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Author: asciutto

Censorship and press regulations in the Pacific

Across the Pacific, advocates of media freedom hosted many World Press Freedom Day celebrations this year. Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Solomon Islands were among the countries to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO event on May 3, which focuses upon securing freedom of expression in all forms of media. According to UNESCO, more than 600 journalists have been killed globally in the last decade — 121 died last year alone. “All these journalists had one thing in common,” says Tim McBride, deputy chair of New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO communications sub-commission. “They…

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Letting the world change you

It’s always difficult to come home from a vacation, especially when you’ve got mounds of work to finish. I suppose my last act of procrastination, and the last leg of my holiday, will be here at the keyboard recounting my week in the South Island of New Zealand. On the 23 of April, a group of us set out from Auckland to Queenstown at 4 AM. The misery of that bus ride is indescribable. When you get into Queenstown, you’re greeted by this tiny city surrounded by breathtaking mountains and lakes. It’s small, pretty squared off but packed with restaurants,…

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Bombs and ballots

The past seven days have been the most news-packed in recent memory: Venezuelan elections, the Boston bombings (and subsequent manhunt), the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, China and Iran’s earthquakes, New Zealand passing marriage equality legislation and, in a more recent development, the United States doubling their aid to Syrian allies — over 60,000 have died since the beginning of the fight against Assad. It’s difficult to sift through these events and try to make much sense out of them individually. When you have natural disasters, terrorist attacks, acts of social progression, political regression and genocide happening in the same 100-hour…

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Beginning of something

Underage prostitution is a growing issue in Auckland and the Pacific. Girls as young as 13 are working the streets in low-income communities, and some close to the situation report that they’re being pimped by relatives and sexually exploited at home. For my first reporting experience in the Pacific, I took a look into this issue, and here’s what I found out. http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2013/04/moves-to-tackle-sexual-exploitation-of-young-girls-in-nz-fiji-and-png/

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The Tauranga Chapter

It’s been a little over a month since my arrival to this side of the Pacific, and the homesickness is starting to kick in ever so slightly. I miss the sound of mariachi static and tamale vendors, the taste of horchata with carne asada mixed with a splash of smog. I miss my adopted city of Los Angeles and all the people, trials and tribulations that come with it. That’s not to say that I’m not loving my extended study-vacation in Aotearoa. I was able to find a slice of Latin America last Thursday night at Circolombia: Urban. This incredible…

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Rest In Peace, Comandante

Words cannot express my sadness at the passing of Hugo Chávez. A visionary. Though there will be celebrations in streets across the United States tonight, I believe we lost an incredible man, an idealistic warrior who stood up to the government of the United States and told them to go fuck themselves. We will now, undeniably and unfortunately, see turmoil and chaos in this country for a good while. What Chávez instilled could only be upheld by Chávez himself, and the institutions that he created across a continent will now suffer a slow death. It’s not to say that he…

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Bienvenidos a Nueva Zelanda

Close to three weeks have passed since I first arrived in New Zealand, and unfortunately now is the first time I’ve decided to sit down and record my thoughts and experiences. This beautiful land of uninhabited islands, small towns and overpriced food is extremely hard to characterize. In Auckland, specifically, you have an incredibly diverse population that exemplifies the “salad bowl” philosophy. You have the native Kiwis and Maoris, you have Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean populations, you have Indian and Middle Eastern ethnic groups and a hoard of Europeans all in the same boat. Auckland does not…

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North Korea’s virtual attack on USA, with graphics made on Microsoft Paint

This is ridiculous. North Korea is like that annoying fat kid who antagonizes and bullies you in grade school because he has self esteem issues, but in reality you could really whoop his ass. You don’t though, just because you feel sorry for him and the people that have to live with him, listening to his whining. What is the move here? How does Washington react to this one, a visual reenactment of a North Korean missile demolishing an American city? The video itself is almost comical, were it not for the burning American flag and crumbling buildings of what…

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Gabby Giffords, Guns and the Politicization of 20 Dead Kids

Just finished writing a blog post about former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ speech to the Senate about ending gun violence in America. “This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats, for Republicans,” she said last week. “Speaking is difficult but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you, thank you.” Really, when people hear this broken voice, see this…

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LA mayoral candidates to meet in South Central

Looking forward to hearing what the candidates have to say about reducing poverty, homelessness and crime in our neighborhood. Rather, looking forward to hearing fluff about how South LA is turning corners and growing with the help of USC at this PR-stunt. Get ya facts straight! We are the poorest, most violent district of the city. The people of this region need help from the top. TODAY 1177 W 25th St  Los Angeles, CA 90007 6:00 pm – 7:30 pn http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5098/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=51239

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