Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Hard Hitting Blow of Irene

Early estimates suggest the damage wrought by Hurricane, and then Tropical Storm Irene upon the East Coast will cost the U.S. economy $7 billion, and the New York Times reports that may be a conservative estimate, making Irene one of the 10 costliest disasters in the nation's history.

Irene took at least 49 lives in her wake and destroyed homes and families within an instant. Irene pushed the record for the most disasters in 2011. This record has not been broken since 1980.

Although there was a lot of damage, the cost of the aftermath with be the real damage.

The Hard Hitting Blow of Hurricane Irene

This month, the National Climatic Data Center released a report saying that the fallout from extreme weather had cost the United States $35 billion so far this year. Because of Hurricane Irene, that number has just gone up. The authors of The Report have added Hurricane Irene to the list of nine disasters in 2011 that have cost the U.S. more than $1 billion each. However, they still aren't sure how much Irene will set the country back.

"This 10th U.S. billion-dollar disaster officially breaks the annual record dating back to 1980," they added.

CNN reported that there had been at least 43 deaths in relation to Irene. As of Tuesday, about 2.85 million customers were without power, the Department of Energy reported. Nearly 6.7 million customers initially were without power because of the storm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Escape from the city of death

Miguel Lopes is much like your typical immigrant. He came to the United States to find reliable employment, he works 40 or more hours per week to send money home to his family, and he is making use of something that many of us take advantage of: the American dream. There is one thing that sets Miguel apart from many other immigrants, he escaped the murder capital of the world to come to this country. In 2010, a census was done on the current population of Juarez, Mexico to see how many people have been murdered since 2008 by the drug cartels. The numbers were startling and very much conservative. The census showed that the best estimate was that over 1500 people have been murdered since 2008. The problem is that the drug cartels have infiltrated the highest levels of government in Mexico, so the number is undoubtedly much higher. Many of these murders are missing person cases that just never get solved. Miguel was close to becoming such a statistic. In 2009 Miguel was working in a mechanic shop in downtown Juarez when a local official was gunned down a few blocks from the shop. He decided that he could no longer live in such a place..........(still compiling the rest of this story, will add more in a bit)

August Deadliest Month for US Troops in Afghanistan

For 10 years U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan.  The war on terror has been one of the longest and most expensive wars in history.  10 years after and the war is still going strong. August marked the deadliest month since the war began 10 years ago.  66 American troops died this month, with majority of the deaths taking place in early August. On August 6 insurgents shot down a helicopter in the eastern central province of Wardak.  17 Navy seals were killed in this attack.  This attack was the single largest death toll since the war began in 2001.  With the death toll rising in Afghanistan, many are concerned about when the war will finally end. President Obama has said that most troops will arrive home, by 2014.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brutality in the Ghadfi family house

Recently CNN visited one of the Ghadfi families beach condo. The shocking discovery of Shweyga Mullah, the nanny for the kids of Ghadfi. Her skin was badly burnt and she looked very malnutrientioned. When they question her about it, she stated, she was burned by the daughter aline an a month later the same thing occured again but more serious. She also tells how she was not fed for months and how they ordered all other servants not to give her any food either or the same would be done to them. This is cruel and unusual punishment and makes us glad the U.S. has intervened in the the Libya situation.

Japan is now difficult time

Japan struggles to get recover from the earthquake and succeeding disaster. Moreover, there are in the recession. Prime Minister Kan Naoto has persisted in his position, but he will resign Prime Minister until next week. However, the bad thing is Japanese do not come up with good person to be next Prime Minister. Still they lost their way. Mr. Kan said he rids out of the nuclear plant in Japan, but he failed to do it; on the contrary, he did nothing to this problem. Recently, some houses fit up a solar system to provide own electricity but not enough to cover the all demand of the electricity.  That’s why still Japanese need nuclear power to sustain their living. Mr. Kan should realize this matter of fact and I hope he never come up to the stage of politics.

Martin Fackler, The New York Times, Prime Minister’s Departure Underscores Japan’s Search for Leadership,

The New York Times, Japan — Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis (2011),
Story Ideas:
1.) Libya's impact on oil prices in Oxford
2.) what are local charities doing to help out with the conflict in Libya?
3.) Any Libyan students at Ole Miss?
4.) Hope for Africa
5.) Uganda- missionary's?
6.) Petra- new Mediterranean food in Oxford

Hurricane Irene "Could Have Been Worse"

As a result of Hurricane Irene’s winds blowing towards the east coast over the weekend, 21 people in the United States were killed.

