archives : Other News 2010


Panafrica - European Union

Over the centuries, European artists depicted a variety of religious figures as African. The most famous examples: Christmas art of the Three Kings, or Magi. Many of these treasures can be found in The Image of the Black in Western Art, co-edited by David Bindam and Henry Louis Gates Jr., editor-in-chief of The Root.

It is something of a shock to discover that since classical antiquity, men and women of African descent have been a constant presence in European works of art. Just as startling, black people have often been depicted much more sympathetically than the historical relationship between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe would suggest.

- Tuesday 21 December 2010


American actor Will Smith is headed back to China but this time for a crime drama he’s developing for Fox. Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment has partnered with Chinese-born filmmaker Eva Jin to develop the series, which takes place in that country.

Overbrook’s untitled and yet to be cast hour-long show will focus on a crime-fighting female college student in China. This sounds promising, especially with the success of The CW’s Nikita.

- Tuesday 21 December 2010

United States - Japan

Toyota Motor Corporation has agreed to pay the US government a record $32.4m (£20.9m) in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis.

The civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats and steering relay rods that could break and lead to drivers losing control.

The latest settlement, on top of a $16.4m fine Toyota paid earlier in a related investigation, brings the total penalties levied on the company to $48.8m. It caps a difficult year for the world’s biggest car manufacturer, which recalled more than 11m vehicles globally since autumn 2009 as it scrambled to protect its reputation for safety and reliability.

- Tuesday 21 December 2010

Yet another performer has been injured on the set of the trouble-plagued Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Monday’s night performance was stopped short after an unidentified performer — either the actor playing the title character or his stunt double — fell about eight to 10 feet during the final moments of the show, the New York Times reported. Some equipment also fell into the audience when the fall happened.

"He fell several feet from a platform approximately seven minutes before the end of the performance, and the show was stopped," a statement from the musical said. "All signs were good as he was taken to the hospital for observation."

- Tuesday 21 December 2010

Signs you’re an old fogey: You still watch movies on a VCR, listen to vinyl records and shoot photos on film.

And you enjoy using e-mail.

Young people, of course, much prefer online chats and text messages. These have been on the rise for years but are now threatening to eclipse e-mail, much as they have already superseded phone calls.

Major Internet companies like Facebook are responding with message services that are focused on immediate gratification.

The problem with e-mail, young people say, is that it involves a boringly long process of signing into an account, typing out a subject line and then sending a message that might not be received or answered for hours. And sign-offs like “sincerely” — seriously?

- Tuesday 21 December 2010

To hear Sofia Coppola explain it, the genesis for her drama "Somewhere" — an episodic tone poem about celebrity and fatherhood in modern Hollywood that reaches theaters Wednesday — can be pin-pointed to a personal place: the intersection of intimately observed family experiences and tabloid fabulism.

Early reviewers have had a field day reading levels of cinema-as-confessional into "Somewhere," which won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice International Film Festival this year. Specifically, the writer-director’s relationship with her dad, "Godfather" auteur Francis Ford Coppola, has been widely presumed to provide the basis for "Somewhere’s" plot-propelling father-daughter characters’ frisson. But the younger Coppola blanches at that idea.

- Monday 20 December 2010

United States - Israel

An American tourist was brutally stabbed to death in Israel as she hiked with a friend who says they were attacked by a pair of Arab men.

Israeli officials found the body of Christine Logan, 40, a U.S. citizen whose hometown was not immediately released, outside of Jerusalem on Sunday morning. She was bound and had been stabbed multiple times.

Logan’s friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, who hails from England but has lived in Israel for decades, was also bound and stabbed numerous times but managed to escape.

A hospital spokesman said Wilson’s wounds were superficial and she did not suffer heavy blood loss, the Jerusalem Post reported.

- Monday 20 December 2010

European Union

Air and rail passengers across Europe faced huge disruption to their Christmas travel plans at the weekend as snowfalls in the UK, France and Germany caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled and train services to be delayed.

Snow caused transport chaos across the UK, with thousands of air passengers left stranded. Roads were so badly affected that more than half of some regions’ salt supplies for the winter has already been used.

The latest freeze is prompting transport operators to rethink their resources, with London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports increasing their investment in clearance equipment. “This is not a one-in-20-years event. It’s going to be more frequent than that as the past few weeks have shown,” said a Gatwick spokesperson.

- Monday 20 December 2010

The campaign to repeal "don’t ask, don’t tell," which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military, gained a historic victory today with the Senate voting to end the policy and send the bill to President Obama’s desk.

Sixty-five Senators, including six Republicans, voted in favor of the measure. The House approved repeal earlier this week.

Passage of the bill to end "don’t ask, don’t tell" is a major victory for Obama, who has promised to end the 17-year-old law and had come under intense pressure from gay rights groups to do so before Republicans take control of the House in January.

- Monday 20 December 2010

Google TV has just enacted its first programming cancellation.

The Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas was meant to be the great coming-out party for Google’s new software for televisions, which adds Web video and other computer smarts to TV sets. Although Google already has a deal with Sony for its Internet TVs, other television makers — Toshiba, LG Electronics and Sharp — were prepared to flaunt their versions of the systems.

- Monday 20 December 2010

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