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Surprise renaissance in one of world’s most violent cities
Aug 26th, 2013 by Warren Swil

BBC says Johannesburg

is undergoing a rebirth

This map shows the location of Johannesburg, South Africa. Click image to enlarge.

THE OUTSTANDING WEEKEND newsmagazine BBC Newsnight this week certainly caught my attention.
The first 10 minute segment (there are usually three 10 minute stories in each show) was about the surprising rebirth of a city in which I lived for six months in 1974: Johannesburg, South Africa.
The second 10 minute segment had me ROFLOL: it was about SWILL – yes, the way my name is often misspelt.
Except this story was not about me; it was about a new way in the U.K. to feed pigs!
It was the story about one of the most violent cities on earth, however, which truly was the surprise. A renaissance in Jo’burg?


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Urgency for new federal shield law for journalists intensifies

PROPOSAL SUPPORTED BY OBAMA IS DEEPLY FLAWED
Both the sage of Edward Snowden and the persecution of Chelsea Manning, top stories in the news this summer, bring into sharp focus the need for protection at the federal level for journalists and their sources.
Without adequate protection, the revelations of such vital public information is sure to dry up; and, indeed, anecdotally at least, it is reportedly doing so.
At the core of the debate, then are two issues: who is a journalist (and, therefore, who should be protected), and how best to balance national security with a free press.
Let the debate begin, in earnest.


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A bicycle rider’s view of Belmont Shores, Long Beach (with video)

ZEN AND THE ART OF VIDEO EDITING
Editing video involves several mental processes, some occurring simultaneously, others sequentially.
It requires total concentration: It is this complete immersion that cleanses the mind. All the stresses and strains of the past and future vanish as one processes 30 frames per second, finding just the right ones to include, making split second decisions on where to cut and what to leave out.
It can be called the Zen of video editing.


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Blogger’s views on Manning case aired by Al Jazeera (with video)

BLOGGER’S VIEWS ON MANNING CASE AIRED BY ALJZEERA
It is rare that us mere mortals are afforded the same opportunity that folks like Scott Pelly (of CBS) and Brian Williams (of NBC) get every evening.
They speak daily to an audience of millions about the most important issues in the news.
Today, I was afforded the same opportunity.
In a segment on the Listening Post show on Al Jazeera English. I was featured as a guest on the Global Village Voices slot speaking about the Bradley Manning case.
Watch the full statement in the video.


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UK government accused of leak in Snowden drama

UBER-LEAKER DENIES BEING SOURCE FOR MAJOR STORY ABOUT SPYING
The Edward Snowden drama took a bizarre twist this morning when dueling articles were published in Britain’s two leading newspapers.
One was a dramatic revelation in the Independent that the U.K. has a major spying outpost in the Middle East to intercept and monitor vast amounts of internet traffic.
Then came a rebuttal in The Guardian claiming the British government has itself leaked the story, denying that Snowden had been the source.
Who, then, leaked the data?
That is a very good question indeed.
It’s a made-for-television mini-series.


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LISTENING POST on AlJazeera: must see TV (with video)

SHOW HAS HAD BEST COVERAGE OF BRADLEY MANNING CASE
With the arrival this week of AlJazeera America, the domestic audience now can watch one of the best half hours on television.
“Listening Post,” a show about the media and journalism in general, is scheduled to be aired on AlJazeera America on Saturdays, starting tomorrow, at 2:30 p.m. EDT (in the East) and again at 2:30 p.m. PDT (in the West).
Welcome to America, AlJazeera.
It is time the U.S. media got a wake-up call. Let’s give the new kid on the block a chance to prove it can do a better job for all of us.


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President Obama should pardon Bradley Manning NOW!

SIGN THE PETITION: LET’S GET ONE MILLION SIGNATURES
The 35-year-sentence handed down by a military judge for Pfc. Bradley Manning on Wednesday was grossly excessive.
For The New York Times to call Bradley Manning’s 35-year sentence “excessive” is disappointing. It has forgotten the glorious past, when it championed the freedom of the press – and the dozens of times it has gone to the mat to protect the identity of anonymous sources since then.
We say, “Pardon Bradley Manning NOW!, Mr. President.”


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THREE YEARS TO GO: 2016 presidential campaign under way (with video)

HILLARY CLINTON LEADS THE PACK OUT OF THE GATE
It is more than three years until the next time Americans go to the ballot box to elect a president, but there can be no doubt the campaign has already started.
Why is the media – including The New York Times – paying so much attention to a matter so far into the future? It risks turning voters off by the millions. Voter fatigue is a well-researched phenomenon.
Having the media narrative all sewn up three years in advance is anathema to an open election with a true expression of the voters’ opinion.
It is regrettable – but, alas, in America unavoidable.


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UPDATED: Manning sentence: A sad day for America and press freedom (NEW video)

COURAGEOUS, HONEST FOLK NEEDED TO EXPOSE GOVERNMENT WRONGDOING FROM THE INSIDE
It is a sad day in America: the Statue of Liberty on Staten Island has a tear in her eye.
Prosecutors made it clear that their intention was not only to punish Pfc. Bradley Manning (which they have accomplished) but also to discourage others from leaking information.
Let us hope they fail. We would be less well off as a nation if the press is no longer able to expose government wrongdoing at every level, and to do so, it needs courageous, honest people on the inside willing to risk it all in the name of patriotism.
Thank you, Bradley Manning.


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New voice emerges on U.S. media landscape

AL JAZEERA AMERICA: ‘JUST LIKE SOMETHING A JOURNALISM PROFESSOR WOULD IMAGINE’
The newest kid on the American media block, Al Jazeera America, began its domestic broadcasts at noon PDT on Tuesday.
The first show was a one-hour introduction to the new channel and its lineup.
This is a journalism professor’s dream come true. Stay tuned to this channel for more on Al Jazeera and its new brand of broadcast journalism


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