It was reported that government officials and federal agencies from the Carolinas all the way to the New England areas were taking precautionary measures and had ordered residents to leave low-lying coastal areas before the storm struck.

Still, lives were lost and homes and property were destroyed.

According to North Carolina governor, Beverly Perdue, “This storm could have been worse, and North Carolinians are resilient.”

Cities affected by the hurricane were left to deal with major flood damage and power outages in some areas, as clean up efforts began today.

Hurricane Irene’s wind damage in the U.S. cost the government $1 billion.

The English Riots of 2011

On August 6th, 2011 various boroughs of London, England faced days of rioting. The riots were a response to a fatal shooting, which occurred on August 4th, 2011. The shooting occurred between the metropolitan police service firearms officers and a man named Mark Duggan, whose life was later claimed by the shooting. Following the shooting the city of London faced days of rioting, which led to outbreaks spreading across various parts of England.

At the start of each new semester various international students are welcomed to the Ole Miss campus for the American experience. A number of students from The United Kingdom, and especially the larger cities of England such as London, are part of this intercultural exchange. The question remains where they were several days before their departure within the midst of the 2011 England riots. And more importantly, how they faced the outbreaks within the cities they lived.

War on Terror Continues

Al-Qaeda received another blow to their terrorist organization when their second-in-command, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, was killed in Pakistan.  Since the death of Osama bin Laden, the organization has tried to regroup and restructure themselves.  Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was chosen to take bin Laden's place, so it is unclear who or if anyone will be chosen next. 
Since 9/11, Americans have been waiting for the U.S. military to bring down the individuals who were responsible for the tragedy.  Whenever the news reports an al-Qaeda death, many Americans feel that justice has finally been served.  But, the lingering question that remains is will al-Qaeda break apart or become stronger.  Do the deaths of their leaders give them more ammunition to plan attacks on the United States?
The U.S. government must continue to monitor al-Qaeda because the group is volatile and unpredictable.  The U.S. must never let its guard down because our country has suffered enough at the hands of terrorists.


Even though this event is not occurring in different countries, the news itself is at an international level. Hurricane Irene was the biggest news I encountered all weekend and it is still on the front page of most news websites. With today being the 6th anniversary of hurricane Katrina, and a lot of our student body being comprised of people from the coast, it would be a good idea to interview students who were affected years ago and ask what should be done to help the victims in the north east. The story could be about what was needed most after the storm and the way people felt immediately following it so a better perspective can be obtained on this new storm. It would get people involved in making donations or volunteering their time to help the victims.

International Students Response to Nigerian UN Bombing

Explosions rocked the city of Abuja, Nigeria once again Friday afternoon as Nigerian militant group drove a car filled with explosives through the United Nations building downtown, killing at least twenty people.

This is just the most recent in what has been a series of attacks by militant groups in Abuja. In June, a car blast outside of the police headquarters killed five. A month later, a similar bombing at a local church killed three more. These attacks have been coming from a group of militant Muslims who are striving to rid Nigeria of western influence.

For a local angle, Nigerian exchange students here at Ole Miss. Interview them regarding their views on the situation and how it has affected them or their family back home. Dive in deeper and ask their opinions on if the attacks are barbaric or necessary.

Thailand Rice

According to Bloomberg Businessweek rice from Thailand (the biggest exporter of rice) could rise in price up to 22%.  The local angle I see on this is to talk to the owner of Thai restaurants in Oxford like Rice & Spice, and to also talk to local students who eat Thai and/or rice based foods often and if they think this will affect their eating habits.  Thai food is new to Oxford but seems to be extremely popular. I would also talk to the owner of Rice & Spice about how he thinks the cost rise could affect his business.  I could talk to him to see if he would get his rice from another source or continue to get Thailand rice.

Article source:
Bloomberg Businessweek

-Elizabeth Beaver

International News Story

I have been glued to the television for the past few days. All major networks and local television stations have mainly been talking about Hurricane Irene. If you're looking for a story to localize, but is happening over seas, look no further than the stuff happening in Libya. It would make a great story to hear what students or residents from Libya that live in Mississippi have to say on the matter. Are they supporters of Gaddafi, do they support the rebels? Or do they have an entire different opinon of what's happening in Libya. Whatever their opinion may be, it would make a very interesting story for people to read.

Japanese Students in Oxford

With the world’s attention focused on the situation in Libya, it seems as if other news from around the world matters less. It was only about four months ago that a huge earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, causing destruction across large parts of the country and severe damage to at least three nuclear energy facilities. Four months in the world of news, however, seems more like four centuries and the situation in Japan isn’t alarming enough anymore to make the headlines. But with Prime Minister Naoto Kan announcing his resignation, and with the new elections for prime minister coming up, maybe it is time to start paying more attention to Japan again, especially since it is has one of the largest economies in the world.

