In an earlier post, I wrote about how k-pop bands are starting to edge into the American market. Well, it seems like “Popdust”, an American website dedicated to giving the latest news and music-centric analyses of pop culture, has picked up on this in their latest edition of “Pop-off”, a poll in which voters choose “this week’s most awesome new track”.
"NATO has withdrawn all its personnel from Afghan ministries after two senior US officers were shot dead in the interior ministry building in Kabul…
… Afghan security has signally failed to find a strategy to prevent the killing of NATO forces at the hands of Taliban infiltrators and rogue soldiers. One senior Afghan general said it was “a nightmare that refuses to go away” and one presidential aide called it a major obstacle that has created mistrust, anger and frustration between NATO operatives and their Afghan counterparts…”
"Amarnath Tewary was subjected to a prolonged assault in a public area" (BBC)
It appears that the BJP has once again struck out against those who speak out against its policies, though the target of the attack caught me by surprise. I didn’t think the BJP would have the temerity to attack a BBC journalist considering his connections with Western media. It is unfortunate, but not altogether surprising, that the police are unwilling to conduct a full investigation into the motives behind the attack. It is this impunity for wrongdoing that has contributed to Bihar’s reputation as India’s most lawless state.
My only hope is that media intervention might compel the state apparatus to conduct a fair investigation in effort to stifle these vigilantes. The implications of unchecked rogue forces are pernicious as Bihar remains one of India’s powder keg of caste and communal (religious) tensions. Historically, the BJP thrives in such environments (for ex. national elections in the aftermath of the destruction of Ayodhya Mosque) and recognized the need to silence those who might shed light on this truth.
There’s more about this in the BBC article (link).
Japan’s Emperor Akihito, left, along with Empress Michiko, heads to the University of Tokyo Hospital, by car, in Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012.
Emperor Akihito assumed the throne in 1989, and serves as the head of state in Japan. Previously, Japan was an absolute monarchy and its Emperors had full governing authorities. Postwar-Japan adopted a constitutional monarchy, and under the 1947 Constitution of Japan, the Emperor became “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people.” Executive and legislative power were subsequently transferred to the Prime Minister, his cabinet, and Japan’s bicameral legislature, the Diet.
The Emperor also serves as the head of the Shinto (神道) religion. Shinto, meaning “the way of the gods (kamis),” is the indigenous religion of Japan, and it is said that everyone who is born in Japan belongs to Shinto, even though they may have embraced other religions. However, Shinto today is slightly different than State Shinto, which was instituted in the 1870s as the official religion of Japan. Emperors were considered divine figures, but the Constitution ended State Shinto and declared them head of the religion instead.
Just a little history on the Japanese Emperor and his roles in the government. :)
Girls’ Generation with Kelly Ripa on the “Live! with Kelly”
It seems as if the current trend in k-pop involves attempting to break into the American music market. Now Korean pop, originally only popular in Asia, has been making its way around the world the past few years thanks to promotion from the fans on sites like Youtube, Facebook, Tumblr, and fan pages. Recently, k-pop bands have worked with American producers and choreographers and hosted concerts in countries outside of Asia, and now the major labels are actually having their bands debut in the U.S.
To pay for these dreams, Mongolia is being dug up and sold to China. Already, more than 80% of its exports are minerals, a proportion expected to rise in a few years to 95%…
…Not everyone in Mongolia looks at the growth projections and goes giddy with delight. Many worry about the economic, environmental, social and strategic costs of becoming “Minegolia”. Economists fret about a “resource curse”, or “Dutch disease”. If even the Netherlands can be vulnerable to this—whereby wealth floods in as natural resources are exploited, pushes up the exchange rate, inflation, or both, and renders other industries uncompetitive—how is poor Mongolia to cope?
The telling reasons why, at least in football, China is unlikely to rule the world in the near future…
…Solving the riddle of why Chinese football is so awful becomes, then, a subversive inquiry. It involves unravelling much of what might be wrong with China and its politics. Every Chinese citizen who cares about football participates in this subversion, each with some theory—blaming the schools, the scarcity of pitches, the state’s emphasis on individual over team sport, its ruthless treatment of athletes, the one-child policy, bribery and the corrosive influence of gambling. Most lead back to the same conclusion: the root cause is the system.
And the photo caption:
The Buddha tells the people he can fulfil only one of their wishes. Someone asks: “Could you lower the price of property in China so that people can afford it?” Seeing the Buddha frown in silence, the person makes another wish: “Could you make the Chinese football team qualify for a World Cup?” After a long sigh, the Buddha says: “Let’s talk about property prices.”