in the town of  Damazin, in Blue Nile province, 2009 Many Blue Nile residents fought for the SPLM during the long north-south conflict

Fighting has broken out in Sudan's Blue Nile state - the third border area to see clashes since South Sudan's independence in July.

The party of Blue Nile Governor Malik Agar said soldiers had attacked his official residence. The army blamed the fighting on Mr Agar's forces.

He heads the opposition SPLM-North party and is an ex-commander of the rebels who now govern South Sudan.

Some 200,000 have fled their homes in neighbouring South Kordofan.

The government has denied charges its forces have carried out ethnic cleansing in the area against groups seen as being pro-south.

On Tuesday, Sudan's government lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council, accusing South Sudan governing party of backing rebels in South Kordofan, which the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) denies.

There has also been fighting in Abyei, which is claimed by both sides.

The BBC's James Copnall in Juba says this is the first major outbreak of fighting in Blue Nile since the north-south conflict ended in 2005.

But he says the region was always a high risk state because it borders South Sudan and is split between supporters of President Omar al-Bashir's government and the SPLM.

'Tanks and militia'

Sudan said Mr Agar's forces launched attacks on police stations and government buildings in the state capital, Damazin.

"The Sudanese Armed Forces responded to this attack and has now driven the rebels away. The government now controls Damazin and the area around it," government spokesperson Rabbie Abdelatti told the BBC.

A local resident said government tanks were patrolling the city and forces loyal to Mr Agar have withdrawn from the city.


Many residents have fled Damazin because they fear the violence could escalate, the resident said.

He and a UN source told the BBC fighting flared up on Thursday night and shooting could still be heard in Damazin on Friday.

The SPLM-North, which says it has split from the south's ruling party, says the army moved into strategic positions of Damazin with 12 tanks and 40 other armoured vehicles backed up by militia fighters.

It accused the government of declaring a surprise ceasefire in South Kordofan last week to prepare the ground for an attack in Blue Nile.

The SPLM led the decades-long struggle which led to South Sudan's independence.

When a peace deal was signed in 2005 to pave the way for the South's independence, the SPLM and Khartoum agreed Blue Nile and South Kordofan would have "popular consultations" about their future.

But these did not take place properly, leading to an increase in tensions and now clashes, our reporter says.

War crimes

Mr Agar recently warned Khartoum of the dangers of taking on rebels in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur because they were likely to co-ordinate their efforts.

Opposition groups in the three areas accuse Khartoum of ethnic cleansing and failing to give them a fair share of the national wealth.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Mr Bashir and the South Kordofan governor over the conflict in Darfur, accusing them of genocide and war crimes.

Mr Bashir denies the allegation and says the ICC is controlled by Western powers hostile to Sudan.

Last month, a UN report said both government and rebel forces may have committed war crimes in South Kordofan, but it said the army's actions were "especially egregious" - referring to summary executions, aerial bombardments and the shelling of neighbourhoods.

When South Sudan split from the north on 9 July, the new country's leader, Salva Kiir, said he would work with Mr Bashir to ensure the rights of former southern rebels in the north were respected.

More on This Story

Sudan: Coping with divorce

Birth of a nation

Magbula OsmanForced to choose between Sudans

Independence means South Sudanese must leave Khartoum

Posted by biginla at 2:00 PM EDT
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Highlights from The Economist online's Politics this week
Topic: un wire, bbc news, biodun iginla

» Europe and the euro: The bonds that tie—or untie
» The aftermath of the riots: All against all
» Rick Perry: Reading the record
» Indian politics: Hazed again
» Iraq and the Pentagon: Leaving on a jet plane
» The war in Libya: No way out for the colonel
» Zimbabwe's murky politics: Who dunnit?
» Argentina's president: In her prime

Posted by biginla at 2:31 PM EDT
Libyan Deaths, Media Silence
Topic: fair, bbc news


Media Advisory

by Biodun Iginla, BBC News

Were Dozens Killed in Majer NATO Airstrikes?


Allegations of Libyan civilian deaths as a result of NATO bombing have often been covered in the corporate media as an opportunity to scoff at the Gadhafi regime's unconvincing propaganda (FAIR Blog, 6/9/11).

But dramatic new allegations that dozens of civilians were killed in Majer after NATO airstrikes on August 8 have been met with near-total media silence.

