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Review of the Week – 5 to 11 March 2012

REVIEW OF THE WEEK: 5 to 11 March 2012

That Was The Week That Was

THIS MAN IS A BAD GUY: One of the moments in the half-hour film involves the film-maker showing his young son a photograph of Joseph Kony, the subject of the film - described as one of the "bad guys" by the child. This week’s seen the spread of easily one of the best examples of a viral campaign: KONY 2012. The video, which went live on Monday under the YouTube channel of not-for-profit organisation Invisible Children, Inc, aims to raise awareness of the head of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony. But despite the film’s big success – it’s had over 70 million views in the space of the last seven days – some question the organisation’s actions. My friend, Borlase headboy and fellow Taplow Youth Choir singer, Remy Osman wrote his opinions on Facebook on Tuesday.

Controversial, but hold your horses on this whole ‘Kony 2012’ thing:

Just remember that the Ugandan military is using this as an excuse to enter other countries and exploit the Congo’s resources, while murdering and raping innocents. The Ugandan government is full of far worse criminals than Kony, and their president is responsible for millions of deaths. (I particularly reject the idea that Kony is “the worst war criminal in the world”.)

Also, Invisible Children lobbies for DIRECT military intervention in Africa. Didn’t we learn anything from our terrorist hunts in the middle east?
Just consider this before jumping on the emotional bandwagon…”

— Remy Osman, writing on Facebook, 6 March 2012

As we in the west woke on Monday, we learned that in Russia, Vladimir Putin had won his third term as President. But there’s claims of unfair practices and, as the Telegraph stated, “international observers reported widespread irregularities; the poll in Chechnya was 99.7 per cent in his favour, based on a 99.6 per cent turnout”.

On Wednesday, six British soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan after their vehicle was hit by an explosion. The biggest single loss of UK life in Afghanistan since 2006, the fatalities have caused the British death toll since 2001 to rise to 404. They were named on Thursday as Sgt Nigel Coupe, Cpl Jake Harley, Pte Anthony Frampton, Pte Christopher Kershaw, Pte Daniel Wade, and Pte Daniel Wilford. They had an annual age of 22, but five of them were 21 or younger.

Perhaps the most scandalous story of the week in western Europe is the news that Briton Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara were murdered by their captors in Nigeria, during a rescue operation of which President Giorgio Napolitano was not given advance warning.

HAVING A BALL: Prince Harry plays sport with Brazilian children on the Rio de Janeiro beach.

And, in other news: Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s son, Charlie Gilmour, is to resume his studies at Cambridge University, after serving a 16-month sentence for his role in the 2010 student fees protest. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have both been forced to alter their recipes after the state of California declared one of its flavourings, 4-methylimidazole, a carcinogen. And on Friday, Prince Harry enjoyed a game of rugby on a beach in Brazil, during an official visit to the South American country.

“One plea to all Brazilians, though. Please, please, if we show you how to play rugby, don’t do what you’ve done with football, and leave us wishing we hadn’t!”

Prince Harry, whilst playing sports on Rio de Janeiro beach, 9 March 2012

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Review of the Week – 23 to 29 January 2012

Review of the Week: 16 to 22 January 2012

That Was The Week That Was

SPACE MAN: This Canadian Lego man went up to space, in a stunt similar to one in James May's Man Lab. A Birmingham girl sought help to overcome a chicken nugget addiction. A Lego minifigure conquered the final frontier. An asteroid hurtled past Earth, just 60,000 km away from us. This week’s news has been filled with smaller-scale stories and, of course, the continued details about the Costa Concordia disaster. After news of another body being found on the sixth deck emerged, it’s now known seventeen people have died in the accident with fifteen still missing. There’s now a floating oil barrier in place to prevent an oil spill, and a minimum compensation package of €11,000 (£9,200) is being offered to surviving passengers.

There’s been the usual number of shocking and surprising headlines, like the i‘s ‘Man “left to decay” in jail is awarded $22m’ (in reference to Steven Slevin’s prison ordeal). One story that’s shaken the ballet world is that of the announcement of Sergei Polunin‘s immediate resignation from the art-form.

“At the point where he seems to be craving independence, Polunin may also be most in need of steady guidance. It’s the kind of guidance you would hope he would get from inside a company. And which some are hoping, even now, the Royal might be able to reach out to Polunin and persuade their prodigal son to return.”

— Judith Mackrell, writing for The Guardian, 26 January 2012

We’ve seen plans for the Olympic opening ceremony unveiled, as Oscar-winning film-maker Danny Boyle announced details of the £29 million extravaganza that will kick off the games. It’s understood he’s drawing inspiration from Shakespeare‘s play The Tempest, creating The Isles of Wonder to reflect the setting of the play.

One final thought: would you reject a royal honour? A list released earlier this week named the children’s author Roald Dahl as having rejected an OBE in 1986, and the painter LS Lowry as refusing five honours in total. Ungrateful or true greats? You decide.

“Those that were there own men and women saw that there was far more to lose than to gain… They would be sacrificing what was best about them – their independence.”

— Terence Blackner, writing for The Independent

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Review of the Week – 9 to 15 January 2012

Review of the Week: 9 to 15 January 2012

That Was The Week That Was

Week Two of 2012, and perhaps the most reported news story is only just beginning. On Friday (13 January) night, the Costa Concordia ran aground, suffering a gash in her hull and causing the cruise ship to partially sink. It’s not yet known how many people have died or what caused such a new ship to end up at a 70° angle, but it seems the vast majority of people on board managed to get to safety. You can read the Wikipedia article I started on the disaster here.

One of the most horrific stories of the week took place in South Africa, where an elderly couple were burned to death for “being witches” in front of their seven-year-old grandson, in Jacobean-style. Closer to home, Edinburgh Zoo’s male giant panda has been taken off public display, Ernst & Young were named the top gay-friendly employer in the UK, and TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson apologised for shoplifting from a Tesco store in Henley. The theft itself inspired a wealth of online jokes, including “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was shoved up AWT’s top”, and “There’s no such thing as a free lunch, unless you’re using AWT’s latest cookbook”.

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