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Category: Global

Social observations of urban and rural Peru

I’m four seven weeks late to write this, but I’ve come to learn that life gets in the way like that sometimes. My 10-day trip to Peru … well it was a 10-day trip to Peru. Lima, Cusco, the Andes, Machu Picchu — the story is in the pictures, and we have thousands of them. My observations, however, didn’t translate quite well to film. Lima is a magnificent city, one that often gets unnecessary flack from travelers for “being empty” of value for tourists. I disagree wholeheartedly, as the Peruvian capital is one of the greatest places I’ve had the pleasure of…

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For the sake of American investment, end the Cuban Embargo

Unless Uncle Sam is content sitting idly as foreign banks shape the future of a nation only 90 miles from American soil, it’s time for the Obama administration to put down the Bacardi and lift the Cuban Embargo. Since President Raúl Castro took the reins from his brother Fidel in 2008, the Cuban government has gradually loosened its grip on the island’s crumbling economy. The latest move toward reform came at the end of last month, when Cuba’s National Assembly passed a transformative foreign investment law aimed at boosting sluggish GDP growth.  Under the new legislation, the details of which…

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USC Annenberg professor comments on GTA V release

Ed. Note: Communication Professor Dmitri Williams is an expert on the social and economic impacts of new media and video games. Below, Williams spoke with us about this week’s record-breaking release of “Grand Theft Auto V” and his work with startup Ninja Metrics. Asciutto: “Grand Theft Auto V” released Tuesday to a record first-day sale of more than $800 million. What about this specific game caused it to steamroll its way into the history books? Williams: GTA is the “Star Wars” of video games. The developers could roll out of bed and their next game would make a fortune. Having said that, this is a studio…

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Why Americans aren’t revolting: Government owns the media

Marty Kaplan, director of USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center, appeared on Moyers & Company to explain why Americans aren’t following the path of Brazilians to seek political reform. “We have unemployment and hunger and crumbling infrastructure and a tax system of whack and a corrupt political system,” he said. “Why are we not also taking to the streets is the question.” Kaplan said that present-day American journalism’s focus on “infotainment” distracts the public from paying attention to issues of high national importance. “The stuff that is being reported on the news tends not to be the kind of stuff that we need to…

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Traveling the South Pacific

It’s taken me a few days to sit down to write. When you realize the end of a life-changing journey has arrived, it’s difficult to digest. The people with whom I’ve shared some of the highest and lowest moments of my young life will be out of the picture in five days. “Temporary” goodbyes become more permanent with each passing day, and promises to stay in touch prove to be nothing more than coping mechanisms to dull the pain of the present fading into the past. This is where I now stand. I am lucky to have spent the past week…

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Media Education in the South Pacific: Problems Facing the Industry

The South Pacific, rich in cultural, linguistic, political and socioeconomic diversity, is home to an incredibly complex media landscape. Though well-established in New Zealand and Australia, the media industry is continuously evolving to meet the challenges of national development and political instability throughout the Pacific Islands. Across the board, insufficient resources, government restrictions and a deficiency of formally trained journalists plague regional media. “Criticism in the region focuses on lack of professional training of journalists, poor educational standards, lack of knowledge of the political and social institutions, cultural insensitivities, and a questionable grasp of ethical issues,” wrote Professor David Robie,…

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NZ Trade Mission to PNG Highlights Economic Growth Between the Pacific Nations

A group of 30 New Zealand representatives with public- and private-sector interests is visiting Papua New Guinea for a week-long trade mission. For the fifth time in the last two years, the New Zealand Papua New Guinea Business Council has organised a mission that reflects the growing economic relationship between the Pacific nations. This delegation — a joint venture between the NZPNG Business Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise — will largely focus on infrastructural development. Read more here.

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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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