According to Libyan officials, 85 civilians were killed in Majer-- a town south of Zliten, a site of frequent clashes and NATO airstrikes. There is no reason journalists should take this claim at face value. But reports from the scene suggest that something significant happened. According to Agence France Presse (8/9/11), "Reporters attended the funerals of victims and saw 28 bodies buried at the local cemetery.... In the hospital morgue, 30 bodies -- including two children and one woman -- were shown along with other bodies which had been torn apart."

The AFP report included NATO denials, with a spokesman claiming that the target "was a military facility clearly."

A Reuters correspondent (8/9/11) "counted 20 body bags in one room, some of them stacked one on top of the other.... In total, reporters saw about 30 bodies at the Zlitan hospital." The New York Times (8/10/11) ran a 170-word version of a Reuters dispatch which noted: "There was no evidence of weapons at the farmhouses, but there were no bodies there, either. Nor was there blood."

Amnesty International has called for an investigation, which led to this mention from CNN anchor John King (8/11/11):

Amnesty International is demanding that NATO investigate whether a Monday strike on Moammar Gadhafi''s forces killed 85 Libyan civilians including 33 children. NATO says it has no evidence of civilian casualties at this point.

A Nexis database search yields very little coverage in U.S. outlets. But that is not because no reporters were present. CNN correspondent Ivan Watson covered a mass funeral after the strikes. But his report aired only on CNN International (8/10/11). Watson reported a visit to "three or four houses that had been demolished by some kind of missiles from the sky."

He added:

We were also shown a morgue where there were the bodies of at least 25 people. Many of them appeared to be men. There were some women and children included among those corpses.

Watson noted that it was "impossible for us, from this perspective, to confirm whether or not 85 people were in fact killed, but it does appear that at least some women and were among those hurt in this deadly strike." (You can watch Watson's report here).

Watson's report (8/10/11) included an interview with a Libyan who claimed that nine members of his family were killed in the attack, including his two-year old daughter. Watson also interviewed a man who was burying his daughter.

It is curious that Watson's reporting was shared with CNN's international audience, but not broadcast to its domestic audience.

But Watson did appear on CNN a few days earlier from the scene of another NATO strike in Zliten. The point of that report (8/5/11) was to suggest that official claims of civilian deaths were suspicious. In that segment, Watson noted that on a visit to a law school that had been attacked by NATO forces, he found what "appear to be uniforms over here, these olive green pants. And then we have got boxes here that look an awful lot like they could have been holding ammunition."

Reporting that undermines Libyan claims of civilian casualties has been a staple of the war so far-- as evidenced by headlines like "Libya Government Fails to Prove Claims of NATO Casualties" (Washington Post, 6/6/11) and "Libya Stokes Its Machine Generating Propaganda" (New York Times, 6/7/11).

Is Majer being ignored by the media because it is just more clumsy Libyan propaganda? Or is it because the story might conflict with the media's overriding message that Libyan civilians aren't dying in NATO's airstrikes? In any event, corporate media outlets that have so diligently sought to debunk Libyan claims of civilian deaths should investigate what happened in Majer. On the BBC website, reporter Matthew Price published one such effort (8/11/11), headlined "What really happened in Libya's Zlitan?" There should be more like it.

Posted by biginla at 2:02 PM EDT
The bonds that tie—or untie
Topic: eurozone, bbc news

Europe and the euro

by Judith Stein and Biodun Iginla, BBC News and The Economist

European leaders need to think and act more boldly to stem the euro crisis



THE pattern has grown tiresomely familiar. Bond markets shift sharply against weak euro-zone members. Leaders hold a crisis summit to save the euro with more forceful rescue measures. The initial euphoria lasts a few weeks, a few days or even just a few hours—and the cycle begins once again. Can Europe’s politicians ever break it?

To judge from this week’s summit between Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, the answer is no. The two came together in the holiday season partly because the markets had moved on from an assault on Italy to attack France, a core AAA-rated euro member. Investors were hoping for a deal to expand the euro zone’s bail-out fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), or to start issuing mutually guaranteed Eurobonds. Instead the two leaders did little beyond repeating previous accords, promising stronger euro-zone economic governance and putting up such distractions as a financial-transactions tax, harmonised corporate taxes and constitutional commitments to balance budgets—along with more euro-zone summits in future (see article).