Every semester in Oxford there is a large number of Japanese students that come here as international or exchange students. What are their views on the turbulent situation in Japan and how do they receive information about their home country?

Story Idea

The East Coast isn't the only place that got hit by Hurricane Irene. While reports say that the storm has left about $10 billion in damage, 4.5 million without power and 21 dead, the hype that Irene was given seems to have been mostly hot air.

But what about the Bahamas? According to a CNN report, some areas of the islands saw winds of over 115 mph. On New Providence - the Bahaman island that calls Nassau, the capital, home - residents had been told to stay inside after the storm warning had lifted while the island was checked for damage and unsafe areas. On other islands, roofs were blown off and buildings splintered from the wind.

My question: are there any students from the Bahamas at Ole Miss? Have the talked to their families? How were their families affected by the hurricane? How does the damage compare to other hurricanes they've ridden out?

Sources: USA Today,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Education, More Inebriation

A recent poll given by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a very strong link between education and alcohol consumption. This could have many explanations, first this could mean that these people have started to drink a higher quality of alcohol moving from Keystone and Natural Light to Shiner and Guinness, they might also begin buying bottles of wine graduating from boxes. Another and far more bleak option might be that higher education leads to higher stress levels and alcohol is being used to reduce this stress. College graduates need to find alternative methods for stress relief because if this trend continues logically there will be more alcoholics in this generation. College campuses should do a better job about offering stress relief classes and constantly bombard students with methods that do not include alcohol use.
David Lynch: Orange coincidence?

American filmmaker David Lynch set up the date of his first solo album “Crazy Clown Time” release on November, 8th. Known for surrealistic film plots, the director feels strong passion to music: his first studio records “BlueBob” appeared in 2001 and were performed together with John Neff. In spring 2009 Lynch visited Ukraine to present a book “Catching the Big Fish” and to open the foundation which promotes transcendental meditation. The interest to Ukraine goes from director’s early childhood:  he lived in Ukrainian district in Philadelphia and then liked the orange fashion in November 2004. May be, here lies the reason to choose this very date for album release? Concerning future plans, during his press-conference in Kyiv David Lynch already confessed that he has plans to make a “great movie” about Ukraine. Who knows – may be next album release will take place somewhere on the Black Sea coast?

Rebel Tennis Continues To Thrive From International Talent

With the new recruiting class on campus the Ole Miss Men's tennis team is set to train during the fall semester to gear up for another run at an SEC as well as a National title in the spring. Unlike other sports teams at Ole Miss who's rosters are mainly filled with talent from Mississippi and around the south; the tennis team is filled with International talent. For the 2011-2012 Ole Miss Men's tennis team roster seven out of nine players are from outside of the United States. Though it may seem more resourceful and simply easier to scout out top players from around the United States for the Rebel netters it just simply would not be the same. These International players come with years of experience much like United States players do but they offer different backgrounds on and of the court. This results in a unique "All- World" quality when taking to the court. These players have different techniques and come from different methods of training. The talent they bring is enormous and they seem to arrive with a chip on their shoulder "don't know any better" mentality that is key in rigorous SEC competition in any sport. The players impact on the court as well as off is something that should not be overlooked. Ole Miss is lucky to have such top quality. If they continue to re-stock year after year with top International players they should be in good shape for years to come.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome Journalism 400/International Journalism Students!

Journalism 400/International Journalism Students:

Welcome to our course blog,!

On this blog, we will be discussing the major issues of the day in international media as well as probe the work and lives of some of the greatest international journalists. These will include U.S. journalists like Robert Kaplan, James Nachtwey, and Nate Thayer as well as journalists from other countries such as Ryszard Kapuscinski of Poland, Wilfred Burchette of Australia, and Maria Jimena Duzan of Colombia.

We will probe the effects of new technology and social media such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook on world news and the phenomenon of the "citizen journalist" as well as study the grand traditions of foreign correspondence, war coverage, and travel writing.

We will travel from ancient monasteries in Serbia and Bulgaria to bullet-strafed frontlines in Latin America and Africa to mystery-laden Katmandu and the killing fields of Cambodia.

And finally we will be reporting news and writing features ourselves, searching out those international stories that connect with readers and viewers here in Oxford and at the university, grabbing that local angle, and making a unique contribution to media and our community here and beyond.

Hang on! It's going to be quite a journey!