The markets were unimpressed. A day later the European Central Bank was again buying Spanish and Italian government bonds, having spent €22 billion ($32 billion) the previous week. The latest shockingly low growth figures for the euro zone in the second quarter may partly reflect fiscal austerity, but they also suggest that it will be harder than ever for troubled economies to grow out of their debt burdens.

It is understandable that Mrs Merkel, in particular, should be loth to embrace bold new rescue plans. She is cautious by nature, more a follower than a leader. She recognises the deep hostility of her voters to big fiscal transfers to weaker, more profligate euro-zone countries. She is already finding it hard to persuade her coalition partners to support in parliament the deal she struck in July to expand the EFSF’s powers and let it buy up government debt. She is mindful that the Bundesbank is vociferously against a big ECB programme to buy government bonds (the ECB has already spent €100 billion). And she fears that her country’s constitutional court may rule all euro zone bail-outs to be illegal.

Yet Mrs Merkel needs to be mindful of something else as well: that the current rescue plan for the euro is just not working. The markets continue to price in default by Portugal as well as Greece (though the third bailed-out country, Ireland, is looking a bit healthier). The attempt to limit the trouble to these three and stop contagion spreading to Spain has manifestly failed: instead Italy and now France, both of which seem to be solvent, have been infected. A year ago it was said that the euro zone could take care of two or three small countries but that Spain was too big to fail. Today, with Italy and even France looming into the picture, the very survival of the euro is coming into question.

A break-up of the euro may not be unthinkable, but it would certainly be damaging, painful and very expensive. This is most obvious for debtor countries whose banks and governments would go bust; but Germany and other creditors would also pay an extremely high price. And the consequences would be scarily unpredictable: Europe’s single market, and even the European Union itself, might be at risk.

Mrs Merkel must know that it is worth paying a lot to avoid all this. That means, at minimum, a large expansion of the EFSF, to at least €1 trillion, though there is a limit to how much bigger it can get without denting some creditor countries’ ratings. It is likely to require further large-scale bond-buying by the ECB. It involves accepting bigger restructuring of Greek and maybe other debt. In the end, it may even necessitate mutually guaranteed Eurobonds (see article).

Honesty is the best policy

Any or all of these measures have three things in common: they involve stronger countries giving more support to weaker countries; to offset this, they require intrusive outside control of national fiscal policies. They thus constitute a step towards political union. That is what airy labels like “economic government” or “deeper integration” actually mean.

The problem is that most governments have no mandate from voters to move in this direction. Politicians therefore need to start explaining to their electorates the choices they face, and the consequences of those choices. If Europe’s leaders sign up for a level of integration deeper than voters want, the backlash could split the EU apart—exactly the outcome they are trying to avoid.

Posted by biginla at 12:26 PM EDT
Israel pounds Gaza after deadly attacks
Topic: israel, bbc news
In association with

by Nasra Ismail and Biodun Iginla, BBC News

Breaking news

The Israeli military has confirmed carrying out airstrikes over the Gaza Strip following a deadly series of attacks in southern Israel.

At least six people were killed in the airstrikes, Palestinian sources said.

Earlier, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel would respond with "full force and determination" after attacks on vehicles near Eilat.

Israeli officials said Gazan militants were responsible, though Gaza's Hamas government denied involvement.

Reuters news agency quoted the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a faction in Gaza that often operates separately from Hamas, as saying its head and four other members had died in the airstrikes.

Palestinian sources, also quoted by Reuters, said two people had been killed in a house in Rafah after Israeli drones - often used for airstrikes - were heard overhead.

More on This Story

Israel and the Palestinians

Israeli protest bannerIsrael protests rattle Netanyahu

The Israeli government is struggling to deal with economic protests that show no sign of going away, as Wyre Davies reports.

Posted by biginla at 12:16 PM EDT
Topic: bbc news, biodun iginla


by Biodun Iginla, BBC News and The Economist

Jul 20th 2011, 16:43



THE BBC, following up on an apparently successful column, asked readers to send in their least favourite Americanisms. Mark Liberman noted that of five "Americanisms" cited in the original column's first paragraph, four were of British origin. But never let facts get in the way of a good rant. Let the peeving begin! The BBC published a top 50. The original peeve is in bold; I have removed the peevers' names and added my comments.  


The next time someone tells you something is the "least worst option", tell them that their most best option is learning grammar.  Besides the fact that the double comparative/superlative had a long life in English ("the most straitest sect of our religion", Acts 26:5, KJV, for example), this is obviously playful, not ignorant. 

To "wait on" instead of "wait for" when you're not a waiter - once read a friend's comment about being in a station waiting on a train.  Yes, to "wait on" also means to be a waiter, but writers from Chaucer to Milton to George Eliot used "to wait on" in various senses including "to observe", "to lie in wait for", "to await" and more. 

Is "physicality" a real word?  Yes, first noted in a book published in London in 1827. 

Transportation. What's wrong with transport?  Nothing. What's wrong with transportation? Brits prefer "to orientate oneself", Americans prefer "to orient oneself". Not worse, just different.

What kind of word is "gotten"? It makes me shudder.  It is the original past participle, from old Norse getenn, now obsolete in English English, but surviving in America. Participial "got" is the newcomer.

"I'm good" for "I'm well". That'll do for a start.  That'll do what?  Linking verbs including "am" take adjectives, not adverbs. "I'm healthy," not "I'm healthily." There's nothing wrong with "I'm well", since "well" is also an adjective, but nothing wrong with "I'm good" either.

"Oftentimes" just makes me shiver with annoyance. Fortunately I've not noticed it over here yet.  The OED cites six hundred years of British usage of "oftentimes", including the King James Version and Wordsworth. 

"Hike" a price. Does that mean people who do that are hikers? No, hikers are ramblers!  And words sometimes have multiple meanings!

Going forward? If I do I shall collide with my keyboard.  If you cannot understand metaphorical language, colliding with your keyboard is the least of your worries.  A visit to the neurologist may be in order. 

The most annoying Americanism is "a million and a half" when it is clearly one and a half million! A million and a half is 1,000,000.5 where one and a half million is 1,500,000.   By that logic, could "one and a half million" not be 1 + 500,000, or 500,001?

That's enough peeving on peeving. Many of these are truly Americanisms, and many are (to my eye) annoying, too.  But so many share one or more of these features: 

1) selective hyper-literalism: refusal to understand idioms as such

2) amnesia, or else the " recency illusion": A belief that something quite old is new

3) simple anti-Americanism: the belief that if something is ugly, it must have come from the states

Since Matthew Engel and the Beeb's readers had so little trouble spouting dozens and dozens of "Americanisms" they dislike (the BBC closed comments after 1,295 had arrived), and since such a high proportion seem to be false Americanisms, I propose that this is a common thing, and thus deserves its own count noun. We all know what Americanisms are. From here on, Johnson will refer to false Americanisms used to take a cheap but ill-aimed transatlantic shot as "Anti-Americanisms".

Posted by biginla at 12:12 PM EDT
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Ethiopia refugee camp child death rates 'alarming' - UN
Topic: ethiopia, bbc news
In association with

by Natalie Duval and Biodun Iginla, BBC News

A Somali boy refugee is vaccinated against measles The UN is extending a mass vaccination programme against measles

Death rates are at "alarming levels" at a refugee camp in Ethiopia, where on average 10 children aged under five die each day, the UN has said.

It said high child mortality levels had been compounded by a suspected measles outbreak at the 25,000-capacity Kobe camp. Children are now vaccinated.

Most of the refugees have fled conflict and famine in rural parts of Somalia.

Some 12 million people across East Africa have been affected by the region's worst drought for 60 years.

Kobe is part of south-east Ethiopia's Dollo-Ado complex of refugee camps, which houses about 121,000 people in total and continues to receive 200 to 250 new arrivals each day.

Measles is being blamed for 11 deaths, with 150 suspected cases recorded across the complex's four sites.

Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said: "Death rates have reached alarming levels among new arrivals.

"The combination of disease and malnutrition is what has caused similar death rates in previous famine crises in the region."

Desperate need

The agency said it had completed a mass vaccination campaign for children aged six months to 15 at Kobe and will now continue the programme at the other sites.

Thousands of Somalis have been fleeing to neighbouring countries each week. The UN has declared five famine zones in Somalia, where an estimated 3.2 million people are in need of immediate life-saving assistance.

Delivering aid has proven difficult because most of the famine-affected areas are controlled by the Islamist insurgent group, al-Shabab, which has been reluctant to co-operate with international agencies.

The UN said earlier this month that aid was only reaching 20% of the Somalis who needed it.

More on This Story

East Africa hunger crisis


Posted by biginla at 11:55 AM EDT

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